The Philadelphia Inquirer has promoted Anne Gordon, 45, to managing editor. Gordon, previously deputy managing editor for arts and features coverage at the newspaper, has worked at the Inquirer since April 1999. She began at the paper as head of several daily and Sunday feature sections. The appointment ended a search that began after previous Managing Editor Phillip Dixon left the position in January.
Katherine Boo, a staff writer for the Washington Post, has been awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, which includes $500,000 over a five-year period. Boo, 37, works as an investigative journalist for the Post, where she specializes in reporting on impoverished communities. Much of her work has centered on those affected by mental and physical disabilities or by economic problems. She also is the author of “Invisible Lives, Invisible Deaths,” a series that exposed poor treatment of the mentally disabled in the Washington, D.C., social service system. The work won a Pulitzer Prize and a Sigma Delta Chi Award.
Dennis Swanson,, executive vice president and COO of Viacom Television Stations Group, has taken away a third executive from NBC after just two months at Viacom. NBC was Swanson’s previous employer. Joining Swanson under the Viacom umbrella is Peter Dunn, who has been chosen as vice president and general manager of CBS station KYW-TV in Philadelphia. Dunn was employed by NBC Television Stations Division as executive vice president of sales before coming to KYW-TV. Dunn took over the position of CBS executive Marcellus Alexander, a longtime company employee.
The conviction of the man who attempted to stab Indianapolis Star columnist Lynn Ford has been overturned. Indiana Attorney General Stephen Carter has asked the state’s highest court to reinstate the conviction of Scottie R. Edwards, who attacked Ford in February 2001. The original conviction included a 40-year prison sentence for attempted murder. A year later, Ford died of a heart attack at 43. In August, the state Court of Appeals decided that the jurors who found Edward guilty had not been given the proper definition of attempted murder before deliberations began. According to the three-judge panel, Edwards can be retried. Prosecutors in Marion County will not begin the case again until the appeals process has ended for the original case.
Valari Dobson Staab was named the new president and general manager of ABC-owned and operated KGO-TV in San Francisco. Staab was most recently president and general manager of WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., another ABC-owned station. She takes the place of Joe Ahern, who joined CBS station WBBM-TV in Chicago in early August.
The chief executive of Freedom Communications Inc., Samuel Wolgemuth, 59, who has functioned as CEO and president of the company since October 1999, resigned after the company’s board asked him to step down. Wolgemuth has been replaced by Alan Bell, who was described as a “TV guy through and through” by former Freedom Chief Operating Officer Joseph Barletta. Experts have said Bell might have been brought onboard to make Freedom’s television stations more attractive in preparation for sale. The company, which is most famous for its Orange County Register, has a board dominated by Freedom’s owners, the Hoiles family.
The Orange County Register also has hired a new executive vice president and general manager. Ray Stafford, 54, is former publisher of The Monitor, a Freedom Communications-owned daily newspaper in McAllen, Texas. The Register, based in Santa Ana, Calif., has a daily circulation of 360,000. Stafford reports directly to publisher Chris Anderson. Stafford will be replaced in Texas at The Monitor by M. Olaf Frandsen, 47, who came from jobs as publisher of the Appeal-Democrat in Marysville, Calif., and as vice president of Freedom’s Pacific Region, which supervises papers in California and western Arizona. He will continue his duties as vice president and will oversee newspapers in Texas, New Mexico and Missouri. The new position will begin in November. Frandsen will be replaced in Marysville by Maureen Saltzer Gawel, 43, who comes from North Carolina as Freedom’s eastern North Carolina communications president and supervisor of three daily papers. She will take over duties as publisher of the Appeal-Democrat and as regional vice president. Gawel has maintained the role of publisher in Freedom Communications-owned papers in Fort Pierce, Fla., and Victorville, Calif.
