Publishers: Editors: Managing Editors:
A summary of developments in the news industry for the week of March 2-9: Times Mirror Center: Americans Focused on Tyson, Olympics, Not Politics
WASHINGTON (AP) - It’s a presidential election year, but the American public’s interest has been elsewhere.
The most closely watched news stories in recent weeks were the Mike Tyson rape trial and the Winter Olympics, according to a poll released March 4 by the Times Mirror Center for the People & The Press.
Only 6 percent of those polled cited the Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire as the story they watched most closely. Four percent cited the GOP primary. Twenty-four percent said the Tyson trial was No. 1, while 21 percent said the Olympics.
″One measure of how little attention Americans were paying to the February presidential primaries″ is the low recognition of the candidates’ campaign themes, concluded the poll of 1,227 adults interviewed Feb. 20-23.
Just 17 percent associated President Bush with the theme that the middle class should be given a tax cut. Nine percent identified Bill Clinton with that theme.
Thirteen percent identified Pat Buchanan with the theme that American interests should come ahead of the world’s interests.
And only 16 percent of Paul Tsongas’ own supporters correctly associated the former senator with his theme that business and government should form a partnership to improve American economic competitiveness.
Nineteen percent of those polled said they watched the New Hampshire primaries very closely. But the public followed a half-dozen other stories more closely.
Reports on the U.S. economy were followed very closely by 47 percent of those polled; Japanese leaders’ suggestions about lazy U.S. workers, 34 percent; the Winter Olympics, 33 percent; Tyson’s trial, 32 percent; President Bush’s State of the Union address, 26 percent; and the breast implant controversy, 24 percent.
Just 15 percent of the public very closely followed allegations that Clinton had an extra-marital affair. And only 11 percent very closely followed the controversy over Clinton’s draft status during the Vietnam War.
Don Kellerman, director of the Times Mirror center, said public interest might rise significantly by Super Tuesday. But he cited data from 1988 suggesting late summer is the time when attention turns to politics. Christian Scientists Announce Reorganization; Monitor Channel For Sale
BOSTON (AP) - The chairman of the board of the Christian Science Church, beset by controversies that included the use of employee pension funds to prop up media operations, has resigned.
The church also put its cable television operations up for sale. Church leaders said that if no buyer can be found by June 15 the Monitor Channel will be shut down.
Church board Chairman Harvey W. Wood resigned March 9 and was replaced by Virginia S. Harris, who had been a board member.
″This internal restructuring is a return to the original form of administration established by (church founder) Mary Baker Eddy,″ Harris said in a statement.
Annetta L. Douglass, manager of the Christian Science Publishing Society for two years, also has resigned, church officials said. She will continue as executive producer of radio and television programming and as president of Monitor Television Inc.
The Monitor Channel, which went on the air last May, cost $250 million to launch and takes $4 million a month to operate. It has roughly 4 million cable subscribers, plus 2 million viewers in the Boston area who can receive the broadcasts on the church-owned local station.
The Christian Science Monitor newspaper will not be affected by the changes, church officials said. Officials said earlier that the newspaper is losing about $13 million a year. One-quarter is being paid for from the church endowment and the rest out of the general operating fund.
The church acknowledged the week of March 2 that it had borrowed $41.5 million from its employee pension fund since Jan. 1 to underwrite The Christian Science Monitor and the Monitor Channel.
Beside the pension fund, the church has borrowed $20 million from its own endowment and $5 million from an account established in New Hampshire by the will of Eddy, church officials have acknowledged.
Three editors of religious publications quit in February, reportedly over the publication of a book that compares Eddy to Jesus Christ. The author left a multimillion-dollar bequest to the church on the condition that the controversial book be published. High Court Bars Revival of Libel Award Against Detroit News
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court on March 2 refused to revive a $3 million libel award won, and then lost, by a Michigan resort owner who says The Detroit News falsely linked him to the Mafia.
The justices, without comment, let stand a Michigan Supreme Court decision that said Gary Francell failed to prove the newspaper published any false factual statement or implication about him.
Francell’s appeal had argued that the state Supreme Court wrongly nullified a trial jury’s finding of falsity.
Francell and Joseph Locricchio are the developers and owners of Pine Knob, a multimillion-dollar resort in southeastern Michigan. Four 1979 articles by Detroit News reporters Michael Wendland and Jean Gadomski discussed suspected organized-crime involvement in financing Pine Knob’s development.
Lawyers for Francell and Locricchio contend the articles portrayed the two men ″as members or associates of the Mafia.″
Lawyers for the newspaper said the two men conceded they ″had personal friendships with numerous individuals whose names are commonly associated with organized crime, and that they had extensive business dealings with those individuals.″
The 1980 lawsuit by Francell and Locricchio did not identify any specific statements in the articles as libelous, but alleged that the four-part series falsely implied a Mafia connection.
After an eight-week trial in 1985, a state court jury awarded Francell $3 million but did not award Locricchio any damages.
The Michigan Supreme Court last Aug. 26 nullified the jury’s verdict. The state court said the trial judge correctly reviewed whether Francell and Locricchio had met their burden of proving falsity, and correctly concluded they had not.
The August ruling relied on past decisions calling for independent appellate court review in libel cases.
But lawyers for Francell and Locricchio argued that past Supreme Court rulings have never authorized appellate courts to undertake independent review of a jury’s finding that falsity was proved. Such review violates the right to a jury trial, the appeal said.
The case is Locricchio vs. Evening News Association, 91-1156. Court To Decide if Cincinnati May Ban Newsracks for Free Magazines
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether Cincinnati, Ohio, may ban the use of newsracks on public sidewalks for distributing free magazines.
The justices said March 9 they will review rulings that such a city ban violated free-speech rights.
A Cincinnati ordinance authorized the distribution of newspapers from sidewalk boxes but barred the distribution of ″commercial handbills″ from such dispensing devices.
In 1990, city officials notified two publishers that their free magazines were considered commercial handbills and therefore could not be distributed from newsracks.
Discovery Network Inc. publishes a magazine nine times a year detailing educational, recreational and social programs available to Cincinnati area residents.
Harmon Publishing Co. in New Jersey publishes ″Home Magazine,″ which advertises real estate for sale.
When notified the magazines no longer could be distributed on the city’s sidewalks, Discovery Network had newsracks at 38 locations and Harmon Publishing had them at 24. There are more than 1,500 newsracks on Cincinnati’s public sidewalks.
Both publishers sued the city in federal court, seeking to have the ordinance invalidated.
U.S. District Judge S. Arthur Spiegel ruled for the publishers, and his ruling was upheld last October by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
City officials argued that the ban was a valid regulation to promote street safety and aesthetics. They also argued that the city was freer to ban newsracks distributing those magazines than it would be to ban newspaper newsracks because ″commercial speech″ is not accorded as much constitutional protection.
