Friday, September 30, 2011

Lisa Katz Pagel obituary

Lisa Katz Pagel, wife of Thomas Pagel, passed away at her residence at Fort Lewis, Washington, on Wednesday, September 21, 2011.

Lisa was born May 8, 1965 in Akron, Ohio, the first child of Joyce (Moseley) and Marvin Katz, a schoolteacher and a journalist.

She grew up in Glenshaw, Pa., Worthington, Ohio, and Rockville, Md., developing a love for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Baltimore Orioles, Maryland crabs and Nicobolis from Nicola's Pizza in Rehoboth, Del. along the way.

A thespian and member of the choir in high school, she returned to Ohio for college, majoring in Telecommunications and then Journalism at Kent State University.

Her career began at the Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia, where she worked as a copy editor and reporter.

She switched gears and headed to Richmond, Va. and served as press secretary to Governor Doug Wilder. Next she was off to Petersburg, Va., taking on the excitement of leading publication relations for Virginia State University.

Lisa was always delighted in new adventures and moved to Durham, N.C. to start anew at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, Public Relations Department. She was a die-hard Tar Heels fan and enjoyed the company of many dear friends while she lived there.

Lisa left North Carolina to take on a new challenge as a military spouse when she married Major Thomas Pagel on July 4, 2009. With her perky personality, she quickly fit right into the family support groups and scrapbookers.

Lisa and Thomas were at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas when they discovered she had gallbladder cancer. Lisa took the news in stride and maintained her positive attitude throughout. During her cancer treatments she always made a point to learn the names and stories of the folks she met from the other patients, doctors, nurses, technicians and caregivers to the housekeepers and desk staff.

Even on her roughest days Lisa would make sure to say ``hello'' and ask how they were doing, usually asking a question in follow-up to a previous conversation. She knew every person had a story and everyone was special and she could make them feel that way, be it with a word or that smile that could only make you smile back.

Left to cherish her memory is her husband, Major Thomas Pagel of Fort Lewis, Wash.; her parents, Marvin and Joyce Katz of Hendersonville, N.C.; her sister, Susie Katz Bobenrieth; brother-in-law, Rafael; niece, Adriana; nephew, Alex of Portland, Ore.; nieces and nephews, Kirsten, Joshua, Leandra, Jacob, Mallory, Michaela, Suzanne, Peter, Kendra, Hope, and Christopher; her parents; and mother-in-law, Ruth Pagel of Marshall.

Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Sunday, October 2, 2011 at the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Island Lake Township, Minnesota. Burial will be at the Marshall Cemetery. Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m., with a 7 p.m. prayer service Saturday at the Hamilton Funeral Home in Marshall. Visitation will continue at the church on Sunday, one hour prior to the service.

Condolences may be sent to: Blessed be the Memory of Lisa Katz Pagel. Hamilton Funeral Home, (507) 532-2933

[Akron Beacon Joursnal, Akron, OH, Friday, September 30, 2011, page B5, col. 5]

Lisa's father is Marv Katz, who included the Beacon Journal in his 40-year career. Marv retired in 1998 after a career that included journalism, public relations, freelance writing and PR consulting.

Lisa was Glenn Proctor's first intern at the BJ for the summer of 1987.

Click on the headline for BJ Alums postings about Lisa.

PD editor/slotman Ted Mellow dies

Theodore J. Mellow, long-time editor/slotman at the PD, died Aug. 21 in San Diego.
Ted moved West with his wife, Alida, in the mid-90s. Previously, they lived in Hinckley and Medina.

Ted was born in Missouri on Oct. 7, 1921. He was raised in China, the child of missionaries. At 16, he returned to the U.S., attended school, served in the military and married his first wife, Jan. She died in 1984.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Klosterman at Akron library Oct. 20

Former BJ staffer Chuck Klosterman will be The Main Event Speaker Series' star at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Akron Main Library Auditorium.

Chuck will be pushing his latest book, "The Invisible Man," (Simon & Schuster) which Publisher's Weekly describes as a "tour de force exploration of intimacy and voyeurism."
His other books include "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs," "Fargo Rock City" and "Downtown Owl."

Charles John Klosterman was born June 5, 1972, in Breckenridge, Minnesota, but was raised on a farm near Wyndmere, North Dakota, and is a 1994 University of North Dakota graduate. He left Akron for New York City in 2002.

If Klosterman is as entertaining and informative as PD television critic and former BJ TV/movies critic Mark Dawidziak and Kent's Paul Bauer were last night in their Main Event appearances discussing their book, "Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler," then you'll be in for a treat. Jim Tully was a famous Hollywood writer of the 1920s through 1940s who preceded Walter Winchell and has connections to Kent and Akron. It is Dawidziak's 12th book.

Click on the headline for previous BJ Alums posts on Klosterman.

Headline everyone's talking about

By Jim Romenesko

I asked Detroit Free Press editor and publisher Paul Anger about the crease that resulted in this headline:

His response to my email:

Jim, yes, we have seen this and our circulation folks looked into it. As far as we can tell, it was one paper in one rack. We don’t know if someone with a twisted sense of humor folded it that way intentionally and set it up in the rack, or it was just the way the paper creased when driver inserted it into the window. Either way, no, it was not an entire press run, nothing like that. — Paul

Historical Society to honor John & Jim Knight

Posted by Audrey Hylton on Cuyahoga Falls Patch news website

The Summit County Historical Society will honor notable residents or former residents of Summit County who have been recognized nationally for their accomplishments, and whose inspirational life story continues to impact life in Summit County.

The Summit Awards will be presented Saturday, Oct. 8, at Greystone Hall, 103 S. High Street, Akron. The program begins at 8 p.m.

The 2011 recipients are: Shirley Fry Irvin, Sports; James Stewart Polshek, Arts; Ara Parsegain, Humanitarianism; Dolores Parker Morgan, Entertainment; John S. and James L. Knight, Philantrophy; Frederick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard, Trailblazer; and Lewis Miller, Industrialism.

The honorary chair of the Summit Awards is Dr. W. Gerald Austen, a renowned heart surgeon who is widely considered one of the foremost heart specialists in the world.

Ticket prices for the event vary and may include dinner and an open bar before the ceremony. For more information, call the Summit County Historical Society at 330-535-1120 or e-mail:

Harold McElroy services are Saturday

PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. - -Harold Ray McElroy, 74, beloved husband of Linda, passed away peacefully on Monday, September 5, 2011 at Waccamaw Community Hospital. Born in Akron, Ohio, he was the son of the late Charles William and Elva McElroy. His great-granddaughter, Reagan Lacole Edwards, also preceded him in death. Harold retired from the Akron Beacon Journal after forty two years of service. He was the treasurer of the F.O.P.A. #6 for several years. Surviving are his wife, Linda; children, Coleen Sweazy (Denny), Maureen Anderson, Michele, Jamie and John Scott; brother, Jim (Debby) of Burke, Va.; nephew, Jeff; ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Services will be held 3 p.m. Saturday, October 1, 2011 at the Anthony Funeral Home KUCKO-ANTHONY-KERTESZ CHAPEL, 1990 S. Main St. in Akron, with visitation one hour prior to service. In lieu of flowers or donations, the family requests that a tree be planted in Harold's memory. Anthony Funeral Homes 330.724.1281
[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Wednesday, September 28, 2011, pae B5, col.2 ]

Monday, September 26, 2011

Poll respondents say they follow more news

Buried in the latest Pew research on where Americans turn for local news, there’s this important trend: 72 percent of respondents — nearly three-quarters — say they follow local news closely most of the time, whether or not something important is happening. That’s up from 57 percent in 2008. More people are also following national news closely most of the time, with 68 percent saying they do currently, compared to 55 percent in 2008. Despite two wars and other unrest throughout the Arab Spring, fewer Americans (56 percent) are following international news closely than did in 2009 (62 percent).

Interestingly, while Americans are following news more closely, they’re also more distrustful of the media than ever, with 75 percent saying journalists can’t get their facts straight and 60 percent saying they’re biased. People believe their particular sources for news are less biased than the media generally, though.

The latest Pew research reveals that adults rely on the same top news source as teens, if you compare Monday’s report with a Knight report released earlier this month. Both groups depend first on local TV, with newspapers as the fourth source. The groups diverge in the middle, where adults rely on “word of mouth” and teens rely on the digital version of the same: social media. Adults also rely on radio, while teens rely on video.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Program at library touts book on Jim Tully

Paul J. Bauer and Mark Dawidziak, authors of the recently published Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler, will be giving a talk about Ohio’s colorful Irish-American “hobo author” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, in the Main Library Auditorium of the Akron-Summit County Public Library. Ken Burns, who wrote the foreword for the biography, calls this study of Jim Tully “wonderful, hugely important.”

The multi-media presentation will include pictures from the biography as well as footage from the 1928 film version of Tully’s Beggars of Life and the 1930 movie featuring Tully, Way for a Sailor. Bauer and Dawidziak also will be signing copies of the biography published by Kent State University.

The co-authors discovered Tully in 1992, spending the next 19 years researching and writing their book. Although largely forgotten today, Tully was a literary superstar of the 1920s and '30s. He also spent time in Akron, working briefly for both the Akron Beacon Journal and the Akron Press.

Considered the father of the hardboiled school of literature, Tully wrote about the American underclass: hobos, carnival workers, con artists and boxers. Along the way, he worked for Charlie Chaplin, interviewed James Joyce and picked up such pals as W.C. Fields, Lon Chaney, H.L. Mencken, Frank Capra, Jimmy Cagney, Jack Dempsey, Erich von Stroheim and Damon Runyon.

The free program is presented by the Akron-Summit County Public Library and Friends of the Main Library. Auditorium doors open at 6:30 p.m. Parking in the High/Market deck is free for those arriving after 6 p.m. Call 330-643-9035, or visit for more information.

Father of Sharon Lorentren dies at 99

The father of Sharon Loentzen died Thursday. She announced it on facebook thus:

It is with great sadness that I tell you that my dad, Leonard Burkhard passed away this morning, after a very, very hard week. He fell Sunday night and broke his hip very badly. On Monday morning, he had surgery to repair it, so he would not be in
constant, agonizing pain. Not surprisingly, he was not able to come back from that trauma.

My mom is numb at this point, and I'm not sure how much she really comprehends what has happened. We are heartbroken, but appreciate the 99-3/4 years he was here. He really did want to make 100 in November, but it was not to be.

Here is his obituary in the Beacon Journal on Sunday:

Leonard Arthur Burkhard ``Do the very best you can... and leave the outcome to God.' Leonard Arthur Burkhard lived by those words. He made his transition from this earthly life to be with his Lord on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2011. A viewing will be held at the Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel, 85 N. Miller Rd., TODAY, Sept. 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. Family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to 12, preceding the memorial service at noon, to be held at Billows on Monday, Sept. 26, followed by interment at Holy Cross Cemetery. A celebration of his life will take place at Rockynol Assisted Living, 1150 W. Market St., at 2 p.m. Condolences may be sent to 60 N. Rose Blvd., Akron, OH 44302. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to either Rockynol Assisted Living or Fairlawn Lutheran Church. (Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel) ``Do the very best you can... and leave the outcome to God.' Leonard Arthur Burkhard lived by those words. He made his transition from this earthly life to be with his Lord on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2011. A viewing will be held at the Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel, 85 N. Miller Rd., TODAY, Sept. 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. Family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to 12, preceding the memorial service at noon, to be held at Billows on Monday, Sept. 26, followed by interment at Holy Cross Cemetery. A celebration of his life will take place at Rockynol Assisted Living, 1150 W. Market St., at 2 p.m. Condolences may be sent to 60 N. Rose Blvd., Akron, OH 44302. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to either Rockynol Assisted Living or Fairlawn Lutheran Church. (Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel)
[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Sunday, September 25, 2011, pshr B5, col.6. ]

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lisa Katz Pagel dies

FORT LEWIS, Wash. - Services for Lisa Pagel, formerly of Marshall, are pending at the Hamilton Funeral Home. She died Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, at her residence at Fort Lewis, Wash.
Hamilton Funeral Home, Marshall, MN

Barbara Hipsman Springer, wife of former BJ staffer and current Kent State faculty member Bob Springer, sent this email about Kent State graduate Lisa Katz Pagel, daughter of former Beacon Journal staffer Marv Katz:

To all of Lisa's friends - With that kind of heading, you know what is next. Please share with those who knew Lisa or know her family, if you would.

Lisa passed away today at about 3 p.m. eastern with her mom, Thomas, Susie and Marv all there at the Pagel house in Washington State.

Funeral Services will be in Marshall, Minnesota and a memorial service is being planned for Chapel Hill at a future date.

A while back, Bob and I started a Lisa Katz Pagel scholarship fund at Kent State's School of Journalism and Mass Comm. Any donations will support a "leadership" news student as they make their way through the university. We may have it be a freshman scholarship - but that remains to be seen. It exists for the past few months as "Lisa Katz Pagel."

Wish it weren't so, but it is. She was peaceful this past few weeks and has had visits from many through cards, flowers and calls as well as in-person visits. She will be missed as a member of our advisory council and as our good friend.

Peace, Lisa.

Best, Barb Hipsman Springer

Survivors include Lisa's husband, Major Thomas Pagel; Lisa's sister, Susie Bobenrieth, a family-practice physician in Portland, Oregon; Marv and wife Joyce, who live near Hendersonville, North Carolina.

Lisa did her J-School internship at the BJ. She was a former Marshall, Minnesota resident who died in Fort Lewis, Washington, where he husband is stationed.

Click on the headline for previous BJ Alums blog articles on Lisa.

William Ellery McClatchy dies at 86

William Ellery McClatchy, a world-class croquet player and the last member of his generation to oversee the family's newspaper business, The McClatchy Co., died Tuesday at age 86.

He died of natural causes at his home in Pope Valley in Napa County, said his nephew, Kevin McClatchy.

William Ellery McClatchy was the middle of three brothers who inherited and expanded a storied California newspaper tradition.

Read more:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

'Ziggy' creator Tom Wilson Sr. dies

Tom Wilson Sr., who created the "Ziggy" comic character that appears in the Beacon Journal and more than 500 other newspapers, died Friday at the age of 80 in Cincinnati.

"Ziggy" first appeared in newspapers in 1971. Wilson was an artist for American Greeting Cards in Cleveland.

His son, Tom Wilson Jr., took over the comic in 1987. Tom Sr. also is survived by wife Carol and daughters Ava and Julie.

Ziggy starred in the ABC Christmas special, "Ziggy's Gift," which won a 1983 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program and was re-released on DVD in 2005.

Wilson was head of the Universal Press Syndicate creative team that developed Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears licensing.

Click on the headline for the complete article on the passing of Ziggy's creator.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dawidziak at Twinsburg Library on Tuesday

Former Beacon Journal and current Plain Dealer TV critic Mark Dawidziak will be at the Twinsburg Library at 7 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the book he co-wrote with Kent bookseller Paul Bauer. It's called "Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler" (Kent State University Press). Tully's fame includes being fired twice by the BJ.

Bauer's former St. Sebastian elementary school classmate Carol Carlson booked the pair.

Mark teaches "Reviewing Film and Television" and "Vampires on Film and Television" at Kent State University.

He also spends a lot of time doing Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens and Mark Twain shows in the area with his wife, Sara Showman.

Mark had another birthday Sept. 7.

Connie Schultz resigns from PD

Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz resigned today. Schultz worked for nearly 18 years at the newspaper.

Schultz is the wife of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown who is up for reelection next year.

Here is the note Schultz sent to her colleagues explaining her resignation.

Dear friends and colleagues,

Nearly 18 years ago, The Plain Dealer took a chance on me. I was a 36-year-old newly single mother who had spent 15 years writing freelance stories from my kitchen table. My password for Newsmaker remains what it was for my PD computer on December 15, 1993, my first day on the job: Wow.

What a ride.

In recent weeks, it has become painfully clear that my independence, professionally and personally, is possible only if I'm no longer writing for the newspaper that covers my husband's senate race on a daily basis. It's time for me to move on.

Editor Debra Adams Simmons has been incredibly supportive, and an inspiration to me. I am especially grateful for her unconditional commitment to the recent Agent Orange project, "Unfinished Business." Ellen Stein Burbach, my direct editor, has been my champion for more than a decade. Their faith in me was emboldening. Their guidance made me better. They will no longer be my editors, but they remain cherished friends.

I leave The Plain Dealer with gratitude, and plenty to do. I'm working on my next book, and will continue to write essays for Parade magazine. I'm still a columnist with Creators Syndicate, and I'll continue to focus on issues of social and economic justice. I'm weighing other options, and look forward to what comes next.

To my hardworking colleagues: Thank you. I continue to cheer you on.

To those who became my steadfast friends: Thank you doesn't begin to coverit. I'm loyal as a pug.

To everyone at The Plain Dealer: I leave with a sad but hopeful heart. I was so lucky to be your colleague.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Email from Linda McElroy

Hi Everyone;

Wanted to let you know that a memorial service for Harold will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1st at the Kucko-Anthony-Kertesz funeral home. The hours are 2 to 4. The obit will be in the paper on Wednesday, Sept. 28th.

I am coping and it is pretty lonely right now. Everyone went home on Wednesday.

Hope all is well with all of you.

Take care.


Linda's husband, Beacon Journal business department retiree Harold McElroy of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, died Sept. 5.

Click on the headline for BJ Alums articles about Harold.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Next generation relies on TV, web news

By Julie Moos

Knight Foundation
The Knight Foundation’s latest survey of high schoolers found that 92% of students say it’s important to stay informed about the news (the same percentage says it’s important to vote). The research shows a shift in how teens get their news. In a typical day, they report doing the following to get news:

  • Watch TV for news 1-3+ times: 77%
  • Read an article online 1-3+ times: 54%
  • Watch video news online 1-3+ times: 48%
  • Read an article in print 1-3+ times: 42%

Their choices do not consistently align with the sources they say are the most truthful providers of news and information. They are least likely to read newspapers for news, but find them the most truthful source:

  • 88% say newspapers are very or somewhat truthful.
  • 78% say television is very or somewhat truthful.
  • 58% say websites are very or somewhat truthful.
  • 34% say social networks are very or somewhat truthful.

Despite their distrust of its accuracy, the research shows an explosion in use of social media for news and information. When asked, how often do you get news and information from a list of sources, 56 percent of teens said social networks were a daily source of news and information for them:

Frequency of use
for news & information
Social networks Internet Mobile
Daily 56% 33% 31%
Several times a week 20% 32% 19%
About once a week 7% 18% 11%
Less than once a week 6% 12% 13%
Never 10% 6% 27%

In 2007, only 8 percent of teens got news and information from a mobile device and 67 percent had never used a cell phone for news.

The purpose of the study was to explore the relationship between use of social media and support for the First Amendment. The results were encouraging:

There is a clear, positive relationship between social media use and appreciation of the First Amendment. Fully 91 percent of students who use social networking daily to get news and information agree that “people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions.” But only 77 percent of those who never use social networks to get news agree that unpopular opinions should be allowed.

The survey was conducted between April and June of this year, with 12,090 students and 900 teachers from 34 public and private schools participating.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

McElroy memorial service in Akron Oct. 1

A Memorial Service for Beacon Journal business department retiree Harold McElroy of Pawleys Island, South Carolina will be 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Anthony Funeral Home on S. Main St. in Firestone Park. A get-together will follow. The announcement will appear in the Beacon Journal on Septeber 28.

Harold, 74, who worked at the BJ for 42 years, died Sept. 5 in South Carolina. He had lung cancer surgery in June.

Born in Akron, he was the son of the late Charles William and Elva McElroy. His great-granddaughter, Reagan Lacole Edwards, also preceded him in death.

Harold was the treasurer of the F.O.P.A. #6 for several years.

Surviving are his wife, Linda; children, Colleen Sweazy (Denny), Maureen Anderson, Michele, Jamie and John Scott; brother, Jim (Debby) of Burke, Va.; nephew, Jeff; ten grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Click on the headline to see earlier stories about Harold's health problems.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Earlier Medicare enrollment period

AARP reminds retirees that Medicare open enrollment will start earlier this year.

The enrollment will run from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 instead of the previous years' start/stop dates of Nov. 15 to Dec. 31.

During Medicare open enrollment you can switch Part D prescription or Medicare Advantage plans.

Click here to compare costs and benefits of plans or call (800) 633-4227.

Federal mediator David Thorley dies

Wayne County native David S. Thorley, 74, of Silver Lake, a federal mediator for nearly a quarter of a century, died Monday from multiple myeloma, a disease he fought nearly 11 years.

He had mediated disputes between the Beacon Journal management and The Newspaper Guild's then-Akron chapter.

Mr. Thorley worked as a machinist at Akron Brass and in 1964 became president of the International Association of Machinists Local 1581. By 1968, he was a staff representative for the International Association of Machinists and was hired as a mediator by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in 1975.

Click on the headline for Jim Carney's story about Mr. Thorley.

Quality quartet at BJ Alums lunch

Faithful four showed up today at the monthly BJ retirees lunch at Papa Joe's Restaurant on Akron/Peninsula Road at Portage Trail Extension. They are retired printers Gene McClelland, Al Hunsicker and Carl Nelson and newsroom retiree John Olesky.

Al talked about his granddaughter -- daughter of Al's daughter Pam and her husband Don Coy -- getting an engagement ring.

Gene and Carl found out that they both worked for the AC&Y Railroad when they weren't at the BJ. Gene sold two of his vehicles that he likes to tinker with but still has four -- auto, motorcyle and truck.

John was back for the first time in three months because his travels coincided previously with the 1 p.m. second Wednesday of the month date for the BJ retirees lunches.

Since retired printer Calvin Deshong didn't show up, as he usually does, and the quartet was concerned, they called Cal. Not to worry, Cal assured them. Cal's joints became a problem, the Prednizone has helped, but not enough yet to make the monthly lunch. Cal will be 93 on Nov. 24.

The four who showed equalled the smallest attendance since no one showed up in January -- the quartet who dined in May.

If you work or worked at the BJ, you're welcome to attend the monthly lunch at 1 p.m. second Wednesday of the month at Papa Joe's on Akron/Peninsula Road at Portage Trail Extension.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Weekly newspapers survive -- thrive

Los Angeles Times
We’re so busy reporting the dismal quarterly earnings reports of big newspaper companies that we forget about the thousands of weekly newspapers that Judy Muller says are not just surviving, but thriving. “Some 8,000 weekly papers still hit the front porches and mailboxes in small towns across America every week and, for some reason, they’ve been left out of the conversation,” writes the USC Annenberg journalism prof.

Most of these newspapers are not uncovering major scandals on a regular basis. That’s not what keeps them selling at such a good clip; it’s the steady stream of news that readers can only get from that publication — the births, deaths, crimes, sports and local shenanigans that only matter to the 5,000 or so souls in their circulation area.

Philly papers sell tablets to subscribers

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and parent is selling 5,000 Arnova 10 G2 tablet computers for as little as $99 to readers who agree to buy two-year subscriptions to three apps developed for the Android tablet. (The tablet is $129 for one-year subscribers.) After a beta-test phase with the first 5,000 tablets, Philadelphia Media Network (PMN) hopes to launch the tablet more widely on “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving. “Our goal is to be the most innovative company in the industry, and today’s announcement is a major step in that direction,” says PMN publisher Gregory Osberg.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gannett buys US Presswire

Sep. 12, 2011 2:26 pm

Photo Business News & Forum and Gannett Blog have reported the Gannett/US Presswire deal, but it hasn’t officially been announced — until now. Gannett corporate communications vice president Robin Pence confirmed the acquisition to me. “We did acquire US Presswire and it will reside in our sports group,” she says in an email. “We did not issue a release.”

Gannett Blog’s Jim Hopkins notes that US Presswire contracts with scores of freelance sports photographers, many of whom work on spec, with no promise of getting paid, and “that allows it to sell images at bargain-basement prices. Gannett has been turning to more low-cost content syndicates over the past year.”

Chicago Tribune drops this week's Doonesburry

“Doonesbury” creator Garry Trudeau is running excerpts from Joe McGinniss’s Sarah Palin’s bio in this week’s strips, which won’t be seen by Chicago Tribune print edition readers. The paper says in an A2 note that “the subject matter does not meet our standards of fairness [because] the strips include excerpts from a book that is not yet on the market and therefore unavailable for review or verification by the Tribune.” The book’s release date is Sept. 20. The Tribune is running “Thatababy” in the place of “Doonesbury.”

Derf to appear weekly in PD

Today, Derf Backderf begins appearing weekly in the PDQ section.

The world of his strip, "The City," is populated by ordinary street people -- the strange, the lost and doomed -- and characters of broad political stereotype. His own decidely left-leaning worldview results in a scorched-earth brand of humor that leave his subjects more than singed.

Backderf -- who goes by Derf -- attended Ohio State University, where he drew political cartoons for the school paper, The Lantern.

His "The City" comic strip started in The Cleveland Edition in 1990. After that paper folded, Derf helped found The Free Times, which was his cartoon base from 1993 to 2001. From 2001 to this year, his strip ran in Scene. "The City" has appeared in more than 100 papers and is part of Universal Press' stable of webcomics at

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pete Geiger's 9/11 remembrance in Mongolia

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001: the telephone rang at 10 o’clock at night in our apartment in Zuunmod, the capital city of Central Province, Mongolia. My wife and I were startled awake.

On the phone was Enkhjargal (Mongolians use only one name), the provincial police chief, a personal friend. He had been my student in college.

“Pete,” he said urgently, “turn on the TV. Something terrible has happened in America,” Mongolian Eastern Time is 13 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time; 10 p.m. in Central Mongolia is 9 a.m. on the East Coast of America.

Pete Geiger and Enkhjarga at Central Province Police headquarters
The police chief’s call launched my wife, Sandy, and I, English language teachers in Mongolia, on a night – and days to follow – of terror and dismay that we shared with friends and family back home. But our Mongolian friends shared 9/11 and its aftermath with us, too.

Programming on the national television network had been interrupted by coverage of the attack on the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a hillside field near Shanksville in rural Western Pennsylvania. When that coverage ended, we went to the computer for MSNBC. com, which had turned its site over to live reporting from NBC-TV. We sat all night, listening to Tom Brokaw and watching videotape of airliners striking the three buildings.

In the morning, we walked to our college, where the director (Mongolian equivalent of a college president) asked all the students to assemble in the foyer and to sing “God Bless America.” Through the years, each Freshman class asked to learn that hymn. Now they echoed the sentiment to their American teachers. We sang with them; lumps in our throats and tears in our eyes.

In days to come, we received telephone calls from friends in Mongolia and from the U.S. embassy in Ulaanbaatar, the national capital. The American ambassador cautioned all us Yanks in the country to be cautious, to travel in groups and to avoid crowds until it could be determined how wide-spread the attack on Americans might be.