Ronnie Agnew, the managing editor of The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., has been promoted to executive editor, making him the first African American to lead The Clarion-Ledger, a newspaper that was pro-segregationist during the civil rights battles. Agnew, 39, replaces Shawn McIntosh, who left The Clarion-Ledger to take over as deputy managing editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Stephen P. Hill has been named the new president and general manager of The Washington Post. The positions have been vacant since September 2000; they were originally held by publisher and chief executive Boisfeuillet Jones Jr., who was promoted to run the newspaper. Hills, 43, will oversee all Post business operations under Jones. Hills previously was a vice president at the Post, supervising the advertising, circulation and marketing departments.
Parade magazine has named Jack Griffin, who had been president of the magazine, as publisher. The title previously was held by CEO and Chairman Walter Anderson, who said in a release that “the publisher title more accurately reflects Jack’s actual responsibilities and functions over the last two years and clearly defines his future assignment.” Griffin came to Parade as president in November 2000 after working as vice president for the broadcast group of Meredith Corp. in New York.
Columnist Bob Greene, 55, resigned from the Chicago Tribune after admitting he engaged in improper sexual behavior with a student in her late teens that he met while working on a column. An anonymous complaint led to Greene’s resignation, which was requested by the paper after an investigation into the incident. Besides writing a column that appeared four times a week, Greene has authored at least 19 books, including two national best sellers: “Be True to Your School” and “Hang Time: Days and Dreams with Michael Jordan.” Before the Tribune, he was a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times from 1969 to 1978.
Robert J. Rosenthal, who has more than 30 years of experience in news, has joined The San Francisco Chronicle as managing editor. He will report directly to Phil Bronstein, executive editor of The Chronicle, and will run a newsroom staff of 480. Before coming to The Chronicle, he served in a number of positions at the Philadelphia Inquirer, including executive vice president and editor. Also joining The Chronicle is Nan Bisher as creative director and Susan Gilbert as director of photography. Bisher, an award-winning designer, has had leadership positions in publications such as the New York Daily News, the Orange County Register, U.S. News & World Report and the San Francisco Examiner. Gilbert began in photography at The Chronicle in 1973 and worked as director of photography at the Charlotte Observer in North Carolina, where Gilbert and her staff were named staff of the year by the North Carolina Press Photographers Association the past five years.
Washington reporter Christopher Newton has been dismissed by The Associated Press after the agency could not verify sources quoted and named in many of his stories. The AP began investigating after inquiries were received about two experts in a Sept. 8 piece involving crime statistics. Several other stories were then located by editors involving sources that could not be found. Many sources were said to have academic credentials or to have worked in policy research. “Chris Newton maintains these experts are real and accurately quoted, but our editors have been unable to verify that they even exist,” said AP spokeswoman Kelly Smith Tunney. “The integrity of the news report is our highest priority, and we asked him to provide proof of authenticity, but he could not or would not do so.” Newton has not publicly commented on his dismissal.
John Callcott, whose career lasted almost 20 years with United Press International, died Aug. 19 in Geneva at age 64. Friends say Callcott died of throat cancer, after a battle that lasted three years. Callcott joined United Press, as it was called, in Frankfurt in 1957 and then went to Bonn in 1960. He went on to London in 1962 and then on to Geneva in 1964, where he was made bureau chief, working in a small office in the U.N. Palais de Nations. He covered the Adolf Eichmann trial and the building of the Berlin Wall; he was only three yards from John F. Kennedy during the president’s “ich bin ein Berliner” speech. Callcott also reported on disarmament and nuclear weapons talks, G7 summits and disasters and upheavals on three continents. After he left UPI, Callcott worked for several publications, including a stint as editor of Hors Ligen, a Swiss glossy magazine that was published half in English and half in French.
John Conrad, a sports editor at The Register-Guard in Eugene, Ore., died Aug. 3 from complications of a stroke. Conrad was 57. He worked in sports at the Register-Guard, beginning as a reporter, for 33 years. Named Oregon sportswriter of the year in 1982, he was promoted to sports editor in 1984.
James J. “Jim” De Graci, 54, died Aug. 14 after a two-year battle with cancer. The North Lauderdale, Fla. resident had worked at The Sun-Sentinel as a journalist and editor. His career began when he entered The Baltimore Sun as a reporter. He soon joined the Army during the Vietnam War, where he found a position with Green Beret Magazine as the editor. “He carried a paper and pen instead of a gun,” said his wife, Judy. After the war, De Graci graduated summa cum laude from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in urban studies. After moving to Florida, he joined The Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he worked for nearly 25 years.
Robert de Roos, an award-winning reporter, columnist, author and magazine writer, died of old age and pneumonia on Aug. 25. He was 90. De Roos’ career began as a cub reporter at the Merced Sun-Star and ended as a National Geographic magazine correspondent. He had a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and, as he often said, “a Ph.D. from the School of Hard Knocks.” He was awarded a National Headliner’s Award and a Neiman fellowship for study at Harvard. A famous reporter and columnist for The Chronicle in the 1940s and ‘50s, he made a name for himself on stories such as the 1946 prison rebellion on Alcatraz Island. After working at the Chronicle, he was West Coast bureau chief for Collier’s magazine. After the magazine folded, he wrote for magazines such as TIME, Life, Sports Illustrated, Reader’s Digest, the Saturday Evening Post and TV Guide. He then went all over the world for National Geographic.
Veteran San Francisco Examiner columnist, author and publicist, Charles M. Denton died Sept. 15 in Tiburon, Calif., after a heart attack. He was 78. He worked as a reporter and columnist for United Press, International News Service, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and the Los Angeles Times for a short time, from 1949 until 1963, when he moved to San Francisco. He was also the president of the Greater Los Angeles Press Club from 1955 until 1957. The then-Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner hired Denton in 1963 to compete with the popular San Francisco columnist Herb Caen. For five years, he entertained fans with accounts of discovering the bay city. He left news journalism in 1968 for a career in corporate publicity, where he headed communications for the Leslie Salt Co. and Crown Zellerbach before becoming a vice president of the public relations firm Hill and Knowlton. He co-authored the book “A Matter of Life” and wrote television scripts, plays, and numerous articles for magazines such as Sports Illustrated, TV Guide and Cosmopolitan.
Sidney Epstein, who began his career as a copy boy at the Washington Herald and then went on to become editor of The Washington Star, died Sept. 15. He was 81. During a career that lasted nearly five decades, he supervised coverage of many stories, including the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. After serving in the Marine Corps during World War II, he returned to what had then become the Washington Times-Herald. He later joined the Star as an assistant city editor, where he quickly rose through the ranks as city editor, assistant managing editor, managing editor and executive editor, eventually becoming associate publisher, editor and a member of the paper’s board of directors. One of his hires while still at the Times-Herald was Jacqueline Bouvier, who later married Kennedy. After her death in 1994, Epstein reminisced to Washingtonian magazine about hiring her. “I remember her as this very attractive, cute-as-hell girl, and all the guys in the newsroom giving her a good look,” he said. After the Star shut down, Epstein joined a telecommunications firm for a short time, serving as consultant to the Toronto Sun while the paper explored the possibility of starting a paper in Washington.
Bill Feather, a former Associated Press newsman who covered nine governors during a 30-year career, died Aug. 18 at home in Santa Fe, N.M. He was 74. In an op-ed piece when Feather retired in 1990, then-Gov. Garrey Carruthers wrote: “Bill is truly a fountain of knowledge about our state government. Every governor since Edwin Mechem (who served in the 1950s and ‘60s) has sought him out.” The piece was signed by seven living former governors, who described Feather’s coverage as being always “professional, fair, balanced and accurate.” He covered the statehouse from 1958 to 1990 for the AP, except for a two-year hiatus as editor of The Santa Fe New Mexican. While attending New Mexico State University, he worked at the Las Cruces Citizen. Upon graduation in 1951, he went to the El Paso Times, the Amarillo Daily News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He joined AP in Albuquerque in 1956, moving to the Sante Fe bureau in 1958.
