Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sandy Bee Lynn joins the list

Sandy Bee Lynn is joining our BJ e-mail address list. Here’s a note from her:

I worked in the library (or Morgue as many still like to call it) from September 1983 until January of 2001. Unlike most of your contributors, I was not a "well-known" face, but nonetheless, I remember my years at the Beacon very fondly.

It's great to see what's going on with others.

After I left the Beacon, I worked at the Orrville Public Library for years as the Head of Circulation. I'm now at the Wadsworth Public Library, which is only 5 miles away from my home in Doylestown, and I'm the Manager of Circulation. I see many former, as well as current, BJ employees in the library because they live in Wadsworth.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Three join BJ news staff

A copy editor, reporter and photo intern have joined the Beacon Journal staff.

Erin Hill joined the newsroom as a copy editor Sept. 12. The former student intern has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Hampton University in Hampton, Va.

Emily Rasinski joined the newspaper Sept. 6 as a photo intern in news. She was an art/photo intern at Charleston Magazine. She is attending Kent State University for photojournalism and Spanish. She will graduate this December.

Elizabeth Suh joined the newsroom as a reporter Sept. 6. She was a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, coming here as a transfer after Knight Ridder sold its Detroit newspaper to Gannett Publishing. Suh has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.

[Infomation for this item and the next obtained from Hot Type, the BJ employee publication.]

BJ excellence awards

Four staffers from the newsroom and an advertising supervisor were among 11 who won 2005 Akron Beacon Journal excellence awards. They are:

Mary Beth Breckenridge, news, for Journalism Excellence. A champion of good news, Breckenridge brings an extraordinary eye to ordinary topics writing Your Home features, seasonal home and garden sections, and the Good Neighbors profiles. On her beat for 10 years, she is as fresh as her first day on the job.

Tim Good, news, for Journalism Excellence. According to co-workers and managers alike, Good excels in every aspect of his profession -- rim editing, slotting, trimming wires, creating story budgets, writing headlines, and designing hard news pages, feature pages and special sections. A great example of quiet excellence, Good was the principal designer for the inaugural edition of Outlook, the newspaper’s annual economic overview of the region.

Betty Lin-Fisher, news, for journalism excellence. One of the newspaper’s most followed writers, consumer columnist Lin-Fisher is readers’ “Homework Helper” Thousands count on her advice before choosing suppliers for natural gas, electricity, cell phones, banks and other products and services. Her personal, easily understandable style and meticulous reporting help readers become better, smarter consumers.

Mitch McKenney, news, for Journalism Excellence. Colleagues describe him as a “reporter’s dream” for his innate ability to place the right people on the right story assignment and then give them the freedom to do their best. He headed the effort to create the annual Discover community guide. The three issues published so far have generated a combined revenue of more than $640,000.

Phillip White, advertising, for General Excellence. As advertising systems supervisor, White is always looking for a better way to do things. He was a driving force behind the launch of six major products in as many months, including two glossy magazines and a new weekly newspaper. He is known buildingwide as the “go-to” guy for getting things done.

Fladung named editor at St. Paul

The St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press on Tuesday named Thom Fladung, a former managing editor of the Akron Beacon Journal and later at the Detroit Free Press, as its new editor. Fladung replaces Vicki Gowler, who was named editor of The Idaho Statesman.

Both the Pioneer Press and the Statesman, in Boise, are Knight Ridder Inc. papers. The Free Press was a Knight Ridder paper before it was acquired by Gannett Co. in August. Fladung stayed with Knight Ridder through the acquisition.

Fladung was managing editor of the Akron Beacon Journal from 2000 to 2002 before returning to the Free Press to take the same title. Fladung, 45, worked as a city editor, news editor, features editor and assistant features editor at the Free Press from 1994 to 2000.

Gowler joined the Pioneer Press as managing editor in 1997 and was promoted to editor in 2001. She will take over a much smaller newspaper in Boise. The Statesman has circulation of 64,815 daily, 85,552 on Sundays, according to Knight Ridder. The Pioneer Press reports daily circulation of 189,458 daily, 253,367 on Sundays.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A bit of history from 1982

The Beacon Journal becomes a historic site

What started out as an overcast May day soon brightened as the plaque dedicated to the memory of John Shively Knight honoring the Beacon Journal as a Historic Site was unveiled.

The National Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, recognizes people or events of outstanding significance in the history of American journalism. On May 25, two journalism greats were honored - the Beacon Journal as a great newspaper and John S. Knight, who made it great.

During the hour-long ceremony attended by about 400 people, friends and co-workers paid tribute to Mr. Knight through their speeches and words of praise. But all agreed that JSK probably did more for journalism, newspapering, setting standards, and reaching goals than any other person.

"His column (Editor's Notebook) was given the accolade of the Pulitzer Prize. To those of us who've taken an active role in the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, John Knight's record has distinguished him as a giant," said Charles Novitz, National President of Sigma Delta Chi.

After the dedication of the plaque, Mayor Roy Ray hosted a luncheon for several community leaders, employees and friends who came from far and near to be a part of this historic event.

To conclude this memorable day, the John S. Knight Awards banquet was held at the Tangier. This year, instead of naming a new recipient for the award, Mr. Knight and winners during the past 15 years were honored. Past winners have included:
1974 - Ben Maidenburg, Robert Dix
1975 - Eddie Butler, Murray Powers
1976 - Frances B. Murphey
1977 - Kenneth Nichols, Loris Troyer
1978 - James L. Jackson, Clayton G. Horn
1979 - Elinor M. Taylor, Philip J. Dietrich
1980 - Albert E. Fitzpatrick, Angelo R. Sicuro
1981 - Kenneth F. Cole, Robert Lane

This was a proud day for Akron, a proud day for the Beacon Journal and a proud day for honoring the memory of the man who made it all happen, John Shively Knight.

[From Tower Topics, employee publication of the Beacon Journal, May-June, 1982]

Friday, September 23, 2005

An Ernie Balogh fish story

Reprinted from Tower Topics, Jan-Feb 1977, in memory of a dear friend, Ernest Balogh 1937-2003:

Ernie Balogh, “champ” ice fisherman of the BJ composing room, had a BIG month in December. During one day alone on Pymatuning Lake, using Sonar bait, Balogh pulled in a total of 10 walleyes.

Two of these were potential record breakers; one weighed in at 8 1/4 pounds and the other “biggie” hit the scale at five pounds. The other eight were in the two and three-pound class.

“It only took me 10 seconds to haul in the two big ones,” Balogh said. “I usually fish from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and average about two or three good-sized fish every time I cut a hole in the ice.”

The modest fisherman declined to comment on the “ones that got away”! Story and picture of his catch will be in a forthcoming Doyle Finley BJ Field and Stream column.

[The old Tower Topics issue was provided by Charles Buffum]

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Phila papers to cut 16%

The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News will slash 16 percent of their newsroom staffs through buyouts or layoffs this year, their publisher said yesterday.

The announcement by Philadelphia Newspapers Inc., a division of Knight Ridder Inc., came as the New York Times and the Boston Globe also announced job cuts, making it a dismal day of economic news for U.S. newspapers struggling in the Internet age.

"We are facing, I believe, a revolution in our industry. We are going to have to fight our way through the fear and anxiety," The Inquirer's editor, Amanda Bennett, told a solemn staff.

PNI publisher Joe Natoli described the cuts as a last resort for two newspapers confronting a steady drop in revenue and circulation as well as rising expenses.

He said PNI intended to reduce the number of unionized Inquirer newsroom employees by about 75, or 15 percent, to reach a level of 425 positions - roughly the staff level as in the early 1980s, according to officials of Local 10 of the Newspaper Guild.

The Daily News aims to cut its unionized staff by about 25, or 19 percent, to 105 positions. That would leave it at less than half the size at its peak in the early 1980s, according to former editor Zack Stalberg.

Nonunion managers may receive voluntary buyouts on a "case-by-case" basis, Natoli said.

The move focuses on editorial employees, who gather news and information. It excludes advertising, circulation, production and other employees; those departments have already faced cuts, Natoli said.

