A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists

People & Places

By Quill

Niko Price has been named correspondent at large for The Associated Press, a position that was just created. Price is the news editor for The Associated Press in Mexico City. He joined the AP in 1993 in Carson City, Nev., and moved to the Los Angeles bureau six months later. Price, 33, became an editor on the International Desk at AP headquarters in 1995 and then moved to the Mexico City bureau in 1997. He became news editor there in January 1999. He was born in Amsterdam and is a graduate of Harvard University.

Another top editor from Maxim has made the leap to Playboy, just four months after the former head of the magazine made the same move. Steven Russell, Maxim’s co-executive editor, has been appointed as Playboy’s deputy editor, second-in-command to editorial director James Kaminsky. Kaminsky joined the magazine after leaving as Maxim’s executive editor in September. Just after his departure, Russell and Mike Hammer became co-executive editors of Maxim. That publication has become one of the most successful magazines within the male target group of readers in their mid-20s. Hammer will now act as executive editor, according to a Maxim spokesman. Robert Love, a former managing editor at Rolling Stone who was forced to leave in June, also will join Playboy as editor-at-large.

Frank Rich, op-ed columnist and senior writer for The New York Times Magazine, has been appointed associate editor of the newspaper. Rich will now write a cultural essay for the Arts & Leisure front page each Sunday. The column will begin in the spring. According to Howell Raines, executive editor of The Times, Rich will work as an adviser to Steven Erlanger, the cultural news editor. Rich, 53, came to the op-ed page as a columnist in 1994 and then received the title of senior writer in 1999. He has worked at The Times since 1980.

United Media will merge its comic and column/text areas, which will cause some staff changes. No reductions in staff are planned. Lisa Klem Wilson, vice president and general manager of United, said the new department will allow editors from two areas of work to “bring different insights” into the art and text features. Marianne Goldstein, who was previously executive editor of the columns/text area, has been promoted to executive editor of the new group. Jake Morrissey, an employee of Universal Press Syndicate until 1998, will work as managing editor of comics. Neil Gladstone will continue as managing editor of the columns/text arm of the new department. United includes United Feature Syndicate and Newspaper Enterprise Association, and it is one of the largest syndication companies in the United States. Its distributed features include “For Better or For Worse” by Lynn Johnston, “Dilbert” by Scott Adams and “Peanuts” reruns by the late Charles Schulz.

David Boardman will take over as managing editor of the Seattle Times. Boardman has been an editor at the Times since 1983, and he currently holds the position of managing editor for investigations, business and sports. During his tenure at the Times, Boardman has worked on several award-winning investigations, including two projects that have won Pulitzer prizes. He is also a board member of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. Boardman will replace Alex MacLeod, who recently announced that he will retire at the end of June. Jacqui Banaszynski has been named to the newly created position of Associate Managing Editor for special projects and staff development. Banaszynski has been with the Times since 1997 as assistant managing editor for local news, and she has also worked for The Oregonian in Portland and the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota.

George Solomon, longtime Washington Post sports editor, soon will step down from the position. He has held the position for 27 years – longer than any other editor at the Post. His deputy, Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, will take the sports editor position. Solomon was planning to retire in 2004, but the schedule was moved up to keep Garcia-Ruiz from taking a job with The New York Times. Columnists Tony Kornheiser, Mike Wilbon and Tom Boswell have all worked under Solomon during his tenure.

Bill Cotterell, a political writer and columnist at the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat, has been suspended after sending an e-mail to a reader referring to Arabs squatting “around a camel-dung fire” and putting “their bottoms in the air five times a day” in prayer. Cotterell sent his message in reply to an e-mail from an angered reader over a political cartoon. The cartoon asked, “What would Mohammed Drive?” and showed a Middle Eastern-looking man in a Ryder truck with a nuclear bomb strapped to the back. After receiving complaints from a Washington-based Islamic advocacy group, Democrat Executive Editor John Winn Miller suspended Cotterell for one week without pay. According to Miller, Cotterell regretted the remarks immediately and apologized to his colleagues. He has been with the paper for almost 20 years.

Andrew Lack, president and chief operating officer of NBC, will leave the network to head up Sony Corp.’s music division. There are no plans to fill Lack’s position. He has spent the majority of his career in advertising and television, but he has maintained a close relationship with Sir Howard Stringer, chief executive of Sony Corp. of America. They worked together at CBS for years when Stringer was a top executive for the network. Since coming to work at NBC in 2001, Lack has had disagreements with Bob Wright, veteran NBC chief executive, over turf and management issues.

