Gini Dietrich

#FollowFriday: Clay Morgan

By: Gini Dietrich | July 12, 2013 | 

#FollowFriday- Clay MorganLadies and germs, I’d like to introduce you to my friend and Spin Sucks crazy, Clay Morgan.

Clay, who once had a judo student who explained how to spell his last name this way, “Big M, little organ,” is a natural storyteller, journalist, and communicator.

And yes, he is a judo master (is that what they’re called?) and once taught classes.

In his professional life, he is the executive editor and general manager of the Daily News Journal in Tennessee, a position he’s held for a little more than a year. He was managing editor of the Lebanon Democrat before that, but our paths nearly crossed nearly 10 years ago.

My former boss at Rhea & Kaiser started his own business and hired Clay as a freelancer. He also subcontracted work to me, as I was starting out and trying to figure out what I was going to do next. Missing one another by maybe only a year or two, we’ve made up for lost time.

A confidant of mine, Clay challenges me nearly daily on not only how I think about content delivery both here and to our clients through Arment Dietrich, but about new services to offer and innovations to create.

He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know and he knows how to turn his intelligence into real and profitable products.

On the personal side, Clay is a husband and very recently a father of three. No, he and his wife didn’t have triplets; they’re fostering three little girls.

It’s been really fun to watch him fall in love with these little girls, even though he prefers to keep his curmudgeon front (you kids, get off my lawn!).

He also is a geek’s dream. He is an Axis and Allies expert and probably plays that geeky game Mr. D plays called Travian.

I highly recommend you not only follow Clay online, but get to know him. Your life will be better from knowing him. I guarantee it (can I use that phrase now that George Zimmer has been fired?).

You can find him LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, his blog Outfront, which is an inside look at the inner runnings of the newspaper business, and of course at the paper itself.

P.S. Don’t forget we have DJ Waldow here on July 25 at 11 a.m. CT for the Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing. Register – for free – here!

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Clay is awesome. And smart. And a journalist. And a curmudgeon. He’s basically me, in a suit. (yeah, I said that).

    • belllindsay WHY ARE YOU COMMENTING?!

      • ginidietrich It’s either comment. Or get ready to go to WalMart. Are you getting it now….?? 😉

        • belllindsay LOL!! I can’t believe you’d even step foot in a WalMart.

        • ginidietrich I’m poor! LOL Also, it’s beside the Gap Outlet store! 😉

        • belllindsay Oh! If they have any cute pink cardigans, buy me one!

        • ginidietrich belllindsay Amazing, this thread, just amazing.

        • photo chris

          ginidietrich belllindsay  ohhhh, walmart. bought the most delicious blueberries there the other day, lol. SO surprising.

    • belllindsay I’m not wearing a suit today, but that’s because I have to do some volunteering in a ticket booth with Rotary.

  • Oh this is good. A #FF recommendation that made me laugh out loud with the “how to pronounce my name” thing. Congratulations, Clay! Already took a peek at your FB page and think three young ladies are very fortunate to have you in their lives!

    • biggreenpen He’s going to be mad at me for putting that in here, but I thought it was hilarious!

  • Yay for Nashville and for journalists! Waving hello from just down the road, Clay!

  • rdopping

    Right on clay_morgan  We like smart people.

  • Spin Sucks Crazy? I thought this was a business blog…
    Now, if he can just master the Kung Fu grip, he should be good to go. 
    Sounds a little too smart for me, but I’ll probably check him out anyway; thanks for sharing.

    • bdorman264 YOU are the leader of the Spin Sucks crazies.

  • PattiRoseKnight1

    Nice to meet you Clay!

  • I’m not so sure about letting real journalists in here… OK, we’ll give it a go.  Nice to know more about you Clay!

    • creativeoncall The real test of whether he belongs will be when he sings, of course.

  • Nice to meet you Clay! Enjoy your Follow Friday with The Crazies.

  • Wow. Nice to meet you Clay! We were a foster family for a while too, although I DO have triplets and it turned out triplets + 2 foster siblings was too much for this Momma! I hope to do it again someday when my trio is a bit older though. It was an amazing experience. Can’t wait to get to know you better here online. 🙂

    • TaraGeissinger We currently have custody of our three nieces – four-year-old twins and their little sister, whom they call “the spare.”

      • ClayMorgan TaraGeissinger The spare?! That’s hilarious!!