The appeals court acknowledged that the city’s interest in safety and aesthetics were substantial, but ruled that the total ban on distributing free magazines from newsracks was not a ″reasonable fit between the ends asserted and the means chosen to advance them.″
The city’s failure to come up with less sweeping regulations suggested ″an unadmitted bias against commercial speech,″ the appeals court said.
In the appeal acted on March 9, lawyers for the city said the appeals court has misinterpreted a 1980 Supreme Court ruling on government regulation of commercial speech.
In that decision, the high court said government regulation of commercial speech cannot be more extensive than what’s necessary to serve the governmental interest at stake.
The case is Cincinnati vs. Discovery Network, 91-1200. Soviet Collapse Causing Chaos in Media
MOSCOW (AP) - The former Communist Party daily Pravda may close soon and the once-mighty state broadcasting network is fighting for its future, victims of market reforms and nationalism unleashed by the Soviet collapse.
Pravda and other newspapers face soaring paper costs that have forced them to reduce the number of issues they publish weekly, editors said March 4. Pravda chief editor Gennady Seleznev said the paper founded by Vladimir Lenin in 1912 will run out of money at the end of March.
The problems facing the former state broadcasting monopoly, once the most powerful organ in the Communist propaganda machine, are not so much economic as ethnic. Radio and TV stations in the 15 former Soviet republics are pulling centrally transmitted programs off the air in favor of locally made shows.
″The question is whether a unified broadcast system will be preserved on the territory of the former Soviet Union,″ said Yegor Yakovlev, chief of the broadcast company that took over Soviet facilities.
Media problems reflect the almost universal collapse of social and state institutions from the Communist era. The collapse could accelerate if fragmentation continues in the Commonwealth of Independent States that replaced the Soviet Union.
Reformers are finding it more difficult to build institutions than to destroy them.
Yakovlev, a pioneering reform journalist, released a letter to the heads of the commonwealth republics, asking them to preserve a broadcasting network throughout the former Soviet Union.
The old broadcast monopoly ″no longer exists. But a new child is not yet born,″ Yakovlev said in the letter.
Similar problems face news agencies. Russian President Boris Yeltsin recently asserted control over the former Soviet Tass news agency, threatening to meld it with the Russian Information Agency and the Novosti news agency, which were themselves united after August’s failed coup.
But the reorganization plan is stalled, in part because the non-Russian republics rely on Tass communications lines, officials say.
Yakovlev’s proposal would establish joint control among the republics over the central broadcast network. Eventually, he said, it could become a joint stock company, with shares held in part by member republics.
Otherwise, he said, the non-Russian republics might find themselves deprived of news from beyond their own borders. Republics other than Russia are not likely to be able to afford far-flung correspondents.
Yakovlev wants commonwealth leaders to consider his appeal during their next meeting, scheduled for March 20 in Kiev, where they also face vital decisions on the nuclear arsenal, finances and trade.
The fate of Pravda and other newspapers may well be settled this month by market forces, unless Yeltsin’s government intervenes with new subsidies to cover the rising cost of paper. Judge Says UPI Nearing Collapse; Opens Reorganization to Creditors
NEW YORK (AP) - The bankruptcy judge overseeing the reorganization of United Press International says the news service could be out of business by the end of April.
UPI management missed its deadline March 4 to file a plan for emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Francis Conrad refused the company’s request for a 90-day extension and instead allowed creditors to devise their own plan.
″I live in fear ... there will be no reorganization plan at all, the losses will get worse instead of better,″ Conrad said at a hearing March 4, noting that the company is losing $100,000 a month.
″The hard, cold facts of the financial data ... says to me there’s a very real possibility (UPI) won’t be in business at the end of April.″
Al Rossiter Jr., UPI executive editor, would not comment directly on the judge’s assessment. ″It’s certainly no secret that UPI’s been in a precarious financial state for the last few years,″ he said by telephone from Washington.
Lawyers for the 18-member creditors committee, which includes AT&T, the Wire Service Guild and divisions of GTE and General Electric, praised the judge’s decision.
The creditors, who collectively are owed $60 million, had argued that UPI was more interested in reorganizing internally and preserving present management than finding a buyer.
″I don’t think it was really for sale until today,″ said Dennis O’Dea, a lawyer for the creditors committee. ″We’ll take offers from anybody.″
He estimated the company was worth between $5 million and $15 million.
″We want it to reorganize and get it into friendly hands. We want to see the enterprise survive,″ O’Dea said. ″This is a chance for someone to own a great American news service.″
An attorney for UPI, Remy Ferario, told the judge UPI recently began talks with InterPress Service, a Netherlands-based news agency that focuses on Third World countries.
InterPress Service issued a brief statement in Amsterdam saying it was ″exploring the possibility of using some of UPI’s facilities in geographic areas of common interest.″ IPS officials would not elaborate.
UPI filed for protection from creditors in August. Its parent, Infotechnology Inc., also sought bankruptcy protection last year.
The 85-year-old news service employs about 500 people worldwide, down from 1,850 in 1984 - the year before UPI first filed for bankruptcy court protection. At that time it was the second-largest U.S.-based news service, after The Associated Press.
Through the 1980s UPI lost newspaper and broadcast business and cut staff and other expenses as losses mounted. It reorganized in 1986 and was purchased by Infotechnology in 1988.
Unionized UPI employees recently approved contract givebacks, including a 20-percent salary cut. Fitzwater Erupts at White House Press Corps, Apologizes
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The White House voiced its frustration with negative press coverage of President Bush when administration press aides shut down an audio feed of a campaign rally and press secretary Marlin Fitzwater lashed out at several reporters.
″I’m sick of all you lazy bastards,″ Fitzwater told one reporter who tried to explain why reporters wanted to remain in a news filing center on March 6 while an outdoor rally was underway nearby.
By the end of the day’s campaign tour, Fitzwater sounded a conciliatory note, saying, ″the press have a tough job to do ... These things happen.″ He also apologized ″for the bad language.″
The incident occurred in the news filing center at Oklahoma Christian University, where equipment was set up to provide sound from the rally. A cheering crowd of several thousand students had gathered to hear President Bush and Fitzwater shouted, in a joking cheerleader style, for all the reporters to come on out to see the rally.
Many reporters were already outside, but a few, including radio reporters who needed to tape record the rally and others who were on deadline, remained inside to listen to the speech.
Minutes later, Fitzwater’s deputy, Judy Smith, announced that the sound would be cut off because Fitzwater wanted everyone outside to cover the event. A few reporters tried to explain their situation, and Fitzwater shouted at Rita Beamish of AP, ″I’m sick of all you lazy bastards″ failing to cover Bush’s events in person. He made angry remarks to several others.
He singled out reporters for The Washington Post and The New York Times, who he said wrote critical stories about Bush without actually seeing specific events. Both those reporters were outside covering the rally.
Smith later said that Fitzwater was concerned about reports that some of Bush’s campaign events had been lackluster and he believed reporters were not accurately characterizing them. Fitzwater said he cut off the audio feed because ″I just wanted you to go out and cover that event.″ He said he recognized ″the press have a tough job to do ... These things happen.″ Oklahoma Governor Accuses Media of Contributing to Son’s Suicide
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Gov. David Walters is at war with the media, which he says virtually destroyed his reputation and contributed to his son’s suicide.
Walters took the offensive in his State of the State speech in February, condemning the media for ″carnivorous″ and ″reckless″ reports on his personal and professional problems.
″The two most important things to me, my family and my integrity, have been virtually destroyed,″ said Walters, a Democrat.
For eight months, federal authorities investigated allegations that Walters sold state jobs to campaign contributors. The U.S. attorney said there was not enough evidence to bring charges against the 40-year-old governor.
Last December, Walters’ 20-year-old son, Shaun, overdosed on a prescribed anti-depressant a week after pleading no contest to possession of drug paraphernalia. The governor said sensationalized coverage of Shaun Walters’ arrest helped drive him to suicide.
Ben Blackstock, executive director of the Oklahoma Press Association, said editors and publishers sympathize with the governor about the death but resent Walters’ ″smearing all journalists and newspapers with the same brush.″
Alex Adwan, editorial-page editor of the Tulsa World, said the newspaper covered Walters’ son ″very routinely on the inside of the paper - the bare facts of the charges against him and their disposition.″
He said he suspects Walters is ″really referring to a very few members of the press and does not mean to condemn the hundreds of reporters in the state who covered that story with restraint and even compassion.″
Carl Smith, executive director of the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, said the media are an easy target, but ″we don’t create the negatives. We report them.″
State Democratic Chairman Pete White said he did not think Walters wanted ″a longtime war with the media. I think for the good of everyone it’s time to move on.″ Christian Science Church Says Pension Fund Is Sound
BOSTON (AP) - The Christian Science Church said it has borrowed $41.5 million from its pension fund to underwrite The Christian Science Monitor and the Monitor Channel, but denied that left the fund too low to pay retirees.
The borrowing will not ″affect the ability of the mother church to pay those who are now retired, nor should it raise any concern in the minds of current employees,″ Donald Bowersock, church treasurer, said in an statement.
The church was responding March 3 to published reports that the fund had dipped dangerously low.
Besides the $41.5 million borrowed from the fund since Jan. 1, the church has borrowed $20 million from its own endowment and $5 million from an account established by the will of church founder Mary Baker Eddy, officials said.
The Christian Science Monitor is losing about $13 million a year, church officials said.
The Monitor Channel, which went on the air last May, cost $250 million to launch and takes $4 million a month to operate, said the president of the Monitor Channel, Annetta L. Douglass.
Officials of the Providence Journal Co., parent company of The Providence (R.I) Journal-Bulletin and various broadcast operations, say they are interested in the Monitor Channel. But Trygve Myhren, company president and chief executive officer, said no deal was imminent. Scripps Co. Files Stock Sale Statement
CINCINNATI (AP) - E.W. Scripps Co. said March 2 it filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed public offering of 5 million shares of the company’s Class A common stock.
The stock is owned by the Edward W. Scripps Trust, controlling shareholder of the company. The company said it will not receive any money from the trust’s sale of the shares.
The trust’s administrators said they are selling the stock in order to diversify the trust’s assets, E.W. Scripps Co. said. The trust owns about 75 percent of the company’s outstanding shares of Class A common stock and about 80 percent of the outstanding shares of common voting stock.
E.W. Scripps Co. operates 19 daily newspapers, 10 television stations, five radio stations, and cable television systems with 644,000 basic subscribers. The company also syndicates and licenses news features and comics. York Dispatch Employees Authorize Strike
YORK, Pa. (AP) - Reporters, photographers and other unionized employees at The York Dispatch have authorized their leaders to call a strike.
Local 218 of The Newspaper Guild voted unanimously March 3 to reject management’s latest contract offer and authorize a walkout, the union said.
The guild represents 43 writers, copy editors, photographers, artists and clerks at the paper, which also publishes the York Sunday News.
To protest the impasse over the contract, which expired last October, writers and photographers have agreed to remove their bylines from stories and pictures that appear in the paper.
York Newspapers, Inc., is owned by Garden State Newspapers-Media General and headed by William Dean Singleton of Houston, Texas.
Linda Foley, the union’s chief negotiator, said members would agree to a one-year wage freeze in exchange for restored health-care coverage for dependents and a second-year wage increase.
The company is offering a one-year contract with no pay increase and no health benefits for dependents, according to the guild.
Publisher Nancy Conway said she had no comment on the strike vote. ″We prefer to leave negotiations at the table,″ she said. Wheelchair-Bound Reporter Accepts Apology From University
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) - A sports writer who was removed from the press row during a basketball game because she was in a wheelchair says she accepts an apology from a University of Missouri official.
Gabby Richards, assistant sports editor at the Daily O’Collegian at Oklahoma State University, was denied the same access as other writers Feb. 23 at Hearns Center in Columbia, Mo., during an Oklahoma State-Missouri game.
School officials said her wheelchair posed a fire hazard. She was forced to cover the game from an aisle 15 rows above the court, where she said her view occasionally was blocked by fans.
″They told me they were sorry for what happened and apologized for the rudeness,″ Miss Richards said March 3 after getting a call from Jim Bunton, associate director for business services at Missouri.
Bunton said the university was trying to make it safe for everyone in the arena.
″We thought it was in her best interest not to be on the floor but near better (fire escape) access,″ Bunton said.
But he said Missouri had no legal basis to move Miss Richards because she knew of the potential hazard and wanted to stay on press row.
Miss Richards said she had considered legal action before receiving the apology.
″My intent was to change Missouri’s attitude,″ she said. ″But now in light of the apology, I’m satisfied.″ Massillon Paper Says Staff Abandons Guild
MASSILLON, Ohio (AP) - The Independent notified Local 1 of The Newspaper Guild on March 2 that it no longer recognizes the union as a bargaining agent for any of its employees, the newspaper said.
In a petition circulated among the staff, a majority of the 32 employees in the newspaper’s editorial, advertising, business, circulation and building departments indicated they no longer wanted to be represented by the union, newspaper attorney John Flinker said.
Stephen Hatch, executive secretary of the local, said the union planned to challenge the action, either in court or through the National Labor Relations Board.
The union and the newspaper have been negotiating a contract for about five years, the newspaper said. The old contract expired Feb. 28, 1987. Priest Suggests Parishioners Give Up Newspaper for Lent
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - A Roman Catholic priest in a dispute with a local newspaper suggested that parishioners give up their subscriptions for Lent.
