Publishers Editors Managing Editors
A summary of developments in the news industry for the week of March 18-25: Shiite Leader Says Iran and Syria Willing To Resolve Hostage Issue
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - A Shiite leader thought to wield influence with groups holding Westerners says Iran and Syria want to resolve the issue of the hostages in Lebanon.
″But the Americans and the Israelis have a duty to perform,″ Hussein Musawi said in a telephone interview March 24 from his headquarters in the eastern township of Baalbek.
″The Zionist jails are full of innocent Arab prisoners that should be set free,″ he said after returning from a two-week visit to Iran.
He declined to say whether he believed a hostage release was imminent.
Musawi heads the pro-Syrian wing of Hezbollah, or Party of God, which is believed to be the parent movement of the extremist pro-Iranian Shiite factions that hold most of the 13 Western hostages - six Americans, four Britons, two Germans and an Italian.
Musawi also is thought to influence the Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine, a group that holds U.S. educators Jesse Turner and Alann Steen.
The longest-held of the captives is American Terry Anderson, chief Middle East correspondent of The Associated Press, who was kidnapped March 16, 1985.
″During my recent trip to Iran, I felt Iranian desire to resolve the issue of the hostages,″ said Musawi. ″I felt that they would spare no effort in influencing the groups that hold the hostages to free them.
″I also know that the Syrians have always been keen on wrapping up the hostage issue,″ he said.
Musawi said he believed that if the issue of the Arab prisoners held by Israel was resolved, ″the kidnappers wouldn’t have many more demands.″
Musawi has denied any direct links with the kidnap factions and usually stresses that his remarks concerning the hostages are based on ″observations.″ But his observations are usually echoed in communiques released by the Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine.
Dan Naveh, an aide to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens, said last week that Israel was making ″significant efforts″ to free both the Lebanon hostages and seven Israeli servicemen missing in Lebanon. Maxwell’s Daily News Gets Off to Bumpy Start
NEW YORK (AP) - Robert Maxwell’s version of the Daily News got off to a rocky start when he pressed a button to start the presses and a huge roll of newsprint tore.
But that was the least of Maxwell’s problems March 22: The News’ rival New York Newsday hired away star gossip columnist Liz Smith.
The first-day glitches resulted in not enough papers being produced to return the News to all the city’s newsstands, where the tabloid was unwelcome during a 5-month, often-violent strike.
The returning union workers cranked out between 600,000 and 650,000 copies of the paper, substantially less than the 1.09 million papers sold daily before the walkout and the anticipated press run of 1 million.
Earlier in the week, Maxwell surprised the paper’s unions by announcing he was keeping James Hoge as publisher after taking over from the Tribune Co.
When asked how the unions reacted to the decision, Maxwell said: ″I didn’t ask them. It’s none of their business.″
George McDonald, head of the union coalition, called the move ″a colossal mistake.″ Hoge ″is certainly not well liked,″ he said.
As the strikers returned to work, replacement workers hired during the strike had to say goodbye to their jobs.
And Maxwell is planning to give up his job soon as chairman of his London- based Maxwell Communication Corp. PLC to devote more time to running the News, a spokesman confirmed March 25.
The Financial Times of London said an unidentified senior figure in Britain’s financial industry would become chairman of the company, and Maxwell’s son, Kevin, would be chief executive officer.
With a gaggle of photographers and reporters watching March 22, Maxwell pushed a button to start the presses on the first edition of his newspaper. But the newsprint roll tore, prompting Maxwell to say, ″False start.″
Hours later, New York Newsday announced it had signed Smith, who had worked during the strike. Her first column in the rival tabloid appeared March 24.
Maxwell had said that keeping Smith was among his top priorities.
″He evidently didn’t really mean it,″ said Smith, 68. She said she had been working without a contract since February.
The first issue under Maxwell was rife with messages from the flamboyant British publisher who stepped in at the last minute to save the 71-year-old paper from extinction. He implored readers to return, and urged advertisers to call him directly about placing ads.
″The Daily News was the greatest paper of the greatest city in the world. I want to put it back up there and then keep it there,″ Maxwell wrote in a signed page-one editorial.
″ROLL ’EM″ read the front-page headline; ″Forward With New York″ replaced the familiar ″New York’s Picture Newspaper″ beneath the paper’s flag. ″We’re Back 3/8″ read a small front-page ″ear″ alongside the flag.
There was one other change: The price of the paper increased a nickel to 40 cents. The 152-page edition included 88 pages of advertising.
Other first-day features included a two-page wrap-up of what happened in the comics during the strike; an assortment of celebrity endorsements of the News, ranging from Joan Collins to Mets pitcher Ron Darling; and a swipe at the New York Post over a picture of Eric Clapton’s son after the child fell to his death.
The paper was produced without members of the Newspaper Guild, who will not return to work until March 27. And it was distributed without most of the legion of homeless hawkers who peddled the paper during the walkout.
Maxwell, whose worldwide operations are headquartered in London, rescued the Daily News in return for substantial concessions in new union contracts. He entered the scene after the Tribune Co. and nine striking unions could not cut a deal.
Under the sale agreement signed March 21, the Tribune Co. will give Maxwell $60 million to assume liabilities, including severance and buyouts. Liabilities have been estimated at $100 million or more, but an exact figure isn’t known, particularly in light of last-minute wrangling over terms between Maxwell and the unions.
Maxwell negotiated contracts with the nine striking unions and one non- striking union, the printers, that call for substantial concessions, including the elimination of more than a third of the pre-strike work force of 2,300. Survey Finds Public Happy With Media, Military in Wake of War
WASHINGTON (AP) - Public opinion in the aftermath of the Gulf War is high on media coverage, but it also strongly supports censorship in time of war, according to a survey released March 24.
More than eight in 10 Americans rated news coverage of the war as good or excellent, with 45 percent rating it excellent - up from 36 percent responding excellent in January.