Mongolians are mostly Buddhist, but there is a large complement of ethnic Kazakhs living the far west of the country, most of whom are Moslem. Al Qaida had sent recruiters to these people, but the Moslem Mongolians had rejected them out of hand.

Mongolia frankly asserts America to be its best friend in the world. For 80 years until 1989, the nation had been a suzerainty of the former Soviet Union. When that empire collapsed, some 200,000 Russian troops left Mongolia. In December, 1989, student protesters demanded democracy and the former Communist parliament complied.

In 1994, the year my wife and I went into Mongolia, the parliament decreed that Russian would no longer be the official second language of Mongolia, but English. The nation needed college teachers to re-train its Russian language teachers; to help them become English teachers. Qualified teachers who could teach an American-flavored English were preferred.

Meanwhile, the Mongolian Army rushed to bolster the Western alliance nations in their fight against al Qaida in Iraq. Notably, Mongolian soldiers were assigned to guard their American counterparts in their bivouacs. Two Mongolian sergeants spared the lives of their American charges when a bomb-laden truck rushed toward the barricade of an American bivouac. When the truck driver and a passenger failed to obey the Mongolian order to halt, the sergeants leveled their rifles. Each Mongolian took out one of the truck occupants with a single shot.

U.S. President George W. Bush went to Ulaanbaatar to present the two sergeants with medals from a grateful American government. A graduate of our college, Amarsaikhan, who had risen in the ranks of Mongolian guards at the U.S. Embassy, was placed in charge of security for President Bush’s motorcade from the airport to the national parliament building and back again to Air Force One.

It was Amarsikhan who organized all the Mongolian employees of the U.S. Embassy to contribute a day’s pay for the relief of families who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attack. It was a remarkable gesture for these Third World residents whose pay goes mostly for food; few extras.

“We owe so much to America,” Amarsikhan told me. “All Mongolians do. It was the least we could do.”

Every American has an indelible memory of that tragic day 10 years ago. Mine just happen to be coupled to the love for America held by Mongolians, people about as distant from our shores as it’s possible to be but whose hearts are almost as close as our own.

Pete is a former BJ reporter. Pete & Sandy returned to America for Sandy's health and live in retirement at Penney Farms, a Christian retirement community 38 miles west of St. Augustine in Florida. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in May.

Their mailing address is

Sandy and Pete Geiger
P.O. Box 2000
Penney Farms, FL 32079

Their email address is

Their phone number is (904) 284-2220

Click on the headline to read BJ Alums articles on Pete & Sandy.

Ex-Cleveland Press columnist dies

By Mark Gillispie, The Plain Dealer
WOOSTER, Ohio -- Bob August entertained Northeast Ohio newspaper readers for decades with his gentle wit and eloquent prose as a columnist for the Cleveland Press and the News-Herald in Lake County.

August died Friday in Wooster, where he had lived since the 1980s. He was 89.
"He was an incredibly talented writer," said Bob Sudyk, an award-winning sportswriter and columnist for the Press and Hartford Courant. "He was the Red Smith of the Midwest. He had such a skill with words. It was a great pleasure to read him."

August later wrote a nationally syndicated column titled, "The Wiser Side of 60," that was distributed by the United Press Syndicate from 1982 until 1986.
He was inducted into the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame in 1988.

August was born Oct. 6, 1921, in Ashtabula. He grew up in Cleveland and graduated from Collinwood High School, where he was a star baseball player. He continued playing baseball at the College of Wooster, where he graduated in 1943.

He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and commanded a ship that participated in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. He ended the war in the Pacific Theater, preparing for the invasion of Japan.

August began his journalism career in 1946 as a makeup and copy editor for the Cleveland Press. He became a sportswriter and was promoted to sports editor in 1958. He wrote a sports column for the Press from 1964 until 1979, when he became a general columnist and associate editor.

After the Press folded in June 1982, August joined the News-Herald as sports editor and a columnist. He retired in 2003.

A collection of his columns, "Fun and Games -- Four Decades of the Best of Bob August," was published in 2001.
Sudyk said August had the ability to criticize sports figures without them knowing they had been eviscerated.

Said Paul Hoynes, The Plain Dealer's longtime Indians beat writer who worked for August at the Press and News-Herald: "Art Modell had a great line. He said, '[August] could you cut you up and you wouldn't even know you were bleeding.' "

Hoynes, like most of Cleveland's sportswriting community, admired August greatly.
"He was a writer's writer, a columnist's columnist," Hoynes said. "You just loved reading him. You weren't just getting hit over the head with the facts. You were getting a writing lesson."

Longtime friend Dick Feagler, who worked with him at the Press, said August liked but was never infatuated with sports. The act of writing was a different matter.
"He could be sitting there writing a funny line and be grimacing," Feagler said with a laugh. "He was the best I've ever read, and I've read many sports columnists from around the country."

It was only a few years ago, Feagler said, that August revealed that he had long had multiple sclerosis. Feagler said he remembered when August began to have trouble getting to and from the press box and locker room at the old Cleveland Stadium. Effects of the disease troubled August the rest of his life, although Feagler said his friend never complained.

August's daughter, Alison McCulloch, said her father was first diagnosed with the disease when he was in his early 40s. He refused to take the medicine prescribed to him, but was dutiful about continuing his regimen of swimming until just a few years ago.

McCulloch said her father's interests went far beyond the world of sports.
"He was an intellectual person," McCulloch said. "He had very strong feelings about the world and what was going wrong with it."

In addition to his daughter, August is survived by his wife of 66 years, Marilynn, and two granddaughters. A memorial service is being planned in Wooster sometime in the next few weeks.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Andrea Louie writes about 9/11

Andrea Louie, former Beacon Journal reporter, writes about her 9/11 experience in an Asian American Arts Alliance blog:

“On September 11th I looked out the windows of my Brooklyn apartment and saw the World Trade Center on fire, the restaurant streaming with smoke. I was still standing there in my pajamas when a grayish plane flew weirdly low behind the eastern pylon of the Williamsburg Bridge and slammed into the second tower, a wave of fire rolling outward. I walked in circles, finally managing to wash my face. When I came out from the bathroom the entire tower had disappeared, a patch of blue sky showing through.”

You will want to read all of her blog post. Go there now.

Andrea Louie is executive director of the Asian American Arts Alliance (a4), providing strategic direction for a4 as it approaches its thirtieth year of supporting Asian American artists and arts/cultural groups, and building the pan-ethnic, multid
isciplinary arts community in New York City. She brings a combination of management experience, leadership as a communications professional, and a passion for the arts, as both a writer and a seasoned executive. Andrea most recently served on the management team at Religions for Peace, the world’s largest and most representative multi-faith coalition. She is the author of a novel, Moon Cakes (Ballantine Books) and coeditor of an anthology, Topography of War: Asian American Essays (The Asian American Writers’ Workshop). Andrea is a recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, the Hannah S. and Samuel A. Cohn Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a Ludwig Volgelstein Foundation grant and was short-listed for the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. She served as a review panelist in literature for the New York State Council on the Arts and was a writer-in-residence for the National Book Foundation. In addition, Andrea has been awarded artist residencies at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi, Hedgebrook and the FundacĂ­on Valparáiso in Spain. She serves on the steering committees of the Cultural Data Project, the New York City Arts Coalition, the International Rescue Committee’s Generation R, and In addition, she is a member of the Asian American Writers Workshop and the Asian American Journalists Association.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Harold McElroy obituary

Harold Ray McElroy, 74, beloved husband of Linda, passed away peacefully on Monday, September 5, 2011 at Waccamaw Community Hospital.

Born in Akron, Ohio, he was the son of the late Charles William and Elva McElroy.
His great-granddaughter, Reagan Lacole Edwards, also preceded him in death.

Harold retired from the Akron Beacon Journal after forty two years of service. He was the treasurer of the F.O.P.A. #6 for several years.

Surviving are his wife, Linda; children, Colleen Sweazy (Denny), Maureen Anderson, Michele, Jamie and John Scott; brother, Jim (Debby) of Burke, Va.; nephew, Jeff; ten grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Services will be held 3 p.m. Monday, September 12, 2011 at Goldfinch Funeral Home, Litchfield-Pawleys Chapel with visitation one hour prior to services.

In lieu of flowers or donation, the family requests that a tree be planted in Harold's memory.

Sign a guest book at

Goldfinch Funeral Home, Litchfield-Pawleys Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Harold, a BJ business department retiree, retired with wife Linda to Pawleys Island, South Carolina. The McElroys live a block from retired BJ printer Dick Latshaw and wife Pat.

Goldfinch Funeral Home's chapel is on Pawleys Island.

Click on the headline to see BJ Alums blogs postings about Harold.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Memorial services for Harold McElroy

There will be a memorial service for BJ business department retiree Harold McElroy 2-4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12 at Goldfinch Funeral Home on Pawleys Island, South Carolina.

There will be another memorial service for Harold in Akron later, probably in a few weeks.

Harold died Monday. He had a cancerous lung removed in June.

He is survived by wife Linda Spoon McElroy of Pawleys Island. Linda's late father, Ira Spoon, retired in 1981 as Firestone district operating manager.

Here's Abe on Labor Day

Here's Grumpy Abe (Zaidan) asking the question:

Should we still call it Labor Day?

He blasts Ohio's two largest newspapers and gives half a compliment to the BJ.

John Greenman photos at Youngstown gallery

One of the photos by John Greenman

Photos by John Greenman, a former executive editor of the Beacon Journal, are being displayed at the Butler institute of Art in Youngstown. The exhibit from September 18 through November 13 utilizes high-teach digital technologies to create exquisite environmental landscapes. All of the images were seen from a car window along Georgia's backroads. Some of the compositions are unfamiliar. Others are familiar, but composed in an unfamiliar way.

The Butler Institute of American Art is at 524 Wick Avenue, Youngstown.,
Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11 am to 4 pm, Sunday noon to 4 pm. Closed Monday and major holidays.

Greenman was assistant managing editor of Metropolitan News, Managing Editor and executive editor in January, 1985. He moved to the business side in1991, in advertising and circulation, and was vice president/circulation when he left in September 1995 to join the Columbus (GA) Ledger-Enquirer. He retired from there in 2004. He is now the Carter Distinguished Professor of Journalism at Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia. The professorship is endowed by former Knight Ridder vice president for news Don E. Carter and his wife.

You can email Greenman at

John F. Greenman, Carter Distinguished Professor of Journalism
Grady College of Journalism
University of Georgia
120 Hooper Street
Athens, GA 30602-3018

Monday, September 05, 2011

Harold McElroy dies

Beacon Journal business department retiree Harold McElroy of Pawleys Island, South Carolina died Monday night. He never recovered from cancer that led to his lung surgery in June.

