A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists

People & Places

By Quill

Police in Tyler, Texas, shot and killed a 73-year-old man on New Year’s Day after he apparently set fire to his home and then shot at those responding to the blaze. A Tyler Morning Telegraph newspaper reporter and photographer were injured in the shooting. Reporter Shauna Wonzer was struck in the upper left thigh, and photographer Herb Nygren was nicked in the side of the head. The two had just arrived on the scene and were standing near a fire truck, waiting to speak with firefighters when the shots rang out, the Telegraph reported. The man firing the shots, Fred Douglas Wallace, then barricaded himself in the garage before a SWAT team officer killed him. Authorities said they did not know why Wallace opened fire, according to The Associated Press. “We have no way of telling what his intentions were,” police spokesman Chris Moore said. “We don’t know what his mental state is.” Morning Telegraph managing editor Dave Berry said, “You’re never ready for anything this crazy to happen. Everybody was surprised, shocked and kind of asking the same question we all ask, ‘How do you know if you’re going to walk into something like that when you’re out on a routine news story?’”

Ethan Bronner has been named assistant editorial page editor of The New York Times. Since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, Bronner, 47, has been an editor on the investigations team of The Times. From 1999 to 2001, he was education editor at the paper. Bronner joined The Times in 1997 as a national education correspondent. He previously was a correspondent for The Boston Globe for 12 years, where he covered urban affairs. He was based in Washington as the paper’s Supreme Court and legal affairs reporter and was later Middle East correspondent, based in Jerusalem. Bronner began his journalism career with Reuters in 1980, working as a correspondent in London, Madrid, Brussels and Jerusalem.

David Burgin, 62, was fired as editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Examiner, the latest in a series of management shakeups since the Fang family bought the afternoon newspaper from Hearst in 2000. He was the second person to hold the position since the Fang family took over, brought in a new staff and began morning publication. As part of Hearst’s purchase of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Fangs received a three-year, $66 million subsidy to publish the Examiner and keep alive a second metropolitan daily newspaper in the city. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Burgin said he received a call from Publisher Florence Fang in January, who read him a letter notifying him that he was being terminated. “She told me our styles were incompatible,” said Burgin. Before being hired by the Fangs, Burgin had been editor of the Examiner in 1985 and 1986, when Hearst owned it. Before returning to the Examiner, he worked as editor of the Dallas Times Herald and editor in chief of the Houston Post and the Alameda Newspaper Group. Zoran Basich, 35, who has served as the Examiner’s editorial page editor, will replace Burgin. In October, Fang fired her son, Ted Fang, the paper’s former publisher. She then took over his duties.

Marti Buscaglia is leaving her post as vice president of marketing and communications for The Baltimore Sun to assume the role of publisher of the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune. Buscaglia, 48, replaces Mary Jacobus, who recently was named publisher of The (Fort Wayne, Ind.) News-Sentinel. Buscaglia has worked for The Sun, a Tribune Co. paper, since April 2000, according to Editor & Publisher. Previously, she worked for a Minneapolis-based magazine and Web site, and for Knight Ridder’s St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press and Press-Telegram of Long Beach, Calif. From 1992 to 1996, she was vice president/director of market development for Gannett Co. Inc.’s newspaper division.

John Cunniff, who wrote the Business Mirror column for The Associated Press since 1966, retired Dec. 31. He wrote nearly 5,600 of the columns and countless other business analysis pieces in his 42 years with the AP. For years, Cunniff’s columns appeared five days a week, although recently, they had run three days a week. At the column’s peak, hundreds of newspapers carried Business Mirror, making it one of the nation’s most widely seen financial news features.

Jeff DeForrest, a popular South Florida sports broadcaster, admitted in Miami federal court Jan. 17 that he bribed Miccosukee gaming officials to obtain lucrative tribal television contracts. DeForrest, 50, is the dry-witted personality known best for his drive-time morning sports radio talk shows on WQAM in Miami. He pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a scheme in which he kicked back as much as $70,000 to two successive marketing directors for Miccosukee gaming operations, federal officials said. DeForrest, known popularly as Defo, formerly hosted Miccosukee Sports Rap and produced Miccosukee Magazine television sports shows broadcast on Florida’s Sunshine Network. Miccosukee Indian Gaming, the entity that runs the tribe’s gaming operations, purchased airtime from Sunshine and paid DeForrest’s companies to produce the show. Miccosukee Indian Gaming awarded DeForrest and his partner, Marvin Cigel, the contracts at the recommendation of Jeffrey Purcell, who was the company’s director of marketing at the time, according to federal documents, the (South Florida) Sun-Sentinel reported. Cigel has not been charged. “Defo was actually stealing money from the tribe,” U.S. Attorney Guy Lewis said.

