Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A final -30- for Polly

Did everyone notice the neat floral tribute left by Nancy (Yockey) Bonar at the calling hours and service for Polly Paffilas? It was a 30 formed from red roses.

For those who might be too young to know, this “30" sign is an archaic term that was used in journalism up to the early 1980's. The sign was at the end of copy that was submitted to the newsdesk, to mark that this was, indeed, the end of the news story. It is still used - albeit rarely - to mark the end of press releases and other non-published copy.

At one time, journalists had to submit their stories by telegram; they would do so and mark the end of the story by "-30-" - after which they could include personal messages to their editors.

Journalists seem to be following telegraph operators as a thing of the past. My father and grandfather were both railroad telegraph operators in their younger years and I seem to recall that there were several codes that were used. These oldtimers are both gone now and there are many ideas about how the 30 got started. If you know anything on the subject, please add a comment at the end

The -30- mark's true origin is hard to determine. It has been used as one of the telegraph signals meaning "end of story". However, the -30- has probably been around since before the telegraph was even invented,

There are numerous theories regarding possible origins for the -30- sign:

* Eighty means farewell in Bengali; an English officer used 80 in the end of a letter to the East India Company in 1785. Adopting this, the EIC mistook the 80 for 30.
* The first message during the Civil War. The number "30" was placed on the bottom of the telegraph after it was written out. This was later picked up by other telegraphers.
* The end mark during early newspapers was the hash sign (#). Typists, either by mistake, or to save time, didn't go to upper case, hence "3". A zero and two dashes were added for the look of it
* When AP (Associated Press) was established, each member paper was entitled to 30 telegraphs a day. The 30 marked the last telegraph.
* Back in the day, when typesetters still manually placed slugs, a typesetter would place his #30 slug at the case to symbolize that he was finished with his article - so another typesetter could take over the cases
* Press wires closed at the half-hour mark - 30 minutes past the hour.
* Press offices used to close at 3'o'clock. This was later abbreviated to 3'o, and finally to -30-
* Some people believe that this is a reference to the bible (ignoring that we are talking about journalists here, which almost by definition rules out the theory), in that 30 silver pieces caused JC's death
* When newspaper stories were handwritten, X meant the end of a sentence, XX meant the end of a paragraph, and XXX meant the end of the story (XXX is of course 30 in roman numbers)

Whatever the use was, the -30- sign has been with us for a long time, and was only killed off when computers started to gain foothold. But not completely: In the pamphlet "What's Your Story - A Guide For Getting News Into The Washington Post", published recently by the Washington Post, the 30 sign is mentioned. In their directions for faxing press releases, they say "Type 'end' or '30' at the bottom of the last page."


Monday, May 30, 2005

Country roads took him home

Posted by Hello

to a place called Monongah

Posted by Hello

You can go home again

I had a memorable weekend over the Memorial Day weekend.

I attended my Monongah High School alumni reunion for a dinner/dance and meetings with former classmates for the first time, in some cases, in 55 years. To sweeten the situation, I visited Monongah, where I was born in my Olesky grandparents’ house. Hey, it was the Great Depression and people made do.

Actually, I was repaying a favor. My sister, Jackie, had attended my 50-year reunion in 2000. This time, Jackie’s class was the 50-year class (of 1955).

The reunion was at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 28, at Westchester Village in Fairmont, WV. So, that morning I drove to Monongah (childhood playground of Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban) and had my photos taken in front of my birthplace, in front of the house we rented and then the house that my parents bought from Consolation Coal Company because it had indoor plumbing and ours didn’t. I was 12 the first time I used the bathroom without winter windburn on my bum.

Other photos were taken:

-- At the edge of the holler (yes, I know how the outside world spells it) where I had wrecked by going over the edge with about every vehicle that my parents bought me. Once, a neighbor knocked on my Mom’s door and, when she answered, handed my unconscious body to her with “Here’s your son.”

-- At my aunt’s grocery where I hung upside down while clinging to a second-floor metal railing 15 feet above the concrete till a customer grabbed me by the ankles.

-- The steep Jackson Street hill where we did our sledriding at tremendous speeds because we poured water on the road in winter so it would freeze, and the Jackson Street residents countered with coal ashes, which we counter-countered with more water.

