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American Journalism Review
Bylines  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   July/August 1992


By Chip Rowe
Chip Rowe, a former AJR associate editor, is an editor at Playboy.     

Breaking From the Pack: A number of reporters is hitting the campaign trail this fall – as candidates. Among the U.S. House primary winners: Virginia Democrat Andy Fox , a former reporter at WAVY-TV in Norfolk, and Pennsylvania Democrats Ron Clink , who spent 14 years as an anchor and reporter at Pittsburgh's KDKA-TV, and Marjorie Margolies

Mezvinsky , a former reporter for NBC and WRC-TV in Washington whose husband was once an Iowa congressman. At the state level, Democratic officials in Chicago vote to endorse former Sun-Times reporter Ray Hanania , who will run this fall for an Illinois House seat. Democrats weren't able to find a suitable candidate before the March primaries, but Hanania stepped forward soon after. The former reporter, who left the Sun-Times last year after a dispute with the editor, promises that he'd "put teeth" in state FOIA laws because "journalists should have as much access as possible." In Connecticut, Democrat Richard Roy , former suburban editor at the now-defunct New Haven Journal-Courier, makes a bid for a state House seat and Republican Chris Powell , M.E. and editorial page editor of the Manchester Journal Inquirer, announces for a Senate spot. Powell takes leave as managing editor to handle administrative dutiies and hands the editorial page over to Keith Burris , formerly at the Hartford Courant. He says he decided to run "out of desperation" because "it doesn't really matter much what you put in newspapers anymore – there is no scandal serious enough to get government to do anything."

Whittling Down: Whittle Communications, which enjoyed a boom during the 1980s with its one-advertiser publications and satellite programming, announces the first layoffs since Chris Whittle founded the company in 1970. About 100 employees lose their jobs at the Knoxville-based firm, which is partly owned by Time Warner, and several projects-in-progress have been discontinued.

In the Trenches: Ombudsman Barry Mullin resigns and sues for damages after his publisher at the Winnepeg Free Press, displeased with a column he had written, gave him an ultimatum. The Free Press had run the first report of the L.A. riots on page 56 of section D, and Mullin took the opportunity to criticize the paper for publishing too much "soft news." Mullin says he was asked to agree to submit his columns for approval or resign. "They practically wanted him to roll over and beg," says one staffer in disgust. Assistant Managing Editor John Sullivan says Mullin got himself in trouble because he didn't check his facts. "That early story said there were 'rumors' of violence and 'rumors' of a death," he says. "Once we had a firm story, we replayed it as fast as possible. How can you fault that?".. The Anchorage Times closes its doors after 92 years and sells its assets and opinions to the larger Anchorage Daily News. About 470 employees lose their jobs. As part of the sale, the Times' conservative, pro-oil industry editorials, along with its letters to the editor and syndicated columnists, will appear on the Daily News op-ed page until 2002... Police are investigating the death of Warren Duliere , owner and lone reporter for the monthly West Virginia Advocate. Duliere, who had received death threats from the Ku Klux Klan after exposing their activities, was found dead of gunshot wounds at his Capon Bridge home... Managing Editor Terry Shaw leaves the Times Record in Brunswick, Maine, to spend a year in Russia, where he will write a section on the United States for a weekly independent.

Magazines: Ron Javers , hired four months ago to revamp Town & Country, leaves as editor after he and parent Hearst Corporation discover they have "different interpretations" of how the magazine should change, a Hearst spokesperson says. Javers took the Town & Country job after leaving Philadelphia Magazine last year following a dispute with its publisher. At the same time, Melissa Tardiff , dismissed as art director when Javers took over, has filed suit against Hearst, charging sex discrimination. In her suit, she says that five women staffers were dismissed when Javers arrived and replaced by five men; she also claims that male Hearst staffers are paid more. Hearst has no comment. Tardiff's attorney, Jeffrey Bernbach , also represents several editors dismissed from Hearst-owned Harper's Bazaar with the arrival of new Editor in Chief Elizabeth Tilberis . Bernbach is charging age discrimation; he notes an in-house Hearst newsletter that brags "we now have new, younger, vital editors.".. Health Executive Editor Michael Gold and Senior Editor Susan West , who were married 2 1/2 years before they helped launch the magazine (then called Hippocrates) in 1986, move to Paris for at least a year. "We're going on an adventure," says Gold, who will perfect his jazz saxophone playing. His wife will pursue photography. The couple plans to reconsider journalism only after they've "burned up the savings.".. Spy Managing Editor Lorraine Cademartori leaves for the less-frantic American Salon; she's replaced by Produc- tion Editor Marion Rosenfeld ... Esquire hires Managing Editor Linda Nardi away from Martha Stewart Living and promotes Articles Editor David Hirshey to the newly created position of deputy editor... At News-week, Foreign Editor Peter McGrath becomes managing editor of the international edition; he's succeeded by Deputy Nation Editor Nancy Cooper ... Apologies to U.S. News & World Report Senior Editor James Popkin , whose name was misspelled here last issue.

