A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists

People and Places

By Quill

Richard J. Meislin, technology editor for The New York Times, has been appointed as editor of news surveys and election analysis. His current position will be turned over to Tom Redburn, an assistant business editor. Meislin, 49, has been with The Times as technology editor since 2001. He previously worked as editor in chief of New York Times Digital, the Internet arm of The New York Times Company. He also has worked in other positions at the paper, including senior editor for information, technology and graphics editor, and reporter and foreign correspondent. As editor of news surveys and election analysis, a new post, he will supervise the expanding role of the News Surveys Department. The group does public opinion polling on news issues and works on the newspaper’s best-seller lists and football rankings. Redburn, 52, came to The Times in 1993 and has worked as an assistant business editor since 1997. He has been a reporter at The International Herald Tribune and The Los Angeles Times. He will now oversee the reporting and editing of technology news throughout the paper.

Judith A. Burrell, senior vice president of communications for the Newspaper Association of America and publisher of Presstime, is taking over management of the NAA’s Diversity Department. She will take over the duties of Toni F. Laws, who will retire as senior vice president for diversity and the NAA Foundation. The NAA Foundation will now be overseen by Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Margaret Vassilikos.

Paul Friedman, executive vice president and managing editor for news coverage at ABC News, is stepping down to pursue teaching and other avenues. He will stay on with the company as a senior news consultant. Friedman has been with ABC News the past 21 years, and his responsibilities include newsgathering at “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.” The show is the No. 2 nightly broadcast network news program, second only to “NBC Night News with Tom Brokaw.” Friedman will continue work on special news events, including an upcoming project on health care in the U.S. Friedman, 57, said that his interests have changed, moving to production instead of management. “My new agreement enables me to continue doing what I love at ABC News, with enough time left for other projects and for teaching at the university level,” he said. An immediate replacement will not be named. Instead, his duties will be distributed among other top executives at the company.

Jason E. Klein has been named by the Newspaper National Network (NNN) of New York as president and CEO. He will succeed President and General Manager Nicholas Cannistraro Jr., who went into retirement Dec. 31. The company is a for-profit, limited liability partnership between 23 publishing companies and the Newspaper Association of America. The group gives national advertisers the ability to include ads in any newspaper across the country. Klein, 42, is the founder of Healthy Living Media and former president and CEO of Times Mirror Magazines and Time4Media. He also has worked as a vice president for Times Mirror Co., which is now owned by Tribune Co.

Former CNN chief Rick Kaplan will rejoin ABC News for a three-month stint to oversee special events coverage in the wake of the Iraq war. Before being hired to oversee CNN’s domestic operations in 1997, Kaplan had been a longtime ABC News producer. According to ABC News President David Westin, Kaplan has ‘’proven his ability at producing and overseeing live television news coverage.’’ Top deputy Paul Friedman announced in mid-February that he would leave management for a part-time role. No announcement has been made as to whether a permanent position at ABC News will be made for Kaplan.

Jane Pauley, co-anchor of “Dateline NBC,” will leave NBC in June after working at the network for 27 years. The resignation was announced on NBC’s “Today” show, which she had anchored for 13 years before going to the newsmagazine. Pauley, 52, chose not to renew her contract. Pauley had taken several months off to write a book, and she only recently returned. She hasn’t disclosed her next career plans.

John Hoeft has been named vice president of interactive media of The Los Angeles Newspaper Group, a division of MediaNews Group Inc. of Denver. He previously worked as business development manager for MediaNews Group Interactive in Denver, and he will now control the business and content of eight California sites. The sites include dailynews.com, sgvtribune.com, presstelegram.com and pasadenastarnews.com. Hoeft was online sales manager for The Denver Post and new media sales representative for the Minneapolis Star Tribune before his business development job. The Los Angeles Group has its base in Woodland Hills, Calif.

