Amylin’s Colorful CEO, and AOL’s Stake in Diabetes Blogging

From the “Did You Know?” file, two fascinating news items to ponder:

1) Ginger Graham, the fiery readheaded CEO of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (makers of Symlin Graham_1and Byetta), is a former rodeo star! OK, maybe not a star, but the new January ’06 issue of Business Week features a photo of her roping a goat. She’s also a former exec of insulin makers Eli Lilly & Co., and in 1987, brokered the sale of Elizabeth Arden to Faberge for $735 million — then the largest cosmetics deal in history. She appears to be quite the character. BW notes that she does not have diabetes, but pricks her finger daily for a BG test, just to get the feeling of it all. “I dread it… it’s so unpleasant,” she’s quoted as saying. This is where she lost her charm for me. Once a day just for fun and she’s complaining?! Come on! It really doesn’t hurt that bad.

2) Back in October, AOL purchased Weblogs, Inc., the company that runs, among many others, our own The January issue of Wired features a story on “DotCom Poster Boy” Jason Calacanis, founder of Weblogs, Inc., whose wife mother Catherine actually posted on TheDiabetesBlog and TheCancerBlog for a time (between Paul Chaney and the new crews over there). So now the blogs are owned by AOL. What will the future hold? Acquiring dozens of technology, mediaAolweblogs and entertainment blogs is one thing, but what stake does AOL have in diabetes? Or cancer? Or heart disease? One can’t help but wonder if being gobbled up by an even larger media empire is a good or bad thing for such “special interests.” The article lauds Calacanis for his innovation in building such a successful blogging network. The idea was: “Marketers who might be nervous about advertising on blog written by some impassioned nobody would get peace of mind knowing there was a corporate structure running the books and at least loosely monitoring the site’s content.” Ahem — I beg your pardon! Here’s one “impassioned nobody” who still believes in the value of editorial independence. Anybody with me here?


11 Responses

  1. Kirk
    Kirk January 2, 2006 at 7:11 am | | Reply

    I am with you 100% Amy. Tell them us no bodies are ones who spend the big $$$s that end up in advertising budgets.

  2. Scott
    Scott January 2, 2006 at 7:51 am | | Reply

    I agree with you Amy … testing herself once a day is not that bad, perhaps she should try it 10-12 times a day as some of us with long-standing type 1 need to do in order to deal with the utter imprecision of dosing insulin and hypoglycemia unawareness and then perhaps the Amylin exec can complain!

  3. enoch choi
    enoch choi January 2, 2006 at 9:42 am | | Reply


  4. Kassie
    Kassie January 2, 2006 at 3:11 pm | | Reply

    I’m actually impressed that she does that every day. I’ve heard of CEO’s/presidents living the diabetes life for a few days at a time, but I like the idea of her thinking about her customers once a day.
    If I was checking my blood sugar every day and didn’t have to, I’d probably admit it was no fun, too.

  5. Megan
    Megan January 2, 2006 at 5:41 pm | | Reply

    It is nice of her to try and live the diabetic life, but once a day testing and watching diet is NOT even close to what we do.

    At the same time, I have no problem with her admitting she dreads it. I used to too, it’s not pleasant. But why should she complain?

  6. Tiffany
    Tiffany January 2, 2006 at 6:51 pm | | Reply

    I think it’s admirable that Ginger Graham is at least willing to experience some aspect of the life of a Diabetic (even if she’s only putting her little toe in the water lol) when in some ways she’s standing for us. But that certainly doesn’t qualify her for the Gold Star!

    Amy, I am a proud ‘impassioned nobody’ and they can stick that comment where the sun don’t shine!

  7. Jason
    Jason January 2, 2006 at 10:30 pm | | Reply

    Cathie is my mother, not my wife.

    In terms of editorial independence all of our bloggers are independent. They can write whatever they want, however they want, etc.

    Frankly, we wouldn’t exist if we edited folks… the whole reason we’ve done well is because we don’t edit folks.

  8. AmyT
    AmyT January 3, 2006 at 9:05 am | | Reply

    Hi Jason,
    Thanks for the feedback. I tried to look up Catherine and couldn’t find any specifics, so just assumed she was your wife :)

    On another note, folks tried to recruit me to write for them at one point, and I was shocked to discover how very, very little they earn for their efforts.

  9. Bill Braithwaite
    Bill Braithwaite January 3, 2006 at 1:55 pm | | Reply

    Happy New Year Amy!

    I saw a very interesting profile on CNN on Gerald Levin the former CEO of Time Warner who merged with AOL.

    Apparently he’s now swimming with Dolphins instead of Sharks & participating in a Spiritual Retreat in California.

    I guess the culture clash with AOL & some other personal issues caused him to exit stage left outta the corporate rat race.

    He said it was all about doing “the business deal” & nothing about people on a personal level.

    So seeing the “impassioned nobodies” comment coming from a second-rate corporate internet pretender like AOL doesn’t surprise me in the least.

    I’m happy that people-oriented companies like Google, Yahoo’s Flickr & Mozilla’s FireFox are booting out the Old Guard “shove crappy products on people” ivory tower co’s like Microsoft, IBM & soon AOL.

    Not a moment too soon!!

    All the BEST in 2006!

    Keep up your great work Amy!!

    Cheers!! Billy ;) )

  10. Living With Diabetes
    Living With Diabetes January 4, 2006 at 12:55 pm | | Reply

    Living the Diabetes Life

    Diabetes Mine: Amylin’s Colorful CEO, and AOL’s Stake in Diabetes Blogging The Type 1 bloggers are very upset by the Amylin’s statement that she tests her blood sugar once a day to “live the diabetes life”, and rightly so. One…

  11. The LIVabetes Glucose Goddess
    The LIVabetes Glucose Goddess January 4, 2006 at 7:18 pm | | Reply

    Hi Amy!

    Having lost my “diabetic virginity” 7 1/2 years ago…(One “little prick is all it took …Ha!)
    BTW, I just became a member of the 20,000 injections club…yay, Hooray!! I am now available for rent at your local Home Depot as a lawn sprinkler system!
    I have just a couple of words for Ginger Graham:
    “Prick This!”
    With love and chocolate and Insulin,
    The Glucose Goddess!

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