After less than six months on the job, Phillip Dixon, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s managing editor, stepped down in January. Walker Lundy, who became editor of the Inquirer in November, said he had hoped Dixon would remain as part of his team. “I tried to talk him out of it,” Lundy said. “After a couple of conversations, it became clear his heart was elsewhere.” Dixon, 50, was the No. 2 person in the newsroom. Dixon said he had no immediate plans, though he was interested in teaching journalism. Dixon started working at the Inquirer in 1979 as a reporter and was part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for its coverage of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. In 1986, he left the Inquirer to work at the Los Angeles Times, where he was assistant metropolitan editor for three years. He then joined The Washington Post in 1989, where he was assistant city editor and city editor. Dixon replaced William “Butch” Ward as managing editor when Ward accepted a buyout package after 20 years at the Knight Ridder-owned newspaper. His announcement came shortly after Knight Ridder said it was cutting 1,700 jobs companywide. Lundy, formerly editor of Knight Ridder’s St. Paul Pioneer Press, became editor Nov. 26 after the resignation of Robert J. Rosenthal.

David E. Easterly, vice chairman of Cox Enterprises Inc. and a former publisher of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, said Jan. 8 that he is retiring after 32 years at Cox. Easterly, 59, will continue working as a consultant for the Atlanta-based media company, as well as remain vice chairman of Cox Enterprises’ board and a member of the boards of Cox’s radio and newspaper divisions. Easterly served as a member of The Associated Press board for nine years, departing in 2001. He joined Cox’s headquarters staff in 1981 as vice president of operations for Cox Newspapers and was named publisher of the Journal-Constitution, the company’s flagship newspaper, in 1984, The Associated Press reported. G. Dennis Berry, Cox Enterprises’ president and chief operating officer, has assumed Easterly’s duties. Easterly, who began his career as a reporter at the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News in 1970, said he plans to help teach a business course at Morehouse College.

“Good Morning America’s” Antonio Mora is moving to WBBM (Channel 2) in Chicago as its lead male anchor. Mora, the 44-year-old Cuban native, has been the morning show’s news anchor since 1998. He is well respected as a broadcaster and newsman and was considered something of a rising star on the national broadcast scene, the Chicago Tribune reported. ABC tried to keep him, and at least one other Chicago station was bidding for his services, Mora said. Beginning in mid-March, he will anchor the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts alongside Tracy Townsend. In hiring Mora, the CBS-owned station will get some journalistic credibility, a shot at some longer-term stability and the potential public-relations coup of having the city’s first lead male anchor of Latino heritage at a time when the city’s Latino population is increasing dramatically, according to the Tribune. Mora was a former corporate lawyer, who said he was “miserable” in that job. He began his rapid rise through the TV news ranks at Univision’s Spanish-language WXTV in New York City in 1989, making stops in Los Angeles and Miami as well.

Joe Oglesby, 54, a veteran award-winning journalist, was named editor of The Miami Herald’s opinion pages on Jan. 3. Oglesby had been interim editorial pages editor the past six months, taking over for Tom Fiedler, who became The Herald’s executive editor in July, the newspaper reported. Since becoming interim editor, Oglesby has expanded the space for readers’ letters and reduced the space for editorials. Publisher Alberto Ibargüen said he selected Oglesby after he “guided the opinion pages solidly and thoughtfully” during the tumultuous upheaval following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Oglesby is only the fourth Herald editorial pages editor since 1958 – and the first black person to hold that position. “First and foremost, I am here to represent The Miami Herald and all its communities – the business community, the Jewish community, the Hispanic community,” Oglesby said. “I have had experience with all of them because I’ve lived here all these years. Certainly, I know the black community, but that will not be my exclusive calling.”

Paul K. Scripps, 56, retired Dec. 31 as a newspaper division vice president for The E.W. Scripps Co. He will continue to serve as a member of the company’s board of directors and a trustee of the Scripps Howard Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm, according to The Associated Press. Scripps began his career in 1970 as a sixth-generation journalist at the Ventura County (Calif.) Star-Free Press, part of the newspaper group founded by his father, John P. Scripps. In 1986, John P. Scripps Newspapers merged with The E.W. Scripps Co. Paul Scripps is a great-grandson of Edward W. Scripps, founder of the company that bears his name. The E.W. Scripps Co. operates 21 daily newspapers, 10 television stations, three cable networks, Scripps Howard News Service and United Media, which licenses and syndicates comics and features.

