Sunday, January 30, 2005
Sometimes the simplest solution is remarkably clever. Channels it became, on Super Bowl Sunday, 1980. We chose Super Bowl Sunday because we had high hopes that the first Channels cover would be of the Siper Bowl, with Browns QB Brian Sipe a great sendoff for a new product. Alas, Red Right 88 and the Oakland Raiders killed that possibility along with the Browns' Super Bowl hopes.
And now Channels no longer looks like the product that the late Bud Morris, Jim Nolan and I gave birth to. But at least the midnight-6 a.m. listings and the alphabetized movie listings have been born again.
And Jim and I could have told today's BJ honchos that it's not nice to fool with the movie listings. For the first Channels, we had the bright idea that we didn't need to include time, day and channels with the alphabetized movies because the readers would just see a movie on the grid, then look in the back for the movie's plot, actors and other information. Wrong! Readers checked the movie listings FIRST, and had no idea when they could see the film. As hundreds of readers told us by phone and letters (emails hadn't been invented yet), do NOT mess with our movies. I had to manually add time, date and channels to the movie listings, as the overtime mounted, till the folks who published Channels could have it done through technology (which took two weeks for the transformation, so I got a LOT of overtime and calloused fingertips). And why the summer frolics in my yard by my grandchildren are in The Pool That Channels Built. Well, that, and Jim's penchant for requiring new mockups every time that a period or coma had to be added to the impending debut of Channels. LOTS of overtime.
Channels' only editor from 1980-1996
And, as I like to call myself, the last true TV Editor of the Beacon Journal
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Snippits from the business wires:
Improved ad sales help Knight Ridder profit
Newspaper publisher Knight Ridder Inc. said on Wednesday quarterly profit edged up amid a fledging recovery in advertising sales for U.S. newspapers. The company expects the pace of ad revenue growth to pick up next year. The San Jose, California-based publisher, whose newspapers include the Akron Beacon Journal, Miami Herald and the San Jose Mercury News, said fourth-quarter profit totaled $99 million, or $1.22 per share, up from $96.6 million, or $1.16 per share, a year earlier
From PR News Wire:
SAN JOSE, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Knight Ridder ( KRI) earned $1.38 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2004, up 13.1% from the $1.22 earned in the same period the previous year. For the year, Knight Ridder earned $4.13 per diluted share, up 13.8% from $3.63 in 2004. Included in 2004 earnings per share is $.09 for the quarter and $.26 for the year from the resolution of certain prior-year tax matters, including interest -- as compared to $.07 for the quarter and $.12 for the year in 2003.
And Reuters reported, in part:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Gannett Co. Inc. reported higher quarterly profit on Wednesday despite advertising declines at its flagship USA Today newspaper, while rival Knight Ridder Inc., said earnings increased as help-wanted advertising jumped. The results from the two largest U.S. newspaper chains come as publishers try to post a sustained recovery in advertising sales after a multiyear slump. Gannett's chief executive said he is optimistic about the 2005 ad outlook although he said many big advertisers still remain cautious. Gannett and Knight Ridder shares both were lower in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Other newspaper stocks also declined modestly.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Newspaper publisher Knight Ridder Inc. is considering launching free dailies and smaller, tabloid-size editions of its papers to boost readership, Chief Executive Tony Ridder said on Wednesday.
To court new readers who may shun traditional newspapers, some U.S. and European publishers have launched no-charge dailies that are aimed largely at commuters. In Britain, two of the country's largest papers have downsized to tabloid formats instead of traditional broadsheets.
A Knight Ridder circulation task force is eyeing both of these industry trends, said Ridder, whose San Jose, California-based company publishes papers including The Miami Herald and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"We think that a tabloid size has a lot of appeal and there's a track record in various places that indicates that really works and can boost circulation," he said in a conference call with analysts following the release of the company's fourth-quarter profit report.
"Even though we haven't made a final decision, we will probably be testing that in a few markets," he said.
The task force also will review whether it makes sense for the company to launch a free daily paper, Ridder said.
The newspaper business is struggling with long-term trends of declining readership as many younger people have not adopted the daily newspaper habit of older generations.
In Britain, the Times and the Independent newspapers recently shrunk in size, publishing compact editions rather than the broadsheets that younger readers may find bulky and staid.
The free tabloid trend also is gaining in popularity. These papers typically are packed with short articles for commuters who only have a few minutes in the morning to scan the news.
The New York Times Co. recently announced a deal to buy 49 percent of free commuter daily Boston Metro for $16.5 million, joining other publishers such as Tribune Co., Belo Corp., Washington Post Co. that offer similar types of tabloids.
The Boston Herald, a competitor to the New York Times' Boston Globe newspaper, has filed an antitrust complaint with the U.S. Justice Department that says the New York Times deal is anticompetitive.
[Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved]
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Here's e-mail from Bill O'Connor:
I much enjoyed reading about former colleagues on your blog. The further I am from the time at the Beacon, the more I realize how privileged I was to work with such talented people. In the daily combat of getting out a paper, we all banged heads now and then. And, in fact, most of our heads were rather large. One needed a large ego to survive in the newspaper world. Or maybe it was just that the business attracted those of us with inflated noggins. I know that none was more inflated that my own, or denser. But I always appreciated the care that was taken to make each day's paper as strong as possible, even if it meant listening to you growl and Tom Moore shake his head sadly at my efforts.
I remarried in 2002. Her name is Elsbeth. Although born and raised in Switzerland, she is more American than anyone else I know. She has four grown children, as do I, so holidays can be busy indeed. Elsbeth and I just returned from a month in Kenya. We went with a team of fourth-year medical students from Ohio University and some Akron doctors. They participate in what is called SHARE KENYA, an annual adventure that is now in its seventh year. Our headquarters were in Kisumu, but we spent each day out in the bush, visiting villages and setting up free medical clinics. Elsbeth and I went as journalists and I am now in the process of putting together a mag piece on the adventure although, to tell you the truth, there is a hell of a lot of material and I'm not sure I want to work that hard. But Kenya was an eye-opener. The poverty and squalor are appalling and the government is terribly corrupt. The "elected" officials steal anything not nailed down. I'd love to nail them.
