Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ronald H. 'Capt. Ron' Sattler dies

[Ron's first wife, Sue Sattler, was a long-time BJ correspondent. This full obituary for some reason did not get printed in Wednesday's Beacon Journal, but was on A shorter version ran Tuesday.]

Ronald H. 'Capt. Ron' Sattler
Those who loved him, those who sailed with him in times of great joy and stood beside him in times of hard labor, called him ``Captain Ron."

And now it is our time to hoist the flags for him.

Sattler, 69, passed away on Monday morning, Feb. 26, surrounded by family members after his unrelenting battle against cancer. For those who could not be there with his loving wife and children, we lifted him up in our fondest memories, like a ship's mainsail, and shall not take it down.

He was a man of many talents, passions and undertakings, not the least of which was his love of the sea and our country's beautiful inland lakes.

Ron seemed to have an inner attraction to the sea, like the ancient Greek philosophers lured by its vast challenges and adventures. And it was there that he and his wife, Jeannie, spent their happiest years on his 36-foot catamaran, Cattitude, sailing the Caribbean from Florida to Trinidad and back again as we turned into the 2000's.

Someone once asked Ron why he had seven boats, and he replied: ``Because I sold one!"

Years ago, he survived a lightning strike and sailboat sinking on Lake Erie--and spent over eight hours in the water before making it to shore.

Laughter, tenacity and ingenuity were his hallmarks.

Born in Akron on April 21, 1937, he was one of two children of Walter and Louise Sattler, who preceded him in death. His father worked at Goodyear for his entire career, retiring in the 1970s. And just like him, Ron had an uncanny ability to work wonders with his hands.

A 1955 graduate of Hower Trade School in Akron, he embarked on his first course in life as a journeyman tool and die maker. Then it was on to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and early jobs with R. H. Freitag in Akron, B & W Boiler in Barberton and Industrial Aircraft in Akron.

Striking out on his own, Ron was the founder of Sattler Machine Products Inc., in Sharon Center, formerly Precision Die and Stamping of Copley.

Ask those who knew him there, and they will tell you that he could craft a spare part from scratch.

Ask those who played golf with him on the area's public courses, and they will tell you he was the ideal partner in a scramble because of his cool head and fine touch on the greens.

But Ron's life was never a self-centered one. He gave of himself, plentifully, to others.

For 20 years from the late 1950's, he served the public as a volunteer firefighter and paramedic, rising to the rank of lieutenant with the Copley Fire Department. It was Ron who organized the department's first Reverse Raffle Fundraiser, still in existence.

One of his prized possessions--an enduring symbol of his strength and courage--was his firefighter's helmet.

In 1974, he helped save the old railroad depot in Copley and contributed to the birth of the Copley Historical Society.

In 1989, Ron and three fellow Copley Township businessmen joined forces to create Sharon Corporate Park on state Route 94, just south of the Sharon Center Circle.

As a longtime member and past president of the Akron chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association, he brought the organization's National Apprentice Contest to Norton, procuring new machinery for both the contest and the school.

The consummate patriot, Ron sailed from Cleveland to New York Harbor in 1986 for the Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration.

He became a licensed captain and took great pleasure in escorting family and friends to the Cleveland Air Show and so many other unforgettable experiences, where the waves truly ran through his veins.

Captain Ron, yours was a great life lived to the fullest, and for that we want you to know we miss you and wish you Godspeed in your ultimate journey.

Ron's survivors are his wife, Jeannie (Flynn) Sattler and stepmother, Aurelia Sattler; sister, Barbara Brown; half-sisters, Karen Pascu and Pam Deal and half-brother, David E. Sattler; sons, David M. (Janet) Sattler and Jeff (Karen) Sattler; daughter, Kelly (Mark) Batchco; stepdaughter, Holly (Sohail) Boyd-Syed; stepsons, Ryan and Steven (Carrie) Boyd; and 11 grandchildren, Nicole, Katie, Joe, Bobby and Jennifer Sattler; Tyler and Travis Penrose; Asad and Amara Syed; and Dean and Carman Boyd.

Calling hours are TODAY from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 44 University Ave., downtown Akron, followed by a memorial service at the church with the Copley Fire Department Honor Guard assisting.

Afterward, the family will receive friends at the Walterville Barn, 1351 S. Cleveland-Massillon Rd. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to Hospice of Visiting Nurse Services, 3358 Ridgewood Rd., Fairlawn, Ohio 44333; or to the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, 39 S. Miller Rd., Fairlawn, Ohio 44333.

[Akron Beacon Journal, published online at Wednesday, February 28, 2007]

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

McClatchy awards $719,000 in bonuses

The McClatchy Co. paid four high-ranking executives a total of $719,000 in bonuses for their effort last year, according to documents filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Frank Whittaker, vice president of operations, received the largest bonus -- $220,000. He was followed by co-vice president of operations Bob Weil at $200,000, while chief financial officer Patrick Talamantes received $170,000. Vice president of news Howard Weaver received $129,000.

Last month, McClatchy chairman and chief executive officer Gary Pruitt was awarded a $950,000 bonus, slightly less than his annual salary of $1.05 million for last year.

The Sacramento-based newspaper publishing company -- the parent company of the Wichita Eagle and 30 other daily newspapers -- completed a $4.5 billion deal last summer for Knight Ridder Inc. Pruitt and fellow executives oversaw the complex deal, highlighted by buying and selling 12 former Knight Ridder-owned newspapers including the Akron Beacon Journal, San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and Philadelphia Inquirer.

In December, McClatchy announced it would sell its largest newspaper, The Star Tribune of Minneapolis, for $530 million to Avista Capital Partners. McClatchy (NYSE: MNI) paid $1.2 billion for the newspaper in 1998, but gained $160 million in tax advantages, making the deal valued at $690 million. The money would help McClatchy trim more debt.

Shares of McClatchy dropped 62 cents -- or more than 1.6 percent -- to $37.71 in trading midday Tuesday, close to its 52-week low of $37.56.

[Source: Wichita Business Journal, Tuesday, February 27, 2007]

Craig Wilson transferred to hospice

Craig Wison is being transferred to the Hospice on Ridgewood Road for evaluation. We are hopeful of a return home after three or four days. As far as we know he is allowed calls and visitors.
~ Elizabeth Wilson

Monday, February 26, 2007

If it's February, Olesky must be in Florida

By John Olesky (BJ 1969-96)
To celebrate Paula's retirement as a psychologist for Akron Schools we left our Tallmadge condo before the ton of snow hit Northeast Ohio. For 19 days we trolled successfully for warmer temperatures during day/night stopovers in Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA and a two-week stay in Sea Castle on Siesta Key, off Sarasota, FL. Sea Castle, which will be torn down to make way for $1 million condos, is across the street from late printer Bill Gorrell's complex, which drew BJ folks for decades. I've been going to Sea Castle since 2000 for annual month-long February blood-warmings.

Click on the headline to see the full report with a photo montage

Post-Gazette pay cut, retirees also hit

The final unions to vote ratified a new contract with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Saturday, agreeing to a deal that includes staff reductions, net pay cuts and changes in health care.

The newspaper's owners had said they were losing money and threatened to sell the paper if a new labor deal was not reached.

The newspaper's editorial union approved the deal Thursday, and the last unions voted in favor of the 39-month contract Saturday. The unions had been working under the terms of five-year contracts that expired Dec. 31.

Under the new contracts, all 14 bargaining units will see wages frozen over the life of the contract, but a provision requiring employees to divert 5 percent of their wages, up to $50,000, toward health care effectively serves as a pay cut.

The contract also requires retirees to pay at least 25 percent of their premium payments. In the past, they received health care for free.

The Teamsters will see a dramatic reduction in their workforce. The union, which had 375 members last year, will lose 80 positions through attrition and buyouts. The newspaper also is looking to cut dozens of other positions through buyouts, including 10 members of the newsroom staff.

[From reports in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and Editor & Publisher, Click to go to either story.]

Setting the clock ahead on weather chart

The corrections section on page A2 of Mondaty's Beacon Journal notes:

The March weather chart in Sunday's paper had incorrect sunrise and sunset times because it did not account for daylight savings time, which begins March 11. A corrected version appears today on Page B2.

Blog Note: Probably we should have called Don Bandy to ask if he ever had to correct a chart in all the years he put them out. The time change is coming three weeks early this year, so maybe even your computer clock will err. Remember the Y2K fuss which end up amounting to very little?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

BJ to install new phone system

The Beacon Journal will insall a new telephone system from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. No calls can be received during the change. The changeover was announced in a page A1 news brief on Saturday.

Friday, February 23, 2007

They're retired from Circulation, still in circulation

Beacon Journal Circulation Department retiree Janet Hall reports “a good time was had by all” circulation retirees at a luncheon on January 15 at Dontino's on Cuyahoga Falls Avenue.

“It all got started when Wayne Poteete retired District Manager sent me an email and it mushroomed from there,” Janet reports. “We ended up with about 18 of us.”

Here’s more of her report:

Ned Barefoot, who is now 88, was driven up from Carrollton, OH, by his daughter and looked wonderful. Bill Aylward who is now 85, looks the same as when he worked at the BJ. Some came hobbling in, some had a cane, some lost their hair or it is thinming out a bit, but all in all everyone looked wonderful.

Marion Gid and I just got over cancer in our eyelids of all places. She looked wonderful as well as her husband Bob who was nice enough to bring her.

Bob Rosen, John Frient still hunt and fish. Al Keller still swings the golf club and came to the lunch even though he was suffering from a sinus cold. Wayne Poteete, Bill Lambert, Bill Thomas, Louis Moss and even Grover Gregory looked as young as they did when they worked at BJ.

Joe Patterson came bouncing into the room even though he had two new knees replaced. Says he works out in the gym most everyday with Don Clark.

Fred Welch could not make it as he had just had open heart surgery and came through like a champ. Rough going at first but from what I hear he is doing good.

Art Beck is 75 now and works a total from winter to summer four different part-time jobs. Right now he is working with a handicapped child in school and takes care of him in class. He also works in the summer at the ballfield in Akron and also the golf course on Route 91. I have got to say though it must work for him because he looks wonderful.

After the lunch we all agreed to try and do this every year and I have already marked next year's calendar to remind them.

[Thanks from the blog guy for a great report]

Gil Beorn at 97 still amazing, says Laura

Gil Beorn, retired BJ mailer who now lives in Peoria, Arizona, is still an amazing guy, according to daughter Laura who sent these three photos to surprise him the next time he calls up the blog.

Beorn, 97, still walks at least once a day, she reports, and until about a year ago he was still riding a bicycle. “And, a couple of years ago he could still beat any of us at bowling.” Laura writes. “Out of about 10 of us ranging from 13 to 60, he beat all of us.”

Gil and wife Opal will celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary in August. One photo show the couple witth their children. The other photos are from 1971 in the BJ mail room. Son David is also in one of those photos.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Talking Biz blog reports on BJ biz/sports combine

There are seven comments -- and growing -- on a post in the Talking Biz News blog post about the BJ's decision to combine business and sports sections. A mug shot of BJ managing editor Mizell Stewart is used.

[Info on Talking Biz News says the blog was created in august 2005 in collaboration of the Society of American Business Edtiors and Writers and the Carolina Business News Initiative is a program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill]

Here's the lead on the post by Chris Roush:

The Akron Beacon Journal will drop its standalone business section during the week as it cuts its stock listings, managing editor Mizell Stewart said in a column. The changes will begin on March 5.

The Akron paper is the second to cut its standalone section that I’m aware of. Interestingly, the other — the Cincinnati Enquirer — is also in Ohio.

Mizell Stewart wrote, “The Business section will be relocated and combined with the Sports section Monday through Friday. The Business section will remain a separate section on Saturday and Sunday.”

Later, he added, “The daily stock report in the Beacon Journal’s print edition will be consolidated into a single page. It will include a comprehensive list of local stocks of interest and the top mutual funds, along with reports on currencies, commodities and interest rates.

“Some of the space formerly devoted to stock listings will be used to increase the amount of space available for daily business news. In the coming weeks, we plan to increase the size of the Sunday Business section from its current four pages to six.

“In this regard, the Beacon Journal is following the lead of many other U.S. newspapers, reducing the amount of space devoted to ‘commodity’ content and shifting those resources to provide unique local content that can’t be found elsewhere.”

Here’s my take: Cutting standalone business sections and putting business news into the back of the metro or sports section of the daily newspaper will be the next wave of cuts that we’ll see to business journalism, similar to the cutting of stock listings from the past 18 months. What it translates to is a loss of prestige for business coverage in the newsroom, and in journalism overall.

I hear rumors that this is being considered at a lot of other metro dailies, or has already been decided and is about to be implemented.

Let me ask all business editors where this is being considered to go to their editors and ask them this question: What is more important to people, knowing information about their jobs and the economy, or knowing whether their favorite sports team won last night? (And I went to the UNC-NC State game last night.) At some point, newspapers will have to decide whether they want to improve society or not. better business reporters and editors.

Click on the headline to go to the blog.

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust

It was Ash Wednesday, so Akron TV23 news anchor Eric Mansfield was making the obligatory report about the distribution of ashes by the Pope who he referred to as John Paul.

Whoops. JP2 is dead. There's a new Pontiff now who goes by the name Pope Benedict XVI.

When the video clip was displayed, though, Eric got it straight with no hint that he erred on first reference.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Helen Thomas to take a back seat

Here's a lead from a story by Mike Allen on the web site which was accompanied by the AP photo by Charles Dharapak. It is sort of a commentary and probably does not belong out front on the blog--but we did not want you to miss it.

Here's Mike:

Every theater-style seat in the White House briefing room, now closed for renovation, had a brass plaque inscribed with the name of a news organization. Only one, in the middle of the front row, had a name: “HELEN THOMAS,” it said. The unique assigned seat between the chairs for CBS News and ABC News was reserved for the legendary United Press International correspondent who is now a columnist for Hearst Newspapers.

The press corps is scheduled to move from temporary facilities back into the spiffed-up, rewired briefing room in May or June. Thomas, who has been questioning presidents and press secretaries for 46 years, plans to be there. But her front-row seat won’t be. Plans call for her to be moved to the second row to make room for a cable news channel – a sign of Washington’s changing pecking order, and of the new ways that Americans get their news.

“I didn’t think I had a monopoly on that seat,” Thomas, 86, said in a telephone interview. “Since my peers have decided that I don’t belong there, I’ll bow to their – I’ll drink the – What did Socrates drink?”


“I’ll drink it,” she said. “You have to submit to the will of the people, and apparently this is the will of my peers. It’s OK with me. I’ve had a good run in the front seat.”

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Spending in newsroom is good for business.

A MUST SEE study

U.S. newspapers that spend more money on their newsrooms will make more money, according to a study released on Wednesday, which questions the wisdom of the media industry's trend of cutting jobs to save costs.

The authors of the University of Missouri-Columbia study, which was based on 10 years
of financial data, said news quality affects profit more than spending on circulation, advertising and other parts of the business.

"The most important finding is that newspapers are under-spending in the newsroom and over-spending in circulation and advertising," said Esther Thorson
, a co-author of the study.. "If you invest more in the newsroom, do you make more money? The answer is yes. If you lower the amount of money spent in the newsroom, then pretty soon the news product becomes so bad that you begin to lose money."

U.S. publishers have been eliminating jobs at many newspapers as part of larger efforts to trim expenses amid falling profit margins and, in the case of publicly traded chains, declining stock prices.

At the Los Angeles Times, the former publisher and editor were ousted last year after resisting parent company Tribune Co.'s ) demands to find more jobs to cut.

The new publishers of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Akron Beacon Journal also cut newsroom staff after they bought the papers from McClatchy Co

Publishers have focused on reviving circulation, which is declining, and renewing interest among advertisers who are moving their money to the Internet and other media.

"I am delighted to see them post proof that quality precedes profit," Philip Meyer, a professor at the University of North Carolina, a former Beacon Journal staffer and author of the book "The Vanishing Newspaper," said of the study.

"I don't share the authors' confidence that the industry will appreciate the importance of their result and act on it," he added. "Too many owners are more interested in harvesting than investing."

The study, "Uphill or Downhill? Locating Your Firm on a Profit Function," will be published in the April issue of the Journal of Marketing.

Click on the headline to see the Reuters story on the study or
See the report announcement from the MU news bureau.

BJ to drop stock listings, combine business and sports

The Beacon Journal will drop stock market listings the week of March 5 and combine the business sectionwith the sports section Monday through Friday. The business section will remain a separate section on Saturday and Sundaiy.

The BJ joins many other newspapers in dropping stock listings. It will save much space and production work. Those seeking up-to-the-minute information on stocks and mutual will rely on the Web for prices, dividends and historical performance.

In announcing the change in a column on page A2 on Sunday, managing editor Mizell Stewart said new features will be introduced on

“All told, our Web offerings will provide comprehensive data on 7,000 stocks, 17,000 mutual funds and more than 300 exchange-traded funds -- more than we could ever provide in our print edition.:” Stewart wrote.

“The daily stock report in the Beacon Journal's print edition will be consolidated into a single page. It will include a comprehensive list of local stocks of interest and the top mutual funds, along with reports on currencies, commodities and interest rates.

“Some of the space formerly devoted to stock listings will be used to increase the amount of space available for daily business news. In the coming weeks, we plan to increase the size of the Sunday Business section from its current four pages to six.”

Click on the headline to read Stewart's column.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Atlanta Journal-Constitution trimming bigtime

Big changes at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution mean the buyout of at least 80 employees 55 years or older and also a scaling back of the circulation area.

You can click on the headline to see an update by E&P and the AP.

"We are extending a voluntary separation program offer to about 80 employees who are 55 years of age or older and have 10 years of Cox pension vesting service," editor Julia Wallace wrote. "The offer is completely voluntary. We don't expect everyone to take the offer, but we will not limit the number who can accept....Clearly we will lose some very talented and veteran folks. It's hard, but it's necessary for our economic realities."

Effective April 1, the newspaper will scale back its circulation territory to no longer include Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and many parts of Georgia. The paper had been delivered in 145 of Georgia's 159 counties, but now will only be available in 66 counties in the state. The paper won't be found in cities like Augusta, Columbus, Savannah and Albany.

The changes will mean the end of 44 circulation positions, with displaced workers offered severance packages, pubslisher John Mellot said.

The newspaper's parent company, Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, also will spend $30 million on upgrading its presses in suburban Gwinnett County, with plans to close the paper's downtown Atlanta production facility in two years. Mellott said the changes will mean the shift or loss of 98 production jobs.

A dozen different departments and desks will be reduced to four main departments.: News & Information, Enterprise, Digital, Print.

"The News and Information department will be responsible for news of all kinds -- metro, business, features and sports. Its mission and mantra is daily watchdog and aggressive newsgathering....

"The Enterprise department will generate distinctive local content. While it will produce special projects, this is more than a projects department. It will produce a steady stream of enterprise. Print will be its focus, but it also will take full advantage of the online platform....

"The Digital department is responsible for growing online audience by offering local news and information; providing a platform for interactivity and social networking; and extending our selection beyond news to attract new audiences....

"The Print department will produce the best newspaper possible."

Calling all Mailers: Here’s a 1959 list

An e-mail from Gil Beorn, a 1972 BJ mailroom retiree, served as a reminder that a list of Mailers on the old 1959 Beacon Journal employe directory had noth yet been posted.. Gil says he would like to hear from former Mailers.

“My wife and I are still enjoying Arizona weather,” he writes, “but have to settle for a care center to live.”

Gil also asked us to correct his address. It is:

11295 N 99TH AVE
BLDG 8 APT 106

You can send e-mail to

Here is a .list of 48 employees listed in the Mailing Room in the ”Beacon Journal Directory of Employes” revised September 15, 1959. The full list was printed as a newspaper-size broadsheet page. The directory was provided to the blog by retiired composing room employe Calvin Deshong. Names of others on the directory were posted some time ago on the blog.

