A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists

People & Places

By Quill

Henry B. Haitz III, general manager of the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa., will become the newspaper’s president and publisher effective Jan. 1, according to The Associated Press. Haitz, 37, has been general manager since June 2000 and will replace publisher Lou Heldman, who is leaving to become president and publisher of The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle. Heldman credited Haitz with developing industry guidelines for the University Newspaper Readership program that has put newspapers into resident halls and classroom buildings in Penn State and elsewhere.

The San Francisco Chronicle has announced the promotion of five editors. Mi-Ai Parrish, 30, was named deputy managing editor for features, replacing Liz Lufkin, who has left the paper. Parrish was hired earlier this year as the associate Sunday editor. Wendy Miller, 50, was named assistant managing editor for metro news. She replaces Dick Rogers, who became the new readers’ representative for the paper. Miller edited education and legal stories after joining the paper last year. Andrew Ross, 55, who also joined the Chronicle earlier this year, was named senior foreign editor. He was associate editor of content. Ross spent 10 years working for the San Francisco Examiner and then co-founded Salon.com. Leslie Guevarra, 42, was named associate editor after serving as the director of editorial hiring. Ken Conner, 48, was named deputy Sunday editor after working as the projects editor.

Jan McDaniel, vice president and general manager of WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, has resigned. She celebrated her five-year anniversary at the CBS-owned station in September. She said she has not decided what she will do next. WCCO’ s news operation has lost about 8 percent of its viewership in the past three years. In May, the most recent “sweeps” ratings period, its 10 p.m. newscast finished a distant second to KARE after being first a year before. McDaniel’s replacement is Rene LaSpina, general manager of a Pennsylvania TV station that at one point last year had the highest-rated local newscast in the country. According to The Associated Press, LaSpina, 43, was a standout in sales at Scranton’ s WNEP, an ABC affiliate. She became general manager in 1997 after four years as general sales manager.

Dan Bowerman, 45, former editor of the Greater Niagara Newspapers in New York, has been named executive editor of The News-Messenger in Fremont, Ohio, and the News-Herald in Port Clinton, Ohio. Bowerman succeeds Mickey Johnson, who resigned to become editor of The Times in Gainesville, Ga. Previously, Bowerman was managing editor and executive editor of the Niagara Gazette. He also worked as a reporter, layout and copy editor, and suburbs editor at the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle.

Paul C. Bedient has been named publisher at the Grand Haven (Mich.) Tribune, effective Jan. 1. He served as advertising director for 12 years and succeeds Lee Carter, who will become publisher of the Sandusky (Ohio) Register. Sandusky Newspapers Inc. owns both papers.

Thomas Rutledge, the No. 2 executive at Time Warner Cable, left the company in October to pursue a different career direction. Rutledge’s departure comes as part of a reorganization at the cable unit, AOL said. He exited the post after only two months, having been appointed president in August, according to The Associated Press. Thomas Baxter, chief executive of Internet firm Audible Inc., will succeed Rutledge as president. Baxter joined Warner Cable in 1980 and held several executive positions before joining Comcast Corp., where he was named president in 1990. In 1998, Baxter left Comcast to become a partner in Evercore Partners, an investment firm, and then moved on to Audible. Time Warner Cable, the second-biggest cable operator in the United States with about 12.7 million subscribers, came under close watch after the merger between America Online and Time Warner was completed in January, according to The Associated Press.

Ardith Hilliard, associate editor and assistant to the editor at The Los Angeles Times, has been named editor at The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa. Hilliard replaces Elaine Kramer, who left in June to become managing editor at the Orlando Sentinel. As a Times staffer, Hilliard was a member of reporting teams that won Pulitzer Prizes in 1995 and in 1998 for breaking news coverage. Hilliard also served as assistant city editor, city editor, metro editor and editor of the Times’ San Fernando Valley edition. Kramer joined The Morning Call in 1998 as managing editor and was named editor in April 2000.

Linda Danna has been named vice president and general manager of Viacom’s two Detroit stations, CBS affiliate WWJ and UPN affiliate WKBD. Viacom made the announcement Oct. 18, according to MediaWeek. She most recently served as senior vice president and general manager of Viacom’s Atlanta UPN affiliate, WUPA. Previously, Danna worked as general sales manager for KTXH, Viacom’s Houston UPN affiliate, and as general manager for Seltel, a Dallas company.

Don Fries, publisher of Time Inc.’s Money magazine, has been replaced with Fortune Small Business’ Kathleen Kayse, according to an executive familiar with the situation. MediaWeek reported in late October that Fries, who was publisher of Life magazine when it folded in March 2000, had been publisher of Money since June 2000. Fries reportedly was offered a position in corporate sales and marketing. Like other financial magazines, Money, with a circulation of 1.9 million, has suffered steep ad declines. Through November of this year, volume fell 16.4 percent to 1,019 pages, according to Mediaweek Monitor.

Steve Oswalt, 48, a Des Moines television news reporter, was fired after he jokingly sprinkled face powder around the newsroom in front of co-workers, his lawyer said. Attorney George LaMarca said Oswalt, who worked at KCCI-TV for 15 years, sprinkled the powder Oct. 15 as a prank. He said it was clearly done in a joking manner in front of managers who knew there was no threat. “I don’t know how any reasonable person could believe that Steve had anthrax,” LaMarca said. According to The Associated Press, news director Dave Busiek said Oswalt was no longer an employee as of Oct. 19. He declined to comment further. LaMarca declined to comment about possible legal action.