Phyllis Joffe, 58, died unexpectedly on Aug. 17 from cardiac arrhythmia, said her daughter, Lesley Niego-Gustafson. The award-winning journalist and producer regularly contributed to programs on National Public Radio, including “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered” and “Weekend Edition.” Joffe specialized in arts and education coverage. A Philadelphia native, she received her bachelor’s degree from Temple University and a master’s degree in child psychology from Southern Connecticut State University. After graduating, she worked as a social worker in New Haven and eventually taught journalism at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Wesleyan University and Quinnipiac University.
Retired syndicated sports columnist Walter Johns, 91, died Aug. 25 at the hospice of Parma Community General Hospital in Cleveland. Based in Cleveland with the Central Press Association, a division of King Features Syndicate, from the mid-1930s until Central Press folded in 1971, Johns wrote about sports figures such as Muhammad Ali, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and Jim Brown. His column, “Sports Sputterings,” ran in more than 2,100 newspapers at one time. After leaving journalism, he was publicity director of Thistledown racetrack for 11 years. He also co-founded the Parma Post in 1947 and was editor and co-publisher for 18 years before selling the paper in 1965. It is now owned by Sun Newspapers.
Art Kevin, who was a major news personality at Los Angeles stations, mainly KHJ-AM and KMPC-AM, during the 1960s and ‘70s, died of lung cancer at his home in suburban Las Vegas on Aug. 22. The disc jockey turned radio news announcer is most famous for his live broadcast to RKO network stations of the fatal shooting of U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in June 1968, where Kennedy and his party were celebrating his victory in the California Democratic presidential primary. Kevin not only covered the Kennedy assassination by Sirhan Sirhan, but also the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan, Richard M. Nixon, Eugene McCarthy, Nelson Rockefeller and Hubert H. Humphrey. Among other major stories of the time that he covered were the campaign of Cesar Chavez for farm workers’ rights, civil rights marches in the South and Vietnam War debates and demonstrations. Born in the Bronx as Art Ferraro, he began his career as a disc jockey on the night shift at WAVZ-AM in New Haven, Conn. Moving on to Los Angeles in 1959, he helped form the radio division of United Press International and became UPI’s first West Coast bureau chief. He was the first news director at KEZY-FM before moving on to KFAC-AM and KFI-AM. He worked at KHJ from 1963 to 1972, covering important news stories and then serving as news director, public affairs director and national news correspondent for RKO General Broadcasting. Kevin then went on to KMPC, where he stayed until 1978. He started his own oldies radio station – KRRI-FM – in Nevada in 1982. He ran the station until 1995.
Hugh Lytle, who sent the first account of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to The Associated Press and the world via teletype message, died at age 100 on Aug. 16. As AP’s Honolulu correspondent and a reserve Army officer, Lytle was at home when the Army called him on Dec. 7, 1941, just as Japanese planes were bombarding the U.S. fleet in the harbor. He left for the AP office at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, where he filed virtually the only official brief to make it out before military censors stopped all information flow. No further accounts were available until much later that Sunday. Lytle joined the Army’s intelligence unit, spending much of the war as a military censor on Oahu, where he decided what information went to the media and which articles could be printed. In 1945, he and friend Harry Albright joined the Honolulu Advertiser as co-managing editors. He left that job to become press secretary for Gov. William Quinn, retiring in 1968.
