Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bonnie Bolden will leave Friday

Friday wil be the last day at the Beacon Journal for Bonnie Bolden, a veteran BJ editor who has held a variety of supervisory positions at the newspaper. Bolden, who has had 23 years of experience, started working at the Beacon Journal in 1983. She decided to resign to pursue other career options. Her husband, Bruce Winges, was named deputy managing editor on November 1.

Bolden organized and directed the Knight Ridder Midwest Intern Camp at the Beacon Journal in July, 2005 for some 30 intern and entry-level journalists

Newspaper deal nixed by court

Judge issues restraining order in Bay Area newspaper sale
A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked the consolidation of advertising and distribution operations of Bay Area newspapers owned by Denver-based MediaNews Group Inc.

The Northern California newspapers in the McClatchy Co. and MediaNews deal include the Monterey County Herald, San Jose Mercury News and Contra Costa Times.

MediaNews, which owns the Denver Post and dozens of other newspapers, also got the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota under a complex deal that involves financing from Hearst Corp., owner of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Source: AP via Editor & Publisher

Items to cheer up retirees

As population ages, the number at which we become old gets a little higher

"Old age," quips Betsy Gelb, professor of marketing and entrepreneurship at the University of Houston's Bauer College of Business, "now starts at 80 plus.

The average life expectancy in the United States in 1900 was 47 years. In 1900, to be old was to be 50. Life expectancy today is 77.9 years.

The number of people 65 and older is projected to more than double between 2000 and 2030, from 35 million to 71 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau
[Culled from a story by Jeannie Kever in the Houston Chronicle]

Under 18: 72 million, 26 percent
65 and older: 35 million, 12 percent

2010 (est.)
Under 18: 74 million, 24 percent
65 and older: 40 million, 13 percent

2030 (est.)
Under 18: 86 million, 24 percent
65 and older: 71 million, 20 percent
[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

65 percent say they are happier now than ever before.
92 percent say they have friends and family to rely upon.
15 percent never pay off their credit cards in full.
83 percent report a greater sense of freedom to be themselves.
19 percent worry about being alone as they grow old.
82 percent say they exercise at least 30 minutes per week.
[Source: AARP]

Remembering Novembers past

This portrait of Frances B. Murphey was published in the December, 1993 issue of the Sidebar. She was among 59 staffers honored November 11, 1993 at a service awards dinner at the Tangier. Fran was presented an anniversary clock by publisher John L. Dotson Jr.. and Editor Dale Allen for her 50 years of service. Those with 25 years of service were given engraved watches and the front page of the Beacon Journal on their hiring date. Honored for 25 years of service were Susan M. Hunt and Louise Robinson, advertising; Fred L. Leucke, Joe D. Patterson, Donald J. Phillips and Bernard Weigand, circulation; Barbara J. Dean, employee relations; David B. Cooper and Diane P. Lynch, newsroom; James Dancy, engraving; Larnie W. Greene, James T. Kittinger , Dennis Lazoren, Denzil Parker and Rita Stapleton, composing, and Terrance McGpvern, production.

Fran died on November 9, 1998 -- almost five years to the day after the awards dinner,

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Phila Guild may provide online srike newspaper

If Thursday night's deadline for a new guild contract at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News passes without a deal, resulting in a strike by the union's 900 members, guild leaders plan to produce their own online newspaper using striking staffers as reporters and editors.

"My expectation is we would cover everything the Inquirer and Daily News does now," said Stu Bykofsky, a Daily News staffer and guild spokesman. "I think our initial approach would be treating it like a newspaper and updating it throughout the day." He said the union had already purchased and registered a domain name, but declined to reveal the exact Web address. "Working on it could be an alternative to picket duty," he added. "It is still gelling right now."

The strike talk comes just weeks after Publisher Brian Tierney announced plans to cut as many as 150 editorial jobs. Those would come a year after more than 100 job were lost at both papers through a 2005 buyout.

Click on the headline to read Joe Strupp's story in Editor & Publishesr

King County Journal may close

The King County (WA) Journal's new owner says it will decide in the next few weeks whether to close the struggling suburban daily.

"We want to take one more look and see if there's a way to save the paper," Don Kendall, vice president of Sound Publishing, said Monday.

Kendall also said his company, a subsidiary of Black Press of Victoria, B.C., sees "virtually unlimited potential" in seven local non-daily sister publications of the Journal, and plans to expand them next year.

Black Press is buying all 10 papers in the King County Journal Newspapers group: the daily Journal; two weeklies, the Mercer Island Reporter and Snoqualmie Valley Record; and seven papers published twice monthly and distributed by mail: the Auburn Reporter, Bellevue Reporter, Bothell/Kenmore Reporter, Covington/Maple Valley Reporter, Kent Reporter, Redmond Reporter and Renton Reporter.

Horvitz Newspapers, the outgoing owner, announced the deal Wednesday. Neither party has disclosed the price.

Kendall said Black bought the chain to get the seven Reporter papers, not the Journal. After Horvitz put the papers on the market this summer, "anyone except us who took a look at this group looked at the daily and stopped looking," he said.

Click on the headline to read the full story by Eric Pryne in the Seattle Times.

There is a nice graphic of Sound Publishing holdings accompanying the story.

Charles "Red" Reeves dies

Charles ``Red" Reeves, born March 7, 1930, passed away November 26, 2006.

[Reeves was elected president of Local 182 of International Typographical Union in 1978 and served in that capacity for a number of years. He was 76. The photo here was cropped from a group shot of officers in the June-July, 1978 issue of Tower Topics.]

He was preceded in death by parents, Lena and Frank Reeves; brothers, Albert ``Lefty", Tom and Edwin Reeves; sister, Mary Crookston; and daughter, Judi Groote. Red is survived by wife, Rita Kay' Reeves; brother, Francis; children, Phyllis, Roger, Bob, and Thomas; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Red worked at the Akron Beacon Journal for 32 years. He was active with the American Legion Post 611 and the Printer's Club.

Per his request, cremation has taken place and there will be no calling hours. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, December 2, 11 a.m. at St. Matthew Catholic Church, 2603 Benton Avenue, Akron. A luncheon will follow at the American Legion Post 611, 657 N. Howard St., Akron. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice, 3358 Ridgewood Rd., Akron, Ohio 44333.


[The Beacon Journal,,Akron, OH, Tuesday, November 28, 2006, page B7, col. 4]

Clark Gable, Oglebay lights & Mountaineer football

Paula and I made Thanksgiving weekend a mix of various pleasures:

Thanksgiving dinner at our Tallmadge home for 17 people, from both sides of our families.

