Category Archives: Updates

The only site ever banned from’s state blog list

al.comIn perusing the list of state blogs on recently, I noticed a curious omission. This site, Media of Birmingham, was no longer on the list after having been there for years.

I asked by email for it to be reinstated, and the response from an employee was that this site was “heavily anti-Advance” and that “the editors didn’t feel that it was a good fit.” (Advance Publications owns

No such guidelines are listed on the page.

I have asked for the names of said editors.

Checking through the sites (which still include my other blogs), I see these are approved for inclusion:

  • Blogs that haven’t been updated in 12 months or more (including those hosted on OK.
  • Splogs (a k a spam blogs)? OK.
  • Broken sites? OK.

Be careful, bloggers. Any coverage of Advance or its properties could get you banned from the state’s largest website.

A copy of the email is included below.

From: —– <—–>
To: Wade Kwon <>
Subject: RE: Blog page addition
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2013 4:59:34 p.m.

Hey, what’s up,

I just chased this down to see what the problem was. I assumed it had been added already.

Apparently, there was concern that the MOB blog was too heavily anti-Advance. The blog list is subject to the discretion of the editors and they didn’t feel that it was a good fit. Your other blogs, of course, were fine.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

[job title]
Alabama Media Group

Advance emailRejection email from (click to enlarge)

I’ll continue to include links to the Birmingham News and on the sidebar.

Update Oct. 9: It has been added back. It was also cited on

Update Oct. 15: The unnamed staffer referred me to Julie McKinney, the statewide community engagement specialist. I asked via email about who made the decision and what the reasoning was. She replied:

I think [an executive] and you exchanged messages, and any confusion is cleared up. Your blog is listed again. If you hear of anyone else removed who thinks they should be back, send them my way. It’s a constant evolution, and I try to stay on top of it.”

I invited her again to answer my questions, but have not received a response.

When I invited the executive to respond in the comments, she declined because she “[didn’t] want to throw [her] staffers under the bus.”

Young Women’s Empowerment Conference wins cash award

Young Women's Empowerment Conference

The Young Women’s Empowerment Conference provides
teens with a free opportunity to meet and learn
from community leaders.

Media of Birmingham is pleased to award its remaining funds to the Young Women’s Empowerment Conference. This Birmingham-based nonprofit organization will receive a one-time gift of $797.30.

In looking for a local group that serves media professionals, Young Women’s Empowerment Conference stood out easily among applicants. Executive director Chianti Cleggett founded the organization in 2008.

The special giveaway was announced in October.

Conference marketing director Jessica Vance nominated her group. She said the mission is “to empower Birmingham-area girls to believe that their futures hold big things.”

The free event features Birmingham natives talking about overcoming great obstacles, starting their own businesses, financial knowledge and more. Those speakers include a professional working in journalism, advertising, marketing, public relations or new media.

She added that the organization holds monthly meetings for its teen ambassadors board.

The gift will help the Young Women’s Empowerment Conference continue to bring media leaders to their audience. The fourth annual edition takes place March 30.

Young Women’s Empowerment Conference:

Media of Birmingham, the final phase

patio mixer

It’s been a good run, one that will continue online.

Media of Birmingham will no longer be an active networking organization. The board of directors, which started in July 2010, voted to disband on Aug. 7 and to turn organizational control and assets back to me, Wade Kwon.

I thank board president Sally Reilly and the other directors for their service during the past 2 years. Their efforts have continued the group’s outreach and training among Birmingham-area media professionals. In addition, they have raised $883.94 through ticket sales to events.

As you may recall, I formed the board in 2010 to take responsibility for the organization. The duties had become too time consuming for myself and another volunteer. This was my last-ditch effort to keep the group going and to create a sustainable model.

Alas, even the board was unable to continue after 2 years. If you’ve ever served as a board member, a nonprofit volunteer or staff member, you’ll know that it can be difficult to find capable, passionate advocates who are not paid (or paid very little). Without active leadership, no organization can hope to grow or even maintain viability.


The money will remain frozen in a bank account until Dec. 31, in case any vendors have outstanding invoices. Former board president Sally Reilly will help monitor the bank account until it is closed in 2013.

To renew the domain and domain mapping for the next 12 months, I spent $20.20 this week, as I have done in the past 2 years.