"It'll be like watching somebody bleed to death as people consider leaving," said David O'Reilly, 57, an Inquirer staff writer for 24 years.

Click on the headline above to read the full story available for a limited time.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

A Katrina/BJ wedding in McBane style

Despite Hurricane Katrina, Roderick McBane, youngest son of Dick and Marilynn McBane was married to Cindy Wagner in Albany, Louisiana, on Saturday, Sept. 3. Roderick, 37, is an actuary with the American National Insurance Co. in Galveston, TX. Cindy, 34, is an accountant in Houston, TX. Albany, Cindy's hometown, is roughly 50 miles north of New Orleans, suffered relatively little damage, but electric power had not been fully restored by the time of the wedding. As a result, the ceremony was moved from one church to another which did have power (and air-conditioning).

Dick and Marilynn, along with older son, Lachlan and his family, had initially planned to drive to the wedding from the Atlanta area. Of necessity, plans became rather fluid. Eventually, Dick, Marilynn and Lachlan were able to find an available motel room in Beaumont, TX. They flew from Atlanta to Houston on Friday, Sept. 2, drove to Beaumont, and then from Beaumont to Albany (about three and a half hours) and return on Saturday, and flew back to Atlanta on Sunday. The excursion into the hurricane damage region was uneventful, except for the wedding, which was flawless thanks to the extraordinary preparations and resourcefulness of the Wagners.

The wedding trip capped a difficult summer for Dick who broke his left ankle on May 13 (Friday, of course) while playing ball with the grandchildren. He had surgery on May 23, acquiring a metal plate and ten screws in the ankle. He was finally cleared to begin walking without crutches on Aug. 2, and was able to pass through the airport metal detectors without setting off any alarms despite all his new hardware.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Charlene retiring after 35 years

After 35 years, Charlene Nevada is retiring from the BJ. Her last day is Sept. 30. There will be two sendoff events:

There will be a cake and punch retirement reception for Charlene at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 30 in the JSK Room at the Beacon. Then from 6 to 9 p.m. that day, there will be a party at Posh nightclub, corner of Exchange and Main. Roasting is planned.

[Info provided by Ann Sheldon Mezger]

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The news of KSU alumni

Al Fitzpatrick, retired BJ editor, was in the Alumni News section of Jargon, the alumni newsetter of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kent State University.

Also featured in the Summer 2005 issue was Connie Schultz, Class of ‘79, who was the Taylor award winner at the annual homecoming event on September 17. The theme was “Experience Success, Celebrating Pulitzer Prize Winners and Women of Distinction.” Schulz, a Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist, is a recent Pultizer Prize winner. She was featured in an April 21 blog post.

Recognized posthumously was Frances B. Murphey, Class of ‘45, longtime Beacon Journal reporter and columnist.

Here’s the alumni news item on Fitzpatrick:

Albert Fitzpatrick, `56, was honored at the National Press Foundation with the "Chairman's Citation" for a lifetime of editorial excellence and diversity in journalism. The award was given to him at the NPF's annual awards banquet where national media executives, correspondents, reporters in print, broadcast and on-line communications were honored for their contributions. The banquet was a black tie affair at the Washington Hilton with more than 1,000 in attendance.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Ann Moritz: An update from 1977

Ann Moritz, a layout editor in Life/Style and on the old State Desk left the Beacon Journal in 1977. (See the earlier post on her farell party.) We asked her to let us know what has been happening since. Here’s her reply:

how do I condense 30 years into an email? I'm an editor, right? I'll try.

stayed at the Globe until 1989, moving from the copy desk, to Sunday editor, to Asst. to the Editor in charge of hiring, training and development. I left to start my own management consulting business focusing on issues of race, class and gender diversity, which continues today. I'm in the final stages of a PhD in Education, also related to this work.

I have a handsome senior son at UC/Berkeley, a beautiful sophomore daughter at U of Virginia, and a dashing husband, David Arnold, whom I met at the Globe and who also made a step out to grow his own photography, design and writing projects.

My memories of the BJ are warm and close. You're great to do this. Thanks for making the effort. I've attached a photo, as requested, so you'll see that I haven't changed a bit.