-- The concrete steps above the street car station (electric trolley to young whippersnappers) where daredevil Bill rode me double (I was on the handlebars) on his bicycle as we bumpty-bumped down, by my count after looking at the photo, 49 steps.

As I said, I had been to my Class of 1950’s 50-year reunion in 2000 with my late wife, Monia, but there were several who didn’t make it then who showed up this time, including the classmate with the deerskin suit (he shot it; someone else stitched it together). And some who didn’t make it to the evening’s dinner/dance showed up at the 1 p.m. lunch I arranged at Say-Boy Restaurant on Country Club Road, just down the street from Country Club Bakery, birthplace of the pepperoni roll (Food TV cable network had a piece on the bakery).

I can’t wait for the Class of 1950’s 60-year reunion in 2010. By then, it may be a Wheelchairs R Us event, particularly if I decide to take on that holler again.

Memorable Stories: An unopened bottle

Beacon Journal Sports Editor Larry Pantages contributed a moving Memorial Day story for A1 of todayƂ’s newspaper.

Phil Masturzo also had a great photo of Larry's father, Billy, holding a bottle of "“31" bourbon that has remained unopened since three Pantages brothers decided not to open it until all returned home from World War II. There also is a view of a gold bracelet engraved with the name, military ID and blood type of Gus Pantages who was killed Feb. 13, 1945 when his plane hit some trees and detonated the bombs under the aircraft.

There also is a photo of Gus'’ mother, Mary Pantages, who continued to operate the family business after her husband was killed by a robber in 1937 and while her sons, Jimmy, Gus and Billy went off to serve in World War II. The General Cafe closed in 1957 when the property was sold to make room for Akron'’s expressway. Mary died in 1969.

It was 60 years ago that Gus was killed and the bourbon bottle remains unopened in Billy'’s kitchen cabinet. There also is a photo of Billy, his son Larry and Larry'’s sons William and Alexander,-- three generations who remember their family'’s contribution to World War II.

Gus W. Pantages has no grave marker in Akron. His funeral service was in the Philippines. But he is remembered along with 1,529 other Summit County veterans whose names are cut into marble walls adjoining the entrance to Memorial Hall at the University of Akron. Larry made a rubbing of his uncle'’s name as did his sons.

Unfortunately, you cannot see the photos unless you get the newspaper or the digital BJ, but you can read Larry'’s story on Ohio.com by clicking on the headline above.

His story gave this blogger a little bit of renewed pride in the BJ which devoted its editorial pages today in a tribute to some 70 Ohioans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan with mug shots of all but 14 of them.

This is after all Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Going, going, gone: End of an era

The end of an era came Wednesday, May 25, 2005, as a crane
lowered the Akron Beacon Journal's old clock tower onto a flatbed
truck. The 26-foot, 4,800-pound tower, part of the city's skyline
since 1966, will be stripped for parts by junkyard artist P.R. Miller.
(Beacon Journal photo by Paul Tople)
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Friday, May 27, 2005

Polly Paffilas 1921-2005

Pauline Katherine Paffilas

By Marilyn Miller
Beacon Journal staff writer

A colorful character in the newsroom, Polly Paffilas, the former food writer and About Town columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal, died Thursday. She was 83.

A supporter of the arts and an animal lover, she had an affinity for hats and enjoyed dressing up. .
Friend and colleague Nancy Yockey Bonar of Medina said even after Miss Paffilas retired she would get up every morning, put on her makeup, get dressed and select her earrings and rings.

"That was her daily ritual, she'd be up and at 'em, ready and dressed. She was still the lady."

She loved to cook and always. used her good china for guests at lunch, dinner or bridge parties.

"Polly was one of the grand dames of journalism,' said her former longtime colleague Mickey Porter. "She'd tackle any kind of story."
Her newspaper career covered more than 45 years before she retired in 1987.

She and colleague Frances B. Murphey, who died in 1998, broke into the business as temporary hires through Manpower. When the staff was short in the newsroom during World War II, they were called in.

It was a male-dominated business when Miss Paffilas signed on in 1942, in the low-tech days of pencils, typewriters and hot metal type.

Hired at $23.50 a week as a clerk in the reference library, she tried to learn every job at the paper. She even learned how to operate the manual elevator.

