The End of the Line
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch newsroom was hungry for leadership when Cole Campbell came to town in 1996. But the editor, with his penchant for outside consultants, endless meetings and management jargon, lost the allegiance of too much of his staff. Something had to give.
By Alicia C. Shepard
Alicia C. Shepard is a former AJR senior writer and NPR ombudsman.
SOME VETERAN REPORTERS at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch invited their publisher out for drinks in March. They considered themselves lucky; their publisher wasn't some distant bean counter. Terry Egger actually likes drinking beer with news types and listening to war stories. He even secretly fancies himself a journalist wannabe.
On this particular Friday, though, the group had an agenda. Around 5 p.m., the journalists started wandering in to the determinedly untrendy Missouri Bar & Grille, a block from the paper. Egger would join them around 6. They didn't exactly have a script, but they did want to present a united front. Harry Levins, a 29-year employee, jokingly brought up "The Caine Mutiny," a 1950s-vintage book and movie in which the Caine's war-weary crew turns against their paranoid Captain Queeg.
In one scene, three officers head out to the admiral's ship to tell him their skipper must go, but then lose their nerve and turn back. This group had no intention of a rerun. "We are the officers from the Caine," Levins told Egger after he sat down, "and this time we are not going to chicken out."
For more than two hours, seven Post-Dispatch employees unloaded their gripes, frustrations and concerns about the state of the newsroom and its editor, Cole C. Campbell, who was into his fourth year of trying to dramatically alter the paper's culture.
Campbell, formerly editor of Norfolk's Virginian-Pilot, had been handpicked to lead the rudderless staff of 300 by Michael Pulitzer, at the time the Post-Dispatch's publisher as well as parent Pulitzer's CEO and chairman. For six months the paper had been without a leader. Its previous editor, William Woo, had been unceremoniously tossed out without warning while on vacation in April 1996.
When Campbell arrived in St. Louis in October 1996, he encountered a newsroom hungry for direction. The new editor's enthusiasm, promises and ideas excited the staff. They were a bit wary about his reputation as a champion of public journalism, a reform initiative that espouses involving readers more deeply in news decisions. Yet even skeptics found Campbell a stirring, almost evangelical speaker. They hoped they were turning a corner, that a leader had finally emerged to help the Post-Dispatch recapture the glory and stature of its 1950s incarnation. They believed Campbell just might transform the daily into one of the five best newspapers in the country in 10 years.
"Cole couldn't have had more support when he got here," recalls investigative reporter Carolyn Tuft. "All any of us wanted was an improvement. Some leadership. When Cole gave his first speech, he got raucous applause. We were all pretty excited."
But three-and-a-half years later, Tuft and others felt disheartened. Rather than leading the charge, Campbell held meetings. Lots and lots of them. He spoke in New Age management jargon many found difficult to grasp. He brought in consultants whose strengths were organizational, not editorial (see "The Change Agents"). In June 1999 he restructured the newsroom into topic-based teams, triggering a pervasive angst.
To a growing number of newsroom staffers, Campbell seemed distant and detached. And impatient. "Maybe there was too much criticism, dwelling on what's wrong with, say, the Sunday paper, not what's right," says Bob Rose, one of Campbell's top deputies. "Cole's biggest frustration was we weren't achieving the goals for the paper fast enough."
Campbell subscribed to the theory that the editor's role is to "empower" staffers. He wanted leadership to come from the bottom up, not the editor down. He wanted collaboration, not compulsion. He appeared far more interested in implementing management concepts than in the day-to-day business of putting out a paper. "The irony," says one reporter, "is that Cole did know his news. He edited a story of ours and did it as well or even better than most of our best editors. But Cole hardly ever showed that side."
To many inside and outside the newsroom, it seemed the paper wasn't aggressive or incisive enough.
Editorial writing, Washington reporting, design and online enterprise improved, by all accounts. Investigative reporting also thrived; several stellar stories had significant impact, including Tuft's tireless reporting proving the wrong man had been jailed for a murder. And the paper geared up impressively for such mega-events as a papal visit and Mark McGwire's record-breaking home run barrage.
But day in and day out, according to interviews with numerous Post-Dispatch staffers, many felt the paper simply wasn't covering the news as well as it could--and should. With no GA staff and no daybook, too many stories were being missed by the new team structure. The staff seemed distracted by the constant tumult. The number of calls from readers about errors in the paper increased, according to Carolyn Kingcade, the paper's senior editor for readership.