HAGENBUSH, JESSE E., Foreman, 3083 S. Main, MI4-3162
Artalla, James J., 807 Avon, HE4-5045
Basore, Harry H. , 2052 Verde, PL-3-8252
Beorn, Gilbert,2728 Slxth st., Cuya Falls, WA-3-1550
Beom, Ralph, 2894 Albrecht av., RE-3-6601
Bernabei, Joseph J. , 946 East av., Tallmadge, ME-3-4886,
Butler, Gerard F., .2560 Berk st., C. F., WA-8-0639
Capatosfa, Rudolph A, 1115 Collinwood, WA-8-9549 ,
Chapman, David E., .2914 Sfockton,. PL-3-9314
Coleman, Francis ,.12 Circle dr., Medina, PA-3-6362
Coudriel, Bernard L., RD I, Seville, PO-9-2415
DeWitt, Henry R., 904 Kellar av., MA-8-1104
Ferguson, James R., 741 Manchesfer rd., SH-5-3630
George, Sfeve, 459 Magnolia, Cuya. Falls, WA-3-0548
Grna, Joseph, A. Jr , .370 Lindenwood av;, PA-4-0520 ,
Gma, Paul, 867 Davies, PA-4-5290
Hagenbush, John H., 2993 Bender, MI-4-3847 .
Hannan, Charles, 2824 Revere dr., Cuya. Falls, WA-8-9164
Hiney, John William, 1470 Hyde pl., ME-3-2648
Hiney, Ralph W., 1735 Mohawk, PA-4-3075,
Hiney; Richard B., 1728 S. ,Arlington PR-3-4847.
Howell, Robert L., .480 Ohio st., HE-4-5792
Jubara, John E. Jr., 695 Harvard, JE-5-6521
Kanter, Theodore, 1625 Highvlew, PR-3-2537
Long, Robert, .3747 Herbert, Mogadore, MA-8-3227
Lufz, Edward, 419 Grove, Cuya. . Falls, W A-8-4206
McGowan, John, Page. Hotel, 525 S. Main st., JE-5-0796
Memmer, Harry A. Jr, 178 Emmons, RE-3-1298
Nichols, Rex L ,1343 Rowe, PA-4-6593
Nichols, Roscoe G.,2249 Tyrone, ST-4-5961
Nichols, Wilkie, 1652 Hametown rd., Akron 13, MO-6-2381
Orum, Wiley M., 351 East Park blvd., ST-4-4381
Pariso, Thqmas E., 3978 Melton, MI-4-5473
Pileggi, Joseph S., 542 Magnolia av., C. F., WA-9-1476
Robinson, Wilfred L.,2325 10th sf., C. F., WA-3-1134
Royce, Melville A.,508 Columbia av., FR-6-3096
Royce, Roger, 128 'Wills av., HE-4-3474
Ruggles, Frank D., 635 North av., Tallmadge, ME-3-2658
Ruggles, Patrick C., 405 Kildare, UN-4-7831
Sanroff, James, 645 Pentiss, PR-3-6575
Schucker, John, 2585 23rd st., C. F., WA-9-1448
Slabaugh, Lemoyne , 619 Pleasant pl., HE-4-4686
Stacy, Ralph H., 4407 Darrow rd., Sfow, OV-8-4744
Thornburg, John R., 491 Vine st., BL-3-1328
Viscione, Louis M., 742 Kipling, PR-3-1851
Watson, James, 3527 Northampton rd., C. F., WA-8-3267
Whltlnger, Chesfer L., 903 Fess, FR-6-4320
Williams, William, 561 Cole av., PR-3-3154

Moyer to step aside when Chris Harte arrives

Keith Moyer, publisher and president, is leaving the Minneapolis Star-Tribune after the change in management from McClatchy to Avista Capital Partners.

“I am not leaving because of the change of ownership,’ Moyer wrote in a memo to the staff,”. “In fact, I believe the Star Tribune is going to be in excellent hands with Avista, as it was un
der McClatchy. I like very much the people who have bet on a bright future for each of you and this company with their considerable investment dollars.”

Moyer said he will remain until the close of sale occurs, currently planned for
early March.

“From comments I’ve gotten from many of you, Chris Harte, who will be chairman of the Star Tribune Company, has been seen as an accessible, reassuring figure. Chris has a strong newspaper background. He understands that a newspaper is a public trust.,” Moyer said.

“Chris will be a wonderful steward for the Star Tribune, along with OhSang Kwon, Jimmy Finklestein and others who will help the new publisher, Chris, the Executive Team and, most importantly, all of you, develop what will undoubtedly be a new and exciting course for the company. My hope is that it will be a model for others to emulate as newspapers navigate their way out of the recently choppy waters we’ve seen.”

Harte is a former publisher of the Beacon Journal.

Click on the headline to read Moyer’s memo.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Former BJ photographer dies in Las Vegas

Robert Seifert Jennings Feb. 24, 1914 - Feb. 12, 2007

Robert Seifert Jennings, a Beacon Journal photographer in the 1950s, died Monday, February 12 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Born in Marion, Ohio, he served in the Civilian Conservation Corps and U.S.Army in World War II, before becoming a professional photographer, working for newspapers in Akron and Cleveland, Ohio.

He moved to Farmington in 1967 as a photographer with Howard's Photography. In Farmington, He was active in the local photography associations before relocating in Las Vegas in 2001.

He is survived by two sons: Michael of Phoenix and Steven and wife, Brenda, of Las Vegas, Nev.; and two grandchildren: Justin Jennings of Phoenix and Elizabeth Jennings of Las Vegas.

Cremation has taken place. There will be no local services.

Some personal information not in his obituary in the Farmington (NM) Daily Times) may be of interest.

He was a delightful conversationalist and told some wonderful stories about his days of working in New York and Europe and taking pictures of many celebrities. Overall, he was a shy man, with a good sense of humor He made flash bulb earrings for Frances Murphey for some occasion. She wore them frequently.

He me his wife, Donna Dunkeson, who wad head of the reference library, at the Beacon Journal. They were divorced some 30 years ago. He never remarried. Donna, now a widow living in Farmington, NM, was from Cleveland and they lived there when he worked for the old Cleveland News until he opened his own commercial photography business.

Leo Osmar recalls night shift weather

Here is an email that composing room retiree Leo Osmar sent to his children on Wednesday morning after spending close to two hours Tuesday afternoon traveling from Catholic Worker House on South Main Street to his home on North Hill. Leo says he is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan so is not really too upset "when we get a 'touch of home' here in Akron."

Here's the email:

Hi all,
It is 9a.m.
I'm not surprised that no BJ was in my box this morning. And it is still snowing pretty steadily. So
what! I've (we've) pretty much decided to declare "snow days" for Thursday already. And I do feel for anyone who has to venture out today. Brings back a memory of years back when I was on the night shift at BJ. Weather was bad and pretty much getting worse, but what the heck. I jumped in the VW bus and went to work by way of Tallmadge to Dan to North to Arlington to Exchange to BJ. I took the short route that day because there was a backup on Main to the viaduct. It took a couple hours and I was not docked. The Composing Room had no time clocks.