″Their concerns are not building up the community,″ the Rev. Patrick Goodwin of St. James Basilica said of the Alameda Times-Star. ″Their concern is building up circulation.″
Goodwin told about 250 people at a Sunday service March 1 that the Times- Star has joined what he called the media’s tendency for ″Catholic- bashing.″
Goodwin and other church officials would like the 7,000-circulation daily to drop or modify its ″Straight Talk″ column, which lets people make anonymous comments. In his sermon, Goodwin described the column as ″much gossip with little fact.″
Times-Star Editor Tom Tuttle replied: ″To say we take part in Catholic- or community-bashing is both false and an example of blaming the messenger for reporting news events. It’s Times-Star-bashing and strikes us as demagogic, especially coming as it does from the pulpit.″
The Times-Star, in an article Feb. 28 announcing a reader survey on the future of ″Straight Talk,″ referred to a Feb. 26 meeting with St. Joseph officials and said they attacked the column. Church officials said they thought the meeting was confidential.
Tuttle said the Times-Star did agree not to write a story about what was discussed at the meeting. But he added, ″We did not and would not agree to say that the meeting never existed or identify the topic of discussion.″
The Feb. 28 article also said the church’s displeasure may have stemmed from a 2-year-old story about an associate pastor at the church who was arrested for investigation of drunken driving, an incident the paper learned about at the time from anonymous calls to ″Straight Talk.″
Goodwin said bringing up that incident again was ″revolting.″
″I would not be unhappy if for Lent you decided to cancel your subscription to the Times-Star,″ Goodwin said. ″Get your refund and donate it to the charity of your choice.″ Parishioners applauded.
Giving up something as a sacrifice during Lent, the 40-day period before Easter, is a Catholic tradition. Wisconsin College Paper Refuses Klan Ad
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) - A Ku Klux Klan leader on March 3 threatened to sue the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student newspaper for refusing to run a Klan advertisement.
The 15-member editorial board of the Spectator, UW-Eau Claire’s weekly newspaper, unanimously voted March 1 to reject the Klan’s 1-by-2-inch advertisement, Editor Matt Miller said.
″None of us felt comfortable accepting anything from that group,″ Miller said. ″We all felt so strongly that we don’t agree with their stands that we don’t want that in our paper at all.″
The same ad, which lists a Janesville phone number and address for information about the group, has run in the student paper at UW-Whitewater since January. Peterson said it also is running in 40 general-circulation Wisconsin newspapers, mostly weeklies. ″There have been a few papers turn it down,″ he said.
Klan spokesman Kenneth Peterson of Janesville said the organization, long known as a white-supremacist group, now describes itself as a promoter of ″white pride. We want equal rights for all; special privileges for none.″
Peterson said he asked Miller whether the paper would run an informational or promotional ad for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Miller said it would.
That remark would be the basis for any legal action against the newspaper, Peterson said. ″We have the same right. ... It is totally unfair.″
″We can chose what content to run,″ Miller said. ″We feel pretty comfortable with it legally.″ Kentucky Weeklies Merge
PRINCETON, Ky. (AP) - Princeton’s two weekly newspapers will become properties of the Kentucky New Era of Hopkinsville on May 1.
The sales of the Princeton Leader and the Caldwell County Times to the Hopkinsville daily were jointly announced March 4. The newspapers will be merged into one publication called the Times-Leader and be published each Wednesday and Saturday. Film Critic Draws Fire for Accepting Studio Money
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A television film critic has drawn criticism from some members of his profession by admitting he accepted money from studios to rewrite scripts and advised studios how to market their films.
Some critics said Michael Medved’s activities are unethical because film reviews should not be tainted by association with studios.
″If you want to do that kind of work, go to work in Hollywood,″ said David Elliott, film critic of the San Diego Union-Tribune. ″He is muddying the waters not only for himself but for other critics.″
Medved, co-host of the PBS show ″Sneak Previews,″ testified the week of March 2 as an expert witness on behalf of Paramount Pictures in a lawsuit by humor columnist Art Buchwald and his collaborator, Alain Bernheim.
Buchwald and Bernheim are seeking $6.2 million for their contributions to the Eddie Murphy comedy ″Coming to America.″ Paramount says the two are owed no more than $500,000 combined. Medved testified their contributions to the film were insignificant.
Medved reviews films from Paramount and its competitors. In newspaper advertisements for Paramount’s ″Wayne’s World,″ Medved is quoted as saying: ″Inventive, outrageous and irresistible.″
Medved said Paramount paid him between $8,000 and $10,000 to testify - he billed the studio for between 40 and 50 hours at $200 an hour.
He said he occasionally rewrites screenplays, and has received money from both Warner Bros. and Columbia Pictures for script writing services.
Medved also said he consults with studios and producers about how to market their films and assesses films’ box-office potential before their release.
In an interview, the reviewer said it was not unusual for critics to work for studios. He said the syndicated movie review show hosted by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert is owned by the Walt Disney Co., and movie critic Leonard Maltin works for ″Entertainment Tonight,″ a Paramount program.
Medved said his outside work does ″not at all″ affect his objectivity. But other critics said the level of Medved’s Hollywood dealings was shocking and his conduct damages his credibility.
″I don’t know of any respected critic who will participate - paid or unpaid - in the marketing of contemporary movies,″ said Richard Schickel, a critic for Time magazine.
″The people who read you should be confident there is absolutely nothing else on your mind,″ said Kenneth Turan, film critic for the Los Angeles Times. ″Accepting money from a studio has a potential to raise that question.″
Paramount spokesman Harry Anderson said March 7 that Medved’s reviews have not been tainted by his relationship with the studio. He said it was ″common practice″ to compensate witnesses.
″Medved voluntarily agreed to be a witness for Paramount because he honestly believes in what he testified,″ Anderson said.
He said Paramount does employ Maltin but does not interfere with his film reviews on ″Entertainment Tonight.″
″If we have a critic, we have to give them critical freedom,″ Anderson said.
Telephone calls March 7 to representatives of PBS’s ″Sneak Previews″ and the Siskel and Ebert show were not immediately returned.
Siskel and Ebert have said previously they enjoy complete critical freedom on their program. Final Exit Banned in Australia
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Government censors have banned the suicide book Final Exit, saying Australian law prohibits assisting in a suicide.
The Office of Film and Literature Classification decided March 6 that the book should be declared a prohibited import and refused classification. Final Exit was published in 1991 by the Hemlock Society, a U.S.-based suicide advocacy group. It details steps terminally ill patients could take to commit suicide, including a menu of drug dosages.
Deputy chief censor David Haines said the key consideration was whether the book promoted, incited, or instructed in a matter of crime or violence, a requirement set out in Federal Censorship and Customs legislation. ″It is a crime to assist in a suicide in Australia and in our view the second part of the book clearly gave instructions in assisting suicide,″ Haines said.
Australian law provides a jail sentence of at least 12 months for anyone assisting in a suicide. Judge Refuses To Order Probe of Deposition Leak to Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND (AP) - A judge refused to order an investigation into the leak to The Plain Dealer of a deposition in which the Ohio state auditor reportedly admitted having an affair with an employee.
Lillian J. Greene, a judge of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, on March 2 rejected a motion filed by Auditor Thomas E. Ferguson’s attorneys asking the judge to determine who leaked the document to the Cleveland newspaper, which reported details of the deposition in stories published Feb. 25-26.
Greene said she ruled on the issue after a closed-door meeting with lawyers for both sides.
″It’s done. It’s over. It can’t be retracted,′ the judge said. ″There’s no way for me to find out. I said to just get on with the case.″
The deposition was given last November as evidence in a $1.25 million lawsuit filed against Ferguson by Elisabeth Tschantz, a former administrator in Ferguson’s Canton office.
The suit, filed in 1987 in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, claims Ferguson coerced Ms. Tschantz into a sexual relationship and forced her to pressure employees for political contributions.
Ms. Tschantz claims she suffered a mental breakdown as a result.
Ferguson has denied the allegation of sexual harassment. He noted that Ms. Tschantz has been put on leave by the state for mental disability.
The Plain Dealer reported Ferguson admitted in the deposition to having sex with Ms. Tschantz on about 30 occasions. Ferguson said Ms. Tschantz initiated the affair in 1983, but it later became ″a mutual relationship″ and it ended in 1985, the newspaper said.
Lawyers for both sides declined to discuss the case, citing a court order limiting public discussion. Ferguson’s lawyers had argued that leaking the deposition amounted to a violation of that order.
Ms. Tschantz’ lawyers denied leaking the deposition and suggested that Ferguson’s lawyers might have done so in order to gain public sympathy or frame Ms. Tschantz on a contempt-of-court charge.
Trial of Ms. Tschantz’ lawsuit is scheduled for July 20. Media Seek To Reverse Police Decision to Limit Information
DETROIT (AP) - Detroit-area news organizations are seeking to reverse a decision by Police Chief Stanley Knox to limit the release of information about reported crimes.
Officers in the Public Information Section of the police department are no longer allowed to let reporters look at crime reports called ″case drafts,″ which include the time and specific location of crimes, as well as names and a brief narrative.
Instead, the media are allowed to see only a brief summary of the reports that contain less detailed information, Knox said.
The summaries will include type of crime, time and place, and victims’ names, unless it’s a sex crime. Location will be identified only by block, not by address. BROADCAST NEWS Police Seek ABC’s Tapes of Interviews With Bombing Suspects
LONDON (AP) - Police have subpoenaed tapes and other records of interviews with two Libyan suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, ABC correspondent Pierre Salinger said.
″Our position is that we do not turn over video to governments,″ Salinger said March 6.
″We would turn over to them the piece that I did, but that only had about one minute of sound bites from those two interviews, which lasted about 40 minutes.″
He said the network has until March 10 to respond to the subpoena. A spokeswoman at Scotland Yard referred queries to the Scottish Office, which declined comment as a matter of policy.
Scottish police have led the international investigation into the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people.
Salinger said the subpoena seeks all material directly pertaining to the interviews with Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah. Britain and the United States seek the extradition of both men to stand trial for the bombing.
Salinger said he conducted the interviews on Nov. 26 and Nov. 27, about two weeks after the British and U.S. warrants were issued. Gripes Surface in Senate About Public Broadcasting
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate gripes about public broadcasting rose to the surface March 3 after senators voted 87-7 to end a ″hold″ on a bill authorizing $1.1 billion for public radio and television programs.
The vote meant the Senate could proceed with the bill.
The complaints came from conservative senators who feel too much programming is biased toward a politically liberal point of view and should not be subsidized by taxpayer dollars.
Sen. Albert Gore, D-Tenn., criticized an attempt to block consideration of the bill as ″a move from the Republican side of the aisle to hold Sesame Street hostage.″
″If we start coming into this chamber and seeking to review the editorial judgment of those who decide what programming goes on, it won’t be long before we see the right wing insisting that Mr. Rogers change his lesson plan to include a right-wing agenda,″ Gore said.
The senators who voted against opening the bill for debate were Republicans Trent Lott of Mississippi; Jesse Helms of North Carolina; Larry Craig of Idaho; Bob Dole of Kansas; Don Nickels of Oklahoma; Bob Smith of New Hampshire; and Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said a public TV program that he said glorified a communist guerrilla in a El Salvador was an example of an objectionable program.
″I don’t know anyone who wants to kill Big Bird,″ said Helms, in reference to one of the main characters on the children’s program ″Sesame Street.″ ″We are talking about people who pick the issues and the spin they put on the issues.″
The House has already authorized financing for three years beginning with fiscal 1995 and representing about 17 percent of what will be spent by public radio and TV stations for the shows they broadcast. The rest comes from viewer donations and private grants.
Donald Ledwig, president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which receives the federal financing, said he welcomed the opportunity to hear what programming troubled the senators.
Current appropriations for CPB are $251 million for fiscal 1992; $253 million for 1993, and $275 million for 1994. Three New Saturday Shows on Toonless NBC
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Three shows aimed at teen-agers will be added this fall to NBC’s cartoonless Saturday morning schedule, the network announced.
NBC, which is completely overhauling its kiddie schedule, plans to begin a Saturday edition of the ″Today″ show Aug. 1 and the entire new Saturday schedule Sept. 12.
The newest entries are ″Name Your Adventure,″ which will allow teen-agers to fulfill ″their most exciting dreams″; ″California Dreams,″ about a family with five teen-agnces instead. Consumer Reporter Betty Furness Leaving NBC
NEW YORK (AP) - NBC has dropped longtime consumer affairs reporter Betty Furness from the ″Today″ show after 16 years.
She makes her farewell appearance March 18 on the national newscast and on WNBC, the network’s New York City station.
Furness said NBC told her they wanted to do more investigative consumer reporting and decided not to renew her contract.
″I did see it coming,″ the 76-year-old reporter said. ″But, it still came as a surprise.″
Both NBC president Michael Gartner and WNBC station manager Bill Bolster said Furness may return occasionally for special appearances. ″Betty Furness is indeed a household name - and a name that has made many households better and safer places,″ Gartner said in a statement.
In the 1930s Furness appeared in more than 30 films, mostly playing leads in B pictures. In 1949 she became TV’s highest-paid saleswoman, gaining fame in the ’50s for opening refrigerator doors in live commercials for Westinghouse appliances.
Her television reporting won her numerous awards, including a Peabody, several Emmys and a Sigma Delta Chi award for public service.
In 1967, she was appointed President Johnson’s special assistant for consumer affairs. Three years later, she became head of New York State’s Consumer Protection Board. In 1973, she became New York City’s commissioner of consumer affairs. Man Wanted in Five States Tracked Down After Television Show
ST. PETERS, Mo. (AP) - A rerun of the ″Sally Jessy Raphael″ television talk show resulted in the arrest of a man accused of leaving bad checks and broken hearts in five states.