Friday at Oglebay Park in Wheeling, with the Festival of Lights, and a stop in Cadiz to visit the Clark Gable birth home and re-enact the "Gone With the Wind" poster (I was Rhett to Paula's Scarlett).

Saturday in Mountaineer Field, where West Virginia, a 21.5-point favorite, lost 24-19 to South Florida for the Mountaineers' second loss of the season. I will return to the scene of the crime this Saturday with my Aurora grandson, Dylan, for the Rutgers game.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Wrights provide wheel-chair accessibility info

The travel section of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Sunday provided great information on wheelchair accessibility by Steve Wright and his wife Heidi.

Wright, son of Beacon Journal retiree Ken Wright, frequently writes about wheelchair-accessible travel and has won several awards for covering the subject. Steve and his wife, Heidi, are authors of the Accent Press book “Ideas for Easy Traveling: Timely Tips for Those with Limited Mobility.” They were featured in the Feburary, 2001 issue of New Mobility magazine.

Heidi Johnson Wright and Steve Wright, both writers, met at Kent St
ate in the 1980s. Heidi, who has rheumatoid arthritis, has had two lengthy hospitalizations since they've been married.

Steve and Heidi shared the byline for the main article titled "Unobstructed View" which lists 10 diverse wheelchair destinations across America.

"Travelers who use wheelchairs have travel tastes as diverse as all vacationers," the lead states. "Wheelchair users simply have to search a little harder to find barrier-free fun."

There are photos of Monument Valley in Utah, the Brooklyn Bridge's barrier-free pedestrian pathywaty, Detroit's Eastern Market and Utah's Zion National Park.

A second article with Steve's byline is headlined Call to make sure place truly accessible.

Here is the lead on the article:

When your spouse uses a wheelchair, your travel options aren't so much limited as they are dependent on creativity and flexibility.

Long cross-ocean flights, for example, are not out of the question. But a wheelchair user with stiff joints, constant pain and prevalent fatigue due to severe rheumatoid arthritis will cope much better with eight-plus hours of flying if he or she can be accommodated with the roominess of a business-class seat.

The same goes for a place to sleep far from home. On a trip to Spain, we found there are barrier-free hotels, hostels, palladores and apartments, but that only about one in 50 is wheel- chair-accessible and about one in 10 of those advertise the fact that they can accommodate a disabled traveler.

And some places somehow come to the conclusion that they are wheelchair-accessible even though the only route to the front door is via eight steep, slippery steps.

Ask any "wheeler" who has booked a room purely on the inclusion of the wheelchair symbol on a property's brochure or Web site and you probably will hear a near horror story of arriving weary from an all-night flight only to find that the room is on the third floor of a property without an elevator.

So, rather than rely on a vague checkmark in the "property is wheelchair-accessible column," anyone planning a trip with a disabled family member is strongly advised to pick several options via Web sites. That list of supposedly accessible properties is then the starting point for phone calls made directly to the property to determine exactly what kind of barrier-free accommodations are offered.

And Wright concludes:

The hunt for a wheelchair-accessible apartment, be it in old Barcelona or any place far from home, can produce a result filled with unique sights, scents and spaces that simply cannot be found in a soulless hotel room.

With planning, perseverance and a sense of adventure and adaptation, a wheelchair user can win the hunt and savor the flavorful fruit of the pursuit.

Click on the headline to read the full Plain Dealer story by Steve and Heidi.

Click here to read Steve's story

Click here
to access the New Mobility magazine containing the profile on Steve and Heidi.

Click here
to read about wheel-chair accessible spots in Barcelona.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Kirkman going to graduate school

December 1 will be the last day at the Beacon Journal for Susan Kirkman, Managing Editor of Multimedia & Special Projects. Kirkman is going to graduate school at Kent State University in January for an individualized program in the College of Communication, focusing on new media and the future of news and the internet. She also will teach.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black buys King County (WA) Journal

The King County Journal has a new owner. But no one is saying yet what Black Press of Victoria, B.C., publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal, plans to do with the struggling suburban daily.

Peter Horvitz, whose family has owned the Journal since 1994, announced the sale to employees in a hastily arranged meeting at the company's Kent headquarters late Wednesday afternoon.

But he wouldn't disclose the price or say what the Canadian chain has in mind for the paper, which has been losing money and circulation for years.

"I'm not going to speak for Mr. [Black Press President David] Black," Horvitz said in a telephone interview. "It's for him and his people to tell our employees and the community what their plans are."

Black did not return calls and e-mails requesting comment. Horvitz said Black Press officials would visit the Journal on Monday and reveal more.

"One rumor, which Horvitz said was inaccurate, suggested Black planned to transform the paper into a free-distribution tabloid and lay off the entire news staff.

But David Grant, a Journal reporter who heads the paper's unit of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild, said Executive Editor Barbara Morgan was telling staff members Wednesday afternoon that their jobs were safe.

"We're hopeful that Black Press will continue to put out the King County Journal as a daily newspaper ... " Grant said. "But I don't think anyone's reassured at this point."

Another employee, who requested anonymity, said Black Press' record elsewhere makes many Journal workers apprehensive.

Horvitz said the sale is scheduled to close next Thursday.

Click on the headline to read the full story in the Seattle Times.

Corporate Information

King County Journal Newspapers

Headquarters: Kent, WA

Daily newspapers: King County Journal. Weekday circulation: 39,109

Weekly newspapers: Mercer Island Reporter, Snoqualmie Valley Record

Twice-monthly newspapers: Auburn Reporter, Bellevue Reporter, Bothell/Kenmore Reporter, Covington/Maple Valley Reporter, Kent Reporter, Redmond Reporter, Renton Reporter

Other holdings: Commercial printing operation

Black Press

Headquarters: Victoria, B.C.

Ownership: David Black family, Victoria — 81 percent; Torstar (owner of Toronto Star) — 19 percent.

Puget Sound holdings: Black's Sound Publishing subsidiary, based on Bainbridge Island, publishes 18 papers, mostly weeklies and bi-weeklies, in Western Washington, including the Bainbridge Island Review, Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber and Federal Way Mirror. In September, Sound acquired Little Nickel Classifieds of Lynnwood.

Other holdings: In June, Black Press bought the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, a former Knight-Ridder newspaper, for $165 million. It also owns the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Red Deer (Alberta) Advocate, both dailies, and more than 75 community newspapers in British Columbia.

Press Club to hear BJ publisher

Edward R. Moss, the publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal, will be the guest speaker at the Akron Press Club at 11:45 a.m. Dec. 15.

Moss joined the newspaper in August, replacing James Crutchfield.

