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American Journalism Review
Bylines  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   September 1992


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

Radio Waves: The Christian Science Church's Monitor Radio relieves "Early Edition" host Dale Willman and Editor Ken Bader of their duties after both refused to air an apology for language used in a report about AIDS education in Thailand. Bader excised one reference to a Bangkok bar known as "The Golden Cock" but left in two other descriptions that Monitor officials say prompted complaints from a church board member and some listeners. "We try to avoid sensationalism and gratuitous language, and those two images were gratuitous," says Dave Creagh , executive producer for Monitor Radio. One line during the 5:40 a.m. feed referred to "boys in gold-lamé jockstraps," the other to using cucumbers to demonstrate how to put on condoms. "They have the right to make the editing decisions they wish," Willman says, "but the apology wasn't appropriate." Bader says apologizing for offending listeners would have been fine, "but they blamed an 'editing error,' and I'm the editor of the show."

Deaths in the Family: The afternoon family-owned Tulsa Tribune plans to dissolve its 51-year-old joint operating agreement with the morning Tulsa World and close its doors on September 30. About 100 newsroom employees lose their jobs. "The mood here is very sad, but not angry," says Managing Editor for Projects Mary Hargrove , who joined the paper in 1974 and brought it national attention with her investigative reporting. "The loyalty to the paper is very clear. They made the announcement at 11 a.m. on a Friday, telling us we would be losing our jobs, and a sports editor's immediate reaction was, 'But what about the [11:30] second edition?' " Publisher Jenk Jones Jr. , the third generation of the family to run the paper, says because the JOA expired in 1996 and would not likely be renewed, an early settlement meant more money for employee severance. "I don't like [closing now], but there was a lot of logic to it.".. In Washington state, another afternoon newspaper, the Spokane Chronicle, prints its last issue after 106 years as a daily. The Chronicle had merged in 1983 with the morning Spokesman-Review, which now expands its coverage.

Newspapers: The Dallas Morning News hires Gary

Jacobson as executive business editor, a new position, and Karen Blumenthal as business editor. Jacobson leaves USA Today, where he was deputy managing editor of the Money section; Blumenthal was news editor of the Dallas bureau of the Wall Street Journal. Former Business Editor Cheryl Hall is now Morning News financial editor and columnist... The Chicago Tribune names James Warren as editor of its features section. Warren was a prolific media reporter for the Tribune who wrote an insightful weekly column on the press, another on magazines, and covered the journalism industry for the features and business pages. "He was never too busy to be intelligent," notes Michael Miner , his counterpart at the weekly Chicago Reader. Warren's successor has not been named... The New York Times taps Christopher Wren , formerly Johannesburg, South Africa, bureau chief, as its first editor of new projects. The newspaper also names Harold Gal , formerly deputy style editor, as obituaries editor; Weekend section editor John Montorio replaces Gal; and Don Hecker , formerly at the New York Daily News and founder of the copy editing journal, Righting Words, goes to the metro copy desk... Jacqueline Jones leaves New York Newsday to become city editor at the Philadelphia Daily News. She replaces Jack Roberts , now editor of the Philadelphia Business Journal. The Philadelphia Inquirer, meanwhile, promotes film critic Carrie Rickey to associate editorial page editor. She succeeds Lorraine Branham , now New Jersey editor... After spending his entire 25-year career at the Trentonian, News Editor Peter Sherwood becomes managing editor of the North Jersey Herald & News. He replaces Scott West , who leaves for the Houston Post... Griffin Smith Jr. , co-founder of Texas Monthly and most recently travel editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, becomes the newspaper's first executive editor. John Robert Starr retires as managing editor but continues his daily column. Robert Lutgen , formerly assistant managing editor for news, succeeds Starr... James Dent , who for the past three decades wrote a whimsical daily column for the Charleston Gazette in West Virginia, died at age 63... Mary Dedinsky , most recently director of editorial administration at the Chicago Sun-Times, joins Northwestern University as an assistant dean... Walter Robinson , who spent the past seven of his 18 years at the Boston Globe reporting from Washington, becomes the newspaper's city editor. He succeeds Ellen Clegg , now editor of the Sunday "City Weekly" section.