I hope to write the story while in Switzerland. We leave Friday for a three-week stay in Grindelwald, where Elsbeth and her brother have a chalet. She'll ski while there. I tried skiing last year and discovered something about myself - I'm a confirmed coward. But Ott should know that it takes 45 minutes to ski some of the runs and Elsbeth can ski right down to the house. In the winter, the farmers drop all their fences and everyone flies down the mountain, everyone except a certain cowardly Irishman. But I do enjoy the village. So while she skis, I'll write in the morning and then go to the village and drink wickedly strong drinks, flirt with the waitresses and then be joined by my red-cheeked wife, still all fired up from flying down the Alps. At night, we sit on a balcony, bundled up, and watch the silence.
I've finished two novels of a trilogy. The first one is at a publisher right now, but literary novels are a damn hard sell. Hemingway used to cry when he got rejections. I curl into a fetal position and whimper.
I still spend a lot of time trying to keep Porter out of jail. It's a tough job. But I think his wife is doing a nice job on the column.
I hope you are well and that each of my former colleagues finds joy every day. This time of life, I think, is the best. We're finally wise enough, maybe, not to take ourselves too seriously. That's when the real fun begins. Peace.
Monday, January 24, 2005
Here’s an update on Mickey and Suzanne Porter. Mickey still writes Porter’s People and wife Suzanne is a retired lawyer. Here’s a note from Mickey:
I had no idea the blog existed. I’m a dues-paying Guild member who works 20 hours a week, mostly from home. I dial into the BJ System.
Suzie is a retired lawyer (she was with the firm of Scanlon and Gearinger.) She’s active in the Woman’s City Club, and travels, often visiting our sons Mike (Chicago), who’s director of equity operations for Morningstar; and Ben (Winston-Salem, NC) a lawyer and partner in a firm there. No grandkids, however.
As for me, I walk 4 miles daily and lift weights at the Y. Although I’m 67, my folks are both alive and well and living in Florida, and I vacation down there a couple of times a year.
I shall start reading the blog, and will tell Bill O’Connor about it. He, too, receives a BJ retirement check.
The BJ has destroyed the Channels that I nourished from Day One (in 1980), made it unwielding in size instead of the handy dimensions of its birth and hide it within the Community section; no longer provides listings from 11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. (when up to 15 percent of BJ readers, according to Northeast Ohio Nielsen ratings, are watching TV); and, worse, eliminated the most popular part of Channels, the movie listings with plotlines so that readers would know beforehand whether they wanted to watch the film.
No wonder newspapers are fighting a losing circulation and revenue battle. They are orchestrating their own disintegration.
Geez, I feel like I'm taking over Tom Moore's job of berating the BJ for going to Hell in a handbasket!
Sunday, January 23, 2005
When I first heard the expression 'snowbirds' and having just bought an RV in 1988 to chase the good snow for skiing all around the country I thought it referred to me and Ann, my wife. Then folks kept asking me when I would go to Florida since I had an RV and was a 'snowbird'.
Then I realized what a snowbird was and evr since then we refer to ourselves as Snowhawks and the Florida bound folks who want to escape the snow as Snowchicken. We ski around here, Ann and I are both retired ski instructors and ski free for life at Boston Mills and Brandywine and many ski resorts out West and in Europe.
Good skiing snow is to be had from minus ten degrees up to sixty degrees in the 11,000 to 12,000 foot elevations. We spend three weeks a Winter in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah or around Lake Tahoe skiing, depending where the best snow is. End of February we will go to Panorama Ski Resort in British Columbia, two hours from Calgary.
Ann is 71 and I am 72 so we feel we better ski a lot while we are still young. About three days a week in Boston Mills, we will also go to Holiday Valley in New York and next Sunday to Seven Springs in Pennsylvania.
After the two weeks of lousy warm weather we had after the New Year it looks like we have some glorious snow again.
An offer from Tom Moore:
I've started burning my home videos to dvds. As you know, I've taken my camcorder to a lot of the retiree luncheons and have also filmed a few retirements. The first one I've burned is from 1996 and it includes Fran's office party for her retirement. There are a lot of folks in the video that are no longer with us. If anybody's interested, I'll share the dvd with bj folks and their kin. just send me an email@example.com their home address and I'll eventually get around to sending them a copy.Won't be for a while since dot and I are heading for florida jan. 29 for a week. She'll be limping a bit since she just had knee surgery, but we're gonna get out of this weather for a few days. ~Tom
Blog Note: You should offer Tom $3 for a DVD which is about the cost of the disk and mailers plus postage.
Don't forget to give your USPS address.
Saturday, January 22, 2005
This is part of an e-mail from Ron Kuhne of Fort Wayne, IN, giving his side of the “God willing: story:
I was working on the city desk. Had a nasty headcold, felt really punchy and should probably have called in sick. My jobs that day included the routine weather blurb. I knocked that out early on and just for shits and giggles added that "God willing" thing after: the standard "The sun will rise at xxx a.m. tomorrow." I figured Giles would get a chuckle out of it (I believe it was he who was working as city editor) and edit it out after chewing me out. Well, he didn't cut it, neither did the copy editor, nor the slotter. The linotype operator faithfully copied it and that's how it ended up in the paper.
I was aghast when first edition came up and it was still there. Bill Schlemmer wanted to fire me, but I think Ben Maidenberg (sp?) talked him out of it -- probably out of concern about a possible union dispute. But after that incident, I felt the handwriting on the wall and took the job on the Connecticut paper a year or so later.
