Click to copy
Click to copy
Related topics

Publishers: Editors: Managing Editors:

December 13, 1993

Undated (AP) _ A summary of developments in the news industry for the week of Dec. 6-13: Task Force Recommends APME Carry On, Sharpen Focus

NEW YORK (AP) - A special task force appointed last fall to study the role of the Associated Press Managing Editors association has recommended that APME continue as an industry leader but sharpen its focus on the AP and adopt other changes to better serve editors of AP-member newspapers.

The task force report was accepted by a special meeting of the APME Board of Directors in New York on Dec. 6.

APME President Rich Archbold, a member of the task force, hailed the recommendations as ″a blueprint for APME’s continued success in the coming years and into the 21st century.″

Archbold appointed ad hoc board committees on finance, marketing, liaison and the convention to implement the task force recommendations.

The task force was chaired by Ralph Langer, executive editor of The Dallas Morning News and a former APME president, and made up of past APME presidents and other leading APME-affiliated editors. It was appointed last September by outgoing president Robert W. Ritter, editor of Gannett News Service, to review APME’s role in the face of a decline in attendance at the organization’s recent annual conventions.

In its recommendations to the board, the task force wrote:

″The overwhelming conclusion is that APME has important and vital work to do, that it needs to ruthlessly focus on two main goals and that it needs to communicate itself better to editors and publishers. APME has helped the AP and editors improve newspapers for many years. Those roles are still valid and need to be aggressively pursued.″

The task force recommended that APME activities should concentrate on being ″practical, useful, interactive where possible, and focused on The Associated Press, editors and newspapers.″

The task force said it would initiate two research projects that could add to or modify its recommendations:

- A survey of editors eligible for APME participation to determine their perceptions of APME’s value and the level of their understanding of APME’s work.

- A look at editors who have attended APME conventions for the first time during the last five years to determine their experience and why or why they did not remain active in the organization.

The task force’s specific modifications included:

1. Refashion APME’s mission statement to be certain it actively and concisely focuses on ″helping to improve editors and newspapers.″

2. Develop a more active marketing and communication program to tell the industry more about its activities and work.

3. Resume or initiate alliances with other journalism organizations to broaden services and training to APME members.

4. ″Reinvent″ the annual convention to ensure that it emphasizes ″practical, hands-on, training-oriented sessions″ as the main offerings.

5. Strengthen and broaden APME’s role with The Associated Press.

6. Develop a better relationship with the AP Board of Directors, which formed a news committee last year that has been represented at recent APME meetings.

7. Re-examine some aspects of the APME board’s role to use directors and committees to focus more systematically on specific plans, programs and problems.

Archbold said the new committees appointed in New York would immediately seek to implement the task force’s recommendations and report back to the full board at its meeting in April.

He said the idea of ″reinventing″ the annual convention already has been embraced by the committee planning the APME convention in Philadelphia next Oct. 18-21. ″The Philadelphia convention will include exactly the kinds of nuts and bolts sessions that members say they want. We will have fewer general sessions and more breakouts. The goal will be to send editors home with practical advice and tips they can immediately apply in their newsrooms.″

Archbold said the Langer task force recommendations have played an important role in ensuring the future vitality of APME and ″should put to rest any ideas that this organization is no longer necessary.″

″If anything, with only a handful of newspapers in the country that do not subscribe to The Associated Press, a strong and vigorous watchdog of the world’s most important news service is more important than ever.″

--- Government Approves Network to Sell Newspaper Advertising

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department has approved a proposal by the newspaper industry to set up a nationwide network to sell advertising to national advertisers.

The proposed advertising network would not run afoul of antitrust laws and may help daily and weekly newspapers compete more effectively with other media for national advertising revenue, the Justice Department said Dec. 10.

The Newspaper Association of America, the largest trade association of newspaper publishers, sought the business review of the proposed National Newspaper Network.

The network would let advertisers buy ads in a large number of newspapers at a single rate. The network would be open to all daily and weekly newspapers.

The Justice Department said that the proposed network would not lead to price-fixing or other collusion because advertising rate information that participants submit would not be shared among the newspapers.

Under this arrangement, the network’s executive sales director would be required to keep rate information confidential, the Justice Department noted.

In addition, participating newspapers would not be bound to sign exclusive advertising contracts with the network. Publications would be free to solicit national advertising through other agencies.

The national network would play no role in negotiating rates for an individual newspaper’s local retail or classified advertising.

The Justice Department noted that the network’s central sales and billing office ″will enable national advertisers efficiently to deliver the same message through newspapers in as many local markets as they choose.″

Such a service could not be provided by a single local newspaper. The network ″may, therefore, have the pro-competitive benefit of enabling newspapers better to compete with other media for national advertising.″ Leading Media Execs See Signs of Modest Improvement

NEW YORK (AP) - After several tough years, signs of modest improvement are emerging in the media business, industry executives say.

But these survivors of one of the advertising market’s deepest declines in decades are also cautious about next year’s prospects.

They are counting on continued cost control efforts and a sustained economic recovery to help boost profitability in 1994.

They also are laying plans to secure passage to the emerging electronic information highway for news, entertainment and other services over TV sets and personal computers.

″The outlook is a little more encouraging for most of our advertising- based businesses,″ Richard Schlosberg III, senior vice president of Times Mirror Co., told analysts Dec. 7 at the annual PaineWebber media conference.

He said Times Mirror’s East Coast newspapers, including Newsday and The Baltimore Sun, have posted revenue gains for the year offset by declines at its flagship paper, the Los Angeles Times. But he said even the Times posted higher ad revenue in October, its first substantial increase in more than a year.

Nonetheless, Schlosberg refused to declare a turnaround in the depressed Southern California market. ″At this point, we’re not willing to say it’s over, but it’s better ... for now.″

The president and chief operating officer of The New York Times Co., Lance R. Primis, was similarly cautious.

He said October ad volume at The New York Times was up 5.4 percent in October, it appears November was even stronger and there is reason for optimism about December.

But he added, ″We want to caution you that the linage pattern of the past few months does not signal a turnaround in the New York market.″

″Although it’s clear that things in New York are better and the signs look better than last year, you will recall that ’92 had a similar pattern and then linage dropped like a stone in early ’93,″ he told the analysts.

William Taylor, publisher of the Times’ newly acquired The Boston Globe, said the Boston ad market is improving after a six-year slump.

Total revenue at Knight-Ridder Inc. is expected to be up 5 percent to 6 percent this year and should match that in 1994, said Ross Jones, chief financial officer for the Miami-based media concern.

Company president Tony Ridder said newspaper ad revenue may be up 4 percent next year, compared with 2 percent to 3 percent this year. But he added that despite an improving economy, revenue won’t roar back with the intensity common in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

A.H. Belo Corp., the Dallas-based media company, expects revenue gains of 7 percent to 8 percent from its newspapers led by The Dallas Morning News, according to chief financial officer Michael Perry.

The media executives also outlined plans to extend their publishing franchises into other areas ranging from telephone classified ad services to video ventures that could put newspaper reporters on TV.

The New York Times, for example, said Dec. 7 it will team up with CBS Inc. and Apple Computer Inc. in producing a multimedia encyclopedia on the Vietnam War that will be available on compact disk. The CD-ROM production will combine New York Times stories with CBS news reports, charts, maps and other graphics. Knight-Ridder plans to begin providing TV news service in an unspecified number of major metropolitan newspaper markets.

He said the company would hire a staff of fewer than 100 people per market dedicated to the new service which may also draw on its affiliated newspapers, including having newspaper staffers appear on camera to comment in areas they may cover.

Ridder declined to elaborate on the plans, saying a formal announcement was expected within 30 days.

The Miami Herald’s Autoline service for used car buyers and sellers has been a success, and Ridder said it will be tried in four other markets - Philadelphia, Tallahassee, Fla., Akron, Ohio, and St. Paul, Minn.

Times Mirror plans to examine offering cable channels that appeal to narrowly defined audiences, much as its outdoors magazines do.

--- Executives Say Media Firms Plunging Into Interactive Projects

NEW YORK (AP) - Media industry executives are testing a range of new interactive computer projects to meet the demands of customers who want to read the paper, shop for groceries or study a foreign language electronically.

″Last year’s hype is this year’s reality,″ Charles T. Brumback, chairman of the Tribune Co., told analysts Dec. 8 at an annual media conference sponsored by the investment firm PaineWebber Inc.

Another media company, Pulitzer Publishing Co., announced it was buying a one-third interest in RXL Communications, which provides interactive educational programming.

Executives from Dow Jones & Co. Inc., meanwhile, said their company would launch a ″Personal Journal″ for executives on the run who want to check market news, sports and other information on hand-held computing devices.

In addition, the company is planning an interactive edition of The Wall Street Journal that would let readers electronically find further information on stories such as current stock quotes.

Intrigued analysts hovered around a demonstration of the new Dow Jones Investor Network. The network is a computer-based business news service that includes filmed interviews with corporate executives and live coverage of news conferences.

″These companies are more aggressive than at any previous conference in how they’re pursuing interactive media,″ said Michael A. Kupinski, an analyst from A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc.

The innovations came against a backdrop of gradually improving performances at many companies broadsided in recent years by the recession and decreased advertising.

Dow Jones chairman Peter Kann said the company’s publications, including The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, were posting healthy increases in revenue and advertising demand.

Donald Grenesko, Tribune’s chief financial officer, said the firm expected a good fourth quarter because of increasing advertising demand. However, he said results would be hurt by prices in its newsprint business and the closing of a pulping operation owned by its QUNO Corp. subsidiary.

The newspaper executives said they expected newsprint prices to increase in early 1994.

Pulitzer executives also said advertising revenue had been growing at its newspapers, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, as the economy has picked up.

Several companies admitted they were losing money in their multimedia experiments. But Kann said about half of Dow Jones’ revenues and profits already came from selling electronic information.

Executives of Tribune Co., which owns newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune in addition to radio and television stations, said their new projects included an investment in America Online, the nation’s third-largest computer on-line service provider.

Chicago residents with the special service can use their computers to order concert tickets or read the Tribune. Some can even electronically shop for groceries that are delivered to their homes.

Tribune, which also publishes The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinal, is also talking with Time Warner Inc. about providing information for that company’s interactive television project next year involving 4,000 homes in the Orlando area.

Michael Pulitzer, chairman of the Pulitzer company, said it was investing $5 million in RXL, which provides interactive television programming to schools. The company gives students in rural areas access to extra courses - lessons in Japanese, for example.

Pulitzer Publishing also owns television and radio stations. Gannett Predicts Near Record 1993 Earnings, Due To Cost Cutting

NEW YORK (AP) - Executives of Gannett Co. Inc., the nation’s largest newspaper group, say the company will approach record profits of $397.5 million this year despite slow economic growth.

John Curley, chairman of the Arlington, Va.,-based media company, credited cost cutting for the gain and said Gannett expects to do better in 1994.

″We did it this year by cutting expenses. In 1994 we hope to do it the old fashioned way by growing revenues,″ Curley told analysts Dec. 9 at the annual PaineWebber media conference.

Gannett owns USA Today, 82 other daily newspapers, 10 television and 11 radio stations and an outdoor advertising business.

If Gannett equals its profit record of $397.5 million, set in 1989, that would represent a 15 percent increase over 1992 earnings, not including charges for required accounting changes that year.

While Gannett’s operating revenue rose just 4 percent in 1993, operating income was up 13 percent, chief financial officer Doug McCorkindale said.

Lower prices for newsprint, a new contract at newspapers in Detroit that includes cost savings and reduced debt contributed to the improved profit picture, he said.

Gannett will boost revenue in 1994 partly through advertising rate increases of 4 percent to 5 percent and newspaper price increases of 2 percent to 3 percent. But ad volume and circulation are expected to rise only 1 percent in 1994, the company said.

Like other media companies, Gannett is exploring the use of new technologies to deliver the news, executives said, estimating 1993 spending on those efforts at $20 million.

The company is putting some of its Florida and New York newspapers on Compuserve, an online service for personal computer users, and is offering news, sports scores, stock prices and weather reports by telephone in conjunction with AT&T.

However, executives were unsure when or if such moves will generate significant profits.

--- Judge in Kansas Reviews Reporter’s Notes, Drops Contempt Charge

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A judge dropped contempt citations against The Wichita Eagle and one of its reporters after reviewing notes and tapes that the reporter surrendered under threat of jail.

The material yielded nothing new for prosecutors about a woman accused of shooting an abortion doctor, District Judge Paul Clark said Dec. 9.

Clark had set a Dec. 10 deadline for the newspaper and reporter Judy Thomas to let him review the notes and tapes, or give them to the prosecutor. If they refused, Thomas faced jail and the newspaper risked a daily fine of $1,000.

The materials contained Thomas’ interviews with Rachelle ″Shelley″ Shannon, who faces a February trial on charges she tried to kill Dr. George Tiller, owner of a Wichita abortion clinic. Tiller was wounded in an Aug. 19 shooting.

Thomas wrote a story published Nov. 2 in which Shannon said she shot the doctor and had no regrets. Shannon has refused to talk to prosecutors, who had hoped to glean more from Thomas’ notes.

Clark said the materials contain no evidence that could be used in prosecuting a crime, aside from statements that had already been published.

The newspaper had initially refused to surrender the materials, citing its First Amendment rights.

Davis Merritt Jr., editor of the 117,000-circulation Eagle, said he had changed his mind to settle the contempt question. The paper planned to fight if the judge had decided to give prosecutors the materials they sought, he said.

--- Dow Jones Services to Carry New York Times Stories

NEW YORK (AP) - Dow Jones & Co. Inc. will start providing computer delivery of New York Times stories on the day they appear in the newspaper.

″We see this as a way to deliver to business people and professionals a service they have not had until now - The New York Times, delivered fresh each morning to their ’electronic doorstep,‴ Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, chairman and chief executive of The New York Times Co., said Dec. 6.

The new venture, scheduled to start in spring 1994, will provide customers with stories from The New York Times News Service, which carries about 90 percent of the content of the daily newspaper.

Dow Jones also publishes The Wall Street Journal, a competitor of the Times.

The Times stories will be available on Dow Jones News-Retrieval and on DowVision, which sends text of The Wall Street Journal and business news wires into customers’ computer systems.

The New York Times stories will be available through Dow Jones News- Retrieval for 24 hours. The Times has an agreement with Mead Data Central on maintaining a computer archive of Times stories older than 24 hours.

--- News Corp. Drops Super Shares Plan

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - News Corp. Ltd. dropped a proposal to issue ″super″ voting shares.

Under the plan, Rupert Murdoch, who owns about 30 percent of News Corp., and other major shareholders would have gained ″super shares″ with 25 votes per share, while the media company sold single-vote shares to new investors.

The move would have allowed Murdoch to raise new capital without diluting his control over the company.

Murdoch, News Corp. chairman and chief executive officer, said Dec. 8 the decision was made after it became clear Australian authorities would not quickly approve the plan.

News Corp. argued that super shares were necessary to allow it to negotiate strategic alliances with other companies while maintaining management control.

--- MLK Estate Files Copyright Suit Against Gannett’s USA Today

ATLANTA (AP) - The estate of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is suing USA Today, saying the newspaper printed the text of the civil rights leader’s ″I Have A Dream″ speech without permission.

In its Aug. 28 issue, USA Today reprinted the full text of the copyright speech, beginning on page one, after agreeing not to use the work, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court.

The newspaper, published by Gannett Co. Inc., had no comment on the lawsuit or its claims, USA Today spokesman Steve Anderson said Dec. 10.

King copyrighted the speech shortly after delivering it on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Aug. 28, 1963, according to the estate.

The estate said it allows use of King’s copyrighted works free of charge by nonprofit groups after a review for accuracy and appropriateness, but it charges a fee when the speech is used for a commercial purpose.

--- Henderson, N.C., Daily Dispatch to be Sold

HENDERSON, N.C. (AP) - The Henderson Dispatch Co. is selling the Henderson Daily Dispatch to Paducah Newspapers Inc. of Paducah, Ky. No price was announced.

The Kentucky corporation, founded in 1896, is owned and managed by third- and fourth-generation members of the Paxton family.

The company operates four daily newspapers in Kentucky and Arkansas, an NBC-affiliated television station that serves a four-state region, a specialty publishing business and weekly newspapers in several states.

The Daily Dispatch, with an average daily circulation of 10,000, is published Monday through Saturday afternoons. The sale also includes the Dispatch’s companion publications, the Tri-County Shopping Guide and the MidAtlantic Antique Monthly.

The owners of the Dispatch are all descendants of Henry A. Dennis, co-owner and operator of the paper for more than 60 years before his death in 1979.

W. Dennis Tharrington, general manager of the Dispatch company, will remain with Paducah Newspapers on a consulting basis. Dispatch editor William B. Dennis plans to retire, and that job has been offered to his son, associate editor William A. Dennis. Papers in Greenville, S.C., Will Merge Staffs

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - The news staffs of The Greenville News and Greenville Piedmont will merge on Jan. 1, but the editorial page staffs will remain separate.

The Piedmont, with a circulation of about 24,000, is one of the few remaining afternoon daily newspapers in South Carolina.

Tom Hutchison, managing editor of The News, was named managing editor for news and sports of the combined newspapers.

Ann Clark, managing editor of the Piedmont, was named managing editor for features and administration.

Chris Weston, assistant managing editor of The News, becomes managing editor for local news, a new position that will oversee all local reporting.

--- Alabama PSC Approves Three-Digit Number for Newspaper Information

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Public Service Commission approved a plan that will let newspapers in Huntsville, Birmingham and Mobile provide information to consumers by dialing just three digits - 511.

South Central Bell and the newspapers - The Huntsville Times, The Birmingham News and The Mobile Press Register - have been working together to provide the electronic information service. The PSC approved a two-year trial program, but said others who want to get a three-digit phone line will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

When the service is installed, people in the three cities can dial 511 to get the newspaper’s information service. Then they can access a variety of information that might include stock information, the latest sports scores, additional information about news stories, the complete text of a speech or a service matching want ad sellers with people who want their products, said Mark Wilkerson, attorney for the newspapers.

People who use the service will pay a low fee yet to be determined, Wilkerson said.

The phone information service is already offered by newspapers in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Atlanta. No starting date has been set in Alabama, where The Montgomery Advertiser recently began offering a seven-digit dial-up information service.

--- World Press Freedom Committee Granted $600,000 By Knight Foundation

MIAMI (AP) - The World Press Freedom Committee has received a three-year, $600,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The committee was created in 1976 with money from the Knight Foundation to monitor international organizations for any press freedom problems.

One of the committee’s current projects is the Charter for a Free Press, a guidepost for evolving press-state relationships in central and eastern Europe and Asia.

Established in 1950, the Knight Foundation makes national grants in journalism, education and the field of arts and culture, as well as supporting community organizations.

--- Pravda Resumes Publication

MOSCOW (AP) - The pro-Communist newspaper Pravda resumed publication after a three-week closure caused by financial problems, and printed a front-page box noting where donations could be sent.

The eight-page issue appeared Dec. 10, the last day of Russia’s election campaign, and included a full-page article outlining the Communist Party’s platform and an appeal to readers to think before they vote.

--- BROADCASTING: Telephone Company, Cable System Reach Nearly $5 Billion Agreement

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Southwestern Bell Corp. and Cox Cable Communications say they will form a $4.9 billion partnership to expand Cox’s systems.

The venture marks the third major alliance between a local telephone company and a large cable system, reflecting growing interest in high-volume, two-way communication services.

Southwestern Bell will commit $1.6 billion to the partnership and take 40 percent ownership initially with an option to increase to 50 percent.

Both companies will jointly manage the partnership, with each company having two seats on an executive committee. Cox Cable president James O. Robbins will serve as chief executive officer.

Atlanta-based Cox’s cable system is one of the largest in the nation with 1.7 million customers and an estimated worth of nearly $3.5 billion.

The partnership will jointly own and operate 21 Cox cable systems, provide new services to existing cable networks and pursue acquisition of other cable operations and programming investments, the companies said Dec. 7.

The two companies had previously agreed to run a joint cable and telephone business in Britain.

Earlier this year, Bell Atlantic Corp. agreed to buy the largest cable TV company, Tele-Communications Inc., and US West made a $2.5 billion investment in the cable operations of Time Warner Entertainment.

Such ventures are designed initially to bring more advanced communications products to businesses but eventually will expand to interactive products to individuals.

Southwestern Bell operates local phone service in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. The company is buying a cable system in suburban Washington, D.C., that will not be included in the Cox deal.

In addition to the cable systems, privately held Cox owns 17 daily newspapers, 20 radio and television stations and an automobile auction business.

Cox also is in a partnership with BellSouth Enterprises Inc. to offer newspaper classified advertising and Yellow Pages information over the telephone. The company agreed last month to provide $500 million to QVC Network Inc., which is trying to buy Paramount Communications Inc.

--- Multimedia Inc. President Resigns

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Multimedia Inc. said president and chief executive officer J. William Grimes resigned to ″pursue other opportunities in the media business.″ Multimedia chairman Walter E. Bartlett said differences existed with Grimes, but he declined to elaborrate.

Bartlett will assume the title of CEO, while senior vice president Donald D. Sbarra will supervise operations. Sbarra joined Multimedia in 1981 as president of its cable television division, Cablevision.

Greenville, S.C.-based Multimedia owns newspapers, television and radio stations, cable television systems and security alarm services. It also produces syndicated television programs.

--- American Public Radio to Become Public Radio International

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - American Public Radio is going international. To reflect the switch to bring its listeners a more global perspective, the radio network is changing its name to Public Radio International.

The name change announced Dec. 13 will be effective July 1.

The general strategies of the plan are to:

-Build up APR’s foundation of international as well as domestic program producers.

-Strengthen existing news, informational, cultural and classical music programs.

-Develop new programs geared to younger and more culturally diverse audiences.

An independent offshoot of Minnesota Public Radio, APR was established in 1983. It competes with Washington, D.C.-based National Public Radio for noncommercial stations’ money and schedule space. More than 475 stations carry some APR programming each week.

Minneapolis-based APR is the developer and-or national distributor of such weekly shows as ″A Prairie Home Companion″ with Garrison Keillor, ″Mountain Stage″ and the comedy quiz show, ″Whad’ya Know?″ It also distributes ″Marketplace,″ a daily journal of business and economic news. Paramount Case Provides Unusual Fare for Fans of Murder, Sex Cases

NEW YORK (AP) - Viewers who turn to Court TV to follow juicy murder or sex trials got some decidedly less lurid fare: two hours of technical arguments about stock options and poison pills in the Paramount Communications Inc. case.

Court TV, which has covered such sensational cases as the William Kennedy Smith rape trial and the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, sandwiched the Paramount case between coverage of the Menendez brothers trial, which focuses on the gory slaying of their parents in their Beverly Hills mansion.

Court TV covered the Dec. 9 Paramount hearing in Delaware ″based on news judgment,″ not how many people would watch, according to Merrill Brown, senior vice president for corporate and program development at Court TV.

--- Scripps Howard Sells Its Last Radio Stations

CINCINNATI (AP) - Scripps Howard Broadcasting Co. has sold its last radio stations and now will concentrate on operating its nine television stations.

The company said Dec. 8 it has completed the sale of KUPL-AM/FM in Portland, Ore., for $23 million to BayCom Oregon, a limited partnership in San Francisco. The company had announced the sale Aug. 3.

Scripps Howard recently sold WVRT-FM in Baltimore and WMC-AM/FM and WMC-TV in Memphis, Tenn.

E.W. Scripps Co., a communications company based in Cincinnati, owns 86 percent of Scripps Howard Broadcasting Co.

