Meet the Media – Warren Thayer

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Blog courtesy of Robin Carr, LCI

Warren Thayer is the editorial director and co-founder of Frozen & Refrigerated Buyer. A lifelong journalist, he has been writing about the supermarket business for 40 years. He has been on CNN and national public radio multiple times. Landis Communications Inc.’s work with iTradeNetwork connected us to Warren and his publication.

1. What types of stories, trends or issues are on your radar now?

Stories that help my readership (retail and manufacturer execs in the frozen food and dairy industries) sell more products more efficiently and profitably are always on my radar. Hot topics right now are logistics, supply chain and merchandising ideas at retail.

2. What elements or characteristics do you look for in a story?

I look for credible stories that get to the point about the financial benefit to the reader.

3. What story or stories are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the investigative stories I did years ago about industry fraud. I found a guy who had defrauded hundreds of his workers and gone into hiding before the FBI found him. Now I’m happiest writing stories that provide new information to my readers and help their businesses. That’s a sweet home run.

4. Tell us about your dream assignment.

I would love to work out of a firehouse for a while and write about what firefighters do to be more efficient and safe. I spent 15 years as a volunteer firefighter, but I’m too old for it now. Or, perhaps even better, I’d love to visit Barrow, Alaska again for a few months to write about the locals and what concerns them.

5. Finish this sentence: If I am not reporting I am… 

If I am not reporting, I am hiking in the woods with my dog or cooking new recipes with my wife.

6. What advice do you have for PR people who want to pitch you?

First, at least skim an issue of the magazine online. Decide, honestly, if it’s a fit. Get to the point. You get just a few seconds to get my interest because I get 100+ emails a day. If you’re going to follow up, do so within 48 hours. Don’t wait a week or a month because I’ll need to be brought up to speed again. Send me your press release; don’t ask me if I’d like a press release. If you have art, send it, don’t ask if I want it. I honor embargos, but I don’t like them. They’re just one more thing to keep track of, and sometimes people put embargoes on things they originally sent out months ago. What’s up with that? I know I sound like a crab, but most people consider me pretty friendly and laid back. In all honesty, I have a love/hate relationship with PR.

7. Tell us a little about yourself. 

I grew up as a farm kid, went to Boston for college and worked in NYC for 20 years. After that, I moved back to the woods for the past 20+ years. I’ve been on CNN and NPR and freelanced all over. I love 60s rock, hate gravitas and am suspicious of men wearing suspenders unless they are in the act of farming or skiing.

Feel free to comment below or tweet Warren @fdbuyereditor.

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4 thoughts on “Meet the Media – Warren Thayer

  1. Warren: thanks for the guest blog! You want to visit Barrow, AK? My sister lived there for 15 years. It’s a very small town without alot going on – but the polar bears do parade down the main street every once in a while. Oh, and the sun sets in November and doesn’t rise until the end of January. Besides that, it’s a charming place. Cheers, David

  2. Warren, thanks for your candor. And I love Alaska, too (not a bad place for a guy who writes about refrigeration, eh?). I visited there years ago and still remember a waitress who said that she liked living in Alaska except that it was tough to find a date. She said, “the odds are good, but the goods are odd.” That has stayed with me.

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