Monday, June 30, 2008

The night BJ won 1994 Pulitzer

This photo was taken the night the Beacon Journal won the Pulitzer prize in 1994. Only two in the photo are still at the Beacon: Bruce Wnges and Kerry Clawson.

Sitting around the table at Larry’s Bar, starting with Bruce Winges (hand raised) and moving clockwise is Michelle LeCompte, Joette Riley, Steve Berta, Debby Stock Kiefer, Jim Kavanagh, Fred Gerlich (now deceased), Phil Glende, David Hertz, Beth Hertz, Kerry Clawson and Athena Forrest. “It was a fun group of people to work with,” said Betz Hertz who provided the photo “And a special time. I know it's been 14 years, so it's only natural that people have moved on, but it still makes me nostalgic.”

The Beacon journal launched a 10-month long public journalism campaign called "A Question of Color" in late February 1993. Tjhe newspapeer subsequently was awarded the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for public-service journalism, one of four Pulitzers won by the newspaper.

Brian Windhorst in intensive care

An update from Brian's Care Page at 6:15 p.m. June 28:
OK, we finally have answers from the doctors.

Brian has been diagnosed with a vascular disease that affects a few of his organs. The reason it took the team of doctors so much time to discover this was because Brian's symptoms were so atypical. The disease is very rare, found in only 3 out of every 100,000 people. Brian has a great deal of treatment and healing ahead of him, but doctors are optimistic for a full recovery.

Again, all the thoughts and prayers have been so appreciated. Please continue to post messages on this site. They are so uplifting and we plan on sharing them with Brian.

Original post on June 26, 2008

Brian Windhorst, Cavaliers beat reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal, is in serious condition with pneumonia on the lungs in the intensive care unit of Akron City Hospital

Windhorst had been feeling out of sorts for some time and finally went to the emergency room over the weekend. Doctors are trying to determine how to treat the infection. A long recovery time is expected.

No visitors or flowers are allowed. Friends can send cards or well wishes to Brian in care of Rich Desrosiers, Sports Department, Akron Beacon Journal,
P. O. Box 640, Akron, OH 434309-0640. Mail will be shared with Brian.

We hear that former BJ sports columnist Terry Pluto did manage to get in to see Brain by showing a “chaplain’s card.”

Giffels, Dyer wins honors as columnists

Reprinted from today's Beacon Journal

Giffels, Dyer win national honors

Beacon Journal writers among best columnists

Beacon Journal staff report
Two Beacon Journal columnists have been recognized by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists as the best in the country.

David Giffels was named second best in the nation. Bob Dyer placed third.

They were judged based on their collection of work in 2007.

According to the judges, ''David Giffels is a very close second in this contest. He is extremely thoughtful, and his work is clearly well-reported. His voice is smooth, his writing eloquent and polished. And he has a wonderful sense of irony, which he subtly and effectively uses to lure readers into his columns.''

As for Dyer, the judges observed ''Bob Dyer's winning entries show that Akron is blessed with at least two very strong columnists. His writing has just enough sarcastic bite to sound like the best story teller at the bar, or the one who holds court at the high-school football games on Friday nights. He's conversational. He knows what's going on in town, some of it right under our noses, and he's the one who says: 'Hey, will you get a load of this?' ''

Susan Campbell of the Hartford Courant won first.

Old Howe House is moving today

For those of you who remember the old house next to the Beacon Journal:

The Richard Howe House — a home built by the resident engineer of the Ohio & Erie Canal — will be moved today by a high-tech remote control device two blocks west from the spot it has occupied at Exchange and High Streets since 1836 to a new home at Water and Exchange Street.

The building, which was erected when Andrew Jackson was president, will eventually become home of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ron Kirksey's last day at work

Here's a photo of former BJ ivory tower product Ron Kirksey shot by BJ photographer Paul Tople on April 30 at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens during the announcing of Kent State University's liquid crystal working to develop a new "smart greenhouse".

"Ron said it was his last day of working for KSU and he would be retiring," Tople emailed us this week. " I am sorry to get this to you so late,,,, but I have been a little busy."

Kirksey, director of university communincations at KSU, retired on April 30 --an event which was duly reported on this blog in a post on .April 9. Or you can type Kirksey in the search box at top left to see our posts about Kirksey.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Pam McCarthy: journalist, teacher then and now

Former BJ staffer Pam McCarthy retired May 31 after 33 yea
rs of teaching and, she says, 35.88 hours on the state pension systems.

This provided us an opportunity to reprint a favorite old photo: A gath
ering in the back room of Jack Horner 's in 1974 for the wake of the old State Desk which was disbanded.

