By: Mark Fitzgerald
Lazarus Filed Daily Column At Tribune For 28 Years
by Mark Fitzgerald
CHICAGO — Chicago Tribune marketing writer George Lazarus, who
turned his demanding hunger for exclusives into a must-read daily
column, died Friday morning on a commuter train on his way into
Lazarus, 68, was found dead by a Metra employee as the commuter train
from his south suburban Flossmoor, Ill., home pulled into downtown
Chicago at 7:40 a.m. A cause of death had not been determined by
Lazarus was the dominant marketing columnist in Chicago for decades,
starting at the old Chicago Today and Chicago Daily News. He took
his column, ‘On Marketing, Etc.’ to the Tribune in 1972. At various
times during his Tribune tenure he wrote for Adweek’s Marketing
Week, the New York Daily News and delivered commentaries on Chicago
radio and television stations.
The Tribune said their readership studies reflected the
indispensability of his column: Over the years Chicago-area surveys
showed he was read consistently by 9 of 10 advertising executives
and 8 of 10 marketers.
Lazarus had a local reputation as a world-class schmoozer and many
of his exclusives came from the gossip he learned during a strict
regimen of business lunches and evening socials. But for publicists
across the country he could also be an intimidating voice on the
other end of the phone – especially if he was not given the first
crack at news.
‘He could really play hardball with you – for years – if you didn’t
give him the scoop first and exclusively,’ said one top Chicago
public relations executive, who even after learning of Lazarus’
death insisted on anonymity.
Mark Fitzgerald (email@example.com) is editor at
large for E&P.
(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher