Sunday, October 31, 2010

It could be worse

Beacon Journal employees have faced the angst of staff reductions since Black Press bought the former Knight-Ridder newspaper in 2007 and BJ printer and Guild retirees have filed suit over benefits reductions, but it could be worse:

Thirty minutes after the sale of the 50,000 circulation Herald-Sun in Durham, North Carolina closed in January, new owners Paxton Media Group of Paducah, Kentucky fired president/publisher David Hughey, vice president/treasurer James Alexander, vice president of sales and marketing Toby Barfield and executive editor/vice president William Hawkins and escorted them from the building. Continuing the carnage, the new owners fired up to 25% of the newspaper’s more than 350 workers on the same day.

Shots were fired Thursday at the Sydney, Australia office of Epoch Times, a Chinese-language newspaper critical of China that supports Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas, who charged that Falungong prisoners have been killed and their organs sold on the black market since 1999. Falungong, with Buddhist-inspired teachings, was banned by China in 1999.

The journalists and editors of Egypt’s Al–Dostour protested October’s firing of its editor-in-chief and founder Ibrahim Eissa by the new owners, whose new CEO Reda Edwards said the editorial policies will “lose the profits of the advertisements.”

Ruben Montoya, director of the state-run newspaper "El Telégrafo", was fired in March after he publicly opposed the creation of another state-run newspaper and said that the Ecuador government under Rafael Correa "manages the public media, but is not its owner." So was Mariuxi León, editor of the section "Diversidad," who defended Montoya’s stance in print.

A federal appeals panel in January declined to order fired Santa Barbara News-Press employees reinstated in an interim decision even though an administrative law judge said they were entitled to return with back pay. Final disposition of their case remains on appeal to the National Labor Relations Board in Washington. They charge they were fired in 2007 after they pushed for union representation.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A glitch on page A22

Briefs Some readers in the Los Angeles Times' East zone, which includes the San Gabriel Valley and Riverside, were startled to see "dummy" headlines in the National Briefing column on Page A22.

About 55,000 papers were printed before the error was discovered.

Readers feared that all the copy editors had been laid off, or even "massacred," as one put it.

But according to Operations Editor Dave Rickley, Page A22 for the East zone was not touched -- or seen -- by the newsroom.

The page was sent by editors to the pressroom with headlines written and in place.

The only thing that was supposed to change on the page was advertising. However, Rickley said, a technical problem apparently replaced the edited text with an earlier, incomplete version.

The pressroom caught the error early in the press run and notified editors. That quick work allowed the newsroom to send a new, correct version of the page, which limited the damage.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lilley gets suspended sentence, probation

Beacon Journal staffer Bill Lilley was put on probation for two years and given a 60-day, suspended sentence and the charge reduced to public indecency involving a 14-year-old girl and the 54-year-old Lilley, her softball instructor. Akron Municipal Court Judge Annalisa S. Williams imposed the sentence and the conditions Wednesday.

Court records show that Lilley will not be allowed to coach softball or baseball for females under 18 years old, must complete sexual offender treatment and must have no contact with the family. Akron News Now said Lilley was fined $1,000, -- which lists Lilley as a copy editor -- said the fine was $1,179 but the court records under "fine" say "$0."

The incident happened April 17. Springfield Township police filed the original, inappropriate touching charges.

Toms Moore & Giffen at it again

BJ Alums received this email from Beacon Journal newsroom retiree Tom Moore, in his seventh year of publishing a daily newspaper for the Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series for older players run by former BJ sports editor Tom Giffen in Fort Myers, Florida:

Here's a little something about the series.

Another year -- the 22th for the Rob Hobbs World Series in Ft. Myers. Our theme this year for the amateur baseball tournament is, what else, but Catch 22.

(In a different photo) former BJ Sports Editor Tom Giffen takes a shot of a father and son who play in the series.

And former BJ staffer Tom Moore will do the interview for "The Inside Pitch," the newsletter published most days with game results and other good stuff to keep the 191 baseball teams informed.

In the photo at right, Tom is with Akron brothers Larnie and John Martin.

The series is divided into age divisions---youngest group is 28-plus and oldest is 70-plus.

Several teams from Akron are taking part and they usually make a good showing.

And Moore says snapping a picture of Giffen snapping a picture is just fair play, since Giffen did the same to Moore last year.

Got a photo of me and my "bodyguards" coming. They are (brothers) Larnie and John Martin from Akron, umpires and members of the Hobbs staff. Real nice guys.

Giffen, now 61, in 1990 formed a four-team league of adult men playing out of Akron. The next year the league grew to 11 teams and joined Roy Hobbs Baseball, which was owned by Ron Monks of California. In 1992 Monks sold Roy Hobbs Baseball to Giffen and his wife, Ellen.

For several years, Giffen ran Roy Hobbs Baseball out of his basement and continued to work at the Beacon Journal. In the mid-1990s, as the organization brought in more and more teams, Giffen resigned from the BJ to work full time at his business.

Roy Hobbs is the fictional hero of Bernard Malamud's novel, “The Natural,” and the movie starring Robert Redford as Hobbs.

Richmond, Virginia native Tom Moore, 79, interviews, photographs and publishes a daily newspaper for the tournament that draws teams from around the United States, Germany and Russia. Tom and wife Dot have four children, including three daughters who were copygirls at the BJ.

Click on the headline for dozens of photos of Tom Moore and Tom Giffen at the Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series complex in Fort Myers, Florida. The games are played on the same Lee County fields that the Boston Red Sox use for their spring training.

Newspapers now provide only 20 percent of AP revenue

Revenues from newspapers have fallen by about one-third at the Associated Press since 2008, from $220 million a year to about $140 million in 2010, and now make up just over 20 percent of the organization's total revenue.

CEO and President Tom Curley revealed the decline when I asked him last week about the cooperative's business relationship with its member-owners. He added two more financial nuggets:

* "We expect it will continue to drop another $5 to $7 million a year" in 2011 and beyond.
* The AP loses money on services to newspapers and effectively subsidizes those offerings with more profitable lines of business. But Curley said he was uncomfortable with continuing that imbalance indefinitely.

Though Curley and AP spokesman Paul Colford did not provide numbers for other business segments, Curley said growth areas include commercial photos, software businesses and AP's international television news feeds, about to receive a $30 million upgrade to digital.

Online news has been a positive, he added and broadcast is stable. Besides covering news abroad, the AP has also has a large international client base.

The 160-year-old collective remains fully owned by its 1,500 newspaper members. Its board is dominated by top newspaper executives (including Poynter chairman and St. Petersburg Times CEO Paul Tash) with a couple of broadcast representatives.

[Source: Rich Edmonds Biz Blog

Click on the headline to read the full story.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Medicare changes for 2011

Starting Jan. 1, Medicare pays for an annual physical exam, Pap lab test, Pap test speciment collection and pelvic and breast exams, digital rectal exam and PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test. Medicare, however, pays only 80% of the charge for the doctor visit.

If you’re part of a Medicare Advantage Plan, such as the Aetna plan that the Beacon Journal uses for its employees, you don’t need and can’t be sold a Medigap policy.

Medicare pays for your flu shot each year. It costs you nothing. So get one!

Medicare will pay some of your prescription drugs costs if:

a. You’re single with income less than $16,245 and resources less than $12,510.
b. You’re married, living with a spouse and your income is less than $21,855 and resources less than $25,010.

Resources include your checking and savings accounts, stocks and bonds but not your home, car, burial plot, up to $1,500 per person for burial expenses or life insurance policies.

Aetna and other Medicare Advantage plans can’t charge more for chemotherapy, dialysis services and skilled nursing care than the government’s competing Original Medicare plan charges.

After you hit the drugs donut hole, you’ll pay 50% of the cost of brand-name drugs and get a 7% discount on generic drugs. The $250 rebate you got in 2010 will continue in 2011. The donut hole will be $2,840, no matter who paid for the drugs. But the formula switches to your out-of-pocket costs to get to $4,550, when you pay no more than 5% of the drug’s cost. People rarely get out of the donut hole. By 2020, unless the makeup of Congress and the White House changes, there’ll be no donut hole.

There will be no Cost of Living increase in your Social Security check, and no increase in your Medicare Part B Premium deduction from your monthly check. If you’re paying $96.40 or $110.50 it will stay the same. Individuals whose income is at least $85,000 or married couples whose income is at least $170,000 pay more for their premiums.

Obamacare freezes 2011 payment rates for Medicare Advantage plans, such as the Aetna MA that the BJ uses, at the 2010 payment levels, which shoots down the BJ’s complaint that it has to pay more as a reason to further dilute retirees’ health care coverage.

The BJ promised more than three weeks ago that it would send an Aetna kit with details on the changes for 2011 in two or three weeks. I haven’t gotten mine yet. Click on the headline to see the story about the BJ’s letter.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Former Record-Courier news editor dies

Former Record-Courier and Hudson's North Summit Times news editor Edward J. Glassner, 75, of Kent died Friday. The Akron native attended Akron St. Mary's High School, was graduated from Cleveland Cathedral Latin High School. He attended Marquette University before graduating from Kent State, where he was editor of the Daily Kent Stater and Chestnut Burr. He once was a copy boy and photographer for the Cleveland Press and the Falls News.

He was involved with United Way of Summit County and FEMA and originated Wilkuma, a guide for visitors and newcomers to the Kent area.

He is survived by his wife, Diane Roberts Glassner, children and grandchildren.

Click on the headline for his obituary in the Beacon Journal.
[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Monday, October 25, 2010, page B5, col. 5]

Circulation decine is slowing

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. newspaper circulation declines slowed in the six months through September after the New York Times, USA Today and Los Angeles Times lost fewer readers at their paid print dailies.

Daily average circulation for 635 newspapers fell 5 percent compared with a year earlier, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations data released today. It dropped 8.7 percent in the period through March.

News Corp.’s Wall Street Journal, including online subscribers, increased circulation by 1.8 percent. New York Times Co.’s namesake newspaper cut the print readership decline to 5.5 percent from 8.5 percent in the prior six-month period.

Gannett Co.’s USA Today lost 3.7 percent of its daily circulation, compared with a 14 percent, and Tribune Co.’s Los Angeles Times pared the fall to 8.7 percent from 15 percent. Rounding out the top 5 newspapers by average circulation, Washington Post Co.’s namesake daily slowed the drop to 6.4 percent from 13 percent.

--Editors: Peter Elstrom, Ville Heiskanen

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Poe production set for Massillon Oct. 31

Tom Stephan, Alex J. Nine and Sara Showman

The Largely Literary Theater Company’s The Tell-Tale Play, an acclaimed two-act collection of poems and stories by Edgar Allan Poe, will be staged for the first time at Massillon’s Historic Lions Lincoln Theatre at 2 p.m. Sunday, October 31.

Tickets, available at the door, are $8 for adults and $6 for students. For information, call (330) 832-0717. The theater is located at 156 Lincoln Way E in downtown Massillon.

“It’s an ideal way to celebrate the Halloween season and Poe,’’ said Mark Dawidziak, artistic director and co-founder of the Largely Literary Theater Company.

Designed for high school students and older, the play features three popular area actors – Tom Stephan, Sara Showman and Alex J. Nine. They interpret Poe’s works, telling the audience along the way about the writer’s short but eventful life and career.
Perhaps best known for its acclaimed three-person version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the Largely Literary Theater Company specializes in faithful adaptations of great literary works. Its dual mission is to promote interest in literature and live theater.

Three of Poe’s classic short stories are presented in The Tell-Tale Play: “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Masque of the Red Death.” Also included are three of his major poems: “The Raven,” “Annabel Lee” and “The Bells.

The Largely Literary Theater Company was founded by former BJ staffer Mark Dawidziak and Showman in late 2001. For bookings and information, contact Dawidziak and Showman at the Largely Literary Theater Company: 330-923-8350 or at

Chris Harte advising group seeking to buy Boston Globe

Former Beacon Journal publisher Chris Harte is among the top newspaper advisers to a Massachusetts businessman who intends to try to buy the Boston Globe.

Harte, also former publisher of the Minneapolis Star Tribute and Portland (Maine) Press Herald, has been advising Aaron Kushner, an Internet entrepreneur who is developing plans to make an offer to buy the Globe from the New York Times, its owner since 1993.

“Aaron has some ideas that are brand new to the industry and have a huge amount of potential,’’ Harte said in a Globe article today. “I was skeptical when I met with him and some of his investors, but these are people that can easily make this happen.’’

Click on the headline to read the full article.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Simmons replaces Goldberg at PD

Debra Adams Simmons, managing editor of The Plain Dealer, will become the paper's new editor in November, President and Publisher Terrance C. Z. Egger announced today.

Adams Simmons will replace Susan Goldberg, who is leaving to join Bloomberg News as an executive editor.

Adams Simmons, 45, came to the Plain Dealer in September 2007. She had previously been editor of the Akron Beacon Journal for four years. Before that, she had held jobs at The Detroit
Free Press, The Virginian-Pilot, The Hartford Courant and the Syracuse Herald-Journal. She had been a reporter, assignment editor, deputy managing editor, managing editor and editor.

"We will continue to build on the momentum of the past three years," Adams Simmons said. "Watchdog journalism is, and will continue to be, our most important priority."

Adams Simmons and her husband, Jonathan, live in Copley. They have two sons, Jonathan and Jacob, ages 12 and 10.

Goldberg had taken over as editor of the paper in May 2007, and was the first female editor of Ohio's largest daily newspaper. She had been editor of the San Jose Mercury-News before that, and had previously worked at newspapers including USA Today and the Detroit Free Press.

She said leaving The Plain Dealer was a difficult decision, but she was persuaded by the chance to help develop content for Bloomberg News. "In a short time, I have become deeply attached to Cleveland," Goldberg said, "both because of the work our staff has done, of which I am enormously proud, and because of the amazing people I have met inside and outside of the newsroom."

Egger called it a bittersweet day. "I'm sorry that Susan has decided to leave the paper, but I'm thrilled we have a wonderful new editor in Debra Adams Simmons, who is a first-rate journalist, strategist and leader."

[Source:, the Plain Dealer online site.]

From childhood to today, same city

Copy editor Mark J. Price, who has turned nostalgia into a career job at the Beacon Journal, combined both into a remarkable This Time, This Place article in the BJ.

