Saturday, May 30, 2009

3 on BJ advertising staff lose jobs

This post updated 6/1/09 to correct title of Alton Brown

Learned from a close source:

Three memers of the Beacon Journal advertiswing staff were let go this week:
Ken Weitzel, aide to Alton Brown, General Manager and Vice President, Advertising.
Brian Joy, layout and makeup

Steve Cageao, director of online operations for

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Nancy (Lile) Wise, teacher and reporter, dies

Nancy Jean (Lile) Wise

Catavolos Funeral Home Rose Hill Chapel 330-666-3089Nancy Jean Wise (Lile)

Nancy Jean Wise (Lile), 81, passed away Wednesday, May 27, 2009.

She was born in Akron on November 17, 1927. Nancy lived in Lancaster, Pa. after her retirement, from 1996 to 2002, when she moved to St. Luke Lutheran Home. She was preceded in death by her parents, Chester and Eve (Lewis) Lile.

Nancy leaves behind, her son, William D. Wise, Jr. of Akron; brother, James Lile of Conestoga, Pa.; nephew, Clay Lile; nieces, Grace Goldwag and Kenna Broadbent; sister-in-law, Judith Hines of Lancaster, Pa.; and cousins, Linda Sue Boone, Clay Lile Boone and David Boone.

She taught at Akron Public Schools for 30 years, teaching at both Glover and Portage Path Elementary School as well as Simon Perkins Middle School. She was a reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal and a writer/reporter for Mademoiselle Magazine. Nancy received her Bachelor's Degree from DePaw University and her Master's Degree from The University of Akron.

A Memorial service will be held Monday, June 1 at 2 p.m. at the Catavolos Funeral Home, 3653 W. Market Street. Friends and family may gather from 1 p.m. until time of the service. Inurnment will follow at Rose Hill. Memorial contributions may be made to the Akron Community Foundation, 345 W. Cedar St., Akron 44307.
[Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Thursday, May 28, 2009, page B7, col. 6\

Blog Note:She apparently did some reporting for the Beacon Journal in the 1950s. The Human Resources Department had no file on her. There was a single photo of her seated at a typewriter in the BJ reference library dated 1952. Anyone know more of her.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ole? Oh, nay!

By John Olesky (BJ 1969-96)
Paula and I signed up for a cruise to Mexico with stops in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, all places I’ve never been on my seven previous cruises. Because the swine flu scare centered on Mexico, Princess Cruises took us instead to San Francisco, Santa Barbara and San Diego.

We made the April 28-May 13 journey to help Paula’s parents celebrate the 100th birthday of Paula’s second cousin, Marion, who lives in Monrovia, California. She seems more like a 75-year-old in spirit, mobility and personality.

Since we were going to be in California, we thought that it would be a good time to take a cruise along Mexico’s western shores. Good idea. Terrible timing.

We kept to our original plan for spending three days in Las Vegas. That made Nevada the 41st state that I’ve been in, to go with the 29 countries in my travels since my 1996 retirement from the Beacon Journal.

Las Vegas must use a trillion kilowatts a minute the way it’s lit up. Just like Shanghai, China, which we visited over the 2006/2007 Christmas/New Year’s period. The Bellagio casino/hotel has a fantastic outdoor water show display. Every 15 to 30 minutes the music is choreographed to match the water spurting up to 460 feet high. The lighting makes the display even more spectacular. It cost $40 million to build the lake and install the 1,214 water-emitting devices.

The Golden Nugget has a $1 million golden nugget on display. The Paris Las Vegas casino has a 460-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower. The Venetian has gondola rides under the hotel’s blue-sky canopy. Fremont Street has periodic videos on its canopy that stretches for blocks and envelops the myriad of buildings in the shopping complex. We came across former Cincinnati Reds baseball great Pete Rose selling his autographs (we didn’t buy).

We stayed at The Orleans casino/hotel.

We did gamble in the casinos. We both won money. Paula won $3 and I won $7. We put $1 a day apiece into the machines. We ate steak dinners for $6.99 apiece ($1.99 apiece when we used our free $5 worth of casino money on the dinners).

We took side trips:

-- The massive 1936 Hoover Dam across the Colorado River on the Nevada-Arizona border.
-- Scenic 195,819-acre Red Rock Canyon, five miles west of Las Vegas. We saw petroglyphs by one of the seven Native American cultures that once lived in the area.

As for the cruise, we visited Alcatraz during our San Francisco stop. I did time in “The Hole,” where the baddest of the bad were kept in isolation at the 1934-63 federal prison off San Francisco Bay.

We also visited two Spanish missions:

-- The Old Mission in Santa Barbara, founded in 1786.
-- The San Juan Capistrano Mission, founded in 1776. Its major claim to fame is that cliff swallows fly 6,000 miles from Argentina to arrive each March 19 (St. Joseph’s Day). Sort of like buzzards returning to Hinckley, only the Capistrano birds are much smaller.

In San Diego:

-- We walked around Balboa Park, which has 15 museums, performing arts venues, magnificent gardens and the San Diego Zoo.
-- We visited the Hotel del Coronado, which opened in 1888 as the largest resort hotel in the world and the first to use electrical lighting. Opulence only begins to describe it.
-- From the Rosencrans National Cemetery in Point Loma we could look past the beach and across San Diego Bay and take in the San Diego skyline.
-- We strolled through San Diego’s Old Town, where in 1769 Father Junipero Serra established the first of 21 Spanish missions in California.

What’s next on our list? We’re looking at several possibilities.

If you want to see the photos of our trip, click on the headline.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Two guys in the same boat

By John Olesky (BJ 1969-96)

Paula and I were on a ferry between Marblehead and Kelleys Island, in Lake Erie, when the guy next to me noticed my West Virginia University School of Journalism sweatshirt. We got to talking about our newspaper experie
nce. I told him I had been at the Akron Beacon Journal for the final 26 of my 43 years on newspapers when I retired in 1996. “I worked there, too,” he said. “I was city editor with about 20 reporters when I left the Beacon” in 1967. Bruce began at the BJ in 1958. He was on the ferry with a friend. Like us, they set out to enjoy a day on Kelleys Island on a Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend. We talked of people we both knew at the BJ: John S. Knight, Ben Maidenburg, Bob Giles, Al Fitzpatrick, Ben James, Hal Fry, Dan Warner, Polly Paffilas, Betty Jaycox and legendary reporter Helen Waterhouse, a features reporter who enthralled readers but kept copy editors busy cleaning up her copy. Bruce moved on to Michigan to add to his journalism career. I Googled Bruce and found out that he is retired president and publisher of The Daily Oakland Press in Pontiac, MI, in his multiple-newspaper career and is a former president of the Michigan Press Association. Bruce and Natalie, who died in 2008, lived in upscale Orchard Lake –- with only a few thousand people -- since 1983, where Bruce has been mayor (2000-2004), councilman and planning commissioner. Bruce is a member of two bank boards and a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. Bruce still keeps his hand in journalism as editor of the Orchard Lake Chronicle. Among the residents of Orchard Lake, southwest of Pontiac and northwest of Detroit, is singer/songwriter Bob Seger. The four of us got off the ferry, which carries cars and people to Kelleys Island, and went our separate ways. As usual, Paula and I did a lot of walking for our sightseeing, probably three miles on the four-by-two-miles island. It helps my 15-month-old bionic knee. If any BJ old-timers want to contact Bruce, his email address is:

Friday, May 22, 2009

PD Guild swaps pay for job security

Newsroom bargaining unit members at The Plain Dealer last Friday, May 15, approved a contract amendment that provides job security in exchange for wage concessions, according to the Northeast Ohio Chapter of The Newspaper Guild.

The agreement guarantees job security for at least a year in exchange for an 8.1% wage cut and 11 days of unpaid furlough, with total wage concessions of about 12%, beginning June 1.

The pressmen and the three largest Teamsters units at the newspaper rejected the tentative agreement in voting Sunday, according to the Guild. Two smaller Teamsters units approved the agreement.

The Unity Council of Plain Dealer unions, which includes the Guild, Teamsters and pressmen, recommended their members approve the contract amendment, according to the Guild. Teamsters units representing the mailroom, circulation and paper handlers turned it down.

According to previous news reports, unionized Plain Dealer workers were told that they must make $5 million in concessions by June 1 or face the layoff of more than 60 members, including 22 newsroom jobs.

Plain Dealer president and publisher Terrance C. Z. Egger announced March 23 that full-time, nonunion employees must take 10 days of unpaid leave between April 20 and Oct. 4. Full-time and part-time nonunion employees will see the first $50,000 of their pay cut by 8% and any additional pay reduced by 10% as of June 1.

[Source: Crain's Biusiness Review]

Moody’s Joins S&P In Downgrading Black Credit

Black Press Ltd., the Canadian parent of the Akron Beacon Journal and new minority owner of the San Diego Union-Tribune is likely
to bump against it loan covenants within the next year as it’s squeezed by declining revenue from its U.S. newspapers and a weakened Canadian dollar, Moody’s Investors Service said Wednesday.

Moody’s downgraded Black’s corporate family rating (CFR) and senior secured credit facility rating to B1 from Ba3. The new rating is deeper into junk territory and defined by Moody’s as “very speculative.” The ratings firm also lowered its “probability of default rating (PDR) to B2 from B1, suggesting a 32% probability of a default even within a year.

About C$410 million (US$359.2 million) of debt was rated by Moody’s, which n
oted it was not including Black’s Honolulu Star-Bulletin in its ratings. Moody’s also downgraded the outlook on Black Press to negative from stable, suggesting further downgrades are possible.

“The CFR downgrade to B1 reflects recent deterioration in Black Press revenue, earnings and liquidity profile and Moody's expectation that operating results and key credit measures will not improve materiallyover the medium term,” wrote analyst Suzanne Win

Moody’s says that Vancouver, B.C.-based Black’s nearly 170 papers in Western Canada have been “resilient” through the newspaper recession, although weakening in the last quarter. The problem is its U.S. papers are significantly dragging down revenue and EBITD
A, Moody’s says.

Earlier this month, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services similarly downgraded Black Press farther into junk on concerns of weakening liquidity and a growing debt burden.

Moody’s analysis of possible covenant defaults is below the fold:
In analyst Wingo's words:

The downgrade and negative outlook further reflect Black Press' weak
liquidity profile, in which a leverage covenant default over the next
four quarters is considered highly likely by Moody's. At February 28,
2009, the company's leverage covenant calculation was approximately 5.3
times versus a current requirement of 5.5 times that steps down to 5.25
times at August 31, 2009. Reported debt, denominated mostly in US
dollars, has increased materially over the last several quarters due
predominantly to the conversion impact of the stronger US dollar.
Deterioration in EBITDA has further exacerbated covenant tightness,
leaving little margin for an unexpected shortfall in results. A covenant
violation could limit access to the company's revolver and accelerate
repayment of the credit facility, absent an amendment or waiver.
Nevertheless, free cash flow is expected to remain modestly positive
over the next year, despite difficult market conditions.

[S0ource: Titz and Jen, Editor & Publisher blog]

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bill to protect retiree healh benefits proposed

An interesting press release:

Contact: Brad Bauman
May 20, 2009 (202) 225-5261
Bill would prohibit group health plans from making post-retirement reductions in retiree benefits, put loan guarantee programs in place to assist employers in restoring lost benefits
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-17) co-sponsored the Emergency Retiree Health Benefits Protection Act of 2009 this week. The bill is an effort to protect the 18.5 million retirees in America who earned health care benefits in retirement during their working years. The bill would explicitly prohibit group health plans from making post-retirement reductions in retiree benefits and would require employers to restore benefits reduced after retirement. In order to assist employers who may suffer a financial hardship by restoring benefits, the bill would create a federal loan guarantee program that would provide the needed capital they would need. The bill will protect benefits employees are entitled to at the passage of the legislation, but will not restore benefits that employees are no longer legally entitled to.
”Right here at home we’ve seen retirees who worked their entire lives with a promise from their employer that they would be well taken care of in their golden years only to lose those benefits when they need them the most” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “Congress must stop these unfair cuts. Retiree health care benefits must be protected by law.”
In addition, the bill would require plans to adopt provisions barring post-retirement cuts in retiree health benefits; and would require employers to restore health benefits reduced after retirement. The bill would provide an exemption for employers who are unable to restore benefits because they would experience substantial business hardship. The Department of Labor would be charged with determining what companies would fit that category.
According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) report, the Employer Health Benefits 2008 Survey, employer-provided health coverage for retirees has decreased significantly in the past decade.
In 1998, 66 percent of companies with more than 200 employees who offered health benefits to employees were offering similar benefits to retirees. By 2007, only 33 percent of large firms offered coverage to retirees, and in 2008 the number dropped once again to 31 percent.