Blog Note: We found Kuhne, now retired in Fort Wayne, in hopes of getting the real story on the “God willing” incident. But, alas, time may have clouded part of his recollection of the story. He says he believes Bob Giles was acting city editor at the time while Dan Warner says he was and that he fired and rehired Kuhne. See the December Archives for a piece Dec 17 by Charlies Buffum: “A story About a story” which mentions the incident and the January archives for a Jan 5 post “Dan was there for God willing” which this blogger believes was probably the correct story. What say ye, Bob Giles?
Here’s e-mail from Ron Kuhne, now retired in Fort Wayne, IN, on what he has been doing since the BJ:
After leaving the BJ, I went to Connecticut as editor of a large Sunday weekly in Fairfield County, a bedroom for the NYC commuting crowd. That means we were literally competing with the Sunday NY Times. The Herald was printed at a job shop in Mount Kisco, NY, a situation that meant most of our copy and art had to be ferried about 30 miles away via courier (before the days of instant faxing). Our makeup crew came back home late at night; fog on those hilly roads made the return trip hazardous.
The Sunday Herald was owned by Bill Loeb, of the then-infamous Manchester Union Leader. Except for my occasional trips to the Boston suburb where Loeb and his wife (the late Nackey Scripps) resided in a castle on a hill overlooking the Atlantic, none of my crew ever met the man. In his defense, he wasn't the monster he was perceived to be. He was generous to a fault (once paid our ad manager's bills and complete salary for six months during an illness). In fact, Loeb saw to it that the ad guy was treated at the Boston Clinic, a cost Loeb also bore. Loeb was an absentee owner whose only contributions to the Connecticut paper were editorials -- some of which ran on the cover. The mandated heads included such gems as "Shoot Jane Fonda" and "Dopey Dwight." Beyond that, he left us alone.
Loeb had bought the Herald long before I came onto the scene in 1970. The paper had been a classic scandal sheet that seemed to have been run into the ground by its previous owner. Loeb bought it, changed the name, moved it to Norwalk from Bridgeport and fought the good fight to improve its circulation and reputation, but the Sunday Times was a formidable adversary, to put it mildly. What I did not know when I signed on is that Loeb was using the Herald as a tax write-off and lost money on it every week.
There were 12 editorial types on the staff -- unionized yet, plus an assortment of about 15 ad, biz, and circulation types. It was a hopeless situation, but we managed to take paid circulation to above 40,000 from about 30,000 after converting it to tabloid format. We even showed a little profit now and then. But it was too late and Loeb decided to fold The Herald during the 1973 recession. By then, I was general manager as well as editor and I still feel the sting of that event.
As far as I was concerned, I was through with journalism. I joined the Army and worked as a journalist in Hawaii and Turkey. I also worked as "subject matter expert" for the Defense Information School in Indianapolis. After I retired from the Army, I changed my mind about quitting journalism and took a berth on the copy desk of the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, one of the few two-newspaper towns left. I retired last year after 11 years and am pretty much loafing, at least for now.
On the personal side, I've been married to a patient saint for 32 years. One daughter lives at an Army base in Georgia (her husband was in Kuwait when the second sandbox war started). My oldest daughter works in the theater in Atlanta; a third daughter is an architect in Cleveland and my youngest just earned her second degree from Purdue.
Ronald H. Kuhne
531 Marston Court
Fort Wayne, IN 46826-5609
Friday, January 21, 2005
Snippits from Hot Type, the BJ employe publication:
Twins for Joe and Monica Thomas
Newsroom staff members Joe and Monica Thomas announced the birth of twins Jan. 16. Andrew Joseph weighed 3 pounds, 4 ounces and was 16 1/4 inches long. His sister Ella Susanna weighed 3 pounds, 7 ounces and was 16 1/2 inches long.
Ringing the bell for Salvation Army
Although the holidays have come and gone, it's never too late to acknowledge the community service of staff members. The volunteer activities of several people in the packaging center just recently came to the attention of Hot Type. On three weekends in December 2004, Gary Jubara and several co-workers volunteered 20 hours of their time to ring the bell for the Salvation Army at the Manchester Road Acme. The volunteers raised nearly $968 for the local charity. Without the help of volunteers like these, the Salvation Army would have to pay people to ring the bell during the holidays.Jubara has been ringing the Salvation Army bell for
three years, joined by a mix of family and friends. This year, that mix included co-workers and their families. “It gets everyone in a good mood,” he said. “It was a great way to spend time with family and to do something positive.” Hot Type is pleased to acknowledge the following volunteers from the packaging center for putting such a human face on the Beacon Journal: Dave Belacic, Mike Bookwalter, Dave Buzek, Regina Grice, Gary Jubara, Heather Kugler, Rachel Lawler, Kelli Meade, Lisa Scott, Patricia Starcher, Dave Williams and Mark Williams.
Discounts on YMCA memberships
Because the Akron Beacon Journal is a corporate member of the Akron Area YMCA, staff members are eligible for a 10 percent savings on adult or family memberships. New members who sign up in January save 50 percent on their joiner free. For more information, contact Jill Kolesar, YMCA association membership director, 330-434-9622.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Today I was out kayaking in the Tasman Sea and got horribly sunburned!!!!!
I remember my very first day working at the ABJ, trying to get there for an early shift. I was driving about 5 a.m. up the back road from Alliance to Greenville I hit some wicked ice and ended up spinning out and on my side down a ditch. I had to wait half an hour for the lights to come on in the nearby farmhouse to ring for help. It was a really messy way to start my new job, and coming from rainy Seattle I wasn't used to the icy conditions anyway.
I don't miss it one bit.
My daughter Amanda and I were literally jolted out of our beds this morning. A close-by earthquake hit Wellington and we are on the top of a high rise apartment block. This follows a week of a dozen smaller earthquakes. We thought the smaller ones would have released pressure from the fault line and we would escape anything bigger, but now everyone is making plans to leave town in case an even bigger one hits. If it isn't tsunamis, hurricanes, and cold snaps, then it is more earthquakes.
We are going into a three-day weekend and my little beach village neighbours are getting together on a workshop on First Fould Flush Diverters for our water tanks. We aren't on town water and provide our own water and septic, so anything to make us self-sufficient is big stuff for us.
E-mail from Kevin Huhn, now in Denver:
My mother, Thelma Huhn, ran into you a few months ago and you told her I should e-mail you with some info about myself, and I recently spoke with Ken Krause and he told me about your Web site. I worked as a sports statistician from 1976 to 1982 with an incredible crew that included Krause, Marty Pantages and Tim Farkas, to name a few. I left the ABJ after graduating from Kent State in May 1982, and my journey through journalism brought me to the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, where I arrived in 1989 as assistant sports editor. I have since been promoted to deputy sports editor. Many from the ABJ might remember me as Moose.
Kevin "Moose" Huhn
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
There always seems to be an Akron connection to national and world news. Witness the front page for today, Wednesday, Jan 1:
Tech Sgt. Bradley Bennett of Kent will be the first member of the Air Force to sing the National Anthem at a presidential inaugural. He’s a member of the Singing Sergeants, based at Balling Air Force Base in Washington, DC.
The Army has dropped charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder against 2nd Lt. . Eric Anderson of Twinsburg for his involvement in the August killing of a wounded Iraqui teen. But the Army could file the same charges or others later after further investigation.
Well over 2,000 donors contributed $442,969.75 in a two-week fund drive of Akron Community Foundation for victim’s of last month’s earthquake and tsunami in southern Asia. The Foundation raised funds after 9/11 to buy a fire truck for the New York City Fire Department.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Our plea to blog readers to let us know of some memorable stories they have written brought this response from Mike Clary, now at the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
“My favorite story from my years at BJ -- two stints, in mid-60s, then mid-70s with Ricci, Cull and gang -- was one of my first bylines as cop reporter when I bungled into helping cops finger a suspect for the FBI.”
Clary wrote a first person story which ran on page 1 with a one-column photo of Clary and photos of the suspect and a police traffic officer. The story ran on Sunday, October 10, 1965. The newspaper got a letter of thanks few days later from J. Edgar Hoover which Clary still has.
“I was 22, just hired as police reporter, working for city editor Bruce McIntyre,” Clary said.
That was 39 years ago. Clary went on to write many humorous stories for the Beacon and, of course, has written reams of copy since.
Clary said it was “Interesting to read a note from Dan Warner the other day on the blog. He was assistant city editor then and may have had a hand in tuning up that story.”
Please click on the headline above to see a reprint of the story and photos.
Please let us know if we missed anyone.
Anthony Aquino Oct 3, Eddie Cooper July 20, Hal Fry Nov 13, Bob Goshorn Nov 24, Joe Grace June 4, Lorraine Grace (daughter of Joe) Oct. 24, Don Gresock Dec 5, Joseph Locke Dec 12, Betty Logsdon Jan 11, Carl “Red” Nestor Nov 8, Monia Olesky (wife of John) Feb 4, Roland Queen Oct 21, Nancy Rice (mother of Joan) Jan 8, George Richards Oct 7, Alfred Roseborough Oct 16, Shelia Simonin Oct 18, Simon Sheppard Aug 6, George Waterhouse (husband of late Helen) Jan 21.
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Paul O. Grove
Paul O. Grove, 92, passed away Jan. 10, 2005, in Cincinnati.
Mr. Grove was a retired printer/journeyman for the Akron Beacon Journal. He was a member of the Medina Lodge 58 F&AM and past member of the V.F.W. in Brunswick. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.
He is survived by his daughters, Judith (Thomas) Pflaumer and Mary (Guy) Saponari; son, Thomas (Kathy) Grove; nine grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret (nee Davenport); sisters, Erma Schleich and Helen Wendt; and brother, Lester Grove.
Services Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., at Waite & Son Funeral Home, Medina Chapel, 765 N. Court St., with visitation Tuesday, 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the funeral home. Contributions may be made "In Loving Memory of Paul Grove," specify GED and Literacy Fund, c/o E.C.S.F., 412 Sycamore St., Cincinnati, Ohio 45202. (Waite & Son, 330-723-3229.) Please sign the guestbook at www.ohio.com/obituaries
[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, Ohio, Saturday, January 15, 2005, page B7, col. 2]
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Some old but new faces were at the monthly BJ retirees lunch at Papa Joe’s restaurant on Wednesday (Jan 12). Those who have not been there for a while included Tom White and Bob Leitch of composing and Mickey Dimeff of accounting.. Ed Hanzel’s wife, Norma, also attended.
Kathy Kochanski, Hot Type/Sidebar editor of the Beacon, dropped by to take a few photos and talk with retirees.
Old standys attending include Bob Pell, Cal Deshong, Carl Nelson, Gene McClellan and Hanzell. Editorial types were Bill Canterbury, Tim Hayes, Sandy Levenson, Harry Liggett and John Olesky.
It seemed like attendance was up, probably because of new faces, but attendance was 14 or the same as in December unless we missed someone.. Tom Moore, a regular, was in Maryland
Bob Pell as usual provided photo coverage. Click on the headline above to see his work.
Please encourage others to attend the next lunch Feb. 9.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Mr. Giles and Company
I did not write a Canton Council story or any other story because I did not come to Akron or the Beacon Journal to do shit work or to run an obstacle course.
Consider what you wanted me to do:
1- Stay over an extra day -- I have a trip to New York City planned and I have no intentions of cancelling my plans because you are too unorganized to tell me exactly what I will be doing in Akron.
2- Nobody bothered to look at my work. I do not need a training ground. I have two years of newspaper experience and a master’s degree and I taught magxazine writing at OSU. If you look on my resume at OSU, you will see that experienced newspaper people who now teach at OSU consider me the most talented student they've ever taught. It seems pointless to me to run an experienced, talented reporter through a state desk.
3- Your schedule is unreasonable, theoretically, to arrive in Akron at 8 a.m. today, I had to get up at 4 a.m., dress, drive to Akron. From 8 until 11:30 I did rewrite. From 12:30 until 3 I researched 2 stories. At 3, because I had to go to a council meeting at 5, I had one hour to try to learn background on a very complicated story -- Canton sewers. No one can do an adequate story with that kind of background. At 4:15, after cramming 15 clips into my mind, I left for Canton. I have never been to Akron or Canton, so I set off in rush hour traffic to find Canton City Hall. I did not have time to check into my motel or get a cup of coffee. I was told Canton was 20 - 40 minutes away. At 5:30 I was still looking for Canton City Hall -- 30 minutes late. After attending the meeting, I was told to come back to the Beacon Journal -- which would have been around 8 p.m. -- to write two stories -- which would have taken another 3 hours if I did a good job. I was told to be back at the B.J. tomorrow at 7 a.m.
From 4 a.m. until 11 p.m. is ridiculous --especially for a trial reporter. It's only discipline, like being in the army, and I do not care to bend that much to the overbearing demands of the B.J.
Blog Guy’s Notes: Does the Ann Hill letter which is read regularly at Newspaper Guild parties meet the definition of legend? My dictionary defines legend as “an unverified popular story handed down from earlier times” or “a romanticized popular myth of modern times"’ or “a person who achieves legendary fame.” It would have been better if Ann had remained hidden. She still considers it a private letter. But Ann Hill lives.. She is the principal (read that as head honcho) of Ann Hill Communications in San Rafael, CA. You can go to the web site at www.aphapr.com by cliicking on the headline above. Check the site map and you will find a biog (no doubt an autobiog) of Hill which is almost as interesting as the original letter. It mentions that she graduated magna cum laude at OSU with a master’s in journalism/PR and was involved in PR campaigns to renovate San Francisco opera and SF City Hall. Strangely the biog. says she developed her award-winning writing style as a feature writer and investigative reporter at the Dayton Daily News which I believe is the same outfit that fired John Olesky for union activity. Our apologies to Bob Giles who had nothing to do with all of this except he just happened to be M.E. of the Beacon at the time.
Monday, January 10, 2005
In front are Jane Snow and John Olesky.
Top are Mark Dawidziak, Andrea Louie
(a Kent State grad who went to NY),
and Betsy Lammerding
In the middle are Joan Rice, Jewell Cardwell,
Bob Dyer, Connie Bloom and Elaine Guregian
(holding the racket)
When features editor Michelle LeComte went on a cruise, her staff was not to be outdone and set up a tropic setting in the studio. I didn't know what was going on until I was called in to shoot the picture. They sure look like they are enjoying themselves.
I thought that after that funny photo of the photographers I ought to show that reporters are just as off kilter as we are
I called 1-877-232-7272, as Harry suggested in his "panic" post.
I felt fortunate because I was put on hold for only seven minutes (20 minutes is not uncommon with United Health Care).
Jeff answered for United Health Care. I explained that I really didn't want to pay more than $70 for my prescription, instead of the usual $2 co-pay, even if I got reimbursed later (which conveniently gives UHC and Knight-Ridder use of our money to help their cash flow).
Jeff blamed MedCo for not getting the computerized information done correctly. And Jeff said he didn't know when MedCo will straighten it out.
I asked to talk to a supervisor.
Then Jeff came back, after talking to a supervisor (but not letting me talk to him/her) and said that United Health Care is doing “emergency updates” and that they would call me back when my name is entered into the “emergency updates.”
That was 1:53 p.m. Monday, Jan. 10.
I’m still waiting for the call.
Guild and retired printers both are encountering this prescription roadblock. Probably others, too.
KR's flavor of the year vendor screws up the coverage nearly every January, then the retirees have to try to get it straightened out. If we worked this way when WE were at the BJ, we'd be called on the carpet or put out onto the street.
Beacon employee's car hit from behind; other driver jailed after fleeing
By Craig Webb
Beacon Journal staff writer
A reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal is hospitalized in serious condition after a car crash on his way home from work early Sunday morning at a tollbooth on the Ohio Turnpike in North Ridgeville.
Sgt. Antonio Matos, of the Berea Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, said Richard Koonce -- who works as a weekend metro reporter at the Beacon Journal -- had stopped at a tollbooth near Interstate 480 to pick up his toll ticket when his car was struck from behind around 2 a.m. Sunday.
Matos said the other driver ran from the scene but was apprehended about two hours later after North Ridgeville Police discovered him sitting in a yard along a residential street.
Koonce, who lives in Sandusky, was taken to Fairview Hospital in Cleveland where he was listed in serious condition Sunday night in intensive care with head and neck injuries.
Matos said the driver of the other car is in Lorain County Jail awaiting an initial court appearance on a charge of driving under the influence. Other charges probably will be filed, he said.
Marion Martin, Koonce's girlfriend, said the impact from the collision was so great that her boyfriend's four-door car now resembles a ``two-door'' model.
Koonce, 45, who has worked as a part-time reporter at the Akron Beacon Journal since June, is on leave of absence from the journalism faculty at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Va., while he pursues a doctorate at Bowling Green State University.
Martin said Koonce has no memory of the accident.
``Thank God he's alive,'' she said.
Craig Webb can be reached at 330-723-7119 or firstname.lastname@example.org
[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, Ohio, Monday, January 10, 2005, page B4, col.1]
Friday, January 07, 2005
Letter published on page B8 of the Cleveland Plain Dealer,
Friday, January 7, 2005
Commending Brett's bravery
Plain Dealer columnist Regina Brett deserves praise for the very public position she took regarding the terrible assault of Mario Russo - a position she bravely took before it became popular
The sentence handed down against Khalid Arafat - and the disposition of the charges pending against several other assailants - confirms that Brett was right in her early assertion that many people were guilty of rushing to judgment (by buying the assaulters' story that they brutally attacked Russo after becoming enraged at witnessing the acts of a supposed pervert, and that they were guilty of acting only as any of us would under similar circumstances).
Their story was hogwash. But lots of folks seemed all too willing to believe it. And, really, who could be expected to openly consider the rights of an accused sexual predator? Only someone of exceptional courage.
It seems to me that Regina Brett routinely acts upon her convictions, even when doing so causes her personal difficulty. (I can only imagine what reactions her early columns on the Russo matter precipitated in terms of hateful voicemall and e-mail.)
Bravo, Ms. Brett. I don't always agree with the positions you take. But I always respect them. And you.
Blog Note: Brett is a former BJ columnist
BJ photo staff in the early 70s. Click on the picture to clean it up.
Front l. to r.:
Ted Walls, Ron Kuner, Julius Greenfield, Ted Schneider
Paul Tople, Don Roese, Hal Bailey, Lew Henderson, Tom
Marvin, Ott Gangl.
Sticking out above is Bill Hunter.
...and those were our work clothes, always a tie, no bluejeans....
A bit about myself: since my retirement 12 years ago at age 60 I have not done a lick of work, just skiing all Winter, boating all Summer, RV traveling a lot too and my other hobbies from flying radio controlled gliders to my large model railroad.
For the last few years I have been giving away my prints, private and work related for which the BJ has kindly given permission through my web site at http://home.neo.rr.com/ottmar .
The new Summit County Public Library established a Ott Gangl Special Section which housed my initial contribution of 20,000 Ohio Ballet negatives and proof sheets as well as many posters and other memorabilia.
Since then I have filled out my collection there with many pictures of people and places of Akron and Summit County and in the process I ran across many old pictures of the Beacon Journal days, which I will share as soon as I figure this blog thing out.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Honor Elizabeth and Craig Wilson
Craig and Elizabeth Wilson will be honored Thursday, Nov. 4, at the Barberton Community Foundation’s fifth annual Community Recognition Dinner Presented by Bank One at Anthe’s Restaurant. The Wilsons will be awarded the Foundation’s Outstanding Citizens Award for 2004. They were chosen September 10 by an independent committee of community and civic leaders.
The Wilsons’ list of community service activities is nearly endless. A Detroit native, Craig is a member of Barberton Noon Kiwanis (since 1991), where fittingly, he chairs the Community Service Committee. He has also chaired the club’s Adopt-A-Highway Program for more than 10 years as well as the Labor Day Pancake Breakfast for three years.
Originally from Cleveland, Elizabeth joined Magic City Kiwanis (the morning club) in 1995. During her presidency in 2002-03, her club added a record 17 new members. The Wilsons’ Kiwanis activities overlap in many ways including collaborative efforts with the Highway Program, Rose Delivery Day each October, driving the elderly to doctor visits, etc.
In addition, the Wilsons who are avid Cleveland Indians fans, travel to Jacobs Field at least once per season to get baseballs signed by players and coaches for the purpose of donating the balls to local charity auctions. Through the Akron-based “Hosting International Travelers” program, the Wilsons have hosted visitors from Russia, Bangladesh, Morocco, Tajikistan, Hungary, Central America, Nigeria, Nepal, India, Taiwan, China, the Ukraine, Belarus, Australia and South Africa.
A United States Navy veteran, Craig retired from the Beacon Journal in 1991 after 40 years of service. During those years, he worked as a reporter, photographer, chief librarian and director of the Action Line column.
Elizabeth worked for the Social Security Administration for over 31 years as a staff assistant, operations supervisor and claims representative. Along with volunteer duties at St. Augustine, the St. Vincent DePaul Society and Barberton Area Community Ministries, Elizabeth works part-time at Snowball Books downtown Barberton.
By the way, can anyone direct me to a good Barberton Hungarian restaurant, one that serves something beside chicken, which I don't eat? Thanks.
But this year, because of Tony Ridder's threat to change premiums, deductibles and health care coverage in general, I think we're all a little nervous when these things happen. I suggest that all Guild retirees keep close track of both prescription and general health care payments by KR or its vendors, even more than usual, so that, if there's any change in what you've been getting, you can notify KR at the phone number Harry gave in his "panic" posting, and I also suggest that you notify Mark Davis, Executive Secretary of the Northeast Ohio Guild chapter in Cleveland (Akron is part of that group now), who has been tracking and challenging KR's attempts to change coverage for "grandfathered in" (those who retired in 1996 or earlier) Guild retirees, at
or call the Northeast Ohio Guild chapter office at
where you can ask for Mark Davis or Rollie Dreussi, another person I have been dealing with over various KR and UHC disagreements.
The more information that the Guild office in Cleveland gets, the better chance we all have that mistakes (or attempts to slip something past us) can be corrected for all of us. It's important that ALL Guild retirees check their health care coverage in 2005, and that we challenge any changes which are detrimental to us.
If KR is permitted to make changes, it has the same effect as reducing our pension check because it lowers the money we have available for our other expenses.
It also may be necessary to call attention to Tony Ridder's pillaging of our pensions by dumping more health care costs onto us, whether it's through higher deductibles, higher premiums (we "grandfathered in" types pay no premiums, at least through 2004) or lower payments than previously made for the same health care billings. Whether this is privately, through the Northeast Ohio Guild chapter, or publicly, perhaps through the Guild Reporter or other media, I'll leave it up to Guild retirees to determine.
This is every bit as important a battle as all the skirmishes we had with management, often with Harry leading the charge, during Guild negotiations while we still were employed by the BJ. If we roll over and play dead, Tony Ridder will continue to pay for his yachts at our expense. KR seems to be in the mode of throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks. At our expense, of course. And then it becomes "past practice."
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
I can flesh out a bit about Ron Kuhne tacking "God Willing " to the line about Sun rising tomorrow in the weather report.
I was city editor. Bill Schlemmer was ME and Ben Maidenburg was Editor/Publisher..
Schlemmer noticed the "God Willing" first and went nuts. He ordered me to fire Kuhne, which I did.
Ben was out of town and called in about 2 p.m. to ask
"I just fired Kuhne," I said. '
"Why?" asked Ben.
I told him the story.
"I think that's pretty funny," said Ben. "Hire him back."
So I called Kuhne at home and told him to come back to work.
I am 68 and mostly retired, after editing The Eagle-Tribune in Mass for 29 years, running my own weeklies in Maine for five and teaching at Boston University for three..
Janet and I now live in Florida, 9932 Bella Vista Ct., Fort Myers, 33913. I write a column for about a dozen papers and work a couple days a week mentoring reporters at the Fort Myers News-Press.
Mostly, though, I boat and play golf.
Love the blog
Daniel J. Warner
9932 Bella Vista Ct.
Fort Myers, FL 33913
1-239-225-1106 - home
1-239-826-5494 - cell
Blogger Note: If you missed the original post about this, you definitely will want to go to the December archives and have your browser’s find feature search for Buffum. The hilarious post by Buffum was December 17 and titled “Buffum’s favorite story About a story.”
The very nice young lady who answered said there was a problem they were working on and it would be cleared up in four or five days. She promised to call this afternoon with a better idea on when that would be. Meanwhile, if I need the medicine sooner I can pay and be reimbursed later by the drugstore.
So, do not panic Call the tollfree number. By the way, that also has been changed. It is now 1-877-232-7272.
My suspicions (not an official explanation)are that some pore folks were scheduled to lose their prescription benefits on Jan. 1, but there was to be no change for some of us. Apparently we all got dumped into the same change order.
Another question: Why can I get insulin for $2, but have to pay a hefty price for the syringes to inject it into my belly?
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Audrey Hoiles Naprie Kimbrough Denise Warner
By Harry Liggett
My three young visitors of a decade ago are “all growed up.”
I used to get three little visitors to my desk many afternoons. There names were Audrey, Naprie and Denise. I had an old cigar box where I kept all kinds of pencils, pens, markers, highlighters, erasers and other stuff which really interested them. In my drawer were seals from the kids' magazine Highlights I always brought from home. And, of course, I would dole them out.
They would often bug me or tease me and we got a few scowls from the copy desk when we made too much noise. Naprie liked to play Ring Around the Rosie so I joined in and made a fool of myself as we danced around the newsroom. I always suspected that my boss wished I would show a little more decorum and get on with the business of laying out pages. But back then nobody crossed me without thinking twice–except for the girls, of course.
I look at the three photos above and try to determine whether they were cuter kids than the beautiful young women above. Somebody should have taken some photos of us years ago.
All three of their mothers are still in the news business and one of their fathers.
Audrey Hoiles, daughter of BJ attorney Karen (Chuparkoff) Lefton, is now 15 years old.
Audrey is doing very well at Walsh Jesuit High School, where she is a sophomore. She loves sports and lettered her freshman year on the softball team, where she started at shortstop. The team won the state championship last spring in Ashland, and she now has a huge patch on her letter jacket documenting the victory. Audrey's played softball for traveling teams for many years, but this was her first experience at the high school level. Audrey took up tennis at the start of her freshman year and is improving mightily. “We gave her tennis lessons for Christmas this year and she hopes they'll help her make the varsity team this fall,” her mother said. Tennis has offered her the advantage of improved speed, allowing her to become the lead-off hitter on her softball team and a champion base-stealer. She's excelling academically as well, and carries a GPA that is hovering over 4.0. Her favorite subjects are French (she's at the fourth-year level now) and math. She's taking extra math that she hopes will accelerate her to AP calculus. (Her mom can't figure out why she wants to learn AP calculus, but she does. Must have been her dad's influence.) The most important news in Audrey's life is that she just got her temporary driver's license. She's been practicing with her stepdad, who has an iron gut and tremendous patience, and she's very much looking forward to emancipation in May when she turns 16 and can drive alone. She's also hoping to pick up more babysitting jobs. She has very fond memories of Denise Warner babysitting her over the summer breaks. Audrey also has many fond memories of the newsroom, where she took naps and raided candy jars for much of the first eight years of her life. Her father is veteran BJ reporter Bob Hoiles who retired via a buyout July 31, 2001.
Naprie Kimbrough, daughter of BJ TV editor Yuvonne Bruce Webb, is 17 and a junior at Our Lady of the Elms High School. She has danced all her life and still attends the Martrell School of Dance. She was a volunteer for Amigas de las Americas and lived for two months in a rural village in Panama. Amigas (AMIGOS), founded in 1965, creates opportunities for young people to excel in leadership roles promoting public health, education and community development. Naprie spent her time in Panama working with children, teaching them English, on small building projects throughout the village and maintaining a garden for the villagers. There was no contact home for the two months because volunteers were not allowed to take cell phones or computers and electricity is a luxury in the village.. “On her mid-term break (a weekend) she called me about five times and e-mailed me twice,” her mother said. “We wrote to each other often. It was a wonderful experience for her and her Spanish is just great now.” She and Naprie spent Christmas morning delivering Mobile Meals in Barberton and Akron when the condition of side streets made it a very interesting experience. They got stuck on ice and had to be pushed up a hill. They had to be rescued when they had car trouble. Naprie is active in Spanish Club, social actions committee, bowling and back stage crew for plays at Elms. Outside of school she still takes tap, jazz and hip-hop dancing lessons, bowls, volunteers at Stan Hywet as a Vintage Explorer, babysits and recently started belly-dance lessons. Her father, John Kimbrough, is a sales manager at Enterprise Car Rental in Wooster.
Denise Warner, daughter of Plain Dealer Business Editor Debbie Van Tassel, is halfway through her junior year at Columbia, where she's majoring in history, doing sportscasting for the college TV station and making good grades. She also works part-time as an assistant in the college's economics department. During her first two years she did the 6 p.m. newscast on the Columbia radio station. After graduation, she'd like to do sports for ESPN. Then, she figures she'll return to school for a graduate degree, possibly to study law. She had an illustrious high school career at Western Reserve Academy. She was an all-star shortstop and pitcher on the softball team, and its captain during junior and senior years. Plus, every summer she played short and third on a traveling softball team. She was the first soprano in the school choir and was the featured mezzo-soprano as a senior for Aaron Copland's "In the Beginning," an a capella chorale piece. She performed in the school musical every year, landing a feature role as a senior as the Duchess of Plaza Toro in Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Gondoliers." She graduated in 2002 with honors. She loves New York City and says she's never returning to Ohio to live! “Needless to say, we go there as frequently as possible to visit,” her mother said.
Her father, Stuart, is deputy features editor/writing coach at the PD. He works with the top writers at the paper. He edited Connie Schultz's series on Michael Green, a Cleveland man wrongfully imprisoned for rape for 13 years, freed on DNA evidence. It was a Putlizer finalist in 2002, winning the RFK award for social justice and Best-in-Show in the National Headliners contest. Both he and Debbie were BJ editors.
Donald D. Shook passed from this life on Jan. 3, 2005, following a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer.
During the time preceding his death, Don was surrounded by family and friends who share a deep sense of loss upon his passing.
Don is survived by his beloved wife and loving companion of 35 years, Tinker; children, Jim Maddox (Jenifer) of Stow, Barbara Wray (Mike) of Austin, Texas, Cynthia Parent (Ray) of Kewadin, Mich., Jeff Maddox of Akron, Deborah Sylvester (John) of Louisville, Kim Meloy (Mike) of Kent, Donald Shook (Kathy) of Doylestown; brother, David (Sandy) of Rockhill, S.C.; and many cherished grandchildren.
Don richly blessed his family and friends, and touched countless lives through his work. He held a journalism degree from Kent State University and began his professional career as a staff photographer for the Lo rain Journal, where he returned as chief photographer, following active duty as an officer in the Signal Corps of the United States Army. Don retired as a captain from the U.S. Army Re serve. He held three positions with Kent State University, including executive director of the KSU Alumni Association. Don retired from his post as vice president for development at Akron Children's Hospital after 21 years of distinguished service. In 1992, he was the recipi ent of the Outstanding Alumnus Award from Kent State University, in great part due to his many accomplishments at the hospital.
Evidenced by his involvement with numerous organizations, Don believed in contributing to the community. One of Don's greatest satisfactions was the creation of the Ronald McDonald House of Akron, for which he served as founding board member, trustee, and past president. In addition, he served as past president of the Ohio Council of Fund Raising Executives and the Ohio Association for Healthcare Philanthro py. He served on the United Christian Ministries at Kent State Endowment Board, and the Green Valley United Methodist Church Endowment Board, where he was a mem ber. Even during his illness, Don was a compassionate man who put others ahead of himself. His wisdom, humor, and love will be greatly missed.
Calling hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2005, at Schermesser Funeral Home in Green, 600 E. Turkeyfoot Lake Rd. Services will be held at the Green Valley United Methodist Church, 620 E. Turkeyfoot Lake Rd., on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005, at 2 p.m., with Rev. Jonathan Reese officiating. Interment at East Liberty Cemetery. Tributes to remember Don's life and service may be directed to the Division of Hematology/Oncolo gy at Akron Children's Hospital, One Perkins Square, Develop ment Department, Akron, Ohio 44308. (SchermesserGreen, 330-724-9351.)
[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, Ohio, Tuesday, January 4, 2005, page B7, col. 1]
Sunday, January 02, 2005
I’m enjoying the blog. My thanks to all who got it going.
I was in Australia with my two daughters for Christmas and actually felt the earthquake that sparked the tsunami. Being from New Zealand. we thought the earthquake was too minor to even mention to each other!. One of our parishioners had to fly over to India hospital where his son is recouperating from several smashed bones and has had to have a foot amputated. And I just got a message from a snowboarding mate who was at the worst spot in India, but happened to be away from the beach that particular day. All sobering and makes you thank God for the safety of your family and friends ... and especially those who are lucky enough to live into a nice retirement stage. My daughter in Florida who lost her house to the hurricane is now saying she is thanking God that that is all she lost in their natural disaster this year.
All is well with me. My New Year’s resolution is to finish the novel I have been half writing all year. It is a trashy romantic-psycho novel. I won't use my real name so don't look for it. Once I get that off my chest then I can write the more worthy novels that are rumbling around in my head. What sort of resolution did you make?.
Oh yes, my other resolution is to get a new notebook computer that has ALL the keys that work, even the "capital" stroke.
Jim Ricci (left) and Michael Cull at sunset in Mallory Square
in Key West in January 2004 during a four-day party in which
they tried to out-talk each other about some ridiculous exploits
in Akron when both were starring at the BJ. Mike Clary, who
took the picture, was along as driver, guide and referee.
Ricci is a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, Cull works
for the state in Columbus, OH, and Clary is at the South