KR, Best Buy lead the way down

Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks dropped as consumers and investors became increasingly pessimistic about the economy in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and record oil prices.

Higher fuel prices ``will directly affect consumers' pocketbooks and impact consumer psychology,'' said Lawrence Creatura, who helps manage $2.6 billion at Clover Capital Management in Rochester, New York. ``You're going to see a number of retail'' companies cut earnings projections, he said.

Shares of Best Buy Co., the biggest U.S. electronics retailer, and Knight Ridder Inc., the No. 4 U.S. newspaper publisher, led the decline after the companies issued disappointing profit forecasts.

Click on the headline to read the entire story.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Curt Sutliff dies

Frederick Curtis "Curt" Sutliff

Frederick Curtis ``Curt" Sutliff, a 1953 graduate of Cuyahoga Falls High School, died Aug. 18, 2005 in Sacramento, Calif., after a long illness. He was 70 years old.

He was the son of the late Josephine and Ray Sutliff, former city editor and editorial writer for the Akron Beacon Journal. Mr. Sutliff served aboard the U.S.S. Leary as a radar man while the destoryer was assigned to the Mediterranean fleet. After graduating from Ohio State University, he worked for the Oakland, California Tribune. In the early 1980's, he moved to Sacramento where he worked for the California Dept. of Fish and Game, before retiring in 1995. An avid birder and naturalist, he authored several pamphlets about good birding locations.

He is survived by his brother, David of Park City, Utah; sister, Carol Jordan of Brunswick, Ohio; sons, Ray Curtis Sutliff II of Arlington Heights, Ill., and Timothy Edward Sutliff of Walnut Creek, Calif.; and six grandchildren.

A graveside memorial service will be held Monday, Sept. 19, at 11 a.m. at Chestnut Hill Memorial Park, with the Rev. Susan Lausch of First United Methodist Church of Cuyahoga Falls officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sierra Foothills Audobon Society, P.O. Box 1937, Grass Valley, CA 95945 or Point Reyes Bird Observatory, 4990 Shoreline Hwy., Stinson Beach, CA 94970.

[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Sunday, September 11, 2005, page B9, col. 5 ]

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

ITU members hold dinner dance.

The following item by the late Gerry Smith in the Jan-Feb 1997 issue of Tower Topics describes the first ITU holiday dance. The Tower Topics edition was provided by Charlie Buffum. Some of those mentioned may be deceased.


The first ITU dinner-dance held Sunday, Dec. 5 at the K of C Hall on Glenmount will, hopefully, be an annual affair during future Christmas seasons.

Former Local 182 president Bernie White voiced that opinion during a recent interview. "Everybody had such a good time; the music by Al Hunsicker's group was excellent, and the food was fine," Bernie said. "It is something that our membership has needed and I believe it will become an annual affair," he continued.

Unfortunately, Bernie, who has been the "stirrer-upper" and promoter of the dinner-dance, was unable to attend because of his sister-in-law's funeral that Sunday. However, his wife Betty, was on hand to see that all arrangements went smoothly.

Some 150 members attended the holiday fete that began at 6:30 and wrapped up around 1 a.m. Pensioners Doris Storey, Herb Matthews, Milo Miller, Ed Flook and Red Woodlee braved the elements to attend the comfortable evening of fellowship.

Tower Topics used eight photos with Gerry’s article. In addition to the photo of Dave and Regina White other photos, which would not reproduce well, showed Norma and Ed Hanel, Sally Pack (wife of Don), the late Homer Farrell, Davd and Jean Pagnard, Steve Leporis and Mrs. Mike (Anne) Herchek Sr., Joe and Ann Catalano, the late Elmer “Red” Woodlee, Ed Floook and wife, Herb Matthews, Doris Storey and Milo Miller.

Phil Dietrich dies at 98


Noted area writer Dietrich dies at 98

By Tom Gaffney
Beacon Journal sports writer
Philip j. Dietrich, a former Beacon journal sports writer, died Monday of natural causes at Sunrise Assisted Living in Cuyahoga Falls. He was 98.

