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Magazine interviews with Chief Executives


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Am I the only one who keeps thinking of Valentas and VP185s at the mention of Paxman?

 

As to football wafflings.

 

Just remind them

 

"A HELICOPTER HAS FLOWN ON MARS"

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Just wondering who Simon Koehler was responding to when he "explained" why Hornby had chosen to announce Lion…

 

Model Railroader did a handful of CEO interviews years ago. One was Kenneth Ting (Kader) and another was Yuigi (?) Kato. Neither was revelatory in any respect. Also "important" people often insist on seeing the questions first, before agreeing to the interview. Though more than one UK magazine has interviewed Jason Shron of Rapido — but then he's particularly good copy.

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On 11/04/2021 at 17:54, Oldddudders said:

What a load of baloney. CEOs of model manufacturing companies are not elected politicians, or others earning squillions, who deserve to be Paxman-ed. Magazines need some degree of co-operation from manufacturers but that is very different from describing their relationship as cosy. If a mag reviews a model and says it's a pile of poo then they are going to miss out on future releases, but emphasising the good points and gently noting the downside issues is what we all want to read and I see plenty of that across the mag spectrum.

 

Case not proven.  

 

It's called being tactful with common sense.

 

The phenomenon of Railway Modelling.

 

Probably the hardest genre of hobbyists to please in a genre fast approaching near watchmaking standards.

Things have got tougher for the manufacturers "aided"  by the social media attachments where you can post "out there" and be critical in seconds  - they really have to be on top of the game today. Who'd be a CEO not earning "squillion's"?

 

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On 20/04/2021 at 18:05, AY Mod said:

 

But you won't get a full and honest answer.

 

So what do you want doing next? Thumbscrews, ransoms, blackmail or waterboarding?

Probably not allowed on Youtube... You could try threatening them with 'community service as an RMWeb moderator unless they comply. That would scare me into behaving!

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It's possible the most "'revealing" interviews with model company exec's, or CEO's, might be found in another sort of publication, such as a (rare) interview in the business pages of a newspaper, or a trade magazine of some description; rather than in the pages of a modelling magazine aimed at "enthusiasts".

Even then, it would be unusual for them to let slip anything they didn't want the outside world to know.

 

I remember when former Hornby CEO, Frank Martin spoke to the Guardian and the Telegraph, during his tenure at Margate.

 

There had been a typically bland interview with one of the modelling mags (might have been Model Rail, but I'm not sure? ), with Frank and Simon Kohler doing their impression of Kaa the python, from Disney's Jungle Book (remember the song "trust in me"), assuring us the they were just as enthusiastic as "us punters" and had our best interests at heart (".....look into my eyes").

 

Then Frank Martin was interviewed by newspaper business journalists, where he basically admitted that Hornby were just chasing the "nostalgia" market and the affluent, grey £.

He also implied that the target market (that's us modellers), were "Nerds" .

Also..."The fact he wasn't a fan as a child gives him "perspective".......It also helps him smile at the absurdity of some of his customers, the majority of whom are adult collectors, rather than children", which in the context of the article that came from, may have been considered a rather big put down. 

 

It's been said already, the company representatives, whether they're a CEO or other Exec, will only tell the interviewer, what they want to tell them. 

 

 

.

 

 

 

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I think some naively imagine that the CEO of Company A will admit with a smile that he instructed his staff to develop their model of the [bleep] when they heard that those rotters at Company B were going to make one. Dream on. 

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Perhaps someone could ask a well known marketing manager if he had tested the Coronation to see if it would pull nine Coronation Scot coaches and if it would be a good idea to produce a Hornby Dublo version with sufficient weight.

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1 hour ago, Chris M said:

A certain Mr Ratner will explain why it’s best not to be too honest when giving any talks as CEO.

Indeed — that must be the most revealing (and disastrous) CEO statement in history. Pretty much killed the company off — a pity in some ways as they sold the same items as their rivals for rather less money.

