By Chip Rowe
Chip Rowe, a former AJR associate editor, is an editor at Playboy.
Orlando Blues: The Orlando Sentinel lays off 98
employees, including Executive Editor Steve Vaughn and seven other
newsroom staffers. "Middle managers here are shaken a bit," says one reporter.
"They see that [seniority] didn't buy Vaughn anything when it came to the
bottom line." Twelve empty newsroom positions also were eliminated. Editor
John Haile declined to discuss details but says he doesn't see the
layoff of an executive editor as "unusual in the scheme of things... It's
unfair to look only at reporting ranks" for cutbacks. Vaughn, who was one
day shy of his 25th anniversary at the paper, was leaving to discuss the
layoffs with bureau staffers when he was called into a conference room
and told he was being dismissed himself. "It was like a bucket of cold
water in my face," he says, "but I can't fault them. Anybody this happens
to can say they could have done it better." Vaughn, whose duties had changed
about 10 years ago to become largely administrative, says he's considering
whether to find another newspaper job or devote his time to panoramic photography,
a longtime hobby.
L.A. Blues: The Los Angeles Times closes its San
Diego bureau and announces buyout offers to 5,200 full time employees in
an effort to cut 500 jobs during the next year for $8 million in annual
savings. The paper won't say how many buyouts it is offering in the newsroom.
In San Diego, 76 of the bureau's 107 full time employees will get new assignments,
most at the daily San Fernando Valley edition. Six reporters and editors
remain, but the city's 14-year-old edition will be replaced by the main
paper. "Because of San Diego's distance from Los Angeles and the larger
number of competitors there, the economics of producing a separate daily
edition just haven't worked," Publisher David Laventhol said in
a statement. About 300 Times employees took buyouts last year.
A Sleuth Retires: Robert Greene , 63, head of Newsday 's
investigative unit, leaves the newspaper after 38 years to teach and write.
His proudest moment: organizing a 1976 gathering in Phoenix of reporters
from around the country, prompted by the car-bomb murder of Arizona
Republic crime reporter Don Bolles , to conduct a six-month investigation
into crime and corruption in the state. The result was a 23-part series
distributed by AP and UPI , several major awards, new penal
codes and increased funding for law enforcement. Greene says he fell into
journalism "by accident" after sneaking into a 1948 Truman campaign
speech and ending up with a better view than the national press corp. "A
guy taps me on the shoulder and says, 'What paper are you at?' I told him
I was there on a bet for a pack of cigarettes. I didn't even know how to
type." It was the editor of the Jersey Journal, who offered Greene a job.
Press & Politics: Most of the past and present television
journalists who ran for the House this fall fared well. Marjorie Margolies
Mezvinsky , a former reporter for NBC and WRC in Washington,
D.C., won a U.S. House seat in Pennsylvania by less than 1 percent of the
vote. Ron Klink , who spent 14 years as an anchor and reporter at
Pittsburgh's KDKA , had an easier time joining the delegation with
79 percent of his district's votes. Both are Democrats. Another Democrat,
Andy Fox , a one-time reporter at Norfolk's WAVY , lost his
bid to represent a Virginia district. Among Republicans, former anchor
Scott Klug was elected to his second term in Wisconsin by a wide
margin, and KENS Producer Henry Bonilla won a seat from Texas.
Bonilla had found himself in a brouhaha after the San Antonio Light
revealed six weeks before the election that he had used a KENS cameraman
and equipment to produce a campaign ad. The paper also reported that Bonilla's
wife, anchor Deborah Knapp Bonilla , used newsroom computers to organize
political donations and that anchor Chris Marrou planned to host
a fundraiser – all while the station covered Bonilla's candidacy.
To the North Country: Feature writer and magazine columnist
Charles Trueheart and business reporter Anne Swardson leave
next month for a three-year tour as Washington Post correspondents
in Toronto. "We were both looking for a change," says Trueheart, who jokes
that he courted Swardson through voice-mail after they met at the paper.
They married in 1988. The couple will split a 60-hour week. Among other
moves at the Post, Deputy Metro Editor Doug Feaver becomes deputy
financial editor; national reporter John Yang also joins the financial
desk; Jerusalem correspondent Jackson Diehl returns to become deputy
foreign editor; and Gus Niebuhr leaves the Wall Street Journal
to cover religion.
Terry Update: The Associated Press names Terry
Taylor as sports editor. Taylor, who joined the AP in 1977, was most
recently the AP's assistant New York bureau chief after a brief stint with
the New York Times. She succeeds Darrell Christian , now managing
editor. Terry Anderson , the AP bureau chief in Beirut held hostage
for seven years, leaves the wire service after 20 years. He told a group
of newspaper executives last fall that he has not ruled out running for
political office. "One of the things you give up as a journalist is the
right to speak out," he said, confessing, "I have opinions."
Newsprint West: Editor Christian Anderson of the
Orange County Register becomes executive vice president with parent
Freedom Newspapers . Managing Editor
Tonnie Katz becomes the new top editor, succeeded by Assistant
Managing Editor Ken Brusic . Meanwhile, Assistant Managing Editor
John Hollon leaves to become editor of the Great Falls Tribune
in Montana... Judy Fahys , formerly with the Washington bureau of
Scripps League Newspapers , joins the Salt Lake Tribune in
Utah as a reporter.
Newsprint Heartland: The Milwaukee Journal , which
18 months ago merged its metro and state desks, separates them again. Don
Walker , who had been national editor, becomes metro editor, Carolina
Garcia , previously deputy metro editor, is now state editor, and Dale
Buss , former metro/state editor, becomes an investigative reporter.
"We merged them chiefly because metro had so many more resources," says
Managing Editor Steve Hannah . "But while that did create efficiency,
especially in editing, it also created a big bureaucracy, which I hated."
Hannah also has moved four reporters from metro to state to beef up coverage
there... The Detroit Free Press promotes Assistant Business Editor
Nancy Laughlin to coordinate national and world coverage. She succeeds
Joe Ritchie , now teaching at Florida A&M ... Margaret
Wolf Freivogel , assistant Washington bureau chief for the St. Louis
Post-Dispatch , becomes editor for national and international news.
She succeeds Bob Posen , now news editor.
Elsewhere: William Grueskin becomes city editor
at the Miami Herald . Formerly the Herald's city editor in Broward
County, he succeeds Chris Morris , now associate editor for personnel...
The New York Times promotes Deputy Style Editor John Montorio
to style editor. He succeeds Angela Dodson , now senior editor for
Magazines: Mark Morrison takes over as managing
editor of Business Week on February 1, when John Dierdorff
will retire on his 65th birthday after 36 years with the magazine. Dierdorff
left the Oregonian in Portland in 1956 to find a job in New York,
landed one with Business Week's copy desk, and 21 years later became managing
editor. He says he plans to do some gardening. "It's a wonderful editor's
pastime," he says. "You get to pluck out offending weeds as you pluck out
offending words, and you can rearrange the layout constantly." Sarah
Bartlett , who left the magazine four years ago for the New York
Times , returns to succeed Morrison as an assistant managing editor...
Jolie Solomon , formerly at the Boston
Globe and the Wall Street Journal , joins Newsweek as
a business editor... The Advocate hires Cheryl Coward , most
recently a reporter for the Washington Blade , as its Capitol Hill
A Long-Awaited Return to Maine: Three decades after
landing his first newspaper job at the Bangor Daily News , Robert
Kellete r leaves the Washington Post to become the Maine newspaper's
executive editor. He succeeds V. Paul Reynolds , who departs after
23 years following management fights with Publisher Richard Warren .
Kelleter, 52, was still a student at the University of Maine when he
was hired by the Daily News as a sportswriter in 1962. He joined the Milwaukee
Sentinel five years later, then jumped to the Post in 1969.
"I went to see whether I could make it in the big time," he says. "But
I went to school here, my wife is from here, we have a summer place about
an hour from here. This is a chance to come back sooner than someday."
Kelleter began as a sports copy editor at the Post but soon rose to
assistant sports editor. He was named news editor and graphics director
over five features sections in the early 1970s and later was among a team
that designed and tested a newsroom computer system that eliminated the
typewriters made famous by "All the President's Men." Most recently he
was editor of the weekly food section.
"This is nothing against the Post, but everybody that's been there a
while is in the same boat," he says. "Their Maine might be Arizona or Minnesota,
who knows. Only after people said, 'This is great for you,' did I realize
how few people get to do exactly what they want to do exactly where they
want to do it."
Television News: Charles Bierbauer , who for the
past nine years has been CNN 's senior White House correspondent,
becomes senior Washington correspondent. Wolf Blitzer leaves his
Pentagon beat for the White House... Odetta Rogers , formerly an anchor
and reporter at WFSB in Hartford, joins NBC as a Washington
NPR: "Morning Edition" names Susan Stamberg as
its special correspondent covering arts and cultural affairs. She has been
on leave for the past year writing a book for Random House, "Talk," about
her 20 years as a host and reporter. "Madonna's got 'Sex,' " Stamberg says,
"I've got 'Talk.' " For her book, the former "All Things Considered" host
chose 80 transcripts from the 20,000 interviews she's conducted at NPR
and annotated them with extensive notes. Her favorite: Joan Didion.
"I forgot we were on the air," Stamberg says of the 1977 interview. "That
never happens." Meanwhile, NPR names Mara Liasson as White House
correspondent, replacing Richard Gonzales , who will have a new beat
when he returns from a two-month paternity leave. Also, Senior Foreign
Editor Cadi Simon leaves after 13 years to spend more time with
Elsewhere in Radio: Monitor Radio hires Steve
Delaney as host for its "Early Edition," replacing Dale Willman .
Delaney reported for NBC from 1967 until 1988 and was recently a
correspondent for the Christian Science Church 's now-defunct Monitor
Television . Willman and Editor Ken Bader were relieved of their
August after they refused to air an apology for a piece on AIDS education
that included references to "boys in gold lamù jockstraps" and using
cucumbers to demonstrate how to put on condoms. Willman resigned in November
without going back on the air; he's now doing newscasts for NPR .
Bader is still negotiating with Monitor officials... KBCO/AM-FM in
Boulder promotes reporter Steve Chavis to news director, succeeding
Peter Finch , who leaves the station. Chavis says KBCO is
considered "the NPR of rock stations" by many listeners. "We don't have
a wacky morning show," he says. "There's so much humor and irony in the
news already, we don't need to make it up."