He is survived by his wife, Linda.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Put your money in print media

NEW YORK—The nation's top experts unanimously agreed Tuesday that the current struggles of the U.S. economy were no reason whatsoever to stop investing in print media, which they said was easily the safest and most profitable place to invest one's money.

Without exception, leading authorities across all relevant disciplines said that while traditional low-risk instruments such as CDs, bonds, and gold were still relatively secure investments, only the nation's beloved print media outlets could offer both the reliability and the potential for tremendous financial gain required for guaranteed peace of mind.

"Print media is far and away your best bet in this tough fiscal climate," said the nation's foremost economists. "Just put your money in and forget about it for 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, doesn't matter. No economic downturn on earth can touch it."

"There's no question about it," continued all economic experts. "If you're a nervous investor—and you should be in this climate—you should be pouring all your cash into your local broadsheet right this second."

See the full story
in the Onion.

The Onion is an American news satire organization. It is an entertainment newspaper and a website featuring satirical articles reporting on international, national, and local news, in addition to a non-satirical entertainment section known as The A.V. Club. It claims a national print circulation of 400,000 and says 61 percent of its web site readers are between 18 and 44 years old.[2][4] Since 2007, the organization has been publishing satirical news audios and videos online, as the "Onion News Network".[5] Web traffic on amounts to some 7.5 million unique visitors per month.[6]
The Onion's articles comment on current events, both real and fictional. It parodies such traditional newspaper features as editorials, man-on-the-street interviews, and stock quotes on a traditional newspaper layout with an AP-style editorial voice. Much of its humor depends on presenting everyday events as newsworthy and by playing on commonly used phrases, as in the headline "Drugs Win Drug War."

Buffum email address change

As of September 1, Charles Buffum is no longer using an AOL address.
Please send all email to him at:

7 come 11 for 2 super writers

Former BJ and current PD TV critic Mark Dawidziak will be 56 on Wednesday.

Former BJ nationally recognized food writer Jane Snow will be 62 on 9/11.

Along with Terry Pluto, who hit his 56th birthday in June, they formed a tremedous writing triumvirate in the glory days of the Beacon Journal.

They have authored a combined dozens of books on everything from show biz, sports, cooking and other authors.

Happy birthday, Mark and Jane!!! And, belatedly, Terry!!!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Spending on print ads down 20th straight quarter

Spending on print ads declined for the 20th straight quarter dating back to 2006, while online ad spending advanced for the sixth straight quarter, rising 8 percent to $803.4 million. Classified ad spending fell nearly 11 percent; that category has seen decreases every quarter since the June period five years ago, reports the Newspaper Association of America. NAA President John Sturm notes that online advertising represented 14 percent of all newspaper ad dollars in the second quarter of 2011, up from 12 percent a year earlier. “This trend cleary demonstrates the progress that newspapers have made, and continue to make, in leveraging their digital platforms,” he says.

Catching up with . . . Sue Murphy

In response to a request by Elizabeth Patton for more information, Sue Murphy emailed this to the BJ Alums blog.

I retired from BJ in '93 as Administrative Assistant to VP/Advertising after about 16 years of service. I was a correspondent for many years before starting in Production in '77, as a fill-in that turned into full-time from a recommendation from my old friend Bud Morris. (Wasn't he the greatest!)

I also worked in Circulation before Advertising Administration.

I've been married to Mike Murphy (who retired from Ford Motor in 2000) for 23 years and we moved from Medina to Hilton Head, South Carolina full-time in 2006. Mike and I have 7 married children between us and, at last count, 16 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild scattered around the country.

We love Hilton Head but hate hurricanes and enjoy evacuating to my daughter's house in Georgia. Betty (Patton) and I have kept in touch and we always have a great time when we get together.

Although we visit Akron frequently, I seem to always miss the BJ lunches and would love to make one some time.

I just looked at an old VCR that Tom made for all of us one Christmas and was amazed at how many of my old friends and co-workers are gone . . . Bob Fitzgerald, Ed Lynch, Maxine Lozier, Polly, Fran, Rosemary and many others at our table. Makes me very thankful I'm still here!

Please call us if any of you get to Hilton Head...we always love to see Akron people!

Sue Murphy,
1 Twisted Oak CT,
Hilton Head, SC 29926.

Sue's email address is

The late Clyde "Bud" Morris was BJ chief artist.

Click on the headline to see the blog item about Sue and her daughter Kelly visiting Elizabeth (Betty) Patton, former BJ Sidebar editor.

Dayton Daily News photo director quits rather than make cuts

Larry Price, director of photography at the Dayton Daily News, stepped down from his position rather than make drastic staff cuts ordered by management and reported in a nstory written by Dayton Businss Joural reporter Ginger Chris.
Christ also quotes Price on her blog:
“I’ve watched this happen in newspapers year after year now. I’ve had many, many friends that have been affected, many stellar journalists,” Price said. “These people are my group. They’re my friends. They’re my colleagues. I’ve asked so much of them in the four years I’ve been here. Every time, they’ve stepped up to the plate and delivered. It wasn’t a decision I could make in good conscience.”

Dayton blogger David Esrati, who broke the story, writes on his blog:
There are ways to win back readers, but cutting content creators (especially the uniquely local aspect of photography) is like a fine woodworker selling off his miter box and chisels.

No word yet of what staff cuts did happen or plans to cut positions at the other Cox Media Group papers in the region.

[Source Ohio Newspaper Photographers blog]