But increases in regard for the media paled in comparison with the change in opinion of the military. Respondents rating the military very favorably rose from 18 percent in spring 1990 to 60 percent this month. And Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of Operation Desert Storm, scored the highest ″very favorable″ rating in the poll’s history - 62 percent.
Donald S. Kellermann, who directed the survey by the Times Mirror Center for The People & The Press, warned that the euphoria and high ratings likely won’t last.
″A good deal of it is going to fade, because circumstances are going to change,″ he said.
While the survey found that the public approved of the media coverage of the war, it also found that the war changed the public’s attitude about censorship by the U.S. government.
Nearly a 2-to-1 majority said censorship for the sake of national security is more important than the media’s ability to report important news.
Times Mirror said it periodically asked the same question since 1985. Each time previously, it said, the public was either evenly divided or came down clearly on the side of the media.
Kellermann attributed the public’s acceptance of censorship to its perception that the war was well-managed, in contrast to past controversies such as Watergate and the Iran-Contra affair.
″There’s nothing like coming off a big victory,″ he said. ″I think that might well change in another context - if we come into a situation where there’s great difficulty or the military fumbles the ball and the press wants to know why.″
The survey found that 83 percent of those questioned favor military restrictions on war coverage - a small increase over January’s 79 percent.
Thirty-six percent said much from the war was kept from the public, and another 36 percent said at least some information was kept secret.
The Times Mirror Center questioned 1,857 adults March 14-18. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. Money Manager Increases Media General Stake to 30 Percent
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - New York money manager Mario J. Gabelli has increased his stake in Media General Inc.’s Class A common stock to 30.27 percent from 23.3 percent.
Although he continues to be the largest single shareholder of the company’s lower-tiered stock, Gabelli said he had no intention of seeking a seat on Media General’s board of directors.
Gabelli told the Richmond Times-Dispatch in a story published March 21 that ″we’re always a buyer and seller.″
Class A shareholders have only 30 percent of the voting power in company decisions. The Class B stock, which commands the remaining 70 percent, is closely held by the founding Bryan family.
Through his investment firms, mainly Gabelli Value Fund Inc. and Gamco Investors Inc., Gabelli increased his interest mostly by buying a block of nearly 1.7 million shares on March 19, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Richmond-based Media General is a diversified communications company with major interests in metropolitan newspapers, broadcast and cable television, newsprint, and smaller publishing and printing operations. In Virginia, Media General owns the Richmond-Times Dispatch and The Richmond News Leader. New York Times To Lay Off 61 Employees
NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Times, blaming disappointing advertising revenue, is planning to lay off 61 employees and offer buyouts to others, a spokeswoman says.
Those laid off will be the most junior employees in advertising sales, marketing, the paper’s library and production, as well as other areas, pokeswoman Nancy Nielsen said March 21.
Also to leave the Times are some staff members of the editorial page, The New York Times Magazine, and the paper’s Washington bureau, she said.
The employment cuts, whose aim is to bring down expenses, follow a year of disappointing advertising revenue resulting in a 24 percent drop in linage in the first two months of 1991, compared with the same period a year ago, said Publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger in a letter posted in the Times building.
Additional layoffs may be considered later, Nielsen said. Seattle P-I Looks To Cut as Many as 18 Positions
SEATTLE (AP) - The Seattle Post-Intelligencer asked employees March 18 for voluntary retirements and resignations to reduce staff by as many as 18 positions and reduce operating costs.
Publisher Virgil Fassio told staff members the economic slowdown in the Northwest and a decline in revenues made reductions necessary.
″We anticipate reducing the staff to about the same level as a year ago,″ he said.
He said the paper also will reduce costs by cutting down on newsprint, overtime, extra personnel and travel expenses. Time Warner in Ad Deals With Automakers
DETROIT (AP) - Time Warner Inc., the huge U.S. media group, has signed advertising contracts worth a combined $120 million with two of the nation’s Big Three automakers, giving them access to magazines, books and movies.
Time Warner and General Motors Corp., the world’s largest automaker, on March 19 announced a one-year deal with an option to extend. Last November, Chrysler Corp. and Time Warner announced their deal, which runs into the fall of 1992.
Officials of all three companies declined to release the value of the agreements. However, an industry source said the GM-Time Warner deal was worth about $80 million and the Chrysler-Time Warner agreement was worth about $40 million.
Both agreements make available to GM and Chrysler Time Warner’s diverse media holdings, including Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated magazines; books; cable television; films; and direct mailing.
The difference, Time Warner spokesman Peter Costiglio said, is that the GM deal is all-encompassing while the Chrysler agreement is oriented more to one project, called ″Rediscover America.″
Both companies are expected to spend most of their Time Warner budgets on the company’s magazines.
Magazine advertising revenues have taken a dive in the past two years to their weakest levels in two decades. Publishers have been trying to come up with ways to lure big advertisers, such as automakers, into committing large chunks of their advertising budgets to them.
″This agreement (with GM) goes well beyond the normal advertiser-client relationship in a way that will benefit both parties,″ said Don Elliman, executive vice president for marketing for Time Warner.
″We were looking at a fully integrated media program to maximize our advertising, marketing and sales promotion dollars,″ said Philip Guarascio, GM’s executive director of advertising and marketing programs. Tampa Tribune Files Suit Seeking Welfare Records
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The Tampa Tribune filed suit against the state’s welfare agency, claiming the agency ″has an alarming tendency ... to refuse to release public records.″
The Tribune is seeking numerous records related to abuse and neglect cases.
The suit, filed March 22 in Hillsborough County Circuit Court, asks that the state Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services and acting Secretary Robert B. Williams immediately produce certain records relating to children who died from abuse or neglect.
″The Tribune has noted an alarming tendency on the part of HRS to refuse to release public records or to adequately explain why public records should not be released,″ the newspaper’s suit contends.
It said the number of children who have died under the agency’s care or after reports of abuse is growing. The lawsuit comes in response to a petition filed by the department March 4 seeking to keep secret all records in the case of a slain foster child.
The newspaper has been seeking those records under a Florida law changed on July 3 to allow anyone to petition a judge for usually confidential abuse and neglect records.
The welfare agency has contended the dead child’s records are confidential because of a continuing criminal investigation and the need to protect a sibling and because some of the action took place before the law went into effect. Judge Jails Reporter for Using Wrong Court Door
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) - A reporter for the Wilmington Morning Star was jailed for more than four hours when a judge held him in contempt for using the wrong door into his courtroom.
The reporter, Scott Whisnant, had written several articles critical of District Judge Charles E. Rice III, who found him in contempt March 19. He was released on his own recognizance by another judge and returned to his beat at the courthouse the next day.
Whisnant had entered Rice’s courtroom to check a court calendar. Rice ordered him jailed for exiting through a side door rather than the courtroom’s main front doors.
Whisnant said he explained to Rice that he had permission from Chief District Judge Gilbert Burnett to use the back hallways in the judicial building.
″There’s no question he told me not to go out that door, and I did,″ Whisnant said. ″It was an alternative between being bullied like that or just taking it. That was a decision I made.″
Whisnant, who has covered courts in New Hanover County since 1988, has written several stories about Rice, including one that found that Rice was a favorite among defense lawyers who engage in ″judge shopping″ in drunken driving cases. The report said Rice often sentenced drunken-driving offenders to a day in jail, compared with an array of fines, community service and other penalties routinely favored by judges in the county.
A hearing was scheduled for April 1 on an appeal of the contempt citation. Suit Against Raleigh, N.C., Paper Stems From Party
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A Raleigh man injured when his car was struck in October by a car driven by an employee of The News and Observer has sued the newspaper, its publisher and the reporter.
The suit was filed on behalf of Caleb W. Camalier III, who remains in a coma. The suit names The News and Observer Publishing Co.; Frank Daniels Jr., company president and publisher, and Charles J. Jeffries Jr., a reporter at the time of the incident.
Jeffries, who now works as a copy editor at the newspaper, pleaded guilty in February to driving while impaired and to running a red light. After the accident, his blood-alcohol content measured .19. In North Carolina, .10 is the legal standard for driving while impaired.
Jeffries’ sentence included a suspended one-year jail term, 30 days house arrest, a $500 fine and revocation of his driver’s license for one year.
The suit said the crash followed a retirement party hosted by Daniels for former N&O editor Claude Sitton. It alleged that Jeffries was negligent for driving his car while drunk and that the company and Daniels were negligent for serving alcohol at the party.
The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages from the defendants. Also named as plaintiffs are Camalier’s wife and their two children. NY Post Owner Reported Sued Over Failure To Repay Loans
NEW YORK (AP) - The owner of the New York Post has been sued by three banks over his failure to repay about $60 million in loans that came due in recent months, The New York Times reported March 25.
The Times said Peter Kalikow, a real estate developer who owns dozens of apartment buildings, could be forced into bankruptcy if the banks refused to work out new repayment terms.
It was unclear how the lawsuits might affect the Post, which Kalikow bought from Rupert Murdoch in 1988.
Kalikow, who personally guaranteed the loans, is being sued by European American, Marine Midland and First Chicago banks, the Times said.
He and his companies have a total bank debt of $900 million and the other loans are being paid on time, bankers say.
His bank debt includes $130 million for which he put up no collateral. To gain more favorable terms from the banks suing him, Kalikow is expected to offer to secure the debt with a stake in some of his buildings, the Times said.
The Post’s unions made $24 million in concessions at the time of the sale to Kalikow and $20 million more last year when he threatened to close the paper. The Post had been losing large sums of money before the concessions, but its current financial situation is not known.
In another legal action, former Post President Valerie Salembier sued the newspaper and Kalikow on March 20, contending they owe her back pay of $261,500.
Salembier, Post president from April 1989 to August 1990, said in papers filed in state court that her three-year contract with the paper guaranteed her at least $400,000 a year plus possible bonuses.
Salembier said the contract, personally guaranteed by Kalikow, provided that if she left the paper she would be paid for the balance of the life of the contract or for 12 months, whichever was less.
Salembier said she was fired without cause Aug. 24. So far, Salembier said, she has been paid only 18 weeks’ severance, or about $138,500, and is owed $261,500. She said payments to her stopped Jan. 2.
The newspaper had no comment.
Salembier is now publisher and senior vice president of Family Circle, a member of The New York Times Magazine Group. Gates Calls on Media To Stop Showing Beating Videotape
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police Chief Daryl F. Gates urged TV stations to stop showing the videotape of police beating a black motorist, saying the repeated screenings will prevent those charged in the case from getting a fair trial.
Four officers have been charged with assault in the March 3 beating of Rodney King. Several other officers who watched the attack are being investigated by the district attorney’s office.
The FBI is also investigating and plans to question all 200 officers assigned to the station where the officers involved in the beating work, a police spokesman said.
″They cannot have a fair trial if the tape continues to be played,″ Gates told about 2,000 supporters rallying outside the Police Academy on March 24. Warden Bans Reporters From Execution
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Public television station executives said March 21 a new rule banning all reporters from witnessing executions won’t stop their fight to take television cameras inside San Quentin’s gas chamber.
The new policy from Warden Daniel Vasquez came five days before the scheduled March 25 start of a federal trial on KQED television’s suit challenging a ban on cameras and recording devices at executions.
Vasquez said in a news release that previous federal rulings indicate that reporters do not have a constitutional right to attend executions.
KQED maintains that the press has a right to attend because members of the public will be there as witnesses.
″(Since) executions were moved out of town squares and into the prisons, reporters have always been present as surrogates for the public,″ said Michael Schwarz, KQED director of current affairs.
California has not executed a prisoner since 1967, although voters approved reinstatement of the death penalty in 1978. Last spring, Robert Alton Harris was scheduled to die, but the execution was halted by appeals that are still pending.