In front is Pam McCarthy, Standing In the back is Cathy Strong who now lives in New Zealand. Caught in the middle (from left) are Kathy Goforth, now in New York City, Kathy Fraze who is still at the BJ as copy desk chief, retired TV editor John Olesky, then assistant State Desk editor retired since 1996, and the late Jan Clark. Pat Englehart was State Editor. He died Oct 29, 1995 in Ocala, FL, at the age of 70.

Pam retired from North Canton Hoover High School after 22 years of advising The Viking Views. For the past don't-know-how-many years, the kids have been publishing a 40-page newsmagazine 12 times a year. This year, due to money matters, there were 9 print issues and 2 web-only issues, published on the asne-spo
nsored website.

All 11 issues plus the senior color supplement were also published in PDF format on the school website at

The ASNE website is at

On the cover of the last print issue of this year -- issue 11 -- students asked Pam to choose her favorite covers from the past 22 years.

“I'm having it framed for my home office,” Pam writers. :” It's been a nice ride. Now I get to re-invent myself.”

Send your well wishes to
1006 Sunset Blvd. SW
North Canton, OH 44720

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Natalie McIntyre dies in Michigan on Mother’s Day

Here’s one we missed. Natalie McIntyre, wife of former BJ staffer Bruce McIntyre, died on Mother’s Day, May 11, 2008. Here is the full news obituary

Of The Oakland Press
Natalie Ann McIntyre, the wife of Bruce McIntyre, a former publisher of The Oakland Press, died on Mother's Day [May 11, 2008] surrounded by her loving family.

She was 80.

Mrs. McIntyre was diagnosed with leukemia in January at the Cleveland Clinic.

"Doctors took a blood test and put her in the hospital that first night," her husband, Bruce, said. "The hematologist told her the diagnosis the next morning."

She questioned the proposed treatment. "Do people really go through that?" she asked the doctor, referring to traditional treatment, McIntyre said.

"So instead of getting upset, she said, 'Let's celebrate.' We ordered a first-class dinner and champagne.

"She accepted it and decided to enjoy every day," he said.

Natalie Ann McIntyre was the daughter of Emil and Lillie (Alstadt) Wolff, born June 2, 1927, in Erie, Pa.

She met and married Bruce when he was a reporter at the Erie Times in 1953. They lived in Akron, Ohio; Battle Creek; and in Oakland County. Bruce worked at The Oakland Press from 1971 to 1995.

Mrs McIntyre had been a member of the Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary Advisory Board, the Creative Arts Center Board, the Vestry and Altar Guild of All Saints Episcopal Church, the Akron Library Board and was a founding member of the Women's Survival Center.

Jane Alstadt McIntyre, one of her four daughters, said: "She was truly remarkable in the way she touched people's lives, whether she knew them for a short time or a longer time.

"She had a remarkable ability to make a difference in people's lives no matter how long she knew them," she added.

Her eldest daughter, Elizabeth Wolff McIntyre, said: "As a mother, she was unconditional in her love and acceptance of all of us. That was how she was as a woman ... unconditionally loving and accepting to everyone she met."

Wolff McIntyre said her mother loved to read, especially books on psychology and theology.

Alstadt McIntyre said: "She did a great deal of charity for a variety of nonprofits.

"She loved gardening. She also had a flare for interior design. Visitors often said her home was one of the most beautiful houses they were ever in.

"She also had a great appreciation for beauty and that manifested in her garden and home."

Her daughters also said their mother loved fine food and was "quite a gourmet. Her passion was for the arts, the opera and was a season ticketholder to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra."

McIntyre said his wife "held on and died a few minutes after midnight on Mother's Day."

"I actually think it was kind of cool that she died on Mother's Day," said her daughter, Jane. "Her life's work was being a mother. We thought it was incredibly significant that she died on Mother's Day."

Besides her husband, Natalie is survived by her son, Douglas Alexander McIntyre (Dr. Patricia Allen) of New York City; daughters Elizabeth Wolff McIntyre (Daniel Brzozowski), Emily Olmsted McIntyre (Paul Hancock) of Clarkston, Catherine Natalie McIntyre (Dwight Hoffman) of Sylvan Lake and Jane Alstadt McIntyre of Novi; grandsons Garrett Wolff McIntyre, Hunter Garrahan McIntyre and Nicholas Andrei Hoffman and sister Phyllis Budell.

Following cremation, there will be a memorial service at All Saints Episcopal Church, 171 W. Pike at Williams St., Pontiac -- her church for 37 years -- at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The memorial service is open to the public.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the church in her name.

[Source: News obituary published in full from Oakland Press, Pontiac, MI, May 13, 2008]

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bankruptcies, closings loom in worst year on record

Here’s the lead on a New York Times story today in which an analysts predicts bankruptcies and closings for newspapers in the worst year on record.

For newspapers, the news has swiftly gone from bad to worse. This year is taking shape as their worst on record, with a double-digit drop in advertising revenue, raising serious questions about the survival of some papers and the solvency of their parent companies.