Levins, Tuft and others told Egger at that March 24 gathering that the Post-Dispatch was suffering. A staff revolt was brewing. "There was all this MBA talk all the time," says columnist Bill McClellan, who attended the meeting. "We could have been a widget factory. There was very little discussion about news. Any questions or criticisms or suggestions were met with this arrogant: 'You are being resistant to change.' "
Too many good people are leaving, the journalists told Egger. They gave him a handwritten list with 19 names of people who had departed since the reorganization. Sure, people move on, get better jobs, retire, lose their zeal for the demanding work of covering the news. But among Levins, McClellan and feature writer John McGuire, they'd amassed 84 years at the Post-Dispatch. In their view, this exodus was different; many were leaving because of Campbell.
("I'm sure several people left because of me," says Campbell, "but no one who is part of the A-list. When you are changing an organization, you need turnover. It's an opportunity to leverage talent, to change the mix. I've been very conservative. I didn't clean house, and I didn't ask people to leave.")
Then there was the "elites" incident. At a journalism lecture four days before the meeting, Campbell accused the New York Times of serving "elites." The invited guest speaker was Gerald Boyd, a Times deputy managing editor and a former Post-Dispatch reporter.
"The New York Times has an ever-growing expansion of national audience because people across the continent want to see themselves as part of that elite," Campbell told Boyd during the discussion. "Elites" buy the Times "so at cocktail parties they can say to each other: 'Did you see the story about such and such in the New York Times?' And then they can say: 'Yes, I did see that.' And then they give each other high fives. 'We are elite. We are elite.' "
Campbell's comments made many squirm, says Richard Dudman, a retired Post-Dispatch Washington bureau chief who had flown from Maine to hear Boyd. To make sure he got the message, a journalist at the meeting gave Egger a tape of the remarks.
Egger, 42, didn't say much at the bar. He just listened, indicating it wasn't the first time he'd heard the complaints. As the gathering broke up around 9 p.m. and they wrestled over who would pay the tab--Egger did--the publisher made no promises. He simply asked that they "hang tight."
AT 3:41 P.M. ON WEDNESDAY, April 5, business reporter Repps Hudson, like his colleagues, received a brief e-mail message announcing that a staff meeting would be held--in five minutes. There was no hint why. Even with so little lead time, rumors flew. Some figured it was yet one more meeting about process. But Hudson figured it was something else. A year before, the Pulitzer family had sold its entire broadcast division. "We thought maybe they were going to tell us the Post-Dispatch was going to be sold," Hudson says.
People gathered outside Executive Editor Richard Weil's office, forming an arc in the middle of the newsroom. Campbell began speaking. His words, once again, were mesmerizing. Campbell, 46, was resigning to join the Poynter Institute for about six months. "They are going to pay me money to think and write and ask questions and to teach journalists from across the country," Campbell said. He praised the staff for its resiliency and hard work. "Thank you for everything you've taught me," he said. "You all have accomplished many great things." The work, he said, "has always been on your shoulders and accomplished with your sweat and blood."
"There was no response whatsoever," says Margaret Freivogel, a senior editor who joined the paper in 1971. "No applause. No hissing. Nothing."
Campbell's resignation constituted a genuine bombshell. In similar situations, departure rumors often build toward a crescendo, making the actual announcement anticlimactic. But this time no one, even those in Campbell's inner circle, had a clue. Only an hour before Campbell resigned, he was in Bob Rose's office going over a graphic about the new federal courthouse. Rose sensed nothing amiss, and Campbell didn't say a word. Freivogel, also part of the senior management staff, was at her desk at 3:30 p.m. talking about where the television column was going when her boss, Managing Editor Arnie Robbins, interrupted: "I need to talk to you now.
"In 10 minutes, we are going to have a staff meeting, and Cole is going to quit," Robbins told her. Freivogel was astonished. She returned to her desk, trying to refocus on the TV column. "Are you all right?" someone asked. "You look kind of funny."
"I did not see this coming," Freivogel says. "Normally, there's a lot of gossip going around. But I think this was pretty much just between Terry and Cole."
After Campbell spoke, Egger thanked Campbell and said a few words about Campbell's contributions. Then the publisher called for a round of applause. Tepidly, staffers put their hands together, say many who were there. "By the time he left," says Tuft, "nobody was voluntarily applauding. Terry had to ask for applause."
Egger indicated he would spend some time searching for a replacement. There would be no interim editor. He told everyone he didn't want to dwell on the past.
Any questions? Egger asked the shell-shocked staff. For an uncomfortable minute, no one said a word. "After this embarrassingly long silence, the meeting broke up," says Levins, who writes for the wire desk. "It was like a change of leadership in East Germany. I guess we were all stunned. It fit into the category of things you pray for and thought would never happen. But at the same time, you didn't want to dance on the guy's grave."
Slowly, staffers drifted back to their desks.
As news filtered to the Clayton bureau, 20 minutes away, Tuft says the staff there seemed elated. "They were giving each other high fives and hugging," she says.
The next day, the paper ran an unbylined story on Campbell's departure. It began: "Cole C. Campbell, who made change constant at the Post-Dispatch during his 3-and-a-half years as editor, announced his resignation Wednesday."
There would be no sheetcake when he left.
IN TIME-HONORED NEWSROOM fashion, many immediately speculated that Campbell's April 5 resignation stemmed directly from the March 24 conclave at the Missouri Bar & Grille. But the situation is undoubtedly more complicated. Campbell still had supporters in the newsroom when he stepped down. Even those who were glad to see him go concede he made many substantial, positive changes at the Post-Dispatch.
"I learned a lot from Cole," says Tom Borgman, the paper's design director, who resigned a week before Campbell to work for an information design firm, in part because the Post-Dispatch "wasn't a real happy place to go to work every day." Says Borgman, "Cole made me a better designer and a better journalist."
But ultimately Campbell's future at the Post-Dispatch became untenable, and it was his personality as much as his ideas that led to his sudden exit.
Campbell emphasizes that his departure was in fact a resignation, but makes it clear that the timing was not to his liking. "I absolutely did the job I was hired to do," he says. "I was hired to transform the newsroom and contribute to the overall long-term thinking about how to thrive in a highly volatile news world." However, he adds that he left "not necessarily on my own timetable. I wouldn't have elected to leave now."
Cole Campbell is a complex person. The first thing most people talk about is his impressive intellect. He's extremely smart and well-read. Some weeks he inhales as many as five books. He's a serious student of business management literature. "He's a brilliant theoretician," says a Post-Dispatch editor, Robert Duffy. It's not surprising that Campbell was a debater in high school and college. His lightning-quick mind responds in the time it takes most people to spit out their names.
Campbell fits into the category of editor as character. He's intellectually curious. Voluble. Articulate. Quirky. Challenging. Comedic. Prone to experiment with tradition-defying ideas. And provocative. "I think he is one of the most interesting characters in journalism in lots of ways," says Jim Naughton, president of the Poynter Institute, the man who brought Campbell to St. Petersburg, Florida, to stir things up. "What's really valuable about having him here at Poynter is he won't shrink from telling us things we don't want to hear. We are encouraging him to be as candid as he can be. There's a risk at a place like Poynter, where we can be overly supportive of one another, and he'll keep us from getting too self-satisfied."
One-on-one, Campbell can be awkward; small talk is not his forté. In St. Louis, he had a difficult time making journalists, particularly those he had little contact with, feel good about their jobs. He rarely sent notes praising stories. Nor was he the kind of editor who kicks back after a tense deadline and takes the staff out for beers. In fact, he doesn't imbibe. "His communications and interpersonal skills are not real strong," Borgman says. "He's not the kind of guy to shoot the breeze about your weekend. When you don't get that, you knew that when he was approaching, it was because he was going to correct someone or give orders. Toward the end, I found myself getting tense and my stomach tightening up when he would approach."
But when he talks about journalism, Campbell can be personable and engaging. Get him in front of a crowd or leading a meeting, talking about one of his passions--say, civic journalism--and Campbell comes alive, captivating his audience.
"I cannot think of another person who is more persuasive than Cole," says Rosemary Armao, managing editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, who worked under Campbell at the Virginian-Pilot and is not a fan. "But he only plays to an outside crowd."
