Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What's gonna happen?

Want to know what will become of the Beacon Journal?

Nobody knows for certain so here is my assessment.

There are four possible bidders:

Yucaipa Cos: Neither Ron Burkle nor the Newspaper Guild which enlisted his aid is apt to be interested in purchashing just one newspaper. and it is doubtful the six orphans still to be sold will be purchased as a group. Only three, the BJ, Duluth News Tribune and Grand Forks Herald are Guild papers.

HM Capital Partners, a private equity firm, quite possibly could win the bid which would only continue the angst until it re-sold the newspaper. Retiree health benefits would no doubt be lost.

Black Press Ltd.of Canada has a lot of small dailies and if it is successful in purchasing the BJ just might be the best possible deal for Beacon employees.

Advance Publications could be the worst case scenario if it is the winner. Here is why I believe that: My hometown county with a population around 80,000 once had three small dailies and now has only one. Based on my knowledge of what happened there, my dire prediction if Advance is successful is that there would be no newspaper in Akron.

Independent newspaper anyalist John Morton, quoted in a story by Gloria Irwin on today’s business front, said that with the PD and BJ within 30 miles of each other, “I’m sure they would probably take advantage of any economic efficiencies, particularly administrative staff.”

I could guarantee it. Also, the PD just built a fancy new printing plant and both newspapers could be printed there. And, eventually, it would seem best to have one newspaper cover the entire area. The BJ would close completely will full asssurance of continued coverage–something like a studio B at Summit Mall which one Cleveland TV station promotes. Eventually, though, news from Akron would not be real essential.

I’ve seen it happen.

Click here to read Irwin’s story.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Ex-news exec. James McClatchy dies

Put down that I was a newspaperman...James McClatchy

SACRAMENTO (AP) - James Briggs McClatchy, former chairman of the board of McClatchy Newspapers and the patriarch of a prominent family of journalists, died Friday of complications from an infection following surgery, the company said in a statement. He was 85.

McClatchy was the great-grandson of a founding editor of The Sacramento Bee and the son of the founder and first
editor of The Fresno Bee. They are part of a group of newspapers that has become the nation's second largest with McClatchy Co.'s recent $4.5 billion purchase of Knight Ridder Inc.

"Jim was one of the great leaders of the McClatchy Company," Gary Pruitt, the company's current chairman and chief executive, said in a statement issued by the Sacramento-based company. "His contributions ranged from grand strategy to nuts-and-bolts decisions. Jim literally never stopped working to advance the traditions of independent, public service journalism."

James McClatchy was born in Sacramento on Dec. 17, 1920, the eldest son of Carlos and Phebe McClatchy. He began his newspaper career in 1947 as a general assignment and education reporter for The Sacramento Bee. He later worked in the company's Washington, D.C., bureau.

In 1980, he became chairman of the board. In 1987, his brother, C.K., became chairman, while James was named publisher of McClatchy Newspapers with responsibility for general corporate planning and acquisitions.

When C.K. McClatchy died in 1989, James again became board chairman. He was named publisher again in 1995 and retired last year.

Asked recently how he wanted to be remembered, McClatchy said, "Put down that I was a newspaperman."

McClatchy is survived by his wife, Susan, sons William and Carlos McClatchy, his brother William and numerous nieces and nephews.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Yucaipa reps visits BJ

Representatives of Yucaipa Cos. were in Akron on Friday to look at the Beacon Journal's operations, according to a story inside the business section Saturday.

Yucaipa, controlled by billionaire Ron Burkle, was asked by the Newspaper Guild to create an employee stock ownership plan for any newspaper that Yucaipa buys. The union represents reporters, photographers, copy editors, artists and page designers at the Beacon Journal.

Yucaipa officials toured the Duluth News Tribune in Minnesota on Wednesday.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Retired printer Earl Harman dies

TALLMADGE -- Earl W. Hartman, 65, passed away May 24, 2006.

