Vice President & Program Director, The Kelsey
Charles applies the skills he has
developed as a reporter and editor to the daily task of helping
TKGs 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 industrys 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® TKGs 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
TKGs 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 wasnt 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
industrys 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 Chicagos journalism pantheon,
including Mike Royko and Seymour Hersh. He later worked at a series
of local news organizations, including the Pulitzer and Copley newspaper
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 Israels 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 cant find him at home or the office on the weekends,
he is probably at the local ice rink watching his elder sons
youth hockey team. Charles lives with his family in Lake County,