If you believe Media of Birmingham owes you money for past services, please contact me by Dec. 14.

On Jan. 2, the money will be allocated as follows:

1. Approximately $80.80 for domain and domain mapping through 2017.

2. The remaining $800 (minus any bank service charges) to be donated to a Birmingham-area 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. If your organization serves media professionals — journalism, advertising, marketing, public relations, new media — and is interested in receiving this one-time gift, please fill out this form by Dec. 14.

(Note: I automatically remove the Alabama Social Media Association from the running because of my conflict of interest as one of its board members.)


On Oct. 31, the Media of Birmingham email list, Facebook group and LinkedIn group will be closed. These channels require trained volunteers for upkeep and, by my assessment, have not been tended to in a long time.

I sent a note today to each of these groups.

(I still have to sort through some of the leftover MOB email. You haven’t lived till you’ve sorted through 2,000 pieces of email, trying to guess which, if any, have been answered.)


The good news is that this site,, will remain up and running for at least the next 5 years. And likely forever, or as long as we have websites, as the cost is relatively small.

I will continue to post reports about the ever-changing landscape of Birmingham media, as time permits. Our colleagues and neighbors have shown a continued interest in news about our various industries, companies and outlets.

I welcome guest contributors. If you’re interested in contributing stories, photos or video, contact me.

Note: Because of time limitations, I will no longer be posting job listings, event notices or media releases.

You can continue to receive the latest updates by RSS or by email (subscribe using the form in the right sidebar).


When I helped create this organization 9 years ago, little did I know how much turmoil our city’s media outlets and agencies would endure:

  • the loss of two daily newspapers;
  • the shrinking of every TV operation;
  • the rise and fall of so many magazines and nondaily newspapers and blogs and other sites;
  • the annihilation of local radio;
  • the war on Alabama Public Television;
  • the evaporation of thousands of local jobs;
  • the spawning of boutique agencies, independent professionals and digital specialists; and
  • the birth and death of groups for media types.

Never has the need been greater for veterans and greenhorns to connect, not just online but in person. To network, to learn, to comfort, to laugh.

I wish our fellow Birmingham groups — those that have been around and those yet to be — as much success as we have seen this past decade. I’m proud of having been part of such a robust organization, and look forward to continuing to serve you through my occasional reporting and writing on this site.

Thank you for being a part of the MOB.

Wade Kwon is a co-founder of Media of Birmingham and a Birmingham journalist for 25 years.

Please feel free to ask questions in the comments below or using our contact form.


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Following up on the June 24 media release, the Alabama Social Media Association announces that the July 13 Tech Tweetup with Birmingham mayor William Bell is being postponed. Mayor Bell had to cancel to appear in Washington on that date to meet with FEMA for long-range recovery planning for Pratt City.

ALsocme plans to reschedule the event later this year with Mayor Bell as the featured speaker.

For more information, visit or email

MOB May Event



“New Media is Old Again”

Dr. Minebere Ibelema

  • Tuesday, May 17
  • 11:30 a.m. check-in and networking; 12:00 p.m. lunch and presentation
  • The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 520 16th Street North, Birmingham, AL 35203
  • Lunch will be served
  • $10.00 (RSVP required)

New Media is Old Again

Dr. Minebere “Berry” Ibelema, an associate professor in Communication Studies at UAB, will speak on how old media like Gutenberg’s press set the stage for the new technologies that have followed. Dr. Ibelema will focus on some of the old technologies and how they have been repackaged in some way for our convenience and ease.

Minabere Ibelema  is an Associate Professor, who teaches news and feature writing, as well as conceptual courses. His current research focus is on the press and democratization, with an emphasis on Africa. His book The African Press, Civic Cynicism, and Democracy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) won the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award in Research in 2009. He is the co-author of Afro-Optimism: Perspectives on Africa’s Advances (Praeger, 2003). He has published several research articles as book chapters or in journals, including Journalism & Communication MonographsFree Speech YearbookJournal of Development CommunicationNewspaper Research JournalJournal of Radio StudiesJournalism & Mass Communication Educator, and Current History. One of the essays was reprinted in Signs of Life in the USA: Readings in Popular Culture for Writers (Bedford Books, 1994).