The buffet and program, $10-$15, will at the Martin Center at 105 Fir Hill. Guests are asked to bring a toy for the Toys for Tots collection.

For reservations, call 330-835-4980.
[The Beacon Journal,, Akron, OH Friday, November 24, 2006, page A12 ]

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Ralph F. Iula dies

Former derby director, head of Beacon promotions
Ralph Iula succumbs to Alzheimer's; Akron area, charities, journalism students, young competitors lose good friend

By Jewell Cardwell
Beacon Journal staff writer
The Beacon Journal and the Akron area have lost one of their biggest cheerleaders.

Ralph Iula died Tuesday at Maison Aine Specialized Alzheimer's Center in Stow.

Over the years, Mr. Iula wore many promotions hats over his trademark jet-black hair. He headed the newspaper's efforts in the All-American Soap Box Derby, the Beacon Journal Spelling Bee and the Beacon Journal Charity Fund.

Mr. Iula was hired at the newspaper in June 1954 as the promotions manager. A month later, he became the Beacon Journal derby director, a job he held for 20 years, said son Jeff Iula, now the derby's general manager. ``He's why I got hooked on the derby.''

Bill Ford became Mr. Iula's first derby champ when he won in 1970. Now a salesman in Austin, Texas, Ford said Wednesday he remembers Mr. Iula fondly.

``I could tell even from a young age that he was extremely intelligent and very well-read. While my family would go off to exotic vacations like Detroit, they were going off to Europe and all points in between.''

Ford said he never saw Mr. Iula lose his cool under the pressure of derby activities, even with as many 600 kids around.

``But what I remember most about him was his ever-present cigar,'' Ford recalled.

Mr. Iula was one of the people who helped to revive the derby after a cheating scandal in 1974 caused Chevrolet to end its sponsorship. He was inducted into the Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame in 1999.

Mr. Iula also ran the Beacon Journal Spelling Bee for 30 years years, making it the biggest one in the country. He had the national champion in 1964 -- Billy Kerek of Cuyahoga Falls, who is today Dr. William Kerek, a physician at Akron City Hospital.

Mr. Iula received degrees from Butler University and Northwestern University, but he began his journalism career at age 14.

``That's when he started Jerry's Journal newspaper, which he sold in his Indiana neighborhood,'' Jeff Iula said.

His professional career began at the Indianapolis Star, where he was a sports writer for three years. He worked another year at a newspaper in Evansville, Ind.

He also taught journalism at the University of Akron from 1968 to 2000.

Although he continued to write, Mr. Iula's greatest contribution was in promotions.

For 31 years, he ran the Beacon Journal's Thanksgiving trip to New York City, which at its peak drew 300 tourists. Traveling was one of his passions, and he visited 77 countries.

Mr. Iula also was executive director of the Beacon Journal Charity Fund from 1986 to 1996, serving as secretary-treasurer for years before that.

He ran the newspaper's Bowling Classic, which was the fourth-largest local tournament in the nation.

Jeff Iula said his father made his children promise never to reveal his age.

Besides Jeff, Mr. Iula is survived by another son, Jay of Cuyahoga Falls, who was his caregiver for eight years; and a daughter, Jerri Roberts of Indianapolis; five grandchildren and two great-grandsons.

Calling hours for Mr. Iula will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home, 1930 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls, where the funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday.
[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Thursday, November 23, 2006, page B1]

Classified obit appears on page B10, col. 3

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's time to send Christmas cards

The Beacon Journal for many years published a list of U.S. postal addresses for retirees in the Tower Topics or Sidebar employee publications just before Chrismas. Due to increased postage costs, or for whatever reason, mailing of the employee publication was dropped. .

Three years ago we asked the company for a list of retiree e-mail addresses and that list has been posted. There is a link to the list on the BJ retirees blog which you are reading and also on our new web site at

Because of new retirees and deaths elsewhere which we do not learn about , it is impossible to keep the list up to date. We have asked the human resources. department for an updated list, but because of staff cuts or whatever even that is no longer possible

This then is an urgent plea. Please check the retirees USPS address list. If you know anyone who should be on the list, please send us the information. If there is anyone on the list who should be removed, please let us know.

If you are not a retiree but a former Beacon Journal employee and would like others to know your postal address, you also should send us that information. We will keep a list of USPS addresses for non-retired former Beacon Journal employees.

You can send the information to

Monday, November 20, 2006

Newspaper chains partner with Yahoo

A consortium of seven newspaper chains representing 176 daily papers across the country is announcing a broad partnership with Yahoo to share content, advertising and technology, another sign that the wary newspaper business is increasingly willing to shake hands with the technology companies they once saw as a threat.

In the first phase of the deal, the newspaper companies will begin posting their employment classified ads on Yahoo’s classified jobs site, HotJobs, and start using HotJobs technology to run their own online career ads.

But the long-term goal of the alliance with Yahoo, according to one senior executive at a participating newspaper company, is to be able to have the content of these newspapers tagged and optimized for searching and indexing by Yahoo.

In that way, local news — one of the pillars of the newspaper business — would become part of a large information network that would increase usefulness for readers and value to advertisers.

The consortium includes the MediaNews Group, Hearst, Belo, E. W. Scripps, the Journal Register Company, Lee Enterprises and Cox Enterprises. The group owns newspapers in 38 states, among them major metropolitan dailies including The San Francisco Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Denver Post, with a combined daily circulation of 12 million.

Click on the headline to read the full story in the New York Times.

Guild party is December 13

The Akron Newspaper Guild holiday party will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 13, at the Printer's Club, across Exchange Street from the Beacon Journal. All recent and not-so-recent retirees are invited. The skits, including the traditional letter readings, will be at 7:45 p.m. The party will feature fine eats prepared by Guild members.

Remembering JFK shooting

‘”We were there” was the title of a series of articles published by the Sidebar, about historic events covered by the Beacon Journal. Here is the story on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, reprinted from the January 1995 issue of the Sidebar:

Newspapers rarely print extra editions unless something of monumental importance has happened after the p
aper has already been circulated. Unfortunately, the events of Nov. 22, 1963, met the criteria. The first editions of the Beacon Journal had already been distributed when the news of the shooting of President John F. Kennedy came in. Compositor Cecil Santoferraro was called upon to remake Page One for the extra. He retired from composing in 1983 after 42 years of service

‘Extra’ signals end of era

Compositor records assassination

It was right around lunch time when word came over the wire that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. We didn't know he was dead at that time, just that he'd been shot and it was bad.

We were an afternoon paper then and were printing about seven or so editions. The early ones had already gone out to the outlying areas and we were just finishing the preparation of the final edition when we got the news.