Few people arrived to work that day. Mike Leidel was one of them (and he insisted on beer breaks every few hours). The BJ ASKED day timers to stay on and also any night shift people. At overtime and double time rate. BJ had reserved rooms at closeby hotels or motels for anyone who wanted an hour or two to sleep. BJ paid the bill.

Mike Leidel went home about 1 a.m. I stayed for a couple hours more and headed home. Downtown roads were OK. Main Street was easy all the way to Tallmadge. Then snow was bad. When turning onto Schiller I impounded into a snowbank and could not move. I walked home. And had a cup of coffee. I remember starting upstairs and my mind said, "Volkswagens do not get stuck." So I went back to the car and rocked that car back and forth until it gave up and backed out of the snowbank. Then I drove over to the A&P store on Howard Street and parked the car in the parking lot. And of course I walked home and went to bed. (Retrieved it the next afternoon when I went to work).

Gevalt writes about Valentine's Day in VT

Former BJ staffer Geoff Gevault who is editor of a blog for his Young Writers Project in Vermont tells about weather there on Valentine's Day.

Here's the lead:

It wasn’t a blizzard, but Wednesday’s storm was darned close to one. And at times, it felt like one — winds upwards of 35 miles an hour, snow coming at a rate of 4 inches an hour, visibility about 20 feet, 2 degrees.

The Valentine’s Day Storm of 2007 was a good one. A total of 36 inches fell here on the hill in Hinesburg, Vt. The snow is deep enough to get exhausted going no more than a half mile in the woods on snowshoes. It’s deep enough to swallow a small black Lab. It’s deep enough to bring gales of laughter from my youngest daughter. All the snow came in less than 24 hours. School closed for two days. Emergencies were declared — I89 was closed to traffic. We stayed at home.

Click on the headline to read the rest of the story.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Weather, of course, is always news

Weather, of course, has always been a news story. The Beacon Journal on Thursday -printed a graphic showing the worst winter weather in Akron history. Digging into the Liggett photo albums I came up with these pages on two of the worst.

The stories for both were written by Don Bandy who always kept the monthly weather charts in addition to his rewrite choirs.

Do you think our more than a foot of snow this February was rough?

On December 1-2, 1974, the records show 24.3 inches of snow fell over two days. 17.18 inches fell in 24 hours which remains a December record.

The winter of 1977 was the coldest winter of the 20th century with an average temperature of 20.7 degrees. The average temperature for January was 11.4 degrees. The record for the month was minus 13 degrees on January 29.

Here are the first four graphs in a report by Bandy on the 1974 snowfal:

The Akron area. was still bogged down today under the heaviest. snowfall ever recorded here.

More than 2,000 persons this morning remained in emergency shelters, stranded by , the 24.3, inches of' snow :that paralyzed cities, towns and villages in the five-county area.

The U.S. Weather Bureau reported 16.4 inches of snow fell Sunday and another 7.9
Inches Monday. The snowfall recorded at Akron-Canton Airport, broke a 20-inch record accumulation in November, 1913.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Note from sunny FL to snowy OH

By John Olesky (BJ 1969-96)
Well, it was the second Wednesday of the month and 1 p.m., which is when Beacon Journal retirees gather to chat and laugh at Papa Joe's in Akron. But it was Sea Castle on Siesta Key, off Sarasota, FL. Just call it Papa Joe's South.

Former BJ printer Terry Dray and wife Cecily and former BJ newsroom rewrite man extraordinaire Don Bandy gathered on the beachfront deck of former BJ Television Edi
tor John Olesky and former State Desk reporter Paula Tucker while their counterparts were at Papa Joe's. As usual, there were tales of the "good old days" at the BJ, when quality and accuracy mattered and it was fun to show up for work every day.

Terry and Cecily live in Avon Park, FL, 80 miles northeast of Sarasot
a.. Terry plays golf every day of the week at a nearby course. Cecily joins him a couple of days a week. Don bought a condo last May in Bradenton, 15 miles from Sarasota. Don lives in the same complex with his sister. Their brother and sister-in-law live in Naples, FL, 130 miles south of Bradenton.

After chatting and laughing on the beachfront deck -- retirees tend to do that more than those still dealing with the Knight-Ridder sale to McClatchy and the McClatchy sale to Black Press of Canada -- the BJ conclave headed to Captain Curt's Oyster Bar for food and more conversation.
And a good time was had by all.

[Blogger Note: Not too many waded through more than a foot of snow to go to Papa Joe's]

Peggy S. Pell dies

[Peggy is the wife of composing room retiree Robert Pell]

WADSWORTH -- Peggy S. Pell, 77, of Wadsworth, died Sunday, February 11, 2007.

She was born August 6, 1929 in Clay, West Virginia to the late W. Erving and Daisy Sizemore. She w
as a member of the Wadsworth United Methodist Church, Wadsworth Eagles #2117, volunteered with Meals on Wheels, Society for Handicapped Citizens and was a former school teacher.

She is survived by her husband, Robert R. Pell, Sr. with whom she celebrated 57-1/2 years of marriage; children, Catherine Pell and Lance Sandstead of Gulf Breeze, Fla., Robert Jr. and Phyllis Pell of Wadsworth, Steven S. Pell and John E. Pell of Medina; grandchildren, Krystin, Stephanie and Katharine Sandstead, Robert Pell III, Jon Horvat, Mike (Sandi) Horvat and Joe Horvat; five great-grandchildren; and one sister, Nina Ballard of Oak Hill, W. Va.

The family will receive friends Thursday, 4 to 7 p.m. in the Hilliard-Mullaney-Rospert Funeral Home, 174 N. Lyman Street, Wadsworth, where funeral services will be conducted Friday at 11 a.m., Rev. Jerry L. Penrod, Jr. officiating. Interment at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens.

(Hilliard-Mullaney-Rospert, 330-334-1501.)

[Akron Beacon Journal on Wednesday, February 14, 2007, page B7, col. 1]

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Help from Gary on your income tax

Worried about how you are going to report your capital gains on stock as a result of the sale of Knight-Ridder?

Hooray, Gary Pruitt. We knew you could do it.

McClatchy Company has finally come up with a guide to help you witjh your income tax filing chore. It would have been nice if the company had advised everyone that a PDF help file was available on their web site.

Thanks to Bruce Zake, Susan Kirkman’s husband, who located and passed along the links so you can grab a copy.

Here’s the link to the PDF file

Or, if you go to the McClatchy home page. There is a link at the top of the page to take you to the same file..

