I am the Midwest Bureau Chief freightwaves.com, a software as a service (SaaS) business with a robust media operation that includes web and about 20 hours a week of live streamed TV. We report on the four main freight modes: air cargo, ocean shipping, rail/intermodal and commercial trucking. FreightWaves is a 5-year-old startup based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Like most of our editorial staff, I work remotely. In my case, home is in West Michigan.
Can you tell us what types of stories, trends or issues are on your radar now?
About 70% of my reporting focuses on trucking technology, specifically startups, electrification and autonomy. I also cover equipment (tractors, trailers and used trucks) as well as the four major original equipment manufacturers (Daimler Truck, Volvo Group, Traton Group and Paccar Inc. I write a weekly newsletter for about 11,000 email subscribers and FreightWaves.com called Truck Tech. I also host a 30-minute live TV show Wednesdays on FreightWavesTV that goes by the same name but very little content overlap with the newsletter.
Describe the craziest or most fun story you have worked on.
Covering Major League Baseball (not as a beat writer) in San Diego and Detroit generated the most fun stories to tell.
What story or stories are you most proud of?
In recent times, it would probably be the saga of startup electric truck maker Nikola Corp.
What elements or characteristics do you look for in a story, and why?
More than just the immediate ‘news’ in a story, I seek to provide context and perspective. Having worked in both journalism and PR, I have a very sensitive b.s. detector.
How long have you been in journalism and how did you get started?
My career includes 14 years at The Associated Press; 3 1/2 years at the Free Press in Detroit and four years at FreightWaves. I spent 20 years in media relations at General Motors between two journalism careers.
Finish this sentence: If I am not reporting, I am… preparing for hosting my weekly TV show or writing my weekly Truck Tech newsletter.
What advice do you have for PR people that want to pitch you?
Do your research on FreightWaves and what we cover. If you are pitching me, focus on commercial trucking (Class 4-8). I do not typically write about cars or passenger vehicle trends. Also, please do not take this profile as license to pitch me indiscriminately.
Any pet peeves with PR people?
Lack of timely responsiveness. If I call for comment or help, it is infuriating to hear nothing back or something so late that it is no longer helpful. Even if you cannot help immediately, return the call, email or text saying that. (See response above.)
Tell us a little about yourself (family, interests, hobbies, background, etc.)
I have been married to Deb for 32 years. We have three grown children, are followers of Jesus Christ and trying to serve where and when we can. Hobbies are reading, bicycling, baseball cards and Bible studies.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our audience? (Maybe something that would surprise people?) I have attended MLB games in 47 different ballparks including 28 of the 30 current parks.
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