Former Florida Today news reporter John McAleenan, a longtime columnist and beach lover, died Aug. 25 after briefly battling acute leukemia. The avid surfer from Merritt Island, Fla., was 69. McAleenan, who dropped out of high school and quit a job in lifeguarding, became a journalist at age 21. He was famous for his quick wit, observations about daily life and storytelling. His columns appeared in Florida Today during two stints there and several Gannett-owned local weeklies. He had most recently worked for The Star-Advocate, The Press-Tribune, The Times and The Bay Bulletin as a columnist, telling readers in July that he would undergo chemotherapy for acute leukemia. More than 300 people responded to the story with well wishes. McAleenan began at Florida Today in 1966, but has also worked at the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, The Detroit News and the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel. His second tenure at Florida Today began in 1990, although he was more famous for his first years there, when he covered the 1968 cross-country “People’s Train” that carried U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy’s body after his assassination in Los Angeles. While in Detroit, McAleenan was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the infamous John Wayne Gacy serial murders trial in 1978.
Allen Myerson, 47, fell from the 11th floor of The New York Times office building in Times Square on Aug. 22, in what police say was a possible suicide. The business editor had worked at The Times since 1989, where his title was assistant business editor/weekends. According to a memo released by Publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., police were investigating the circumstances of the death. Myerson regularly wrote on energy issues. He had also recently edited “The New Rules of Personal Investing,” a group of essays detailing tips from top business writers at The Times. Myerson came to The Times after working at the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader and The Dallas Morning News.
Former New York Daily News reporterEdward Kirkman died of cancer Sept. 1 at age 75. Kirkman, who covered many top stories, was well known for scooping the competition on the prison release of bank bandit Willie Sutton. He won many awards during a career that lasted 41 years, taking early retirement in 1987. Born in Brooklyn, the World War II Navy veteran worked as a copy boy in 1946 for $23 a week, going on to become a reporter at the News, covering stories such as the sinking of the Italian liner Andrea Doria, the mob slaying of gangster “Crazy Joey” Gallo and the San Francisco trial of newspaper heiress/revolutionary Patty Hearst. When Willie Sutton, who was famous for saying he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is” was released from prison on Christmas Eve 1969, Kirkman escorted him from Attica to New York on a plane chartered by the News. While he interviewed the bandit, other papers were trying to find out where Sutton was. Kirkman also taught journalism at St. John’s University and Suffolk Community College for nearly 20 years.
Marshall L. Stone, 81, who retired from the Bangor (Maine) Daily News as managing editor in 1982, died Aug. 16. Born in Bigelow, Ark., Stone was a veteran of the Marine Corps in World War II. He left the News after 12 years and then worked for the weekly Ellsworth American until August 1984. Before the News, he worked at the Arkansas Gazette, the Louisville (Ky.) Courier Journal, the Detroit News and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Bangor Daily News Executive Editor Mark Woodward, who began work for the News and Stone in 1971, said Stone was a “powerful role model.”
Dwight Whylie, the first black radio announcer hired by the British Broadcasting Corp., died Sept. 16 of an apparent heart attack, while visiting the Caribbean island of Barbados. He was 66. Originally from Jamaica, he was in Barbados as the chief judge in the Caribbean Broadcasting Union’s Media Awards. Whylie became the first black BBC announcer when he came to the domestic services division in London in 1961. He came back to Jamaica to head the Jamaica Broadcasting Corp. in the 1970s. He had another first when he became the first black announcer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., where he would work for two decades. Presently, he was chairman of Jamaica’s Broadcasting Commission, wrote a newspaper column for The Jamaica Observer and in March 2001 was an observer at the highly charged general elections in Guyana.
Ron Woodgeard, 56, died Sept. 9 after a long battle with cancer. Woodgeard was editorial page editor and former managing editor and Capitol bureau chief of The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph. He worked as a writer, editor and columnist for the Telegraph for more than 25 years. After covering state government in the late 1970s through the early 1980s, he was able to translate that knowledge into years of columns and editorials. He joined The Telegraph as a copy editor in 1976 and was chief of the newspaper’s capitol bureau by 1978. He then became managing editor in 1982. A project he supervised in 1985 won a Pulitzer Prize for reporters Randall Savage and Jackie Crosby for a report on the handling of scholarship athletes’ academic deficiencies at the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech.