Publishers: Editors: Managing Editors:
A summary of developments in the news industry for the week of July 15-22: Second-Quarter Profits Fall at Some Media Companies By The Associated Press
Gannett Co. Inc. said its second-quarter profit fell 9.8 percent from what it posted a year earlier, and earnings skidded 79.9 percent at The New York Times Co., reflecting a previously disclosed employee severance charge.
In other quarterly reports issued the week of July 15, the Tribune Co.‘s second-quarter profit declined by 4 percent, McGraw-Hill Co.‘s by 6.3 percent, and Pulitzer Publishing Co.’s by 12.3 percent.
Affiliated Publications Inc., the parent company of The Boston Globe, said its profit dropped 58 percent. And Dun & Bradstreet Corp. said earnings fell 5.5 percent as revenue slipped 2.5 percent.
Media companies have generally been hurt by the recession, which has depressed advertisers’ demand for commercial time and space.
Multimedia Inc. bucked the trend, however, as it reported a 50 percent increase in its second-quarter profit. And the E.W. Scripps Co. earned $19.9 million in the second quarter, compared with a $162,000 loss in the same period last year. Gannett Co. Inc.
The Arlington, Va.-based company said its earnings fell to $95.0 million, or 61 cents a share, in the three months ended June 30, compared with $105.3 million, or 66 cents a share, a year earlier.
Second-quarter revenue fell 2.1 percent to $874.6 million from $893.8 million a year ago.
The latest results reflected a gain on the sale of the company’s Culver Studios in California.
John J. Curley, the chairman, president and chief executive, said that while business activity stabilized at some of the company’s units and a recovery seemed imminent, ″many advertisers remain cautious, awaiting evidence that an upturn is under way.″
Newspaper advertising revenues were off 3 percent in the quarter, reflecting a 9 percent decline in run-of-press ad volume. Paid ad pages rose 2 percent at USA Today. Gannett also publishes 81 other daily newspapers.
Newspaper circulation revenue increased 6 percent, reflecting additional volume and higher prices at some papers.
Broadcasting revenue declined 10 percent, because of lower demand and more competitive market conditions. Gannett owns 10 TV and 15 radio stations.
Outdoor ad revenue fell 4 percent.
For the first six months, Gannett earned $145.1 million, or 92 cents a share, down 19.5 percent from $180.3 million, or $1.13 a share, a year ago.
Revenue for the six months fell 2.7 percent to $1.66 billion from $1.71 billion a year ago. The New York Times Co.
The newspaper, magazine and broadcasting company earned $5.4 million, or 6 cents per share, in the second quarter, compared with $26.8 million, or 35 cents a share, a year ago.
Revenue for the quarter fell 6.1 percent to $440.4 million from $468.9 million a year earlier.
The latest results included a $20 million charge before taxes to cover severance and related costs resulting from a program under which about 160 staffers are expected to leave voluntarily.
The decline also reflected an 18.1 percent decline in ad volume at the company’s flagship newspaper because of the weak economy.
The Times said the ad linage declines are expected to continue.
Operating profit at the newspaper group, which also includes 32 regional newspapers and the company’s stake in the International Herald Tribune, fell to $35.7 million from $50.1 million a year ago.
The magazine group posted an operating profit of $1.3 million, up from $500,000 a year earlier.
Operating profit from the broadcasting and information services group was $4.2 million in the quarter, down from $4.3 million a year earlier, and the company’s equity in forest products earnings rose to $2.7 million from $1.5 million a year ago.
For the first six months, the company earned $10.5 million, or 13 cents a share, down 75.8 percent from $43.4 million, or 57 cents a share, a year earlier.
Revenue for the six months fell 4.8 percent to $857.3 million from $900.1 million a year ago. The E.W. Scripps Co.
The Cincinnati company said last year’s loss was related to payments made to Persis Corp. in an agreement to terminate joint operations between Scripps’ Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel and the Persis-owned Knoxville Journal.
Scripps said it made $19.8 million, or 27 cents a share, during the three months ended June 30 on revenues of $326.9 million. In last year’s second quarter, the company lost $162,000, or less than one cent per share, on revenues of $331.8 million.
Scripps is involved in newspaper publishing, television stations, radio stations and cable television systems. The company also syndicates and licenses news features and comics, including ″Garfield″ and ″Peanuts.″
The Scripps Howard Broadcasting Co., a subsidiary with 80.4 percent of its shares owned by E.W. Scripps, said it earned $8.3 million, or 80 cents per share, in the second quarter on revenues of $90 million.
During the same period last year, the company earned $9.2 million, or 89 cents a share, on revenues of $84.4 million. The Tribune Co.
The Chicago-based company, in its second quarterly statement since selling the New York Daily News, announced that earnings dropped 4 percent compared with the same period a year earlier.
Excluding income from the Daily News from 1990 figures, earnings were down 20 percent.
Income for the quarter ending June 30 was $53.7 million, or 77 cents per share. For the same quarter in 1990, income was $56.1 million, or 78 cents per share.
The Tribune blamed the loss on interest payments, which rose 43 percent from the second quarter of 1990.
Tribune completed its sale of the Daily News to British publisher Robert Maxwell in March. Affiliated Publications
Affiliated’s net income was $3.08 million, or 4 cents per share, for the three-month period that ended June 30. That compared with earnings of $7.37 million, or 11 cents per share, during the same period last year.
Revenues totaled $130.8 million during the quarter, down from $132.1 million in the second quarter of 1990.
The company said the economic recession in New England has caused ad volume to shrink at The Boston Globe. Other newspapers also have suffered financial strains because of the economic downturn.
Affiliated said the poor advertising climate also has hurt another subsidiary, BPI Communications Inc., which produces arts and design publications as well as Adweek, a trade magazine that had an operating loss.
Advertising revenue during the quarter totaled $91.3 million, a 6 percent drop from the same period last year.
For the first six months of 1991, Affiliated had net income of $2.08 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with earnings of $13.8 million, or 20 cents per share, in the same period last year.
Revenue for the first half of the year totaled $259.4 million, a drop from $285.7 million in the first half of 1990. McGraw-Hill Co.
The publishing, broadcasting and business information company earned $34.9 million, or 71 cents a share, in the second quarter compared with $37.2 million, or 76 cents a share, a year earlier.
Revenue for the quarter slipped 0.2 percent to $456.9 million from $457.8 million a year earlier.
Chairman and Chief Executive Joseph L. Dionne said the recession’s impact in key markets was a major factor. Financial services was its only unit to post a significant gain in revenue and profit for the quarter. The financial services unit includes Standard & Poor’s credit ratings.
Operating profits in information and publication services, including Business Week magazine, fell 28.2 percent, partly because of a weak ad marketplace.
Operating profit in broadcasting fell 3.9 percent, and was off slightly in educational and professional publishing.
Dionne said the continuing tough economic climate means ″it will be difficult in 1991 to match last year’s earnings″ of $172.5 million, or $3.53 a share.
For the first half, McGraw-Hill earned $47.6 million, or 97 cents a share, down 11.4 percent from $53.7 million, or $1.10 a share, a year ago.
Revenue was up 0.9 percent to $885.4 million in the first six months from $877.8 million a year ago. Multimedia Inc.
The Greenville, S.C.-based company said it earned $14.4 million, or 39 cents a share, in the three months ended June 30 compared with $9.6 million, or 26 cents a share, a year earlier.
Revenue for the quarter rose 8.6 percent to $134.6 million from $123.9 million a year ago.
The 1990 results included a net extraordinary loss of $3.1 million on its debt refinancing.
Newspaper revenues were down 4.6 percent in the quarter to $34.6 million but revenue from broadcasting was up 11.3 percent to $42.4 million, increased 14 percent from cable to $33.7 million and climbed 17.7 percent from entertainment to $25.5 million.
For the first six months, Multimedia earned $23.4 million, or 63 cents a share, up from $15.7 million, or 42 cents a share, a year ago.
Six-month revenue rose 8.6 percent to $253.8 million from $233.7 million. Pulitzer Publishing Co.
The St. Louis-based publisher’s earnings dropped to $4 million, or 39 cents per share, in the quarter from $4.6 million, or 44 cents per share, a year ago.
Revenue slipped to $102 million in the quarter from $103.9 million.
Full-run advertising linage was down 14 percent at the St. Louis Post- Dispatch and 7 percent at the Tucson Daily Star, the company said.
Pulitzer’s broadcasting revenue declined 4.4 percent, reflecting generally weak advertising demand, particularly in local automotive spot advertising, and a decrease in political advertising.
Earnings for the six months decreased 39.9 percent to $3.3 million, or 32 cents per share, from $5.5 million, or 53 cents per share, a year ago.