Back to School: The University of Oregon School of Journalism hires James Upshaw , a reporter for Washington's WRC-TV, and John Russial , Sunday copy chief for the Philadelphia Inquirer, as professors.

Newspapers: At the Wall Street Journal, Managing Editor Paul Steiger succeeds Executive Editor Norman

Pearlstine , who resigns to launch his own media company. Pearlstine, who joined the Journal in 1968 as a reporter, became managing editor in 1983 and executive editor last year. During his tenure as M.E., the Journal's writing became more lively, the graphics grew bolder and coverage expanded into areas such as personal finance, marketing and technology. Other Journal departures: Pimm Fox , a news editor, becomes business editor for four San Francisco Bay area dailies owned by Lesher Communications, and Supreme Court reporter Steve Wermiel becomes a Georgia State University law professor. Justice reporter Paul Barrett takes over Wermiel's beat... Roy Bode , editor of the Dallas Times Herald until it folded last year, becomes P.R. chief for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center... Glenn Ritt , formerly

executive editor of the News Tribune in Woodbridge, New Jersey, takes over as editor of the Record in Hackensack. He replaces David Hall , now editor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer... The Pulitzer Board names Edward Lee Seaton , editor and publisher of the Manhattan Mercury in Kansas, to succeed Michael Gartner . The NBC News president leaves after serving the maximum nine years... Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Anthony Neely joins the Detroit Free Press to cover the small business beat. He says he hopes to develop a column... New York Times economics correspondent Richard Stevenson moves from Los Angeles to London.

AP: Political desk chief Steve Katz , based in Washington, becomes news editor of the broadcast wire service and radio network. He succeeds Jack Sheehan , now an anchor and reporter. Elsewhere, Eva Parziale , formerly assistant bureau chief in Kansas City, takes over the Portland bureau. She succeeds Hugh van Swearingen , who retires.

Local TV: Nancy Chandler , former anchor at Milwaukee's WITI, joins rival WTMJ as an anchor and reporter... Al Goldstein resigns as news director at KRON in San Francisco. "Although I love the journalism profession, I just felt it was time for me to reassess," he says. News Director Alan Holzer leaves KMOV in St. Louis to replace him... WNBC in New York names Bruno Cohen as news director. Formerly an independent producer, he succeeds Bret Marcus , who left for parent NBC... Tyrone Thomas leaves Dayton's WHIO to join WTOV in Steubenville, Ohio, as news director.

Radio: American Public Radio names associate producer Penny Dennis as host of the new morning version of "Marketplace."

Network News: ABC taps reporter and weekend anchor

Forrest Sawyer to host its new magazine show scheduled to battle CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday nights. The network has delayed the program's debut until at least January and has yet to hire reporters or a second, probably female anchor. (That Connie Chung 's contract is up for renewal at CBS has sparked a rumor that ABC may try to sign her.) The network also moves Senior Producer David Tabacoff , who had been handling election coverage, to "20/20" and hires Dave Marash as a full-time correspondent for "Nightline.".. NBC, buoyed by the success of "Dateline NBC" (that is, it didn't immediately suffer the fate of its 18 cancelled predecessors), has discussed launching a second magazine show. "Dateline," meanwhile, hires reporter Jon Scott , who leaves "Inside Edition.".. Charles Osgood announces that he plans to leave the "CBS Morning News," which he anchors with Meredith Vieira , although he'll continue at CBS Radio... John Chancellor retires early next year after 40 years with NBC. He anchored the nightly news from 1972 to 1982 and has been a commentator since... Fox plans to create a national news service for its 138 affiliates and appoints executive Stephen Chao to lead the effort. The network also hopes to develop – surprise – a primetime news magazine. Chao, who during his seven years with Fox has developed sitcoms and programs such as "America's Most Wanted," did not return phone messages but earlier told Electronic Media, "I have no illusions about what I'm producing here. It's news, not entertainment." -- C



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