Carole Simpson, an ABC News correspondent, has been suspended for two weeks with pay after she spread false information about an anthrax investigation while speaking at a luncheon. According to USA today, Simpson appeared before the International Women’s Media Foundation in New York on Oct. 16 and said colleague Cokie Roberts had received a suspicious letter from Trenton, N.J., which is the suspected origin of suspicious letters sent to media organizations and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. Although ABC was investigating a suspicious letter in its Washington bureau, it did not originate from Trenton, according to The Associated Press. The letter proved to be harmless. ABC executives also were upset that Simpson, speaking before a roomful of reporters, revealed details about the infant who contracted anthrax after a visit to ABC, including the fact that the baby’s mother worked for her. In a statement issued Oct. 25, Simpson said she regretted the mistake.

After getting complaints of anti-Semitism, The Oneida (N.Y.) Daily Dispatch retracted an editorial that quoted a Pakistani as saying Jews were to blame for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The retraction was published Oct. 18 on the editorial page, below a masthead that no longer contained the name of Managing Editor Jean Ryan. Ryan and City Editor Dale Seth, who wrote the Sept. 19 editorial, were fired Oct. 17, according to The (Syracuse) Post-Standard. Dispatch Publisher Ann Campanie would not confirm the report, saying it is the newspaper’s policy not to publicly discuss personnel matters. In a statement issued Oct. 18, Ryan wrote, “I am not working at the Oneida Daily Dispatch as of yesterday because of repercussions from allowing the Sept. 19 editorial to be published. I am not anti-Semitic, and anyone who knows me knows that.”

Fox News Channel has created two reporting posts for coverage of the expanding war on terrorism, according to MediaWeek. Bret Baier has been named national security correspondent and moves from the cable news network’s Atlanta bureau. Catherine Herridge has been appointed homeland defense correspondent. Previously, she was the network’s first London correspondent and then worked in New York. Baier will work at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., while Herridge operates from New York and Washington. “These appointments affirm our long term commitment to covering this new war on many levels,” said John Moody, senior vice president for news and editorial.


William J. Mertena, 70, a longtime Associated Press reporter, died Oct. 8 in Olympia, Wash. He covered state government and politics in Olympia, Seattle and Spokane. Mertena worked for the AP from 1966 until his retirement in 1987. He was part of the AP team that reported the May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens. Prior to joining AP, he worked for the American Press in Lake Charles, La. He was a journalism graduate of the University of Oklahoma and a native of Frederick, Okla.

John Paul Pitts, 64, oil editor for the Midland (Texas) Reporter-Telegram, died of a heart attack Oct. 13 in Brownwood, Texas. Publisher Charlie Spence called Pitts “a great professional who was not only dedicated to journalism in covering business but had a passion for the oil business.” Pitts had covered the oil industry for the newspaper since 1984. Previously, Pitts was publisher of the Gunnison Country Times in Colorado. He won a second place Hearst Distinguished Journalism Award in 2000 for his piece, “Oil Outlook 2000.”

Joseph Bortnick, 96, a retired telegraph operator with The Associated Press, died Oct. 16 in Kansas City, Mo. His career spanned many of the major news events of the past century. Bortnick began his AP career in 1928 in Milwaukee and later worked in Chicago. After retiring from the AP in Kansas City in 1970, he accepted special assignments with the news service for about 10 years. He covered many major news stories, including the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy and space launches in Houston. Bortnick was born in Russia and began work in the mid-1920s as a Morse code operator for the Union Pacific Railroad in Salt Lake City.

Lawrence Anderson Still, 78, who retired in 1986 from Howard University, died Oct. 16 at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. He had Alzheimer’s disease. Still had been chairman of the journalism department and associate dean of the School of Communications and served 14 years on the Howard University faculty before he retired. University trustees established the Lawrence A. Still Reporting Laboratory in the School of Communications in honor of his years of service. Still graduated from Iowa State University and studied at St. Louis University. He was a Chicago-based journalist for Jet and Ebony magazines before moving to Washington in 1965. In Washington, he covered the civil rights movement, the White House and national politics, and international events in Europe, Africa and the Soviet Union. Still also was an information officer in Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey’s 1968 campaign for president. While on sabbatical from Howard, he served as a Fulbright journalism professor at the University of Nairobi in Kenya in 1979. Still was past president of the Capital Press Club and a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Rudy Rivers, 74, former editor of the Herald-Journal of Spartanburg, S.C., and a 42-year newspaper veteran, died Oct. 20 in Spartanburg. Rivers had been seriously ill for nine months before he died. Rivers had worked as a Statehouse reporter, city editor, columnist and managing editor before being named editor in 1981 after the Spartanburg Herald and Spartanburg Journal merged. Colleagues remembered Rivers as a skilled writing coach and for his attention to detail and discipline. Rivers, a native of Athens, Ga., graduated in 1950 from the University of South Carolina with a degree in journalism. He served as a Marine during World War II in China and the Pacific and also served in the Korean conflict. Rivers was a former president of the South Carolina Associated Press News Council and the South Carolina Press Association.

Steve Crowe, 47, who covered auto racing, boxing and sports broadcasting for the Detroit Free Press, died Oct. 17 of heart disease. According to the Free Press, Crowe died while taking a nap before a scheduled appearance of his rock band, Skillet, at Motor City Casino. “I always called Crowsie our rock ‘n’ roll racing writer, but he was much more,” said Free Press sports editor Gene Myers. “He entertained and informed Free Press readers on more topics than I can count. And he did everything in life with a special flair – from his writing to his singing to his TV viewing habits. But most of all he was a good friend.” Crowe attended Eastern Michigan and the University of Detroit but received no special training in journalism. After gaining experience on a prep sports weekly, and with the encouragement from Free Press prep reporter Hal (Swami) Schram, Crowe accepted a position as a Free Press editorial aide, working on the sports section’s scoreboard page.