Before Harris’ scheduled execution, Vasquez drafted a policy that excluded all reporting equipment, including pencils and note pads. That policy was revised after KQED filed suit, although the ban on electronic equipment remained. Star Tribune Prints Homosexual Domestic Partnership Announcements
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Star Tribune is allowing homosexual couples to announce their commitment ceremonies in its advertising columns with its regular weekly engagement, wedding and anniversary notices.
The newspaper said March 21 that it had renamed the ″Weddings″ portion of the Variety section to ″Celebrations″ to reflect the diverse postings. The paper also added a ″Domestic Partners″ subsection to go with its previous categories of ″Engagements,″ ″Weddings″ and ″Anniversaries.″
″We’re thrilled that the Star Tribune made this decision,″ said Ann DeGroot, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Community Action Council. ″We’re thrilled that we can make announcements.″
In an article announcing its policy, the paper said it believed itself to be the first major metropolitan newspaper to make such a decision, though no comprehensive survey was available.
The Star Tribune said it adopted the policy in response to the concerns of gay and lesbian employees.
Bette Fenton, Star Tribune spokewoman, said the decision was a natural response to the City Council’s domestic partners ordinance that went into effect Feb. 19.
″It was the right thing to do,″ she said.
Minneapolis passed a city ordinance in late January that allows homosexual domestic partners to register their relationships. Newspaper’s Digging Pays Off - in Landfill
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Reporters from The Greenville News dug up 30 boxes of records belonging to the Carolina Research and Development Foundation from a landfill and handed them to police as evidence in a freedom of information lawsuit.
Some of the foundation’s projects have been criticized as questionable, and the FOI suit was filed in 1987 by the News and The Associated Press. The foundation agreed to supply the documents, but then said many had been discarded.
The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the disappearance and impounded the material that was discovered the weekend of March 16-17.
″Technically, right now, the records are evidence and you can’t just go and say, ’Here, take them,‴ SLED spokesman Hugh Munn said March 22. He said the records found in the landfill are in bad shape.
Foundation President Gayle Averyt said the organization was pleased the records were found.
″We wanted the records worse than anybody,″ Averyt said.
The state Supreme Court in February agreed the records should be open to the public, but foundation officials said just before releasing them that documents from 1981 to mid-1985 had been accidentally thrown out.
Reporters were particularly interested in the spending habits of former university president James B. Holderman, who resigned last spring after years of criticism for his lavish gift-giving.
For instance, other records show that in 1987, Holderman bought 746 cans of crab meat at $2,734 for ″Friends of the Foundation as an expression of the times.″
The Greenville newspaper said records were dumped at the landfill in 1988 by a university student, who told the paper that a university official wanted the material hauled off before an office was renovated. Spokane Newspapers Raising Prices
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The price of the Spokesman-Review and Spokane Chronicle will go up April 1, with 20 percent of the increase for carriers and the rest used to offset a rise in production and delivery costs.
The newsstand price for weekday and Saturday papers will increase from 35 cents to 50 cents, said Shaun Higgins, director of marketing and sales. The price of a Sunday paper will remain $1.25.
The cost of a seven-day subscription will be $11 a month if delivered by carrier, $11.50 if delivered by motor route. Buchwald - Somebody Has To Say It
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Art Buchwald says his syndicated column is a success because most Americans agree with his pokes at the foolishness and foibles of government.
″The success of the column, I think, is based on the fact that most Americans are saying the same thing, and they’re very delighted that somebody is, so to speak, on their side,″ Buchwald said.
″When they read my column, they say, ’Well, at least he said it.‴
Buchwald was named on March 19 to receive the Milwaukee Press Club’s Sacred Cat Award for 1991, to be presented at the club’s annual awards dinner May 4.
The award is named for the body of a cat found years ago between the walls of a building. The mummified cat is displayed at the club’s bar. Winona Daily News Switches to Recycled Newsprint
WINONA, Minn. (AP) - The Winona Daily News has switched to using only recycled newsprint, publisher Howard Hoffmaster says.
″We felt it was important to make a statement to people that newspapers are concerned about the environment, that they are concerned about the rather mundane topic of landfills,″ Hoffmaster said. ″We have to be concerned as citizens about the environmental degradation from overlogging and this is certainly one way to reduce that.″
The Winona paper had been using recycled newsprint for printing half of its newspaper for two years, but found a way to switch March 1 to only recycled newsprint without having to pay more, Hoffmaster said.
Its suppliers of recycled newsprint are FSC Paper Co. LP of Alsip, Ill., and Stone Container Corp. of Chicago, he said March 21.
Linda Falkman, executive director of the Minnesota Newspaper Association, said she doubted any other paper in the state could make such a claim.
″I think the 100 percent is wonderful,″ she said. ″It’s unrealistic, however, because most newspapers don’t have the source to get it.″ Newsletter Tells Moviegoers What Might Be Objectionable
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) - Martin Scorsese’s ″GoodFellas″ is a critical hit, with Oscar nominations for best picture and best director. But did you know 282 expletives are spoken in the film?
Or that the movie about a New York Mafia family depicts 14 bloody death scenes, including shootings, stabbings and the digging up of a corpse?
Robert F. Lake Jr. and two friends have launched a newsletter, the Entertainment Research Report, aimed mostly at concerned parents and people who might think today’s movies go too far with language and sex.
The newsletter promises to tell moviegoers what to expect in the way of profanity, violence, sex and ethical conduct.
Unlike the Catholic News Service, which reviews movies based on ethical and religious standards, and the conservative American Family Association, which has pressured theaters to remove films it considers morally offensive, the Entertainment Research Report takes no stands on whether movies are worth watching.
This kind of quantitative analysis has never been provided to a national audience, said George Gerbner, a researcher of violence in television and film at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communications.
Gerbner compared the report to labeling of food and drugs.
The inaugural issue of the eight-page newsletter was mailed to the first 300 subscribers in February at a cost of $40 a year. Woman Described as Singer’s ‘Sex Slave’ Wins Defamation Suit
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - An Australian woman was awarded $100,000 March 21 by a jury that decided she had been defamed by a newspaper article saying she was the sex slave of singer Bob Dylan.
Actress-dancer Emilia Caruana, who goes by the name Gypsy Fire, admitted during the state Supreme Court trial that she had an affair with the musician during his 1986 tour of Australia.
But the 44-year-old Ms. Caruana argued that the Weekend Truth newspaper portrayed her as ″a disgusting publicity-seeking trollop″ who engaged in ″bizarre and erotic behavior by herself and with a well-known pop star and told the story thereof to a news publisher.″
The article purported to relate Ms. Caruana’s description of her love affair with Dylan in a Melbourne hotel. The newspaper contended the story accurately reported what Ms. Caruana told its reporter and that she consented to publication of the story.
In December 1987 a magistrate dismissed charges of criminal defamation brought by Ms. Caruana against Truth Newspapers, the paper’s parent company, over the same article.
A spokesman for Dylan, Elliot Mintz, was not in his Los Angeles office and could not immediately be reached for comment. U.S. Denounces Closing of Kuwait Paper
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House on March 20 criticized Kuwait for silencing a newspaper that had spoken out against the government.
White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said the United States wants Kuwait to move toward a more open and democratic society, and ″closing newspapers is not a particularly hopeful sign.″
The Kuwaiti government halted publication of the newspaper called February 26 after it published a column March 18 accusing the government of incompetence in getting water, power and other services restored.
The fledgling newspaper, named for the day allied forces drove Iraq’s army from Kuwait, was the first daily newspaper published after the liberation.
″We are always interested in promoting democracy,″ said Fitzwater, and the Kuwaitis have said ″that’s that what they intend to do.″
″We now have a possibility of a new government coming in to help rebuild that country and hopefully that will lead towards more democracy,″ he said.
Kuwait’s government stepped down March 19 amid widespread criticism of its failure to restore basic services in the three weeks since the country was liberated.
Kuwait’s emir, Sheik Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah, was expected to instruct the crown prince to form a new government. The country is operating under martial law. Group Seeks Release of Publisher Arrested in Mexico
MEXICO CITY (AP) - The National Human Rights Commission has asked federal officials to free a southern Mexico newspaper publisher who it says was arrested on trumped-up drug charges, newspapers said March 19.
The commission said Enrique Toledo Coutino of the Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, newspaper El Dia, the Truth in Print, was arrested because of his exposure of abuses by federal judicial police. Police had threatened him repeatedly before his arrest May 29, 1990, the commission said.
″In a state of law, reactions against journalists are completely reprehensible,″ the newspaper El Nacional quoted from the commission recommendation.
Its report was the latest in a series on the case, which the commission has sent to Attorney General Enrique Alvarez del Castillo. U.S. Ambassador in Spat With Soviet Media
MOSCOW (AP) - The usually cautious U.S. ambassador to Moscow has become embroiled in a verbal battle with Kremlin-controlled media over American support for striking Soviet miners.
The debate was reminiscent of the Cold War, when the Soviets often accused the United States of meddling in domestic politics and asked how Washington would like it if the reverse occurred.
The dispute began a week ago, when Dmitri Biryukov, a hard-line commentator on state television’s nightly news program ″Vremya,″ suggested the AFL-CIO was interfering in internal Soviet affairs. He said the American labor organization was offering financial support to miners striking to demand higher wages and President Mikhail S. Gorbachev’s resignation.
Biryukov also said that U.S. Embassy officials had attended meetings of the striking workers and that the embassy helped decide which miners’ representatives could visit the United States.
U.S. Ambassador Jack Matlock said he was startled by the TV commentary because American unions and miners were merely establishing ″natural″ contacts with their Soviet counterparts, not interfering.
″Isn’t the slogan ‘Workers of the World Unite’ on Pravda’s front page?″ Matlock asked Soviet reporters March 21. ″Or does this slogan not imply help? Or perhaps ‘Vremya’ commentators simply don’t read Pravda?″
The Tass news agency fired back at Matlock a day later, accusing him of hypocrisy and of overreacting to the ″Vremya″ commentary. Cuba’s Top Radio Programmer Defects to U.S.
MIAMI (AP) - The program director for Cuba’s largest radio network has defected to the United States and says conditions in his homeland are rapidly deteriorating and the government could soon fall.
Romel Iglesias Gonzalez, who worked with government-controlled Radio Progresso for 23 years, entered the United States this month on a tourist visa, accompanied by his wife. He announced the defection March 22.
Iglesias left his parents and grown daughters behind, but he said he believed he would soon be able to visit them freely.
″The regime will not last long,″ he said. ″It is in a period of terrible decadence. It is not a question of days, but perhaps a year, not much more than that.″
Iglesias said much of Cuba listens to the U.S.-backed Radio Marti that broadcasts to the island, as well as private Cuban-oriented stations in Miami.
He said Radio Progresso is a general service radio network, providing music, soap operas and news. ″But even the music must be approved for propaganda reasons,″ he said.
″During the Gulf War, for example, we could not tell the truth,″ Iglesias said. ″We had to follow the government line.″
He said he would like to get a job in radio again, but ″for me, freedom is more important. I’ll be satisfied with whatever I get.″
Iglesias said he had not yet formally asked for political asylum because his visa is still good. BROADCAST NEWS CNN Correspondent Defends Self, Pleads for Anderson’s Release
WASHINGTON (AP) - Journalist Peter Arnett pleaded for freedom for a kidnapped colleague and defended his reporting from Iraq, saying covering both sides of a war serves the public well.
″I guess the American people weren’t quite clear about what we were doing,″ the Cable News Network correspondent said March 19 at the National Press Club, where he got a hero’s welcome from hundreds of journalists.
″I don’t think the U.S. public really has a real concept of what the press does,″ he added. He said the news media is partly to blame for not making it clear.
Arnett also said the U.S. government and the media must do more to win the freedom of Terry Anderson, chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press.