  • What a wonderful introduction! Thanks for introducing us to Clay, Gini. Is it OK that I’m laughing out loud? WITH you, of course.

  • So, I wake up and my phone is beeping little alerts. We had 45 firefighters battle three fires in Murfreesboro, and I thought the beeps were just updates on that story being pushed out.
    When I got out of the shower, one of the girls is like, “Uncle Clay will you PLEASE make your phone shut up!?”
    Then I see I’m loaded with Twitter notifications.
    First thought? Why the %#$$ don’t I have updates on the fire?
    Second thought? Who are all these people and why are they following me on Twitter?
    Once I saw the Tweet from lauraclick I knew Gini had made a very serious mistake.
    I appreciate the follows. I appreciate the kind words. 
    But I’d appreciate it more if someone would update this freaking fire story!

    • ClayMorgan I wish I could update you on the fire. SORRY!

  • Nice to officially meet you Clay! Congrats on the #ff 🙂

  • photo chris

    yay for grumpy smart people! 🙂

  • bobledrew

    That “Big M, little organ” line reminds me of a folk festival I was at a few years ago. My Australian singer-songwriter friend David Ross MacDonald was participating in a workshop with another friend, the incredibly punny Wendell Ferguson. Wendell introduced him by saying “I don’t know a whole lot about our next performer, but all the ladies tell me he’s real big Down Under. Please welcome David Ross MacDonald!” The audience broke up, and David was somewhat speechless. Look forward to snapping up some pearls of wisdom, ClayMorgan !

    • bobledrew That. Is. Awesome.

      • bobledrew

        ginidietrich bobledrew It will not surprise you to learn that Wendell wrote this song:

  • Grats ClayMorgan it seemed like only yesterday that we were young kids in grade playing connect four and I used to whup your ass every time. You even broke my game set once after losing 20 out of 20 and having then lost your prized Frank Tanana rookie card.
    Then Jr High came stratego. We would play for hours. But you could never capture my flag piece. I never told you I got some loaded dice from TheJackB down the street. I loved watching you get all pissed and telling you losers don’t get dessert. But I was a small kid and after being given a few wedgies I stoped playing with you because you couldn’t handle me winning.

    Then came High School. And for 3 years in a row you came in second…to me as the School Risk Champion and I went to the state regionals while you had to stay home. Somehow whenever I skipped class to go party during 4th period with yvettepistorio and the other bad kids somehow the school always found out. I spent so much time in detention.
    But in college things changed. yvettepistorio took me down some bad paths. My grades suffered. I was out late always not sleeping much, got addicted to mountain dew and you were immersed in Chess and Axis and Allies.  And things turned. I couldn’t win. I tried being the Axis. I tried being the Allies. Nothing worked.  I tried. I was too desperate for my next mountain dew fix. Sometimes stealing change from your couch cushions just to get another fix. I sold the Frank Tanana rookie card. I lost everything. Kicked out of school. Homeless. Kharma showed me what it was to lose. It was horrible.
    So grats on now being a #FF superstar while I spend my days meeting my parole officer and spanging for change on the street. 
    and I just wanted to say…I am sorry for all those years when I was a mean sore winner. Please forgive me.

    • Howie Goldfarb I seriously wonder about you.

      • ginidietrich I should of been a writer or a stand up doing improve. But then doesn’t having me here beat having to pony up for a pay per view HBO special starring ClayMorgan and I?

        • Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich ClayMorgan I remember Goldfarb v. Morgan back in ‘aught 9 for the United Standup Championship (USC) title, well worth the $54.

        • JoeCardillo Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich ClayMorgan Hah aught 9.

        • Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich ClayMorgan A Dewddiction is nothing to jest about.

        • RebeccaTodd JoeCardillo Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich ClayMorgan I think we can all agree  that the phrase “‘aught” is way underused

        • JoeCardillo RebeccaTodd Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich ClayMorgan We ought to be able to agree on that… BOOM!

    • Howie Goldfarb Dude, I thought that was you!

  • Bit late to this party, but welcome to the club Clay. Well deserved. 
    Even when I disagree your comments make me think about more angles, something I’m always grateful for. That’s amazing that you are a foster parent to three girls, big big ups to you. 
    Also, you use the phrase “dude” as much as I do. What’s not to like about that?

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