Revenue fell to $193.3 million from $199 million in the first half of 1990. Dun & Bradstreet Corp.
The New York-based business information and services company said it continues to expect some growth in earnings per share for the year, but said worldwide economic conditions and adverse industry conditions for its computer software unit have ″added elements of uncertainty″ to its outlook.
Dun & Bradstreet compiles the Nielsen television audience ratings, tracks product movements through grocery stores, provides Donnelly directory listings and rates debt repayment capacity through its Moody’s Investors Service.
The company said it earned $116.6 million, or 65 cents a share, in the three months ended June 30 compared with $123 million, or 67 cents a share, a year ago.
Revenue fell to $1.17 billion for the quarter from $1.2 billion a year earlier.
Revenue rose 13.7 percent in its financial information services unit, which includes Moody’s, and was up a more modest 3.1 percent in software services.
Revenue edged up 1.7 percent in its risk-management information unit and 1.5 percent in marketing information services, which includes the Nielsen TV ratings and product tracking services.
But revenue fell 31.3 percent in business services, reflecting the company’s sale of several operations in that area, and was down 5.5 percent in directory information services, mainly because of a change in classification of revenue from a new directory service partnership.
For the first six months, Dun & Bradstreet earned $212.7 million, or $1.19 a share, down 8.8 percent from $233.3 million, or $1.27 a share, a year ago.
Revenue for the six months fell 2.5 percent to $2.29 billion from $2.35 billion. Tabloid Company Goes Public, To Buy Back Most of News Corp.’s Stake
NEW YORK (AP) - The company that publishes the National Enquirer and the Star raised nearly $190 million on July 19 by making its first public sale of stock.
The Enquirer-Star Group plans to use most of the proceeds to repurchase almost all the stake Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Ltd. holds in the company.
The Enquirer-Star Group, based in Lantana, Fla., sold 13.5 million shares of common stock in the company for $14 a share. That represents about 30 percent of its common stock.
The offering had been scaled down from initial plans to sell 20.5 million shares at between $16 and $18 a share.
News Corp. acquired its stake last year when it sold the Star to the owners of the National Enquirer for $400 million in cash and preferred stock.
Also July 19, News Corp. said it will sell 80 percent of its Enquirer-Star preferred stock for about $150 million and would use the proceeds to reduce its $8 billion-plus bank debt.
Under terms of a recent debt renegotiation, News Corp. is under pressure to reduce debt in specified increments over the next three years.
Last month it completed the sale of eight magazines and the Daily Racing Form for $650 million. Fewer Journalists Traveling With Bush as Costs Grow
WASHINGTON (AP) - Belt-tightening in the news industry and the restless habits of George Bush are changing the way reporters cover the presidency.
″The problem is primarily an economic one, because as fewer people travel on those planes the cost goes up,″ said Charles Bierbauer of Cable News Network, president of the White House Correspondents Association.
And with news bureaus hit by the recession like everybody else, fewer reporters are traveling with Bush.
On the flight to the economic summit in London, about 150 reporters were aboard. Bob Van Eimerein of the White House travel office said there have been up to 250 on similar trips in the past.
″I think that any number of news organizations are looking at White House charter bills with a jaundiced eye,″ said George Watson, Washington bureau chief for ABC News.
Pan American World Airways, which provides the chartered planes most White House reporters travel on, has its own financial troubles.
The airline filed for bankruptcy reorganization in January and said this month it wants to sell its East Coast shuttle and transcontinental operations to Delta Air Lines. A Pan Am spokeswoman in New York, Elizabeth Hlinko, said it was too soon to discuss the future of the White House charter operation.
Even in normal times, the bills for flying on the press charter or on Air Force One are substantially more than first-class commercial fares, partly because the bills also cover the cost of filing facilities and ground transportation.
The costs are prorated among all journalists flying on either of the two planes, said Billy Dale, head of the White House transportation office.
Bills have soared as the television networks have experimented with pool photography and hard-pressed editors have decided to skip some trips.
″We are kind of taking it on a case-by-case basis,″ said Karen DeYoung, an assistant managing editor of The Washington Post. ″But it is a subject of some concern when the cost of what would be essentially a $500 round-trip fare on a commercial airline goes up to $2,000 or $3,000.″
Journalists say it isn’t just the cost that is making them rethink how to cover the White House beat.
″More and more print reporters and organizations have judged that a lot of Bush trips are simply not newsworthy,″ said CNN’s Bierbauer.
Bush has traveled more than any other president at a corresponding point in his first term, but the trips have included jaunts to do little more than fish or hunt quail.
″We have scaled back,″ said Bruce Drake, senior news editor at National Public Radio. ″It’s a combination of Bush doing so many more trips and a decent percentage of the trips not promising heavy news.″
On one occasion, a three-day fishing trip to Florida in April, there was so little interest that the press charter flight was canceled. Except for reporters in the pool that flies on Air Force One, reporters who made the trip had to take commercial flights, which are cheaper but not as convenient.
The pooling experiment by the networks has cut heavily into the use of charter flights, because a TV camera crew on such a trip usually includes eight people.
CNN dropped out of the pooling arrangement after bureau chief William Headline said it did not serve the needs of the company’s 24-hour news operation. ABC, CBS and NBC continue to pool much of their photographic coverage of the White House.
″The pictures end up pretty much the same anyway, and it’s the reporting that differentiates us one from another,″ said Mark Knoller, Washington assignment editor for CBS.
Presidential press secretary Marlin Fitzwater said the White House has tried to charter a smaller plane than the Pan Am 727, but ″they are not easy to find.″
″The charter is chartered by the press, not by us,″ said Fitzwater. ″We just do the legwork for them. From our standpoint, we’ll charter a bicycle if that’s what they want.″
″I think we probably traveled a little bit more in the old days; it was a little more routine,″ said Evan Thomas, Washington bureau chief for Newsweek magazine. ″Nobody at Newsweek ever said to me to save money by traveling less. However, I look at budgets myself. It’s combined with my feeling that some of it is wasted, people flying hither and yon without any particular purpose.″
″We’re absolutely committed to full coverage of the president, but we don’t feel any pride in paying an arm and a leg to do it - we’re looking for less expensive ways to travel,″ said Jonathan Wolman, Associated Press bureau chief in Washington. ″But with others scaling back, the AP will be a constant.″
Kathy Bushkin, director of editorial administration at U.S. News & World Report magazine, said, ″We travel with the president a lot, but certainly, given how peripatetic Mr. Bush is, we have chosen not go on a number of trips. We just have found that they aren’t newsworthy.″
Timothy J. Russert, Washington bureau chief of NBC News, said, ″We will always cover the president no matter where he is, but we will try to do it more intelligently than we have in the past in terms of trying to be more efficient.″ Reporters Restricted at Economic Summit
LONDON (AP) - The British government laid on champagne and smoked salmon for the 3,600 members of the media at the July 15-17 economic summit in London, but cut off most opportunities to see news happen.
For the first time in 17 years of economic summitry, pool events were limited to photographers, with reporters banned. Reporters saw the key summit players only on television or at infrequent news conferences.
Reporters weren’t even allowed to see Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev land at Heathrow airport.
The British decreed that the summit activities were photo opportunities only, though conditions for photographers were still difficult.
After one photo pool started scrambling for positions, the British escort warned that any photographer who started running would be thrown out of the pool.
When the heads of government were lining up for their group picture, two military policemen stood at attention in front of the photographers blocking them from taking any candid shots. Only when every leader had his toes on the proper mark and his smile in place did the policemen move aside.
The Bush administration found out about the no-reporters policy weeks ago and the White House said it protested, but to no avail. Group Releases Terry Anderson Photo With Threat
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - Kidnappers issued a new photograph of American hostage Terry Anderson on July 18 and said there would be ″grave consequences″ if two Shiite Muslim brothers were not promptly released from German prisons.
But a spokesman for the German government said it would not be pressured into interfering with the legal process to free the brothers early.
The Islamic Jihad, or Islamic Holy War, delivered an Arabic-language statement to the Beirut office of a Western new agency with Anderson’s picture, which served as authentication.
″The continuation of the maltreament of our struggling brothers will have grave consequences,″ the statement said. ″It is imperative that action be taken at once to preserve their lives and release them immediately.″
The statement from the group, which is believed to be pro-Iranian, accused the German government of subjecting convicted terrorists Mohammed Ali Hamadi, and his brother, Abbas, to ″deliberate murder attempts in addition to various forms of physical and mental torture.″
Germany strongly rejected the claims of mistreatment the next day, and said it would not react to the threat.