It involves Hoolihan, Big Chuck and Sue Gapinski, BJ copy editor.

Our thanks to former BJ Metro deputy editor Mitch McKenney, an assistant professor in journalism and mass communication at Kent State's Stark branch since 2008, for tipping us off.

Click on the headline and enjoy the Parma-licious tale.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jim Carney enjoying Patrick's success

After a bit of prodding, BJ reporter Jim Carney provided his recollections about his son, Patrick Carney, a member of the successful and touring Black Keys band:

It has been an incredible trip for our family to have followed Patrick's career the last nine years or so. It was around this time in 2001 that he and Dan were making demo tapes for the band that they had
Patrick Carney playing drums for Black Keys
decided would be called The Black Keys.

When their first record came out in the spring of 2002, we saw our first Black Keys show at the Tavern at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland. I think there may have been 25 people there.

Since then, we have seen them play across America and one show in England. We have seen them play in Los Angeles, New York City, New Haven, CT, Boston, Indianapolis, Detroit and San Francisco. In the early days they often played at The Lime Spider in downtown Akron. They have played the Akron Civic Theater and E.J. Thomas Performance Hall.

Lately, they have been performing before 4,000 to 5,000 a night.

The UK show was special. Katie and her father, Paul, and I traveled to England together. She was born there and came to Columbus with her family at six months of age. We visited her aunt and her Dad's cousin while in England and then headed for the Black Keys show. It was a BBC Radio One show in Brighton in October 2003. Legendary BBC DJ John Peel announced all the acts at the show and was a huge fan of the band. They made three or four appearances on his show for what are called Peel Sessions and I think the fact that Peel dug the band was a huge factor in their success in England and in Australia early on. Peel died a year after the show.

This spring and summer we saw five shows in New York City, including a benefit they did for a non-profit housing organization and as opening act for Pearl Jam at Madison Square Garden. In July they played at SummerStage at Central Park on two nights and then did a late night show at a club called Terminal 5 the same night as their last show at Central Park,

The experience has really been a family affair because Michael, 28, my youngest son, has done the majority of their art work on all their records, including the inside booklets as well as designed most of their T-shirts and done concert posters. He was especially happy with the concept for the Brothers record. Here is a link to the band's web site Band

Michael is a grad of Firestone High School's Visual and Performing Arts School and of Columbus College of Art and Design. He currently works as a graphic designer for American Eagle Outfitter in NYC. He lives in Brooklyn.

Plus the concerts have been a great way for our family to spend a lot of time together.

Pat moved to NYC in 2009 but moved to Nashville, TN, this month. Dan has already moved there. Their managers and lots of record label people and music industry folks are there. Pat bought a house there. Nashville has always been a huge music town and Katie and I are hoping to escape for a long weekend down before Thanksgiving.

His touring this year will continue in late October and into November with another few weeks in Europe. There are a few other shows before the holidays, two gigs in Chicago around New Year’s and two and a half weeks in Australia in January and then a few more weeks in March in Europe again.

Here is a link to the tour section of their Web Site Tour

The schedule is grueling but Pat is looking for some time off in 2011, although I think they are going to make another record in the spring.

They are set to be on Austin City Limits on PBS in late January.

Patrick always played guitar. He started taking lessons and experimenting with it in sixth grade or so. A few years later he began recording music and had picked up a drum kit in a trade of a cool Fender 60s baby blue guitar he purchased from a BJ classified ad for the drums and a few other guitars. In high school, there was a lot of noise coming from the basement as his bands played there. There was also lots of drumming noise of him just beating the hell out of the drums, which is what he still does. Dan lived around the corner from us and that is how they met each other.

They had been jamming together for quite a while, usually later afternoons, when they decided to make a go of it with the band.

The first time I heard the tape of their first session and the music that they were going to send out to record labels, I was blown away and I am not blown away by music easily. It was amazing. Katie felt the same thing.

Patrick, 30, is still as sweet as many of you remember from when I would bring him and his brothers into the office as little boys and fill them up with Blue Room pops and candy.

My oldest son, Will, 33, lives in Peninsula and is the superintendent of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway, where he started volunteering while in middle school. He worked as a railroad engineer and later as a safety trainer for about twelve years after high school on a variety of railroads in Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania before taking the job in the Valley a few years ago.

-- Jim Carney

The Dan part of The Black Keys is Dan Auerbach, like Patrick a Firestone High graduate.