Anderson was kidnapped six years ago on a Beirut street and is believed held by pro-Iranian Shiites. Of six U.S. hostages held in Lebanon, Anderson has been in captivity the longest.
″Surely this new Middle East order that the Gulf War has wrought and our renewed strength as journalists ... can be combined to bring Terry Anderson back to his family and to us,″ said Arnett.
Arnett had been called an Iraqi sympathizer by Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and many other Americans questioned why Arnett reported from Baghdad throughout the six-week war. He was the only U.S. journalist to do so.
″My choice of the word ‘sympathizer’ was not a good one,″ Simpson said in a letter to the editor printed March 20 in The New York Times. ″I wish I could have snatched it back and rephrased my remarks. The word ‘dupe’ or ‘tool’ of the Iraqi government would have been more in context with my original comments.″
However, Simpson said, ″I do feel the deep personal need to apologize for repeating the rumors about Mr. Arnett’s family connection to the Viet Cong.″
Simpson said he had ″repeated a rumor...that indicated that because of his marriage to a Vietnamese woman, who was reported to have a brother active in the Viet Cong, Mr. Arnett decided it was safe to stay in Saigon long after the evacuation of U.S. forces.″ Simpson said he wished to apologize ″in the absence of concrete evidence to corroborate the family situation.″
The American news media have a history of covering both sides of wars, from Vietnam to Central America to Afghanistan, Arnett said.
Arnett said an advantage of having a journalist in Baghdad was that the world saw first-hand the rapid deterioration of Iraq during the air war.
In his last report out of Baghdad, Arnett spoke of blood in the streets, indicating the revolt beginning to take place inside Iraq.
Arnett, who has covered 17 wars, won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Vietnam conflict while a reporter for The Associated Press. Lesley Stahl Joins ’60 Minutes’ Staff
NEW YORK (AP) - Lesley Stahl, CBS News chief White House correspondent, is joining ″60 Minutes,″ executive producer Don Hewitt said March 21.
She is replacing Harry Reasoner, who will assume the role of editor emeritus at the end of this season.
Ms. Stahl joined CBS News in 1972 as a reporter in Washington. She covered the events surrounding the Watergate break-in and subsequent Senate hearings. She was Washington co-anchor of ″CBS Morning News″ from 1977 to 1978.
Reasoner’s successor was to have been correspondent Meredith Vieira, but she is leaving the show to have her second child.
Eric Ober, president of CBS News, said Ms. Vieira will be assigned to another position at CBS News following her return to work.
In another another development regarding ″60 Minutes,″ correspondent Mike Wallace, hospitalized after a fainting spell, was in fine shape after receiving a pacemaker for his heart, a network spokesman said March 19.
Wallace, 72, checked into Lenox Hill Hospital March 14 after fainting aboard a New York City-bound jetliner in Los Angeles earlier in the week. Dow Jones, Westinghouse Venture Boosts Bid for FNN
NEW YORK (AP) - The publisher of The Wall Street Journal and its partner raised their offer March 20 for the cable operation owned by Financial News Network Inc.
The increase to $115 million tops a $105 million bid that FNN already has accepted from a rival business network, the Consumer News and Business Channel owned by NBC.
The latest move could start a bidding war early next month in federal bankruptcy court, where FNN has turned for help in sorting out its financial problems. FNN filed under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy laws March 1.
Judge Francis G. Conrad subsequently ruled that any competing bid for FNN’s media assets would have to be at least $10 million more than CNBC had offered and set March 25 as a deadline for new bids and April 3 for a hearing.
CNBC said in a statement, ″We fully intend to acquire FNN and are confident that the closing will take place promptly after court approval.″
FNN confirmed it received the new bid, and said both offers will be reviewed by the bankruptcy court. ″FNN intends to abide by the decision of the court,″ the company said.
The Dow Jones-Group W venture had reached a tentative agreement with FNN in mid-February to acquire the cable network, which is available to about 35 million cable subscribers, and other media assets for $90 million.
But FNN broke off talks later in the month when CNBC made an eleventh-hour bid and signed a definitive agreement to sell most of the same assets to CNBC for $105 million.
CNBC reaches about 18 million cable subscribers and its owners said that if they acquired FNN, they planned to merge the two services.
FNN and its 46 percent owner, Infotechnology Inc., each subsequently filed for bankruptcy court protection, saying proceeds from asset sales would not cover their outstanding debts.
Dow Jones and Group W said they were upset that they had not been given a chance to respond to the CNBC bid and vowed to pursue its efforts to buy FNN.
FNN has reached a separate deal to sell the 51 percent stake that it and Infotechnology own in The Learning Channel for $12.75 million.
FNN also has interest in services that provide stock quotes.
In its bankruptcy filing, FNN listed total assets of $75.5 million and liabilities of $145.4 million.
Infotechnology owns 97 percent of United Press International, the wire serive that is also up for sale. Georgia Candidates Refunded More Than $400,000 for Political Ads
ATLANTA (AP) - Three television stations have refunded more than $463,000 to Georgia candidates who were overcharged for political advertisements last year, and an attorney says more payments are due.
Meanwhile, the lawyers who filed the nation’s first lawsuit alleging candidate overcharging - against Atlanta’s WXIA-TV - have begun investigating TV ad rates in six other states.
Federal law requires TV stations to sell ads to candidates for public office at the lowest rate offered to any commercial client.
In August, a surprise FCC audit uncovered widespread overcharging at 20 stations in five markets outside Georgia.
Some Georgia stations began rebates immediately after the November election.
In January, Gov. Zell Miller and four of his gubernatorial rivals filed suit against WXIA, claiming they were overcharged for political ads.
The week of March 18, 15 Democratic and Republican candidates received refund checks totaling about $306,000 from WXIA, WSB and WMAZ-TV in Macon. The latest refunds bring the candidates’ total to more than $463,000.
″We don’t consider this to be all the refunds our clients are due,″ said attorney Robert S. Kahn.