Former Nixon White House communications director Herbert G. Klein will retire as editor in chief of Copley Newspapers. Klein, 85, has been in news for six decades. He will retire in June, but he plans to remain as a consultant to Copley CEO David Copley, who publishes the chain’s flagship San Diego Union-Tribune. Klein’s previous position included advising on editorial issues for the chain’s 10 newspapers, which are in California, Illinois and Ohio. A replacement has not been announced. He started at Copley as a copy boy in 1940 at the Alhambra (Calif.) Post-Advocate. He had been an editor at the Union for about a decade when he was appointed as the first White House communications director under Richard Nixon in 1969. He was popular among the press but not with some of the Nixon inner circle, who believed he was too open with the press. He left that position in 1973, more than a year before Nixon’s resignation. He said he wanted to go to the private sector to make more money, and he landed at Copley as editor in chief in 1980. His plans include writing opinion pieces and fishing at Lake Arrowhead, where he maintains a second home.

David Hiller, Tribune Interactive President, has been named senior vice president/publishing of Tribune Co. He will report to Tribune Publishing President Jack Fuller and will oversee Tribune Classified Services, Tribune Media Services, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant and CLTV, the 24-hour cable news station in Chicago. These groups all previously reported to Fuller directly. Jack Davis will continue his duties as publisher of the Courant and will report directly to Hiller. Hiller, 49, will continue as president of Tribune Interactive, a position he has held since May 2000. The change in duties, the company said, will not affect Tribune’s Internet operations. Still reporting to Fuller are The Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Newsday of Melville, N.Y., and The Sun of Baltimore. Other papers owned by Tribune, including Florida properties, report to Raymond A. Jansen. Jansen is president, publisher and CEO of Newsday and senior vice president of Tribune Publishing.

Steven B. Falk will take over as publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle. Several senior staff changes were made by Victor F. Gazi, president and chief executive officer of The Hearst Corporation, and George B. Irish, president of Hearst Newspapers. Falk, 48, has worked at the paper since 1987, and was most recently president and chief operating officer. He will succeed John F. Oppedahl. Oppedahl, who has published the paper since it was purchased by Hearst in 2000, will leave to pursue new opportunities. Gary Randazzo has been named executive vice president and general manager. He previously worked as the vice chairman and associate publisher at the Chronicle. Phil Bronstein will move into the executive vice president and editor position. He previously worked as senior vice president and executive editor. Bronstein will report to Falk and will control not only newsroom operations, but also the editorial page.

Editorial page editor and vice president of the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, Dennis R. Ryerson, has been given a position as editor and vice president of The Indianapolis Star. Ryerson, 54, took over the position in late March. He takes the place of Terry Eberle, who left in January to become executive editor at Florida Today of Melbourne. Ryerson previously worked as editor of The Des Moines (Iowa) Register and executive editor of the Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune. Those papers – as well as The Star – are owned by Gannett Co. Inc. Knight Ridder owns the Mercury News.

President and publisher of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin Don Kendall has resigned and will return to British Columbia. Kendall made the decision to be closer to his five grown children. Kendall was named president of the newspapers in 2000 by Canadian newspaper executive David Black. At the time, Black Press Ltd., was buying the two publications. Kendall came to Hawaii after working as vice president of Cariboo Press, a subsidiary of Black Press that publishes 27 newspapers, all in British Columbia. He will continue to work within Black Press. Another Cariboo Press vice president, Frank Teskey, will succeed Kendall at the Star-Bulletin. He has had several senior management positions with major market dailies and national newspapers in Canada, including The Toronto Globe and Mail, The Montreal Gazette and The Winnipeg Free Press.

David Yarnold, executive editor of the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, has been appointed editor of the newspaper. Managing Editor Susan Goldberg will succeed him as executive editor. Yarnold will now oversee the editorial and opinion pages, in addition to the Perspective section. He will continue as a senior vice president of the Mercury News, and Goldberg will oversee all newsroom functions. Yarnold has been at the Mercury News for 25 years, working as picture editor, assistant managing editor for graphics, reporter, copy editor and clerk on the city desk. Goldberg was previously a reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Detroit Free Press. She was an assistant city editor on the Mercury News’ metro desk, where she was involved in award-winning coverage of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. She left the paper for USA Today, where she worked for 10 years as deputy managing editor in projects, which included investigations, features and news.