Jerry Wayne Montgomery was arrested in suburban Minneapolis, where he was working as a mechanic, said Shirley Blankenship, a St. Peters detective who has been tracking him for a year.
Montgomery was wanted in Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia on charges including bigamy, forgery, stealing and writing bad checks, Blankenship said.
The show’s rerun March 6 produced numerous calls, including one from a man who recently sold Montgomery tools and knew where he worked. Another call came from a woman who had dated him, Blankenship said. News, Features But No Madonna on Arab News Network
LONDON (AP) - Taped readings from the Koran are beamed by satellite from a former spaghetti factory in the British capital across the Arab world. They are a call not to prayer but to the programs of the first all-Arabic television network.
The Middle East Broadcasting Center, or MBC, went on the air in September. It was launched amid high drama the night President Bush announced he had decided to send bomber planes to Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states, with a threat of renewed hostilities against Iraq.
Aimed at one of the world’s most quarrelsome regions, the young station backed by Saudi investors hopes to be ″a catalyst for understanding,″ said the head of news, Stephen Marney.
″We stay away from toeing any particular line. We don’t want to influence anybody one way or the other politically,″ Marney said.
To show its openness, MBC ran an interview with Israel’s deputy minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Arab traditionalists may rumble about items like this and about the station’s unveiled female news readers but, said Marney, most of his viewers accept these are the ways of the Western world.
Its glossy Western format hopes to provide a global view, an alternative to the dry, heavily censored output of the Middle East’s state-run television stations, Marney said.
The idea was proposed four years ago ″by a savvy group of (Saudi Arabian) business people,″ he said.
″We are liberals and we want to open up links in the Arab world, including trade links,″ says Dr. Abdallah H. Masry, a partner in the $300 million venture. ″We also want to provide a link between (dispersed) Arabs and their homelands.″
He denied charges that the station pushes liberal Saudi Arabian views.
″We give all Arab countries equal opportunity to celebrate their national events on television; we follow them doggedly to produce programs for us. This holds true for Yemen and Tunis as well as Syria and Iraq.″
However, Saudi sources said MBC was banned in Saudi Arabia about six weeks ago because the network used bare-headed, fair-skinned female announcers.
Despite the ban, the London-based MBC is monitored in Saudi Arabia by families with satellite dishes.
London was chosen as the MBC base, Masry said, ″because some of the best television makers in the world are here″ and because it is already a center for a number of Arab publications.
Transmissions via satellite and cable span the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. The station estimates it has 100 million potential viewers from Dublin to Muscat, Khartoum to Stockholm.
Half the 40 journalists based in London are Arabs from countries across the Middle East and North Africa.
The channel has started seeking advertising and program sponsorship, but investors are still footing most of the bills, said Masry. The target is to break even within five years.
Between news bulletins, the station runs upbeat features on Parisian haute couture, Hollywood films and travel to exotic climes, said executive producer of features, Margaret Sawdon.
″Because most of our audience is Muslim, we have to keep their sensibilities in mind,″ she says. ″Alcohol is banned in many places so we wouldn’t show boozy scenes. British television wouldn’t show kids sniffing glue.″
Some pop videos are out ″because they are sexually provocative,″ she says.
″Obviously that rules out much of Madonna.″ Shortwave Battles May Claim Victims - Listeners in Poor Countries
TORREMOLINOS, Spain (AP) - Growing competition among shortwave broadcasters for air space could squeeze out their core audience: millions of listeners in developing nations who cannot afford new high-tech radios.
The problem - too many broadcasters and too little room on the shortwave band - became more severe with a post-Cold War proliferation of smaller stations joining mega-transmitters such as the British Broadcasting Corp. and the Voice of America.
The main proposals to unclog the airwaves, discussed during a month-long conference in southern Spain that ended March 3, require more expensive radios that may be too costly for many Third World listeners, who often depend on shortwave as their main source of communications and information.
″A $100 radio could be a year’s or half-a-year’s earnings for slightly less than 50 percent of the population in Tanzania,″ said John Ngatena, director of design engineering for Tanzanian Post and Telephone Corp.
A debate rages on which direction to take:
Stick to shortwave, but use the spectrum more efficiently through a technology known as ″single sideband″ that allows 50 percent more stations on the same frequency.
Or move to what some call the future of radio - direct satellite broadcast.
Both approaches have the same drawback: new receivers will cost between $100 to $200, up to 10 times as much as radios cost in some poor nations.
More than 1,300 delegates from 120 countries attended the meeting, sponsored by the International Telecommunications Union, a U.N. agency.
For much of the world, particularly in Africa and other poor regions, shortwave is a lifeline for domestic radio, telephone service and international broadcasts.
The single sideband modification is not supported by such big international broadcasters as the BBC and VOA, which say the plan would render obsolete most of their listeners’ radios.
A 1991 study for the BBC by Robert S. Fortner of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., showed less than 1 percent of the world’s shortwave radios can receive single sideband, almost all in the United States and Europe.
Fortner said manufacturers, mostly Japanese, are doubtful that single sideband has a future and resist building enough sets to drive the price down.
The International Telecommunications Union is telling broadcasters to shift to single sideband by 2015. But many broadcasters are resisting and say the future is in direct satellite broadcast, which promises high-quality sound and elimination of shortwave’s familiar static and fade.
″Full-scale use of either (single sideband or satellite) is 20 years off, but I have no doubts satellite will win out. The question is how quickly,″ Fortner said.
It remains unclear, however, who will own the satellites and become the gatekeeper of information. Radio Station for Kids Signs Off
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A radio station whose zany characters catered to kids has folded because of financial problems only 10 months after its birth.
Kids Radio, once known as the Imagination Station, signed off for good March 2.
″The kids will never understand it,″ said Bob Cox, president and general manager of the station, WXJO-FM. ″It’s really a sad situation.″
The station’s 24-hour-a-day programming included music, comedy, news and a hotline for children to call in answers to brain teasers.
Cox said he was unable to obtain loans to keep the station afloat until it obtained licensing from the Federal Communications Commission.
Delays in obtaining the license prompted investors to pull more than $300,000 from the project, Cox said. Kids Radio had planned to pay about $625,000 for the station to Bethalto Broadcasting Corp. of Edwardsville, Ill., before investors backed off, Cox said.
Advertisers had committed to about $500,000 in 1992, Cox said.
″We were beginning to make it,″ he said. ″It’s just a shame to see it all go down the drain.″ Kent, Roberts Named to New NBC Show
LOS ANGELES (AP) - NBC said March 4 that reporters Arthur Kent and Deborah Roberts will join the staff of the network’s upcoming news magazine show, ″Dateline NBC.″
The show, which premieres March 31, will be anchored by Jane Pauley and Stone Phillips.