Representatives from the Foreign, Interior and Justice ministries and from Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s office met in Bonn on July 19 to discuss the developments.
A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, summarizing the meeting, said, ″We are in contact with the Americans.″ She refused to elaborate.
Abbas Hamadi was stabbed July 15 at a prison in Saarland state in Germany. German police said he received slight wounds, was treated at a hospital and returned to the prison.
The black-and-white picture showed Anderson, chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press, from the chest up, wearing a V-neck sweatshirt. He had a bushy beard and looked straight into the camera. He was not wearing his eyeglasses.
It was the first picture released of Anderson, the longest-held Western hostage in Lebanon, since 1989. He was kidnapped March 16, 1985. There was no indication of when the photograph was taken.
Islamic Jihad, which claimed to be holding Anderson shortly after he was kidnapped in Beirut on March 16, 1985, made no mention of his name in its statement. Nor did it refer to Thomas Sutherland, the other American hostage it has claimed to be holding.
There are 13 Western hostages in Lebanon. They include six Americans, four Britons, two Germans and an Italian.
Abbas Hamadi was convicted in 1988 and sentenced to 13 years in prison by a Duesseldorf court for kidnapping two Germans in Lebanon in an attempt to free his jailed younger brother. Kidnappers later released the two men.
Mohammed Ali Hamadi is serving a life sentence in Germany for the murder of U.S. sailor Robert Stethem during the June 1985 hijacking of a TWA airliner on a flight from Athens to Rome. The hijacking ended in Beirut after 17 days, with freedom for 39 American passengers and crew.
Islamic Jihad issued the threat one day after the German Supreme Court upheld the murder conviction. Hamadi will have to serve at least 15 years before becoming eligible for parole.
His appeal was based largely on whether Germany had the right to prosecute him for the hijacking. The high court said the appeal was unsubstantiated, but made no further comment. Cowles Media Co. Announces Sale of Denver Suburban Weeklies
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Cowles Media Co. said it has agreed to break up and sell its Sentinel Publishing unit, a group of 11 Denver suburban weekly newspapers, to other publishers in the Denver area.
Prices were not released in the July 16 announcement. The sales were expected to be complete by early next month.
Cowles said Westminster Window Inc., would acquire the Northglenn-Thornton and Westminster Sentinels; WestEdit Inc., would buy the Arvada, Wheat Ridge and Lakewood Sentinels; Macari-Healey Publishing Co. would buy the Englewood and Highlands Ranch Sentinels; Aurora Publishing Co. Inc., would buy the Aurora Sentinel and publishing rights to The Lowry Airman.
Macari-Healey will also buy The Littleton Independent, and Boulder Publishing Inc., would buy the Broomfield Enterprise.
″As we said in March when we announced that we would evaluate interest in a sale, the Sentinel weekly newspapers are a small part of our total business and had not met profitability goals for some time,″ said Cowles President David Cox.
Cowles also publishes the Star Tribune in Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Scottsdale Progress in Arizona, Cowles Magazines in Harrisburg, Pa., and Cowles Business Media in Stamford, Conn. Greenville, N.C., Kenosha, Wis., Papers Going AMs By The Associated Press
The Daily Reflector of Greenville, N.C., will switch to morning publication and add a Saturday edition beginning Aug. 31, Publisher D. Jordan Whichard III said.
The Daily Reflector currently publishes weekday afternoons and Sunday.
A switch to mornings was also announced July 18 by The Kenosha (Wis.) News. Publisher Howard J. Brown said studies indicate that up to 85 percent of the news, including sports, develops during hours favorable to morning publication.
The morning Daily Reflector will target weekday home delivery by 5:30 a.m. in most areas, Circulation Director Nelson Adams said. Current subscribers will receive home delivery of the Saturday edition at no extra cost.
Whichard said The Daily Reflector is one of more than 150 newspapers in the country that have switched to mornings over the past decade.
″Our research indicates that a seven-day morning newspaper can be a more vital source of news and information meeting the changing needs, interests and lifestyles of the readers in this market,″ he said. Delaware Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Have Withheld Witnesses’ Names
DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Michael Castle has vetoed a bill that would have allowed courts to withhold names of crime witnesses, saying it may have been unconstitutional.
The legislation was not needed to protect witnesses, since there already are six different laws protecting victims and witnesses against harassment, he said after the veto July 17.
Castle said barring media access to witnesses’ names ″would conflict with the important objectives of accurate fact finding, the prevention of abuse of the judicial process and the maintenance of public confidence in the integrity of the system.″ Thomas Drawing More Interest Than Other Nominees, News Survey Shows
WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans are paying much more attention to news about Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas than they did to other recent nominations to the high court, a news industry survey shows.
The survey, released July 18 by the Times Mirror Center for the People and the Press, reported that 33 percent of the public said they were following stories about Thomas very closely.
By contrast, only 16 percent said the same thing last year about President Bush’s nomination of David Souter to the high court and his confirmation by the Senate.
Only 17 percent said they closely followed the news of President Reagan’s nomination of Robert H. Bork and his rejection by the Senate four years ago.
Among blacks, 46 percent said they were closely following the story of Thomas, the black conservative nominated by Bush to succeed liberal Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first black on the court.
Among whites, the figure was 32 percent.
The survey found that 48 percent of the public at large and 45 percent of blacks favor the Thomas nomination, with 17 percent of the general public and 21 percent of blacks opposed. The rest were undecided.
The telephone interviews, conducted from July 11 through July 14, also showed that the most closely followed story was the economy. That story drew close attention from 35 percent of the nationwide sample of 1,212 adults. It was the sixth survey in a row in which more than a third of the people showed strong interest in economic news. FEC Reverses Itself, Limits Campaign Billings To Traveling Media
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Election Commission has reversed itself and said presidential campaigns cannot charge the media for travel costs of campaign aides whose jobs are solely to assist journalists.
The commission, in another reversal on July 18, also decided that campaigns cannot make media organizations pay some of the travel costs of Secret Service agents who provide security to candidates.
″When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,″ Commission Chairman John McGarry said at the meeting. The 5-1 vote reversed positions taken unanimously by the panel in late June at a special meeting.
After the earlier meeting several news organizations complained that they would unfairly be billed for expenses that should be paid for either by the Secret Service or the candidates.
Regulations already allow campaigns to bill journalists 110 percent of the cost of their travel, with the overhead amount ostensibly used to cover for logistics and administrative costs related to accommodating reporters’ needs. California Publishers Protest Tax on Free Papers
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Some of the state’s free newspapers may be forced out of business by a new state tax law, publishers say. Having lost the fight to block it, they’re now trying to live with the law.
″Free newspapers in the state of California are under attack,″ said Scott Price, publisher of San Francisco’s 60,000-circulation SF Weekly. ″Some of the papers you see today may not be here in six months.″
Price and other publishers said July 17 that the new levy could put some of them out of business, leaving some neighborhoods, small towns and minorities without a voice.
″The ridiculous assessment on the free press means ... people will be less informed,″ said Marcelo Rodriguez, SF Weekly’s editor. ″People who don’t speak English will be less informed, lesbian and gay people will be less informed. ... We will all be less informed.″
California hiked its sales tax 1 1/4 cents per dollar on July 15 and extended it to newspapers and other periodicals. The rate now ranges from 7 to 8 1/4 percent, depending on additional local taxes.
Free-distribution papers believe the new tax is unfair because they are assessed on a different basis than paid-circulation papers and end up paying disproportionally more.
Papers that charge are taxed on the basis of circulation and can pass the charge on to readers. But free publications are taxed according to printing costs, which can run as high as 80 percent of expenses. Advertisers can’t be charged extra because most have long-term contracts.
If free papers don’t start charging, they must absorb the tax themselves.
The editors and publishers of more than a dozen free weeklies from Northern California said they would lobby legislators to repeal the tax, grant them an exemption or have it applied equally to larger papers with paid circulation.
″We’re certainly exploring all kinds of strategies to minimize the impact,″ said Mort Levine, publisher of two San Francisco Bay-area weeklies and president-elect of the California Newspaper Publishers Association, which also is fighting the new charge.
The Tenderloin Times, a 15,000-circulation monthly that serves Southeast Asian immigrants and others in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, will be hard hit by the tax, said Editor Sara Colm.
The paper probably will trim down from 24 pages to 20 to make up for the cost of the tax.
″Obviously that means it’s going to squeeze the news and the type of reporting we put out - how to become a citizen, tenants’ rights, investigative reporting,″ Colm said. There will be less space for news in Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian, she added.
The SF Weekly decided to charge 1 cent a copy through ″honor coin boxes″ on newsstands to avoid the free classification - thus reducing its tax bill. Based on its circulation, it would pay $49.50 in weekly taxes at the penny rate.
″By selling the newspaper our tax liability is dramatically reduced,″ said Editor Marcelo Rodriguez. ″If we continue to ... distribute for free, our tax liabilities go to well over $2,000 a week.″ Stallone Wins Suit Against The Spectator
LONDON (AP) - Sylvester Stallone got an apology and an undisclosed sum in a settlement of a lawsuit against a magazine that had reported the ″Rambo″ star evaded military service during the Vietnam War.
Stallone, 45, says he tried to enlist during the war but was turned down because of a bad ear.
″Mr. Stallone never sought to evade his call-up,″ his lawyer, Michael Skrein, said July 17.
He said an article by Taki Theodoracopulos in the February issue of the British magazine The Spectator claimed Stallone ″ducked the Vietnam War.″
He said the magazine and Theodoracopulos ″agreed to pay him substantial damages and his legal costs.″
Pamela Cassidy, lawyer for the magazine and the writer, said her clients ″unreservedly withdraw the suggestion to which my friend has referred and apologize to the plaintiff.″ Penthouse Not Entitled to Damages, Appeals Court Rules
WASHINGTON (AP) - Penthouse magazine is not entitled to damages on its claim that the federal Commission on Pornography pressured stores in 1986 to stop carrying the magazine, a federal appeals court ruled.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of the suit, saying the commission members have immunity from damage lawsuits.
The court also rejected Penthouse’s request for a court declaration that the government’s actions were illegal.
The appeals court said Penthouse and Playboy magazines already got relief in 1986 when they won a court order requiring the commission to withdraw a letter it sent to 23 corporations that sell their magazines.
The letter said the commission had heard testimony that the corporations were ″involved in the sale or distribution of pornography,″ and it asked the companies to respond before the commission wrote the section of its report on ″identified distributors.″
The two magazines argued that the letter amounted to a threat to blacklist stores that sold their magazines. Southland Corp., owner of the 7-Eleven chain, responded to the letter by saying it had decided to stop selling adult magazines in light of public concern about the effects of pornography.
The lower court ordered the commission to tell the 23 corporations it had decided not to include a list of distributors in its report.
Playboy did not appeal the lower court’s rejection of damages, and the appeals court said Penthouse was not entitled to further relief.
″Penthouse offers no evidence that any governmental body continues to wage a campaign to discourage its distributors,″ the court said in an opinion written by Judge Laurence H. Silberman.
Penthouse’s attorney, Jeffrey H. Daichman of New York, said he could not immediately comment on the opinion because he had not had a chance to read it. Stanford Instructor Admits Borrowing From Magazine Article in his Book University Lecturer Admits Plagiarizing Magazine Article
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A Stanford University lecturer has admitted borrowing parts of a 1986 magazine article for a book on corporate management without crediting the writer. The school said it was investigating.
It’s the latest in a recent series of plagiarism scandals in academia and journalism.
Richard Pascale lifted - sometimes word for word - several passages from a Washington Monthly story about Ford Motor Co. for his book ″Managing on the Edge - How the Smartest Companies Use Conflict to Stay Ahead.″
″What I failed to do is credit a man’s work,″ Pascale said July 18. ″In my judgment that was a major error. I feel very badly about that.″
He denied being a plagiarist but acknowledged should have contacted the magazine article’s author before using the excerpts.
The author was Gregg Easterbrook, now a contributing editor to Newsweek and Atlantic Monthly.
One of the passages in Pascale’s book, published in paperback this spring, describes then-Ford Chairman Donald Petersen searching for a new car design.
The Washington Monthly version: ″Functionality. Taking the driver seriously. Appealing to the consumer’s better judgment rather than the market research department’s lowest common denominator. Headquarters was bound to hate it.″
Pascale’s version: ″Functionality, taking the driver seriously, appealing to the consumer’s better judgment rather than the market research department’s lowest common denominator: headquarters was bound to hate it.″
Pascale, a San Francisco consultant and part-time instructor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, teaches a management course each spring. He said Easterbrook’s work appears nine times in the book and he mentioned Easterbrook in footnotes.
A. Michael Spence, dean of Stanford’s business school, was reviewing a faculty report on the matter, a spokeswoman said. Court: Glamour Magazine’s Promise of Anonymity to Source Not a Contract
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Glamour magazine’s promise of anonymity to a Minneapolis woman in a 1988 article on therapists who seduce patients was not a contract under Minnesota law, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
But in its ruling July 19, the three-judge panel fell in line with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dan Cohen’s lawsuit against the Saint Paul Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune of Minneapolis in saying the woman may have a remedy under the doctrine that some contracts exist because they are implied.
The panel remanded the case to U.S. District Judge Harry MacLaughlin in Minneapolis.
The panel did not discuss whether the media has constitutional protection against that doctrine, called promissory estoppel. It means that a promise must be enforced if given to induce a person to act and breaking it would cause injustice.
The U.S. Supreme Court majority railed at the media in its June 24 Cohen decision for expecting First Amendment immunity from general law, but essentially sent the case back to Minnesota Supreme Court to decide the estoppel issue. No hearing date has been set.
A Glamour reporter promised not to identify Jill Ruzicka or make her ″identifiable″ in the article. She contends that references to her job and membership in a certain organization clearly breached the agreement.
The appeals court ruled that such promises are not enforceable under Minnesota law ″solely on the basis of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s refusal in the Cohen case to sanction a contract cause of action in these types of cases.″
The panel said the elements in Cohen’s case were more stark and that the guarantees made to Ruzicka could be viewed as ambiguous. Iowa Court Rejects Lawsuit by Dissident Newspaper Shareholders
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court has approved of ″golden parachute″ bonuses given to executives of the Des Moines Register and Tribune Co. while the company’s sale was being negotiated.
The court rejected claims filed by dissident shareholders that the program improperly diverted corporate assets.
The court found nothing improper in a ″management retention program″ that gave $1,391,531 to top executives of the state’s largest newspaper.
″We emphatically agree with the trial court that the program was fair and reasonable,″ the court said. ″To be sure, substantial bonuses were paid. But the stakes were also very high.″
The lawsuit came after moves that led to the newspaper company’s sale in 1985 for $340 million to the Gannett Co. Inc. Other offers had been made when the newspaper was on the block.
″The existence of the sale negotiations was common knowledge among personnel, as it was indeed to all employees of the corporation,″ the court said. ″The loss of key personnel would in all likelihood have been a bargaining chip for potential buyers.
″The challenged program was, under all the circumstances, entirely appropriate and prudent. It was crucial to the interests of all shareholders that the operation of the newspaper be continued with full efficiency during the negotiation of the sale.″
The bonuses were approved by an objective compensation committee and not by the executives themselves, the court said.
The dissidents also challenged large charitable donations the company made in the closing days before the sale. Officials gave $750,000 to the state’s historical museum, then under construction, and $50,000 to Iowa Public Television.
The dissidents said executives of the company had no business giving away money that could have been distributed to shareholders. The court said the gifts were not a philanthropic enterprise.
The newspaper had been involved in a lawsuit with the state over back taxes, and the donations were part of a negotiated settlement.
About $250,000 in art work was given to local galleries, but the court noted the tax benefits of the gifts outweighed what could have been reaped from selling them.
Executives of the company had defended their actions and cited a rise in stock prices. The stock had been worth about $32 a share but eventually $291.50 per share was distributed to stockholders after the sale.
Dissidents argued that putting the newspaper up for sale automatically drove the prices up. Order on Access to Public Documents Held Unconstitutional
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - An executive order from Gov. Rafael Hernandez Colon limiting access to public documents has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.
The governor signed the order April 12 after months of touchy relations with the Puerto Rico press corps. He said it was meant to make information more accessible.
U.S. Judge Juan Perez Gimenez overturned the order on July 18, calling it too broad.
″Although it could be argued that the governor could assert a compelling governmental interest in trying to establish uniform procedures in all the executive agencies for the production of public documents, the means he has chosen to do so are unconstitutional,″ the judge said.
The governor’s order says a request for government documents must be in writing and addressed to the agency chief; must include a reason for requesting the documents and proof of a legitimate interest in obtaining the information.
The agency director then has 30 days to answer and 60 more to hand over a copy of the documents if the request is granted.
The information may be denied for a broad range of reasons, including public policy.
The judge said the order, ″in delegating open-endedly to public officials the power to decide as to the reasons for denial of a request for a document and as to who is or is not a legitimately interested person, has instituted a scheme of censorship not allowed by the First Amendment.″
The suit was brought by a senator from the opposition New Progressive Party and the San Juan daily, El Nuevo Dia.
Secretary of Justice Hector Rivera Cruz said decision would be appealed to the First U.S. Court Of Appeals in Boston. N.J. Court Says Star-Ledger Reporter Not Required To Testify
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A state appeals court panel threw out a contempt charge filed against a reporter for The Star-Ledger of Newark who refused to answer questions at a hearing.
The panel on July 19 also upheld a decision to vacate a subpoena served on a news photographer.
The court ruled in the case of Carlos Santiago, indicted in October 1989 on assault and other charges relating to a disturbance in Newark a year earlier.
On the eve of trial last year, Santiago subpoenaed Kinga Borondy, a reporter for The Star-Ledger, and Tom Kitts, a staff photographer for New Jersey News Photos.
Borondy wrote two articles about the incident. Kitts took pictures at the scene for the newspaper.
The trial judge apparently was satisfied that Borondy and Kitts were protected by the New Jersey shield law and dismissed the subpoenas.
But Santiago appealed on the grounds that the newspaper articles and photographs proved that Borondy and Kitts witnessed the incident and that he should be allowed to question them.
The shield law excuses anyone employed by the news media from disclosing any news or information obtained on the job.
The trial judge denied Santiago’s request to question Kitts, but allowed him to call Borondy as a witness. She refused to testify and was held in contempt.
Borondy appealed. Santiago also appealed the judge’s decision not to call Kitts to the stand. The Appellate Division of Superior Court disagreed and called Santiago’s case no more than a ″fishing expedition.″
The court said Santiago failed to prove that either Borondy or Kitts witnessed the incident, and that the information sought from them could not be obtained elsewhere.
″As we see it, subpoenaing a newsperson for the purpose of ascertaining what the newsperson saw at the scene of the crime, without any independent evidence to support an inference that the newsperson witnessed something ... has the same chilling effect on the free flow of information as any other form of compulsion of a newsperson’s information,″ the court said in its ruling. Maxwell Communication Plans To Spin Off U.S. Operations
LONDON (AP) - Maxwell Communication Corp. PLC said it plans to spin off U.S. operations to help accelerate their growth and raise money to reduce the company’s debt.
The businesses, which include the publishers Macmillan, Official Airlines Guide, and the Berlitz language schools, represent more than 70 percent of Maxwell Communication’s assets and 90 percent of its operating profits.
Analysts said after the July 16 announcement that they understood from conversations with Maxwell Communication that the spin-off would involve the sale of shares on Wall Street. They declined to estimate how much such a sale would raise.
Publisher Robert Maxwell, whose family controls Maxwell Communication, likely would only sell off a minority interest in the American operations.
Maxwell in May sold 49 percent of his separate Mirror Group of Newspapers PLC in a public offering. Maxwell also privately owns the New York Daily News.
Maxwell Communication’s Chairman, Peter Walker, said that the spin-off would accelerate the growth of the U.S. companies. The American businesses would be managed from the United States, making for a more efficient operation.
The sales also would help reduce Maxwell Communication’s $2.15 billion in debt.
Maxwell Communication has attempted in recent years to reduce debt. It sold the publishers Pergamon Press to Elsevier NV of the Netherlands earlier this year.
Maxwell Communication has been transformed from a predominantly British business to a predominantly U.S. operation during the last 10 years. In recent years, it withdrew from printing to focus on publishing.
Maxwell Communication acquired Macmillan Inc. for $2.6 billion in 1988.
In the same year, the group purchased the Official Airlines Guide, which publishes worldwide airline scheduling information, for $750 million.
The U.S. assets also include Berlitz International Inc. which produces language services, travel guides and home-study materials.
Maxwell Communication has also made a string of smaller acquisitions in the United States, while selling several printing operations in Britain. Six Daily News Guild Members Hit with Fines
NEW YORK (AP) - Six New York Daily News workers prosecuted by their union for crossing the picket line during a five-month strike were hit with fines ranging from $800 to $6,500, a union source said.
Four also had their Newspaper Guild membership suspended, a guild source said July 17 on condition of anonymity.
The six workers are among more than 140 people facing guild sanctions.
Pat Vallila, a computer technician, was fined $6,500 and was suspended partly because guild board members decided he tried to induce others to cross picket lines, the source said. Vallila confirmed the penalties and said he would appeal.
Sal Arena, a reporter, confirmed he also was fined $6,500. His lawyer said they would fight the penalty.
Workers have 30 days to appeal the trial board decisions.
The strike ended this spring when British publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell bought the paper. Shakeup at Japan’s Largest News Agency Over Plagiarism Scandal
TOKYO (AP) - The Kyodo News Service, Japan’s largest news agency, said Thursday its president will step down to take responsibility for a series of medical articles that the writer plagiarized.
The July 18 announcement was the second resignation in a week of a top Japanese media official and added to a growing list of executives who have stepped down in recent scandals, including the heads of two of Japan’s largest securities firms.
Shinji Sakai, 71, will formally resign at the next meeting of Kyodo’s board of directors on Sept. 19, according to company officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He has served as president since June 1985. The officials said Sakai would be succeeded by Managing Director Yasuhiko Inukai, 63.
Resigning to take responsibility for scandals that tarnish a company’s reputation is common in Japan.
The case involved a 51-story health series by senior writer Hidetoshi Okada, 49, which ran between April 1990 and March 1991. Okada was fired May 16 after it was revealed that the stories were almost identical to a series published 17 years earlier by the national newspaper Asahi Shimbun.
In keeping with the practice of collective responsibility, Sakai had taken a 10 percent pay cut for a month and the managing editor, Ichiro Saita, was relieved of his post. Four other senior editors also lost titles or took pay cuts.
After the scandal broke, Saita said, ″Kyodo News Service takes the incident as a serious violation of journalistic standards, and is gravely reflecting on the matter.″
Kyodo subsequently established an in-house commission to investigate the scandal, and the officials said the panel issued a report and recommendations on restoring the news service’s integrity.
Specifics of the recommendations were not disclosed.
Keiji Shima, chairman of Japan’s public broadcast network, resigned July 17 for lying about his whereabouts in April when a rocket built by General Dynamics Commercial Launch Services veered off course after launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and had to be destroyed. The rocket was carrying a satellite for the TV network.
Shima told a parliamentary committee he had monitored the launch in a New Jersey office of General Electric Co., which built the satellite for the network. But later he acknowledged he had been in Los Angeles that day.
In 1989, Toichiro Hitotsuyanagi stepped down as president of Asahi Shimbun after a staff photographer damaged a rare coral reef to illustrate a story on environmental damage.
Aside from cases that draw major attention, the Japanese press has been criticized as shackled by informal barriers to the flow of information from the government.
Reporters from mainstream Japanese media who cover a particular ministry, local government, police agency or big business form reporters’ clubs. Only club members are admitted to background briefings by leading officials in the agency covered by the club.
Critics say reporters should find their own stories and not wait for information from officials. Indictments in Mexico in Columnist’s Death
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) - A judge has indicted two men in the slaying of a doctor who wrote controversial columns for a local newspaper.
Judge Alberto Vasquez Quintero ruled July 18 that Arturo Salas Sanchez, 21, and Sergio Aguirre Torres, 19, must stand trial for the slaying of Dr. Victor Manuel Oropeza.
Police say Oropeza was killed in retaliation for his complaint that led to the jailing of Samuel de la Rosa Reyes, of nearby El Paso, Texas, for allegedly breaking Oropeza’s windshield.
But Oropeza’s family says Oropeza was killed because he wrote stinging columns for the Diario de Juarez, many critical of Chihuahua Gov. Fernando Baeza Melendez.
Vasquez rejected claims by attorneys for Salas and Aguirre that their clients were tortured. The judge said neither man’s attorney presented a medical certificate to substantiate the claims.
Oropeza’s family and a human rights group are asking for a new police investigation in the case and the release of Salas and Aguirre. Forestry Employees Say They Were Suspended for Statements to Newspapers
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Two employees of the state Bureau of Forestry say they were suspended for criticizing their superiors in comments to reporters about a massive forest fire last year.
Forester Thaddeus J. Ligenza said in the July 17 Patriot News that he and maintenance employee Robert J. Fischl were going ″to be fired for telling the truth.″
Ligenza said his superiors linked the suspensions to comments he made to the newspapers in April that laid part of the blame for the fire’s severity on management.
In those statements, Ligenza said he and Fischl accused District Forester Robert Davey Jr. and his assistant Richard Kugel of changing official weather- designation conditions on April 27, 1990, so a fire would appear less likely and the administrators could leave town without breaking regulations.
The fire started the next day in a state forest in north-central Pennsylvania and burned 9,656 acres.
Peter Adams, deputy secretary of the state Department of Environmental Resources, said in a statement that the pair were suspended without pay so the department could review a recommendation by the Inspector General’s office that they be fired.
Adams said DER determined ″there was no factual basis for the pair’s allegations of inappropriate conduct and malfeasance″ by the two administrators.
″Charges ... contained in a newspaper account of events leading up to the fire were without basis,″ Adams said, and have ″irrevocably damaged the employer-employee relationship and merit disciplinary action.″
Ligenza told the newspapers he plans to file a written grievance to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Detroit Administration Called Among Nation’s Most Secretive
DETROIT (AP) - The city government frequently ignores or denies requests for information that by federal law should be provided, media and citizen groups say.
″We have an administration which is out of control, an administration that rules the city by secrecy, fear and intimidation,″ City Councilman Keith Butler told the Detroit Free Press in a July 17 story.
″In some regards, this is a police state,″ he said.
Mayor Coleman Young declined comment, but his press secretary, Robert Berg, said it was no harder to obtain information in Detroit than anywhere else.
According to the Detroit Free Press research, of the country’s 10 largest cities, Detroit is the only one where:
-Mayoral appointees violate the state open records law. Public interest groups, labor unions, individual residents and the news media must file lawsuits to obtain basic information.
-City Council members must subpoena department heads to testify at public meetings or provide information about their operations.
-City department heads go to jail rather than obey court orders to release information.
″Mayor Young is treating the town as if he owns it,″ said Pat Bosch, president of We Care about Van Dyke-Seven Mile Inc., a community group opposed to the expansion of City Airport.
Bosch said she has filed Freedom of Information Act requests since 1987 to learn about the city’s plans for the site.
″It’s like a game being played,″ she said. ″The city knows they’re going to force you to go to court to get what rightfully should be yours under a public process.″
One of the mayor’s advisers, who spoke to the Free Press on condition of anonymity, said much of the administration’s secrecy stemmed from Young’s fear of the federal government and negative media coverage.
″The media aligned with the federal government and the federal government is out to get the mayor,″ said a Young adviser who spoke on the condition of anonymity. ″We had to take a defensive posture and that meant shutting down the sources of information.″ Former Denver Columnist Files Sex Discrimination Lawsuit
DENVER (AP) - Former Rocky Mountain News sports columnist Teri Thompson has filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against the newspaper, alleging she was not paid as much as her male counterparts.
Thompson, 38, filed the suit in U.S. District Court on July 15, seeking unspecified damages. It alleged she was paid 60 percent of what other sports columnists were paid, but was expected to do the same amount of work. She also claims she was the target of sexual discrimination on the job.
News Editor Jay Ambrose said the newspaper denies the allegations. The dispute has ″been around for awhile, and our lawyers are dealing with it.″
Thompson was hired as a sports reporter in 1978 and was promoted to sports columnist in 1985. She resigned after she was arrested for cocaine possession last year. She pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was ordered to serve four years on probation.
Thompson now writes a sports column for the weekly Denver newspaper Westword. Naked and Pregnant Demi Banned by Some, Bought by Others
NEW YORK (AP) - Vanity Fair’s August issue, which features actress Demi Moore naked and pregnant on the cover, has been banned by some stores around the country and sold out by others.
At least seven grocery store chains decided against carrying the magazine, even though the issue was shipped wrapped in plastic with a piece of white paper covering Moore from the neck down.
Officials at chains that banned the magazine said July 16 it was too controversial and might offend shoppers.
But managers of stores where the magazine is on display said sales of Vanity Fair are brisker than usual.
Giant Food Inc., which owns 153 supermarkets, isn’t carrying the issue, and most phone calls from the public support the decision, spokesman Barry Scher said.
World Book & News Co. in Hollywood, which claims to be the largest 24-hour newsstand in the country, sold out 600 copies in six days. Manager Mark Rose said he removed the sheet of paper covering up the photograph before displaying the magazine. ″What’s wrong with that? I’ve seen more skin on the cover of Playboy,″ he said.
There’s also been a run on copies in Raleigh, N.C., where many of the local supermarkets belong to chains that aren’t carrying the issue.
The magazine is doing very well nationwide at B. Dalton bookstores and at Waldenbooks, spokeswomen said.
The cover photograph, taken by celebrity photographer Annie Liebovitz, shows Moore with one hand across her breasts and one hand under her bulging belly. Inside the magazine, the 28-year-old actress is shown in lacy black underwear and high-heeled shoes; in a robe open at the waist to reveal her belly; and with her hands over her bare bosom in a head-and-shoulders shot. BROADCAST NEWS CNN To Open Three Overseas Bureaus
NEW YORK (AP) - Cable News Network says it will open new bureaus in India, Brazil and Jordan, an expansion that comes at a time when the major U.S. networks are cutting back.
The 24-hour news service also is considering opening other bureaus in Southeast Asia, including one in Bangkok, said Ed Turner, CNN’s executive vice-president for newsgathering.
The network, which says it now is seen in 123 countries, plans to spend more than $2 million to finance the bureaus in New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro and Amman and staff them with bureau chiefs, correspondents and crews.
″We feel it is strategically important to expand our international bureaus to better serve our global audience in this period of dramatic international change,″ network President Tom Johnson said July 18.
The expansion, which is to take place by September, would raise the worldwide number of CNN’s bureaus to 27, 18 of them overseas.
ABC, CBS and NBC are reducing staff and restructuring their news operations in the U.S. and abroad, prompted by high Gulf War coverage costs, the poor economy, competition from cable and independents, and declining audiences for network programs.
CBS News, seeking to cut overseas news coverage costs, proposed meetings in May with CNN, but then postponed them, Turner said. He said he did not know why.
ABC News has closed its Rome bureau and scaled back its Paris operation. CBS News has closed its Hong Kong bureau and cut back its Beijing and Johannesburg staffs, while NBC has shut its Frankfurt, Germany, bureau and reduced staffs in London and Johannesburg.
The three networks’ foreign and domestic staff cuts are expected to total close to 300 by year’s end, according to network officials.
Eleven-year-old CNN, once ridiculed by its rivals as the ″Chicken Noodle Network,″ says it now has more than 1,700 full-time employees around the world, making it the largest television news operation in the United States.
ABC, the next largest, has more than 1,000 employees. Radio Station Investigated Over Faked Confession
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Federal regulators are investigating a radio station whose disc jockeys broadcast a phony murder confession.
The Federal Communications Commission said July 17 it has delegated an administrative judge to subpoena witnesses, books, correspondence and other records from KROQ-FM.
Doug Roberts, then an Arizona disc jockey, called a KROQ show last year featuring Kevin Ryder and Gene ″Bean″ Baxter and confessed beating his girlfriend to death.
The act prompted a 10-month search for a murderer that ended when a newspaper disclosed the call was a hoax to boost ratings.
Mel Karmazin, president of Infinity Broadcasting Corp., which owns the station, said KROQ didn’t know the confession was a hoax until it was exposed last April.
The station aired an apology, suspended the two without pay for six days and told them to reimburse local sheriff’s officials $12,170 for their investigation. Radio Station To Pull ‘Crazy’ Billboard
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A radio station decided to scrap its billboard ads for a comedy show after two health-care groups charged the signs were insensitive to people with mental illness.
Officials at WEGX-FM said the billboards will be removed in a month, but they denied they were pulled in response to complaints.
The billboards, placed along the city and suburban highways, promoted the station’s morning show with the words: ″Show Us You’re Nuts.″
The show, dubbed the ″Nut Hut,″ is anchored by John Lander and includes four hours of jokes and call-ins, mixed with rock music.
Sandra J. Walton of Project Share, a self-help group, and Mark A. Davis of the Philadelphia Mental Health Care Corp., met with station officials the week of July 8 and complained the ads stigmatize people with mental illness.
″It was certainly not our intention to dramatize the stigma that is identified with mental illness,″ Davis S. Noll, the station’s general manager wrote in a letter to Walton.
″It was all tongue-in-cheek, Noll said July 17. ″The idea was just to stir up a little talk about the morning show.″
The station has not received other complaints, he said.
Mental health groups raised similar concerns last year when billboards publicizing the movie, ″Crazy People″ popped up. The advertisement read: ″Warning: Crazy People are Coming.″ Pozner Teams With Donahue
MOSCOW (AP) - Vladimir Pozner, the Soviet spokesman who worked to change the American impression of Russians, has quit Soviet television and plans to be co-host of a U.S. TV show with Phil Donahue.
Pozner, 57, earlier wrote a best seller saying his loyalties were misguided and then resigned from the Communist Party.
Since then he has quit his highly popular monthly show on Soviet television, spurned a tentative offer from Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin to be his press secretary, and signed a contract with Multimedia Entertainment to appear with Donahue on a talk show beginning in October.
Pozner, who speaks flawless English, is best known in the United States for his appearances on ABC’s ″Nightline″ and other news shows. Fox News Service Manager to Md. Governor’s Press Secretary
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Frank Traynor, national manager of the Fox News Service, has been appointed press secretary to Gov. William Donald Schaefer.
Traynor, 35, is a former executive producer at WBAL-TV in Baltimore.
He replaces Paul Schurick, who resigned in May to accept another job with the Schaefer administration. California Court Upholds $2.3 Million Ruling Against TV Station
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A state appeals court has upheld $2.3 million in libel damages against a television station for implying that an antiques dealer sold a stolen or overpriced set of silver candelabra to a museum.
KGO-TV’s six broadcasts in 1984 described the origin of the ″controversial candelabra″ as a mystery, and quoted unidentified sources as disputing dealer Michael J. Weller’s account of where they came from.
KGO later aired an interview with an antiques expert who confirmed most details of Weller’s version.
But the 1st District Court of Appeal, in a 3-0 decision on July 18, said the jury could conclude that the broadcasts accused Weller of wrongdoing, either by knowingly selling stolen property or lying about the candlesticks’ origin.
The two candelabra were handled by Weller under consignment from a Texas woman and sold to the de Young Museum in 1983 for $65,000, the court said.
KGO aired broadcasts quoting unidentified sources as saying the candlesticks came from the home of a San Francisco sculptor who had died five years earlier. Art experts were quoted as saying the price was far too high.
Appeal’s Justice William Stein said in an opinion that the jury could have understood the broadcasts meant Weller and his company ″sold stolen property to the de Young Museum at a grossly inflated price.″
The evidence was ″overwhelming″ that that was false, Stein said. Liberty Media Buys Stake in Court TV Venture
NEW YORK (AP) - Liberty Media Corp., which has interests in several cable television networks, has acquired a one-third interest in the recently launched Court TV cable channel.
Liberty Media becomes an equal partner in Court TV with Time Warner Enterprises Inc., a unit of the media and entertainment giant Time Warner Inc.
The remaining third of Court TV is owned by Cablevision Systems Corp., a cable system operator based on Long Island, and NBC Cable, the cable TV division of National Broadcasting Co.
Liberty Media, based near Denver, was created earlier this year when the cable system giant Tele-Communications Inc. spun off some cable TV systems and most of its programming interests including its stakes in regional sports networks, the Family Channel and Video Jukebox Network.
Terms of the Court TV deal, which was announced July 16, were not disclosed. Cable TV Prices Rose More Than 50 Percent in Four Years, Report Says
WASHINGTON (AP) - A congressional report says prices for cable television service are still rising faster than inflation and have increased by more than 50 percent since the industry was deregulated in 1986.
The study results, released July 18, offer a ″blistering, scalding indictment″ of the cable industry, said the chairman of a House subcommittee considering whether new controls should be imposed on cable charges.
In contrast, the cable industry group, the National Cable Television Association, said the study by the congressional General Accounting Office shows a slowdown in cable price increases.
Also, the association said, the GAO failed to report ″the steady increase over the same period in the quality and quantity of original cable programming.″
The GAO contacted the 1,530 cable systems that responded to the same type of survey last year. This is the third such examination of industry prices the congressional watchdog agency has conducted. There are about 9,600 cable systems in the country. Thomson Consortium Gains Partner in High-Definition TV
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A pioneer in video signal compression will work with Thomson Consumer Electronics and NBC to develop a high-definition television system.
Compression Labs Inc. of San Jose, Calif., will join the Advanced Television Research Consortium, which also includes N.V. Philips of the Netherlands and the New Jersey-based David Sarnoff Research Center.
Indianapolis-based Thomson Consumer Electronics is the U.S. arm of France’s Thomson Group. It owns the RCA and GE television brands.
The consortium’s effort, announced July 17, is one of five the Federal Communications Commission will consider when setting a standard for HDTV.
The standard will be the only format U.S. cable, satellite and major commercial networks will use for high-definition television, which will provide a wider and sharper picture and greatly enhanced sound over current television. Also developing HDTV systems for FCC consideration are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Japan Broadcasting Corp., General Instrument Corp. and a joint effort by American Telephone & Telegraph Co. and Zenith Electronics Corp. Drug Users Get Most AIDS Information From Television, Study Says
ATLANTA (AP) - Intravenous drug users surveyed for a federal study get most of their AIDS information from TV - a medium that is sometimes hesitant to air announcements about safer practices involving needle users, researchers said.
But one television network reported it has run such spots focusing on the dangers of drug use and AIDS, and another said it would consider running public service spots if asked.
Drug users surveyed also watch more TV than expected, especially considering nearly one-third have no permanent address, investigators from the national Centers for Disease Control and Johns Hopkins University found.
Investigators questioned 353 adults, mostly men, in the Baltimore area in late 1989 for the study. All had a history of intravenous drug use and were recruited for the study through clinics, outreach programs and word of mouth.
The study found the group watched a median 28 hours of TV every week, and 47 percent said they learned the most about AIDS from television, the CDC reported July 18.
The respondents said they learned more about AIDS from television than they did from magazines, newspapers, friends or drug treatment programs, the report said.
Health officials say sharing needles is one of the most common ways of transmitting the HIV virus that causes AIDS.
The CDC’s National AIDS Information and Education Program has disseminated public service annoucements aimed at the general public, but not at drug users.
The drug users were ″not a group anyone thought of reaching,″ said Dr. Janine M. Jason, an AIDS education official with the CDC. ″But this shows you can reach them.″
The researchers also surveyed 10 television executives on their willingness to accept various AIDS prevention methods, and found many thought public service announcements concerning safer drug-use practices were unacceptable, the report said.
″All executives giving reasons for unacceptability were concerned that such messages would tactily imply that illegal drug use is socially acceptable,″ the study said.
But ABC spokesman Jeff DeRome said the network has never been asked to air an announcement on how addicts might use their needles safely.
″But if one gets submitted, we’d want to consider that, although it’s something you’d have to weigh ... whether to air a given spot,″ he said.
A CBS official, who asked not to be quoted by name, said the network has for years run spots against IV drugs in general, and needle-sharing in particular, concentrating on the AIDS hazards inherent in drug use.
Representatives reached at NBC and Fox had no immediate comment on the report. Grandson Claims Kentuckian Invented Radio
WASHINGTON (AP) - The grandson of Kentucky inventor Nathan B. Stubblefield has lost a bid to have him recognized as the inventor of radio by the Smithsonian Institution.
Keith Stubblefield presented his case at the Smithsonian for about an hour on July 18.
″We have no problem with Stubblefield being an interesting and important historical figure″ in the development of radio, said Barney Finn, curator of the museum’s division of electricity and modern physics.
Guglielmo Marconi is generally recognized as developer of the first broadcasting system.
But Finn said it was impossible to designate Marconi or any other individual as the ″inventor″ of radio because many scientists and engineers in Europe, Britain and the United States were making important breakthroughs throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Marconi sent a radio signal 1.2 miles across his family estate near Bologna in 1895, signaling the dawn of wireless telegraphy. He installed the world’s first commercial radio service in 1898, using Morse code, and sent the first radio signal across the Atlantic Ocean in 1901.
Keith Stubblefield, a country and pop singer from Hollywood, says his grandfather made the first voice broadcast by wireless radio from the town square in Murray, Ky., in 1892.
According to the grandson, Nathan Stubblefield spoke the words ″Hello, Rainey ... Hello Rainey″ to Dr. Rainey T. Wells, founder of Murray State University, on a primitive network that included five ″stations″ involving earphones or tiny speakers placed within a 1 1/2 -mile radius.
Stubblefield later was the victim of a stock swindle and died of starvation in 1928 in a shack in Murray, where he lived as a recluse.
The younger Stubblefield set up a replica of his grandfather’s device but was unable to convince Finn and Elliot N. Sivowitch, a museum specialist.
″I have no problem with saying that Stubblefield transmitted with a wireless induction system,″ Sivowitch said, ″but I wouldn’t call it radio broadcasting.″
An induction system induces currents in a receiver with a changing magnetic field produced by a nearby electric current. Radio, on the other hand, relies on an electromagnetic field propagating like a light wave.
Finn said some scientists were conducting similar experiments using different technologies before Stubblefield’s transmission in 1892. PERSONNEL Holland Appointed Publisher in Fremont, Neb.
FREMONT, Neb. (AP) - Jim Holland, publisher of The Coffeyville (Kan.) Journal, has moved to publisher of the Fremont Tribune.
The announcement was made July 15 by Hometown Communications Inc. of Destin, Fla., owner of both newspapers.
Holland, 31, succeeds John McDougal, who will be transferred to another newspaper, Hometown Communications said. Donrey Announces Arkansas, California Moves
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - David R. Stringer, editor of the Northwest Arkansas Morning News in Rogers, has been named publisher of the Lompoc (Calif.) Record.
Fred W. Smith, president and chief executive officer of Donrey Media Group, announced the appointment.
Stringer began his career with Donrey in 1981 as sports editor of the Pauls Valley Daily Democrat in Pauls Valley, Okla. He also served as managing editor and general manager of the newspaper.
The appointment was announced July 17. Callinan Named Fort Myers News-Press Editor
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - Thomas E. Callinan has been named executive editor of the News-Press to succeed Evert Landers, who took the same position at the Camden Courier Post in Cherry Hill, N.J.
Callinan, 42, had been editor of the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal since 1986. The newspapers are owned by Gannett Co. Inc.
Callinan previously was managing editor and news editor at the Gannett- owned Argus-Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D. Tracy Named Editor-Publisher in Klamath Falls, Ore.
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) - Dwight Tracy, publisher of the Havre (Mont.) Daily News, was named editor and publisher of the Herald and News on July 18.
Both papers are members of the Pioneer Newspapers group.
Tracy will replace James A. Allen, 58, editor and publisher of the newspaper since 1955, who is retiring.
Tracy, 55, has been publisher of the Havre Daily News since 1988. Before joining Pioneer, he and his wife, Mary, owned a weekly newspaper and shopper for 13 years in western Montana. Alabama Statehouse Reporter Retiring; Press Room Named in His Honor
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Frank Bruer, Statehouse reporter for the Birmingham Post-Herald, is retiring at the end of the state Legislature’s session Aug. 31 and lawmakers have voted to name the Statehouse press room after him.
Bruer, 62, has covered state government for the newspaper for 21 years. He previously worked for the Mobile Press-Register and the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger- Enquirer. Spy Magazine Founder Named Editor of N.Y. Observer
NEW YORK (AP) - Graydon Carter, a founder and co-editor of Spy magazine, will take over as editor of The New York Observer on Sept. 1.
Carter, a former writer for Time and Life magazines, started Spy in 1986 with Kurt Andersen, who will remain as editor of the magazine. Spy, known for its hip satire, has a circulation of about 140,000.
The Observer, an upscale Manhattan broadsheet published weekly, has a circulation of about 55,000.
John Sicher, the Observer’s previous editor, has been named a managing director of publishing activities for Arthur Carter, who also publishes The Nation and The Litchfield County (Conn.) Times. Neil Bush Gets TV Cable Marketing Job in Texas
DENVER (AP) - Presidential son Neil Bush, on the rebound from court battles in the savings and loan mess, has been hired by cable TV pioneer Bill Daniels to a marketing job in Houston, Tex.
Bush started work July 15 on a week-to-week basis with TransMedia Communications of Houston, a division of Prime Network, owned in part by Daniels.
Daniels said in an interview at his home, Cableland, ″If things work out he will come on as director of new business development, probably Aug. 13.″ Neither Daniels nor Bush would discuss Bush’s new salary.
″I’m excited about the opportunity to work with an outstanding group of people, a new industry that is dynamic and growing,″ Bush said in a telephone interview.
Asked about the recent savings and loans problems, Bush said, ″I’m frankly very relieved to have that chapter of my life over with and I am looking forward to my new life, which will be more peaceful and lower profile.″ DEATHS Patrick Cruez
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - Patrick Cruez, a reporter for The Associated Press in Sri Lanka since 1986, died when he was hit by a train on July 20.
Cruez, who would have been 55 on Monday, had covered Sri Lanka’s ethnic and political wars, including the ongoing Tamil revolt against the Sinhalese- controlled government and an ultranationalist Sinhalese uprising in the late 1980s.
He was returning from a sunrise fishing trip when he was hit by a train, his family said.
Before working for the AP, Cruez was an editor and writer for the Lanka News Agency, a privately owned feature and translation service.
Survivors include his wife, daughter and son, Dexter Cruez, a reporter and photographer for the AP. John Dreiske
CHICAGO (AP) - John Dreiske, a former Chicago Sun-Times political editor and columnist, died July 17. He was 84.
Dreiske became the newspaper’s political editor in 1948 when the Chicago Times merged with the Chicago Sun.
Dreiske worked in Detroit and at The Chicago Tribune before joining the Times. His column, ″The Mugwump,″ which first appeared in the 1940s, was later renamed ″John Dreiske’s Column.″
He covered 11 presidential elections, from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first campaign for the presidency to Richard Nixon’s re-election bid.
Dreiske also wrote a textbook guide to the city, ″Your Government and Mine: Metropolitan Chicago.″
He also provided political commentary on television and radio stations.
He retired in 1972 and was elected to the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame in 1983.
He is survived by his wife, a son and daughter. Kathy Huffhines
DETROIT (AP) - Kathy Huffhines, movie critic for the Detroit Free Press, died July 18 of head injuries suffered when a tree fell onto the car in which she was riding. She was 48.
Miss Huffhines never regained consciousness after the July 13 accident in Philadelphia, where a dead, 200-year-old tree fell onto the Volkswagen sedan in which she was traveling.
Miss Huffhines joined the Free Press in 1987 after stints with the Boston Herald and two alternative Boston publications, the Real Paper and the Boston Phoenix.
She is survived by a half-sister, two aunts and an uncle. John Martinez
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - John Martinez, sports editor of the North Platte Telegraph, died July 16 of complications from gall bladder surgery. He was 63.
Martinez was a well-known journalist in Nebraska who spent 25 years with the Telegraph. He joined the newspaper as a general assignment reporter and sports assistant in 1966. He later was news editor and became sports editor 20 years ago.
Survivors include his wife and a son. Knut Algot Westergren
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) - Knut Algot ″Al″ Westergren, who as publisher of The Times-News of Twins Falls presided over the newspaper’s growth from a local to a regional daily in the 1960s and ’70s, died July 15. He was 86.
Born in Malmo, Sweden, Westergren moved to Astoria, Ore., with his family at age 9. There, he hawked newspapers as a youth, earning money that helped pay for his education at the University of Oregon.
He played varsity basketball at Oregon and later worked at the university as an assistant basketball coach before becoming circulation manager of the old Twin Falls News. He retired as publisher in 1974.
Shortly after moving to Twin Falls, Westergren met and married Virginia Mecia Smith.
She was stabbed to death at the couple’s home in 1988. Jesse Ray Jaggers was sentenced in 1989 to 25 years to life in prison for her killing. AWARDS Religion Newswriters Awards Presented
PHOENIX (AP) - Richard Dujardin, religion writer for The Providence (R.I.) Journal-Bulletin, has won the $2,500 John Templeton Reporter of the Year Award of the Religion Newswriters Association.
Michelle Bearden, formerly with the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, won the $500 James O. Supple Memorial Award for outstanding religion writing for the second successive year.
The St. Petersburg paper, where Tom Billitteri now is religion editor, also received the Harold Schachern Memorial Award for the outstanding religion section.
The RNA, which held its annual meeting July 13-14, includes about 200 members who cover religion for the secular press. Many of them were in Phoenix already to cover the Episcopal Church’s governing convention.
Rex Rutkowski of the Valley News Dispatch in Tarentum, Pa., won the Louis Cassels Memorial Award for outstanding religion writing in publications under 50,000 circulation.
Russell Chandler of the Los Angeles Times ranked second in the Templeton contest, with Peter Steinfels of The New York Times, third.
Adon Taft of the Miami Herald was second in the Supple contest, while Diane Winston of the Baltimore Sun was third.
Tom Price of the Elkhart (Ind.) Truth was second in the Cassels competition, while Brenda Robertson of the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun was third.
The San Jose Mercury-News was second in the Schachern religion sections competition, while third place went to The Ledger of Lakeland, Fla. NOTES FROM EVERYWHERE
The Washington Post quotes the nudism-promoting lobbyist for the Naturist Society: ″I don’t care if people laugh at us. We aim to get exposure″ ... Near Adel, Ga., country and western fans whose station switched from music to round-the-clock commercials yearn for the days when they could hear Clinton Gregory croon, ″If It Weren’t For Country Music, I’d Go Crazy.″ John L. Williams, owner of WDDQ-FM in south-central Georgia, made the switch to ″tourism information radio″ in May. The all-day commercials, advertising his gas stations, motels and restaurants, are geared toward motorists traveling through town along Interstate 75.
End Industry News