Miss Paffilas became a cub reporter on the city desk. She later moved to the Woman's Department, where she became food writer, women's editor, and spent 10 years as the About Town columnist. She interviewed many greats, including baseball's Mickey Mantle and former. President Truman.

Bonar's favorite story was when John F. Kennedy was running for president and spoke at the Akron Armory.

"We were practically running down the street trying to get there, when Kennedy passed by us in the motorcade and winked at us," she said. "When we got to the Armory there was no way we were going to get through the crowd. But Polly whipped out her Women's City Club card, held it up high and elbowed her way in, shouting `Press, excuse me, press.'

"We didn't have press cards, but she managed to get us right up front. She was amazing.

Kent State University professor Tim Smith, a former managing editor at the Beacon Journal, said Polly had a great sense of humor and was very outspoken.

"She was a remarkable woman, uninhibited, frank and very candid in her food reviews."

He added: "She spared no one's feelings when it came to preparing food well. She had a lot of influence as a food writer."

And readers weren't shy about imposing on her when they needed help. One called her on a busy Thanksgiving morning to ask her how to stuff a turkey.

"She was the last of the newsroom icons that readers knew by name," said friend and colleague Joan Rice. "Polly got piles of mail She got so much mail, the compare had to hire a secretary to handle it -- the head of the department didn't even have a secretary!”

Readers remember the moving story she wrote about the death of her dog, Molly Brown.

And when she learned she had diabetes, she also shared it with her readers .

"There I was - March 31,1973 - a date I'll never forget - a middle aged, fat diabetic," she wrote. "Frightening thoughts crossed my mind."

She went on to lose 80 pounds and shared her expertise, strength and hope with readers.
Mentor to colleagues

But as food lost its appeal, she took over the social writer beat.

Food writer Jane Snow said Miss Paffilas was her mentor. "She was always available to help a young reporter. She was a tough old newswoman who started in this business before women were really accepted."

Snow added: "She'd walk through the newsroom in an elegant outfit and a big hat smoking a cigarette and barking orders, but behind that crusty exterior she was one of the most warm-hearted, friendliest people you'd ever want to meet."

Snow said when Miss Paffilas left she had stacks of recipes. Those recipes are being categorized by the Akron-Summit County Public Library and will be available in the special collections library at the main library.

"Polly was always fiercely proud of her Greek heritage and the food beat," said retired col-league Russ Musarra, who took the About Town mantle next.

"It was daunting following her on the social beat. Polly knew the town inside out, she grew up here and wrote about all these folks before she took the beat. I came in as a street kid from Cleveland with barely any social skills at all."
Proud of heritage

Miss Paffilas was born Aug. 8, 1921, in Parkersburg, W.Va., but lived in Akron all her life, attending Crosby Elementary School and graduating from West High School.

She was always proud to be a Greek, said her nephew, Steve Paffilas of Cleveland. "She was a very caring, giving, strong-willed, hard-working lady. She had a sense of order and was very meticulous."

He recalled his visits to Akron and all the great meals his aunt used to cook, especially the Greek food. She was caregiver to her parents, who came to Akron in the early 1900s.

A member of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Miss Paffiilas earned many writing and civic awards, including the prestigious John S. Knight award.

In 1980, Akron General Medical Center named a 20-bed facility for the treatment of diabetics in her honor for her tireless education efforts, both in print and as a member of the board of trustees of the Akron Diabetes Center.

She also started the Sugartown Express, a major diabetes fund-raiser.

Funeral service, calling hours
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 129 S. Union St., Akron. Friends may call at the Billow funeral home in Fairlawn, 85 N. Miller Road, from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday and at the church one hour before the service Tuesday.

Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 2680, North Canton, OH 44720 or the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.
[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Friday, May 27, 2005, page B1]

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Polly K. Paffilas dies

Polly Paffilas died in her sleep this morning (Thursday, May 26, 5005) at her apartment in 900 W. Market St. She had suffered from complications of diabetes..

Calling hours, tentatively, will be Monday evening at Billows with services Tuesday at Greek Annunciation Church. Burial will be next to her parents at Rose Hill Burial Park.