Longtime CNN anchor Greta Van Susteren has moved to The Fox News Channel. She will be covering the same 10 p.m. Fox talk show that Paula Zahn had until CNN hired her away in September. Van Susteren, a lawyer with an extensive criminal defense background, became widely known to television viewers as CNN’s main legal commentator during the O. J. Simpson trial. CNN did try to retain Van Susteren, but the combination of Fox’s offer and what Susteren said was her own conclusion that “10 years in one place is a long time,” led her to decline CNN’s offer to stay, The New York Times reported. Although Fox executives said CNN had offered her more money, CNN executives said they had essentially matched Fox’s offer. Although neither side would disclose the exact financial terms, two executives close to the negotiations said Van Susteren would earn $1 million to $1.2 million a year, which is about average for prime-time hosts on the cable news networks. Van Susteren had been making $700,000 to $800,000 a year, a CNN executive said.

Jason Williams, a Cincinnati Post beat writer who was barred from two University of Cincinnati basketball games after an argument with coach Bob Huggins, showed up for a game against DePaul Jan. 16 and was allowed to stay. Williams walked through the media entrance to the Shoemaker Center, identified himself to the guard and was waved through, The Associated Press reported. The Post had talked to the university, trying to get the ban lifted. Newspaper editors told Williams to show up for the game and had a columnist present as well. The problem began when Williams published a story Jan. 8, reporting that Huggins lashed out over the lack of sellouts at the 13,176-seat Shoemaker Center and used profanity while referring to fans. Huggins reiterated during his weekly radio show two days later that he was disappointed by the small crowds, but he tried to soothe fans. Cincinnati failed to sell out any of its first eight home games, according to the AP. Williams denied that he started the argument with Huggins.


A Great Falls, Mont., television reporter and cameraman were killed Jan. 12 in a 12-vehicle pile-up at the south edge of Belt, a small town about 20 miles southeast of Great Falls. The KRTV employees were identified as reporter Jennifer Hawkins, 22, and videographer David Gerdrum, 48. Officials say the chain-reaction crash was caused by high winds of up to 50 miles an hour that kicked up dirt in plowed fields and reduced visibility. After a semitrailer in front of the KRTV car slowed when the winds increased, the news car struck the back of the semi and then was hit from behind by another semi. Hawkins and Gerdrum were returning to the television station after covering a skiing event at Showdown Ski Area near Neihart, Mont.

Drue Smith, “the flamboyant, unflappable Nashville reporter known for her peacock-like attire and hair,” died Dec. 27 in Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., The Tennessean reported. Drue, who never was known as “Mrs. Smith,” had collapsed earlier that day at her home. She was believed to be at least in her 80s, but she zealously protected her age during more than 50 years of covering hundreds of state and national lawmakers and the last six Tennessee governors, according to The Tennessean. “Women volunteer too much information about themselves and bore people,” she said in a 1988 newspaper interview. Smith was the first full-time female broadcast reporter to cover Tennessee’s Capitol Hill. She provided legislative coverage for United Press International, radio station WLAC-AM, the Tennessee Radio Network and other broadcasters throughout the state. At the time of her death, she was a columnist for the Green Hills News. She also was a strong supporter of the Society of Professional Journalists and at one time had served as the local chapter’s president. “No one can challenge Drue Smith’s dedication to the Society of Professional Journalists,” said Kent Flanagan, Tennessee bureau chief for The Associated Press and SPJ chapter president.

Earl B. Abrams, 90, who was a senior Washington correspondent for Broadcasting magazine when he retired in 1976, died of a stroke Jan. 10 at Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington. He had lived in the Washington area since the late 1930s and in Arlington since 1943, with the exception of a stint in Los Angeles in the early 1970s. During his 25-year career with Broadcasting, he covered the commercial beginnings of television and FM radio as well as the regulatory agencies, laws and politics surrounding them. Abrams worked as a reporter for The Record in Bergen, N.J., and The Associated Press in New Jersey before moving to the Washington area.

Thomas Lucius Berkley, 86, owner and publisher of the Oakland Post and El Mundo, died Dec. 27 in Oakland, Calif. Berkley, co-founder of the West Coast Black Publishers Association, was a supporter of civil rights and housing opportunities. In 1955, he developed Berkley Square, a 250-house racially integrated housing tract in Las Vegas. In 1967, he was appointed to the Oakland Board of Education. He later became the first black to serve as a commissioner for the Port of Oakland.

Forrest Boyd, 80, a former White House correspondent for the Mutual Broadcasting Network, died Jan. 5 of a heart attack. He worked for radio stations in Minneapolis, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. He also was a news anchor at KPOL-TV in Los Angeles and other stations before moving to Washington in 1960 for a job at Voice of America. Boyd served as Mutual’s White House correspondent during the terms of Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Ford.