Ad revenue, the primary source of newspaper income, began sliding two years ago, and as hiring freezes turned to buyouts and then to layoffs, the decline has only accelerated.

On top of long-term changes in the industry, the weak economy is also hurting ad sales, especially in Florida and California, where the severe contraction of the housing markets has cut deeply into real estate ads. Executives at the Hearst Corporation say that one of their biggest papers, The San Francisco Chronicle, is losing $1 million a week.

Over all, ad revenue fell almost 8 percent last year. This year, it is running about 12 percent below that dismal performance, and company reports issued last week suggested a 14 percent to 15 percent decline in May.

“Never in my most bearish dreams six months ago did I think we’d be talking about negative 15 percent numbers against weak comps,” said Peter S. Appert, an analyst at Goldman Sachs. “I think the probability is very high that there will be a number of examples of individual newspapers and newspaper companies that fall into a loss position. And I think it’s inevitable that there will be closures in this industry, and maybe bankruptcies.”

Click on the headline to read the full story in today’s New York Times

Friday, June 20, 2008

It was the 'ripple affect' that stirred us

Because this blog tries to be loyal to its former employer, we usually think twice before we criticize.

Also because the Cleveland Cavaliers got shut out of the NBA playoffs, it seemed no big deal that a promo splashed across the top of page 1 on Monday gave the wrong score when the Boston Celtics won the title. Boston 140, Lakes 92. The sports pages carried the correct score 132 to 92.

Today, however, we must criticize the headline spread across five columns on the bottom of page 1:

It read: Fuel costs have ripple affect for local boaters.

affect is a verb, effect is the noun.

Gospel Time radio show host, 79, dies

Annie W. Robinson declared ''if Jesus can't fix it, nobody can,'' every Sunday morning for more than four decades across local radio airwaves.

Her voice was silenced on Tuesday, after a short battle with cancer, at Akron General Medical Center. The Akron Broadcasters Hall of Famer was 79.

'Dubbed the ''Gospel Queen,'' Mrs. Robinson started hosting her radio program Gospel Time in 1964 on 1350-AM [when the now WARF sports radio station was WADC, sponsored by the Automobile Dealers Co.]. Her show was a Sunday morning mainstay through the station's format transitions from automotive to country to urban contemporary to sports.

WARF Program Director Keith Kennedy said it would be difficult to find a family in the Greater Akron black church community that hasn't listened to her gospel music show.

''I don't know too many people who didn't start their Sunday mornings with her,'' Kennedy said. ''You wouldn't believe the number of people who have been calling in and saying they listened to the show as a child and now they're sharing the show with their children. She really bridged the gap between generations in families.''

Click on the headline to read the story by Colette M. Jenkins, Beacon Journal religion writer

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mourning in America: Russert coverage

This is the full article as it ran on, a blog of news and journalism criticism

Tim Russert, the host of NBC’s Meet the Press for 17 years who died suddenly on June 13, seemed like a thoroughly decent guy to me. In the following days, Washington journalists, politicians, and his viewing public lauded him as a fine political analyst, a straight shooter, and a great family man.

In fact, we heard those things over and over again in what seemed to be an avalanche of memorial coverage. Was there too much. Was it out of proportion?

One way to determine this is to look at TV news coverage of the last big TV news figure to die, ABC’s Peter Jennings, on August 7, 2008. Jennings was a TV news anchor and reporter for more than 40 years, and was the chief anchor of World News Tonight for 22 years – one of the “Big Three” anchors through the 1980s and 1990s with Tom Brokaw at NBC and Dan Rather at CBS.

Here’s the breakdown, based on story times from the Vanderbilt Television News Archive, of the first full day of evening news coverage for each.

Jennings Death, Aug. 8, 2005..........Russert Death, June 13, 2008
ABC 23:30................................,,.......4:00
CBS 6:40.........................................11:50
NBC 10:00.......................................28:30
CNN 21:30.......................................33:00
Total 1:01:40................................1:17:20

Interestly, NBC devoted the entire 28:30 minutes of its Nightly News program on Russert’s death, even with Brian Williams anchoring via satellite from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. In 2005 on ABC World News Tonight, most of the program covered Jennings’ death, but anchor Charles Gibson also saved five minutes for stories on a postponed Space Shuttle landing, an Iraqi sandstorm, energy policy, and gasoline prices.

The network news was about even in special coverage for the two. After Jenning’s death, ABC had three special commemorative broadcasts: an entire Nightline devoted to his memory, a half-hour tribute on the day he died, and a two-hour primetime tribute show three days later. After Russert’s death last week, NBC ran special remembrance editions of Dateline NBC, the Today Show, and Meet the Press. But, as Jack Shafer in Slate and others have observed, the praise-as-news about Russert continued to reverberate heavily through cable, blogs, and newspapers.

The results are interesting, given that Jennings had a much longer on-air career, and that he anchored five days a week, compared to Russert’s much smaller audiences for a niche Sunday morning program.

Of course, Russert was younger at 58, and his death by heart attack was more sudden than Jennings, who was 67 and signed off his last broadcast about three months before he died of lung cancer.

But, it’s also worth considering the competing news agenda. When Jennings died there were no other big news stories. When Russert died, there was the major continuing saga of 500-year floods in Iowa and the Upper Midwest.

Given the comparison to Jennings, I think the coverage of Russert’s death – with no disrespect to him or his family – was out of proportion.

Why? My analysis is that there is more to these narratives than just that a national news personality died.

Jennings, despite his long successful career (his newscast was rated first or second for most of his tenure) was more of a political outsider. Born in Canada, Jennings had a more international outlook of any of his anchor peers, and had spent several years as a foreign correspondent. It wasn’t until 2003 that he acquired U.S. citizenship, but conservatives regularly attacked him for “liberal bias” and a “European agenda.”

Russert, on the other hand, was one of the elite Washington beltway gang. As the son of a Buffalo, New York sanitation worker (Russert celebrated his dad “Big Russ” in a book) he was roundly praised for his “blue-collar sensibility.” But it was the mythology of his blue-collar origins that belied the fact that he was truly a Washington insider. He worked in politics with New York Sen. Daniel Moynihan and Gov. Mario Cuomo before he got into news, and he clearly loved the “inside game” of politics.

Politicians of both parties liked him, because for all of his storied tough questioning, he was a guy who played by the polite rules of Washington, where the worst a liar can do is “misspeak.” Tellingly, Cathie Martin, Dick Cheney’s spokesperson, testified in the 2007 perjury trial of Scooter Libby that when the administration was criticized for overstating the case for war against Iraq, their strategy was to put Cheney on Russert’s show, where they thought they could control the message. “I suggested we put the vice president on Meet the Press, which was a tactic we often used,” she said. “It’s our best format.”

Being favored by Dick Cheney’s handlers doesn’t sound like a case for the journalism hall of fame, though.

In the case of Russert, we should consider what small impact “public affairs” journalism like Meet the Press has in these days of The Daily Show, social networking on the Internet, and Obama’s nontraditional campaign. I think the New York Times’ Media Equation columnist David Carr got it right when he observed that the mourning seemed not only for Russert, but an attempt to celebrate and shore up the increasingly irrelevant establishment political journalism.

How McClatchy papers covered the cuts

The Columbia Journalism Review did an interesting article on how McClatchy's own newspapers covered the huge cuts planned by the newspaper chain.

The former Knight Ridder Miami Herald was the only newspaper apparently that lead with the cuts in its own staff and then discussed chain wide cuts. Most led with the chain and then belatedly told how many jobs their newspaper would be losing.

Click on the headline for the interesting review.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Retired Repository editor joins chamber

CANTON – David Kaminski, retired editor of The Repository, has joined the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce as director of business development and strategic projects. He succeeds James Pennetti, who is now vice president of community investments for United Way of Greater Stark County.

Kaminski most recently operated a research and consultant business. He will administer the education and work force development initiative though oversight of its Education Committee and Task Force. He has led the task force the past year on a free-lance basis. He will oversee the 21st Century Government Initiative to study the cost of local government and explore the potential of regional government.

Before retiring in May 2007, Kaminski worked for The Repository for 33 years, the last 10 as editor. He has been active in the community.

He and his wife, Anne, have four adult children and reside at Canton.
[Source: Times-Reporter, New Philadephia, OH]

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

McClatchy cuts not being done on equal basis

McClatchy's plan to cut 10% of its workforce, or some 1,400 jobs, is not being implemented with equal damage everywhere, according to local newspapers, Joe Strupp reports in Editor & Publisher. . While The Miami Herald is being hit with a 17% staff cut, others, such as The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C., are seeing less pain, with a 3.6% cutback.

The highly praised McClatchy (was Knight Ridder) Washington, D.C., bureau, meanwhile, is not losing any jobs during this round, according to Howard Weaver, McClatchy's vice president/news. "The bureau is smaller than it used to be, and it covers things differently," Weaver told E&P. "I think the editors realize it is a valuable contributor to them."

At local papers, meanwhile, the companywide cutback announced Monday is being felt with varying levels of pain, an approach Weaver contends is the fairest way to handle the economic problems. "There is a huge swing," he said about the implementation. "We have had some departments that haven’t had to lay anyone off, and others that are considerable."

Ann Caulkins, publisher and president of the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, which announced it would reduced its workforce by 123 positions, or about 11.1%, said that is the fairest approach: "It depends on the local properties and where they are financially," she said. "You have to ask them to make adjustments accordingly."

Most newspaper editors and publishers declined to comment, instead referring to memos or Monday stories about the cutbacks.

Monday, June 16, 2008

McClatchy to cut work force by 10 percent

McClatchy Co. said Monday it will cut 10 percent of its workforce in a move to save $70 million a year as the newspaper publisher continues to struggle to attract advertising dollars.

McClatchy, which publishes The Kansas City Star and The Miami Herald, will trim about 1,400 employees. The staff reductions are part of a plan to reduce overall expenses by $95 million to $100 million over the next four quarters.

"The effects of the current national economic downturn — particularly in real estate, auto and employment advertising — make it essential that we move faster now to realign our workforce and make our operations more efficient," said McClatchy Chief Executive Gary Pruitt, in a statement.

McClatchy said in April that it swung to a loss in the first quarter as a weakening economy and competition from online rivals led to a 15 percent plunge in advertising revenues at its newspapers.

On Monday, the company said May revenue fell 15.1 percent year-over-year, and ad sales were down 16.6 percent. Declines in print advertising were partially offset by a 12.9 percent gain in online advertising revenue last month.

For the first five months of the year, total revenue has declined 14.2 percent, includinga 15.4 percent drop in ad sales. Online ad sales have grown 11.9 percent year to date.

Shares fell 9 cents to $8.10 in early trading.

[Source: Associated Press]

Thursday, June 12, 2008

PD reporter wins first MOLLY award

Plain Dealer reporter Diane Suchetka has won the firar MOLLY National Journalism Award for "Bernard's Story."

The four-part series detailed the journey of Bernard Hill, a high school dropout from the Mount Pleasant neig
hborhood who earned a high school equivalency diploma.

The MOLLY award honors the late Molly Ivins, a legendary columnist and former editor of The Texas Observer in Austin, Texas. Ivins, 62, died in 2007. She had breast cancer.

The award, which is in its first year, recognizes the best print and online journalism that focuses on civil liberties and so cial justice and in cludes a $5,000 prize.

"We're proud of Diane for becoming the first winner of the MOLLY," said Plain Dealer Editor Susan Goldberg. "The stories captured the spirit of a young man who refused to quit -- characteristics that Molly Ivins celebrated in her columns for many years. Diane sets a high bar for the award."

Suchetka will receive the award today in Austin at a ceremony where broadcast journalist Dan Rather will give the keynote speech.

"If I could've designed the journalism prize I most wanted to win, this would've been it," Suchetka said. "Molly Ivins had more pluck and wit and brains and heart than anybody in this business. And she used it all to do good, to tell the truth, fight for the little guy, bring about justice. She's my hero."

Click on the headline to read "Bernard's Story."

Zell called LA Times Human Wrecking Ball

A report from the Wasthington Post:

On Oct. 1, 1910, a bomb set by James McNamara, an operative of the Iron Workers union, then embroiled in a ferocious dispute with the Los Angeles Times, blew up the Times building, killing 21 pressmen. McNamara was arrested the following April, convicted and later sentenced to life in prison. He died in San Quentin in 1941.

The question for today is: Would a similar sentence be appropriate for Sam Zell?

Zell, for those of you fortunate enough not to follow news of the newspaper business, is the Chicago real estate magnate who last year purchased the Tribune Co., which owns the Tim
es, the Chicago Tribune and a number of smaller papers. At the rate he's going, he's well on his way to accomplishing a feat that McNamara didn't even contemplate: destroying the L.A. Times.

In his brief tenure atop the Trib empire, Zell has concluded that the proper response to the very real troubles in which the newspaper industry finds itself is to cut back on what newspaper
s offer. When Zell took over, the Times had already been through successive rounds of buyouts and layoffs administered by Tribune executives, but Zell has taken bean counting to a whole new level.

During his first year in journalism, Zell has visited the city rooms and Washington bureaus of a number of Trib publications to deliver obscenity-laced warnings and threats to employees that whatever it was they were doing, it wasn't working. There was too much coverage of world and national affairs, he told Times writers and editors; readers don't want that stuff. Last week, the company decreed that its 12 papers would have to cut by 500 the number of pages they devoted every week to news, features and editorials, until the ratio of pages devoted to copy and pages devoted to advertising was a nice, even 1 to 1. At the Times, that would mean eliminating 82 pages a week.

Click on the headline to read the rest of this story by Harold Meyerson in the Washington Post.

8 attend monthly BJ retirees lunch

Updated to include report by Tom Moore. Photos provided by Moore. Click on image to enlarge for better view.

Eight folks showed for the BJ retiree luncheon this month The number might have been small, but the talk made up for it as we discussed old friends and remembered those who are no longer with us.

Printer Francis Reeves came with Ed Hanzel and his wife, Norma. I had not seen Francis for a lot of years. But I remember him working the bank, proofing type in the old hot-type days…a fellow who got along with everybody….as did his brother the late Red, also a printer and one hell
of a makeup man.

Francis had a good story or two, among them, the time an editorial type was close to deadline…need the galley of type a printer was carrying. The printer stumbled and dropped the galley, spilling it all over the floor. Francis recalled he thought the editorial person was going to have a heart attack.

But the printer was only fooling. The type he spilled was garbage!

And he was an eyewitness when I was overseeing page one and grabbed the phone to talk to the copy desk. The phone cord ran into a buzz saw…..those metal saws that were kept running all the time. I, of course, had to get an answer to a questions, sp I went to another phone and dialed the desk and told them I’d “been cut off.”

Ed Hanzel said Bob Pell wasn’t feeling up to the luncheon. Also missing were John Olesky, who had a doctor’s appointment, and a couple three other regulars.

I picked up Dave Boerner and we had a nice chat on the way over and back. Dave is involved in a project right now…editing his home movies and photos to come up with a DVD that will be a history of his family.

This was the first luncheon I’d made in four months. The first one I missed was because of company from Canada…the daughter of the late Brian MacNamara who worked briefly for the Beacon Journal in the women’s department. Brian and I worked together in Lorain and
then in Columbus. He came to Akron and worked for Malone Advertising, taking a job that I
turned down.

The next luncheon was one of those appointments all of us oldsters
face—doctor checkup. And the last one, we were in Bowie, Md., getting daughter Kathy’s house ready to go on the market. Kathy in June completed 30 years with
the EPA and is retiring and coming back to Akron.

By the way, she’s an BJ alumni…she was a weekend copykid…way back when.

Back to the present. I announced I was wearing my Dave White memorial belt buckle…the pride of the collection of 150. Dave, a retired composing room honcho, and Gina, his
wife, live in Florida. Dave had this great buckle decorated with a horse’s head. I admired it and told him so and I keep insisting that if he kicked the bucket or retired, he should leave a buckle for me. When he retired, he came out into the editorial room, stopped at my desk and placed the buckle before me.

Now Dave and I had our clashes in the heat of battle. And we didn’t mince words at times. Many times we would yell at each other a few words that did not include “you’re a horse’s head”….Our words were aimed a bit lower on the horse.

Also attending the June luncheon was Tim Hayes, Carl Nelson and Cal

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cleveland Leader reports big cuts at PD

Submitted by Roldo Bartimole on June 10, 2008

Top Plain Dealer executives – Publisher Terry Egger and Editor Susan Goldberg - told worried editorial staff members yesterday that the business climate is so bad that the paper plans to cut 35 pages a week from its news pages and 20 percent of its workforce.

Egger said they were looking at “drastic changes,” according to PD reporters.

That’s 35 pages of less news every week or 1,820 pages a year for readers of Cleveland's only daily newspaper.

A day ago the Tribune Company announced it would chop 500 pages a week from its newspapers, which include the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant and others. The New York Times reported that it could mean 82 pages a day cut from the L. A. Times.

The plan has to be approved by Advance publications, owned by the Newhouse family, Plain Dealer owners.

A newspaper price increase is also contemplated.

The paper has already lost some 17 percent of its editorial staff after a recent buyout.

The paper will reduce its op-ed pages from two to one; stock tables will be gone. There will be no business pages on Monday and special sports sections will be eliminated.

Fun Video: How to be a reporter

Click on the headline for a just-for-fun video from the Chicago Tribune on how to be a reporter:
: "Look sharp, young man. Make sure your fedora hat is straight and your press card is firmly attached." Chicago Magazine editor Dick Babcock wins productivity points for starring as the Chicago Tribune editor. (Tribune owns the magazine, too.) : "We want to come up with our own home-grown content. This is one of those efforts," says the Tribune's Kevin Pang.

Tough times for Brian Tierney

Taken from the lead of a Fortune magazine feature:

Brian Tierney was pretty cocky when he and a group of investors bought the Philadelphia Inquirer and its sister, the tabloid Daily News, for $515 million two years ago. The former public relations magnate vowed to boost circulation and revenue at the papers.

How would he do that when Knight Ridder, their former owner, had failed to do so before reluctantly selling itself to McClatchy Newspapers (MNI)?

Tierney boasted that he and his partners could invest more money into the Inquirer and the Daily News because, unlike Knight Ridder, they weren't facing angry public shareholders obsessed with the next quarter.

Sounds straightforward enough. Focus on the long-term and reap the rewards of your fortitude. But that doesn't mean Tierney and his partners aren't under considerable pressure in the short run.

They borrowed at least $345 million to finance their acquisition. Last week, a Standard & Poor's newsletter reported that Philadelphia Media Holdings was in violation of its covenants on its senior debt and missed a June 1 interest payment on a mezzanine loan.

Jay Devine, spokesman for the company, declined to comment on the specifics of the credit challenges. "This is not a sign of any big problems at the company," he insists. But given the financial pressures, Tierney and Co. can only be doing so much investing in the Inquirer these days.

A similar story is playing out at newly-private newspapers across the country.

Knight Ridder blamed Wall Street when it cut. Tierney can always scapegoat his lenders. Either way, the results look depressingly familiar.

Click on the headline to read the full story.

Karen Lefton, Linda Lyell leaving BJ

Karen Lefton is leaving her position as general counsel of the Akron Beacon Journal to join the law firm of Brouse McDowell, where she will be a principal in the labor and employment group. Her last day will be June 20.

Lefton, who has been at the Beacon Journal for 28 years, joined the newspaper as a reporter in January, 1980. She also worked as a copy editor, news editor, region editor
and city editor.

During the five years she was city editor, the Beacon Journal was named best newspaper of its size in Ohio four times. After 17 years in the newsroom, she moved to Human Resources and became the labor relations manager, working on employee and union matters. She grew into assisting with all areas of the law and most enjoyed helping the newsroom get access to public records and meetings. As associate general counsel, she successfully argued the newspaper's case for access to juror questionnaires at the Ohio Supreme Court. Citing the Beacon Journal v. Bond case, many jurisdictions now include a caveat on their juror questionnaires that the information potential jurors provide is public.

Linda Lyell, the Beacon Journal's vice president of Online Operations, also is leaving.
She has been with since 1999. Before that, she worked for the Beacon Jour
nal as the creative director in Marketing Communications. She has been a marketing director for Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, Main Street Muffins, has operated her own business and has worked as a Beacon Journal promotional design artist.

Lyell is looking forward to spending some time with her family and getting back into her artwork. She will work for about two more months.

After the sale of the paper, Linda led the Ohio. com team through the transition to a new platform. Since then traffic to has shown rapid growth. Year over year from 2006 2007 Ohio. com had a yearly total of 83 million page views, reflecting 18% growth. From January 2007 to January 2008 unique visitors grew to more than 1 million monthly, a 68% growth.

[Source: June 9 memo to staff by publisher Andrea C. Matthewson]

Monday, June 09, 2008

Regina Brett: A moving series called "Inheritance'

Regina Brett and daughter Gabrielle

Ten years ago, former BJ staffer and now PD columnist Regina Brett wrote four columns after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Now she presents four columns about what her daughter, Gabrielle, inherited from her.. “These were far more difficult to write, ” she notes.

But let Regina explain it far better in her own words.

Would you want to know if you carried a gene for a potentially fatal disease? If you found out you had that gene, would you want your child to know if she carried it, too?

It's a terrible legacy to pass on. A mutation in every single cell of your body. I have one. It's called BRCA1. It's one of the breast cancer genes.

There are so many traits I want to pass on to my daughter. A gene for a fatal disease isn't one of them.

Ten years ago, I wrote four columns after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Today I present four columns about what my daughter inherited from me. These were far more difficult to write.

Our story begins with a test.

The test: Did I pass the breast-cancer gene to my daughter?

Before we left the house that morning, my daughter, Gabrielle, and I braced ourselves for the news we didn't want to hear.

We steadied ourselves with prayers and hugs and hoped for the best.

We knew better.

As the mother, I needed to be the strong one. My heart was breaking but I couldn't show it, couldn't let my daughter know how sad I felt, how scared. This was the day we would learn if I had given her a gene that could kill her.

The drive to the genetics center Feb. 21, 2002, seemed so long even though it is only a few minutes' drive to University Hospitals. We walked through the hospital maze to the Center for Human Genetics. I remembered these halls too well. It was like entering my own personal haunted house. This was where I got the cancer verdict in 1998, the MRIs, bone scans and ultrasounds to see if the cancer had spread beyond my breast. The surgery took place upstairs, radiation treatments in the basement. Three years later, I received genetic testing here and as a result -- oh, my heart ached for her -- I had both of my breasts removed.

This was different.

Click on the headline to read the columns and view a video and more photos

This was my daughter.

Bill Moyers gives keynote address on media reform

More than 3,500 people gathered this weekend in Minneapolis for the fourth annual National Conference for Media Reform. The thousands of participants took part in panel discussions and strategized about efforts to fight media consolidation and democratize the airwaves. The three-day event was organized by the media reform group Free Press.

The highlight of the weekend was the keynote address by legendary broadcaster, Bill Moyers, host of the weekly PBS program Bill Moyers Journal. Moyers was one of the founding organizers of the Peace Corps, press secretary for President Lyndon Johnson, publisher of News
day, senior correspondent for CBS News and a producer of many groundbreaking series on public television. He won more than thirty Emmys and is the author of four bestselling books. His latest, just out, is called Moyers on Democracy. On Saturday morning, Bill Moyers took to the stage and addressed the packed convention auditorium.

Click on the headline to read the test orf Moyers’ speech. You also can watch a video recording of the speech.

Dorothy & Paul McGough Celebrate 60th

Retired Beacon Journal pressroom retiree Paul McGough and wife, Dorothy are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Here is the annpuncement in the Akron Beacon Journal on Monday:

Dorothy (Flechler) and Paul McGough are celebrating their. 60th wedding anniversary.. They were married on June l2, 1948 at St. Paul's Catholic Church.

Both were born in Akron, raised in Firestone Park, and graduated from Garfield Hig
h School. Paul retired from the Akron Beacon Journal in 1987. They have eight children, 17 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. A family party is planned for June 15, 2008 to celebrated the occasion..

[Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Monday, June 9, 2008, page E7, col. 5]

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Beacon Journal, 93 others join Yahoo group

The Akron Beacon Journal and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, another of the Black Ltd. Newspapers, are among 94 newspqpers who have joined Yahoo’s online advertising venture. The Milwaukee Journal, the Chicago Sun-Times and 70 other Chicago newspapers are among the additions which bring the total numer of newspapers involved to 799. The newspapers represent about 41 percent of the total Sunday circulation.

Yahoo sells ads across the online sites of memer newspapers.

In related news, Yahoo announced a deal with Wal-Mart to provide online ads, including video ads, for the retail giant's site.

The newest companies to join the partnership are the Sun-Times News Group (STNG) with its flagship Chicago Sun-Times and 70 Chicago-area papers; the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Black Press, which includes the Akron Beacon Journal and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin; Stephens Media Group, including the Las Vegas Review Journal and 11 dailies; Independent Newspapers, publisher of the Delaware State News; and Yankton Media, publisher of the Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan.

"We have been impressed with how Yahoo and the newspaper consortium have jumpstarted the newspaper industry's digital presence," Rich Surkamer, chief operating officer of the Sun-Times Newspaper Group, said..

Elizabeth Brenner, president and COO of Journal Communications, said the company was attracted to Yahoo's advertising network platform.

The partnership allows newspapers -- if they choose -- to integrate HotJobs into their offerings. Other prongs of the alliance include access to Yahoo's advertising technology, the recently launched AMP which will give the members one common platform. In the summer, Yahoo expects to roll out AMP to its partners.

Newspapers also have the ability to sell Yahoo's local inventory to their clients.

So far, almost 600 newspapers have signed on to HotJobs, using the recruitment site exclusively through co-branded efforts. More than 50 newspapers are involved in the test pilot selling targeted Yahoo inventory to local advertisers.

Close to 150 papers have launched Yahoo search products. And newspapers in the partnership now receive more than 10 million "referrals" a month from the distribution of news headlines across the Yahoo network.

"We're now in the midst of a comprehensive sales training program designed to help the consortium's 6,000-plus sales representatives to take advantage of the new online tools they'll soon be receiving from Yahoo," Lem Lloyd, Yahoo vice president of the newspaper consortium, said in a statement.

[Source: Editor & Publisher and newspapers involved.]

Monday, June 02, 2008

Ken Rosenbaum is a blogger now

Ken Rosenbaum, who has retired after 24 years at the Toledo Blade, fondly remembers his brief time at the Beacon Journal in 1968.

After leaving the Beacon, Ken notes that he closed two newspapers–the Cleveland Press and St. Louis Globe Democrat. “Of course, the fine folks in Toledo were understandably nervou
s when I arrived,” he writes.

Ken says he remembers those at the BJ as “a great bunch” and is glad he was was not in Akron to witness the sale of Knight-Ridder.

After 45 years as a journalist in Columbus, Medina, Akron, Cleveland, St. Louis and Toledo (for the past 24 years), Ken has retired–but not really. He is still writi
ng one of three Toledo Blade blogs.

Here’s how the blog intro describes it:

Ken Rosenbaum is having a senior moment. In fact, all his moments now are officially senior ones.. Contrary to popular belief, having a senior moment can be a good thing. He'll introduce you to some Toledo seniors and what's on their minds. He'll share thoughts on diet, exercise, health, music, travel and fun for seniors. He'll visit northwest Ohio senior centers, checking out their facilities, services and friendliness. This won't be an old folks diary, rather a breezy journey through what Ken expects to be the best time of life. Join him for the ride.

Viewers of this blog, can join in the ride, by going to Just click on Blade Blogs on the left side of the screen. One of the three smiling faces looks just like the one on this post. That’s Ken:

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