The Austin (Texas) American-Statesman has appointed three editors to new leadership positions, according to The Associated Press. Former news editor John Bridges, 36, was named metro editor. He has been an editor at the American-Statesman for 13 years. His previous positions include news copy editor, copy desk chief, nation-world editor and news editor. Tony Shuga, 45, was named news editor. He came to the Statesman from the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, where his assignments included special projects editor and assistant news editor. At the Statesman, he has worked as a copy editor, national editor, assistant business editor and weekend editor. Debbie Hiott, 31, was appointed state editor, filling a spot opened when Carlos Sanchez left to become editor of the Waco Tribune-Herald. She will oversee coverage of the state capital.
John Drury, the lead anchor for WLS-TV 7 in Chicago announced in January that he would be stepping down from his position after 17 years at the station owned and operated by ABC. He will continue to file special reports with Alex Burkholder, his longtime producer, Mediaweek reported. WLS has named Ron Magers as its new lead 10 p.m. anchor. He served as the station’s 5 p.m. anchor. Magers will join Diann Burns, sports anchor Mark Giangreco and meteorologist Jerry Taft on the top-rated newscast.
Tom Goldstein, dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism for five years, has announced that he will be stepping down in June. Goldstein, 56, who was dean of the graduate school of journalism at the University of California at Berkeley from 1988 to 1996, said he wanted to return to California, The New York Times reported. Goldstein said he had no specific plans other than to rejoin his wife and young son, who moved back to California last year, but he said he would probably write and teach. Under Goldstein, the journalism school lengthened its school year to 10 months from nine, added a doctoral program in communications and raised about $49 million in grants and gifts, which helped increase its endowment to $84 million, up from $54 million five years ago.
Richard Griffis, sports editor of The (Fort Wayne, Ind.) News-Sentinel since December 1995, has been named managing editor. Griffis joined The News-Sentinel in 1994 as assistant executive sports editor. Under his leadership, The News-Sentinel sports and sports special sections have been honored six times since 1998 as being among the 10 best in the nation for newspapers of its size, The News-Sentinel reported in January.
Richard J.V. Johnson, chairman of the Houston Chronicle, retired April 1 after 45 years with the newspaper. Johnson, 71, will remain a consultant to the newspaper and its parent company, The Hearst Corp., according to The Associated Press. Before being succeeded by Jack Sweeney in October 2000, Johnson was the Chronicle’s publisher for 14 years. He began working for the Texas Daily Newspaper Association in 1955 then joined the Chronicle. After working in a variety of Chronicle executive posts, Johnson was promoted to president in 1973. He was named publisher when Hearst bought the paper in 1986. He became its chairman and publisher in 1990. While serving as president of the Chronicle in 1984, Johnson became the first Texan to serve as chairman and president of the American Newspaper Publishers Association, now the Newspaper Association of America.
Steve Lambert, former editor of The Eagle-Tribune in Lawrence, Mass., has been appointed editor of The San Bernardino (Calif.) Sun. Lambert, 45, joined the paper Feb. 26, succeeding Joe Happ, who resigned, said Sun Publisher Bob Gray. The Sun is operated by Los Angeles Newspaper Group, a unit of Denver-based MediaNews Group. Lambert has been a reporter and editor at newspapers throughout the country, including the Denver Rocky Mountain News, The Albuquerque Tribune and The News Journal in Wilmington, Del. He also was managing editor of The Journal News in Rockland, N.Y., and editor of the Delaware County, Pa., Daily Times. Since 1999, he served as editor and vice president of news for The Eagle-Tribune, the current New England Newspaper Association Newspaper of the Year. Last year, it won daily and Sunday Newspaper of the Year honors from the New England Press Association in the mid-size newspaper category.
