Monday, September 22, 2014

Funeral Tuesday for Maxine Revay, former BJ executive assistant

Former Beacon Journal executive assistant Maxine Revay died on Sept. 17 at age 91. Maxine worked at the Beacon Journal for 22 years, retiring in 1987.

In 2008, Maxine was honored by the Tire Town Chapter, International Association of Administrative Professionals, for 61 years of involvement with the organization. She was a charter member of the Tire Town Chapter, National Secretaries Association. The Tire Town Chapter was chartered August 27, 1946 in Akron.  The first meeting was held at the Mayflower Hotel in downtown Akron.  The original Charter listed 163 members. Read Harry Liggett's blog post on the occasion of her 2008 recognition as Outstanding Chapter Member.

Maxine Revay

Maxine's funeral service will be held Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 11:30 a.m. at the Anthony Funeral Home Kucko-Anthony-Kertesz Chapel, 1990 S. Main St. Akron, where friends may call from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Here is her obituary from Kucko-Anthony-Kertesz:

A lovely lady, a true friend, a gentle soul, Merry Maxine Revay quietly slipped away September 17, 2014.

Born in Glenville, West Virginia on November 12, 1922, she lived most of her life in the Akron area. Maxine worked as a legal secretary for many years. She worked at the Akron Beacon Journal as executive secretary, retiring in 1987. She was a founding member of the IAAP-Tiretown Chapter, member and past president of the Women’s City Club and the Portage Lakes Chapter of AARP. She was a long time member of St. John-St. Paul Lutheran Church.

Maxine was preceded in death by parents, Thelma Shadel and Wilford Blake; and husbands, Roy Haas and John Revay. She leaves sister-in-law, Evelyn Wolf; niece, Gloria Wilson; and nephew, Robert Haas.

Funeral service will be held Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. at the Anthony Funeral Home Kucko-Anthony-Kertesz Chapel, 1990 S. Main St. Akron, Ohio 44301 where friends may call from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Pastor Rick Gordon officiating. Interment at Northlawn Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. John-St. Paul Lutheran Church, 282 W. Bowery St. Akron, Ohio 44307-2598. (Anthony, Akron, 330-724-1281,

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Walters sails Rockin’ away to Lorain

New Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters drove Rockin’ on the River, which flourished for 28 years, to Lorain.

Concert promoter Bob Earley said eight cities bid for Rockin’.

Rockin’ is moving an hour away to Black River Landing on the west bank of the Black River and adjacent to downtown. It was built as a festival grounds site in 2002.

Walters apparently wanted something less rocking. In his search for a replacement, all he got was something called I-ROK, which combines the leaders of the Riverfront Irish Festival and the Oktoberfest.

Festa Italia, which was supposed to be part of the coalition, dropped out.

No one else applied to Mayor Walters' Review Committee. So there's nothing rockin' in the Falls in the future.

At the recent Oktoberfest, without the massive beer sales organization of Rockin’ on the River, you could fire a cannon on Front Street without fear of hitting customers. 

When Paula and I sat down to the music on the main performance stage, there were barely 20 people in the stands.

Former Mayor Don Robart, defeated by Walters in the last election after being in office longer than Franklin Delano Roosevelt, had tried to temper the Rockin’ crowd by threatening to ban the beer. But he got wise soon. There's money in the foam. Walters didn't learn from Robart's quick turnaround.

Walters was a Falls councilman when I lived on Morrison Avenue in Cuyahoga Falls, a seat once held by Millie Molli, who’s enjoying her retirement in the South.

To read the BJ story without my analysis, click on

First Poynter KSU award goes to Poynter’s point person

When the first Poynter KSU Excellence in Media Ethics award was handed out today (Thursday, Sept. 18), it seemed almost pre-determined that it would go to Bob Steele. 

Bob Steele
After all, he IS the Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values who has taught hundreds of workshops and thousands of journalists and media leaders at Poynter seminars since 1989. 

And the Poynter Ethics faculty moderates the KSU Poynter workshop.

Colleges all over the country do this mutual back-scratching and back-patting thing, so it's not only at Kent State. If a celebrity will show up at a college graduation, they'll give him an honorary doctorate even if he can't spell the words.

The Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop in Kent is the 10th organized by former BJ editor Jan Leach, on the Kent State faculty – a role many ex-BJ management people wind up with.

Steele continued in the Poynter Values Scholar role after he joins his alma mater, DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, as the Eugene S. Pulliam Visiting Distinguished Professor of Journalism. He teaches journalism ethics classes to DePauw students and also serves as a scholar-in-residence at DePauws Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics.

He co-authored “Doing Ethics in Journalism,” originally published by The Society for Professional Journalists. He spent ten years as a broadcast journalist.

The Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop is a one-day training program for professionals, educators and students which examines media ethics. It is moderated by the Poynter ethics faculty.

KSU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication is in its 77th year.

The BJ’s Bruce Winges and Doug Oplinger and the PD’s Connie Schultz have participated in previous Poynter KSU Ethics workshops.

The first time I met Nelson Poynter, the St. Petersburg Times owner, was for the monthly ushering of new Times personnel into his grandiose office (much more pretentious than John S. Knight’s corner office, which is another reason JSK towered over Poynter and other newspaper owners for decades).

The custom was to round up everyone who had been employed within the 30 most recent days and have Poynter welcome us to his royal playground and give us a glimpse of his philosophy.

He’s not John Knight. But, then, who is or was?

I will give Nelson Poynter this: His newspaper was lightyears ahead of the BJ and most other newspapers when it came to technology, particularly the German printing presses. 

I was at the St. Pete Times (they hate and ban using “Pete”) in 1966-67 and it was 20 years later before the BJ achieved the level of color quality that I worked with in St. Petersburg.

We all have our areas of superiority.
BJ charging employees $100 to attend anniversary celebration

The Beacon Journal is charging its employees $100 apiece to attend the 175th anniversary of the newspaper. That’s a “special rate,” management’s in-house publication says, from the $175 that outsiders will be paying for the back-patting.

So those who helped make the BJ what it is today are being charged for the privilege of celebrating the anniversary. Nice. Would that be in Canadian or U.S. dollars?

Here’s the official announcement from BJ management:

175th Anniversary Gala
On October 25, 2014, The Akron Beacon Journal will celebrate our 175 years in business with a celebration.
A celebration where we have invited community leaders, business leaders, clients and valued partners to thank them for inviting us into their homes every day, thank them for doing business with us.
Invitations will be sent out starting next week, allowing those who would like to attend the opportunity to celebrate with us. The cost of attending the event is $175 per person and the event is formal.
We would like to invite each of you to attend. We are offering to Akron Beacon Journal full and part-time employees a special rate of $100 per person to attend. Maximum number of tickets per employee: Two. Attire is formal.
A percentage of tickets sales will help benefit a scholarship for a deserving communications student.
Each of you will be receiving a special invitation to attend. Please send in your RSVP’s. once you receive your special invite.
Mad Hatter Stuart Warner

Warner’s Corner returns to BJ – for a day
Former BJ writing coach Stuart Warner, who joined the exodus of about two dozen to the Plain Dealer before heading West with his wife, Debbie Van Tassel, who is at the Arizona Republic, will be among those featured in Sunday’s 175th anniversary edition of the BJ.
Writes Stuart:
“On Sunday, Warner's Corner will come out of retirement for a day. I wrote a column for the 175th anniversary edition of the Akron Beacon Journal. I was proud to be part of that journalism legacy. Incidentally, my last column was on July 13, 1990, when I took 6-year-old Baby Corner to see New Kids on the Block. In July of this year Denise Warner assigned a Billboard reporter to cover the NKOTB reunion concert in Las Vegas. Life comes full circle. By the way, I had to get a new hat. What do you think?”
Actually, Stuart, the Mad Hatter of the BJ, your “new” hat was in a July 18, 2014 BJ Alums article about your shoulder replacement. How’s the rehab coming? 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cartoonist Tony Auth, Akron-born Pulitzer winner, dies at 72

Tony Auth, Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, died Sunday of brain cancer at age 72.

Auth was born in Akron, where his father was an executive for Firestone.

He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 – one of 84 claimed by Knight-Ridder newspapers – and was a finalist in 1983 and 2010.

Knight Newspapers, which began with C.L. Knight’s purchase of the Akron Beacon Journal in 1903, added the Philadelphia Inquirer to its newspaper group in 1969.

Read Auth’s obituaries in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Post and New York Times. also offers a retrospective of Auth's career.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

John S. Knight
JSK, a colossus among giants

Bob Dyer wrote a fabulous tribute to John S. Knight, who took an in-debt Akron Beacon Journal in the depths of the Great Depression and forged a 33-newspaper Knight Newspaper empire.

The most common complaint about the BJ and newspapers today is that Jack Knight “would be spinning in his grave” over it.

Jack Knight was by far the greatest newspaper owner I worked for in my 43-year career that spanned the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, Williamson (WV) Daily News, Dayton Daily News, Nelson Poynter’s St. Petersburg Times and the BJ.

To read Bob’s article, click on

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dawidziak Skypes into national spotlight

Current Plain Dealer and former Beacon Journal TV critic Mark Dawdiziak is a weekly regular on the national “Coast to Coast” video chat, which is handled via Skype.

He’s joined by moderator Dave Walker of the New Orleans Times-Picayune and, Vicki Hyman of New Jersey's Star-Ledger and and Kristi Turnquist of The Oregonian.

The first video lauds Ken Burns' "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History," which began Sunday and continues nightly through Saturday on PBS.

Mark is the ghostly face on the right. He calls “The Roosevelts” Ken Burns’ “best work.”  

Mark is known nationally for his writings and live performances of Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens with his local Largely Literary Theater Company.

Wife Sara Showman performs with him. They live in Cuyahoga Falls.