The McClatchy home page is at

The emal from Bruce concludes:

“I can tell it's going to be a whole lot of fun doing it.”

The PDF file is three pages.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Pruitt never was a White Knight

In December, Gary Pruitt made a move that sent shock waves through the industry, dumping The Minneapolis Star Tribune, the biggest paper in the McClatchy chain. Not just that, but he sold it for $530 million — less than half of what he paid for it eight years before.

That sale has tarnished Mr. Pruitt’s reputation in newsrooms.

“If you had this warm and fuzzy feeling about being taken over by McClatchy, I suspect that ha
s dissipated,” said John Morton, an industry analyst “As a financial steward, you couldn’t get anybody to run your company better than Gary Pruitt, but you can’t look at everything from a financial steward point of view. For heaven’s sake, newspapers are a public trust. He’s acting as if he’s running a green bean cannery.”

Morton is quoted in a story by Katharine Q. Seelye in the New York Times.

Mr. Pruitt himself says he remains confident about the future of newspapers and defends the sale of The Star Tribune. It provided a big tax benefit for McClatchy, he said, and the company is using the proceeds to help pay off the $2 billion debt it incurred in buying Knight Ridder.

“I never thought of us as the white knight,” Mr. Pruitt said of the Knight Ridder purchase. “I thought of us in more prosaic terms — it was an opportunity to make an attractive acquisition on our terms, to strengthen the company long-term.”

There is much more in Seelye’s article. Click on the headline to go there.

Is this in our future?

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that managers at Clear Channel’s KFTY-TV in Santa Rosa will be asking people in the community -- independent filmmakers, college students and professors, civic leaders and others -- to provide programming for the station.. "There will be a loss in local coverage, I'm not going to lie to you," says KFTY exec Steve Spendlove. "But there are a lot of other places to get most of that information."

Another story in the Healdsburg Tribune reported earlier that KFTY had laid off 13 staffers and cut the evening news programs.

The drastic reduction in the TV50 News department announced suddenly last Friday has created a void in the county's news gathering industry and has critics bemoaning a continued decline in local and national news organizations, Tribune managing editor Barry W. Dugan wrote..

Twenty six years after its founding, KFTY TV50 last week announced 13 layoffs in its news department, eliminating its nightly news programs and telling viewers it would now depend on them for programming content.

TV50 General Manager and Vice President John Burgess said the layoffs were “a business decision we had to make. I certainly understand the concern of the public but it's a decision that just had to be made.”

Read the story by reports Joe Garofoli in the Chronicle

Read the story by Barry W. Dugan in the Healdsburg Tribune

Larry Froelich, who called our attention to an item in Poynter on Line, asks “Is this in our future?”

Bob Pell's wife, Peg, dies

Peg Pell, wife of composing room retiree Bob Pell, passed away Sunday at 1 p. m. Services are pending.

John and friend on Sea Castle deck

This pesky bird just likes to hang around from morning to night, looking for handouts. The signs say not to feed the birds because they hang around and make a mess. His friend, on the other hand, does not like to hang around long in one place.

John Olesky and Paula Tucker are always on the move.

:”Today we went to a Greek festival in Sarasota.. There were thousands of people there.” John writes in an e-mail from Florida with this photo attached. “We ate Greek food (duh!). We listened to Greek music. We watched Greek dancers in traditional costumes.

“We didn't get to see a sunset today because it was too cloudy. A shame because it's spectacular.

“We slept and reste
d today, after driving 1,300 miles by way of a day in Charleston SC and another day in Savannah GA and a brief visit with Paula's aunt, Shirley, in Orlando.”

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Big cuts loom at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reached tentative contracts with bargaining units from its 11 different labor unions, lifting a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the future of the 220-year-old newspaper.

Votes on the three-year contracts, which would run from last month to March 2010, likely will take place in the next two weeks, said Newspaper Guild President Mike Bucsko.

Both sides declined to release terms, but a press release from the unions cited "enormous financial sacrifices." Leaders representing the paper's 1,042 unionized employees had previously said that they expected job reductions and changes in work rules.

"When we entered these negotiations, we were cognizant of the Post-Gazette's difficult financial situation and were determined to assist as much as possible in placing the newspaper on sound financial footing," said the Pittsburgh Newspaper Unions Unity Council, which represents the 11 unions.

The Post-Gazette has projected a $20 million loss for 2006 and is battling "flat circulation, declining advertising revenue, high costs and competition from other media," said President David Beihoff.

"These agreements are a collaborative effort by management and the unions to ensure the financial viability of the Post-Gazette," Mr. Beihoff said. "If ratified, the agreements would begin to achieve realistic savings and efficiencies while enabling the Post-Gazette to continue its 220-year tradition of producing a trusted, high-quality news product.''

The Block family has published the Post-Gazette since 1927, but said in an Aug. 31 letter to unions that it was prepared to sell the paper if new labor contracts did not produce significant cost savings. The family also owns the Toledo Blade., here labor contract negotiations are deadlocked and management has locked out about 220 of its 600 union workers.

Click on the headline to read the full story By Anya Sostek, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Composing retiree John Inch dies at 91

John W. Inch, 91, passed away February 8, 2007.

He was born October 14, 1915 in Akron. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and retired from the Akron Beacon Journal. He was a member of First Church of God in Tallmadge.
John had sung in choirs and served as music director in several churches in the Akron area. In his younger days, he had enjoyed bowling and golf. After retiring from the newspaper, he worked as a starter for Valley View Golf course.

n was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, one sister. and two grandchildren. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Dorothy; daughters, Judy (David) Haude of Houston, Texas and Carol (Robert) Mealy of Cuyahoga Falls; six grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; nieces, nephews, and many friends.

A memorial service will be held Monday, Feb. 12 at 11 a.m. at First Church of God, 464 Northeast Ave., Tallmadge, Pastor William Wimmer officiating. The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service. Inurnment at Crown Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Church of God, in memory of John. Funeral home map, directions, and the Inch Family condolence book are available at (Bacher, 330-644-0024)
[The Beacon Journal,, Akron, OH Friday, February 9, 2007, page B6, col. 5]

Friday, February 09, 2007

Trying out the Aetna card

I used my brand new Aetna Medicare card (member since 2007) for the first time Thursday to get two drugs prescribed by my doctors.

One was Actos, a diabetic drug for which their is no generic. (real cost $226.19 in 2006)
I had to pay $20.00 for this drug.

The other was for a cholesterol drug called Zocor (real cost $172.99 in 2006) so I switched to a generic called simvastatin (real cost unknown)
I had to pay $5 for this drug.

So I paid $25 for two prescriptions whose actualy costs are $226 pl
us whatever the generic costs. Last year I would have paid $4 for the two drugs with total actual cost of $399,98

Actual drug costs of my prescriptions last year was $15,000 plus. I take 10 drugs each day plus 2 types of insulin which means I had 12 prescriptions to refill each month which cost me a total of $24 in co-pay. . I got two Thursday for $25.