One milieu in which Campbell excelled was at quarterly staff meetings, where he spoke at an art gallery in front of 200 or so Post-Dispatch employees. He was known as the "master of the flip chart." And he was funny, in a sardonic way. "If you came to one of our quarterly meetings, you'd think he was really terrific," says columnist McClellan. "John McGuire says newspaper editors used to be known for drinking problems; now it's meetings. Cole was like that. He didn't drink. But he loved meetings."
It was at such large staff meetings and at small management meetings and editorial meetings and budget meetings and reorganization meetings and team meetings and redesign meetings and diversity training meetings that Campbell shared his ideas about journalism and his vision for the paper.
Campbell says he stressed three goals. "As an editor, I emphasized that everyone should take readers seriously, take care of each other to improve performance and take responsibility for improving the paper," Campbell says.
Many of his ideas have more to do with traditional journalism than with trendy reform doctrines. Campbell believes that journalistic excellence comes from a staff with a "true understanding of a region and its people." Hard to argue with that. Only Campbell chose to bring in highly paid consultants to meet with reporters and editors to help them, he says, "gain a broader and deeper knowledge of readers."
Some who challenged Campbell's ways found themselves being written off as adverse to change. "In the end, he didn't seem to be able to differentiate between the inevitable complaining that accompanies change and helpful criticism that should have led to necessary adjustments," says Freivogel. "He dismissed it all as resistance and, as a result, never adjusted to the reality that was in front of his eyes."
WHERE CAMPBELL WOULD SOMETIMES lose people was with his academic, business school vocabulary. He'd use 25-cent words that often left people scratching their heads. He talked of finding ways of "engaging citizenry," of "building capacity," of "civic mapping," of conducting "deliberative dialogues." Often he needed a translator. But Campbell is unapologetic. "The insistence on speaking a limited [newsroom] argot has the effect of slowing down exploration of new thinking," he says.
Often, Campbell would get impatient with those who failed to understand him. Many on the staff concluded Campbell wouldn't listen to anyone who didn't agree with him, although that wasn't always true. "If people could get beyond that cold stare he would do, he would listen," says one close Campbell observer. "He loved to think in larger abstract, theoretical ways. When people would try to bring him down to a practical level, he would bristle."
Many found his speeches frustrating. "Cole was well-meaning, but he was strange, and he wasn't able to get his message across to the newsroom," says Howard "Tim" Hays, former editor and publisher of California's Riverside Press-Enterprise, who now lives in St. Louis and is helping Egger find Campbell's successor. "He's quite bright. When he first showed up, I was quite impressed, but rapidly I became disillusioned. I found him difficult to understand. I moved from thinking he was pretty darn impressive to the sooner he was gone, the better."
Reporters bristled at jargon that, if used by a speaker at a city meeting, would have to be translated for readers. "I had a difficult time in his meetings understanding exactly what he wanted us to do," says feature writer McGuire, a 34-year veteran. "He did use language that I couldn't understand. It's been suggested he'd be a terrific academic. A lot of staff meetings came across as a lecture. I must confess sometimes I felt like I'd walked into the wrong class."
"It might have been the language," says Campbell lieutenant Rose. "Cole really wanted to use that language, and it did cause problems in the leadership team."
There's no doubt some bought into Campbell's message, among them Virgil Tipton, another top management team member. Tipton, a former transportation reporter, prospered under Campbell.
"Cole put a lot of the right issues on the table in the newsroom," Tipton says. "That product we call a newspaper is an expression of our real job: serving the community with news and information. He put on the table the issue of how we work together, the issue of accountability. He made people think."
Tipton later e-mailed AJR about Campbell's impact. "From my perspective, he made good things happen here, and I think he left the paper better than when he came," he wrote. "I think he helped develop a lot of leaders here, which will stand the paper in good stead in the future. Cole helped us think differently about what a newspaper is, that it's not just ink on paper, that it's even beyond news, that a newspaper's core asset is knowledge of the community."
Campbell also reached out to African Americans in the newsroom, seeking their input and elevating a few to management positions. "African Americans have a higher rate of approval in the newsroom for Cole than the rest of the staff," says Executive Editor Weil. "African Americans were appreciative of his efforts."
Campbell concurs. "African Americans, to say the very least, are disheartened [about my leaving] because I was the first editor who took them seriously," he says.