Brad Bauman
Communications Director
Office of Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-17)
(W) 202-225-5261
(C) 202-294-3702

[SourceL Thanks to Bob DeMay for forwarding this to us]

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Art exhibit that BJ alums shouldn't miss

I know that Harry Liggett, Tom Moore and Kathy Hagedorn have posted on this blog previously about the 4 Guys art exhibit, but I must chime in after checking out the art gallery at Moca Maiden on 20 N. High Street.

This is a treat art-wise but also an intriguing stroll down memory lane for those of us who made the BJ zing and sing in the 20th century.

There's Art Krummel's interesting nudes, John Backderf's zany and WAAAAY out comic strips, Chuck Ayers' intriguing and always magnificent productions and Dennis Balogh's classy portraits of celebrities. The bonus is a trip down memory lane with Bud Morris' and Walt Neal's weekly sports and news events strips from the good ol' days at the Beacon. Dennis and Walt did a lot of Channels covers for me when I was the BJ TV Editor. Walt and Bud, unfortunately, are deceased.

And there are looks at the work of oldtimers so old that they left before I arrived in 1969. I retired in 1996.

The building houses the Upstairs Gallery in the Musica Complex with Moca Maiden. The front entrance is 20 N. High Street but Paula and I were lucky enough to find a parking spot at the rear entrance on Maiden Lane, the alley that is parallel to and west of High Street.

It was an hour well-spent, even if you didn't know the artists.

But hurry! The exhibit ends Thursday, May 28. Hours for the exhibit are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. till closing on Saturday.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mark & Sara perform again

Joyce Johnson's BJ story headlined

Animal tales come to life at Books for Africa

didn't mention the performers' names but one was Sara Showman, wife of former BJ and current PD TV critic Mark Dawidziak, who did the 3 humorous sketches centered on animals. For his part, Mark did his umpteenth performance as American humorist Mark Twain. As Mark tells it he has to apply less whitening powder to his hair with every passing year. I've seen Hal Holbrook do Mark Twain and I think our Mark does it better. And not just because I was his TV Editor when Mark was writing for the Beacon. Mark and Sara are co-founders of the Largely Literary Theater Company that performs Dickens, Poe and Twain shows in Northeast Ohio.

Mark, along with his fellow PD colleagues, agreed to an 8% pay cut in return for no job losses before June 2010. Plus 11 days off without pay that will bring the total income loss to 12% for the year.

Among those in attendance at St. Bernard's church was Debbie Van Tassel, like husband Stuart Warner among those who left the BJ for the PD in past years. $3,000 was raised for Books for Africa at the event.

Click on the headline on this post to read the BJ story that doesn't mention the names of the performers in the show that's in the BJ headline.

Buffum / Goforth change of address

As of June 1:
137 East 36th Street #8G
New York, NY 10016

The address already is changed in our USPS address list

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Phil Trexler book on Indians hits bookstores

d Indians, Yesterday and Today was released this month by Publications International. It is the first book by Phil Trexler who has been at the BJ for 10 years as a court and police reporter.

You can find it on Amazon and it is also available at the Barnes & Noble in Montrose and others.

Lord, I hope those newspaper survive

Former BJ staffer Dick McBane, now retired in Geogia, quit reading the Atlanta Journal-Consititution for a little weekly that suits his needs better. Read on:

I'm coming up on five years in Georgia now, and stopped taking the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about six months ago. Instead, we are taking the Gwinnett Daily Post. Gwinnett County is a large county, both in population and geography, and the Daily Post is, in my opinion, a very good "little" paper; comprehensive in its local coverage which is what the county needs. It also has better coverage of the state government than the AJC had. Plus, it has some excellent local columnists.

The latter is the reason for this note. Darrell Huckaby, one of the local columnists, had one in today's paper about the survival of newspapers. You can see it on line at Maybe grist for the blog.

Or, maybe it's just that I started in this business almost 60 years ago (fall 1949) when I was a high school freshman and went to work at the Garrettsville Journal; truly, a life-time gone by.

Here are the first graphs from Huckaby’s column headlined:

Lord, I hope these newspapers survive
By Darrell Huckaby
A fellow as
ked me an interesting question the other day, although honesty compels me to admit that the circumstances were a bit bizarre. He was my proctologist and he was doing what proctologists do when he popped the question, so to speak. I was caught a bit off-guard, given the situation, and am not sure I gave him a particularly coherent answer. His question did give me great pause, however, and after careful reflection I have come up with a more succinct answer than I was able to offer up at the time.

The answer is, Lord, I hope not.

The question, by the way, was, do you think newspapers will have
disappeared in five years?

I grew up with a newspaper. We didn't have a lot in that little four-room mill village house in which I was raised, but we had a copy of the Atlanta Constitution on our front porch every day of my life, and I mean every day.

My daddy taught me how to read from the pages of that newspaper - which claimed to be "The South's Standard," at the time. Our next door neighbor, James Vining, took the Journal, which claimed to "cover Dixie like the dew." Those two papers are combined now, of course, and barely cover the area inside I-285. Times do change.

But I loved reading the newspaper. I developed the habit, as I said, early on and throughout high school, college and into adulthood, I made it a point to start every day by poring over the paper. I might skip breakfast or forget to brush my teeth, but I was going to read the paper.

The Constitution, of course, had Ralph McGill, who came under fire during the Civil Rights movement for having the audacity to suggest that people of color deserved equal opportunity in the Jim Crow South. My daddy insisted that everything Ralph McGill wrote made good sense, so I looked for his column, which ran down the left side of the front page, every day - as soon as I finished the sports page and the funnies.

Click on the headline to read all of Hucaby’s column

Retired Wooster Record columnist Infield dies

Ernest "Ernie" Schooler Infield

WOOSTER -- Ernest "Ernie" Schooler Infield, 89, venerated columnist, decorated Marine, and campaign strategist, passed away peacefully in Wooster, Ohio on March 28, 2009.

Born in Frazeysburg, Ohio, on May 11, 1919, to Fern Schooler Infield and Charles Irwin Infield, Ernie matriculated from Fredericksburg High School in 1937, graduated in 1939 from the Wooster Business College and joined International Harvester as a manager.

Ernie tracked sports, especially baseball, recording statistics of legend Bob Feller and other Ohio-based athletes. Ernie is listed on for his interview by ESPN Classic regarding Bevo Francis' basketball career.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Ernie volunteered for the 4th Marine Division which undertook beach landings in the South Pacific theater. Ernie saw the flag raised twice on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, Japan. Between campaigns, Ernie formed a regimental baseball league, organized games/teams, kept statistics and published results/commentary for the Division.

Directly after his honorable discharge, Ernie became the personnel director for the Fredericksburg Art Pottery and joined the United Steel Fabricators as a sales executive the next year.

Ernie married Emily Louise Kuhles on Flag Day, June 14, 1947. Together, they operated the Kuhles Fruit Farm for more than 20 years. Emily predeceased him in November of 2005.

In 1951, Ernie joined the Wooster Brush Company eventually leading the sales division for 20 years. Ernie then became information director at the College of Wooster (COW) garnering national recognition. He was instrumental in forming a COW basketball booster club - the Downtown Rebounders -in 1969. Ernie was elected to the Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame in 1980. In 1985, Ernie named the newly formed North Coast Athletic Conference for Division III Colleges.

In 1964, Ernie had an initial bypass surgery at the Cleveland Clinic followed by a second double-bypass in 1974. Surviving only on the original bypass, Ernie underwent a quadruple bypass in 1996. At his death, Ernie was believed to be the longest living mammary artery bypass patient; he was one of the few to have received three very successful open-heart surgeries crediting the Cleveland Clinic researchers/surgeons and his Marine Corps training for his ability to survive those, and 30 other various, serious operations.

Recognized for his 60-year Wooster Daily Record (Ohio) and syndicated column, "Ramblin' Round the Infield," Ernie was also active in Lions Club which honored him with: Lion of the Year in 1984, Lion's Highest award - The Melvin Jones Fellowship Award in 1992, and the Milestone Monarch award in January, 2009. Campaign manager for Wooster's first female mayor, Margaret Demorest, Ernie led 20 other successful campaigns for Republicans. For his comprehensive public service, the Wooster, Ohio community honored Ernie with a special day in1994.

Ernie is survived by daughter, Linda Wakefield; son-in-law, Mark Wakefield; and grandsons, Jared Steven and Spencer William of Canton, Michigan. Dear surviving cousins include, Bessie Stewart Infield and Larry Grey Infield of Coshocton, Ohio, Heather Schooler of San Francisco, Calif., Dean Schooler of Colorado, David Schooler, Kristy and Blake Schooler of the Columbus, Ohio area, Eleanor Kuhles of Florida, Ginny and Everett Tompkins of South Carolina, Martha and Harold McMahon, Grace Tompkins Cox, Gary, Nancy, and Wayne Cox, and their respective families of Cleveland, Ohio, and the Meier cousins, including Barbee and Don of San Diego and Tennessee.

The immediate and extended family of E. S. Infield invites all of his colleagues and friends to a memorial service near the time of what would have been Ernie's 90th birthday. The service will be held at the United Methodist Church of Wooster, Ohio on May 17, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm.; military honors and a reception following. For Lion's Club, used eyeglasses, reading glasses, sunglasses and their cases will be collected at the memorial service/reception.

Ernie dedicated his body to science; the family asks for donations, in lieu of flowers, in Ernie's name to The United Methodist Church of Wooster, 243 N. Market St., Wooster 44691 or The Heart Innovation Fund, The Cleveland Clinic, P.O. Box 931517, Cleveland 44193-1655.
[Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Friday, May 145, 2009, page B7, col. 1]

Friday, May 15, 2009

Names of those in Papa Joe's May photo

IDs for photos of those who attended the May 14 lunch at Papa Joe's:

Top left: Al Hunsicker & Carl Nelson
Top right: Tom Moore & Joe Catalano
Bottom left: Pat Dougherty & Cal DeShong
Bottom right: Armand Lear & Gene McClellan

Attendance numbers for previous lunches:

May 14, 2009 ………………….. 8

April 8, 2009 …………………… 5

January 14, 2009 …………… 3

December 10, 2008 …………… 8

November 12, 2008 …………… 6

October 8, 2008 ……………… 8

August 13, 2008 ……………… 9

July 9, 2008 …………………… 23
(Sandy Levenson, Bob Pell memorial)

June 12, 2008 ………………… 8

May 14, 2008 ………………… 12

Feb. 13, 2008 ………………… 11

Dec. 12, 2007 ………………… 8

Sept. 12, 2007 ………………… 16

August 8, 2007 ……………… 7

June 13, 2007 ………………… 12

May 9, 2007 …………………… 14

April 11, 2007 ………………… 15

March 15, 2007 ……………… ??
(no story & photos no longer available)

January 10, 2007 …………… 14

December 13, 2006 ………… 18

November 8, 2006 …………… 13

October 12, 2006 …………… 11

September 13, 2006 ………… 12

August 13, 2006 …………… 15

July 12, 2006 ………………… 10

June 15, 2006 ……………… 12

May 11, 2006 ………………… 11

April 12, 2006 ……………… 11

March 8, 2006 ……………… 13

February 8, 2006 …………… 11

January 11, 2006 …………… 13

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ex-PD staffer, daughter both looking for jobs

Who will find a job first -- ex-PD columnist Fulwood or his young daughter?

"Amanda and I find ourselves in the job market together, each consumed by our bleak prospects," writes Sam Fulwood, whose daughter graduates from college this Sunday. The ex-Plain Dealer columnist says "so far, the reinvention thing hasn't worked out for me. It's not so easy for sober and serious reporters to Twitter and Facebook our way into the affections of folks Amanda's age, let alone the editors and publishers now clamoring to win their attention."

Click on the headline tp read about on his blog “The Root”

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The scene at Papa Joe's from Tom's camera

If you can't read phone book type, you are getting
old and need to click on the photos

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ed Moss named publisher of San Diego U-T

SAN DIEGO – The new owners of The San Diego Union-Tribune announced Tuesday that veteran media executive Ed Moss will become the paper's president and publisher.

Moss, who starts work Monday, most recently worked as president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, which operates nine daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Daily News.

Before that, he was president and publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal.

His appointment comes just over a week after the Beverly Hills investment firm Platinum Equity complete
d its acquisition of the Union-Tribune from longtime owner The Copley Press of La Jolla.

Moss said i
n an interview that he is optimistic about prospects for the paper and the newspaper industry, despite declines in circulation and advertising that have hit the sector in recent years.

He said his priority will be stabilizing the business financially and boosting revenue, in part by focusing on local advertisers who haven't done business with the paper in the past.

Click on the headline to read the full story on the San Diego Uniion-Tribune website.

The Platinum Equity team includes David H. Black, whose company Black Press owns the Beacon Journal, Honolulu Star-Bulletin and dozens of community newspapers, mostly in western Canada. Black purchased the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 2000 and the Beacon Journal in 2006.