Kent will be based in Rome, contributing international segments. Roberts, an Atlanta-based NBC reporter, will relocate to New York.
″Dateline NBC″ will be the network’s only news magazine. CBS has three, including its top-rated ″60 Minutes,″ and ABC has two. PERSONNEL Greer Named Vice President of The Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND (A) - Thomas H. Greer, editor of The Plain Dealer, has been named to the new position of vice president-senior editor.
Greer, 49, an 11-year veteran of the paper, will maintain responsibility for the day-to-day operations until his successor is named, Alex Machaskee, president and publisher, said March 8.
One of Greer’s first assignments will be to head a new, joint venture news program between The Plain Dealer and North Coast Cable. The nightly televised program will preview stories that appear in the next day’s Plain Dealer.
Greer will also serve as director of Plain Dealer Charities, which contributes hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to local charitable and civic institutions.
Greer was named editor in 1990. He previously was executive editor and managing editor. Alberta Bell Succeeds Late Husband at Gardner News
GARDNER, Mass. (AP) - Alberta Saffell Bell has been elected publisher and president of The Gardner News by its board of directors.
Bell, 47, succeeds her late husband, C. Gordon Bell, who died Feb. 7 at age 60. Most recently she was the newspaper’s vice president and general manager.
A Nashville, Tenn., native, she earned a doctorate in dental surgery at Washington’s Howard University and served in the Army Dental Corps for 10 years, rising to the rank of major before resigning her commission to join The Gardner News. Levine Named Editor at North Jersey Herald-News
PASSAIC, N.J. (AP) - David M. Levine has been named editor and vice president of The North Jersey Herald & News of Passaic, Publisher Richard J. Vezza announced.
Vezza, president of North Jersey Newspapers Co., announced March 3 that Levine, 42, will replace Ian T. Shearn, who has joined the editorial staff of The Houston Post.
Levine was formerly editor of The Daily Journal of Elizabeth and The Hudson Dispatch of Union City. Both newspapers, now closed, were owned by North Jersey Newspapers.
He began his newspaper career in the early 1970s with the Herald & News, and later worked at the now-defunct Philadelphia Bulletin, The Times of Trenton and the Washington (D.C.) Times, where he was financial editor and news editor for the newspaper’s national edition. He was also an executive editor for Lebhar-Friedman Co., a New York-based trade publishing house. DEATHS Cyrene Dear
HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) - Cyrene Bakke Dear, vice president of a family newspaper firm based in Henderson, died March 1 at a retirement home in Washington, D.C. She was 95 and had been in declining health in recent months, relatives said.
She was a Washington correspondent for Dear Publication, a company founded by her father-in-law that operated community daily and weekly newspapers in eight states. The company, now called Gleaner & Journal Publishing Co., publishes The Gleaner, the Henderson daily.
Surviving are three sons, 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Son Walter Dear is president of Gleaner & Journal Publishing. Roger Devlin
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Roger Devlin, a columnist for The Tulsa Tribune for a half-century, died March 4 at age 84.
A San Diego native, he graduated from the University of Indiana in 1930 and joined the Tribune as an office boy. He began writing the column ″The Rambler″ in 1937 and retired in 1987.
He is survived by a son and two grandchildren. Edward J. Donohoe
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - Edward J. Donohoe, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and former managing editor of The Scranton Times and The Sunday Times, died March 3. He was 84.
Donohoe started with the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader in the mid-1920s and also worked for the Wilkes-Barre Sunday Telegram and The Sunday Independent before joining The Scranton Times in 1940.
He was named Times city editor in 1948, assistant managing editor in 1953 and managing editor of both the Times and The Sunday Times in 1967. He retired in 1973.
In 1946, Donohoe was one of the Times staff members whose work shared the Pulitzer for meritorious public service for a decade-long fight against corruption in the Pennsylvania Middle District federal court.
Survivors include his wife, a daughter, two brothers, a sister and a grandson. E. Howard Hammersley
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - E. Howard Hammersley, who founded the photography department at the Roanoke Times & World-News, died March 2 at age 76.
Hammersley joined The Roanoke Times in 1938. In World War II, he rose to the rank of colonel in the Army Air Corps, was chief photo officer of the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces, and flew more than 40 combat missions.
His pictures include a grisly photo of the body of deposed dictator Benito Mussolini, which was printed in World War II anthologies.
In 1950, he formed the Roanoke papers’ photo department, which he managed until he retired in 1980. Three times in the 1950s, he won the annual best picture award of The Associated Press in Virginia. He was a secretary of the National Press Photographers Association.
He is survived by his wife and six children. Robert Hyland
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Robert Hyland, a CBS radio executive, died March 5 of cancer. He was 71.
Hyland was senior vice president of CBS Radio, general manager of KMOX Radio in St. Louis and a prominent civic leader. He was offered the presidency of CBS Sports and the CBS Radio Network but turned them down to remain in his native St. Louis.
The KMOX sports staff was his particular pride and a proving ground for such talents as Bob Costas, Dan Dierdorf and Joe Garagiola.
Hyland molded KMOX, which he joined 41 years ago, into one of the nation’s top news-talk stations in terms of advertising.
His firsts in the industry included the inauguration in 1960 of the talk format that became known as At Your Service. The format has been adopted by an estimated 2,000 radio stations around the world. Under Hyland, KMOX also was the first CBS-owned radio or television station to editorialize or endorse a candidate.
Hyland is survived by his wife, two sons, a daughter, a brother and six grandchildren. Pare Lorentz
ARMONK, N.Y. (AP) - Pare Lorentz, who began as a newspaper film critic and became a pioneering documentary filmmaker, died March 4 at age 86.
Lorentz was a critic for the New York Evening Journal, Vanity Fair magazine and the Hearst-owned King Features Syndicate in the early 1930s.
In 1935 he was called to Washington as a film adviser and earned a reputation as a chronicler of New Deal programs.
He organized a cinema unit whose first effort was ″The Plow That Broke the Plains,″ a landmark documentary that told how mismanagement and lack of soil conservation turned the Great Plains into the Dust Bowl. He later produced documentaries on the Nuremberg Trials and the Bikini atoll atom bomb tests.
He recently completed an autobiography, ″FDR’s Movie Maker,″ to be published next month.
He is survived by his wife, a son and daughter, and two grandchildren. Inez Camprubi Mabon
SOUTHBURY, Conn. (AP) - Inez Camprubi Mabon, a former publisher of the Spanish-language newspaper La Prensa, died March 6 of cancer at her home here. She was 80.
Mabon published La Prensa in New York City from 1950 to 1963, when it was sold and merged with El Diario.
Her father, Jose Camprubi, founded the paper in 1913 and she took over after he died. The newspaper circulated nationally and claimed to be the oldest Spanish-language paper in the continental United States. Wheeler McMillen
LEESBURG, Va. (AP) - Agriculture writer Wheeler McMillen, a former editor in chief of Farm Journal, died March 4 at age 99.
