The Publisher’s Advocate Celebrates One Year Of “Serving The Publisher,” As Due Diligence For The Travelhost Magazine Publishing “Opportunity!”

Today THE PUBLISHER’S ADVOCATE celebrates one year of “serving the publisher!”

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year, but equally hard to believe that after 43 years in the business, there’s only been one year of due diligence available for the Travelhost Magazine “opportunity.”

Well, here it is, and it’s here to stay.

If this information were available ten years ago, perhaps we could have saved many more entrepreneurs from this scam…

Here’s just a taste of what THE PUBLISHER’S ADVOCATE has accomplished over the past year:

  • The Publisher’s Advocate Blog has accumulated over 200 pages of dialog about the Travelhost Magazine “opportunity.”
  • The Publisher’s Advocate Blog has accumulated over 300 readers and growing…
  • The Publisher’s Advocate Blog had over 10,200 hits during the course of the last year and growing.
  • The Publisher’s Advocate Blog had over 100 comments by many unique individuals.
  • The Publisher’s Advocate Blog is read by current, past AND prospective Associate Publishers.
  • The Publisher’s Advocate Blog has helped many prospective investors come to a good business decision.
  • The Publisher’s Advocate Blog has been knocked off the first page of Google but still reaches the people it was intended to reach…at a lesser cost!

Our biggest accomplishment, and primary goal for THE PUBLISHER’S ADVOCATE:

Coupled with our website (, we have enabled entrepreneurs all across the country to make an informed business decision about Travelhost Magazine and it’s business opportunity.

Guess what conclusions investors are coming to about the Travelhost business model?

Yeah, you guessed it, it’s not good.

Not only has THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE been here to help with due diligence on Travelhost, but we’ve gone as far as to create the groundwork for a new plan for Travelhost. One developed with the help of Jeff Loudon, an AP from Washington Wine Country more than two years ago, which fell upon deaf ears at Travelhost Headquarters.

(Jeff’s been MIA for quite some time, I suppose his “hush money” is keeping him quiet???  Jeff, we’d still love to hear from you if you change your mind.)

Here’s a link to the plan that might actually work:


As the publisher and owner of this blog and the aforementioned website, I’d like to thank the many people who took the time to read and write in to THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE BLOG over the past year.

Really, I do want to thank you…

Many current, past, AND present associates of Travelhost took the time to share their experiences and knowledge of the Travelhost “opportunity” with my readers.  You know who you are.  You’ve been very important to the success of this blog.

I want these contributors to know that together, we have helped MANY people make the right decision about the Travelhost Magazine opportunity. Together, we have saved these potential investors from investing their TIME and hard-earned MONEY on a FRANCHISED business opportunity that has a FAILURE RATE OF NEARLY 100%. 

We can’t turn back time, but we can help others be aware.

THE PUBLISHER’S ADVOCATE could not have accomplished this alone!

And now, a few “shout outs” are in order to some people no longer in the Travelhost network…some to the many new former employees of Travelhost who are now undoubtedly readers:

Dave Portenor, former head (CMO) of the Travelhost Marketing department, (He has exited, tail between his legs, along with the entire marketing department (as far as my anonymous sources indicate)) must be finding comfort at his old gig in Palm Springs.  Dave, we’d love to hear from you again…

(Dave Portenor certainly was a quick-study from Jim Buerger.)

Mike Peterson, who was hired to grow the business as Director of Market Expansion, and then 9 months later fired along with most of the other marketing staff (10 days before Christmas) last year, so indicated immediately after Dave Portenor told the network via email that he “quit.” Mike was one of Travelhost’s biggest assets, and they let him go.  I know Mike is knocking them dead wherever he is, he’s a solid guy.

Jerry Antil, head of market research for the last few decades, who was also given the axe. Hopefully he’s at a better place now…I suppose Buerger will do anything he needs to do in order to keep the scam going.  Including firing personal friends of 30+ years.  Maybe his daughter Sherry is next?  Maybe when the website is done…they’re on the 10 year plan…

The head of sales for decades, Roger Thrailkill, Rick Swanson, the plethora of market reps, and many others…We would appreciate your enlightenment about your Travelhost experiences if you care to write in…from my understanding, more than 2/3 of the employees that once worked at Travelhost Headquarters have been let go. 

For those we haven’t heard from yet, lets talk.

I’d really like to like to congratulate you Travelhost Associate Publisher survivors…all +_64 of you.

(Out of “130+” a year ago as per Travelhost sales staff, and multiple Travelhost generated publications.)

I want to also congratulate the Travelhost Advisory Board members for putting up with Buerger’s diatribes in Dallas for 12 hours, 3 times a year.  Congratulations to Eli Mertens, who vehemently defended Buerger on this blog, and then disappeared just as quickly after stating that he “didn’t care what the success rate of the Travelhost Franchise was…”  Maybe he’ll be elected the next president of the board…I hear he negotiated a pretty good deal with Buerger.

More importantly, I congratulate the Travelhost Advisory Board for not doing anything to stand up to Jim Buerger, and not trying to make Travelhost a beneficial investment for all markets nationally.  (what IS the goal of the Advisory Board, anyway?)

Travelhost as a “National Magazine.?” 

America’s Number One Travel Magazine? (as stated on its cover?)

Are any of you Travelhost Associate Publishers trying to sell “national advertisements?”

Be careful, you might be as guilty as Jim Buerger if you ever succeed…better check with your attorney first…you may be liable!

In conclusion, over the past year, we have gathered great momentum here at THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE, and now have a strong following of people willing to help when the time is right.

And, for this I thank you all once again.

For those who have done nothing, or said nothing, when you know what’s going on at Travelhost Magazine is wrong…there’s an old saying that just might apply:

If you’re not part of the solution, you may be part of the problem.

Think about it.

To Everyone’s Success, No Matter Where This Life Brings You,

Brian D. Hickey



We are still looking for data for the third-annual “Virtual Memorial” for Travelhost Associate Publishers that have fallen victim to the wonderful opportunity created by Mr. James Buerger.

Please let us know if you or someone you know has had a market that failed in 2010, and we’ll include it in the memorial, which will be posted toward the holiday season.


Thanks, and Glad to have you with us!


I’d also like to hear from Kirk Smith…that would be interesting…talk about a guy that knows EVERYTHING about the Travelhost scam…perhaps you’d like to clear your conscience and tell your story now, before you’re subpoenaed?

2 Responses to “The Publisher’s Advocate Celebrates One Year Of “Serving The Publisher,” As Due Diligence For The Travelhost Magazine Publishing “Opportunity!””

  1. Former Employee Says:

    In looking over the new masthead a few more names are missing. Not looking good.

    • bdhickey Says:

      That’s what I hear…and see.

      Almost time for the third annual virtual memorial of lost Travelhost Associate Publishers.

      Jim Buerger should be ashamed of himself.

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