Always thinking ahead, Polly wrote her own obit several years ago and last year had thje family plot re-groomed. Cat Harvey is already at his new home in country with a Polly friend as was pre-arranged

Obit will probably be in Akron Beacon Journal on Friday. Donations may be made to American Diabetes Association,1815 W Market St, Akron, 44313 Tel: (330) 835-3149

[Information is from Nancy (Yockey) Bonar]

Tales from the Seven Star *******

By Charlie Buffum
In the days when dinosaurs ruled journalism, the Beacon Journal was a strange land, filled with smoking wastebasket fires from careless smokers, and peopled with curious “Front Page” characters. Some of them, children, did not even have college degrees!

It was a time when the owner, John S. Knight, came to work every day, in a suit and tie, and actually cared about every word that appeared in his paper. His chief Allosaurus was Ben Maidenburg, who bullied and sneered but wasn’t above lending ten bucks to a needy printer or reporter when needed.

It was a time when Fran Murphey, who favored bib overalls, ran a half-column snapshot of a circus in her “Around Town” column and regularly climbed into the back of her cluttered car in the BJ parking lot to catch a 4 a.m. nap after writing a column all night.

Speaking of women journalists, it was not very distant from the time that the newspaper’s distaff legend, Helen Waterhouse, in her 80s, had rushed to cover a raid on a mismanaged old folks home in the Portage Hotel. On the elevator going to the scene, one of the assistant DAs turned to the wispy-haired, disheveled Waterhouse and asked, “How are they treating you here?” Witnesses say she sputtered for weeks over that one. But Helen is a story for others to tell.

Anyway, children, at this golden time, there was a young man named Bill Berger.

Bill, now departed, had a ‘40s pompadour haircut that he retained throughout life. He had served in World War II as a Marine Corps “airdale,” the back-seat gunner in a lumbering torpedo plane in the Pacific. He once almost shot off his own tail, he claims, but being an airdale, he missed. He was later recalled to almost single-handedly win the Korean War, too.

Berger was for many years the BJ’s cop-shop reporter. He got so close to the police that he was considered one of them by both the cops and the editors. But he was always conscientious. (For his journalistic reward, he ended up handling Soap Box Derbies and Spelling Bees for the Promotion Department. Ah, meritocracies… But that’s another story, too.)

Bill was a great practical joker. He had a desk and typewriter at the Police Station, outside the Detective Bureau. The detectives, headed by a jolly guy named Carroll Cutright, once decided to give Berger some of his own medicine. They taped a dead fish under his desk. For days, Bill couldn’t figure it out. When he finally did, his first thought was, “Don’t get mad; get even.”

Cutright was a natty dresser, sort of the sartorial equivalent of former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Hank Stramm. Cutright had a new fedora hat of which he was very proud, Bill noted, and his retaliation plot was hatched.

Every day, Berger carefully folded a strip of toilet paper and slipped it inside the hat’s headband, adding a strip a day. As a result, Cutright’s hat rode higher and higher on his head. He knew something was “fishy,” but couldn’t figure it out. It went on until the chapeau was set precariously high on the Chief Detective’s head and a strip search was indicated. They didn’t mess with Berger again.

Another time, a cop who didn’t trust the practical jokers hanging around the station decided to lock and park his brand-new car in a parking lot across from the BJ, rather than keep it near the Police Station. Bill found out. It was winter, and at the time when computers were coming in, and IBM punch cards were in vogue. Bill collected piles of the little punch-card confetti pieces.

With the help of two police accomplishes, he went to the parking lot and, after flashing badges, the cops used master keys to open the new car. Bill carefully fed the confetti into the car’s windshield defroster vents. He and the cops hid by a BJ window to watch.

The victim cop came to the parking lot, looked around, unlocked his car, and got in. A puff of blue smoke as the engine started. Next, the driver turned on the defroster. This was clear because the inside of the new car immediately looked like one of those snow globes, shaken, not stirred.

As Bill told it, the cop jumped out of his car, drew his pistol, and screamed. He demanded to know from the lot owner how this happened, and the conspirators saw the poor operator wave his hands, obviously explaining that “It was the police!” The guy started looking around for the culprits. “If he could have found us right then, he might have shot us,” Bill laughed, clearly without remorse.

Ah, journalism. How could people like that put out such a damn good paper, one that people actually read … and believed?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

McEaneney hired by AkronWatch.org

Retired BJ reporter Dennis McEananey has been hired as the leg man for AkronWatch.org which will bird-dog the City of Akron’s spending habits.