EVEN THOSE WHO HARBOR ill will for Campbell agree he did some good things for the Post-Dispatch. Take Repps Hudson, for example, who is not bashful in expressing his problems with the former editor. "He brought out the worst in just about everyone, from ambition to backbiting and a general depression in the newsroom," the business writer says. "He had a talent for making people feel bad about themselves."
But Hudson concedes that Campbell "made us focus on people in the community that we would have never talked to before. He made us get below the self-appointed politicians and leaders. He made us more aware of people of color and their differences. And he really had a vision of the Internet."
But his ideas about changing the role of the journalist provoked controversy. "Part of Cole's public journalism philosophy was to get rid of the notion of journalist as expert and journalist as person who identified what the news was," says Bill Freivogel, the paper's deputy editorial page editor and Margaret Freivogel's husband. "He would say, 'You still have a role in journalism, but the reader has to be at the table, too.' "
Campbell thinks that most journalists function as part of an elite, setting public agendas by mostly writing about local politicians and community leaders. In his view, journalists should think more about readers when making coverage decisions. The problem, say critics of this approach, is, who exactly are the readers in a city as populous and varied as St. Louis? With nearly half of the city African American, should only blacks be considered readers? If so, what age or gender? What about economic differences within the black community? Should a black from Haiti or Sierra Leone be included? And what about readers who fled to the suburbs? Or readers living in affluent Webster Grove?
Campbell believes that through surveys and focus groups and community meetings, the staff could identify who its readers are.
Campbell was also known for offbeat ideas that, despite his unbridled enthusiasm for them, caused eyes to roll. A few months before Campbell left, one editor persuaded him to give up his notion of helping to build community by bringing together an opera star, the St. Louis symphony and community leaders to record the folksong "Kumbaya."
Says editor Duffy, "Reviewing this 'Kumbaya' business brings up a point I hope gets made: There was all sorts of nonsense like this that created obstacles to our putting out a good newspaper." Although, he adds, "Few of them have the bizarre sexiness that 'Kumbaya' has."
One Campbell initiative that has drawn intense staff criticism and mixed views from the public was transforming the Sunday news analysis section into Imagine St. Louis. Each week, the entire section is devoted to one issue editors believe readers should be thinking about, such as regionalism or domestic violence. It's done in conjunction with local CBS affiliate KMOV-TV, which produces a Sunday morning show on the same subject.
"Cole's feeling was News and Analysis had no real vitality," says Robert Duffy, editor of Imagine St. Louis. "He saw it as prime real estate for putting his ideas about civic journalism into the paper. It's about imagining a better society. But there's a certain mushy New Ageness to the word 'imagine.' "
The problem, say staffers, is the strict format. Because of production schedules, topics have already been chosen through December. This approach precludes spinning off in-depth stories tied to the news. "A lot of reporters don't like it because it's very time- and resource-demanding," says Duffy. "But if you look at it psychologically, I think it's become a way of displacing discontent with Cole on this inanimate journalistic object."
No sooner had Campbell departed than people suggested killing the section.
What most likely won't be scrapped is the newsroom reorganization Campbell implemented in June 1999. Following the lead of several other large newspapers, Campbell and his staff divided the newsroom into teams covering topics and eliminated 19 general assignment positions. Staffers had to apply for jobs, and former general assignment reporters joined teams. Instead of editors, there are team leaders. Each team created a mission statement and set goals.
The newsroom overhaul resulted in confusion and frustration. It sapped energy. A sense that no one was in charge pervaded. Six months later, Campbell assigned a team to interview the staff about the reorganization. The new alignment didn't draw rave reviews.
A memo outlined problems perceived by employees: The paper is increasingly superficial. News is going uncovered. A culture of criticism persists. Inconsistencies, duplications and omissions are caught by readers, not editors. Too many don't know what colleagues do. Top editors don't listen enough. Collaboration isn't working.
Campbell wasn't surprised. Discomfort is an expected byproduct of dramatic change. A few months before the reorganization, Campbell asked two reporters to spend two months investigating how teams work at four other papers, including Portland's Oregonian and Campbell's alma mater, the Virginian-Pilot. The results were uniform: People now like the team structure, but they went through hell to get there.
"There was a certain logic to his thinking on paper, but when you tried to make it function in the real world of daily journalism, it was at cross purposes," says senior editor Margaret Freivogel. "The reorganization took so much energy to make simple decisions and left no time for the really difficult things in our business."