KSU objects to May 4 sweatshirt
Kent State University statement said Urban Outfitters' production of and sale of one “blood-stained” sweatshirt about the May 4, 1970 Ohio  National Guard killing and wounding of its students “is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.”
The KSU release continued: “We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit. We lost four students that day while nine others were wounded and countless others were changed forever.”
Urban Outfitters also produced a drunk Jesus sweatshirt.

To see the story about the shirt published in Business Insider, click on

Said Urban Outfitters in its Monday apology:
It was “part of our sun-faded vintage collection” and the “blood” was “discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray.

 “We deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively.”

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Jazz Crusaders lost two co-founders in five months. Joe Sample, 75, pianist, keyboard player, composer, died Friday, Sept. 12 in Houston, Texas of heart failure. Trombonist Wayne Henderson, 74, died April 4 in Culver City, California. Sample had heart attacks in 1994 and 2009.

Flutist Hubert Laws and drummer Stix Hooper are all that’s left of the core reunion group, which went by the Modern Jazz Sextet while playing at Houston’s Wheatley High School.

Joseph Leslie Sample (February 1, 1939 – September 12, 2014) is one of the founding members of the Jazz Crusaders, the band which became simply The Crusaders in 1971, and remained a part of the group until its final album in 1991.

Since the early 1980s, he has enjoyed a successful solo career and has guested on many recordings by other performers and groups, including Miles Davis, George Benson, Jimmy Witherspoon, B. B. King, Eric Clapton, Steely Dan and The Supremes. Sample incorporates jazz, gospel, blues, Latin and classical forms into his music.

Sample began playing the piano when he was five years old. He was a student of the organist and pianist Curtis Mayo.

In high school in the 1950s, Sample teamed up with two friends, saxophonist Wilton Felder and drummer "Stix" Hooper, to form a group called the Swingsters. While studying piano at Texas Southern University, Sample met and added trombonist Wayne Henderson and several other players to the Swingsters, which became the Modern Jazz Sextet and then the Jazz Crusaders.

The group made its first recording, “Freedom Sounds,” in 1961.

In the 1970s, Sample as a Los Angeles studio musician appeared on recordings by Joni Mitchell, Marvin Gaye, Tina Turner, B. B. King, Joe Cocker, Minnie Riperton and Anita Baker.

The Crusaders, after losing several key members, broke up in 1987 but would join to record periodically over the years.

Some of Sample’s works are heard on The Weather Channel's "Local on the 8s" segments.
Sample’s bassist son, Nicklas, is a member of the Coryell Auger Sample Trio featuring Larry Coryell and Barry Auger.

Thoughts of death prompted Sample to bring his decades-dormant band, the Jazz Crusaders, back to life in 2011. Henderson had been listening to old Jazz Crusaders albums, Sample said. "He realized we were all at that age where any one of us could possibly go." 

Their old band, it seems, had at least one crusade left in it. Not any more.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thanks for the $1.6 million, BJ!

It’s good to realize that paychecks and pension checks are not all that we get from our days at the Beacon Journal.

Health care, as everyone in America knows, is a tremendous perk.

In 2013 the BJ spent $1,632,402 on health care for its employees and retirees. That’s $1.6 million.

Fair is fair, even from a rabid union man like me.

Detroit native Richard Dawson Kiel, the 7-foot-2 steel-toothed cable-chomping villain in two Roger Moore James Bond movies, died at age 74 in Fresno, California.

Kiel broke his leg a week ago.

Kiel's height and features were a result of a hormonal condition known as acromegaly.

He suffered from acrophobia (fear of heights) and, during the cable car stunt scenes in
“Moonraker,” a double was used because Kiel refused to be filmed on the top of a cable car at more than 2,000 feet high.

In 1992, Kiel suffered a severe head injury in a car accident, which affected his balance. He had to walk with a cane.

Current PD and former BJ TV/movie critic Mark Dawidziak wrote:

“Met him when we were both guests at a horror convention about 12 years ago. He actually played two monsters on ‘Kolchak,’ but was unrecognizable as the swamp creature in the better of the two, ‘The Spanish Moss Murders.’ “
Kiel was Jaws in 1977's "The Spy Who Loved Me" and 1979's "Moonraker." The producers spotted Kiel in the William Shatner western TV series “Barbary Coast.”

Kiel also was the bullying golf spectator Mr. Larson in "Happy Gilmore," lethal Dr. Loveless's assistant Voltaire in "The Wild, Wild West" and extraterrestrial Kanamit in "The Twilight Zone." 

He also reprised the character of Jaws for several James Bond video games.

He was born September 13, 1939. His wives were Faye Daniels (1960-1973) and Diane Rogers (1974-2014). Besides Diane he is survived by four children and nine grandchildren. 

He made his acting d├ębut in a 1960 “Laramie” TV series episode. His first movie was “The Phantom Pilot (1961). From 1963 to 1965 Kiel worked as a night school math instructor in Burbank, California.

He co-authored "Kentucky Lion," a biography of abolotionist Cassius Marcellus Clay.