600 Executive Drive
Princeton, NJ 08540
Tel: (609) 921-7200
Fax: (609) 921-2112
Senior Vice President & Program Director, The Kelsey Report®
Charles applies the skills he has developed as a
reporter and editor to the daily task of helping TKG’s clients understand
what is happening today in the world of Yellow Pages, as well as seeking
insight into where the business is moving. His approach is built on doing
the legwork necessary to understand what the industry’s key players
are doing, what they are thinking about, and how they plan to adapt to
the changing nature of the directional media business.
Since becoming program director of The Kelsey Report® – TKG’s
flagship Continuous Advisory Service – Charles has expanded the scope
of the program from an exclusive focus on new technologies for directory
publishers to a broader look at how Yellow Pages is competing in the media
marketplace – both analog and digital.
Charles has been instrumental in expanding TKG’s
product portfolio. In 2002, he led the development of Global Yellow Pages™,
a comprehensive, 400-plus-page worldwide industry fact book. In 2004, Charles
was also instrumental in developing the Local Media Journal™. This
twice-monthly digest of news and analysis covers the broad spectrum of
local directional media, including print and online Yellow Pages, local
search, local guides, mobile directories, social networks and local e-commerce.
Charles readily admits he backed into covering the
directional media business. He was looking for a better-paying job in
1993 when he was hired to edit Link Magazine, then a leading publication
covering the Yellow Pages publishing industry. After initially wondering
what he had gotten himself into, he soon realized the Yellow Pages wasn’t
just a device for helping toddlers reach piano keys, but a vibrant, hugely
profitably business with a host of compelling issues and challenges.
In 1996, John Kelsey invited Charles to join The
Kelsey Group to edit Context, a newsletter covering the then-nascent
Internet Yellow Pages space. In those days, the industry’s biggest newsmakers
included Kris Hagerman, Charles Conn and Naveen Jain. He outlasted Context,
eventually taking the helm at The Kelsey Report®.
Charles began his career about as far away from
the Yellow Pages industry as one can imagine. In 1987, his first real
job was a police reporter with the City News Bureau of Chicago, the training
grounds of Chicago’s journalism pantheon, including Mike Royko and
Seymour Hersh. He later worked at a series of local news organizations,
including the Pulitzer and Copley newspaper chains.
Charles earned a B.A. in English from the University
of Illinois. Before he finished college, he spent a year traveling through
Europe and the Middle East, where he worked odd jobs that included opening
doors for wealthy Kensington residents in London, picking Beaujolais
grapes in France, pressing virgin olive oil in Crete, and picking tomatoes
and green peppers in Israel’s Negev desert.
These days, Charles’ free-time pursuits are
a bit less adventurous. He enjoys bike riding, rollerblading, reading non-fiction
and watching documentaries on the History Channel. If you can’t find
him at home or the office on the weekends, he is probably at the local ice
rink watching his elder son’s youth hockey team. Charles lives with
his family in Lake County, Illinois.