Retired steel fabricator Larry L. Parker launched the site on April 29 and reported 27,000 hits in the first six days. The site says the city has “squandered millions of taxpayer dollars on so-called economic development projects over the last 25 years. He hired McEnaney to prowl city hall and check public records. The site targets city debt which exceeded $500 million in December for work past and present on Canal Park, the expressway, the Inventors Hall of Fame and the John S. Knight Center.

Akron Mayor Don Plusquellicd told reporters Wednesday that Parker is a liar who is wasting his money rehashing old issues.

Click on the headline to check out the site.

Dismantling the old BJ clock tower

Beacon Journal columnist Bob Dyer reports on the dismantling of the BJ clock tower in a story in the newspaper on Thursday, May, 19, 2005 on page B1. The huge tower will be lowered to the street next week and given to renowned junkyard artist P. R. Miller and trucked to his workplace at 414 N. Howard St.

Miller will give dozens of floodlight bulbs to Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts for use in a student project. The big red plastic BJ letters will go to Bob “BJ” Jones, owner of Business Interiors and Environments on S. Broadway. Miller will then strip any parts he needs for a public art project. Whatever he does not use will go to Annaco Co., a scrap metal company on Hazel Street. Annaco then will write a check for $1,000 to United Way. BJ officials originally thought the tower was made of stainless steel worth $1,500 to $2,000, but only the outer covering is stainless and the inside galvanized so the actual value is somewhere between $400 and $750,

Robert W. Leitch dies

Robert Leitch

Robert W. Leitch, 89, a loving husband, father, and grandfather, passed away Sunday, May 15, 2005, after a short ill ness. He was born in Akron on Sept. 9, 1915, to William and Albertine Leitch. Robert graduated from Ellet High School, served as a captain in the Army during World War II, and retired from the Akron Beacon Journal in 1985 after more than 50 years of service. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Akron Typographical Union, and volunteered for many years for the Akron Civic Theater. He was preceded in death by his wives, Virginia in 1997, and Jean in 2003. He is survived by his daughter, Amy (Frank) Beverly; stepdaughter, Susan (Gary) Zimmerman; grandchildren, Kurt Arnold IV, Laura (Brian) Hall, Zak Arnold, Ryan and Cory Zimmerman, Derek, Joshua, Allisonn, and Alesha Beverly; sister-in-law, Vivian (Dick) Lindenberger; nephews, Rick (Toni) and Jeffery (Margaret) Lindenberger. Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. SUNDAY, May 22, 2005, at the Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel, 85 N. Miller Rd. Funeral
services will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 23, in the Mausoleum Chapel at Rose Hill Burial Park on West Market Street in Fairlawn. (Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel, 330-867-4141.)

[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Thursday, May 19, 2005, page6, col. 5]
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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Costello to get stent for heart problem

Retired composing room printer John Costello will have at least one stent and possible two put in place next week because of blockage. John, who had a double heart bypass in 1990, said he passed a stress test just fine in April but later he became short of breath so he went in earlier this week for a heart catherization when the blockage was discoverd. He is to see his family doctor on Monday and cardiologist on Tuesday.
(Stents are metal devices that are placed permanently inside an artery to help keep it open.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Audrey swinging the bat for Walsh

Audrey Hoiles, one of my three young visitors in times past (See Jan 2 post), is making news on the sports pages again.

Audrey hit a double and a triple in the 17-0 Walsh Jesuit softball win over East High on Monday in the first district finals at Kent State. The Walsh Warriors are the defending Diviision II champion.

Audrey is the daughter of BJ attorney Karen (Chuparkoff) Lefton and retired BJ reporter Bob Hoiles.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Zippy beckons students to McDonald's

Zippy is 7 feet tall, made from recycled stainless steel

This photo has nothing to do with the Beacon Journal, but former employees and retirees will remember Zippy as the mascot of the University of Akron. The giant stainless steel Zippy is now beckoning students from the corner of the new MacDonald’s restaurant at 246 E. Exchange St. in the university area.

