Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Yahoo adds McClatchy Co.

Yahoo further strengthened its ties to the newspaper industry by announcing plans to roll out new services and features and adding a 12th newspaper publisher, McClatchy Co., to the consortium founded late last year.

Various elements of the partnership will be implemented in the next few months, said consortium backer Robert W. Decherd, chairman and chief executive officer of Belo Corp.

“The search and content integration activities will begin during the second quarter,” he said. “Content integration is going to be in phases and we hope to complete them in 2008.”

Toledo Guild OK contract with Blade

Members of the Toledo Newspaper Guild voted by a nearly 2-1 ratio yesterday to ratify a new contract with The Blade, agreeing to wage cuts, fewer days off, a longer work day, and a commission-sales plan for advertising sales representatives.

The Guild was the last of the newspaper’s eight unions to vote on a contract. Six other unions ratified new agreements last week, and a seventh approved a new pact last summer.

The ratification ends more than a year of negotiations and a nine-month lockout of 215 of the newspaper’s craft employees. Union leaders said it also brings an end to their call for a newspaper boycott by readers and advertisers.

The contracts approved by the unions last week and yesterday become effective immediately and expire on May 31, 2010. The Guild, representing newsroom, circulation, finance, and advertising workers at Toledo’s only daily newspaper, has about 300 of the paper’s 525 union members.

Lillian Covarrubias, president of the Toledo Newspaper Guild, declined to give a vote tally last night but said that 85 percent of her members cast ballots.

Ms. Covarrubias said she was pleased with the voting turnout. Her union will soon prepare a plan to help increase the newspaper’s advertising business and circulation numbers, she said.

“We’re going to work on mending some of the hurt inside the building,” she said, as workers removed a boycott banner from above the entrance to the Guild’s office on Huron Street downtown.

Joseph Zerbey IV, vice president and general manager of The Blade, said he was happy.

The contract will result in higher-paid workers having immediate wage cuts of about 8 to 8.5 percent, or about $92 a week, a Guild outline states. Employees will also lose two of four paid personal days and must pay 22.5 percent of health care premiums, or about $40 a week, the outline said. The work week also was extended by 30 minutes per day.

The agreements offer staff reductions through employee buyouts, the outline said. Material distributed to Guild members also said that up to 40 employees will be offered buyouts as a means of reducing staffing levels.

Click on headline to read full story in the Blade.

Why McClatchy keeps Knight Ridder bureaus

By Rem Rieder, American Journalism Review
In a recent column decrying the cutbacks in foreign coverage by the U.S. media, I mentioned that much of the burden now falls on the major national newspapers.

But there's also a newspaper chain that hasn't turned its back on the world.

McClatchy has a network of nine bureaus that it inherited when it swallowed up Knight Ridder last year. They are in Baghdad, Beijing, Berlin, Cairo, Jerusalem, Mexico City (now vacant), Moscow, Nairobi and Rio de Janeiro, although the company plans to mothball Berlin and open an outpost in South Asia, perhaps later this year.

Both AJR columnist John Morton and I have blasted McClatchy for cherry-picking Knight Ridder, unloading papers that weren't in high-profit, go-go markets, and for jettisoning Minneapolis' Star Tribune. The new owner of the latter, the private equity group Avista Capital, promptly took an ax to the staff.

But McClatchy deserves props for keeping the foreign staff and blending the strong Knight Ridder Washington operation with its own. Knight Ridder had distinguished itself with its against-the-grain reporting on Iraq, and that tradition has continued under McClatchy. John Walcott, who was Knight Ridder's bureau chief, kept that role with McClatchy, directing the operation with Washington Editor David Westphal. Another Knight Ridder vet, Mark Seibel, oversees the foreign coverage as the bureau's managing editor for international news.

So why is McClatchy maintaining those costly foreign bureaus while some Tribune Co. papers and the New York Times Co.'s Boston Globe are shutting them down, when the ubiquitous mantra in the newspaper business is "local, local, local"?

"Global news is local news nowadays," Howard Weaver, the company's vice president for news, wrote in an e-mail to AJR. "There's never been a time in our history when world events had greater impact on Americans--terrorism, security and war in Iraq, obviously, but also immigration, job outsourcing, international trade, African genocide and the possibility of pandemic flu or other global diseases. Does this seem like the right time to cut back?"

Click on the headline to read the full story by Rem Rieder in the American Journalism Review

Monday, May 28, 2007

Recommended listening for this day

Listen to Beacon Journal reporter Jim Carney on the War in Iraq

Click on headline

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Page 2 of my retirement letter

This is page two of my retirement letter given to me shortly before my retirement on June 1 1992, though the lower corner said 1/90, it was two years later when I received it. Page 1 has my retirement dates and amounts correct.

You need to click on letter to enlarge it.


Rx card information sought

Query from Bob Abbott:

We need some info if possible...
Do any of you remember when you signed up for your
retirement/separation if the prescription card was mentioned (hopefully in writing) at that
point. And if so, do you have printed proof of that?

I personally recall that I had to sign up for separation agreement
ahead of time (only three priority situation holders would be accepted) but
I don't recall anything in writing referring to the prescription card.
But I certainly knew about it or I wouldn't have even contemplated
leaving. It would be helpful if we could prove that those (prescription)
benefits were a main driving force for our retiring/separating from the

So...dig into your memories and papers and see if we can come up with
something along that line.


bob abbott

Updating the Winges appointment

This story updates a staff report we posted Friday from

Beacon Journal names editor
Veteran Winges to lead news operation. Stewart to head Ind. newspaper

By Betty Lin-Fisher
Beacon Journal business writer
Bruce Winges, a 25-year veteran of the Beacon Journal, was named vice president and editor of the newspaper on Friday.

He succeeds Mizell Stewart III, who was the top executive in the newsroom as managing editor.

Stewart, 42, who has been managing editor for 16 months, on Friday was named editor of the Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press. His last day at the Beacon Journal will be next Friday.

Winges, 52, has had a variety of roles at the Beacon Journal since 1982, including editing and management positions on the news and metro desks and as executive news editor, assistant managing editor for technology and night managing editor. He led a building-wide transition team when the Beacon Journal was purchased last year by Black Press. Most recently, he was deputy managing editor.

``I've been here for 25 years and there have been a lot of good journalists here,'' Winges said. ``It's a very humbling experience to have worked here and now to have the opportunity to lead this newsroom.''

Publisher Edward Moss said he couldn't be more pleased to name Winges as editor.

The Beacon Journal is changing into a multimedia company as the industry grows online, Moss said.

``I'm confident Bruce is the right guy at the right time,'' Moss said.

Moss and Winges said the editor's primary role will be in day-to-day operations of the newsroom and not as much of the public role that previous editors have had. Moss also said there was always a plan to name an editor at the Beacon Journal. Former Vice President and Editor Debra Adams Simmons left the paper in November as part of a cost-cutting move.

``With Mizell's decision to leave the company, this to me was the perfect opportunity to move forward (with an editor),'' Moss said.

Winges said he will look both internally and externally for a managing editor to help him run the newsroom.

An avid photographer, Winges is on the steering committee of the Cuyahoga Valley Photographic Society.

Winges said he's excited about an upcoming redesign of the Web site, which is expected in July. Also, there will be a redesign of the newspaper and a continued focus on local news.

``We have the largest news-gathering operation in Akron. We care about Akron and we want to report on Akron,'' he said.

Winges said he was looking forward to continuing to work with the newsroom staff.

``This newsroom has the journalistic wherewithal to accomplish whatever it sets its mind to. That makes the Beacon Journal a good place to produce good journalism,'' he said.