His articles have also been published in major magazines and newspapers, including NewsweekEssenceThe St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The Birmingham News. He has had journalistic stints as a copy editor or reporter atThe Birmingham NewsThe (Birmingham) Post-HeraldThe (Topeka) Capital-Journal, and The Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, among other newspapers. He also writes a weekly column for the Sunday edition of one of Nigeria’s major dailies, The Punch.

Invite your friends and colleagues in media (print, broadcast, online, etc.), public relations, advertising and marketing.

Please RSVP by 12:00 p.m. May 16

You must RSVP for this event–NO WALK-INS

Special thanks to our location sponsor The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute


Questions? Contact us or leave a comment.

P.S. Please join our free mailing list for all the updates straight to your inbox.

April Event – MOB Mixer at Parkside Cafe


April Mixer

Come enjoy springtime on the outside patio at Parkside Cafe. Invite your friends and colleagues in media (print, broadcast, online, etc.), public relations, advertising and marketing.

  • Tuesday, April 19
  • 5:30 PM
  • Parkside Cafe, 4036 5th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35222 (across from Avondale Park and Avondale Library)
  • $0.00 (but RSVP appreciated)

Please RSVP by 12:00 April 19


March Event Slides – Writing For The Web

In case you missed our March presentation or just would like to review the information presented, here are the slides that were shown by Lisa Harris.

March Event: Writing for the Web

  • March 22nd
  • 5:30 p.m. networking; 6:00 p.m. presentation
  • The Birmingham News (The Rhodes Room), 2201 Fourth Ave. North, Birmingham, AL 35203
  • There is a parking deck diagonally across the street from The Birmingham News if no on-street parking is available
  • $10.00 (RSVP required)

Writing for the Web

How can you get more customers through your website?  Come to our workshop March 22nd “Writing for the Web.”

We’ll give you tips and advice on how to market your company or yourself through your website. Topics will include:

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Branding & Messaging
  • Lead generation
  • Copywriting

Presented by Lisa Harris of Lisa Harris PR & Communications

Invite your friends and colleagues in media (print, broadcast, online, etc.), public relations, advertising and marketing.

Please RSVP by 5:00 March 21

You must RSVP for this event–NO WALK-INS

Special thanks to our location sponsor The Birmingham News


Questions? Contact us or leave a comment.

P.S. Please join our free mailing list for all the updates straight to your inbox.

January Event: Personal Branding

Media of Birmingham

January Event: Personal Branding

  • Tuesday, January 18
  • 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Intermark, 101 25th Street North, Birmingham, AL 35203
  • $10, RSVP required

Personal Branding: What, Why & How

Learn about the ins and outs of personal branding—what it is, why you should do it, and how to create a brand for yourself.

Our panel of experts include Ruwena Healy, Matt Havard, and Ralph Summerford. Ruwena, President of Marketing 24/7, is the go to person in Birmingham for personal branding. Matt, Manager of Recruitment and Training at the Birmingham News, will share his insights from the perspective of a larger, more traditional media company. And Ralph, President of Forensic/ Strategic Solutions, serves as a shining example of successful personal branding.

Bring your questions and notebooks–you’ll be getting a lot of useful information.

Join us Tuesday, January 18 at 5:30 p.m. at Intermark. Networking is from 5:30 to 6:00, and the program begins at 6:00.

Invite your friends and colleagues in media (print, broadcast, online, etc.), public relations, advertising and marketing.

Please RSVP by Monday, January 17, noon

Note: You must RSVP for this event — NO WALK-INS. No refunds.
Special thanks to our location sponsor Intermark.


Questions? Contact us or leave a comment.

P.S. Please join our free mailing list for all the updates straight to your In box.

Introducing the first board of directors

We’re pleased to announce the first board of directors for Media of Birmingham. As previously mentioned, these 12 distinguished professionals will guide this organization from this point forward.

The new board members are:

  • Crystal Carr
  • Brian Cauble
  • Bryan Council
  • Sarah Hart
  • Nicole Henderson
  • Stacey Hood
  • Veronica Kennedy
  • Sally Reilly
  • Melissa Snow-Clark
  • Marie A. Sutton
  • Randall Vaughn
  • and Andrea Walker.

You can find out more about them on the board of directors page. And you can meet them at Tuesday’s MOB meeting.

Congratulations to our new board members!