California Newsprint: Joseph Farah , who resigned as editor of the Sacramento Union last year when asked to cut his newsroom staff, rejoins the paper as editor in chief after finding investors to buy it. New owners Greg Hardcastle and J.J. McClatchy also have rehired former Publisher James Smith . Current Editor Kenneth Harvey will direct operations while Farah develops features and editorial products. Although Farah says he plans to continue editing "Between the Lines," his conservative newsletter of media criticism, he has resigned as editor of the magazine New Dimensions... The San Jose Mercury News hires reporter Dawn Garcia of the San Francisco Chronicle as state editor and promotes Robert Ryan , who had directed business coverage, to deputy managing editor. Ryan succeeds Tom Kunkel , who leaves to write a biography of longtime New Yorker Editor Harold Ross ... The San Francisco Examiner moves critic Scott Rosenberg from theater to film. He succeeds Michael Sragow , who becomes a movie critic for the New Yorker. The newspaper also names Sharon Rosenhause of the New York Daily News as managing editor for news.

Magazines: Editor in Chief Richard Rouilard resigns from the Advocate after disputes with Publisher Niles Merton over budgets and the magazine's mission. Merton declined to comment; Rouilard says, "I don't want to talk now or ever again about the Advocate." Earlier, Rouilard did tell one gay newspaper that he felt he was being "set up" to be fired after he submitted a three-page list of grievances. Senior Editor G. Luther Whitington also resigns, and the magazine dismisses Senior Editor and recently named Washington Bureau Chief John Purnell in what Purnell terms "a purge." The remaining senior editor, Jeff Yarbrough , succeeds Rouilard, who during his 26-month tenure doubled circulation to nearly 120,000 and was credited with shaping the gay and lesbian newsmagazine into a widely quoted national publication... Forbes hires Robert Lenzner , former New York bureau chief and financial columnist for the Boston Globe, as a senior editor.... Business Week moves Washington correspondent Paula Dwyer to London. She replaces Mark

Maremont , who becomes Boston bureau manager... Nicholas Daniloff , the former Moscow bureau chief for U.S. News & World Report who was accused of espionage by the KGB in 1986 and detained 13 days, becomes head of the Northeastern University journalism school.

Associations: The Newspaper Association of America hires Terence Poltrack , formerly editor of the trade magazine Marketing and Media Decisions, as editor of its monthly journal, presstime. The association also names Toni Laws , formerly a top personnel official with the Hechinger chain of home improvement centers, as its vice president for diversity. Her department's first project will be to initiate a plan to increase minority employment and coverage at member papers (see WJR, July/August).

The Wires: Pieter Van Bennekom resigns after 23 years with UPI, during which he rose from reporter to CEO. Van Bennekom spent much of the past two years searching for buyers for the bankrupt wire service before it was sold in June to the London-based Middle East Broadcasting Centre. "Pieter made a number of difficult decisions, some very unpopular," says UPI Executive Editor Steve Geimann . "But they were designed to keep UPI operating, and in that regard he was successful" (see WJR, March). Van Bennekom takes over as managing editor at EastNet, a fledgling Washington-based service that covers business news from Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and China... Dave O'Hara , AP's top sports editor in New England, retires after a 50-year career with the wire.

Network News: ABC hires William Kistner of the Center for Investigative Reporting as a Washington producer and John Hockenberry of National Public Radio as a correspondent for its yet-to-be-named Sunday magazine show. London-based "World News Tonight" correspondent Sheila McVicar also moves to the show, scheduled to debut early next year. At "World News Tonight," the network names Jack White , a 20-year veteran of Time magazine and most recently editor of the Nation section, as senior producer of national coverage. He succeeds Deborah Leff , now president of the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation... Eric

Sevareid , who began his career as a radio reporter during World War II and provided commentary during the 1960s and '70s for CBS, died at 79. "The problem is not so much finding out what the news is," he once said, "it's making sense of it.".. CBS names John Roberts , formerly host of "Canada AM," as co-anchor of the "Morning News." He succeeds Charles Osgood , who wanted more time for his radio work... NBC launches a Saturday edition of its "Today" show and hires anchors Jackie

Nespral and Scott Simon .

Nespral formerly anchored a national Spanish-language newscast; Simon drops his duties as host of NPR's "Weekend Edition." Nespral and Simon also replace Garrick Utley and Mary Alice Williams as hosts of the Sunday edition of the show; Williams takes maternity leave, Utley continues as weekend nightly news anchor... Fox names Van Gordon Sauter , former CBS News president and most recently a Berkeley professor, as president of its news division. He succeeds Stephen Chao , who was fired by owner Rupert Murdoch in June after hiring a male stripper to perform during a speech he was delivering to Fox executives on censorship.



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