McMillen, born on a farm near Ada, Ohio, worked as a reporter on newspapers in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois as a young man. In 1922, he moved to New York to work as an editor for Farm and Fireside.
He stayed with that publication until he joined Farm Journal, where he was chief editor from 1939 to 1955, and vice president and director until 1963, when he retired.
Survivors include a son. James R. Parrish
NEWCASTLE, Wyo. (AP) - James R. Parrish, publisher of the weekly Newcastle News Letter Journal, died March 2 of an apparent heart attack. He was 59.
His father, J.R. Parrish, bought an interest in the newspaper in 1937, and James Parrish became editor in 1956, a year after graduating from the University of Wyoming with a journalism degree. He became publisher in 1987.
He is survived by his father and mother, his wife, five children and a sister. Darrell Sifford
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Darrell Sifford, a nationally syndicated Philadelphia Inquirer columnist who focused on human relationships, died March 6 while snorkeling in the Caribbean. He was 60.
Sifford, of West Chester, died off the coast of Belize, where he was vacationing with his wife, Marilyn. An autopsy determined chronic heart and lung disease contributed to his death, but the official cause was listed as drowning.
Sifford wrote about relationships between husbands and wives, fathers and sons, and workers and bosses. He often wrote in the first person about his own family, fears of aging and two heart attacks.
The column was syndicated by the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain, which owns the Inquirer.
Sifford, born in Jefferson City, Mo., worked at the News-Tribune in Jefferson City, The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., and the Charlotte (N.C.) News before joining the Inquirer in 1976.
Survivors include his wife and two sons. Archibald T. Steele
SEDONA, Ariz. (AP) - Archibald T. Steele, an award-winning foreign correspondent and author, died Feb. 27 of prostate cancer. He was 88.
In 1950, Steele was a co-winner of a George Polk Award for reporting on China for The New York Herald Tribune. In 1966 he wrote ″The American People and China,″ on the American public’s views on U.S. policy toward China.
He is survived by a brother and a sister. AWARDS The Philadelphia Inquirer, ABC Among Investigative Reporting Winners
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A Philadelphia Inquirer series on the decline of the American standard of living and ABC-TV’s investigation of three television evangelists were among winners of Investigative Reporters & Editors awards.
More than 450 investigative reporting projects were entered in the annual contest, sponsored by the 3,500-member organization at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. The winners were announced March 6.
Don Barlett and James Steele of The Philadelphia Inquirer were among three winners for newspapers with circulation exceeding 75,000 for their series ″America: What Went Wrong?″
The winners in major market television included Robbie Gordon, Richard Kaplan and Diane Sawyer of ABC’s ″PrimeTime Live″ for an hour-long investigation of three prominent evangelists. It also won the IRE medal as the ″best of the best.″
ABC used hidden cameras to show how the preachers manipulated followers through phony faith healing, charity fund-raising scams and sophisticated marketing techniques.
The judges were journalists serving on the Investigative Reporters & Editors board and others elected by the organization’s members. Winners will be honored June 11-14 at the IRE National Conference in Portland, Ore. Here are the other winners:
Newspapers with circulation over 75,000:
-Chris Weston, Tim Smith and William Fox of The Greenville (S.C.) News for a series examining a spurious private foundation linked to the University of South Carolina.
-Mike Casey and Russell Carollo of the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News for a project that used a detailed analysis of Occupational Safety and Health Administration records to show the agency was failing to protect workers.
Major market television:
-George Kindel, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Kate Shaplen of WHDH-TV in Boston, for a series on predatory mortgage companies and home improvement contractors.
-Juan Avila, George Clyde, Diana Hembree, Rocky Kistner, Robert Krulwich and Glen Silber, for a documentary on the savings and loan crisis, co-produced by PBS ″Frontline″ and the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Newspapers with circulation less than 75,000:
-Carolyn Tuft of The Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat, for an investigation showing that blacks were much more likely to be ticketed by the Belleville Police Department. Tuft will also receive an IRE medal for her work.
-Lesia Shannon of The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C., for a series exposing an illegal lending business run by a county councilman.
-Dan Vukelich of The Albuquerque (N.M.) Tribune for a series on conflicts of interest in the New Mexico Legislature.
Smaller market television:
-Jim Kenyon of WSTM-TV in Syracuse, N.Y., for a series about fraud in the trash hauling industry.
-Scott Rensberger and Stuart Watson of WKRN-TV in Nashville for a story about the city’s high water and sewer rates.
-Scott Armstrong, a freelance writer, for ″The Eye of the Storm″ in Mother Jones, a story about secret deals between the Saudi royal family and three U.S. administrations.
-Brett Campbell, Laurie Udesky and Gordon Young, for a report in Southern Exposure about workfare, ″Punishing the Poor.″
No winners were chosen for radio or the Thomas Renner Award for crime reporting. Winners in the book category will be announced later. John Seigenthaler of The Tennessean, USA Today, Wins Lifetime Award
ATLANTA (AP) - John Seigenthaler, chairman emeritus of The Tennessean newspaper and former editorial director of USA Today, has been named winner of the Ralph McGill Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism.
The award, presented by the Atlanta chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, recognizes outstanding print or broadcast journalists.
It will be presented to Seigenthaler March 14 at the chapter’s annual Green Eyeshade awards banquet.
Seigenthaler held virtually every news and editorial position at The Tennessean, Nashville’s morning newspaper. He left the paper for a year and a half in the early 1960s to serve as administrative assistant to Attorney General Robert Kennedy and was injured by a white mob during 1961 racial tensions in Alabama.
The award is named for the late editor of The Atlanta Constitution. NOTES FROM EVERYWHERE
NBC’s Arthur Kent called the TV police after a BBC report referred to his celebrity status as the ″Scud Stud″ sex symbol of the Gulf War. Britain’s Broadcasting Complaints Commission slapped the BBC wrist, concluding the broadcast ″unfairly diminished his reputation as a serious foreign correspondent″ ... Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein is leaving Time after two years. He’ll continue doing free-lance articles for the magazine ... Demanding editors at the Toronto Star rejected some of the young reporter’s articles at the time. But that was the 1920s, and this is now. The paper on March 1 printed two dozen of the ″lost″ pieces. Byline: Ernest Hemingway ... From as far away as Japan, the Doonesbury ″Just Like the Prez″ coupons are pouring in to the Texas comptroller’s office. In a Feb. 2 strip spoofing President Bush, cartoonist Garry Trudeau urged readers to mail in the accompanying coupon to Comptroller John Sharp, asking for absentee ″resident″ status in Texas to enjoy its lack of a personal income tax. Sharp is spoofing right back with tongue-in-cheek certificates to mail to the writers. Coupon count so far: 45,000.
End AP Industry News