Casper Citron, 82, a longtime radio host who broadcast his interviews from Manhattan hotel lobbies, died Jan. 1 of liver failure. Until he recently became sick, Citron broadcast his nationally syndicated show four to five days a week, which he had been doing for 43 years. In New York, he was first heard on WRFM and then on WQXR. He broadcast on WOR for the past 14 years. Citron interviewed Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and Marlon Brando, who did his entire interview lying down. Citron taped his last broadcast Aug. 28, which was scheduled to run Sept. 15, just four days after the terrorist attacks. However, it was never aired because it covered safety problems at airports in the New York City area.

Earl Dehart, 76, a writer, photographer and bureau chief for The Miami Herald for more than 20 years, died Dec. 22 in Miami. He had retired from The Herald in 1992. Before settling in South Florida in 1959, Dehart joined the Air Force and completed tours in Japan, Pakistan, Iran, the Philippines and Hawaii. Prior to retiring as staff sergeant in 1968, he was working as a part-time photographer for The Herald. He later worked full time for the paper and then became bureau chief of the newspaper’s Homestead office.

Mike Hurewitz, 57, a veteran New York journalist, died Jan. 13 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City from complications of surgery to donate part of his liver to his brother, Adam. The younger Hurewitz, a 54-year-old Long Island physician, is reported to be recovering. Mike Hurewitz was a journalist for almost 30 years and was known for his passion for journalism and compassion for young reporters learning the trade, The Associated Press reported. He covered various topics, including organized crime trials in New York City and features in rural upstate New York near Saratoga Springs where he made his home. In 1994, Hurewitz joined the Albany Times Union after reporting for the former Long Island Press and the New York Post. “He was one of the true gentlemen and artists of the profession,” said Dennis Michalski, former executive city editor of the Times Union. “The way he died, giving part of his liver to his brother, was true to his character.”

Edward J. Kissell, 67, a legendary (Cleveland) Plain Dealer police reporter, died Dec. 21 at Brooklyn Recreation Center, apparently from a heart attack. He collapsed after going ice skating, one of the activities he loved most. For most of his career, Kissell worked evenings out of a media office at Cleveland police headquarters. He craved secrecy, and about the only times he appeared in the newspaper’s newsroom were on paydays, when he would quickly grab his check and be out of the office before anyone realized he was there. Some of his bosses did not even know him, The Plain Dealer reported. After graduating from Kent State University, Kissell worked for a small-town radio station and at United Press International in Cleveland for several years. The Plain Dealer then hired him in 1964 to help investigate wrongdoing on Cleveland’s waterfront.

Rollan Melton, a columnist, editor, publisher and Gannett executive whose Nevada newspaper career spanned 55 years, died Jan. 13 in Reno after a long heart-related illness. He was 70. Since 1978, Melton has written about 4,000 columns for the Reno Gazette-Journal. Melton began his journalism career at age 15 at the Fallon Standard. In 1957, he joined the Reno Evening Gazette as a sports editor after a two-year stint in the Army. He became publisher of both the Gazette and Nevada State Journal in 1966. In 1969, he was named vice president of the Speidel newspaper group that included the Reno papers, and three years later, he became Speidel’s president. After Speidel merged with the Gannett newspaper chain in 1977, Melton was appointed senior vice president of Gannett’s western division and a Gannett board member. He resigned the executive post in 1979, but remained on the board of directors and continued to write his column.

Peter L. Milius, 64, a writer and editor at The Washington Post, died at the Washington Home Hospice Jan. 10 of complications resulting from a cardiac arrhythmia suffered Jan. 1. Milius was viewed as someone who had a gift for untangling the mysteries of complex government programs and assessing how they affect ordinary people. He joined The Post in 1965 and served as a reporter and editor on the metropolitan and national desks.

David W. Miller, 35, was on his way home from an economics conference in Atlanta when he was killed in a head-on car accident Jan. 6 on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. A sport utility vehicle crossed a grassy median and struck the Lincoln Town Car in which Miller and his companions were riding, said Sgt. Scott Fear, a spokesman with the U.S. Park Police. Two other people were killed in the accident as well. Since 1998, Miller was a reporter at the Chronicle of Higher Education, a weekly publication based in Washington, D.C. Scott Jaschik, editor of the Chronicle, said Miller wrote under the byline D.W. Miller and covered social sciences.

Paul V. Miner, 90, longtime reporter, editor and executive at The Kansas City Star, died Dec. 25 in Dallas. During a 46-year career at the newspaper, Miner held nearly every top management position. After joining The Star in 1929 as a copy boy, he left shortly thereafter to study journalism at the University of Kansas. He began a 10-year stretch reporting for The Star in 1933 and then joined the Navy. After World War II, he returned as assistant city editor, rising to news editor in 1954 and managing editor in 1960. Miner was named president and chief executive officer of the Kansas City Star Co. in 1968. Under his leadership, The Star expanded its suburban coverage, introduced Star magazine and revamped the paper’s Sunday edition.

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