Zippy is made of recycled stainless steel and is seven feet tall. He stands on a pedestal which is about 5 feet tall so he rises 12 feet into the skyline. Zippy is the creation of local artist John Comunale who operates from his studio at Communal Structural Concepts which he started in 1991. The studio is on the sixth floor of Canal Place, the old B.F. Goodrich complex at 540 S. Main St., Akron,

The idea for Zippy came from John Blickle, president of Heidman Inc., a local McDonald’s franchisee who knows Comunale from grade school. He had seen other pieces done by Comunale and asked him if he could fashion Zippy. Zippy actually is made from old McDonald’s stainless steel work stations and restaurant equipment.

Zippy and similar creations by Comunale start with a stainless steel wire skeleton. Comunale then cuts pieces of stainless he fits over the skeleton and welds and hammers into place. He used UA’s newer Zippy logo as a model.

Comunale, now 54, graduated from Firestone High School in 1968 and attended Ohio State University and the University of Akron. He has done everything from custom work for home and restaurant interiors including gates, railings, brackets, tabletops and light fixtures. He spent a number of years in North Carolina working as a carpenter and sculptor on movie sets for such films as Mr. Destiny, A Few Good Men, The Last of the Mohicans and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle film.

Work by Comunale includes a stainless steel bull he did for the Rib Doctor, a barbecue vendor, a giant steel cockroach climbing up an exterior wall of TNT Exterminating, a clock outside the historic Everett building downtown and a big stainless steel catfish at Furnace and Howard streets..

Projects in the works include one for Omicron Delta Kappa honorary society in the Student Union which will show five birds soaring with trailing ribbons that flow through the ODK logo. He also is making a sign for a coffee shop called Mocha Maiden that will open on Maiden Lane.

Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Changes on BJ Business Desk

Notes from the inside on changes in the BJ Business Desk:

Business Editor Steve Berta left the Beacon Journal on May 8 to accept a position as A.M.E. Businsss of the Indianapolis Star. David Hertz, who has been working in Metro, has become interim business editor. Deputy business editor Dave Scott has gone back to reporting in the business department and business reporter John Russell is the new deputy. Likely successor to Berta is Mitch McKenney, deputy metro editor.

Elbert Starks III, who also left the newsroom staff on May 8, is going back to college to get a teaching degree. He said he couldn't be a student and work at ``big'' paper like BJ, but can do it back home in Fort Wayne, IN., which is paper he came from. He also has some elderly family members there.

Revolving BJ tower gone forever

BJ tower under construction: May 12, 2005

The revolving BJ clock tower is gone forever. In its place will be a concrete tower with a stationary time and temperature display on four sides and a wrap-around LCD message board for streaming news, announcements and–if a zoning variance is approved–advertisements. The old sign had 12-foot tall plastic letters. The 26-foot-tall, 4,800-pound stainless steel top is now lying on the roof of the building. It will be given away or carted off to the scrap yard where the scrap would sell for $1,500 to $2,000. The new tower will be 15 feet shorter than the last one, peaking at 105 feet above the sidewalk. The new tower will resemble the original 1930 tower. Changes from the original were made in 1939, 1935 and 1966. The new tower should be in place by mid-summer.

Columnist Bob Dyer writes about it in a piece on page B1 of the Beacon Journal on Thursday, May 12, 2005. Accompanying the story is a sketch of how the new tower will look.

Click on the headline to see it. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Gleaned from Hot Type

United Way Award goes to BJ
The Akron Beacon Journal was this year’s recipient of United Way’s Spirit of Caring Award. The award was presented in gratitude for the newspaper’s outstanding support of United Way and year-round commitment to the community. The Akron Beacon Journal donated nearly $184,000 to the 2004 campaign through employee pledges, special events, matching funds and corporate contributions. Publisher Jim Crutchfield was community campaign chair.

Circulation and ad revenue (Period 4 through Week 5)
Daily circulation down 3,767 from same period 2004. Total daily 141,991
Sunday circulation down 9,089 from same period 2004. Total Sunday 176,778
Ad revenue up 5.7 percentd fxrom same period 2004

Moving on
Steven Berta and Elbert Starks III, newsroom, left the company May 8.
Patrick Bryant, advertising, left the company May 9.

To Jane Hecht, administration, on death of her mother, Evona Danner, May 5.
To Michael Marcus, creative technical services, on death of his wife, Linda, on May 4.
To Neil Page, circulation, on death of his mother, Kleda K. Page, on May 4.
To Sue Reynolds, newsroom, on death of her brother, William K. Probert, on April 29.
To Dave Wilson, newsroom, on the death of his father, Lee C. Wilson, on May 4.


Donna Schmid, who retired from finance in 1980 with 36 years of service, died April 18.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Emil Hartman dies

Emil Hartman

STOW-- Emil W. Hartman, 64, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle, went home to be with the Lord on May 4, 2005.

Living in Stow for 36 years, he enjoyed working at the Akron Beacon Journal for his first career, and was a mentor and teacher of ASL at Kent State University for his second career. He was an avid member and president for numerous years of the Akron Club of the Deaf. He was also actively involved with AAAD, CAAD, CAD, and enjoyed golf.

Preceded in death by his parents, George and Mary, he is survived by his wife of 43 years, Barbara J.; daughters, Debbie Hartman Bell (Jon) of Stow, Lynn Hartman Oblisk (Brett) of Stow; grandchildren, Brittany and Hannah Bell, Jeffery, Justin, and Nicky Oblisk; twin brother and sister-in-law, Earl and Barbara Ann Hartman of Tallmadge; and many nieces and nephews.

Pastor Eloy Pacheco will conduct services Monday, 6 p.m., at Redmon Funeral Home, where friends may call from 3 p.m. until service time. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the family in care of Redmon Funeral Home. (RED MON, STOW, 330-688-6631.)
[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Sunday, May 8, 2005 ]
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Friday, May 06, 2005

Phila News podcast makes debut

PHILADELPHIA, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Philadelphia Daily News announced the creation of a continuing series of podcasts to debut on Friday, May 6.

"If you ever wondered what the Philadelphia Daily News would sound like, what it would be like if it was an audio show, this is your chance," said Frank Burgos, Editorial Page Editor of the Daily News.

The paper announced the debut of PhillyFeed, a program of news, on-the-street interviews, original music, sports talk and other material that can be found every Friday at http://www.phillyfeed.com. "This is stuff we could NEVER print in the paper," said Burgos.

A podcast is a self-created audio program made available to the public through the Internet as MP3 music files. Those files can be played on portable MP3 players such as iPods and on desktop computers. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, about 22 million U.S. adults now own an iPod or other type of MP3 player and 29 percent of them have downloaded a podcast program.

"Millions of people are turning to podcasts as an alternative to radio and other traditional media sources," said Burgos. "We see this as an exciting opportunity to present news, commentary and music you won't hear on other podcasts or radio programs."

PhillyFeed will be hosted by Burgos and Eric Mayberry, Daily News advertising executive. Various Daily News staff members will discuss stories they've worked on, and newsmakers, sports figures and others found in the paper every day will be interviewed. There will also be comments by experts on various subjects.

PhillyFeed can be downloaded at http://www.phillyfeed.com and will be
updated every Friday.

Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc, is a division of Knight Ridder (NYSE: KRI) the nation's second-largest newspaper publisher, with products in print and online. The company publishes 31 daily newspapers in 28 U.S. markets, with a readership of 9.0 million daily and 12.7 million Sunday. Knight Ridder also has investments in a variety of Internet and technology companies and two newsprint companies. The company's Internet operation, Knight Ridder Digital, develops and manages the company's online properties. It is the founder and operator of Real Cities (http://www.RealCities.com), the largest national network of city and regional Web sites in more than 105 U.S. markets. Knight Ridder and Knight Ridder Digital are headquartered in San Jose, Calif.
SOURCE Philadelphia Daily News
Web Site: http://www.phillyfeed.com http://www.philly.com

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Knight Ridder Watch is new web site

A new substance abuse policy is being introduced at the Beacon Journal. You can get the details and download the policy at a great new web site called Knight Ridder Watch.

Knight Ridder Watch is a project of the Knight Ridder Council, a coalition of union locals representing employees at Knight Ridder newspapers. Council members welcome the participation of Knight Ridder employees who are not represented by unions to participate in the Council or to become part of the Council's e-mail list. Contact:: knightriddercouncil@knightridderwatch.org

You can click on the headline above to go to the site, but you also might want to save the url as a bookmark or favorite.


Here is a notice from Paula Schleis to Akron Guild members:

May 4, 2005

Guild members,
We have concluded negotiations on a new drug and alcohol policy the company plans to submit. This policy is not a contractual provision, but because it does involve a change in working conditions the company is required to give us the chance to offer input.
The guild's negotiating team of Mark Davis, Kathy Antoniotti, Jim Mackinnon, Paula Schleis and Rollie Dreussi met with the company on four occasions, and we're pleased to report that the company agreed we had much to offer.

Nearly all of the guild's suggested changes were accepted. For instance, the company dropped language that would discipline an employee for merely possessing alcohol on company property, beefed up language on what constitutes the kind of "reasonable suspicion" that would prompt drug testing, and eliminated language that treated over-the-counter medication the same as prescription or illegal substances.

This policy is NOT IN EFFECT until the company gives you a copy. What is posted here is where the policy stood when guild negotiations concluded. Because the company intends the policy to be implemented building wide, they were also seeking input from other representatives.

Also note, and this is very important, that where the policy conflicts with our contract,

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please don't hesitate to let us know.


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Newspaper circulation drops 1.9 percent

Circulation fell 1.9 percent at major U.S. newspapers in the six-month period ending in March, an industry group reported Monday, May 2, 2005, marking one of the worst declines in recent years.

Newspaper circulation reached a recent peak in 1984 but has been declining steadily over the past decade as other forms of media compete for the attention of readers, including cable television and the Internet.

The Newspaper Association of America, a Vienna, Va.-based industry group, reported that average daily paid circulation declined 1.9 percent in the most recent reporting period for the 814 newspapers reporting comparable data to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Average Sunday circulation for the 643 newspapers reporting those figures fell 2.5 percent.

Both were wider than the declines of 0.9 percent in daily circulation and 1.5 percent in Sunday sales in the previous six months reported by the Audit Bureau, a circulation reporting group based in Schaumburg, Ill.

Gannett Co.'s USA Today remained the top-selling paper in the nation, according to the Audit Bureau, with total paid circulation edging up 0.05 percent to 2,281,831. The Wall Street Journal fell 0.8 percent to 2,070,498. The New York Times rose 0.24 percent to 1,136,433, and Tribune Co.'s Los Angeles Times's daily circulation, including Saturdays, fell 6.5 percent to 907,997.

Other major papers posting significant declines included the Chicago Tribune, the flagship paper of Tribune Co., whose daily circulation fell 6.6 percent to 573,744. Hearst Corp.'s San Francisco Chronicle fell 6.1 percent to 468,739.

Despite the long-term erosion in paid circulation, major newspaper companies have continued to produce profit gains, largely thanks to advertising rate increases, and newspaper stocks have held up relatively well.

Over the past five years shares of major publishers like Gannett, Tribune and Knight Ridder Inc. have outperformed the S&P 500 index, with the exception of Dow Jones & Co., which has been dragged down by a prolonged drought of financial and technology advertising at The Wall Street Journal.

Click on the headline to read the full story in Business Week.

Or search on:"newspaper ciirculation" with your browser for stories from many publ;ications.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Giffen's adult league hits grand slam

Former Beacon Journal Sports Editor Tom Giffen has turned an avocation for pickup baseball games into a lucrative profession. Giffen, 57, is in his 13th year as the owner of Roy Hobbs Baseball, a national organization that provides formal competition for adult men and women in the sport. In 2005, its membership will consist of about 400 teams spread across virtually every state.

BJ sports writer Tom Gaffney tells the story in a Community Extra story titled “Adult League hits grand slam” in the Beacon Journal on Sunday, May 1, 2005.

in 1990, Giffen spearheaded what was to become a four-team league of adult men playing out of Akron. The following year, the league grew to 11 teams and joined Roy Hobbs Baseball, which was then owned by Ron Monks of California.

Then on New Year's Eve in 1992 Monk sold Roy Hobbs Baseball to Giffen and his wife, Ellen, for an undisclosed amount.

For several years, Giffen ran Roy Hobbs Baseball out of his basement and continued to work at the Beacon Journal. In the mid-1990s, the organization began to bring in more and more teams and the scope truly took on a national feel. That was when he resigned from the newspaper to work full time at his business

Roy Hobbs, by the way, is the fictional hero of Bernard Malamud's novel, “The Natural.” Robert Redford played the lead role in the movie of the same name.

To read Gaffney’s piece, click on the headline above.

For more information on Roy Hobbs, call 330-923-3400 or go to the Web site at