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The Adtran Advocate

Phil Harvey
12/17/2008

4:45 PM -- If you needed a mile marker for the state of the telecom trade press, feast your eyes on the unflinching coverage of Adtran by FierceMarket's Doug Mohney. The Nov. 21 post is a great place to start.

Doug writes that he accepted a free flight to Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN)'s corporate headquarters recently, something that a boring, less savvy journalist would usually turn down. Once there, Doug writes that the company was -- are you sitting down? -- extremely hospitable.

They "pushed all my happy-Geek buttons, and I'm still buzzing happy," he slobbers.

Ever the Fierce One, Doug goes on for another 400 words about what a great company Adtran has become. They have great engineers. Their tech support is a "beautiful story". They offer five-year warranties on assorted products. They offer free firmware upgrades.

Later, he chips in with details about an "impressive and humbling" Adtran facilities tour. "Adtran employs over 1,700 people, and most of them reside in Huntsville, including... manufacturing - yes, manufacturing in the good old USA," Doug writes, presumably with hand over heart.

Then, absurdly, he notes that 70 percent of the company's products are actually built in China. Oh. Well.

Later, Doug files three slideshows dedicated to every pedestrian occurrence at the vendor's (non-Chinese) manufacturing facilities. Then, there's a fourth slideshow that's nothing more than a junket recap of a reception dinner at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, complete with a photograph of the contents of a press goodie bag.

But fear not, those of you who think journalism is dead. Fierce pros like Doug can compartmentalize and remain fiercely objective, even in the face of a 4 p.m. hotel turn-down service and 300 thread-count sheets.

"Having just come from Huntsville, Alabama... and being wooed by good Southern Hospitality, I have a nice warm glow about ADTRAN," Doug writes in another November post filled with moonbeams.

I salute FierceMarkets and Doug Mohney for plumbing the depths of Huntsville to come back with stories that thrill, chill, and remind us all that telecom journalism is nothing if not a jungle.

Sure, it may be filled with plush toys and free food, but it is a jungle nonetheless.

— Phil Harvey, Editor, Light Reading

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Steve Saunders
Steve Saunders
12/5/2012 | 3:24:57 PM
re: The Adtran Advocate
Doug sounds like he should move to 1970's England where his brand of trade journalism was alive and well. Or, he could just take a job in PR. Oh, i forgot, there ARE no jobs in PR any more.
grunt
grunt
12/5/2012 | 3:24:56 PM
re: The Adtran Advocate
Is that Real Reporting?
grunt
grunt
12/5/2012 | 3:24:56 PM
re: The Adtran Advocate
Is that Real Reporting?
DCITDave
DCITDave
12/5/2012 | 3:24:55 PM
re: The Adtran Advocate
No. Fierce Reporting.
DCITDave
DCITDave
12/5/2012 | 3:24:55 PM
re: The Adtran Advocate
Thanks for the comment, Steve, but according to my inbox, PR is alive and well.
stuartb
stuartb
12/5/2012 | 3:24:53 PM
re: The Adtran Advocate
Not exactly Bob Woodward uncovering watergate, but fierce reporting nonetheless. Ouch.
cw.774
cw.774
12/5/2012 | 3:24:47 PM
re: The Adtran Advocate
Look, I enjoy your ability to eat one of your own, albeit, a somewhat lesser version thereof (surely lesser in your OP's).

But having visited there myself on MY company dime; back in the beginings, and again ~nowish, I find it understandable to get caught up in feelings that can inspire one. Hard to quantify, but just by being there a short time, I come back wishing I could pass the atmosphere on to my company. (If only I could quantify it without sounding like Doug.)
DCITDave
DCITDave
12/5/2012 | 3:24:46 PM
re: The Adtran Advocate
I do not doubt that Huntsville is a magical place.

Branson's not bad, either.

ph
cw.774
cw.774
12/5/2012 | 3:24:34 PM
re: The Adtran Advocate
Cynicism is not intelligent. If fact, it's the first sign of depression.
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