Stay tuned for the donut hole which will roll around fast.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

He wrote his own obituary

This from the Nashville Tennessean:

Written by the Deceased: Charles Fontenay's obituary


Editor's note: Longtime Tennessean staffer Charles Fontenay penned his own obituary.

Charles L. Fontenay, most of whose half century-plus as a newspaperman was spent with The Tennessean, surprised himself and delighted many of his colleagues by dying yesterday.

His 40-year career on The Tennessean included work as general assignment reporter, science reporter, legislative and political writer and city editor. Since 1968 his official title had been "rewrite editor," but, in fact, his work on the staff was varied, ranging from serving as city editor when needed to preparing advance obituaries on prominent people, in addition to his rewrite chores.

Prior to joining The Tennessean staff in 1946 he worked as an editor for the Associated Press in Nashville, Memphis and Tullahoma, Tenn., and as reporter and editor on two other Tennessee newspapers. A thorough-going romantic who never really adapted to the routine of ordinary life and consequently was frequently at odds with impatient superiors, Fontenay achieved a solid reputation for his abilities as a newspaperman. However, "who he was" depended to a considerable degree on which of the widely differing groups of his acquaintances was talking.

Click on the headline to read the full obit.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

McClatchy reports fourth quarter loss

McClatchy on Tuesday reported a fourth-quarter loss of $279.3 million after taking a hit on the sale of the Star Tribune. CEO Gary Pruitt says it will last through the first half of 2007. He declines to make projections beyond June.

Here’s the lead on the McClatchy press release:

SACRAMENTO, Calif.. -- The McClatchy Company today reported fourth quarter 2006 income from continuing operations of $75.5 million, or 92 cents per share. A loss from discontinued operations of $354.8 million, or $4.33 per share was recorded in the quarter relating to the results of the Star Tribune newspaper which the company is selling. The loss from discontinued operations includes a $363.0 million after tax write-down of the net assets of the Star Tribune to the agreed-upon selling price. The company's total net loss for the 2006 quarter was $279.3 million, or $3.41 per share, including discontinued operations.

The company's fiscal 2006 reporting period is a 53-week year versus a 52-week year in 2005, and as a result, the fiscal fourth quarter of 2006 includes 14 weeks compared to 13 weeks in the 2005 fiscal quarter. The company estimates that income from continuing operations is higher by approximately $5.3 million in 2006 because of the additional week being reported.

Results of the Star Tribune newspaper are shown as discontinued operations for all periods presented (including 2005) due to its impending sale. Income from continuing operations was $34.1 million, or 73 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2005. Net income in the fourth quarter of 2005 was $45.4 million, or 97 cents per share, including income from discontinued operations of $11.3 million, or 24 cents per share.

There is much information in the press release on the Knight Ridder acquistion and sale of 12 of those newspapers. Click on the headline to see the press release.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Distinctly Modern Demise for Oldest Newspaper

The Swedes, who jumped into the newspaper game back in 1645, are taking another great leap forward: what is said to be the oldest newspaper in the world has gone digital and is now available online, and online only. The PoIT, which began in 1645, published its last print issue on Dec. 29 but is continuing on the Internet.

The World Association of Newspapers says that the country’s Post och Inrikes Tidningar, or PoIT, is the world’s oldest newspaper still in publication. Its new editor, Roland Haegglund, is its only employee.

“The change in format is of course a major departure, for some possibly a little sad, but it is also a natural step,” Mr. Haegglund told Agence France-Presse, which first reported the story.

The paper was founded by Queen Christina and her chancellor. Sweden was engaged in the Thirty Years’ War at the time and had devoted much of its treasury to the war, causing widespread misery at home; Hans Holm, the last editor of PoIT’s print version, told the agency that the newspaper was a way of explaining to citizens where their taxes were going.

The paper was and remains the official organ of the Swedish government. It thrived during the 17th and 18th centuries, covering foreign and domestic news. But as competition grew, PoIT stopped covering news and instead carried announcements by financial, legal and corporate institutions. The final print version, published Dec. 29, had only 1,500 subscribers.

Christina, who became queen at age 5 although she did not receive her coronation until she was 18, helped found the newspaper when she was 19, amid much court intrigue and a chaotic romantic life. If only the paper were online then, she could have blogged about it.

It is not in English, but you can view it at

Abbott asks support to question benefits change


Did you receive a letter from the BJ that stated that "your retiree medical benefits were not vested for life and can be changed." And then it goes on to say "however, the Company has chosen to offer a plan that will allow it to continue to provide a premium benefit to you while taking advantage of Medicare's new prescription drug plan."

The inference is that they could at any time, drop the medical and prescription benefits we were guaranteed when we retired or took a voluntary separation.

The ability of the Company to change those benefits means that they can change providers, etc. as long as it is of equal value. (This is according to my counsel.) It does and should not mean they can change the value or drop it entirely as they might want. Keeping the value of the medical coverage is backed by at least two different federal agencies. (Again, according to my counsel.) The Company's stance is that out retirement/separation agreement, signed by their agent, is not a contract. Counsel thinks they have a rather weak argument on this stance.

Bottom line...I want to pursue this for at least two steps to find out if we have a good case. This will cost money and I can't pony up all of it at this point. If we can get enough people who want to pursue this we can get through those first steps relatively inexpensively. If we're on firm ground then we can aggressively pursue it further. But then it will get more expensive and we would have to set up a transparent "slush fund" to make sure everything is above board. Initially, I'm guessing that $50 max from each of us would get this started. With enough people we could cut that cost easily.

Is it worth that much to find out? Think what our cost will be if they leave us dangling in the wind with no coverage!

This is not a class action...and if anybody else wants to take the point I will gladly let them have it and you can bet I'll help finance it.

No commitment at this point. Just need to know if we have enough people that are interested and when they find out the details they might desire to follow through.

While time isn't super critical this action should be started in a month or two.

There is a chance that if the company is found in violation of some federal laws they would be liable for lawyers' fees and costs.

At any rate I would suggest everybody start keeping accurate paper records of any medical expenses that are above what you thought you signed up for.

My e-mail:

Put BJ medical/prescriptions in the subject line so I won't think it is spam and delete it. If you know of anybody that might have an interest, pass this info along. Phone # 330 830-4984.

--bob abbott

A really old weekly dies at 120

A newspaper industry casualty you may have missed

Out in the desolate southwestern corner of New Mexico, along I-10 halfway between El Paso and Tucson, a small newspaper in a small desert town died Thursday.

The Lordsburg Liberal, the oldest weekly in New Mexico and the third-oldest paper in the state, delivered one final issue to its readers Thursday morning, then went out of business.

In today's dog-eat-dog newspaper world, the Liberal never stood a chance. It is not available online. It has a staff of three, and normally runs 12 to 16 pages. But it has been around for 120 years, and now there is inevitable sadness about its fate, announced last week.

Source: Edward B. Colby. CJR Daily

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Media pioneer Charles E. Scripps dies

Charles E. Scripps, scion of a legendary media family and the board chairman of The E.W. Scripps Co. for more than four decades, died Saturday of natural causes at age 87 near his home in Naples, Fla.

Charles Scripps' long tenure as head of the company founded in 1878 by his grandfather, Edward W. Scripps, was marked by dramatic expansion into new businesses and impressive financial growth.

After 57 years on the company's board of directors, Scripps retired in May 2003.

Click on the headline to read the article and a link to a Scripps chronology.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Black visits Canton Repository

Akron Beacon Journal owner David Black took a tour of the Canton Repository Friday, fueling speculation that he is serious about purchasing the newspaper and possibly other Copley newspapers including the Masssillon Independent and the New Philadelphia Times-Reporter.

His visit to Canton was reported today in a story on the Beacon Journal business front..

Black did not return a BJ reporter’s phone call seeking comment, but stated earlier he would be watching developments with interest in the possibility of buying the Repository.

Beacon Journal publisher Ed Moss joined Black in a tour of the facility and confirmed a study of a purchase is continuing. ``We are going through the process to take a look to see if it makes sense. We'll know that over time,'' Moss said.

The newspapers, owned by Copley Press Inc. of LaJolla, Calif., were put up for sale in November along with the Suburbanite, a weekly in Summit County.

Copley is also selling its four Illinois daily newspapers, in Springfield, Peoria, Lincoln and Galesburg. Moss said Black is only interested in the Ohio newspapers, but has not yet toured any of the other Copley operations for sale in Ohio.

Copley Press previously said it is selling newspapers due to the decline of revenue in the industry and a debt resulting from the taxes on the estate of Helen K. Copley, who died in 2004.

Click on the headline to read the BJ story by Marilyn Miller.

Acme ad is on bottom of A1

A 6-column by 1-inch bottom of the page ad banner was printed on page A1 of Saturday's Beacon Journal. Is this the first time in recent times for selling this sort of advertisement on page A1?
There also was a 6-column by 3-inch ad for a carpet store on page B3, the community news page.

The Beacon also has recently been using a tiny mug shot each day at the top of that page to showcase staff members.

For more random observations on the news media elsewhere, click on the headline.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Saying goodbye to Molly Ivins

Columnist Molly Ivins (1944-2007): You either loved her or hated her.

“For six years, the trenchant columns of Molly Ivins have raised Cain on the Commentary page of this newspaper,” her obituary writer in the Chicago Tribune noted. “ In that too-brief span of time, not one of the many fine writers who share that real estate infuriated so many Tribune readers--or won the adoration of so many others.

“When her column didn't appear, the former group had a good blood-pressure day, and the latter group suspected that, yep, it finally had happened: A newspaper that had twice endorsed the American president she most loathed had squelched her column. The great right-wing conspiracy had caught up with Molly.”

It was death that finally caught up with Molly on Wednesday, but she went down swininging. In her last column, she told her followers:

"We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war."

We have gathered a page of links where you will find more quotes from Molly, her last column and an archive of others, tributes and obituaries. Click on the headline to go to the page in our Commentary section.

Mary Lammerding, Betsy's mother, dies

Mary Frances Buysse Lammerding

Mary Frances Buysse Lammerding, mother of Beacon Journal staffer Betsy Lammerding, died Jan. 28, 2007 at Rockynol Retirement Community. She was 83.

Fran was born May 22, 1923, in Paterson, N.J., and was the daughter of Elizabeth an
d Joseph Buysse. She and her late husband, Edwin F. Lammerding, Sr., were married 43 years and had five children. On many occasions, Fran said: "The best thing I did in life was raise five good kids." She lived most of her life in Roselle Park, N.J., before retiring to "The Country" in Glen Gardener, N.J. In 2002, she moved to Rockynol to be closer to her daughter Betsy of Akron. She and Eddie were active members of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Roselle, N.J., and later became members of St. Ann's Catholic Church in Hampton, N.J.

Fran was preceded in death by son, Edwin F. Jr., and is also survived by sons, William of Glen Gardener, Paul (Jane) of San Ramon, Calif., David of Miami Beach, Fla.; and five grandsons.

Calling hours will be 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at The Martin Funeral Home in Clinton, N.J. Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Ann's. Memorials may be made to the Hospice of Visiting Nurse Service, 3358 Ridgewood Rd., Akron, Ohio 44333 or Operation Orphan Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc., P.O. Box 15042, Akron, Ohio 44314.
[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Thursday, February 1, 2007, page B 7, col. 1]

Newspaper Guild meeting schedule

Here is a schedule of executive board and membership meetings for Local 1 - The Newspaper Guild.

The meetings -- open to all members -- all begin at 7 p.m. and are in Cleveland, Akron or Canton to encourage attendance from members at the different newspapers.

Issues of importance to all members are discussed at each meeting, regardless of the meeting site. Food and beverages are served at each meeting! You can generally find a ride with another Guild member to the Cleveland meetings.

Cleveland meetings will be in the Guild office, 1400 E. Schaaf Road. If you are interested in going to a Cleveland meeting and need directions, please see me (Katie) or Yuvonne, Stephanie, Paula, Bob or another Guild officer.

Akron meetings will be in the Printers Hall across from the Beacon.

The Canton meeting site is to be announced.


Feb. 27 -- 7 p.m. -- Akron -- Exec. Board/General Membership
March 27 -- 7 p.m. -- Akron --Exec. Board
April 24 -- 7 p.m. -- Cleveland -- Exec Board/ General Membership
May 22 -- 7 p.m. -- Akron -- Exec Board
June 26 -- 7 p.m. -- Cleveland -- Exec. Board
July -- no meeting
August -- no meeting
Sept. 25 -- 7 p.m. -- Canton -- Exec Board/ General Membership
Oct. 23 -- 7 p.m. -- Akron -- Exec Board
Nov. 27 -- 7 p.m.-- Cleveland -- Exec. Board/General Membership -- Nominate 2008 officers
December -- no meeting

Good PR guy for Historical Society

Phil Schiffbauer is a great PR man for the Lake Township Historical Society. Two stories on the Community News page today noted that Jeff Zellers would speak at a fireside chat at the hisorical socierty about KW Zellers & Sons farm and a book on migrant workers. One story datelined Hartville said the talk would be Feb 15 at Lake Middle School . Another story with a Lake Twp. dateline said he would speak Feb 15 but did not say where. Both said that for more information, you can call Schiffbauer at 330-877-9063. His name and phone number were in both items.