Mr. Hartman was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and lived in Tallmadge 37 years. He retired as a printer in 1997 from the Akron Beacon Journal with 30 years of service. Mr. Hartman served as presi
dent of the Akron Deaf Club and was an avid Ohio State Buckeye and Cleveland Browns fan.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Anne; sons, John Earl (Vonda), Eric Joseph and fiancee, Shannon; four grandchildren; and best friend, Jim (Evelyn).

Friends will be received from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 27, 2006, followed by funeral services at 3 p.m. at the DONOVAN FUNERAL HOME, 17 SOUTHWEST AVE., TALLMADGE (on the Historic Tallmadge Circle), with Rev. Todd McKenney officiating.

[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Friday, May 26,2006, page B7. col.1]

The Conversation: A Daily Worry

David Carr writes a column for the Monday Business section of the New York Times that focuses on media issues that he has been writing about for more than 25 years.

On Monday, May 22, he wrote about “The Conversation” which has become a regular occurrence at places like the Beacon Journal and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Talking to the editor of a major newspaper, Carr was asked, “How old are you?” Carr replie
d, “Forty-nine” and the edtior told him, “Me, too. Do you think we can outrun this thing."

Carr thinks he might, but he worries about a young friend, Michael Currie Schaffer,age 32, a Fulbright scholar and Iraq war correspondent who now covers City Hall for the Philadelphia

But now the Inquirer has been sold and Schaffer is going on a two-week trip with his wife. Schaffer loves the job, but is not precisely sure what kind of newspaper he will be returning to.

The Inquirer was once a sprawling enterprise with bureaus all over the world. Over time, the leadership at The Inquirer was pushed hard for cuts and greater profits by Anthony Ridder, chief executive of the papers — even though the paper had earned hundreds of millions of dollars.

According to The Columbia Journalism Review, Mr. Ridder responded to a huge prize year in 1987 by saying that he would like the paper "to win a Pulitzer for cost-cutting."

He got his wish.

Now, Carr concludes, “Perhaps Mr. Ridder can use some of his $9.4 million severance to fund a study on the demise of the American daily newspaper."

Click on the headline above to read Carr’s provocative column.

[Thanks to Charlie Buffum for calling our attention to it]

Only six Black Sheep remain

Fate of the Beacon Journal, largest of six newspapers still to be sold by McClatchy, might be known soon. Deadline for final bids is only days away.

Several prospective bidders have toured the building or met off-site with the newspaper’s managers, Gloria Irwin wrote in a story on Friday’s business section front.

Officials from the Plain Dealer and owner Advance Publications met ewith BJ managers May 17-18. David Black of Black Press Ltd. toured the BJ May 1. Black and partner Onex Corp. lost out on a bid to purchase the Philadephia newspapers. Representatives of HM Capital Partners of Dallas, TX, a buyout firm, also have reporedly met with BJ managers. Yucaipa Cos, controlled by California billionaire Ron Burkle, has agreed with the Newspaper Guild to allow employees to buy an ownership stake if its bid is successful.

The other newspapers still to be sold.are the Grand Forks (ND) Herald, the Aberdeen (SD) American News, the Wilkes-Barre (PA) Times Leader and the Fort Wayne (IN) News-Sentinel.

Click on the headline to read Irwin’s story.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

McClatchy announces sale of Philly papers

The McClatchy Company Tuesday announced an agreement to sell Philadelphia Newspapers Inc. (PNI) to Philadelphia Media Holdings LLC (PMH) in a transaction valued at $562 million. The purchase covers the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, and related media assets including

Employees at the two papers were informed this afternoon about a 5 p.m. press conference and a 6 p.m. meeting of all staffers, according to the report in Editor and Publisher. .

Philadelphia Media Holdings was formed by a group of local investors headed by advertising executive Brian Tierney -- who has ties to local business -- for the purpose of acquiring these assets. The two newspapers are currently owned by Knight Ridder, Inc., which McClatchy had agreed to acquire. The parties intend to close the transaction within roughly the same time frame as the close of McClatchy's Knight Ridder acquisition, which is expected this summer.