Ben Maidenburg, who was the managing editor, decided that the shotting warranted an extra. So we scrapped the last editions and set about redoing Page One.
Red Rowan, who was the Page One makeup man at that time, wasn't around for some reason. He may have been at lunch or something, but he wasn't there when Maidenburg came to composing to see to the extra.

So I stepped in. I would do Page One when Red wasn't in, so I had done it before, but not with the editor watching every move.

I was engrossed in making up the page when Red returned. Even though it was really his privilege, since we had already started, he just stayed back.

We weren't too affected by what happened right then, because we were so involved with getting our jobs done. We didn't have time to think or worry about it.

You've got to be a certain breed of guy to set hot type. You just can't get nervous, even when the president is killed and the editor is hanging over your shoulder. You just get into a groove.

We got that extra to the presses immediately. As soon as the story was set on the linotypes, we had it out in a half-hour or so. It was then we had time to think about what happened.

William "Red" Rowan retired from composing in 1972 and died in 1991.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

335 years of experience gone

The highlight of this full page ad by the Akron Unit of the Newspaper Guild is the number 335 in large type. That is the total years of service of colleagues who either were laid off or voluntarily resigned to save someon’e job. “We appreciate their combined 335 years of service to our newspaper and to our loyal readers." the ad said. "We also salute the newsroom managers and 27 employees elsewhere in the building who left because of staff reductions.” Photos of seven were used.

The list of 24 includes Barbara Albrecht, clerk, 6 years; Dennis Balogh, artist, 21 years; Gary Estwick, reporter, 4 yerars; Mary Ethridge, reporter 18 years; Diane Evans, columnist, 30 years; Tim Good, copy editor, 6 years; Andale Gross, reporter, 9 years; Erin Hill, copy editor, 1 year; Gloria Irwin, reporter 21 years, Jim Kavanagh, copy editor, 15 years; Jody Kraner, copy editor, 3 years, Delano Massey, reporter, 1 year; Mickey Porter, copy editor/Porter’s People, 40 years; Kim Profant, copy editor, 7 years; Tom Reed, reporter/columnist, 6 years; Robin Sallie, photographer, 12 years; Lindsay Sample, photographer, 4 years; Jane Snow, reporter, food writer, 28 years; Kathy Spitz, reporter, 22 years; Chiffon Staebler, copy editor, 6 years; Debbie Stock Kiefer, copy editor/recipe roundup, 28 years; Sarah Vradenburg, editorial writer, 22 years; Judie Wallace, reporter, 6 years; and Jocelyn Williams, photographer, 19 years.

Newsroom managers laid off or took voluntary resignations were Dave Wilson, David Hertz, Susan Kirkman, Michael Needs, Bonnie Bolden and Debra Adams Simmons.

The ad appears on page B6 of the Beacon Journal, Saturday, November 18, 2006. Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Dave Wilson could use some help

Dave Wilson, one of the Beacon Journal staff laid off recently, is on the job market. Wilson is looking for something that puts his skills as an editor, writer and manager (and media connections) to work in such fields as public relations, Web news sites, media manager. Wilson has outstanding editing ability and has been brushing up on his Web skills, including designing Web sites. He was the newsroom's point guy in getting breaking news to At this point, he is looking beyond print media. "It's just too limiting," Wilson said. "I'd prefer to stay in Northeast Ohio, but I'd definitely move for the right opportunity."

If any of our viewers can help Dave it will be appreciated.

"If anyone knows folks in these or related fields, I'd sure appreciate an introduction," Wilson said. " It's impossible getting past HR departments."

Wilson's e-mail address is

Reader's Digest agrees to takeover

The Reader’s Digest Association, the company responsible for publishing some of the world’s best-read magazines, agreed to a $1.6 billion takeover offer yesterday, the latest whitecap atop a growing wave of private media takeovers.

Reader’s Digest, an 84-year-old company that publishes the pint-size magazine; the largest-selling North American food magazine Taste of Home; and the fast-growing Everyday With Rachael Ray, agreed to be acquired for $1.6 billion by investors led by Ripplewood Holdings. The offer is a 43 percent premium over the company’s August stock price, when shares bottomed at $11.83.

The investor group, which includes Merrill Lynch Capital and the J. Rothschild Group, will also assume $800 million in debt, bringing the total purchase to $2.4 billion.

The acquisition comes while other publicly traded media companies weigh private takeovers.

Ripplewood hopes to cut costs at Reader’s Digest and expand sales by marketing to customers who already subscribe to publications sold by Ripplewood’s other media companies. Those titles include the Time Life series, The Weekly Reader and The World Almanac.

Click the headline to read the full story in the New York Times

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

55 Iraqi journalists killed

BAGHDAD – At dawn, a guard at the fledgling Iraqi television station watched helplessly as a death squad - more than a dozen heavily armed men with silencers on their pistols and many with Iraqi police uniforms on their backs - rolled up in a convoy to Al Shabiya TV.

He immediately phoned the station's anchorman, Firas al-Rikabi, at his nearby home. The guard was beside himself, warning Mr. Rikabi to "try to run away." After 75 minutes, the gunmen left the station, and Rikabi arrived to find 11 of his journalist colleagues dead.

No one heard a single shot.

The professional hit, conducted last month, delivered one of this year's heaviest blows to Iraqi journalists. Amid the swirl of sectarian bloodletting and insurgent attacks, the Iraqi media faces the treacherous task of navigating the political differences between parties, and widespread ignorance about their role.

The label "independent" media in Iraq has become a death sentence, in what has become the world's most dangerous environment for local journalists. Already this year 55 Iraqi journalists have been killed - more than any other year - and four remain hostages.

Click on the headline to
Scott Peterson's article in The Christian Science Monitor

Devotion to the Buckeye Lego cause

OK, it has nothing to do with the Beacon Jourrnal or retirees, but we might mention that Dave Heinbuch–a BJ composing room type–has “Beat Michigan” magnets on his refrigerator and always wore a “Beat Michigan” badge 52 weeks a year. The big game is Saturday and we found an OSU fan who lives in Michigan, but designed this Lego horseshoe.

The creator, Jim Stricker, tells the story of its creation.

Here it is after 2+ years of work. It is a 1:275 (approximate) scale model of Ohio Stadium, built entirely with Legos. The project commenced in July 2002 and was finally completed in October 2004. I have no idea on how many thousands of pieces are in the mode
l (it would be nearly impossible to count without dismantling), but can say that it weighs around 38 pounds, not including the plywood base. The footprint is 36 1/2" x 46 1/2" and stands 10 feet tall. I devoted around 2000 hours of my time, which includes activities needed to research, locate and purchase the pieces, planning, layout, assembly, disassembly, and much trial and error. The stadium was constructed in sections to facilitate moving in the future.