The attorneys said they are investigating ad rates in Virginia, Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and Rhode Island. Churchgoers Zap TV for a Week
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A group of churchgoers turned off their television sets for a week and rediscovered the joys of board games and reading.
″More and more the TV is seeming to mesmerize all of us, especially the children,″ said the Rev. Elizabeth Parish of the Universal Unitarian Church of the North Hills.
About 100 members turned off their tubes from March 17-24. About 80 people aren’t participating.
Some families unplugged their televisions. Mary Doubleday draped hers in a blanket.
Her two children, 4-year-old Julie and 2-year-old Kevin, switched from afternoon videotapes to the children’s board game, Candyland.
A recent A.C. Nielsen Co. study showed that American children watch about 3 hours of television a day.
″The children’s attitude is that TV is something they’re entitled to,″ said Carol Ballance of Pine Township. ″Our attitude is that it’s a luxury, something to relax and watch at the end of the day.″
The church got the idea from a book, ″Unplugging The Plug-In Drug,″ by Marie Winn. PBS: Early Reports Show $36.7 Million Pledged
NEW YORK (AP) - Viewers of public television’s March on-air membership drive pledged $36.7 million to their local stations, the Public Broadcasting Service said March 19.
″Preliminary PBS data show $36,680,133 was pledged by 562,203 viewers,″ PBS said in a news release. ″These are 8.4 and 2.32 percent, respectively, above early totals from March 1990.″
The figures, expected to increase as stations report their final results to PBS, are from 135 stations. In March 1990, 147 stations reported pledges of $33,848,054 from 549,404 viewers.
About 5.2 million people and families are members of local public TV stations nationwide. Their annual contribution of more than $260 million is the single largest support of public television. Other major sources are federal and state governments, corporations and foundations. PERSONNEL Dant Named Publisher in Greenville, S.C.
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Alan H. Dant, executive vice president of The Greenville News-Piedmont Co., has been named publisher.
Steven R. Brandt, general manager of the company, was named assistant publisher, and John S. Pittman, executive editor and vice president, was named senior vice president and executive editor.
Dant joined the company as executive vice president in July 1989. He previously was a general sales manager with Mall Network Publications and advertising director at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland.
Brandt joined News-Piedmont in February 1978 as personnel director. He left in 1981 to become general manager of The Daily News Leader in Staunton, Va., but returned to Greenville to be general manager in 1983.
Pittman has been executive editor of the morning Greenville News and evening Greenville Piedmont since 1979 and vice president since 1980. He was named city editor of The Greenville News in 1976 and was promoted to managing editor of the News in 1977. Crosby Named Executive Editor in Lafayette, Ind.
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Steve Crosby, managing editor of the Wausau (Wis.) Daily Herald, was named executive editor of the Journal & Courier in Lafayette on March 19.
Crosby, 34, joined the Daily Herald in 1989. A new managing editor will be named by mid-April, said Fritz Jacobi, Daily Herald publisher.
The Journal & Courier is a morning newspaper with a 38,000 daily circulation and 42,400 Sunday circulation.
Both newspapers are owned by Gannett Co. Inc. Brimeyer Is New Managing Editor in Peoria, Ill.
PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Thomas F. Driscoll, executive editor at the Peoria Journal Star, has retired after 41 years at the newspaper.
His duties will be divided between Editorial Page Editor Barb Mantz Drake and Jack Brimeyer, who also moved to managing editor on March 22.
Driscoll, 65, plans to remain a member of the board of directors of the parent corporation, Peoria Journal Star Inc. He joined the Journal Star as a reporter in 1949 and become executive editor in 1984.
Also at the newspaper, Kelly VanLaningham was named news editor, replacing Stan Hieronymus, who in January assumed the newly created position of assistant managing editor for photos, graphics and design.
And Kirk Wessler was named sports editor, replacing Paul King, who retired after 45 years with the paper. George Named Thomson Director of Editorial Development
TORONTO, Ontario (AP) - Thomson Newspapers Corp. announced March 19 the appointment of Hunter T. George to the new position of director of editorial development.
George, 44, will assist the company’s newspapers in evaluating their content and appearance and in developing new sections and publications. He will supervise bureaus in Washington, Columbus, Ohio, Harrisburg, Pa., and Ottawa. He will be based in Toronto.
George had been the managing editor of The News and Observer of Raleigh, N.C., the past four years. He also has been a reporter and editor for The Miami Herald and a reporter for the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record. George was a nominating juror for the Pulitzer Prizes in journalism in 1988 and 1989.
Thomson publishes 163 daily newspapers, including 123 in the United States and 40 in Canada. The company publishes 47 non-daily newspapers. Hachette Names Guerin To Oversee Asian Operations
NEW YORK (AP) - Hachette Magazines Inc., publisher of Elle magazine, appointed Didier Guerin as president for Asia-Pacific operations on March 22.
Guerin, now executive vice president of publishing, will manage eight magazines already being distributed in Asia, including local editions of Elle in Japan, China, Hong Kong and Australia.
He also will direct the company’s efforts to move into Taiwan, Korea, Thailand and Singapore during the next two years.
David J. Pecker, executive vice president and chief operating and financial officer for Hachette, will move to Guerin’s job.
Hachette also publishes Woman’s Day, Car and Driver and a dozen other magazines. Hayhow Picked as KC Business Journal Publisher
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Joyce Hayhow, director of advertising sales at the weekly Kansas City Business Journal, has been named publisher.
Ms. Hayhow, 39, joined the company in 1987. Previously she was with Gannett Outdoor Co. of Kansas City. DEATHS Peter H. Ohm
NEW YORK (AP) - Peter H. Ohm, the first Korean-American to own a TV station and publisher of the largest Korean-American newspaper in the New York area, died March 22 at age 59. He suffered a stroke while golfing in Florida.
The Korean-born Ohm founded the Korea Times in 1967 in New York. The paper appears daily except Sunday in Korean and weekly in English. His Korean- American TV station broadcasts 24 hours a day in Korean.