--- Nebraska Television Network Sold to Alabama Company

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) - The Kearney-based Nebraska Television Network has been sold to Fant Broadcasting, which owns a television station in Gadsden, Ala.

Fant purchased the assets of the three-station Nebraska network from Joseph Girard Communication Management of Indianapolis, NTV said Dec. 8.

Terms were not disclosed.

Girard had been acting as a receiver for NTV, an ABC affiliate that serves viewers from Lincoln to the Colorado border, and in northern Kansas.

Fant president Anthony Fant appointed George Singleton general manager of NTV. Singleton previously was general manager of a Monroe, La., television station.

--- PERSONNEL: Jordan Named AP News Editor in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Melissa Jordan, a newswoman in the Minneapolis bureau of The Associated Press since 1990, was named news editor.

The appointment was announced Dec. 7 by Minnesota Chief of Bureau Dave Pyle.

Jordan, 28, joined the AP in Sioux Falls, S.D., in 1988. She earlier worked for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel in Waterville, Maine.

The Tifton, Ga., native earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and a master’s in journalism from Columbia University.

Jordan succeeds John Dowling, who was named AP news editor in Chicago.

--- McTillmon Named AP News Editor in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Joya McTillmon, a newswoman in the Raleigh bureau of The Associated Press, was named news editor.

The appointment was announced Dec. 9 by Raleigh Chief of Bureau Ambrose B. Dudley.

McTillmon, 27, joined the AP in Milwaukee in 1989. She was named business writer for Wisconsin before transferring to the AP’s national editing desk in New York in 1990. She transferred to Raleigh earlier this year.

Raised in Los Angeles, McTillmon is a graduate of Stanford University and worked at the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record before joining the AP.

She succeeds Janet K. Isbell, who resigned.

--- Harris Named Publisher of San Jose Mercury News

MIAMI (AP) - Jay Harris, vice president of operations for Knight-Ridder Inc., was named chairman and publisher of the San Jose Mercury News.

Harris will succeed Larry Jinks, who is retiring after 43 years in the newspaper business, including 37 with Knight-Ridder. Harris’ appointment is effective Feb. 1.

Harris, 45, has been vice president of operations for Knight-Ridder since 1989. He has responsibility for the company’s newspaper operations in Charlotte, N.C.; St. Paul, Minn.; Akron, Ohio; Gary, Ind; Duluth, Minn.; Boulder, Colo.; Grand Forks, N.D.; State College, Pa., and Aberdeen, S.D.

He joined Knight-Ridder in 1985 as executive editor of The Philadelphia Daily News and took on the additional role of vice president of Philadelphia Newspapers Inc. in 1987.

In October 1988, he moved to Miami as assistant to the president of Knight- Ridder’s newspaper division.

Jinks, 64, has been president and publisher of the Mercury News since April 1989. He joined Knight-Ridder in 1956 as a reporter for The Charlotte Observer and moved to The Miami Herald in 1960, serving in several editing roles before becoming executive editor in 1972. He moved to San Jose as editor in 1977.

Jinks returned to Miami in 1981 as Knight-Ridder’s vice president-news. He was named senior vice president-news in 1983.

He is a former president of The Associated Press Managing Editors. He served two terms as a board member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and is on the board of the American Press Institute.

--- Richmond Newspapers Names August President

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Richmond Newspapers Inc., which publishes the Richmond Times-Dispatch, has promoted Albert T. August III to president. August, 53, has been senior vice president and general manager for the past year.

August’s dual role as president and general manager begins Jan. 1, according to H. Graham Woodlief, vice president of the newspaper division of the Richmond-based Media General.

August replaces Joseph M. Porter, who retired Dec. 31, 1992. WVU Journalism School Dean to Retire

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Emery L. ″Pete″ Sasser, dean of West Virginia University’s Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism for 4 1/2 years, is retiring June 30.

Sasser, 61, came to West Virginia University in 1989 from the University of South Florida to succeed longtime dean Guy Stewart.

As the fourth dean in school’s 54-year history, Sasser oversaw alumni relations and fund-raising efforts that increased donations from $1.8 million in 1989 to more than $3 million this year.

Admission to the school became more rigorous under Sasser. It received a strong reaccreditation report from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications in 1992.

Names in the News:

In other changes in the news industry:

- Norm Lewis, editor of the Corvallis (Ore.) Gazette-Times for the past 4 years, has been named editor of the Montana Standard in Butte, Mont. Both newspapers are owned by Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa.

- Fred Kardon, 53, was named to the newly created position of executive editor of The Pantagraph of Bloomington, Ill. Kardon has worked for The Pantagraph’s sister newspapers in Massachusetts since 1964.

- Kristi Dempsey, 31, was named managing editor of The Daily Sentinel in Nacogdoches, Texas. She has been the paper’s news editor for the past year and a half. She succeeds Gary Borders, who was named publisher in October.

--- DEATHS: Jeannette Finn Blackman

WASHINGTON (AP) - Jeannette Finn Blackman, wife of former Associated Press news executive Samuel G. Blackman, died Dec. 12 at age 86.

Mrs. Blackman died in Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington of congestive heart failure.

She graduated from New Jersey College for Women, now Douglass College, in 1929 and was married in 1931.

Her husband joined the AP in Trenton that same year and rose to AP general news editor in New York, directing the AP news report for 11 years before retiring in 1969.

In addition to her husband of 62 years, she is survived by daughters Carolyn B. Jacoby of Bridgewater, N.J. and Ann Blackman Putzel, a former Associated Press reporter and now correspondent for Time magazine in Washington. Other survivors include six grandchildren and four great- grandchildren.

Services will be held 11 a.m. Dec. 15 at Presbyterian Church of Tenafly, N.J., where the Blackmans lived for 35 years. Mr. Blackman now lives in Chevy Chase, Md. Burial will be in Port Jervis, N.Y. Orville Gaines

ATLANTA (AP) - Orville W. Gaines, a reporter for The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution for 40 years, died Dec. 9. He was 71.

Gaines spent much of his career covering police and crime news.

Survivors include a son, two daughters and two brothers. Paul R. Jervay

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Paul R. Jervay, founder of a black community newspaper in Raleigh, died Dec. 11. He was 87.

He worked for several newspapers, including The Cape Fear Journal of Wilmington, The Norfolk Journal and Guide in Virginia and The Chicago Defender, before moving to Raleigh.

He took over The Carolina Tribune in Raleigh in 1940 and renamed it The Carolinian. Jervay turned over control of the newspaper to his daughter, Prentice Monroe, last year.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife, a son and a brother. Merle Jones

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - Merle Jones, longtime sports editor for the Southern Illinoisan, died Dec. 8. He was 77.

Jones served as sports editor from 1949 to 1977 and was a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his wife and a daughter. Raymond Linders

MONESSEN, Pa. (AP) - Raymond Linders, former publisher of The Valley Independent and The Daily News in Iron Mountain, Mich., died Dec. 8. He was 71.

Before becoming publisher in Iron Mountain, Linders was editor of The Mining Journal of Marquette, Mich., in the late 1970s and early ’80s. After leaving Iron Mountain he served as publisher of the Hudson Valley News in Newburgh, N.Y., then of The Valley Independent. He retired in November 1992.

He is survived by his wife, a daughter and a brother.


NOTES FROM EVERYWHERE: Knight-Ridder Inc. has agreed to buy Technimetrics Inc., an information services company specializing in global financial databases. Terms were not disclosed. ...Prodigy has formed an alliance with Media General Inc., the parent company of the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, and the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal, to develop online editions of those newspapers. ... The Russian news agency Tass is closing its San Francisco bureau, leaving the agency with U.S. offices only in New York and Washington. ... Daily newspaper competition will come to an end in Storm Lake, Iowa, next month when the Storm Lake Times switches to twice-weekly publication, leaving the Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune as the only daily in the town of about 8,800. Storm Lake has been the nation’s second- smallest city with competing dailies. The smallest is also in Iowa: The Shenandoah Evening Sentinel and the Valley News Today compete for readers in that town of about 6,000.

End Industry News Advisory

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.