Araceli De Leon has been named vice president and general manager for KDRX in Phoenix and KHRR in Tucson, Ariz., by Telemundo. She reports to Ibra Morales, Telemundo Station Group president. De Leon has worked as general manager for Univision’s KORO and Telefutura’s KCRP since 1999 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Telemundo, owned by NBC, is the second largest Spanish-language television network in America. It is broadcast to 90 percent of U.S. Hispanic viewers and has 11 owned-and-operated stations over more than 50 broadcast affiliates.

Sixteen-year veteran of ABC News Radio Steve Jones will become vice president and general manager of radio for ABC News. Jones, who will leave the position of vice president of programming and operations for ABCNEWS.com, will oversee all domestic and international news, sports and information coverage at the radio news division. He reports to David Westin, president of ABC News. Jones has worked not only in online news, but also as a writer, editor, producer and director for ABC News Radio. He will replace Chris Berry, who left in November to operate ABC-owned WMAL-AM in Washington, D.C.

Jayne Speizer, publisher of the Rock Hill (S.C.) Herald, will leave the paper for a similar job in California as publisher of the Monterey County Herald. The paper is owned by Knight Ridder. Speizer, 52, has been at the Herald for seven years. She will succeed Pat Keil, who will go to The Charlotte Observer as executive vice president. Speizer will end her career at the Rock Hill Herald on Jan. 31 and will also resign as president of the S.C. Press Association.

Charlotte Grimes has been named the Knight Chair in Political Reporting at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Grimes has over 25 years of reporting experience, most of which was spent covering national politics in the Washington bureau of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Since leaving the newsroom for academia in 1996, Grimes has been a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University; a visiting professor at the Newhouse School; a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University; and director of the Semester in Washington internship program for the Scripps Howard Foundation. Until November 2002, she was head of the journalism program at Hampton University, where she laid the groundwork for the new Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Houston Chronicle Executive Editor Tony Pederson, a prominent advocate of public access to government, will leave the newspaper for teaching and consulting. He came to the Chronicle in 1974, where he worked as a sportswriter, copy editor and sports editor. He became managing editor in 1983 and was named senior vice president and executive editor in 2000. The Chronicle’s national and state desks were created by Pederson, who also expanded the Latin America staff by placing two reporters in Mexico City and one in Colombia.

Jim Paul, state broadcast editor for The Associated Press, has been named correspondent in charge of the group’s bureau in Champaign, Ill. Paul, 45, will replace Jason Strait, who has moved to a sportswriting job at the Chicago bureau. Paul began work at the AP in Bismarck, N.D., in 1987, and he transferred to Baltimore the next year. He moved on as the state broadcast editor at the Chicago bureau in 1990. His career began in 1980 when he worked as news director for radio station KMIT in Mitchell, S.D., and then as assistant news director for KSOO in Sioux Falls, S.D.


Former war correspondent George Weller, winner of a Pulitzer Prize for his account of a U.S. sailor performing an appendectomy in a submarine in enemy waters, died in his seaside villa near Rome on Dec. 19. He was 95. A cause of death was not reported. The Boston native wrote from Greece for The New York Times just years after his graduation from Harvard University. He began work for the Chicago Daily News about 1939, where he wrote about a Navy pharmacist’s mate saving the life of a sailor via appendectomy while following a medical manual. Weller is also supposed to be the first Western civilian journalist to enter Nagasaki after an atomic bomb was dropped in 1945. He entered the city just four weeks after its bombing, on Sept. 6, 1945, in defiance of a government ban. Weller lived in the United States as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University after World War II, returning to Europe afterward. He also wrote several books and plays.

Astrologer to the stars Sydney Omarr, who wrote horoscopes appearing in more than 200 newspapers, has died at age 76. The astrologer, who suffered from multiple sclerosis that blinded and paralyzed him from the neck down, died Dec. 5 at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica of complications from a heart attack. His interest in numerology and astrology started as a teenager, when he wrote “Sydney Omarr’s Private Course on Numerology.” He sold the book for $2 per copy. He began to analyze movie star horoscopes, such as Edward G. Robinson, for magazines, but did not see his career take off until enlisting in the Army at 17. Sent to Okinawa during World War II, Omarr’s weekly Armed Forces Radio program, “Sydney Omarr’s Almanac,” predicted professional boxing matches and horse race finishes. He began journalism courses at Mexico City College after the war and received his first job after college as a news reporter for United Press. Omarr was a CBS radio newsman for a decade before turning to astrology as a full-time columnist and becoming an astrological consultant to Hollywood stars. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1971, he continued to work, and appeared on television talk shows hosted by Mike Douglas, Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin.

International activist and former Boston Globe journalist J. Randolph Ryan died of a heart attack Dec. 5. Ryan was 61. He was the lead writer on the Globe team that wrote the special magazine titled “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age,” resulting in a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1983. He joined the Globe as a copy editor in 1978 and soon worked on the editorial page staff, writing editorials and a weekly column. He was best known for reporting about Central America, especially the Nicaraguan conflict during which the country’s communist government fought U.S.-backed rebels in the 1980s. William Goodfellow, director of the Center for International Policy in Washington, recalls that Ryan was one of only a few journalists who wrote in mainstream publications that the public was not being told the truth about the war. After leaving the Globe in 1996, he worked for the United Nations and private organizations in Bosnia.

Yayori Matsui, a prominent Japanese journalist and women’s rights advocate, died Dec. 27 of liver cancer. She was 68. The champion of women’s rights was visiting feminists in Afghanistan in October when she was overcome by the illness. After returning to Tokyo, she was diagnosed with liver cancer. Her final days were spent planning a museum dedicated to telling the story of “comfort women” – Japan’s World War II sex slaves. The museum is scheduled to open in 2006. The daughter of Christian missionaries, Matsui was a foreign correspondent for the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun and wrote on the environment and Asian affairs during her 30-year career. After retirement, she spent her time on women’s issues, writing several books and establishing the Asia-Japan Women’s Resource Center in Tokyo in 1995. She was a co-sponsor of the Tokyo sessions of the Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal in 2000. The mock trial questioned witnesses and gathered evidence, just as a real court would on wartime abuses.

Sarah McClendon, a White House reporter who covered every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt, died Jan. 7. She was 92. She wrote about the treatment of veterans as well as government secrecy and other issues. She wrote that journalism “offers the best opportunity to serve one’s country, the people and the public interest.” For more than half a century, McClendon confronted presidents with questions that were more often than not shouted instead of spoken. “She was one of the greatest newspaperwomen Washington ever saw,” said Helen Thomas, who has covered the White House for decades and is currently a columnist for Hearst newspapers. She said McClendon “made the veins stand out” on President Eisenhower’s forehead. McClendon wrote for the McClendon News Service, a biweekly newsletter she founded, and also did a radio commentary that was carried by 1,200 stations at one time. McClendon began her career at the Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise and the Tyler Courier-Times and Tyler Morning Telegraph in 1931. She moved to the Washington bureau of the Philadelphia Daily News in 1944 and established her news service two years later.

Michael J. Ogden, who spent four decades at The Providence (R.I.) Journal as a reporter, columnist, managing editor and executive editor, died at home in Monterey, Calif., on Dec. 19. He was 91. During his tenure at the paper and its now-defunct sibling Evening Bulletin, the Journal won two of its four Pulitzer Prizes. The first came in 1953, for local reporting, just after Ogden became managing editor. The second, for national reporting, was in 1974, just after his retirement as executive editor in 1973. The native New Yorker said he was at heart a writer induced to become an editor, which he said he often had second thoughts about. Ogden served as president of the Associated Press Managing Editors in 1959 and the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) in 1967.

Sportswriter and Boston Globe columnist Will McDonough has died at 67. He worked for the paper for more than 40 years. He died late Jan. 9 while at home in Hingham as he watched sports news on TV. McDonough continued to write a weekly column in the Globe even after retiring two years ago. For more than 30 years, he specialized in the NFL; he covered every Super Bowl since the championship began almost four decades ago. Known for being confrontational and opinionated in his writing, he frequently lambasted the NFL for large salaries and their effect on professional football and other sports. Through his career, McDonough worked for CBS and NBC for brief stints, at one point winning an Emmy along with co-hosts O.J. Simpson and Bob Costas. McDonough began as an intern at The Globe while at Northeastern University, saying it was the “luckiest break I ever got in my life.” His son Sean is a national sports commentator and play-by-play announcer. Another son, Terry, has been in the NFL for 13 years and is a scout for the Baltimore Ravens.