Stricker says he had to rely on pictures and dimensional information from the internet. "Visits to the stadium were infrequent, as I live over 200 miles from the stadium (yes in Michigan). I would be remiss if I didn't mention that there are no blue or yellow pieces anywhere on this model.”

See an album
of other photos of the Lego stadium. You will have to list your name and e-mail address.

St. Paul Pioneer Press to cut 40 jobs

The St. Paul Pioneer Press will eliminate the equivalent of 40 full-time jobs after seeing ad revenue drop in key categories, a trend that accelerated in recent months. The jobs will be cut through a combination of attrition, buyouts and layoffs. The newsroom, the paper's single largest department, will cut the equivalent of 20 full-time positions. The other cuts will be spread across the newspaper.

The changes will come quickly, as buyout applications will be due on Nov. 27 and people who get them could be out the door by Dec. 1.

The paper currently employs 745 people and the reductions represent about 5 percent of that work force.

At meetings with employees, publisher Par Ridder [Tony's son] was asked if this set of cuts would be the only reductions at the Pioneer Press, and what the prospects are for ad revenue rebounding. He said he couldn't predict where the business would go.

The buyout package includes two weeks of pay for each year of employment at the paper and health care coverage for up to six months. Health coverage would be available for another year after that, though at a higher cost to the employee.

The Pioneer Press' former owner, Knight Ridder, sold the paper earlier this year. The paper is currently owned by the Hearst Corp. but is managed by MediaNews Group Inc., which eventually plans to own it outright after its financing deal with Hearst is complete.

Click on the headline to read the full story in the Pioneer Press.

See also Thanks, Dad

Layoff funds distributed to four

On Nov. 1, a $1,000 check was sent to each of four former Akron Beacon Journal newsroom employees. The criteria for receiving a check was 1) those who were among the original employees targeted for layoff and 2) were still unemployed as of Nov. 1. It did not matter if the employees declined an opportunity to return, especially since the company has repeatedly asserted there could be more layoffs in 2007 and these people would be at risk yet

There is roughly $2,500 remaining in the fund, which collected a total of about $6,500, including about $750 from an auction of Beacon Journal memorabilia. The Layoff Fund Committee will contact the four employees again on Dec. 1 and make a decision as to how to distribute the remaining funds.

See the Beacon Journal Retirees web site for a list of auction winners. The winners' list will be removed from the web site next week.

Lillian Petraitis was BJ secretary

Lillian Petraitis, 85, went home to be with the Lord on November 13th, at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

Born in Barberton in 1921, Lillian had been an area resident her entire life. She was a mem
ber of Immaculate Conception Church in Kenmore. Lillian had been employed as a secretary by both The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. for 15 years and by The Akron Beacon Journal for eight years.

Mrs. Petraitis was preceded in death by her parents, Theodore and Anna Suie, son, Byron and brother, Ted Suie. She is survived by her husband, John of Barberton; son and daughter-in-law, John and Michelle Petraitis of Columbus; and daughter and son-in-law, Roberta and Tom Anderson of Brecksville; sister, Mary Driesbaugh of Michigan; grandchildren, Sarah, Rachel, and Amanda Petraitis and Erik, Evan, and Kurt Anderson.

The family will receive friends Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at The Kucko-Anthony-Kertesz Funeral Home, 95 W. Waterloo Rd. Funeral services will begin Thursday at 10 a.m. at the funeral home and will continue with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Interment at Holy Cross Cemetery. Donations in Lillian's memory may be made to The Interval Brotherhood Home, 3445 S. Main St., Akron, OH 44319. (Kucko-Anthony-Kertesz, 330-724-1281,

[The Beacon Journal,, Akron, OH, November 14, 2006 ]

[Note: You may not recognize her from the photo published with her obituary which is evidently one in her younger years. We could not locate a recent photo.]

Friday, November 10, 2006

End of Hagenbush era in 1991

Since this has been the end of an era year at the Beacon Journal, it seems appropriate to recall another end of an era. This article is from the July / August 1991 issue of Sidedar, then the employee publication. A recent photo of Hagenbush was provided by Bill Hunter. Here is the article:

The Beacon Journal has experienced many changes since the 1920's, but from June 15, 1923 to July 1, 1991 there's been one constant- a Hagenbush working at the paper. But o
n July 1,1991, Frank A. Hagenbush retired, marking the first time in 68 years that there hasn't been a Hagenbush employed at the Akron Beacon Journal.

With the cooperation of Bill Hunter. who is married to Jean Hagenbush, we have put together a list of the Hagenbush history with the company.

It all began with Jesse E. Hagenbush, who worked at the company from June 15, 1923 and retired July 1, 1971. At the time he was hired the Beacon Journal was located at the corners of East Market and Broadway Streets. Jesse worked in Circulation and the Mailing Room. He retired as foreman in the Mailing Room.

Then came brother Harry R. Hagenbush, now deceased, who started on October
10, 1924 and retired in 1968. He replaced Jesse in the Mailing Room and transferred to apprentice pressman.

Joining them was another brother Frank 1. Hagenbush, now deceased, who worked from 1935 to 1944 when he enlisted in the Army.

Now there are four as John H. Hagenbush joined his brothers in 1946 and worked until Aug, 1979. He started as a paperhandler and retired as a mechanic in the Mailing Room.

And the next generation began with Frank A. Hagenbush, son of Jesse, who began in October, 1947 and retired this year. He began as a paper handler and retired as assistant foreman of the pressroom.

In addition, Jean E. Hagenbush Hunter, daughter of Jesse, began at the Beacon in 1951 and worked to 1960. She worked in the Circulation Department and Sara Ann Sipe Hagenbush, wife of Frank A. Hagenbush, worked in Circulation Accounting from June 1953 to October, 1956.

In the 68 years of Hagenbush involvement at the Beacon Journal. the pressroom and mailing room production facility was moved three times and expanded once.

In 1923 it was located at East Market and Broadway Streets, then was moved in 1929 to E. Market and Summit Streets. In 1938 it moved to the facility at East Exchange and High Streets and in 1952 was moved to a new facility across Wheeler Alley. In 1988, the Mailing Room expanded into the new addition.

Frank, the last of the Hagenbush dynasty, was honored by nearly fifty of his friends, retirees and co-workers at a retirement party along with his long-time friend and co-worker, Jim Darr, at the Jednota Club on July 8, 1991.

He received a portrait done by Diane Heinbuch, wife of the Pressroom's Bill Heinbuch, and a cash envelope from his co-workers.