The band will begin its European tour Oct. 27 in Ireland. The concert is sold out, as they usually are. Other tour events:

Wed, 10/27/2010 Dublin, Ireland Tripod - SOLD OUT
Thu, 10/28/2010 Glasgow, Scotland Academy
Sat, 10/30/2010 Newcastle, UK Academy
Sun, 10/31/2010 Leeds, UK Academy
Tue, 11/02/2010 London, UK O2 Academy Brixton
Wed, 11/03/2010 London, UK O2 Academy Brixton
Thu, 11/04/2010 Nottingham, UK Rock City
Sat, 11/06/2010 Liverpool, UK Academy
Sun, 11/07/2010 Bournemouth, UK Academy
Tue, 11/09/2010 Paris, France Le Bataclan
Wed, 11/10/2010 Tilburg, Holland 013 (Dommelsch Zaal) - SOLD OUT
Thu, 11/11/2010 Groningen, Holland Oosterpoort
Sat, 11/13/2010 Weissenhauser Strand, Germany Rolling Stone Weekender Festival
Sun, 11/14/2010 Luxembourg, Luxembourg den Atelier
Mon, 11/15/2010 Brussels, Belgium AB Club - SOLD OUT
Fri, 12/03/2010 Jacksonville, FL Met Park
Sun, 12/05/2010 Tampa, FL 97X Next Big Thing: 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
Fri, 12/31/2010 Chicago, IL Aragon Ballroom - SOLD OUT
Sat, 01/01/2011 Chicago, IL Aragon Ballroom
Fri, 01/21/2011 Auckland, NZ Mt Smart Stadium
Sun, 01/23/2011 Gold Coast, AU Parklands
Wed, 01/26/2011 Sydney, AU Showground
Sun, 01/30/2011 Melbourne, AU Flemington Racecourse
Fri, 02/04/2011 Adelaide, AU Showground
Sun, 02/06/2011 Perth, AU Claremont Showground
Tue, 03/15/2011 Paris, France Olympia
Click on the headline for photos of The Black Keys band.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Looking for a copy editing job?

There are more than a thousand jobs listed for copy editors. Click on the headline to check them out.

Be forewarned: Most of them are for -- looking for people in Aurora, Bath, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Kent, Medina, North Canton, Stow and Twinsburg and all over the United States.

Patch says it wants to provide news and information for under-served communities in this day of newspaper cutbacks on local coverage.

Patch president is Warren Webster, once director of magazine publishing for Gannett in Westchester, New York, and a sailboat captain.

ISSA (Intervention, Special Needs, Supplemental, and Assessment) Learning Solutions Center in Columbus, linked to McGraw-Hill, also is looking for a senior editor.

Good luck!

Monday, October 18, 2010

David de la Fuente at BJers wedding

From BJ copy desk veteran Olga Reswow's Facebook message:

Just wanted to let you know that I saw David de la Fuente at Mark Price and Sue Gapinski's wedding last night. I can not believe he is 47 .... he was one of Mark's groomsmen. Working on copy desk of the San Francisco Chronicle.

David is Online editor at the San Francisco Chronicle's He was a copy editor at the BJ in 1987-1990. The Kent State graduate left Akron for the Seattle Times (1990-1994), then went to the Chicago Sun Times (1994-1997), Chronicle (1997-2002), (2002-today), with overlapping stints at Forbes ASAP (2000-2001) and (1999-2000).

As for the wedding couple, Mark J. Price is the BJ copy editor and who writes great pieces on the Akron area’s past and Sue Gapinski also is a BJ copy editor, who wins Ohio headline writing awards.

Congratulations to both of them at This Time, This Place.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Free newspapers a hit in France

The : 'My free newspaper' project is a hit in France. Trust in the press also is up since the French cgovernment launched a project last year to offer French citizens between 18 and 24 a free newspaper once a week for a year. The program is funded half by the state, and half by the publishers involved. President Nicolaa Sarkozy says it's legitimate to consider the print media's economic situation.

A report on the launch of the project was provided by a BJ Alums blog post on January 24, 2009. Sarkozy at that time announced a ninefold rise in the state's support for newspaper deliveries and a doubling of its annual print advertising outlay amid a swelling industry crisis.

Sarkozy argued in a speech to publishers that the measures are needed because the global financial crisis has compounded woes for a sector already suffering from falling ad revenues and subscriptions.

In a speech to industry leaders, Sarkozy said it was legitimate for the state to consider the print media's economic situation.

"It is indeed its responsibility ... to make sure an independent, free and pluralistic press exists," he said.

See the latest on the project.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Columbus Dispatch columnist dies at 67

He saw the extraordinary in everyday people and the absurdity in what others took for granted.

He had deep empathy for the poor, the sick and the put-upon.

He loved to get on the road, whether to cover a hurricane or cruise Rt. 66 in search of stories.

Mike Harden, whose columns have been appearing in The Dispatch since 1983, died last night at Ohio State University Medical Center after a battle with cancer. He was 64.

"He had the gift," said former Dispatch editor Luke Feck, who hired Harden. "He had that unique skill to make the complex understandable, to see the funny side of the follies of people."

In recent years, Harden had semiretired. Even then, he was still writing two columns a week, turning his own illness into black humor.

In his last column (published Sunday), he wrote about keeping himself occupied during long hours at the medical center:

"I have, for example, found amusement in the stunningly macabre house rule bumper-stickered to the wall that reminds those with business dying at the James (cancer hospital): 'Checkout time is 11:00 a.m.' "

Click on the headline to read the full story with links to photos.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

4 + Cal's daughter make BJ luncheon

Photo by Tom Moore
From left are Cal Deshong, daughter Mary Pat Deshong-Kinkelaar, Tom Moore, Al Hunsicker and Carl Nelson.


Only four at luncheon. Gal is Cal's daughter Mary.

Take care of yourself.

I'll be in Florida for the next luncheon.


I was under the weather and asked Tom to handle the report and photo. Thanks, Tom.

Tom will be heading to Fort Myers, Florida for former BJ sports editor Tom Giffen's Roy Hobbs World Series of Baseball for older players. Tom Moore handles the daily newsletter for the six-week event. It will be the newsroom retiree's 7th year at this task.

As for Cal's and his late wife Mary Louise's daughter Mary, that would be Mary Pat Deshong-Kinkelaar, who lives in Akron and is married to David Kinkelaar. Mary is in real estate in Akron and Chicago and is a certified financial planner. Mary and David adopted Clair Louise, 4, who was born in Guatemala.

There has been nothing lower than today's attendance -- 5, or 4 if you count only retirees -- since only engraving’s Pat Dougherty and composing’s Gene McClellan braved a February 2010 snowstorm to show up. Retired printers Al Hunsicker, Carl Nelson and Cal Deshong, newsroom retiree Tom Moore and Cal's daughter, Mary Pat Deshong-Kinkelaar, attended today's luncheon.

BJ retirees meet at 1 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month at Papa Joe's restaurant at Akron/Peninsula Road and Portage Trail Extension.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

'iPads will save newspapers'

Apple's iPad, and devices like it, will save the newspaper industry, says Unilever chief marketing and communications officer Keith Weed.

Since Weed is responsible for more than $7 billion of global media spending, he has newspapers' attention. After all, someone has to provide the news on the devices.

"I used to have a pile of newspapers in the morning but now I flick through my iPad," Weed said.

Click on the headline to read the story.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Knight innovation entries accepted Oct. 25

The Knight News Challenge, a media innovation contest funded and run by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will begin accepting entries Oct. 25. In its first four years, the KN Challenge awarded $23 million to 56 media innovators.

New categories are Mobile, ideas for news and information on mobile communication devices; Authenticity, projects that help people better understand the reliability of news and information sources; Sustainability, news and information that helps citizens run their communities and their lives; and Community, technologies that support news and information within defined geographic areas.

To apply visit

Click on the headline for the Knight Foundation press release.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Carney's kid SW BO boffo; Europe next

Black Keys, the two-piece Akron band with Patrick Carney as drummer, sold out its current Southwest tour. Firestone High graduates Carney, 30, and Auerbach, 31, will be heading to Europe, starting with an Oct. 27 concert in Dublin, Ireland.

Australia and New Zealand in 2011 also are on the band’s schedule.

Carney is the son of BJ reporter Jim Carney and stepson of Jim's wife, Katie Byard, also a BJ reporter.

Carney, who owns a house in Akron, has moved to New York. He married and divorced Cleveland Scene and former BJ reporter Denise Grollmus. Auerbach and wife Stephanie have a daughter, Sadie.

Date City Venue

Fri, 10/08/2010 Austin, TX ACL Festival – SOLD OUT
Sat, 10/09/2010 Austin, TX Stubbs - SOLD OUT
Sun, 10/10/2010 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom - SOLD OUT
Wed, 10/27/2010 Dublin, Ireland Tripod - SOLD OUT
Thu, 10/28/2010 Glasgow, Scotland Academy
Sat, 10/30/2010 Newcastle, UK Academy
Sun, 10/31/2010 Leeds, UK Academy
Tue, 11/02/2010 London, UK O2 Academy Brixton
Wed, 11/03/2010 London, UK O2 Academy Brixton
Thu, 11/04/2010 Nottingham, UK Rock City
Sat, 11/06/2010 Liverpool, UK Academy
Sun, 11/07/2010 Bournemouth, UK Academy
Tue, 11/09/2010 Paris, France Le Bataclan
Wed, 11/10/2010 Tilburg, Holland 013 (Dommelsch Zaal) - SOLD OUT
Thu, 11/11/2010 Groningen, Holland Oosterpoort
Sat, 11/13/2010 Weissenhauser Strand, Germany Rolling Stone Weekender Festival
Sun, 11/14/2010 Luxembourg, Luxembourg den Atelier
Mon, 11/15/2010 Brussels, Belgium AB Club - SOLD OUT
Fri, 12/03/2010 Jacksonville, FL Met Park
Sun, 12/05/2010 Tampa, FL 97X Next Big Thing: 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
Fri, 12/31/2010 Chicago, IL Aragon Ballroom - SOLD OUT
Sat, 01/01/2011 Chicago, IL Aragon Ballroom
Fri, 01/21/2011 Auckland, NZ Mt Smart Stadium
Sun, 01/23/2011 Gold Coast, AU Parklands
Wed, 01/26/2011 Sydney, AU Showground
Sun, 01/30/2011 Melbourne, AU Flemington Racecourse
Fri, 02/04/2011 Adelaide, AU Showground
Sun, 02/06/2011 Perth, AU Claremont Showground
Tue, 03/15/2011 Paris, France Olympia