Tribune gets OK to pay$13 million in bonuses

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The Tribune Co. on Tuesday received authorization from a federal bankruptcy court judge to pay more than $13 million in bonuses to almost 700 employees for their work last year.

Judge Kevin Carey authorized the payments came after Tribune chief financial officer Chandler Bigelow III testified that the bonuses are critical to keeping key managers motivated as Tribune tries to adjust to a tough economic climate for media companies.

"We need to motivate and incentivize the key people who will implement change," Bigelow said. "These are really good people we're talking about. They're the best and the brightest of the company."

The judge was to hear arguments later Tuesday on Tribune's request to make $2.6 million in severance payments to 68 employees, all but two of whom were fired before Tribune filed for bankruptcy protection.

Bigelow noted that proposed bonus payments of $12.2 million to about 670 employees under the company's management incentive program, or MIP, do not include the top 10 executives and represent an average payment of only 38 percent of the target for 2008. He also said total proposed payments for last year are significantly lower than those in the two preceding years.

Tribune also received authorization to pay an additional $1.1 million in incentives to 23 individuals who do not participate in the MIP.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Urgent Request: Check your email

It is really difficult to keep our email address list updated, so please click on the E-Mail List link at left and check your email address to be certain it is correct. If you now have a different email address, please send it. Be sure to list your name and at least your city.

Recently we got bounces on mail sent to Todd Burkes, Mike Clary and Matt Detrich,

Send corrections of your email or others you might see to

Harry Liggett
the BJ Alums blog guy
544 N. Firestone Blvd.
Akron, OH 44301-2254

Sunday, May 10, 2009

PD retiree dies in Worthington

Bob Snyder, a former Plain Dealer assistant manager editor, national editor, Washington and Columbus bureau chief, died at his Worthington, OH home on Saturday, May 10. His wife, Pat, found him infront of the TV, the golf channel on.Services are pending.
Source: {PD Alumni News blog)

Former BJ reporter hurt in cycle crash

Report from Jim Kavanagh
Former ABJ metro reporter Oren Dorell, now at USA Today, was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident last week. Please remember Oren in your prayers. His wife, former ABJ copy editor Ginny Knapp, posted this note on Facebook:

It's been a long few days, but I wanted to try to get out the basic information to anyone who has not yet heard:

Oren had a motorcycle accident on Wednesday afternoon on the way to work. He was almost there, and a woman pulled out in front of him to turn left and hit him.

He is at Inova Fairfax County Hospital in Falls Church, Va. He has 4 broken vertebrae in his back, but no spinal cord damage, so he is able to move his feet, legs and arms and has all his feeling. He has compound fractures of his right wrist and elbow, which he has had emergency surgery on to install a "fixator" that holds them in place.

He will have an additional surgery on his right elbow early next week and hopefully also begin physical therapy so he can walk around. Yesterday he was fitted for a back brace and neck collar, so he was able to sit up and eat this morning for the first time since Wednesday.

I'm sorry if I haven't had a chance to call or email all, but we're still dealing with the inital stages of the accident. There is going to be a long period of physical therapy and recuperation. I appreciate all your thoughts and well-wishes.

See you at Papa Joe's or maybe on facebook

Don't forget the Beacon Journal Retirees Lunch at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Papa Joe's Restaurant in the Valley (Portage Trail at Akron-Peninsula Road).

The lunch used to fill a full room at the restaurant, but lately a lone table can accommodate the group. It's as if they were trying to mirror some of the decimated newsrooms hit by staff cuts and layoffs.

Remember, you do not have to be a retiree, a buyout victim or castoff staff member to attend one of these lunch
es. We would love to see some of the still busy at work BJ types.

Maybe retirees will have to check out the story by Mary Beth Breckendige on Facebook so as not to feel they are completely out of the loop. You will find a few BJ types there --definitely many more than at Papa Joe'e

For our other viewers far and wide, if you need a primer on facebook, check out Mary Beth's story spread all over the front of the Premier section in Sunday's Beacon. Or look at it via Click on the headline.

Catch you
at lunch Wednesday or almost any second Wednesday at Papa Joe's/

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Crutchfield to speak to Democrats

Former Beacon Journal pulisher Janes Crutchfield will speak to the Summit County Progressive Democrats PAC atr 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Akron-Summit County Public Library..

Crutchfield\, now a professor at Arizona State UOniversity, will speak about the future of news media. The public is invited. and parking is free in the attached parking deck after 6 p.m.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Tom Giffen's home extensively damaged

CUYAHOGA FALLS: A Cuyahoga Falls home suffered extensive damage after a fire started on a deck and spread into the house at 1870 Deepwood Drive.

There were no injuries. The home is owned by Tom Giffen, a former Beacon Journal sports editor.[who now operates the Roy Hobbs World Series}

Falls Fire Capt. Tim Lombardi said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The fire caused heavy damage to the rear of the house and sent heavy smoke inside, he said.

He estimated damage to the house at more than $80,000 and at least an equal amount to the contents.

Neighbors reported the fire about 1 p.m. and Falls firefighters, already working on another call, asked Akron firefighters to assist.

Editors of BJ, PD, Rep bullish on papers

BJ staff writer Bill Lilley’s entire story on the Akron Press Club is reprinted here. Also check out Abe Zaidan's comments on his blog Grumpy Abe.

By Bill Lilley
Beacon Journal staff writer
The Internet isn't going away. Nor are newspapers.

The bullish view of newspapers was shared by Beacon Journal Editor and Vice President Bruce Winges, Cleveland Plain Dealer Editor Susan Goldberg and Canton Repository Executive Editor Jeff Gauger at Wednesday's Akron Press Club meeting at the University of Akron. The topic was The State of Ohio Newspapers.

''They are changing, but they are never going to leave us,'' Goldberg said. ''Our paper and manufacturing costs are huge and we will see some communities without newspapers.

''But you've got 76 million baby boomers and they all have a very high comfort level holding their newspaper.''

Winges said the drop in advertising revenue has forced newspapers to be more efficient.

While the cuts have been painful, Winges said, he believes there is a path for renewed success.

''If you want to survive and be in a unique position, you have to focus on local news,'' he said.

Winges said an example of the industry's willingness to be creative is the Ohio News Organization, a collaboration of the eight largest newspapers in Ohio that shares stories and works on joint projects.

''We are looking toward the future and finding ways to survive, and this is one of the ways,'' Winges said. ''We're all about trying to get good stories to our readers.''

Goldberg said the days when the industry ''basically gave the paper away'' and let the advertisers carry the financial burden may be over.