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On 20/04/2021 at 08:30, kevinlms said:

Nonsense, I have about 700 copies of Railway Modeller starting from 1957 to date. Nowhere near a complete set, but there are plenty of layouts featuring Tri-ang, Wrenn, Formaway, C&L, Marcway, hand-built etc track, that are obviously not Peco brands, right throughout that period. I reckon a 60 year plus range is more than sufficient evidence.

 

I don't know why people get the idea that Peco only feature their own products on layouts depicted. Unless of course you have some evidence to the contrary?

 

Perhaps you haven't noticed, but Peco stopped spelling the brand name as PECO, in the early 1990s. I believe that is when they changed their publishing software.

 

Most of their reviews have been fairly basic until recently, mostly really advising of something new. But I suspect that was more to do with the number of pages available. For many years, the RM was limited to no more than 24 pages (plus ads), so the problem was one of what to select. Publishing costs in the days of computers is significantly less.

 

Whilst I agree that RM has always featured layouts featuring track and other items from different suppliers apparently without discrimination, there have at times been hints of 'product placement' in some articles. I can remember under John Brewer's editorship it wasn't unknown to see layout photos captioned 'Note the excellent use of Peco backscenes', whilst Ken Payne on several occasions praised Peco Streamline in his articles. And of course there were the effectively free full page ads for Peco in each issue, like the memorable plan of Waterloo laid out in Streamline. Even today there is perhaps a slight bias towards Peco group products in 'Railway Modelling Explored'.

 

But I've no real issue with that - after all, it's their magazine and other manufacturers are free to set up their own. And by and large, Peco products tend to be pretty reliable so it's not as if they're telling untruths about themselves. They also have their logo on the front of the magazine to highlight the  connection to the parent company.

 

Peco are well aware that they are a part of the wider body of manufacturers who serve our hobby from the one-man-in-a-shed businesses like Roxey to the biggies like Hornby, Bachmann, Heljan and Dapol, who by and large they do not view as competitors but complements. Peco have (wisely?) steered clear of developing a locomotive range (with a few exceptions like the Jubilee , the 2251 and the upcoming 009 locos - but not enough to tread on anybody's toes). Consequently you can't build and stock a layout solely from items made by Peco so it's in their interests for the other manufacturers to do well.

 

As to PECO/Peco - both are still in use and have been for a long time. The PECO logo itself is of course all in capitals and appears on their website and packaging as well as the RM cover, whilst I can remember mixed case being used in text back into the 80s if not before.  However whilst they are to a degree interchangeable, 'Peco' is probably to be preferred in text - as we (hopefully) all know, all caps can be considered to be shouting.

 

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Apologies for going off topic but only yesterday I was surprised to find how many ways the Peco range of products have been essential for building my layout. My layout is N gauge and uses Peco track and point motors but, despite making buildings from scratch, I have used quite a few other Peco products. Ratio fences (lineside & station), Peco static grass, reeds, wagons, wagon kits, benches, ratio corrugated sheets and etched window frames. I’ve also used a modified Peco station as a depot building, steps from the ratio footbridge for my home made bridges and although my signal box is scratchbuilt the window frames are from a ratio signal box kit. It seems to me the majority of layouts in magazines will include quite a few items from the Peco group. 

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TBH whilst we all have our favourite magazines, and of course even with those, not everything is always exactly as we would wish, personally I think we have a lot to be thankful to all the staff of the modelling press for in providing us with interesting material to read, particularly over the last year, and for the many other ways in which they support our hobby.

 

It really isn't easy maintaining the quality of a magazine over a long period of time, but by and large the magazines are managing it. There's been little or no dumbing down or chasing the ratings.

 

Things could be a lot worse. Imagine:

 

"In next month's magazine:

 

Rod Stewart attempts to break the record to drive Smokey Joe round our test track in the shortest time.

A mysterious enthusiast in white overalls takes the Hattons 66 out on the test track. Is it faster than the Hornby version?

We modify a Railroad Class 73, a Dapol Terrier and a Triang Princess and race them across Lake Windermere.

We attempt to build a layout in a caravan and end up destroying it...."

 

And on that bombshell....

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