"McClatchy will receive $515 million in cash proceeds, and PMH will assume $47 million in pension liabilities. We now have agreements to sell six of the 12 papers to be divested, and we are confident the remaining six will sell for prices that will put total receipts above $2 billion, as we projected."

Deadline for bids on the sale of the Beacon Journal is reportedly May 31.

Click on the headline to read the E&P report.

Click here
to go to the New York Times story or do a web search for stories in other newspapers.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Celebrating 50th anniversaries

Wedding anniversary announcements for Beacon Journal retirees have appeared in the last two Sunday editions of the newspaper.

Alfred and Lillian Hunsicker were married May 27, 1956 at St. John St. Paul Lutheran Church in Akron. They celebrated with the family on a one-week cruise to the Caribbean. Al retired in 1998 from the BJ composing room. The couple were blessed with two daughters, one son and two grandchildren.

Henry and Bernice Ruppel of Tallmadge celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 5. They had an open house and a dinner party will be held in their honor for family and friends over Memorial Day weekend. They have four children and eight grandchildren and enjoy traveling.

The BJ Retirees blog and all our viewers wish them many more years of happiness.

Friday, May 19, 2006

A 'must see' Opus cartoon

Charlie Buffum says this is a "must see" cartoon for all old BJ types and the blog guy agrees. Hope he is not getting us into any copyright infringement trouble. Please click on the cartoon to enlarge it for reading. This was found in the Washington Post of May 14, 2006

PD takes look at BJ

The Beacon Journal reported today in a business front story by Mary Ethridge that the owner of the Plain Dealer, Advance Publications Inc., is actively researching purchase of the BJ. Officials from the PD and New York-based Advance, met with “high-ranking” managers of the Beacon Journal on Wednesday and Thursday. BJ publisher Jim Crutchfield would not comment.

Bids for the Beacon Journal and five other newspapers are due by May 31, according to potential bidder David Black, owner of the Canadian newspaper publisher Black Press Ltd.

Black was among five that submitted bids Tuesday for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

Two potential buyers confirmed they made offers: Christopher Harte, a former BJ publisher and Knight Ridder executive who’s teaming with Avista Capital Holdings, and home-building executive Bruce Toll, who’s part of a group of Philadelphia investors. Neither would discuss price.

A spokesman for a third likely bidder, Los Angeles investment firm Yucaipa Cos., couldn’t be reached for comment, although the firm has been outspoken in its interest in the papers. Mort Zuckerman, owner of the New York Daily News, also was contemplatina a bid. A spokeswoman for Zuckerman had no comment.

The two papers should sell for at least $460 million, based on a formula outlined by industry analyst John Morton of Morton Research Inc.

McClatchy Chairman and Chief Executive Gary Pruitt wouldn’t comment Tuesday but has said the company expects to announce a buyer for the papers in two weeks or less.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Am I drug (UHC) dependent or what?

As president of Local 7 of the Newspaper Guild years ago, I used to tell members I would rather improve benefits than salaries because salaries depreciatate while benefits appreciate. Just to say “I told you so” I want you to know how drug-dependent I am on United Healthcare because I am one of the lucky ones who retired at the right time to enjoy benefits of prescriptions at $2 each. I believe the health insurer now gets a subsidy from the government for providing this service so at this moment at least I am better off not to apply for Medicare D. United Healthcare for some reason this month sent a list of what it paid for drugs for my wife and me. The total was $1,083.91 and I paid $34 for 17 prescriptions.. Most expensive drugs were $177 for Celebrex for Helen for arthritis and $172.80 for Actos for me for diabetes. Least expensive were $4.44 for Lasix (water pill) for me and $3.16 for a similar pill for Helen. Cost of Zocor for cholesterol was $139.27 for me and $76.17 for Evista for Helen. Blood pressure medicine for me was costly at $70.28 for Diovan and $63.40 for Novasc. Helen’s Vasotec for blood pressure was $53.25 and that is not the complete list. If all this is too boring for you, take two aspirin (if you can afford it) and e-mail me in the morning.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Janis Froelich: A look at May 4, 1970

Janis Froelich, former Beacon Journal reporter and 1968 graduate of Kent State University, has written an extensive article about the May 4, 1970 shootings at the university in which four students were slain.

The lengthy article (more than 10,000 words and more than 300 graphs) was published in the Tampa Tribune. You can read the entire story by clicking on the headline above.

Janis, who covers growth and development in the downtown area for the Tribune, is act
ive in the Kent State Tampa Bay alumni group. She attended the 25th and 30th anniversary memorial observances on the campus and returned 35 years after the shootings in June, 2005.

Her story indicates she tried to cover all the bases of the story. She mulled over police and university records. She talked to neighbors of Terry Norman, to Al Canfora and Guardsmen and others--including children of those involved at the time. She has a quote from John Dunphy, now at the Orange County Register, who covered the continuing story of the tragedy for a decade. The photo is from KSU files.

It is fitting after 36 years to just recall the names of the four slain students: Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder.

Check out Ted Walls' photos

E-mail from Ted Walls suggests:

Maybe after the folks look over the [BJ retirees] blog site they might want to look at some of the
photos, old and new, that I have posted on a site called Flickr. This site is open to all photographers, and anyone else that shoots photos. It's a neat place, I have made contact with photographers from all over the world. I post new photos about once a week. Here is the address to the site if you would like to look it over:

Blog Guy’s note: There really are some great flower and animal photos by Ted.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tribute to Abe Rosenthal

Here's the New York Times editorial on Abe Rosenthal who died May 10, 2006. A fitting tribute to Rosenthal was written by Times columnist Clyde Haberman. Click on the headline above to read his column titled "The Guy Who Fired Me Was Right."

Abe Rosenthal of the Times

When A. M. Rosenthal's years as executive editor of this newspaper were over, he wrote fondly of his first day on the job here as a 21-year-old cub reporter. He rushed off on an assignment - a hotel homicide - and after he had proudly flashed his press card and asked to see the corpse, he was told by a detective, "Beat it." That rebuff was a perfect ,
starting point for Abe Rosenthal. He died on Wednesday at the age of 84 after a remarkable six-decade career that included numerous newspaper achievements but none more of a personal memorial than his fierce defense of press freedom - his bristling refusal to accept "Beat it" from government.

This toughness culminated momentously in The Times's battle with the Nixon administration to publish the Pentagon Papers, the government's own classified history of the grievous missteps that mired the nation in the Vietnam War. He put it this way: "When something important is going on, silence is a lie." In the newsroom, where he led the paper through 17 years of unparalleled journalistic and economic growth, Abe Rosenthal could be a fearsome presence, punishing editors and reporters
for perceived shortcomings. But he was just as un-apologetic in rebuffing outside critics. In both cases, he envisioned The Times as a precious institution that had to be protected daily - "a world of land, sea and mind in which to roam," he once exulted.

The Rosenthal legacy could not be more timely for the current wartime turmoil of an obsessively secretive government's attempts to impinge on traditional press freedoms in new ways. His advice to all in his beloved news business was to beware of gradualism in trying to appease government in this area: "Fight like hell every inch of the way." Conservative in many of his personal views, he never brought his own politics to the newsroom. His passion for the paper's right to get the Pentagon Papers out to readers was never qualified by his private feelings about the Vietnam War.

"Newspapering is not a philosophy, it is a way of spending a lifetime," Abe Rosenthal concluded when his time running this newspaper ended. He added, "If you don't have a sensation of apprehension when you set out to find a story and a swagger when you to sit down to write it, you are in the wrong business."

We are grateful that Abe Rosenthal was in the right business.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tony to get $9.4 million by sale

When Knight Ridder is sold to McClatchy this summer, its top corporate executives will leave the San Jose newspaper company with nearly $57 million in incentive payments, according to a government filing made Wednesday.

About $27 million will be paid to the top five Knight Ridder executives with the balance going to ``other executive officers.''

The payments were disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by McClatchy, which is buying Knight Ridder for $4.5 billion and assuming $2 billion in Knight Ridder debt.

A Knight Ridder shareholders' meeting is scheduled for June 26 to vote on the acquisition by McClatchy. Assuming the sale is approved, Knight Ridder Chairman and Chief Executive Tony Ridder will receive $9.4 million in incentive pay, about $2 million higher than previously disclosed.

Senior vice presidents Steven Rossi, Hilary Schneider, Art Brisbane and Mary Jean Connors will each get between $4.3 million and $4.5 million.

The other officers receiving incentive pay were not named. There are 14 other executive officers at the vice president level.

The officers also receive three years of medical coverage and life insurance, plus their regular pensions.

The top five officers also get immediate vesting of their stock options. The filing said that at the end of last year, Ridder's options were worth $3.5 million, Rossi's were worth $2.25 million, Schneider's were valued at $13,400, Brisbane's were worth $57,645 and Connors' were worth $2.7 million.

Click on the headline above to read the full story.

11attend retirees lunch

Tom Moore sent me 11 photos of the Beacon Journal Retirees lunch on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at Papa Joe’s Restaurant in the Valley. The five photos above show 11 people, so I guess I got everyone in attendance. Leave a comment if I missed someone.

Visit to Fallingwater

For years I wanted to visit Fallingwater, the house that Frank Lloyd Wright designed in 1936, when Wright was 68 years old, for Pittsburgh department store owner Edgar J. Kaufmann. The sucker was built right over the waterfall. Cantilevered rooms extend over air without supporting beams.

Well, on Saturday, May 6, Paula and I drove to Fallingwater, which is between Mill Run and Ohiopyle southeast of Pittsburgh. The scenery once you get off the Interstate is enjo
yable, and tree-filled. We had lunch in Ohiopyle, where we saw hundreds of folks with kayaks and canoes heading for the whitewater stretch of the Youghiogheny River. We toured the three Fallingwater levels, plus the guest house above it all, and the surrounding grounds.

The drive to Fallingwater takes about 3 hours each way, so we were able to leave Saturday morning and return Saturday evening.

~ John Olesky

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

E-mail from Rosenbaum

Here's an e-mail from Ken Rosenbaum at the Toledo Blade:

Remember me? I worked on state desk with you and Tom Suchan in 1968. Went to the Cleveland Press where I was news editor of the place and ran the copy desk for 10 years. Was there in 1982 when it folded and fled to St. Louis and the Globe Democrat. There only two years. Since 1984 at the Toledo Blade. There was another guy on the BJ desk named Gene, I think. [That would be the late Gene Winski] Any of the old reporters from the desk in those years still around. I remember one guy who was a math major. If you see Russ Musarra and Don Fermoyle, give them my regards. I worked with them in Cleveland.
Ken Rosenbaum

Circulatuion drops big again

Data released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations on Monday.showed circulation overall took another nosedive, with daily down 2.5% and Sunday down 3.1% -- one of the period's biggest drops, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the newspaper sector rallied on Monday despite the weak circulation numbers.

It's the metros with circulations between 100,000 and 500,000 that took the biggest hit. Daily circulation slipped 3.3% and Sunday dropped 4%. "These papers feel most at risk to us as they likely suffer from more intense competition, both from traditional media outlets in their markets and from online, and their niche is harder to define," said Merrill Lynch.

At Knight Ridder, which also reported some of the biggest declines, Merrill Lynch looked at the 12 papers that McClatchy is planning to divest (McClatchy announced it will acquire Knight Ridder and sell 12 of its papers) and found that daily circulation dipped 4.7% and Sunday dropped 4.1% (excluding St. Paul, which gained, daily declined 6% and Sunday declined 5.2%). For the papers that McClatchy is keeping daily circ decreased 4.1% and Sunday dropped 4.7%.

[Source: Editor & Publisher]

Monday, May 08, 2006

Olesky, Paula vacation in Fla

By John Olesky
For the first time in the eight trips I made to Florida since my 1996 retirement from the Beacon Journal, I did not have a reunion with former BJ Composing employees Dave and Gina White, who live in Venice after years of having a Sarasota residence, and Terry Dray and his wife Cecily, who live in Avon Park, near Lake Kissimmee.

Dave and Gina were busy with their daughter and family, and taking them to Ft. Myers Airport. Terry and Cecily were having a reunion of their own, too, with Cecily’s sister and her family from South Carolina. That’s where Terry and Cecily went to deal with hurricanes (yes, plural) that affected Avon Lake last year. I think 3 of 4 hurricanes affected Avon Park.

Paula (who reported for the State Desk in the 1970s when I was assistant SD editor with Harry Liggett and John McDonald) and I stayed at Sea Castle on Siesta Key, off Sarasota, April 15-22. It was my sixth stay at Sea Castle, but the first that wasn’t in February.

Paula and I took the airboat ride on Myakka Lake, where the alligators dominate the opposite shore.

We took another tour boat into Sarasota Bay, where we watched dolphins go fishing (they slap the fish against the sea wall to knock them out, then eat them).

We enjoyed the orchids and banyan trees in Marie Selby Gardens.

I took Paula to my favorite restaurants in Sarasota: The Original Oyster Bar, El Adobe (Mexican restaurant; duh!) and Sugar and Spice (Amish restaurant). We were only there April 15-22, instead of the month-long stays that my late wife Monia and I used to take.

For those who came in late to my annual reports on my trips to Florida since my retirement, Sea Castle is on the beach, and the rental complex adjacent to the parking lot behind Sea Castle once was owned and operated by the late Bill Gorrell, a longtime BJ printer. BJ printers for years would stay at Poor Bill’s, the name Gorrell gave to his place. Now Gorrell’s old place is part of three adjacent complexes owned by, I believe, a conglomerate of doctors.

As usual the weather on Siesta Key was sunshine, blue skies, temperatures in the 80s (but cool enough in the evening to wear a light jacket) and the sunsets were spectacular, orange balls setting into the blue water as sea birds fly off the shoreto their nighttime sleeping quarters on the water.

And the red on our bodies turned to tan by the time we got back to Akron/Canton Airport, where Delta Airlines lost my luggage. Vacation over.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Circulation to show another drop

Newspaper circulation is expected to show another large decline when the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) releases its semi-annual FAS-FAX report on Monday.

Industry sources are expecting overall decreases for daily circulation similar to the last two reporting periods -- somewhere around a percent drop in daily and at least a 2.5 per cent drop on Sunday for the six-month period ending March 2006.

Knight Ridder will likely show drops in daily and Sunday circulation overall.

As in past periods, the larger metro newspapers will most likely bear the brunt of the decline, with daily circulation estimated to slip about 2.5 percent for the period. National papers like The New York Times are expected to do better. Executives with the New York Times Co. said that daily and Sunday circulation at the flagship paper will be "up slightly."

The Boston Globe, however, will take another hit, probably somewhere in the range of 8 percent.

[Source: Society of Professional Journalists Press Notes]

Friday, May 05, 2006

Another May Day, Another War

Please excuse the reproduction of the photos. I have been having problems and did not have time to secure better images. Their juxtaposition, the late Pat Englehart might say, is too imortant to wait.

The photo at left is from May 4, 1970 and the one at right from May 4, 2006. The 1970 photo by John Filo shows Mary Ann Vecchio over the body of Jeffery Miller one of the students shot to death in the Vietnam War protest on the Kent State University campus. Vecchio, now 50, returned to the spot to remind 500 gathered for the memorial service that once again Americans have an ill feeling about the war. The evidence, she said, is next to the crowd where a peace group placed more than 2,000 markers carryng the names of Americans killed in Iraq. The 2006 photo by Beacon Journal photographer Karen Schiely shows May 4 Take Force staff adviser Karen Cunninghman hugging Vecchio.The photo along with one of the crosses was published on page B1 of Friday’s newspaper.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Canadian publisher visits BJ

A story by Gloria Irwin spread across the Business Section front of the Beacon Journal today said a Canadian publisher interested in purchasing the newspaper toured the BJ.