John McDermott, who swam and played cards with the politicians he reported on while at the Miami Herald, died in his sleep Jan. 10 in Fort Lauderdale. ‘’They considered him one of the boys, it was part of the culture,’’ said Murray Dubbin, a state legislator in the 1960s and ‘70s who is now city attorney for Miami Beach. In 1967, however, when the state Senate attempted to close its session from the public’s view, McDermott and three other reporters refused to leave. They were photographed being carried out of the Senate building, helping to create public outrage as the pictures were published in papers across the state. This was the beginning of Florida’s move toward government-in-sunshine laws that would protect the public’s right to know what occurred in such meetings. As The Herald’s political editor from 1952 to 1980, McDermott covered every president from Eisenhower to Carter in addition to hundreds of local and state elected officials. The Vermont native graduated from the University of Georgia and reported as a correspondent from Europe during World War II. After the war, he was bureau chief of United Press International in Berlin for five years, and then went to the Middle East before coming to The Herald. After spending 38 years at the paper, he served as a top assistant to Steve Clark, the then mayor of Miami-Dade County and Miami.

W.A. “Dub” Brown, editor of the Port Arthur (Texas) News from 1985 until 1992, died on Dec. 14 in Port Arthur of lung cancer. He was 67. He was also an editor of Texas newspapers in Denton from 1956-58, San Angelo from 1958-62, Fort Worth from 1962-64, Tyler from 1972-77 and Waco from 1977-85. While in Port Arthur, he was known as a bridge builder within the community and was given a 1990 award from the Chamber of Commerce for efforts to bring racial harmony to the community. Brown won a seat on the City Council after retirement. He was honored by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors board with a unanimous resolution, which called for his memory to “be celebrated by his colleagues across the state in the spirit that he would have appreciated – with good humor, a commitment to journalism’s highest standards and an abiding interest in the communities that they serve.”

Greg Freeman, a columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, died Jan. 1 in St. Louis after he collapsed at home. Freeman was 46. He joined the Post-Dispatch in 1980, going on to become a full-time columnist in 1992. He had previously worked at the Oakland Press in Pontiac, Mich., and the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat. He also hosted a program on KWMU Radio known as “St. Louis on the Air,” and he previously had hosted a show on St. Louis public television from 1997 to 2001.

Daniel O. Tedrick, an editor and correspondent for 38 years with The Associated Press, died Dec. 29 of cancer in Mesa, Ariz. He was 74. The Arizona State University graduate was a reporter and editor at The Arizona Republic and Mesa Journal-Tribune before he began his career with the AP in Phoenix in 1952. He worked at the AP in Denver and then Los Angeles before being named the first AP correspondent in San Diego. He held that position from 1969 to 1982. After that, he was a broadcast writer and editor in the Los Angeles bureau before retirement in 1990. Born in Dayton, Ohio, Tedrick was a reporter for the Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction, Colo. as a teenager. He served in the Army during the Korean War.

Associated Press reporter Waiel Faleh has died in Baghdad of kidney disease. The reporter, who focused on U.S. tensions with Iraq for five years as an AP reporter, died Dec. 31 at age 46. Born in Iraq, Faleh studied and worked in Lenoir, N.C., before returning to the Middle East. He joked many times about his combined Iraqi/southern American accent. Upon his return to Iraq, Faleh worked at the English-language daily Baghdad Observer and then for the government press center. The center deals with foreign journalists covering Iraq. Faleh came to the AP in 1994; he reported on the bombing of Baghdad by U.S. and British aircraft in 1998 and the return of U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq last October.

Robert Thomas, who began his career at The Philadelphia Inquirer as a copy boy, has died in Folsom, Calif., of heart failure. Thomas, who became the newspaper’s first black reporter, was 75. A native of Philadelphia, Thomas began as a copy boy in 1952. He wrote a story detailing a black street gang two years later, and that earned him a job as a reporter. While at the newspaper, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Temple University in education. During his 11-year career at the paper, Thomas was a reporter and editor. He served on the staff of what would later become the Inquirer Magazine and was editor of the employee newsletter. Although he had many successes, Thomas found it difficult to work at the paper; on a return visit to the newsroom in 1981, he said a white reporter had racially taunted him. Thomas, who joined the U.S. Information Agency in 1963 and was a press and information officer for that agency for three decades, retired in 1992. He continued to write fiction and poetry.