After all the tributes were finished, Frank made a very brief farewell speech to his friends which just about sums up the Hagenbush family's philosophy.

Frank said, "You won't hear me saying anything bad about the Beacon Journal. Every meal my family has eaten was paid for by a check from the Beacon Journal."

It's been a long run - you will be missed.

[Hagenbush lives in Tallmadge, OH]

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Unlikely pair bid for LA Times

Eli Broad made his fortune building affordable homes for Southern Californians, while Ron Burkle made his by filling their pantries with groceries.

On Wednesday, they joined in a bid to buy the Los Angeles Times' parent, Tribune Co. If successful, the two billionaires with no newspaper experience might pull off one of their most audacious deals yet.

Broad and Burkle have spent millions cutting separate swaths across the landscape of Southern California arts, culture and philanthropy. Their bid is likely to be countered by another local billionaire, David Geffen, who is expected to make a separate offer for the newspaper.

Like Geffen, who made his fortune in music and movies, Broad and Burkl
e have egos to match their accomplishments. Some who know them question whether they could work well together as partners, prompting speculation they would divvy Tribune's holdings of newspapers, broadcast outlets and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

"The obvious question on everyone's mind is where does the L.A. Times end up in all this? In whose hands and under whose direction?" said Steve Soboroff, president of Playa Vista, a former Los Angeles mayoral candidate and one of 20 community leaders who in September wrote to Tribune Co. protesting its plans for cutbacks at The Times. "There are all kinds of possibilities."

Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, who is an acquaintance of Burkle's and hikes with Broad in the Santa Monica Mountains almost every Sunday, said he was not surprised to hear about the pair's proposal.

Buying Tribune would be "an interesting game," said Riordan, a multimillionaire venture capitalist who restructured Mattel Co. before going into politics.

"The part that would be fun would be selling off the parts of Tribune and being left with the L.A. Times," he said. "But then what would you do?"

Riordan doubts that Broad and Burkle, both of whom have strong personalities, would be interested in running The Times as co-owners.

Two people who know both men in business and civic circles agreed. They described Broad and Burkle as "control freaks" but asked that their names not be used because they didn't want to antagonize the billionaires.

"There is no way they are gonna live together running that newspaper," said one, who described them as "not friends but not enemies" either.

Click on the headline for an L.A. Times story on the Chicago Tribune Co. bidding.

Phila editor steps down

Amanda Bennett, the editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, stepped down yesterday and was succeeded by William K. Marimow, a former Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter for The Inquirer and top news executive with NPR. He takes over as the newspaper faces layoffs, sinking advertising revenue and declining circulation.

Brian P. Tierney, who acquired the paper early in the summer, said in an interview that while Ms. Bennett was “loyal and hard working,” he wanted his own team in place. He said he had been discussing the situation with her for several months and
concluded that “in terms of where I wanted to go, she wasn’t the best fit.”

At the same time, Mr. Marimow, 59, had come to Mr. Tierney’s attention. Mr. Marimow had written him a note in August to say that if Mr. Tierney were ever looking for a new editor, he would like to be considered. The note went astray, both men said, and Mr. Tierney never saw it. But a mutual friend put them in touch, and they began to talk.

Then last month, Mr. Marimow lost his job as NPR’s vice president for news and became the radio network’s ombudsman. At that point, Mr. Tierney said, “I saw an opportunity to step up the pace of our conversations and Amanda was winding down.”

Ms. Bennett, 54, said in an interview, “It came time to go and it was right for everybody.” She said she was sad but relieved, because of the “relentless pressures” on the newspaper industry, but with Mr. Marimow, “the paper is in good hands.”

Click on headline to read full story by Mike Mergen in the New York Times.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

John Olesky's 74th birthday trip

Retired TV editor John Olesky turned 74 recently and Paula treated him to a three-day weekend in Toronto with a stop at Niagara Falls. Photos and John's account of the trip are on the BJ Retirees web site--but you can just click on the headline to go to the layout.

Give your browser time to load the large montage.

L.A. Times Ousts Top Editor

Dean Baquet, the editor of The Los Angeles Times, who defied orders from his corporate bosses to cut jobs, was forced out of his own job yesterday, shocking the newsroom just as it was gearing up to cover election returns.

He is to leave his post Friday and be succeeded by James O’Shea, the managing editor of The Chicago Tribune, who will start Monday.

Mr. Baquet’s departure follows that of the paper’s publisher, Jeffrey M. Johnson, who openly
objected to cuts ordered by the Tribune Company in September and was fired last month.

David Hiller, who succeeded Mr. Johnson as publisher, said in a statement yesterday that he had had discussions with Mr. Baquet about staffing levels. While the company maintained its position that further cuts might be necessary, Mr. Baquet still considered them excessive.

“After considerable discussion during the past several weeks,” Mr. Hiller said, “Dean and I concluded that we have significant differences on the future direction of The Times.”

Colleagues of Mr. Baquet said the firing had less to do with a dispute over job cuts than his vocal resistance to them, made plain in a speech last month in New Orleans, in which he encouraged editors at other newspapers to “push back” against owners who wanted to cut newsroom staffs. In fact, when Mr. Hiller addressed the newsroom yesterday, he said he expected no job cuts, at least for the rest of the year, and he told editors it was still possible that any further cuts could be reached through attrition, according to people at the paper.

[Source: NY Times by Katharine Q. Seelye via SPJ Press Notes]

Happy 64th wedding anniversary

Attending November’s lunch for BJ retirees at Papa Joe's were Art Cullison and wife Helen, who were celebrating their 64th wedding anniversary that day.

Others among the 13 attending were Watson Blanton and wife Rosetta, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in July; Gene Daniels, Ed Hanzel and wife Norma, Carl Nelson, Cal Deshong, Tim Hayes, Sandy Levenson, Bill Canterbury and John Olesky.

How donkey, elephant became symbols

This old cartoon by Thomas Nast in Harper's Weekly on January 6, 1870 seems appropriate today. The cartoon titled "A live jackass kicking a dead lion" was the first time Nast used the donkey as a symbol of the Democratic Party although it was first used in the 1830s by Andrew Jackson. However, it was Nast, a Republican who popularized the donkey as the Democratic symbol and who chose the elephant as the Republican symbol.

A little known fact about Nast: He could not read or write. He started drawing
with old crayons given to him by a neighbor.

For information on two famous Nast cartoons featuring the poltical symbols, see the Commentary section of our web site or click on the headline. The article contains links to Democratic and Republican accounts of how their symbols originated and a link to a nice biography of Nast. For other Nast cartoons, just Google "Thomas Nast.