You pick the stories and ads and newspaper is delivered to your door

With newspapers rushing for the exit to get out of or greatly decrease their print editions, along comes a "newspaper" that takes online stories about subjects that a subscriber says interests him or her and then prints them into a customized newspaper that is hand-delivered to the subscriber’s doorstep.

Launched in Berlin in 2009, the personalized newspaper is based in Berlin, Germany. Niiu's website is

Niiu is printed overnight and delivered to the subscriber's door the next morning, just like any other newspaper.

Niiu is the brainchild of two Germans, 27-year-old Hendrik Tiedemann and 23-year-old Wanja Oberhof.

Niiu is published from Monday to Sunday. It prints 24 pages -- 2 pages of online content, 20 newspaper pages, 2 full advertisement pages that are individually composed by the customer. It collects and prints the newspaper from 18 international, national and local newspapers and more than 600 online sources.

The price for an issue is 1.80 Euros ($2.50 US), but the reader can choose niiu only on specific days.

Click on the headline for story of this customized newspaper that was published before the year-old launch.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Brian Windhorst joins ESPN

Brian Windhorst, who covered LeBrson James as a spoztswriter for the Beacon Journal and Plain Dealer and wrote two books about the former Cleveland Cavaliers and Akron St. Vincent High School star, has joined ESPN to move to Miami and do the same thing for a new ESPN website, "The Heat Index."

"I've interviewed with the New York Times, I've interviewed at Yahoo! and other internet sites, but I really can't say for sure I would have taken any other job offered to me besides the offer to join ESPN," the Cleveland Scene quotes Windhorst as saying.

He also told Cleveland Scene: "I have a lot of family in South Florida and I've had real estate in South Florida for the last four years."

Brian's dad, Todd Windhorst, once worked with newsroom retiree Tom Moore at former BJ sports editor Tom Giffen's Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series for older players in Fort Myers, Florida.

Windhorst, like LeBron, is a St. V graduate. He was at the BJ for 12 years before moving north to the PD in 2008.

Windhorst returned last month from a 30-day around the world tour with friend Jon Wiles. They did a week in Europe, a safari in South Africa, a beach resort in Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and Las Vegas, where they joined friends to celebrate Jon's 30th birthday.

Click on the headline to read the Cleveland Scene interview of Windhorst.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

More BJ health care changes coming

Most of you probably got your letter from Beacon Journal Director of Human Resources Aaron Burr about another change in health care coverage for retirees.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the government agency, mandated that the BJ coverage has to be network-based. That switches BJ retirees into the Aetna Medicare Plan (PPO). Your costs will be less if you use network providers, more if you don't.

Burr's letter promised that an Aetna kit with the details will be mailed to BJ retirees in two or three weeks.

Is this another shoe dropping?

After all, in 2004 the BJ stopped paying the 20% that Medicare didn't cover (Medicare paid 80% of what it allowed and the BJ picked up the rest, which meant retirees had the same combined coverage they had while working at the BJ).

The BJ switched to Aetna Medicare from United Health Care in 2007, after the Canadian company, Black Press, bought the Beacon. Since, the annual deductible has gone from $150 to $250.

In my case alone, I've had about $12,000 in extra medical costs over the previous BJ health care coverage since Black Press took over in 2007. Others have had more.

These changes in retirees' health care coverage are at the heart of separate lawsuits filed against Black Press and the BJ by Composing and Guild retirees. The printers won a temporary injunction against the changes for those named in their lawsuit. The Guild lawsuit is at the stage where attorneys for both sides are discussing the financial impact on the retirees.

When we get the Aetna kit with the details, BJ Alums blog will try to analyze and report on it.

Stay tuned, and hang onto your wallet.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Nieman Curator Bob Giles to retire

Bob Giles, curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard for the past decade, will retire at the end of the academic year in June 2011.

Giles, whose newspaper career began in 1958 at the Beacon Journal, was executive editor when he left in 1975. From 1977 to 1986 he was executive editor, then editor, of the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat & Chronicle and Times-Union. Giles then served for 11 years as executive editor, and, later, editor and publisher of The Detroit News. He was managng editor in 1971 when the Beacon Journal won the Pulitzer prize.

He was editor of The Detroit News when that newspaper won a Pulitzer in 1994 for the disclosures of a scandal in the Michigan House Fiscal Agency. Giles won the Scripps-Howard Foundation's Distinguished Journalism Citation in 1978 for "outstanding public service in the cause of the First Amendment" for columns that advocated more press coverage of courtroom proceedings. He is an eight-time Pulitzer Prize juror and is the author of Newsroom Management: A Guide to Theory and Practice.

“It is not easy to leave a great institution and the wonderful people who make it so, but this is a good time for my wife, Nancy, and me to begin a new chapter in our lives,” Giles, 77, said. “The Nieman program has grown significantly over the past decade and is sound financially. It continues to attract highly gifted, independent-minded journalists seeking a transformative experience at Harvard.

“For me, the privilege of serving as curator has been an extraordinarily rewarding period in a long life in journalism. It is time now for new leadership to build on what my colleagues and I have added to the program over the past decade,” Giles added.

Bill Wheatley, former executive vice president for NBC News and president of the Nieman Foundation Advisory Board, lauded Giles’ “superb contribution to the foundation’s vitality and reputation. During a period of great turbulence in journalism, he has positioned the Nieman Foundation for continued success in the years to come.”

Giles said that he and his wife, a psychologist, plan to stay in Cambridge, but eventually will move to Northern Michigan, where they have a home.

“My work with the fellows has deepened my desire to do what they do: take courses at Harvard, go to lectures and concerts, read,” he said. “I also can’t imagine not staying involved with journalism in some new way, especially now, when so much is possible and so much is at stake.”

Read the Nieman Foundation story.

Gene Durst's widow dies

Arleen Louise Durst, 88, widow of former Beacon Journal printer Gene Durst, died Sunday. Her obituary in the BJ:

Arleen Louise Durst, 88, of Crestmont North Nursing of Lakewood, passed away Sunday, September 26 at Fairview Hospital in Cleveland.

She was born August 5, 1922 in Chippewa Lake to Russell and Gertrude Freidt and married Eugene Durst in 1947. She had been employed as a legal secretary and enjoyed music, flea markets, and spending time with family.

Arleen will be deeply missed by her son, Terry Durst of Cleveland and his partner Dan Tranberg; niece, Pat Crawford of Cleveland and great-niece, Jodie Crawford; and many friends in Wadsworth. She was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene Durst in 1997 and other family members.

Memorial contributions may be made to Lucky Paws Animal Rescue, 1937 Columbus Road, Cleveland, OH 44113 due to Arleen's love of animals.
[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Thursday, September 30, 2010, page B5, col. 1]

Click on the headline to offer your condolences to the Durst family.

Retired printer Calvin Deshong offers this additional information:

Eugene Durst worked in the composing room starting 7-23-1956. Looks like he retired in 1986. He was born 11-4-1923 and lived in Wadsworth.

Other obituaries for widows of BJ retirees this year:

Nettie Evans Skeens, 75, retired printer Bob Skeens' widow, died June 12.
Ann Deskovich, 88, maintenance department retiree John Deskovich's widow, died Feb. 19.
Joan Morris, 73, retired chief artist Bud Morris' widow, died Jan. 22.

Steven Spragg, 38, of Middleburg, Virginia, retired printer Sid Sprague's son, died May 4. Sid lives in Loveland, Colorado, where he moved from Pawleys Island, South Carolina, after Sid's wife died.

BJ Circulation truck driver retiree Raife Woodall, 69, died Sept. 12.
Ruth Kenny, 85, in the BJ accounting department in the 1970s and 1980s, died March 31.
Mary Ohlinger, 90, retail ad retiree and sister of the late Jerry VanSickle, retired printer, died in March.
Charles "Chick" G. Lipford, husband of accounting retiree Martha, died March 26.
William "Bill" James Carney, father of BJ staffer Jim Carney, died Sept. 7.
Carol F. Guregian, mother of former BJ staffer Elaine Guregian, died Sept. 2.

Those who died in 2009:
Cleveland Phillips, maintenance, Jan. 20.
WAKR’s Jerry Healey, Feb 8.
Barbara Patterson, wife of sports retiree Jack, March 17.
Robert Kamenar, freelance photographer, March 22.
Ernest Infield, Wooster Record columnist, March 28.
Watson Blanton, printer, March 25.
Robert Cull, father of reporter Mike, April 4.
Nancy (Lile) Wise, May 27.
Paul Haney, voice of NASA, May 28.
Bill Kennedy, July 20.
Armand Lear, printer, June 5.
Virginia Berger, wife of promotion's Bill, Aug. 5.
Kevin Jackson, son of Gary, Aug. 6.
Olga O'Neil, Aug. 22.
Stephen Schleis, father of reporter Paula, Oct. 11.
Terry Dray, printer, Oct. 25.
Trammel Hogg, printer, Nov. 15.
Kevin Vest, sports statistician, Nov. 18.
Bob Nold, sports writer, Dec. 20.