Winges is a native of Louisville, Ky., and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. He previously worked in Huntington, W.Va.

Winges and his wife, Bonnie Bolden, a former longtime Beacon Journal editor, live in Cuyahoga Falls.

Stewart, a Cleveland native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, worked in Dayton, Akron and Tallahassee, Fla., before returning to the Beacon Journal in January 2006.

Moss thanked Stewart for his work.

[The Beacon Journal,, Akron, OH, Saturday, May 26, 2007, business front, page D1, col. 1]

Click on the headline to see the Evansville-Courier story. Here is the lead:

Mizell Stewart III, top news executive at the Akron Beacon Journal in Akron, Ohio, and a former consultant for Knight Ridder newspapers, has been appointed editor of The Courier & Press, effective June 18.

Stewart, 42, will succeed J. Bruce Baumann, who retired as editor on March 30.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Winges named editor of Beacon Journal

Beacon Journal staff report
Managing Editor Mizell Stewart III announced today that he will leave the Akron Beacon Journal, effective June 1.

Stewart, 42, is being succeeded as the top executive in the newsroom by Bruce Winges, who was named today as vice president and editor of the newspaper by Publisher Edward Moss.

Stewart, who has been managing editor 16 months, has been named editor of the Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press, a Scripps-Howard newspaper company. The announcement of Stewart's new position was made simultaneously in Akron and Evansville.

Stewart, a Twinsburg native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, worked in Tallahassee, Fla., before coming to Akron in January 2006.

Moss thanked Stewart for his work.

``We've done a lot of great work... Mizell has led that,'' Moss told the staff during a morning meeting. Moss has been publisher in Akron since August, when the Beacon Journal was sold by the McClatchy Newspapers group to David Black, a Canadian newspaper company owner. McClatchy earlier acquired the Beacon Journal as part of its takeover of Knight Ridder newspapers.

Winges, 52, has worked at the Beacon Journal in a variety of newsroom and business-side positions since 1982. He was most recently deputy managing editor.

``I am humbled to be named leader of the newsroom and am looking forward to working with journalists who have the wherewithal to do the good journalism they are capable of doing,'' said Winges.

Moss said he couldn't be more pleased to name Winges as editor.

The Beacon Journal is changing into a multimedia company, as the industry grows online, Moss said.

``I'm confident Bruce is the right guy at the right time,'' said Moss.

Winges is a native of Louisville, Ky., and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. He previously worked in Huntington, W. Va.

Knight News Challenge makes $11 million in grants

MIT, MTV, top young computer programmers and bloggers are among the 25 first-year winners of the Knight News Challenge, announced at the Editor & Publisher/ Mediaweek Interactive Media Conference and Trade Show in Miami.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation funded the contest with $25 million over five years to help lead journalism into its digital future.

The first-year winners all proposed innovative ideas for using digital news and information to build and bind community in specific geographic areas.

* The Media Lab and Comparative Media Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology receive $5 million to create a Center for Future Civic Media to develop, test and study new forms of high-tech community news.
* Journalist/web developer Adrian Holovaty, creator of, receives $1.1 million to create a series of city-specific web sites devoted to public records and hyperlocal information.
* VillageSoup in Maine receives $885,000 to build free software to allow others to replicate the citizen journalism and community participation site VillageSoup.
* MTV receives $700,000 to establish a Knight Mobile Youth Journalist (Knight “MyJos”) in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to report weekly – on cell phones, and other media – on key issues including the environment, 2008 presidential election and sexual health.
* Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism receives $639,000 for nine full journalism scholarships for students with undergraduate degrees in computer science.
* The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University receives $552,000 to create an incubator where students will learn how to create and launch digital media products.

18 more winners receive prizes between $25,000 and $340,000. Nine bloggers will receive grants of $15,000 each to blog about topics ranging from GPS tracking devices to out-of-the-box community publishing solutions. All winners will maintain blogs about their projects.

Says Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation’s President and CEO: “We want to spur discovery of how digital platforms can be used to disseminate news and information on a timely basis within a defined geographic space, and thereby build and bind community. That’s what newspapers and local television stations used to do in the 20th century, and it’s something that our communities still need today. The contest was open—and will stay open next year—to anyone anywhere in the world because ‘community’ is something we all can define.”

Click on the headline for background on the winning entries.

57 members of LA Times staff leaving

Los Angeles Times editor Jim O’Shea, in an email to the staff, repored that 57 editorial staffers will be leaving–some voluntarily and some involuntarily–over the next few weeks.

“Everyone who will be leaving has been notified. All will receive a generous separation package that includes salary continuation and outplacement assistance,” O’Shea wrote..

“In the editorial department, 57 members of the staff will be leaving the paper, not including a few editorial assistants whose positions are being converted to part time jobs in reorganization. We will replace a significant number of people, though, to offset the decline. We are also examining our polling operation to determine if reorganization could increase revenues while achieving further savings. We expect to complete this examination in the next couple of months.

“Some highly talented people are leaving the staff and I hate to see them go. No one enjoys going through something like this, least of all me. This is a time of wrenching change at our paper and in our industry. I wish those leaving all the best. I pledge to do anything I can to help them with their futures.”

Click on the headline to read O’Shea’s memo posted on LA Observed, an online journal of Los Angeles Media

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Toledo Blade reaches settlement

The Toledo Blade, which had locked out five of its eight labor unions since last August, reached a tentative agreement with all five, as well as two other unions that were not locked out, a union spokesman reported.

Larry Vellequette, spokesman for the Toledo Council of Newspaper Unions, told E&P the deal was reached at about 1 a.m. Wednesday, ending the lockout that had kept more than 200 workers off the job. "It is a concessionary contract," said Vellequette, who declined to release specifics. "It gets us back to work and it gives the Blade a chance to make money. There are economic concessions."

Also included in the settlement is the local Newspaper Guild, which had been working without a contract since last year, but remained on the job. One union, representing electricians, had reached a contract settlement last summer.

In a Web story, the paper stated, "If the proposed contracts are approved, it would end more than a year of negotiations, would end the lockout of 215 craft union members, and would result in the dismissal of all legal disputes." The unions had organized a boycott of the paper, as well as filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board claiming the lockout was illegal. Vellequette said such complaints would be settled with the new agreements.

Although he welcomed the settlement, Vellequette said "I think the Blade is a damaged company. I think this will help restore them a little bit." But, he added, "there is pain for everybody," in the new deal.

[Source: Joe Strupp in Editor&Publisher]

Top N.H. editor to work again as beat reporter

Journalism is at a crossroads, so Mike Pride is backing up.

The distinguished editor of the Concord Monitor is ditching meetings and budgets to become a beat reporter with one last presidential primary in his sights.

“I love it. It’s a big change and quite energizing,” Pride said yesterday after posting his decision on his New Hampshire paper’s Web site.

“A certain part of me looks in the mirror and doesn’t see a reporter - yet,” he added

Pride, co-chairman of the Pulitzer Board who turns 61 this summer, said he craves one more crack at reporting before it’s time to retire his pen and notebook.

He also laments newsroom positions “going dark” as newspapers, big and small, fa
ce a struggle for survival against Internet rivals.

He’s not alone. U.S. daily newspapers have lost 3,800 newsroom professionals this decade, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Pride said what matters most is content and nobody does it better than reporters - that’s why he’s becoming one.

“I feel, strongly, content is the whole game,” he said. “I’m going to be providing content. It’s why Igot into the business, to write and report.”