Beacon Bombers get down

This story of the famed Beacon Bombers, reprinted from the June / July, 1978 issue of Tower Topics, is in fond remembrance of the late Jim Derendal. Click on the headline to see a photo album. You will need to list your name and e-mail address.

Once again, the newsroom's Beacon Bombers softball team showed the difference between ordinary teams and the pits.

In a season marred only by a couple victories, the Bombers once again tested and proved the Third Law of baseball physics - that what goes down usually stays there.

Coach Jim "Why Me?" Derendal left town before the season was over, but that didn't change the Bomber's luck: The other teams kept showing up.

Not that it was all bad. Among the highlights were ... urn ... er ...

Never mind. The guys who showed up had fun fantasizing about being ball players, and the Boulevard Tavern in Cuyahoga Falls, where the Bombers did their thing, made lots of post-game money from a team that was not only from hunger, but. from thirst.

Among team standouts were Paul Tople, who stood out most of each game; B. D. Downing, who had two stolen bases but was ordered to give them back, and George Sillia, who went 4-for-4 in one game. That's errors, not hits.

Also disgracing themselves and journalism for still another season were Larry Pantages, Mickey Porter, Jim Dettling, Charles Buffum, Rick "The Ripper" Reiff, Chuck Ayers, Jim Ricci, Roger Mezger, D. Booth Cooper, Bill Hershey, Tim Hayes and probably others who played with such mediocrity that they are already lost in the mists of baseball history.

Frantic to win, Derendal also imported ringers Bill Chaney, John Richardson and Joe Balazowich. Alas, they quickly became acclimated to the Bomber system.

Cooper, incidentally, won the GoBack Player of the Year

Award for his efforts to make a pitching comeback. Wearing the lucky socks former teammate Satchel Paige gave him when they were both in Uttle League, Cooper dazzled the opposition with his timely buying of pitchers at the tavern after the game.

Unlike locusts, Bombers come back every year, and plans already are underway for next season's schedule. So far, Derendal has lined up the Erie Island Elementary School junior varisty and the Spanish Amerian War Vets - both of which have thumped the Bombers in the past.

The Bombers steadfastly refuse to play the Ladies of the Knight.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Deep cuts to hit Inquirer

The Philadelphia Inquirer newsroom has received a request from Philadelphia Media Holdings CEO Brian Tierney.

"We've been asked to plan for as many as 150 people to be laid off," says Inquirer managing editor Anne Gordon. That figure represents more than a third of the newspaper's editorial staff.

At the end of last week Inquirer columnist Tom Ferrick had issued a memo cautioning the staff not to panic and reminding them the layoff threat had arrived during tough contract negotiations.

The Newspaper Guild, which represents Inquirer and Daily News editorial employees, is refusing to accept several of management's contract proposals, including a plan to convert the current pension system into an employee-funded retirement plan. The two sides are now in their second 30-day extension of the old contract, which is set to expire at the end of this month.

[Source: SPJ Press Notes]

Sun names Tony Ridder to board

Sun Microsystems Names Former Knight Ridder Chairman to Board

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Server and software maker Sun Microsystems Inc. said Monday that Tony Ridder, former chairman of newspaper publisher Knight Ridder Inc., was elected to the company's board of directors.

Ridder, who led the nation's second-largest newspaper publisher until a shareholder rebellion forced its sale to McClatchy Co. earlier this year, will serve on Sun's Leadership Development and Compensation Committee, the company said.

Santa Clara-based Sun also said that Peter Currie, a corporate finance veteran, was elected to the board.

"Tony Ridder and Peter Currie each bring a unique perspective in publishing, internet economics, corporate governance and finance to Sun's corporate board," Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Sun is in the midst of a slow but steady turnaround after its gutting in the dot-com collapse. The company has amassed more than $5 billion in net losses since 2002, but revenues have been climbing and analysts have praised its cost-cutting measures and overall strategy.

Ridder's own cost-cutting efforts at Knight Ridder were not enough to save the company from the wrath of some of its largest shareholders, who confronted the board last year about the company's sliding stock price and eventually forced the sale, which was approved in June.
[Monday November 6, 2006]

Monday, November 06, 2006

Gannett and news 24/7

Have your heard about Gannett"s plans for a 24/7 Information Center?

You can click on the headline to read a FAQ on the information. Here's the first item:

Q. What is an Information Center?
A. The Information Center is a new way of transforming the process of gathering and disseminating news and information. It is the evolution of the newsroom, focused on gathering the information our readers and viewers want using words, images and video and distributing it across multiple platforms: the daily newspaper, online, mobile, non-daily publications and any other media possible to meet our readers’ needs. Creating an Information Center means retooling the newsroom, expanding into multimedia, embracing community interaction, shifting resources and rethinking the way a community is covered. Gannett’s Newspaper Division, which has conducted a series of pilot programs to create and test the Information Center concept, organized the Center around seven key information gathering areas: digital; public service; community conversation; local; custom content; data; and multimedia. (More about each desk below). Information Centers can be tailored to fit the needs of the individual operations in each division.

And what skills are needed for online news staffs? For report by the Online News Association about skills needed, you can find another short article on our web site with a link to a PDF file on the study.
Or click here.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Check out our web site

If you have not checked it out yet, click on the link at the left to go to the BJ Retirees web site which has been provided to us by the Akron-Summit County Public Library.

The web site provides a place for information lists, articles that are too long for this blog and some articles that need to be in a separate section plainly listed as commentary.

The first column of the menu lists the Blog Wall of Honor, Commentary and Addresses of Retirees. The middle is for links to this blog, to the Beacon Journal online ( and to the Akron Guild web site. In the final column are some BJ phone numbers, The Blog Corner and one labeled Contact Us that you can click on to send us e-mail. .

The Blog Corner has news about the blog and a weekly list of the number of visitors and number of posts to date. The Commentary section, which is new, has one old commentary, “Where do we go from here?” and two just added: One is about hometown papers and asks “What is a good newspaper?” The other is an editorial about hating those election ads. If you want to comment on any of them or if you have your own commentary you would like us to consider, just send e-mail to

Finally, below the menu are special items you might want to see:
Comparing milliion census years
Layoff status list
Recollection: Lifetime Job Guarantee (by Leo Osmar)
Analysis: TV election coverage
U.S. drops to 53rd on presss freedom
Quiz on the fabulous 15
Layoff auction nets $735

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ann will take a swing at it

Enough of the posts about our dearly departed--those tired and timid veterans who decided to resign for whatever reason. With a trimmed-down newsroom staff, those remaining will have to spread their talent over a wider area. One of those remaining who has more than one talent is Ann Sheldom Metzger. Even though this photo does not reproduce well on the blog, you can tell Ann is ready to take a swing at it.