Herb Brin, owner and operator of the now-defunct Heritage, a small chain of Jewish newspapers in California, died Feb. 13 at age 87. As a poet, Brin published “Poems from the Rubio” and five other poetry volumes. He crusaded for what he thought was best for his people, and he was outspoken on issues such as exclusion of welfare patients by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Determined to crusade against anti-Semitism, he mortgaged his house in 1954 and launched a chain of four weekly Jewish papers called Heritage. The largest was in Los Angeles, with others in the Central Valley, Orange County and San Diego. The only remaining paper is in San Diego, with new management and Brin’s son Daniel as senior associate editor. Brin had just completed “Shouting for Justice,” an autobiography.

William Broom, who started in news as a Depression-era paperboy and went on as a reporter to cover the Watergate years, died at age 78 of Parkinson’s disease. He was known as a strong advocate for investigative journalism. He worked as Washington bureau chief for Ridder Newspapers during the Watergate years. He traveled to the Soviet Union with President Nixon in 1972 and was sworn in as National Press Club president in 1975 by President Ford. He served in that position for a year. He worked as vice president for public affairs at The Philadelphia Inquirer until retirement in 1990. He worked for newspapers in Illinois, Texas and California, and also in public relations for the Southern Pacific Railroad, throughout the 1950s. In 1965, he became editor of the Press-Telegram newspaper in Long Beach, Calif.

R. Neale Copple, who brought the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism into national prominence, died of cancer March 18 in Lincoln. He was 79. Copple became a full-time professor in 1959 at the University of Nebraska after working at the Milwaukee Journal and Lincoln Journal as city editor. He became chairman of the journalism school in 1966 and dean of the newly formed College of Journalism in 1979. He started an aggressive summer internship program and began hiring professional journalists as instructors. An early advocate of journalism accreditation, Copple was active in several professional associations, including the American Educators in Journalism and the American Association of Schools and Departments of Journalism. A year before retirement, in 1989, Copple was awarded the Gannett Foundation Medal for Distinguished Achievement in Educational Administration.

Retired Baltimore Sun journalist Peter John Kumpa died Feb. 23 of cancer at a Baltimore hospice. He was 76. The former foreign correspondent and Washington bureau chief was a member of the National Press Club board of governors. A resident of Lutherville, Md., Kumpa worked for the Sun papers from 1951 to 1991. He was press assistant to the Maryland state Senate historian for eight years after that. While at the Sun, he covered local police and courts, the White House and Congress, and he worked in foreign bureaus in the Middle East, Moscow, Saigon, Hong Kong and London. He also wrote a column for the Baltimore Evening Sun from 1979 until his retirement in 1991.

Literary agent Toni Mendez died of a heart attack March 9 in New York City. She was 94. Known for her connection to newspaper cartooning, Mendez continued to help run her agency until her death. She represented, among others, “Terry and the Pirates”/”Steve Canyon” cartoonist Milton Caniff (1907-1988), “Kliban Cat” creator B. Kliban (1935-1990), and, more recently, author/Universal Press Syndicate editorial cartoonist Ted Rall. The former Rockette, solo dancer and choreographer was always to be found in a stylish hat. She worked for years with organizations such as the National Cartoonists Society and Newspaper Features Council. Executive director of the now-defunct NFC, Corinta Kutula, said Mendez “admired cartoonists and their creativity so much.” The Toni Mendez Inc. agency, which is based in New York City, will continue to operate.

Ed Murphy, a sports writer for The News Journal in Wilmington, Del., was killed after being struck by a small airplane’s propeller during takeoff preparations. Murphy was leaving Richmond, Va., after covering the Delaware State University women’s basketball team. The accident occurred just before midnight March 14. Murphy was 46. During takeoff preparations for the private, single-engine Cessna 172 from Richmond International Airport, Murphy got out to take away blocks from the airplane’s nose wheel. He was then injured after getting in the propeller’s path. According to airport spokesman Troy Bell, airplane propellers can be nearly invisible late at night. Murphy died before airport rescue personnel could get there. The plane was flown by Gary Emeigh of Milford, Del., a photographer for The News Journal. Murphy began work at the paper in 1980 part time, becoming full time in 1997. He covered Delaware State and high school athletics.