THE CHAOS THAT PERSISTED a year later, the plethora of meetings, the pervasive sense of going in circles--all combined to fuel a staff exodus and damage morale.
Maybe it was that, as senior editor Rose suggests, there was too much criticism and not enough praise from the top. Maybe it was a sense that the only way to succeed was to buy in totally to Campbell's program that left some feeling downhearted. Maybe it was the feeling, as so many staffers told AJR, that Campbell liked change simply for change's sake.
"As much as Mr. Campbell would talk about collegiality and consensus, he really was very dictatorial," McClellan says. "He would talk about empowering people, but he would brook very little criticism. He surrounded himself with people who do not criticize him, and he was not one to take criticism well. Really, he was a top-down kind of guy."
And other factors were working against Campbell. Daily circulation dropped from 319,000 in 1996 to 307,000 last year, and the Sunday decline was even steeper. It dropped by 31,000 in four years--from 540,000 to 509,000. Then there were spending problems--Campbell was over budget for 1999. The reason, say those familiar with the situation, is Campbell didn't account for the reorganization, which proved costly due to overtime and training costs.
Resentment also lingered from Campbell's early days when, while still married, he became romantically involved with Christine Bertelson, who rose from metro columnist to editorial page editor. Although Bertelson did well in the job, many in the newsroom lost faith early on in Campbell's judgment. "I don't think a lot of people ever got past the relationship with Christie," says Tom Borgman. "It hurt his image, and hurt a lot in terms of his standing in the newsroom that I don't know he ever got back."
But there's another way of interpreting what happened. It's possible that many who resisted Campbell simply did not understand what he was trying to do. Or they did, but thought it foolish and resisted. In some ways, his approach represented a conventional management model for change: Form study groups. Talk a lot about ideas. Work on consensus building. Get everybody to buy in so they feel some ownership. With reorganizing the newsroom, Campbell's goal was to push decision making down and flatten out the top management structure. But that's not what most journalists wanted in St. Louis.
"Cole really believed you had to force responsibility and collaboration down all the way through the organization," says Richard Somerville, who is studying change models at the Post-Dispatch and two other papers for the Media Management Center at Northwestern University. "As the staff explained to me, every time the staff would press him to take responsibility or leadership, he'd consciously back off and say: 'What do you think?' That made people very uncomfortable. There seemed to be an 'editor as god' mentality there, and he was trying to change that."
Says Campbell, "I think some in the newsroom expected the editor to be either the city editor, the night news editor or perhaps the managing editor--and saw those jobs in a more authoritarian model, almost like editor as judge over everyone in the newsroom."
Ultimately, the alienation staffers felt propelled them to take an unusual route to air their concerns. They began going around the editor to the publisher to complain. Egger, they found, would listen.
For his part, Egger won't say why Campbell left. He won't confirm speculation that tension between the two escalated after Egger, in July 1999, became publisher, a job Campbell coveted. Egger, who had been Campbell's co-equal as general manager, suddenly became his boss. Egger says Campbell wasn't asked to leave. But then he adds pointedly that Campbell's move to Florida "is a great opportunity for us." What does that mean?
"I made a commitment to myself that I was not going to talk about the past," Egger says. "I don't think replaying what happened is constructive. I think Cole contributed a lot to the strategy of the larger organization, and I learned a ton from him. He's a brilliant guy. He'll do extremely well."
Egger is looking for an editor to restore stability. There will be no more newsroom consultants; no headhunters will be retained to find Campbell's replacement. "People here are trained professionals, and you need to count on their experience and instincts," he says.
Tim Hays, Egger's friend, says he believes the new editor will come from outside the paper. "Cole was a mistake," says Hays, a former president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, "and now we have to find somebody who can take the reins of a rather confused situation and win the confidence of the staff. There are such people out there."
ON THE NIGHT OF April 5, after Campbell's surprise resignation, Harry Levins and a handful of others headed for the Missouri Bar & Grille, this time to savor the news. ###
When Levins got home, he went to his computer to buy Terry Egger a gift. He typed in the URL for amazon.com, followed by an author's name: Herman Wouk. Among the books that popped up was Wouk's 1951 Pulitzer Prize winner: "The Caine Mutiny."
"I sent Terry a copy," says Levins. "He's a class act."