The photo of Ann squinting into the sun is one of seven printed in a double truck feature in the June/July 1978 issue of Tower Topics with a story by Ann about “Ladies of the Knight” having a winning season.

But let Ann tell it:


The ladies of the Knight were off to another winning summer with a record of 6-4 at midseason and a good chance for making the playoffs and bringing a trophy home to the Beacon Journal for the second year in a row.

Ably coached by Jim Derendal and John Richardson, the Ladies managed to beat the two undefeated, first-place teams before losing a few games themselves.

Except for Mary Grace Dobrzeniecki's skinned knees (from frequently sliding into second, third and home) there were no injuries. There were, however, a few near drownings at a memorable game played against Centran Bank during one of the worst thunderstorms of the summer.

[Photos for the article were taken during one of the Ladies' more glorious games - a 15-2 win over Red's bar. ]

Friday, November 03, 2006

Business editor who knows score

In case you have not noticed the 6 point type, Larry Pantages is now the Beacon Journal Business Editor.

The first hint came after Larry moved back over to his old haunts about October 16.
Sometime about then the “How to reach us” newsroom listing on page A2 listed Business news Larry Pantages at the top of the list. Then this week, in the same old 6pt. type on the bottom left corner of the Business Section front was a line which said;
Business Editor Larry Pantages, 330-996-3810 and added his e-mail and FAX.

That phone number is the same one Larry had when he was on the sports desk, but when we called to ask Larry the score, his answering machine said something about busines
s desk. On the next call, we got the live Larry who said he has been busy with business now for a couple of weeks.

Larry was deputy business editor under Debbie VanTassel in 1990-91 but then wa
s named sports editor. Then Rich Desrosiers was named sports editor and Larry was sort of co-sports editor–or maybe that was deputy again. He is now, however, the Business Editor who knows the score.

Maybe the m.e. can use some of this for a Sunday column.

Tribune sells $84 million in assets

The Tribune Company, contemplating the sale of itself or its various units, has agreed to sell $84 million worth of assets, according to a regulatory filing Thursday.

Tribune sold its corporate jet as well as real estate last month and agreed to sell a stake in the human resources software company BrassRing, it reported in the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company, which is based in Chicago, has said it is considering the sale of other assets like The Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Cubs baseball team, after initial bids for the entire company came in lower than expected. In Thursday's filing, Tribune said it sold the jet for net proceeds of about $32 million.

Read the Reuters story via The New York Times by clicking on headline.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Moving on, moving up

Beacon Journal Vice President and Editor Debra Adams Simmons will leave the newspaper at the end of the month.

In a meeting with the newsroom staff Wednesday afternoon, publisher Edward R. Moss said the decision to eliminate the position of editor was made after an analysis of the ma
nagement structure and because of the need to reduce staff.

After the meeting, Moss said the company has eliminated a layer of top management involving four vice presidents in the last year.

Overall, the Beacon Journal has eliminated 85 positions in the last three mo
nths but plans no further reductions, Moss said. The Beacon Journal now employs 640, including about 120 in the newsroom.

Managing Editor Mizell Stewart III will continue to oversee day-to-day responsibilities of the newsroom and take on some of Adams Simmons' duties. Stewart may take on the title of editor at a later date, he and Moss said.

Stewart also announced that Bruce Winges, a 24-year veteran of the newspaper, would become deputy managing editor. Winges, 51, will be assisting Stewart in day-to-day operations.

Moss said he and other members of the newspaper's senior management will increase their involvement in the community.[His name was on an add today urging passage of the Akron school levy.]

Click on the headline to read the full story by Betty Lin-Fisher on the Business section front.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Comparing the million census years

Our nation’s population reached 300 million t this year. To help spotlight this occasion, the Census Bureau steps back in time by comparing contemporary life and statistics to those in the time periods in which the nation reached other noteworthy population milestones in 1967 (when the population reached 200 million) and in the year 1915 (when it reached 100 million).

Click on the headline to read the interesting facts.

Repository, other Copley papers for sale

The Canton Repository and three other Copley Ohio newspapers will be sold by The Copley Press as a reaction to contractions in the newspaper business and debt resulting from the taxes on the estate of Helen K. Copley, who died in 2004.

Announcement of the likely sale of the Ohio and Illinois newspapers was made simultaneously Tuesday afternoon [Oct 31] at all Copley newspapers.

The other daily papers in Copley Ohio are The Independent in Massillon and The Times-Reporter in Dover-New Philadelphia, Ohio. The weekly paper is The Suburbanite in Green.

Copley’s four Illinois daily newspapers, in Springfield, Peoria, Lincoln and Galesburg, are also subject to sale, though a Copley spokesman said the Ohio and Illinois papers also could be part of “possible mergers” or other transactions. Copley announced earlier this year that its Torrance, Calif., paper was for sale.

The Copley Press, a privately held company headquartered in San Diego, will retain the San Diego Union-Tribune, the 21st largest newspaper in the United States with daily circulation of 304,334 papers.

“It has to be disappointing to our employees that an outstanding owner like The Copley Press would decide to sell its Midwestern newspaper holdings,” said David J. Greenfield, publisher of The Repository and president of Copley Ohio Newspapers. “They have been exceptional, concerned with both quality journalism and community service. David Copley has been wonderful to work for.

“But the newspaper business is changing with astounding speed, and our revenue base is not what it used to be. Newspapers are in a period where their business model is going to have to transform quickly and that will promote ownership changes in some instances. Another factor in our case was something that often cripples family-owned businesses as they pass through generations, and that is the inheritance tax. The bill was steep indeed,” said Greenfield.

“In any event, we will expect Copley ownership to continue into next year and are hopeful that any new owners will appreciate the value of The Repository’s 191 years of service to its readers and community, as well as the strong position of the other excellent newspapers in our Ohio group. It is a good company, a strong business and it has more than 570 fine employees. So we will see what the future brings,” Greenfield concluded.

“The newspaper business has been very good to my family and me for over a century” said David C. Copley, CEO of The Copley Press. “The flagship remains San Diego and the moves we are announcing secure our ability to keep The San Diego Union-Tribune as an independent locally owned newspaper for many years into the future.”

The Repository is considered Canton's oldest continuous business, dating back to 1815 when John Saxton published the first edition of the Ohio Repository.

Reader comments in Canton were swift and plentiful. Check them out along with these other stories.:

History of the Canton Repository

Canton Repository
news story and comments from readers on sale

Canton Repository editorial

news story

Massillon Independent news story

Beacon Journal report by Paula Schleis