For newspapers to evolve, Pride said publishers must unearth the “Holy Grail” of journalism - making a buck off the Internet. As for other editors, Pride urges they all try to write and report before it’s too late.

“Editors have pretty tough jobs,” he added, “but I very strongly believe in an editor having a voice in the paper.”

[Source: Joe Dwinell in the Boston Herald. Click on the headline to go there.]

Blog note: Thanks to Ken Krause for forwarding the story.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Nieman Fellowships announced

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Thirty U.S. and international journalists have been named to the 70th class of Nieman Fellows at Harvard University.

Established in 1938, the Nieman program is the oldest midcareer fellowship for journalists in the world. The fellowships are awarded to working journalists of accomplishment and promise for an academic year of study at the university. More than 1,200 journalists from 88 countries have studied at Harvard as Nieman Fellows.

Click on the headline or go to our website to see the list

McClatchy a loser all-around

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of newspaper publishers were mixed Tuesday after two of the largest chains in the country, Gannett Co. and McClatchy Co., said revenue dropped in April.

McClatchy said its revenue declined 5.5 percent compared with April 2006, with ad revenue falling 7.6 percent. Gannett, which publishes USA Today, said Monday its revenue shrank by 2 percent. Ad revenue fell 3.1 percent as more classified ads ran on the Internet, with fewer being printed.

McClatchy shares lost 39 cents to close at $28.49.

Gannett shares slid 81 cents to $58.50.

Goldman Sachs analyst Peter Appert cut his profit estimates for both companies for the rest of this year, and for 2008 and 2009. He said McAllen, Va.-based Gannett is well-run company, but it cannot overcome the problems of the newspaper business.

"We believe even the most diligent cost management efforts cannot fully offset the impact of the severe revenue pressures currently being seen in the newspaper industry," he said.

Here's how other newspaper stocks performed Tuesday:

New York Times Co. rose 43 cents to $25.03.

Belo Corp. rose 9 cents to $20.35.

Dow Jones & Co. rose 36 cents to $51.46.

EW Scripps Co. fell 30 cents to $45.06.

Retired PD staffer John Koshar

John Leo Koshar was an award-winning reporter for The Cleveland Plain Dealer, served on Munroe Falls City Council for 12 years and was one of the Founders of the Munroe Falls Historical Society. He passed away at his home on Sunday, May 20, 2007 after a long illness. Born on Dec. 9, 1923 in Danbury Township (South Lakeside), Ohio to the late John and Mary Koshar, he attended St. Joseph's grad school in Marblehead, Lakeside Public Elementary School and Danbury Township High School.

He was the editor of the High School Newspaper and the Annual Year Book. He also was very acti
ve in dramatics and was named to the Northwestern Ohio Regional Play Cast of the National Thespian Society at Heidelberg College at Tiffin in 1940. He was president of his senior class. He entered the U.S. Army in 1943 and served briefly in the Army Specialized Training Program at Arkansas State Teachers College in Jonesboro, Arkansas, then went overseas to England in 1944. As a Sergeant in the Transportation Corps, he was stationed at the base transportation office in London during the Nazi assault on the British Capital with V-l and V-2 rockets and missiles.

After his discharge from the Army in 1946, he attended Kent State University from 1947 to 1951. He was the Editor of the Daily Kent Stater, the campus newspaper, for one quarter, attacking corrupt campus politics. His campaign led to the resignation of four campus student council members. He graduated in 1951 from KSU with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

After several months at the Fremont News-Messenger, he joined the Massillon Evening-Independent as a general reporter, later becoming chief City Hall reporter. He also was President of the Massillon Newspaper Guild and First Vice-President of the Massillon Industrial Union Council CIO. He joined The Plain Dealer's Akron news bureau in 1957, later transferring to the business desk in Cleveland. He retired in 1986 after serving two years as Real Estate Editor. Prior to his stay in Cleveland, he helped publicize numerous questionable activities of U.S. District Judge Mel G. Underwood of Columbus which led to the Judge's resignation from office in November 1965.

John Leo was named National Small Business Media Advocate for the year 1982 by the US Small Business Administration for his "outstanding reporting on small business issues and problems and on the importance of small business in the nation's economy."

John Leo was named President Emeritus and Honorary Life Member of the Historical Society on December 8, 2000 for his services to the organization. He served the Society as President for six terms and wrote the Society's Constitution and By-Laws.

He was an avid reader, owning a collection of over 1100 biographies, histories and the classics.

John Leo was a Fourth Degree member of the MSGR Joseph O'Keefe Assembly of The Knights of Columbus of Akron and a Third Degree member of Council 10936 of the Knights of Columbus of Stow/Hudson.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Patricia (Blythe), brother, Clarence, and sister, Helen. He is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Cheryl; daughters, Michelle (John) Hujar, Mary (Jim) Jones, Pamela Mihiylov all of Akron, Ohio; sons, William, of Wooster, John of Seattle, Wash., and James of Leesburg, Va.; seven grandchildren, Nigel, Montgomery and Jocelyn Hujar, Erica (Greg) Dann and Meredith Jones, Timothy and Patrick Koshar, five great-grandchildren; sister, Rosemary of Lakeside, Ohio; and niece, Mary Elizabeth (Jerry) Kubat of Sandusky.

Mass of Christian Burial 10 a.m. Friday at St. Anthony's Church, 83 Mosser Pl., Akron. Burial will follow at Glendale Cemetery. Friends will be received from 4 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday at HENNESSY Funeral Home, (corner of York and Main) 552 N. Main St., Akron, K of C council 10936 will meet at 7 p.m. for prayers. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Anthony's Church. (HENNESSY, Family Owned, 330-376-3032.)
[The Beacon Journal,, Akron, OH, Wednesday, May 23, 2007, p. B6, col. 3]

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Fitzpatrick featured in SummaCare newsletter

The following appeared in a recent SummaCare newsletter:

Albert (Al) Fitzpatrick’s values and work ethic has not changed much in his 78 years. Born in Elyria on December 30, 1928, Fitzpatrick was the seventh of twelve children and a sports enthusiast from early on.

“I still love football, basketball and golf when Tiger Woods plays,” said Fitzpatrick. “Unfortunately though, I found that I was too small to compete on any of my high school sports teams.”

Fitzpatrick quickly turned that negative into a positive when he started his journalism career as a part-time sports reporter for his hometown paper, the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram. Fitzpatrick would submit player statistics and articles about each game.

After high school, Fitzpatrick spent six years in the Air Force before enrolling at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He later transferred to Kent State University where he earned degrees in journalism and sociology in 1956.

That same year, Fitzpatrick made his mark in the history books when he became the first African American to join the staff at the Akron Beacon Journal. “Not only was I the first African-American reporter, but I was the first one in the building,” said Fitzpatrick.

“It took a good deal of perseverance,” said Fitzpatrick of the experience. “When you’re in an environment where most people would like to see you fail–it’s difficult. The thing that helped me most was my confidence and the focus I had in my responsibilities and my goals.

Since he had personally added diversity to the Beacon Journal’s newsroom, Fitzpatrick became passionate about the importance of diversity in the field of journalism and became Director of Minority Affairs for Knight Ridder in 1985. Fitzpatrick became the first African-American officer of Knight Ridder when he was promoted to Assistant Vice President in 1987. Before his retirement from the company in 1994, Fitzpatrick had launched 15 diversity programs for various Knight Ridder owned newspapers across the country.

“Retirement didn’t slow me down a bit,” said Fitzpatrick. Now an adjunct professor of Managing Diversity and Newswriting Courses at Kent State University, Fitzpatrick also owns his own diversity consulting company and is very active as a member of Wesley Temple AME Zion Church in Akron.

“My top three tips for living well after 65 would be exercising regularly, eating right and staying busy,” said Fitzpatrick. “Doing those things has helped me stay mentally and physically fit so that I can maintain my busy schedule and continue to work in areas that I remain passionate about,” said Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick became a member of SummaCare Secure Silver Plus plan in 2003. “The treatment has been excellent year after year,” said Fitzpatrick. “It’s wonderful to have such excellent care and also be a great value,” said Fitzpatrick,

[Blog note: Thanks to Tom Moore for calling our attention to the publication.]

Monday, May 21, 2007

Clothes fit for a car

A reprint from the February 1973 issue of Tower Topics:

Meet Bill Kezziah, mild-mannered city desk reporter.

Bill, a practical man of sorts, likes cigars, kids, dirty books and Porsches. He's fiercely protective of his possessions, being the hardnosed realist that he is, so when Winter approached Bill thought it appropriate to rig some type of shelter for his Porsche, housed on the uppermost deck of the BJ p
arking deck.

The result of his efforts, as you can see, is an ugly, fitted coverup made from an old mattress pad Blll scrounged from the City Jail storeroom. "It's functional," he claims. "Cars are Just like human beings; they, too, need a lot of care and affection." Or something like that.

54 Trib staffers raise hand for buyout

By a May 14 deadline, 54 Chicago Tribune newsroom employees had offered to take early retirement in response to a job cut plan at the paper, sources say. Volunteers include such recognizable bylines as City Hall reporter Gary Washburn and columnist Charles M. Madigan. Last month, Tribune managers said they would cut 100 jobs, or a little more than 3% of the Chicago publishing group's 2,900 workers, in response to faltering revenue. Employees expect to hear the outcome of their applications by month's end. [Gregory Meyer]

[Source: Crain's Chicago Business]

Friday, May 18, 2007

SF Chronicle to cut fourth of news staff

The San Francisco Chronicle management informed the Newspaper Guild Thursday that it intends to cut 80 union and 20 management positions in the editorial department, the guild said in a statement. The cuts represent roughly 25 percent of the newsroom staff of about 400.

Michael Cabanatuan, president of the Northern California Media Workers Guild, said management described the cuts as necessary because the paper is losing substantial funds. The union has proposed a plan to achieve the target number of job reductions through voluntary buyouts and retirement incentives, which management is considering, Cabanatuan said.

Chronicle Publisher Frank Vega said, "Representatives from the Chronicle did meet (Thursday) with Guild representatives to initiate discussions on early retirement and buyout programs involving a significant number of people. We are not prepared to discuss specifics because it was just a preliminary conversation."

Coping with today's trying times

Newspaper bosses in Akron and Cleveland are talking this week about how to get along in hard times.

In an interview for Weekend Diary, the Plain Dealer's podcast about local business, new editor Susan Goldberg talks about managing through hard times -- the San Jose Mercury News, where she's been for eight years, has gone through buyouts, layoffs, and the decline of the tech industry -- as well as managing for change and encouraging creativity.

She likes Clark Hoyt but hates whiny people who live in the past. That may include most viewers of this blog.

A couple of points from the interview:

On her management style: "I don't have any problem with dissenting views. But what I always have the most trouble with is -- I could summarize it by saying, 'whiny people who live in the past.' They dri
ve me crazy. Because, there's nothing we can do about the massive changes in our industry. ... Just whining and moaning about the way it used to be will not solve anything. ... I find as time goes on and our problems become more and more apparent, and our need to change becomes more and more apparent, my patience for 'whiny people who live in the past' becomes shorter."

On coping with layoffs and cost-cutting: "As painful as any kind of cutting can be, the upside is that it does force you to focus on your priorities. ... You really need to think long and hard about what makes you special in your marketplace. In San Jose, one of the things that made us special was our technology coverage. So, if that's at the top of the heap, than maybe something else falls off the bottom so you can keep doing technology coverage incredibly well. So in Cleveland, perhaps that would be coverage of the growth industry here -- the medical industry."

On Clark Hoyt, former Knight-Ridder Washington editor, now public editor of the New York Times: "What I most admire about Clark is his, just, innate sense of right and wrong, and not getting pushed around by the administration and bullied into telling the story that they wanted to tell, but telling the true story. Knight-Ridder was really the only organization in the country that questioned the whole run-up to the war in Iraq with WMD."

Check out the interview on which will lead you to the podcast. You can listen to the audio of the interview online or download to listen at your leisure.

Our very own Beacon Journal publisher Ed Moss talks about adapting to change while telling
the Akron Roundtable that the future for the newspaper is highly focused on local news and advertising in print and electronic versions.

“There is no doubt that we are going through a transition period that has seen newspaper readership decline, newspaper revenues and profits fall,'' Moss said. ``In fact, just last week we all read about significant reductions of people at newspaper companies in Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver,
Baltimore, Dallas. I could go on and on. There is no simple answer to these trends that have led newspaper companies across America to take a hard look at themselves and reinvent the way they do business.''

The Beacon Journal has gone through its own downsizing in the past 10 months, Moss s
aid. The paper has cut 134 jobs across all departments, going from 734 to 600 people. He called the job cuts difficult but necessary.

Despite the reductions, Moss said he believes ”we are a better company. We are a more nimble company. And we are putting out a better product.... And we are positioned to be successful for years and years and years to come.''

He also noted that will allow readers to submit news items. Community groups will be allowed to control their own pages using tools, he said.

Blogger note: The real verb in the last sentence probably means encourage instead of allow.

Click on the headline to read more of the Goldberg interview

and click here to read to read all of business reporter Jim Mackinnon’s story on the Roundable speech.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

John Bok painting unveiled at court

Here is a painting of Martin Luther King Jr. unveiled May 3 during the Summit County Juvenile Court Law Week open house. The image was created by Walsh Jesuit senior John Bok, son of BJ cartoonist Chip Bok, as part of the court’s observance of Black History Month.

With John at the unveiling are his parents, Chip and Deb Bok, and Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio

The painting, which includes lines from King's “I Have a Dream'' speech, will be on permanent display at the c
ourt, 650 Dan St.

Click on the photos to enlarge for a better view.

Rulings awaited on 10 First Amendment cases

Ten free-expression cases and one religion case have yet to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. In these cases for which review has been granted, the subject matter includes student expression, campaign ads, voting rights, union free-speech rights, child pornography, and the First Amendment rights of a private school football coach. On the religion side of the First Amendment, there is an establishment-clause standing case. Another case raises a First Amendment-related issue concerning the scope of the speech-and-debate clause. Here is an overview of those cases, most of which should be decided this term; four others will be argued next term.

To read a review of the cases on the First Amendment Center website, click on headline

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pruitt says future is bright

The chief executive of The McClatchy Co. told shareholders Wednesday that the future looks bright for the newspaper chain in spite of current problems.

Chairman and CEO Gary Pruitt, in an address to the Sacramento publisher's annual shareholder meeting, acknowledged McClatchy's recent decline in advertising revenue but said the company is "well positioned to emerge among the strongest and most successful news companies in the changing media landscape."

McClatchy, is the nation's third largest newspaper chain. Like other publishers, it has struggled in the past year or so as advertising and circulation have migrated to the Internet and other media, depressing profits and share price.

He defended McClatchy's takeover of Knight Ridder Inc. and subsequent sale of 13 papers, including the company's largest paper, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. Although those deals were "complex and sometimes unpopular," they made McClatchy stronger, he said.

If not for those deals, the company's operating cash flow -- a measure of profitability -- would have slipped 16.3 percent in the first eight months following last June's Knight Ridder acquisition. Instead, operating cash flow fell just 0.3 percent, he said.

Pruitt said McClatchy is shaving costs and making strategic alliances on the Internet, including two deals with Yahoo Inc. that will drive more traffic to the Web sites of McClatchy's papers.

Including Web traffic, McClatchy's audience is growing, he said. "That is certainly not the profile of a dying business," he said.

McClatchy stock was up 5 cents a share, to $30.06, in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
to tea

[Source: Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee]

Newspaper work, in whatever form, is vital

Reflecting on his 38 years in the business, Plain Dealer Editor Doug Clifton leaves us with some great parting remarks in a column Sunday.

When he started most communities had two newspapers and now they are lucky to have one. Clifton reflects on the changes and concludes as the headline on the column states:

The work of newspapers, in whatever form, is vital

:To some - perhaps even to many - newspapers' demise would be no loss. To them, the press is an intrusive, sensational, often malevolent, purveyor of negativism," Clifobn writes.

He continues:

pers are a dying medium, some say, and their death is being hastened by the Internet. The once-healthy profits are fading fast.

I hear this at least once a day: "I don't need the newspaper; I get my news from the Internet."

Of course, that's not true. People who prefer the Internet do get their news from the newspaper. The Internet doesn't produce the content, it merely distributes it.

We prove Clifton’s point here. He does the thinking. He does the writing. We just steal it to put on our website for you to read.

All you have to do is click on the headline. But remember where you go it.

Burkle company buys 78 specialty magazines.

Supermarket magnate Ron Burkle lost his bid last year to buy into Knight Ridder Inc., the nation's second-biggest newspaper chain.

This year, Burkle and fellow local billionaire Eli Broad were turned back in their offer for Tribune Co., owner of the Los Angeles Times.

On Monday, Burkle scored on his third try to become a publishing czar when a company he controls agreed to pay $1.2 billion for 76 specialty magazines, related websites and other holdings. The acquisition includes such venerable titles as Motor Trend, Hot Rod and Surfer, all of which were founded in Southern California, as well as some more obscure macho hobbyist magazines including ATV Rider, Four Wheeler and Super Streetbike.

The deal left some analysts questioning whether Burkle's company overpaid. "We find it difficult to see where many opportunities exist" for the magazines and websites, said Donald Trott, a Jeffries & Co. analyst.

Click on the headline to read the full story by James Rainey in the Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Here's the fabled Tom Ryan photo

When the late Tom Ryan’s wife died May 6, memories of Tom started coming back.

Recovering from our sloth, we finally searched through the old Tower Topics to find the classic photo of Tom Ryan. Somewhere the original photo is tucked away, but this reprod
uction from an old Tower Topics must satisfy,

We also have learned how the lead on Tom’s own obituary was written. The lead, we have learned, was written by Terry Oblander who is now at the Plain Dealer.

When Terry visited Tom during his last days of illness, Tom asked him to write the obit. He said to be certain not to put anything up high about his being among those who landed on Normandy Beach on D-Day. “Just write that I was a newspaperman,” Ryan said.

Tom Ryan died February 9, 1985 at age 64 of cancer after a short illness. The lead on his obituary said simply “Tom Ryan was a newspaperman.” Oblander noted further: “Hundreds and hundreds of Akron area people knew this man. When he covered Barberton for the Beacon Jour
nal, Tom Ryan got more news going to Mass at St. Augustine Catholic Church or on a Ryan shopping trip than most reporters did in a whole week.”

Oblander recalls that he and Ryan used to write obits and had a “cup of coffee” bet
about who would write the best obit. “Tom always won,” Oblander said. He would rummage through the obits to be written and find a nun who had died. “How’re you going to beat a guy writing an obit about a nun?” Oblander asks.

Click on the headline to read that obituary.

Now here’s the Tower Topics story published with the photo in December, 1972

A Smoker Deluxe

Meet Tom Ryan, one of the most remarkable men at the Beacon Journal.

This seasoned state desk reporter has the uncanny ability to transform Pall Mall ashes into a gracefully hanging Grecian arch, much to the amazement of awed onlookers. Stranger still, the phenomenon is no fluke .., it's his personal trademark.

"I DIDN'T start smoking until I was 26," he clarifies, "but ever since then I've had a job where I sit at a typewriter. I'm always too busy to take the cigaret out of my mouth, so I guess that's how the long ash forms. See, I don't inhale."

Tom concludes that concentration is a key factor in the cohesion of his arch.
He has tested the theory as he showers, shaves and even swims with the familiar Pall Mall poking out of the corner of his mouth.

"I THINK I drive my wife crazy," he admits. "You should see the trail of ashes I leave around the house for her to clean up. Of course, I do my share of cleaning, too . . .
about once a month, I completely de-goo my typewriter. "
Tom's wife has made him a promise, one she intends to keep: when he dies, the inscription on his tombstone will read, "The World Was His Ashtray."

"And that's the truth!" he laughs.

[Reprinted from the December, 1972 issue of Tower Topics]

Coverage by India reporters postponed.

A local news website's editor who hired two reporters in India to cover suburban Pasadena, Calif., said he's been so overwhelmed by handling reaction to his plan that he had to postpone publication of their first stories.

James Macpherson said he hasn't found the time he hoped to have to train one of his new staffers to cover Monday night's City Council meeting, which is shown live on the Web.

Last week he hired the reporters and planned to start posting their stories on by now. One based in the Indian financial center of Mumbai will watch the meetings, which often go past midnight, and use the time difference (early morning in California is early afternoon in India) to write summaries so readers in the city near Los Angeles can log on Tuesday mornings and find out what happened.

Source: AP via Editor & Publisher

Thomson to buy Reuters for $17 billion

Canadian publisher Thomson has agreed to buy Reuters for $17.2 billion (£8.7 billion) to create the world's biggest financial news and data firm, the companies said on Tuesday.

The takeover has the support of the Reuters Founders Share Company, which has the power to block a change of ownership, but the deal still needs regulatory clearance and shareholder approval, the companies said in a joint statement.

Thomson said it would do what was required to win anti-trust clearance. Reuters Chief Executive Tom Glocer, who will head the combined Thomson-Reuters company, declined to predict how long the process would take but said disposals may not be needed.

The Thomson family, which owns 70 percent of Thomson Corp via its Woodbridge holding company, backs the takeover and some Reuters investors have said the offer of 352-1/2 pence and 0.16 Thomson shares for each Reuters share is fair.

Unions representing Reuters staff in Britain, Canada and the United States wrote to the Reuters Founders Share Company on Monday expressing "deep concern" about the impact a single controlling shareholder could have on Reuters news values.

Reuters Chief Operating Officer Devin Wenig will become CEO of the new Reuters while Thomson COO Jim Smith will be CEO of Thomson-Reuters Professional. Thomson Chief Financial Officer Bob Daleo will be CFO of Thomson-Reuters.

Click on the headline to read the full story on

Monday, May 14, 2007

Plain Dealer gets first female editor

Susan Goldberg, executive editor and vice president of the San Jose Mercury News, will become the editor of The Plain Dealer effective May 29.

Plain Dealer Publisher Terry Egger made the announcement today.

Goldberg, 47, has led the Mercury News for the past four years, and has been a journalist for more than 25 years at major newspapers nationwide. She will succeed Doug Clifton, who announced his retirement and will leave The Plain Dealer on May 15.

Goldberg becomes the first female editor of The Plain Dealer.

"Susan is one of the great leaders and journalistic talents in our industry and we are thrilled she will be joining us," Egger said. "She is smart, full of energy, realistic and very excited about the rapidly changing world of journalism we live in today. The Plain Dealer and the people in the community we serve deserve the very best. Doug Clifton and our newsroom team set a high standard here and our goal in the search process was to be sure that, in the end, we appointed one of the top editors in America...and we have done just that."

Goldberg is a native of Ann Arbor and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.

During her career, in addition to the Mercury News, she has also served in a variety of managerial, editor and reporter positions at USA Today, The Detroit Free Press and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

[Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer online.
Posted by Metro staff May 14, 2007 14:03PM]

More comment on May 4

Our Commentary Section contains a page titled Remembering May 4, 1970 which includes a Beacon Journal editorial about an announcement by Alan Canfora about a tape on the Kent State shootings which supposedly contain an order to fire. The editorial viewed doubts that the command could be heard. A letter in the Voice of the People and an op-ed piece, both printed in the Beacon Journal on Monday (May 14, 2007), come to Canfora's defense. So we have added another Commentary page titled More comment on May 4 to reprint the letter and the op-ed piece by Thomas Grace, one of the wounded students.

Click on the headline to go to the BJ Retirees website and check the Commentary Section.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

God willing, Ronald H. Kuhne is dead

Ronald H. Kuhne died April 15, 2007 in Fort Wayne, IN, at the age of 66. His obituary appearing almost a month later in the Beacon Journal on Sunday did not mention that he was a former Beacon Journal reporter nor that he was the perpetrator of one of the greatest pranks in the newspaper’s history.

Kuhne was responsible for writing a one paragraph weather summary for page 1. He thought he would have fun with the copy desk so he wrote a graph that ended something like "The sun will rise at xxx a.m. tomorrow, God willing. The "God willing" bit was missed by the city editor, the copy desk and the slotter. it was printed in the newspaper. Kuhne was fired, but hired back the same day.

There were a number of posts recalling it on this blog.

Click on the headline to read about Kuhne and the great prank.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Whatever happened to Jim Kavanagh?

If you were wondering what happened to Jim Kavanagh since he left the BJ last year, go to the CNN site and do a web search for Kavanagh. The bulk of Jim's work is as a wire editor/rewrite man and copy editor, but you can find a couple of dozen bylines with a simple search.

Click on the headline to check our report on Kavanagh.

Or you can write to him at

Borders features Thrity's book.

The Thrity Umrgirar novel, The Space Between Us, is feaured in a New Picks promotion of Borders Book Stores mailed to subscribers this week. The promo shows the book cover here with the teaser "A bond that transcends Bombaby's stringent social justice."

But wait. Thirty has a new book just out March 29 titled: If Today Be Sweet

Here is a quick review by Publisher's Weekly:
In Umrigar's tender fourth novel, Tehmina "Tammy" Sethna is torn between two cultures that couldn't be more different: Bombay and Cleveland. The former is her homeland, but after her husband's recent death, she's been staying with her son and his family in America. Tehmina loves being near grandson Cookie, but she often feels like an intruder in her American daughter-in-law's home, and she's disconcerted by the changes in her son, Sorab, who is stressed from the corporate rat race. Though Tehmina's loneliness floods her with memories of her husband, the Parsi community back in India and her traditional ways, she finds no small amount of purpose (and celebrity) in Cleveland after suspecting her neighbor of child abuse and intervening on the children's behalf. Immigration laws, meanwhile, force her to decide whether she'll remain in Cleveland or return to Bombay. Umrigar (The Space Between Us) shows the unseemly side of American excess and prejudice while gently reminding readers of opportunities sometimes taken for granted.

This blog first mentioned Thrity's The Space Between Us in a post on January 21, 2006 which summarized a couple of book reviews:

Umrigar is a skilled storyteller, and her memorable characters will live on for a long time. ---Washington Post

Part of what makes "The Space Between Us" so engrossing is its ability to make readers feel empathy for its subjects. ---San Francisco Chronicle

Visit Thrity's website:
Don’t miss the great interview of her. She gives the BJ a plug as a still great newspaper. And also see the articles–especially the one titled “Good Night, Fran.:”

Thanks for letting us know about the promo go to Jim Kavanagh, who spent 15 years at the Beacon Journal
(1991-2006) before moving on to CNN in Atlanta.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Musings of a journalist

We occasionally reprint what we feature as a "Memorable Story" either from the past or present. Maybe it does not fit our usual mold for the feature, but we believe "Musings of a journalist" by Dave Bakke of the Springfield (IL) State Journal-Register deserves some special attention. It is reprinted with permission in the Commentary section of the BJ Retirees website.

Please click on the headline to read:

Musings of a journalist

By Dave Bakke
SpringfieldState Journal-Register

Group to honor retired writer for Beacon

Beacon Journal staff report
The Women's Network of Northeast Ohio will honor retired Beacon Journal correspondent Sallie Cook with a 2007 Athena Award on Tuesday at the Wooster Inn.

The award is presented annually by chambers of commerce, women's organizations and universities to individuals who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their profession and who improve the quality of life for others in the community, said Kathi Bond of Women's Network.

Cook, never trained as a journalist, wrote for the newspaper for 25 years, becoming a source of news in Wayne County and mentoring other correspondents.

She has devoted her life to the service of Wayne County and Wooster and played major roles in a number of organizations, including the Wayne County Community Action Commission, Wooster Junior Women's Club, Wooster Booster Club, Northeast Four County Planning Organization, Friends and Neighbors of Every Woman's House, Wooster United Way, the Wayne County Regional Planning Commission and Ohio League of Women Voters.

Late reservations for the dinner-program at the Wooster Inn still might be available by calling 330-683-3375.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Reporting from India on Pasadena

Associated Press editor James Macpherson knows it sounds strange to have journalists in India cover news in Pasadena. But he says it can be done from afar now that Pasadena council meetings can be watched over the Internet. "I think it could be a significant way to increase the quality of journalism on the local level without the expense that is a major problem for local publications. Whether you're at a desk in Pasadena or a desk in Mumbai, you're still just a phone call or e-mail away from the interview."

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

14 attend BJ Retirees lunch

There were 14 at the May 9 BJ Retirees Lunch at PaPa Jo'es in the valley.

Click on the headline to view the photos by Tom Moore.

Blogger Note: Former BJ reporter Dick McBane will be coming north in June for a class anniversary at Hiram College. He will not be in time for the June lunch, but we may schedule a special lunch for friends who would like to meet with him.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Star Trib to cut 145 jobs

Bowing to the pressures of declining circulation and falling revenue, the Star Tribune on Monday announced a plan to cut 145 employees through buyouts or, if enough people don’t volunteer, layoffs.

The cuts represent 7 percent of the company’s 2,100 positions and include 50 positions out of 383 people in the news and editorial departments.

Publisher Par Ridder delivered the news in a companywide meeting in which he laid out the increasingly bleak fortunes for metropolitan daily newspapers. The company’s annual advertising and circulation revenue has fallen by $64 million during the past three years.

Classified advertising was down 23 percent in the first quarter over last year.

If current trends continue, Ridder said, the paper would begin to lose money in a year to 18 months.

“I think it’s probable that we can get the Star Tribune growing again, but clearly we are in a very difficult period,” he said.

Click on the headline to read the story by Matt McKinney in the Star Tribune. You may need to register.

Read Par Ridder memo on the subject

Monday, May 07, 2007

Bob Abbott Rx update

OK group...sorry for the delay but my computer barfed and I think it  died.  I'm at the library to do this.

The account has been opened and we're ready for business. A few of the people I thought would
join didn't...but we'll have to make do with what we have. Should be enough for our initial probes
as to our possibilities of action. If not, I guess I will have to pick up the slack.

The lawyer sent a letter to the BJ last week requesting an explanation of their position. He said it
might be a couple of weeks to get a reply. Actually that's faster than I expected. (if it happens...
I will, of course, keep you posted.)

The letter (I was sent a copy) also stated that possible legal action could/would be taken if they
didn't respond. The next step is to see what their official position is. He has a couple of possible
explanations they might come up with. But he seems confident that (if they indeed do throw the
expected answers at him) we have viable answers to these scenarios.

When I get in direct contact with him again I plan to bring up the fact that a lot of us were knocked
out of our "advantage" Medicare plans. Or even "supplement" plans in one case. Don't know
whether that legally can be tied into this or not.

Sidebar: My wife (who is insured through the BJ yet even got knocked out of her BJ group policy.
The BJ's human resources department said it was a mistake and would be straightened out.
In the meantime it appears she wasn't covered for her cancer treatments. How is that for a
messup!!?? I think (hope) that it will be straightened out or I will have another legal case to take
to them. Will it never end?

Let's hope we get some satisfaction from this. If least we took a couple swings at them on
the way down...

later...and thanks for your support...

bob abbott

Marjorie E. Ryan, widow of Tom, dies

BARBERTON -- Marjorie E. Ryan, 85, passed away May 5, 2007 at Doylestown Health Care Center.

Born in Akron, she had been a Barberton resident most of her life and was a member of St. Augustine Catholic Church where she was active with the choir, Altar Society and Holy Hour program. She also enjoyed collectibles and baby dolls.

Preceded in death by her husband, Tom; son, Bill; and daughter, Donna Gadel; Survivors include her sons, Frank "Buddy", Michael (Dana), Jim (Cheryl) and Shawn all of Barberton; grandchildren, Jeff (Desirea) Gadel, Dawn Gadel, and Michael, Kelley, Eric, Jeremy and Kalley Ryan; two great-grandchildren; brother, Dick Fahrer; and sister, Pat Eisenhut.

Funeral Service will be held Wednesday, 10 a.m. at SILVA-HOSTETLER FUNERAL HOME, 1199 Wooster Rd. W. Private Family Burial at Holy Cross Cemetery. Calling Hours Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m.

[The Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Monday, May 7, 2007, page B5, col. 3]

Marjorie was the wife of veteran Beacon Journal reporter Tom Ryan. She had been hospitalized for years.

Tom Ryan died February 9, 1985 at age 64 of cancer after a short illness. The lead on his obituary said simply “Tom Ryan was a newspaperman.” The obituary writer noted further: “Hundreds and hundreds of Akron area people knew this man. When he covered Barberton for the Beacon Journal, Tom Ryan got more news going to Mass at St. Augustine Catholic Church or on a Ryan shopping trip than most reporters did in a whole week.”

Their son, John William “Bill” Ryan, died in Venice, Florida in May, 2005.

Lowdown on perks for some executives

Mitchell Schnurman provides the “Lowdown on perks for some executives” in a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. And, of course, Gary Pruitt made the list:

$1 million - Bonus to McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt for completing the acquisition of Knight Ridder, whose newspapers included the Star-Telegram. He also got $2 million in salary and a cash award.

If corporate executives get millions every year, can't they pay for their own cars and country clubs? New details about executive pay are available now, because the Securities and Exchange Commission is requiring more disclosure in proxy statements.

Check out some of the practices at local employers: What's an outrage? What's justifiable? You decide.

$209,324 - Country club bill, including a $200,000 initiation fee, for Eric Sieracki, chief financial officer of Countrywide Financial, which has 3,700 Tarrant workers.

$0 - What Countrywide will pay future execs for country-club costs.

$772 - Cost for home-security monitoring for Texas Instruments CEO Richard Templeton.

$31,250 - Incremental cost for Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson's personal use of company sports boxes and retreats. Covers catering, transportation, etc., but not the cost of the venues.

$176,415 - RadioShack's moving expenses and relocation cost for Gary Stone, who lasted 15 months as senior vice president of real estate.

$40,396 - RadioShack's moving expenses and relocation cost for James Gooch, chief financial officer, since August.

$100,000 - Maximum that RadioShack will pay for office space and an administrative assistant for former Chairman Leonard Roberts. Since retiring one year ago, Roberts has also been getting $41,667 a month as a company consultant, and his contract continues to December 2008.

$9,530 - What Hallmark Financial paid Chairman Mark Schwarz for medical coverage and a 401(k) match. Other Hallmark execs received the same two perks -- and no more.

$400,000 - One-time bonus to Idearc CEO Katherine Harless "for extraordinary efforts in connection with the company's spin-off from Verizon." She also got $1 million in salary and a cash award.

$10 million - Pay package for Catherine West, who lasted six months as J.C. Penney's chief operating officer.

Click on the headline to read about others in Schnumran’s report.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Clark Hoyt named NY Times public editor

Clark Hoyt, the 64-year-old veteran newsman who headed Knight Ridder's Washington bureau before leaving after it was bought by McClatchy, was named public editor of the New York Times today. He said he was attracted by the idea of working for the Times, which he dubbed "a powerful institution. ... It's a tremendous honor to be asked to take on a role to help the Times live up to its own extremely high standards," Hoyt said.

Hoyt becomes the third Public Editor at the paper, which created the post in the wake of the 2003 Jayson Blair scandal. Daniel Okrent was the first, serving an 18-month tenure, while B
yron Calame followed with a two-year contract that ends next week. Calame's last column will be this Sunday.

When asked about the obvious friction that can result between the public editor and those who lead the Times, Hoyt said he felt confident through conversations with Executive Editor Bill Keller that he would be able to act independently. "He and I had a very good conversation ab
out this. We are both in agreement that there will be times when I have judgments that differ from his," Hoyt explained. "I think we are both committed to doing this with a highly professional tone."

[Source: Editor & Publisher. Click on the headline to read the full story by Joe Strupp.]

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Toledo Blade planning to lay off 20

The Toledo Blade is planning to lay off some 20 Newspaper Guild employees ral departments, according to Assistant Managing Editor Luann Sharp.

"We notified the Guild on Monday officially that we would, for economic reasons, need to layoff members of the Guild," Sharp told E&P Tuesday. "We are looking for a reduction of 20 full-time equivalents, which could be 25 to 30 positions with part-time workers."

The layoffs, which will likely affect newsroom, advertising, circulation, finance and information technology employees, will occur as some 200 non-Guild union members remain locked out for the past eight months. Those workers, who are members of five of the paper's eight unions, were locked out in late August.

The Guild, which represents about 300 of the paper's 500 employees, has been without a contract for more than a year. Guild members, who are expected to resume negotiations that broke off in November later this month, voted in the fall to increase their medical benefits contribution at the request of management.

Sharp said the layoffs will be the first such forced cuts since 2003 when about 40 jobs were targeted across several unions. She said no specific numbers for each department have been revealed, saying such details will be discussed at a Friday Guild meeting first. "The layoffs are determined by the least-senior person in each job classification," she said. "It will probably be pretty evenly spread between the news department and other departments in the building."

Sharp said the layoffs were needed as the paper faces ongoing losses that have already forced it to close a Washington, D.C. bureau last year and seek other givebacks from the unions. "We are still in the red," she said. "Our first quarter finances are not good. We have tried to put this off as long as we can."

[Source: Editor & Publisher. Click on headline to read full story by Joe Strupp]

Remembering May 4, 1970

Even after 37 years, the shootings on May 4, 1970 at Kent State IUniversity are still making news.

There are several items of interest in the Commentary Section of the BJ Retirees web site:

+ A reprint of a "We Were There" feature by BJ photographer Paul Tople from the May, 1944 Sidebar.

+ An editorial from today's Beacon Journal which comments on a claim by Al Canfora that an old audiotape proves that a command was given to the Guardsmen to fire on students. The BJ and others who have listened to the tape say it was too fuzzy to prove anything.

+ The unveiling of a new memorial summarizing what happened. Unfortunately, we could not find a newspaper that reprinted the words from the memorial.

+ And finally a listing of online sources that provide many resources and photos including those from Tople and Chuck Ayers.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

From David Letterman show:

Top 10 signs your newspaper is in trouble.

10. Covers all news that happens within one block of the office
9. Today's exclusive -- "Nixon Dead!"
8 Reporter sent to jail for refusing to divulge a source... Oh, and he also killed a dude
7. All horoscopes: "Now would be a good time to get out of the newspaper business"
6. Paper's motto: "Suck it"
5. Every "hot" gossip item is about Jack Klugman
4. Managing editor and guy who wheels around breakfast? Same guy
3. Under "Weather," it just reads "Yes"
2. Instead of "Garfield," has a comic strip called "Garfunkel"
1. You endorsed Dennis Kucinich


12 awarded Knight fellowships

Twelve U.S. journalists have been awarded John S. Knight Fellowships to study at Stanford during the 2007-08 academic year.

During their stay at the university, the fellows will pursue independent courses of study and participate in special seminars. The 2007-08 program marks the 42nd year that Stanford has offered fellowships for professional journalists.

The 12 U.S. fellows will join eight international fellows who were announced in March. Financial support for the U.S. fellows comes primarily from an endowment provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Financial support for the international fellows comes from sources that include the Knight Foundation, the Lyle and Corrine Nelson International Journalism Fund and Yahoo! Inc.

Following are the 2007-08 U.S. fellows and their principal areas of study:

Rick Attig, associate editor, the Oregonian: environmental, economic and political issues of climate change.

John Daley, reporter, KSL-TV, Salt Lake City: leadership in the age of global warming.

Elizabeth Dalziel, staff photographer/Beijing, Associated Press: intersection of art and news photography.

Steven Dudley, Andean bureau chief, Miami Herald, Bogotá, Colombia: Latin America's shift to the left and its implications for U.S. foreign policy.

Paul Kvinta, freelance writer, Atlanta: the deteriorating health of our planet.

Andrea Lewis, co-host/producer, "The Morning Show," KPFA Radio/Pacifica Radio Network, Berkeley, California: the role of alternative journalism in contemporary American culture and democracy.

Eric Pape, contributing writer, Newsweek and Newsweek International: the arts of war: how traumatic inspiration can inspire art and healing.

Daniel Sinker, publisher, Independents' Day Media, Chicago: new publishing models for independent media.

Matthew Stannard, reporter, San Francisco Chronicle: Islam and the West: dueling narratives in religion, politics, history and war.

Ruth Teichroeb, investigative reporter, Seattle Post-Intelligencer: social change and the role journalism plays in fostering reforms in public institutions.

Helen Ubiñas, columnist, Hartford Courant: the disparate effects of poverty, race and family dynamics on individual outcomes.

Rick Young, producer, Frontline, Washington: globalization and the restructuring of American capitalism.

The program received 83 applications for the U.S. fellowships and 132 applications for the international fellowships.

U.S. fellows were chosen by the Knight Fellowships Program Committee: Eavan Boland, Stanford professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program; Luis Fraga, Stanford associate professor of political science; Theodore Glasser, Stanford professor of communication; William B. Gould IV, Stanford professor emeritus of law; George Haj, deputy managing editor, Houston Chronicle; Ardith Hilliard, executive editor, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.); James Mallory, senior managing editor/vice president-news, Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Norman Naimark, Stanford professor of history; and Rita Williams, reporter, KTVU-TV, Oakland.

International fellows

Following is a list of the 2007-08 international Knight fellows, who were announced in March, and their principal areas of study:

Denis Burgierman, editor in chief, Superinteressante magazine, São Paulo, Brazil: freedom of the press and democratization of information.

Violet Gonda, producer and presenter, SW Radio Africa (London), Zimbabwe (Yahoo! International Fellow): development of media in emerging democracies.

Ezequiel Lopez Blanco, investigation and special coverage editor, Clave magazine, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (Knight Foundation Latin American Fellow): economic power and a free press in Latin America.

Janine Perrett, editor/writer, The Business Network—a sponsored supplement to the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age (Melbourne)—Sydney, Australia: U.S. business trends and their impact globally, in particular on the media industry.

Robert Rakipllari, editor in chief, Panorama newspaper, Tirana, Albania (Lyle and Corrine Nelson International Fellow): sociopolitical trends in emerging Eastern European democracies, and their relation to the European Union and international organizations.

Susanna Schultz, infographic editor and news columnist, Svenska Dagbladet, Stockholm, Sweden: the state of environmental journalism in developing countries, and the history and current state of applied leadership.

Gabor Vajda, technology reporter,, Budapest, Hungary: citizen participation, virtual universes and community sites—new challenges and new tools in online journalism.

Wang Wei, producer and anchor, Shanghai Media Group, Shanghai, China: freedom of expression, and comparison of American and Chinese media-ethics codes.


13 named Knight-Wallace Fellows

The University of Michigan Knight-Wallace Fellows program has named 13 American journalists for the academic year 2007-2008. Additional international fellows will be designated in June.

While on leave from regular duties, Knight-Wallace Fellows pursue custom-designed sabbatical studies and attend special, twice-weekly seminars at Wallace House, a gift from newsman Mike Wallace and his wife Mary. The group named for the coming academic year is the 35th to be offered fellowships by the University of Michigan.

Each Knight-Wallace Fellow receives all academic fees and a stipend of $55,000, supported by gifts from foundations, news organizations and individuals committed to improving the quality of information reaching the public.

Professor Charles R. Eisendrath, who directs the program, is a former foreign correspondent for Time Magazine with broad experience in print, broadcast and online journalism.

U.S. fellows and their study projects are:

Jamaal Abdul-Alim, education reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Impact of Incentives on Student Achievement.

Carol Ann Alaimo, military writer, Arizona Daily Star, Challenges Facing the U.S. Military.

Kevin Clemens, editor at large and columnist, European Car Magazine, Solving America’s Automobile Related Transportation Energy Needs.

Tracy Davis, reporter, The Ann Arbor News, Globalization and World Ecology.

Steve Edwards, host, WBEZ (Chicago Public Radio), How Latino Immigrants Reshape American Politics, Economics and Culture.

Miles Harvey, freelance, The Missing Link between Men and Apes.

Colleen Kenney, reporter, Lincoln Journal Star, Applying Poetry Techniques to Narrative Writing.

Kate Linebaugh, reporter, The Wall Street Journal, Asia’s Wealth Gap: Capital, Consumption and Inequality.

Matthew Moyer, freelance photographer, Documentary Films and Building a Photo Agency.

Ronald Pereira Parsons, assistant managing editor and director of production, Yahoo! News, The Role of Automation and Technology in the Next Generation of Online Journalism.

Rochelle Riley, columnist, Detroit Free Press, How Multimedia Empires are Built.

Brad Schrade, reporter, The Tennessean, The Intersection of Money and Politics.

Sam Skolnik, reporter, Las Vegas Sun, The Rise of Problem Gambling in America.