Suitor shows interest in BJ
Canadian news group tours newsroom;
Canton Repository publisher decides not to buy

By Gloria Irwin
Beacon Journal business writer
Copley Ohio Newspapers, publisher of the Canton Repository, has decided against pursuing a purchase of the Akron Beacon Journal.

But a Canadian publisher that also owns a newspaper in Honolulu may be interested in buying the newspaper, which is on the block along with 11 others owned by Knight Ridder Inc.

Representatives from Black Press Ltd., a newspaper chain concentrated in British Columbia, toured the Beacon Journal newsroom Monday.

Among the
group of eight was owner David Black, who declined to answer questions.

Black and representatives of Toronto-based Onex Corp., a private investment firm, visited the Philadelphia
Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News last week.

The Philadelphia papers and the Beacon Journal are among a dozen that McClatchy Co. is selling off as part of its purchase of Knight Ridder Inc., the Beacon Journal's current owner.

Also Monday, David Greenfield, president of the Copley Ohio Newspapers division, said, ``The Copley Press is not actively pursuing a purchase of the Beacon Journal at this time.''

Yucaipa Cos., a private equity firm, presumably will tour the Beacon Journal. The California company, controlled by billionaire Ron Burkle, is allied with the Newspaper Guild, which represents some employees at some of the Knight Ridder newspapers.

A Yucaipa spokesman did not return a phone call seeking comment about scheduled visits.

To read the full story, click on the headline above.

[Blogger Note: We found a favorable profile on Black in the Robson Valley Times in British Columbia titled “Media Ownership in BC: Who is David Black?” Black owns 60 newspapers in British Columbia and more than 100 if you include Alberta, Washington State and Hawaii where he is on the board of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.. Many, of course, are small dailies.

Click here to read the profile. Careful. It is in three pages and you must lick on the page listing at the top of the article to go to each page.]

Monday, May 01, 2006

Note from Elizabeth Wilson

A note from Elizabeth Wilson:

I read Craig the blog items that come up and did the one about the 25th anniversary for the group hired in 1957 and 1958. Craig says Lew Henderson gave him a tricycle for his kids when they were small and the kids enjoyed it for many years. When they outgrew it, Craig passed it on the Nancy Randall for her kids to use. Craig also says Lew Henderson used the phrase “why me?” when told he had serious virulent cancer and his whole body wasted away to the point he was unrecognizable, except for his voice, which never changed.

Craig himself has wondered about his recent cancer surgery, removing the bladder and prostate, which is a smoker’s disease when he never smoked a cigarette in his life. In the prior note he told Charlene he would offer his prostate for sale but we must amend it to say it is unsaleable since it had early traces of cancer as well. Selling it was a joke,

Craig adds, if anyone could have used it he would have given it to him for free.l

Photographers honored

The Beacon Journal “25-Year Club” welcomed inductees from the years 1957 and 1958 at a dinner April 7, 1983 at the Tangier Restaurant.

A group of photographers at the dinner included past members Lew Henderson (first from left) and Bill Hunter. New honorees were Ted Walls who started at the BJ on April 14, Ott Gangl on March 4 and Don Roese on May 21.

Others honored for service from 1957 were Eugene Bailey, Joseph A. Catalano, Eunice Collins, Michael Dimeff, Frank Felber, Donald Hess, Jay O’Dear, Dick Rose, Gerald Rowles, Sidney Sprague, Thomas White and David Wise.

Other honorees from 1958 were Dean Bidinger, Virgil Buerge, Robert Henretty, Gene McClellan, Dallas Nickel, Joseph Schllmm, Donald Wheeler, Lillian Clark, Tommie Cook, Helen Dietz, John Dougherty and David Franklin.

Sadly some of the above are now deceased. The photo and list of honorees is from the May-June 1983 issue of Tower Topics.