''A greater and greater proportion of the revenue has shifted to subscriptions,'' she said. ''If you're willing to pay $3.50 for coffee at Starbucks, why wouldn't you pay $2 for a paper?

''We will end up with a smaller group of people, but they will be people who really want the paper and will be willing to pay for the content, which costs money to produce.''

There may be a need to produce stories quicker to compete with the various sources of news, but the editors all agreed that the careful, quality work of journalists at newspapers is irreplaceable.

''The last story we do will be an investigative story,'' Goldberg said. ''Nobody else will do the story the way we can do it with our expertise and resources.

''Google doesn't have reporters at city hall.''

Winges said the Beacon Journal also remains committed to investigative journalism.

''What's critical is that we maintain our independence as a newsroom,'' Gauger said, ''so that we are not beholden to anybody or anything.

''The changes in newspapers are a temporary adjustment to a temporary problem. The content and the size of the papers will continue to change. But I'm in my late 40s and I believe that we'll have newspapers throughout my entire career.''

Click the headline to view this story on

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Ssn Diego Union-Tribune cuts 192 positions

The San Diego Union-Tribune conducted a round of layoffs in all departments Thursday, the latest in a series of staff reductions the newspaper and its counterparts across the country have taken in recent years.

The move comes three days after Platinum Equity, a Beverly Hills private equity firm, completed its acquisition of the paper from its longtime owner, the Copley Press Inc.

A total of 192 positions will be eliminated, effective July 6, the company said in a statement. Senior managers told the affected employees Thursday in meetings organized by department. The company said employees will receive transition assistance and termination benefits.

The number of cuts in each department, including the newsroom, were not disclosed.

The 60-day notice is required under federal law for a company the size of the Union-Tribune when conducting more than 50 layoffs.

“These are tough times for the entire newspaper industry, and a time of transition for the Union-Tribune,” said Drew Schlosberg, the company's director of community and public relations. “Any decision to reduce staff is difficult.

“We will be working diligently to make the transition for those affected as easy as possible. ”

The company, which has had several rounds of buyouts and layoffs in recent years, will have about about 850 employees once the staff cuts become effective.

The Union-Tribune, like other large newspapers, has been hit by both declining print circulation as well as a decrease in advertising that has been accelerated by the recession.

Schlosberg said the paper has a late-week circulation (Thursday-Saturday) of just over 300,000 a day, with the daily paper estimated to reach more than 662,000 readers. Its Sunday circulation is 330,000, with a readership believed to be more than 890,000. The Union-Tribune's Web site, SignOnSanDiego, draws more than 3 million unique users each month.

The Union-Tribune won its fourth Pulitzer Prize this year, awarded to editorial cartoonist Steve Breen; and won the top award for general excellence for a large newspaper from the California Newspaper Publishers Association last year.

Post-Dispatch publisher loses $51.8 million

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) -- Lee Enterprises Inc., publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other newspapers, said Thursday that its fiscal second-quarter loss narrowed because of smaller write-downs on the value of its assets.
The Davenport-based company lost $51.8 million, or $1.16 per share, in the quarter that ended March 29, compared with a loss of $713 million, or $15.90 per share. Excluding one-time costs, its loss was 7 cents per share.

Revenue fell 20 percent to $198.8 million as advertising sales declined 24 percent. Like other newspaper publishers, Lee has faced wrenching ad declines because of the recession and the migration of advertisers to lower-cost alternatives on the Internet.

Retail ads, the company's biggest segment, fell 19 percent, while classified advertising tumbled 33 percent.

Even online advertising, where many publishers have been hanging their hopes as they shift toward delivering news on the Internet, fell 27 percent.

Lee said it will step up efforts to trim costs while it tries to wait out the recession. It now expects to cut cash expenses by 15 percent to 16 percent, or about $120 million from last year. In March, the company said it would cut costs by 12 percent to 13 percent.

Shares slid 11 cents, or 9.1 percent, to $1.10 in midday trading.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Roger Snell book debunks Babe Ruth myth

Regina Brett is not the only former BJ staffer to win the Bar Association’s Silver Gavel award.

Roger S
nell, won a number of awards throughout his 18-year newspaper career,

Snell's investigations of ethical abuses on the Ohio Supreme Court won him the American Bar Association’s top national journalism award in 1992, the Silver Gavel.

The Ohio A
cademy of Trial Lawyers named Snell the Ohio Reporter of the Year in 1992 and 1993, the only reporter ever to win in consecutive years.

Snell, 50, lives in Frankfort, Ky., with his wife Linda and daughters Rachel and Hannah and administers a marketing program called Kentucky Proud that helps farmers transition away from tobacco and find retail markets for alternative crops such as fruits, vegetables and more.

Snell's lifelong baseball passion is reflected in his book “Root for the Cubs: Charlie Root & the 1929 Cubs,”

Before Snell began doing research for his upcoming book “he believed the story.

You know, the one where Hall of Fame slugger Babe Ruth supposedly called what would become his final career home run during the 1932 World Series?

While it’s true that Middletown-born pitcher Charlie Root of the Cubs had served up the fateful home run, his family and many others argue that there wasn’t a called shot by the Sultan of Swat at all.

Snell said researching the book changed his opinion of the famous called shot.

“Anyone who has heard of Charlie Root, well, you just accepted that he was the answer to a trivia question as the pitcher who gave up Ruth’s called shot, but it’s simply not true,” Snell said.

Aside from the compelling look into the 1929 Cubs team and how it earned its trip to the World Series, the book gives personal accounts from Ruth, Cubs catcher Gabby Hartnett and Root dispelling the idea that the Mighty Bambino had called the home run three years later in the ’32 Series.

The fable has it that Ruth, with two strikes against him, pointed to the center field stands moments before hitting a solo home run off Root. Snell’s research suggests otherwise.
The book is published by Wind Publications, an independent small press located in Nicholasville, KY.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Regina Brett awarded Silver Gavel

The American Bar Association has awarded Plain Dealer columnist Regina Brett the organization's Silver Gavel award for her columns on open discovery.

Brett, who also was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for the past two years, will be one of five Silver Gavel winners and two honorable mentions at this year's ceremony.

It will be held a the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on July 1.

The awards are given to media professionals who help foster the public's understanding of the law and legal system.

Last year, Brett wrote numerous columns about how the restriction of open discovery rules, where prosecutors share police reports and records with defense attorneys, affected criminal cases in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

In March, the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association presented a proposal to the Ohio Asspociation of Criminal Defense Lawyers to allow for open discovery in all counties across the state, and the two sides have since worked on a plan to allow open discovery.