San Francisco Chronicle Vice President and Managing Editor Jerry Roberts left the newspaper Feb. 11 after nearly 25 years working in posts ranging from reporter to editorial page editor. A Chronicle press release said only that Roberts had departed the paper but did not refer to his departure as a retirement, resignation, or firing, according to Editor & Publisher. A company spokesman would not comment further on the situation. Several newsroom sources speculated that Roberts might have departed because of ongoing disputes with Executive Editor Phil Bronstein. Bronstein became executive editor following the Hearst Corp.’s purchase of the Chronicle in 2000. Hearst, which had owned the smaller San Francisco Examiner, turned over control of the Examiner to the local Fang family. However, Hearst had promised jobs to all Examiner employees who wanted them, including Bronstein, who had served as Examiner editor. The integration of the Chronicle and Examiner staffs has not always gone smoothly, according to employees of the combined staffs. Roberts declined to comment on reports of a rift with Bronstein, saying only that he was headed for a vacation to Mexico and would start looking for a job upon his return, possibly in teaching or broadcasting. In a statement released by the paper, he referred to his Chronicle tenure as “an incredible privilege.” In the same statement, Bronstein called Roberts “a consummate professional and an extraordinarily talented journalist.”
Media consultant Martha Steffens, who was ousted as executive editor of The San Francisco Examiner in December 2000 after less than a month on the job, has been named the first Society of American Business Editors and Writers chair in business and financial journalism at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Steffens, 48, was the first top editor of The Examiner under the Fang family, which took over the paper from the Hearst Corp., according to Editor & Publisher. Steffens also was executive editor of the Press & Sun Bulletin in Binghamton, N.Y., from 1997 to 2000, after serving as managing editor of the Binghamton newspaper from 1995 to 1997. Earlier, she held editing posts at the Dayton Daily News, Evansville Courier, Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register, The Associated Press reported. In January, David Burgin, who succeeded Steffens, also was fired from the Examiner.
For the first time in its 153-year history, The Associated Press has a female vice president. Kelly Smith Tunney, who joined the New York-based news cooperative in 1962 and spent the past two years as director of corporate communications, added the title of vice president, Editor & Publisher reported in January. “I think it’s great for women,” said Smith Tunney, 61, who became one of 11 vice presidents at the worldwide news organization. “Diversity is wonderful for any company.” In 1967, Tunney was a war correspondent in Vietnam, the first woman the AP sent into a war zone since World War II. Smith Tunney was promoted along with Tom Brettingen, 53, who now is a vice president as well as director of business development, the AP reported. He is responsible for AP Information Services division, AP’s advertising services (AdSend and AdVantage), AP Telecommunications, the AP Photo Archive and Wide World Photos, and other new business opportunities. The appointments were made at the AP board’s winter meeting in New York on Jan. 17.
Ray Barham, a convicted killer who wrote award-winning newspaper columns from his prison cell, died Jan. 28 of cancer in Concord, N.H. He was 72. Barham was serving a life sentence for the murder of his estranged wife’s boyfriend in 1981. Barham admitted to the killing, telling a police officer that it was “better planned than D-Day,” according to The Associated Press. Barham’s jailhouse writings caught the attention of Concord Monitor editor Mike Pride, who chose him for the paper’s board of contributors in 1987. The two eventually became friends, the AP reported. Barham won numerous awards for his observations on such topics as prison crowding, the O.J. Simpson trial and the motivation of sexual offenders. Barham wrote of hope and overcoming despair in his columns. “He had all the talent in the world, yet there were times you had to step back and say, ‘Why didn’t he use all these things?’” said Harry Batchelder, a lawyer who once represented Barham. “He wasn’t a thug. … He is very, very educated and articulate, and I enjoyed being around him.”
Andrew W. Cooper, 74, a civil rights advocate and publisher of The City Sun newspaper, a defunct weekly once on the must-read list of many black New Yorkers, died Jan. 28 in Brooklyn. His family said the cause of death was a stroke. Cooper left a permanent imprint on the city’s political landscape in the mid-1960s as lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit that challenged the apportionment of congressional districts in Brooklyn, particularly in Bedford-Stuyvesant, The New York Times reported. Cooper, a lifelong Brooklyn resident, was an executive of the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Co. from 1951 through 1971, and then spent the next 25 years as a journalist. Cooper founded The City Sun in 1984, and the paper immediately gripped the attention of many readers with investigative articles on the affairs of black civic leaders. The paper collapsed under financial pressure in 1996, but not before stinging many politicians with editorials, according to The Times. In 1997, Cooper created the Trans-Urban News Service, which provided several publications with articles and trained black, Hispanic and female journalists. He also had served as an adviser to the American Management Association and the National Urban Affairs Council, and as regional vice-chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers’ Association.
Daniel De Luce, who as a World War II correspondent for The Associated Press won a Pulitzer Prize for his daring reporting on the strength of partisan resistance to the Nazis in Yugoslavia, died Jan. 29 in Escondido, Calif. He was 90. His brother Richard said his death was due to complications from a fall at his home in San Diego. De Luce traveled to North Africa, South Asia and throughout Europe to cover World War II. He began his career as an office boy in the AP’s San Francisco bureau in 1929. He then transferred to the Los Angeles bureau until 1934 when he received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles. After that, he spent a year reporting for the now-defunct Los Angeles Examiner so he would have enough experience to rejoin the AP as a reporter, which he did a year later. After the war ended, he reported from Jordan on the Arab-Israeli war of 1947-48. He returned to Europe to serve as bureau chief in Frankfurt, Germany and then returned to the United States in 1956 to work at AP headquarters in New York. In 1976, De Luce retired from the news cooperative as a deputy general manager, the AP reported.
Frank Dennis, 94, a former editor at The Washington Post, died of heart ailments Jan. 29 at his home in Arlington, Va. Dennis, a native of Larkspur, Calif., also was a lawyer, a government spokesman and the founder of a wax museum, The Post reported. He put himself through Harvard Law School while working for the Boston Herald. In 1939, while working for the Daily Oklahoman in Oklahoma City, he gave a talk on libel law at the annual meeting of the Associated Press Managing Editors Association. He impressed Eugene Meyer, the publisher of The Post, and Alexander Jones, the managing editor, who then hired Dennis as city editor. The following year, he was named assistant managing editor. Dennis took a leave of absence from the newspaper in 1949 to serve as information chief in Paris for the Marshall Plan, the U.S. economic assistance program that revived Western Europe after World War II. He later was chief spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Rome. In 1952, he returned to Washington and resigned from The Post to become chief of the news department of the U.S. Information Agency. In the 1950s, he also founded the National Historical Wax Museum in Washington, which also had exhibits in exhibits in Gettysburg, Pa.; Harpers Ferry, W.Va.; Williamsburg; Denver; and New York City.
Lynn Ford, 43, a columnist and editor at The Indianapolis Star, was found dead in his home Feb. 5 after suffering a heart attack. Ford joined The Star in 1984. Before becoming assistant arts and entertainment editor, he covered police, education and minority affairs and wrote feature stories, according to The Star. He also wrote a biweekly column, which focused on life in the black community. Prior to coming to The Star, Ford worked at the Indianapolis Recorder for eight years. Ford was known in Indianapolis for his columns and community service. He often spoke with young people, urging them to make positive contributions. Ford was seriously injured in a knife attack on Feb. 11, 2001, when he was attacked from behind in the parking lot of his apartment complex. Scottie Edwards, the attacker and ex-husband of a woman Ford had been dating a short time, was sentenced to 40 years in prison, The Star reported.
Harry Harris, a celebrated Associated Press photographer who captured images of the U.S. First Army marching across Europe in World War II, President John F. Kennedy lying in state, and Hank Aaron hitting his record-breaking 715th home run, died Feb. 12. He was 88. Harris died at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital on Long Island after a brief illness, said his granddaughter, Michelle Abramson. Harris worked for the AP for nearly 50 years until his retirement in 1978. Harris won numerous awards from the New York Press Photographers Association and was given the Randolph Hearst Award as “Photographer of the Year” in 1965, the AP reported.