He is survived by his wife and son. Lester O’Dell Shuler
DUNCAN, S.C. (AP) - Lester O’Dell Shuler, director of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal’s production facility, died March 17 following a brief illness. He was 58.
Before joining the Spartanburg newspaper in 1970, he worked at the Rome News-Tribune in Rome, Ga., and the Marietta Daily Journal in Marietta, Ga. Shuler received several achievement awards and was recognized for his work in advancing offset printing and color technology.
At the Herald-Journal, he oversaw construction of a new production facility and was responsible for the installation of new presses. AWARDS Investigative Reporting Group Issues Annual Awards
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Toxic waste, migrant farm workers and Teamsters boss Jackie Presser were among the topics covered by winners of this year’s Investigative Reporters & Editors competition.
The awards were announced March 20 by the University of Missouri School of Journalism at Columbia, where IRE is based. Faculty members screened the entries and a panel of top investigative journalists chose the winners.
This year was the first for the $1,000 Thomas Renner Award for the best in crime reporting. Renner was a former IRE president and covered organized crime for Newsday.
IRE is a national organization of about 3,000 members. More than 400 investigative projects from 1990 were entered in the annual contest. Winners will receive the IRE Scroll or the IRE Medal at the organization’s national conference in Chicago June 6-9.
The winners are:
-The Thomas Renner Award:
James Neff for ″Mobbed up: Jackie Presser’s High-wire Life in the Teamsters, the Mafia and the FBI″ (Dell Publishing Co.), a biography of the late Teamsters president that uncovered his ties to the Mafia and the Reagan White House and showed how he used his position as FBI informer to consolidate his standing in the labor movement.
-Newspapers over 75,000 circulation:
Dianna Marder, The Philadelphia Inquirer, for a series exposing tactics used by a convenience store chain to get innocent employees to confess to stealing money, then forcing them to pay up.
Luis Feldstein Soto, Tom Fiedler, Lisa Getter, Justin Gillis, David Lyons, Jacquee Petchel and Joe Starita of The Miami Herald for a series on lavish lifestyles of public officials and conflicts between their business relationships and public duties.
-Newspapers under 75,000 circulation:
Joan Mazzolini, Birmingham (Ala.) Post-Herald, for a series showing the discriminatory membership policies at Birmingham country clubs and the failure of the Internal Revenue Service to enforce its own regulations concerning tax exemptions for groups that discriminate.
Eric Greenberg of The News Tribune, Woodbridge, N.J., for articles revealing the existence of unexploded munitions and contamination from mustard gas and cyanide at an old Army arsenal, a site proposed for a $1 billion waterfront development.
-Major market television:
Steve Andrews, Bruce Breslow and Robin Lane-Roane of WFLA-TV, Tampa, Fla., for reports on mistreatment of foster and shelter children by Florida’s Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.
Robbie Gordon, Eugenia Harvey, Peter Herdrich, Richard N. Kaplan, Ira Rosen, Diane Sawyer and Betsy West of ABC News-PrimeTime Live, for an investigation documenting negligence, patient abuse and unsanitary conditions at Veterans Administration hospitals.
-Smaller Market Television:
Andrea Austin of KGW-TV, Portland, Ore., for a series detailing the poor working and living conditions of migrant farm workers, the failures of the state agencies charged with protecting them, minimum-wage law violations and health hazards faced by children working the fields.
Winston Dean, formerly of WJXT-TV, Jacksonville, Fla., for reports uncovering a conflict of interest involving a local public television station manager, who pocketed proceeds from a charity auction intended to raise funds for the station.
Stephanie Abarbanel, Family Circle Magazine, for a story on toxic contamination at EPA Superfund sites in Jacksonville, Ark., and associated health problems.
Jacqueline E. Sharkey, freelance writer, for a report in Common Cause Magazine analyzing how the Bush Administration spent $12 million helping Violeta Chamorro win the presidency of Nicaragua in last year’s election, despite congressional restrictions on direct U.S. involvement in the campaign.
David Burnham for ″A Law Unto Itself: Power, Politics and the IRS″ (Random House and Vintage Books), which tells the inside story of political influence, bribery, administrative failings and poor congressional oversight of the government’s tax collection agency.
Francis X. Dealy Jr., for ″Win at Any Cost: The Sell Out of College Athletics″ (Birch Lane Press), a study of corruption in college athletics focusing on campus rape, drug abuse, recruiting bribes, academic fraud and the exploitation of black athletes.
-Radio: No winners chosen. Akron Beacon Journal Writers Win Worth Bingham Prize
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Three staff writers for the Akron Beacon Journal have won the 1990 Worth Bingham Prize for investigative reporting and will share an award of $10,000.
Bob Paynter, Andrew Zajac and Keith McKnight co-wrote a series on campaign fund-raising in Ohio and its ties to the state’s lawmaking process. The series revealed how a ″pay-to-play″ system draws campaign contributions from people trying to influence legislation.
The series also won a 1990 national award from the Society of Professional Journalists.
The award is given by the Worth Bingham Memorial Fund and is named for a member of the Bingham family, which formerly owned The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky. Worth Bingham was killed in a 1966 automobile accident in Nantucket, Mass. NOTES FROM EVERYWHERE
President Bush generally praised coverage of the Persian Gulf War, but also teased members of the press at the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association dinner March 19. Bush said that he was urged to take the Desert Storm coalition all the way to Baghdad to ″take out the man who caused so much grief and anger. And I said, no, let CNN take Peter Arnett out.″ ... Secretary of State James Baker got in his jibe at the annual Gridiron Club Dinner: ″The gulf was quite a victory. Yet who could not be moved by the sight of that poor demoralized rabble - outwitted, outflanked, outmaneuvered by the U.S. military. But I think given time, the press will bounce right back.″ ... Robert Maxwell, new owner of the New York Daily News, says the purchase is his last big deal ″until I meet my maker or my baker.″
End Industry News