Knight Journalism Fellows Named at Stanford

Twelve U.S. journalists have been awarded John S. Knight Fellowships to study at Stanford during the 2009-10 academic year.

This will be the first group of Knight Fellows selected based on the program's new focus on journalism innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. During their stay at Stanford, the Knight Fellows pursue independent courses of study, participate in special seminars and work on individual journalism projects. The 2009-10 program marks the 44th year that Stanford has offered fellowships for professional journalists.

The 12 U.S. Fellows will join eight from other countries who were announced in April. Financial support for the U.S. fellows comes primarily from an endowment provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Following are the 2009-10 U.S. Fellows and their principal areas of study:

  • Veronica Anderson, editor in chief, Catalyst Chicago.
    Anderson plans to work towards a platform that leverages the principles of social entrepreneurship with the mechanics of search engines to deliver public school information more effectively to urban audiences.
  • Krissy Clark, reporter, American Public Media, San Francisco.
    Clark will focus on geographically aware journalism, cataloging available technologies, studying potential new revenue streams, and creating models for merging geospatial technology with journalism.
  • John Duncan, senior consultant and head of predesign, Garcia Interactive, Tampa, Florida.
    Duncan will focus on a working prototype of a browser and a mobile phone application version of an audio-newspaper.
  • Maureen Fan, Beijing bureau chief, Washington Post.
    Fan will study the challenges facing journalism today and explore a searchable, interactive guide that will inform and support foreign journalism in the future.
  • Andrew Finlayson, director of digital content and business development, Fox Television Stations, Chicago.
    Finlayson will study how to apply entrepreneurial evaluations and concepts to lead sustainable innovation in journalism.
  • Teru Kuwayama, freelance photographer, New York.
    Kuwayama will focus on creating a South Asia reporting web site that incorporates social networking technology, to promote information sharing among journalists, policy makers, military personnel, aid workers, academic experts, and others.
  • Christine Larson, freelance writer, Sacramento, California.
    Larson will focus on creating networks and other tools to help independent journalists navigate the media landscape.
  • Peter Lewis, freelance editor and writer, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
    Lewis will seek to identify sustainable, scalable business models that can support quality journalism in the digital age.
  • Geoffrey McGhee, multimedia editor, Le Monde Interactif, Paris, France.
    McGhee will research and develop data visualization tools for online journalists.
  • Andrew Purvis, former Berlin bureau chief, Time Magazine.
    Purvis will develop a prototype for a web site that links editors and writers around the world to enhance foreign news coverage.
  • Susanne Rust, reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
    Rust will focus on the array of technologies available today to enhance journalistic data mining and investigative reporting.
  • Gabriel Sama, senior consultant, Innovation International Media Consulting Group, San Antonio, Texas.
    Sama plans to explore digital journalism projects using multi-platform publication: the web, cell phones, billboards, videos and audio.

The program received 166 applications for the U.S. fellowships and 132 applications for the International fellowships.

Remembering May 4: They meet again

Beacon Journal photogratpher Paul Tople and staff writer Bill Lilley today. provided a great story on the May 4 anniversary of Kent State University shootings. The piece unfortunately got showed to the community section front because page 1 was devoted to the LeBron James MVP celebration.

The story:

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer John Filo and his subject, Mary Vecchio, were reunited Tuesday at Kent State University.

The last time he saw her on the campus was through the lens of his camera as he took his historic picture on May 4, 1970, after the shootings on campus that left four dead and nine wounded.

Filo, then a senior photojournalism major, is now photography director for CBS in New York. Vecchio, then a 14-year-old runaway from Florida, is a respiratory therapist in Florida.

The two were the featured speakers at Monday afternoon's 39th commemoration of the May 4 shootings. The two-hour program on the Kent State Commons, the site of the student demonstrations, was organized by the May 4th Task Force.

Click on the headline to read the full story

A blog note plus links to May 4 arcxhives

Photographer Paul Topple was a senior at Kent State University in the spring of 1970. He was working part time for the Beacon Journal and was associate editor of the Kent State yearboojk. He helped cover the shootings on May 4.

See Collection of Paul Tople photos

See Chuck Ayers photos and cartoons

by KSU li brary

Listing of KSU collections on May 4

Monday, May 04, 2009

Free Press, WWJ to launch TV show

The Detroit Free Press has formed a unique partnership with CBS-owned WWJ-TV, Channel 62, to launch a 5-7 a.m. weekday program that will offer heavy doses of weather and traffic updates, as well as news gathered by Free Press journalists.

The new program will be called "First Forecast Mornings" and will include Free Press Express news segments.

"We're more than a newspaper, we're more than a Web site. We're an information provider on many different channels, and television is just a natural evolution for us," said Paul Anger, Free Press editor and publisher. He added that the partnership with WWJ "is considered unusual, if not unique anywhere."

Mike Brookbank, who will anchor the Free Press news reports, said the program will break the mold of traditional TV broadcasts by offering smaller bits of news with more frequent weather and traffic reports -- information he said early risers with little time want.

Brookbank, a Free Press employee, said he'll deliver a summary of top headlines about every 15 minutes and will note how viewers can find more information at or in that morning's newspaper. He'll highlight exclusive Free Press investigations, news, community highlights and behind-the-scenes reporting from top sporting events.

With the new broadcast, WWJ and the Free Press will be entering a market with long-running news programs and aiming to sway viewers to a new broadcast.

"It is a challenge to get people to change their habits," Brookbank said. "You know that you have to deliver a product that people are looking for."

Paul Prange, director of programming and community affairs for WWJ, said the program will be tailored to the kinds of content people want most in the morning, including constant updates on road conditions with traffic reporter Randy Bhirdo and weather forecasts by meteorologist Lori Pinson.

"It's weather and traffic without waiting," Prange said. "We're really just trying to deliver the base information people need."

During the news segments, Brookbank will shift live at times to the Free Press newsroom via a webcam and talk to editors about the morning's developments and what readers are saying on the site.

As well, Pinson said she and Bhirdo plan to keep each update fresh and different as weather and traffic changes.

"We're just really preparing you for your work day," she said.

13 seconds, 33 years ago: 4 dead, 9 wounded

This report can be found on Akron News Now. The boldface lines indicate links provided there. Click on the headline to go to the article.

It only took 13 seconds. Four dead. Nine wounded. 39 years ago today, a group of National Guardsmen stood near the Pagoda in front of Taylor Hall and fired dozens of shots into a crowd in the Prentice Hall parking lot.

Dr. Jerry M. Lewis had worked at KSU for about four years when the unforgettable moments of May 4, 1970 unfolded at 12:24 p.m. "Having been in the Army, I knew immediately that they were real bullets because you don't see smoke when they're firing blanks," he says. "I dove behind some bushes and took cover, which took me out of the line of fire."

After the gunfire settled, he says many students believed the Guard had fired blanks. That's when he moved up and pointed to Sandra Scheuer's body and said, "No, those are real bullets."

LISTEN to Lewis detail his memories of May 4

Lewis said that the gunfire came from less than half of the 70 Guardsmen who stood at the top of the hill. "Of those who did fire, half fired into the ground or into the air."

WATCH a 47-minute documentary on May 4 via

Lewis has one memory from that day that has really stuck in his mind. "I saw a gurney coming down with a body on it -- I think it was Allison Krause, one of the slain. I grabbed two female students and pulled them to my chest and said, 'You don't want to see this.' The gurney went by." Six months later one of the students thanked him for doing that.

Lewis and a colleague have written a book that highlights the events of May 4. "Kent State and May 4: A Social Science Perspective" will be printed in its third ediition in 2010. A chapter of that title is available online and provides a detailed timeline of May 4 and the days leading to the shooting.

LISTEN to Lewis describe the book

Allison Krause, William Schroeder, Jeffrey Miller and Sandra Scheuer were all killed that day. The incident sparked national attention and even a hit song.

WATCH a CNN video via YouTube that highlights the 30th anniversary back in 2000:

Beacon Journal staff wins 10 state awards

Beacon Journal staff report

The Akron Beacon Journal won 10 awards in the annual Associated Press Society of Ohio newspaper competition Sunday in Columbus, including first place for community service for its 2008 series, The American Dream.

Other first-place awards went to Rick Steinhauser, best graphics artist; Ed Suba Jr., best feature photo; and former Beacon Journal staffer David Giffels, best news writer.

Other Beacon Journal award winners were Rick Armon, second place in explanatory reporting for his work on evictions and third place in the business writer category; Mike Rasor, third place for blogging; Mark J. Price, third place for headline writing; Betty Lin-Fisher, honorable mention for business writer; and Marla Ridenour, third place for sports feature writing.

Sixty-six daily newspapers submitted 2,908 entries in the contest, which judged news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2008.

General Excellence awards for 2008 went to the Columbus Dispatch, the Canton Repository, the Sandusky Register, the Marietta Times and the Wapakoneta Daily News.

The Cincinnati Enquirer won the First Amendment Award for outstanding accomplishment in pursuing freedom of information with its campaign to show how society could be affected by restricted access to public information.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Books for Africa to feature Dawidziak, Shoman

The Largely Literary Theater Company will present a program of Animal Tales at the Books for Africa Library Project’s annual fundraising dinner. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, in the St. Bernard Church Social Hall.

The church is located in downtown Akron, at the intersection of Broadway and State Streets. Parking is available at the University of Akron lot opposite the church.

The Books for Africa Library Project is a non-profit organization that helps communities set up libraries in rural Africa. The project has established libraries in Ghana and Liberia.

Largely Literary co-founders Sara Showman and Mark Dawidziak will perform a two-part program of animal fables and humorous sketches for all ages. The first half features Showman in the guise of Sara the Storyteller, relating animal stories and legends from different cultures, continents and centuries. She then turns the stage over to Mark Twain (Dawidziak), whose selections will include “The Long, Low Dog,” “The Story of the Old Ram” and “The Higher Animals.”

The May 16 dinner and play are free, but donations will be collected. This is the second consecutive year the Largely Literary Theater Company has appeared at the annual Books for Africa Library Project dinner at the landmark downtown Akron church.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

They know how to draw--crowds even

Click on headline to go to album of photos


Four former Beacon Journal artists really know how to draw a crowd.

And not just with a pen.

Friday night at the Upstairs Gallery off High Street, the rooms were wall-to-wall with their works and wall-to-wall with people.

Chuck Ayers, Dennis Balogh, Derf and Art Krummel official opened their exhibition with a bang.

And it brought back memories to this old codger (course that’s what old codgers do).

As former BJ folks mingled in the crowd talking with old friends and admiring the masterpieces displayed, Chuck remarked that it was great to see so many old friends turn out and it wasn’t even a funeral this time.

These guys have every right to be proud of their works. They were the backbone of a great family…carefully handing even the mundane task that came their way…like touching up a photo to remove a blemish (of course this was before “the truth in photos law was established in the world of political correct).

On an occasion or two things might have gotten out of hand. One artist, and I don’t remember who, noticed a smug on the forehead of a page one picture. (at that time, photos always went to the art department to size and look over before going to the engravers)

Anyway, the artist used his talent to give the guy a clean face. Unfortunately the photo was illustrating Ash Wednesday.

We went through a period of trying to find a funny to make out reads laugh. And it had to have an accompanying cartoon.

That lasted until somebody complained about a figure in one of the drawings not being politically correct and just might be offensive to somebody.

But if you had a problem such as no photos for a story, they’d come up with a great illustration…and one that clearly told the story.

Many times, when laying out the News and Views section at vacation time, I’d have no idea for an illustration. But these artists solved the problem, taking the story, reading it, and coming up with just the right solution.

So this galleRy is well worth a visit to relive some of the old times and see the “works of art” they’ve created over the years.

Hours for the exhibit are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Opening night of Four guys

Kathy Hagedorn Kortvejesi of the BJ art department has put up a nice album on a visit to the 4 Guys show featuring works of Chuck Ayers, Dennis Balogh, John “derf” Backerf and Art Krummel.

More photos are coming from Tom Moore.

Click on the album to view it.

See our earlier posts on the show

NY Times expected to hike price to $2

The New York Times is expected to announce a newsstand price increase for its flagship newspaper early next week as it races to shore up liquidity amid industry-wide falls in advertising revenues and circulation.

The announcement comes as the New York Times is pushing for cost cuts from the struggling Boston Globe, which the New York Times purchased in 1993 for $1.1bn.

The New York Times set the unions at the Globe a deadline, due to expire last night, to start talks about $20 million in cuts. It has threatened to closes the Globe, which is expected to lose $85 million this year, if it were to fail to implement the cost cuts.

Wholesalers expect the New York Times to increase its price from $1.50 to $2.00 for Monday to Saturday editions and from $5 to $6 on Sundays. A spokeswoman declined to comment.