Clark O. Murray, owner of three Iowa newspapers and chairman of Inland Industries Inc., died March 8. He was 80. The businessman was a community leader in the Kansas City area. Inland Industries, based in Lenexa, Iowa, owns and operates three Iowa dailies: the Mount Pleasant News, The Fairfield Ledger and The Washington Evening Journal. The group had owned newspapers in Lee’s Summit, Mo., Belton, Mo., Marrisonville, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan.

Richard Porter Nall, retired Los Angeles Times copy editor and former assistant managing editor of the Orange Coast Daily Pilot, died March 13 from long-term effects of a stroke. Nall was 72. Born in Kansas City, Mo., he worked in newspapers in California from Brawley to San Diego for almost 40 years. He began his career as a reporter in 1955 in El Centro with the Imperial Valley Press, and he eventually began the Imperial Valley bureau chief for the San Diego Union. He also worked in Torrance at the Daily Breeze and at the Brawley Times as managing editor. He established the Laguna Beach office for the Daily Pilot in 1966 and eventually became the assistant managing editor. He went to the Orange County edition of the Times in 1980 as a copy editor, and he retired from there in 1993. He was a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Orange County Press Club, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Elks, and the Kentucky Colonels Association.

Jim Pratt, associate professor emeritus of journalism at the University of Mississippi, died of emphysema Feb. 24 at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi. He was 76. Pratt, of Oxford, Miss., was remembered by students as “Coach Pratt.” The Texas native founded NewsWatch Channel 12, and he attended every newscast by his students before retiring in 1992. Pratt went to the University of Liberia in Africa as a 1986 Fulbright lecturer, where he helped to establish Liberia’s Rural Communications Network.

Fred Russell, sportswriter and longtime sports editor of The Nashville Banner, died Jan. 26 in Nashville at age 96. For years, Russell compiled “Pigskin Preview,” an annual feature in The Saturday Evening Post. Russell grew up in Nashville, where he graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School. He gave up a short career in law for the now-defunct Nashville Banner, where he began as a reporter in 1929. He became sports editor in 1930, vice president in 1955 and eventually sports director in 1969. In “Pigskin Preview,” Russell predicted the best players and teams for the upcoming year in college football, which he did from 1949 to 1962. He also wrote or co-wrote several books, including “Bury Me in an Old Press Box.” Vanderbilt created the Fred Russell-Grantland Rice scholarship in tribute to Russell. The scholarship is given to an entering freshman planning to enter sports journalism every year.

Former president and chief executive of Freedom Communications Inc., D.R. “Bob” Segal, died Feb. 11 at home in Corona del Mar, Calif. Freedom Communications Inc. publishes the Orange County Register. Segal, who had Alzheimer’s disease, died of natural causes. He was 82. Segal headed Freedom from 1979 to 1992, and he was the first non-Hoiles family member — the family that founded the private company — to take charge. Segal was responsible for adding broadcast stations and newspapers to the media company, in addition to adopting an employee pension plan and keeping the company intact as descendants of founder R.C. Hoiles squabbled over selling the business in the 1980s. The Hoiles family, now in its third generation of ownership, has decided to sell the media company. Segal took over the paper and, with the help of Register Publisher R. David Threshie, brought it to a position of national prominence by pumping money into its editorial section and limiting its libertarian views to the editorial and opinion section. He also invested in new printing presses and brought higher profits to the company during the 1980s. The paper, under his leadership, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 and 1989, and then again in 1996, although Segal had retired by that time. He was still in charge when Freedom bought five of its eight television stations. His career began at Freedom in the Register newsroom, where he began as a reporter in 1945. He rose through the company, becoming executive editor of the Texas Rio Grande Valley Newspaper Group and then publisher of the Gaston Gazette in Gastonia, N.C.