He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Hazel DeMarus Dietrich; his son, George A. Dietrich, of Medina; and grand-children Philip R. Dietrich, of Columbus, and Dr. Sarah T. Brodhead, of Denver.

Dietrich, a graduate of South High and the University of Akron, began his journalism career as the editor of the Akron school newspaper in the late 1920s. He later earned a scholarship to Northwestern University and earned a master's degree from the Medill School of journalism in 1931.
Dietrich began his full-time career as a sports writer with the Akron Times-Press in 1931. He then worked at the Beacon journal from 1938 until 1969, reporting on the University of Akron and Kent State beats, and the outdoors, among other subjects.

When Dietrich announced his retirement, then-Beacon Journal. sports editor Jim Schlemmer wrote a 35-inch column about him.

Among the most pointed comments, Schlemmer wrote that, "Phil Dietrich is the best writer the Beacon journal has had since the late Herman Fetzer, whose writings, mostly under the pseudonym of Jake Falstaff in the 1920s, were masterpieces."

Schlemmer continued: "Phil has written in depth ... with compassion, sympathy, tenderness, accuracy, dignity and grace."

Dietrich returned to the Beacon journal in the 1970s on a part-time basis, writing an outdoor sports column.

He also wrote several sports books, mainly dealing with historical teams and figures from the Akron area.

A memorial service for Die-trich will be held at 1 p.m. Fri-day at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Akron.

Memorials can be made to, the Hospice of Northeast Ohio or the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame.

[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH , Wednesday, September 7, 2005, page C3, col. 4 ]

The classified obit:

Phillip J. Dietrich

Philip J. Dietrich, 98, passed away peacefully on Sept. 5, 2005, at Sunrise Assisted Living of Cuyahoga Falls, where he received kind and loving care from the staff of Sunrise, and many months of careful assistance from Hospice and Palliative Care Partners of Ohio.

Mr. Dietrich was born in Akron, Ohio, on March 1, 1907. He was a graduate of Akron South High School and the University of Akron, and received a graduate degree from the Northwestern University School of Journal-ism, after which he became a reporter for the Akron Times Press, later joining the Akron Beacon Journal where he served as a sports writer, outdoor editor, and sports editor during a career which spanned over 40 years. He was a founder of the Surhmit County Sports Hall of Fame, which each year awards the Philip Dietrich Senior Athlete Award in his honor.

He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Hazel DeMarus Dietrich; his son, George A. Dietrich of Medina, Ohio; and grandchildren, Philip R. Dietrich of Columbus, Ohio, and Dr. Sarah T. Brodhead of Denver, Colo.

A memorial service will be held in his honor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Akron, Ohio, at 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, 2005. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care Partners of Ohio, 2500 E. 22nd St., Cleveland, Ohio 44115, or the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame, Box 2744, Ak-ron, Ohio 44309.

Hummel (330-253-6126)

Please sign the guest b ook at

[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH. Wednesday, September 7, 2005, page B5, col. 6 ]

Monday, September 05, 2005

Buffum's Stash #7: United Fund goad

Back in 1968 when United Way folks canvassed the newsroom, we sort of thought we were being prodded into giving. Typos sometimes do indicate the true goal. We could not turn to page A-11 to see if it worked.

New Orleans: As Spud Hilton sees it

I am sure you have all read much of the catastrophe that is New Orleans. I won't dwell on that aspect, but probably one of the most memorable stories I have read so far prompts me to call your attention to it. The headline said:

City with lust for life shall survive

New Orleans, which has unique history of mingling grief, hope, suffering and joy, is not yet ready for funeral march

The story is by Spud Hilton of the San Francisco Chronicle. Here are the first two graphs:

It's a town that celebrates living more than any other -- a direct result of New Orleans having mourned longer and more often than most.

No other metropolis has the close, almost loving relationship with death that New Orleans has. It is home to renowned cemeteries, deeply haunted neighborhoods, a history of grisly cruelty and a unique brand of funeral ceremony that grieves with an exhale and exults with the next breath.

Click on the headline above for some more descriptive words.