Publishers: Editors: Managing Editors:
Undated (AP) _ A summary of developments in the news industry for the week of April 18-25: Associated Press Announces Product Enhancements, New Service
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Associated Press announced that it will dramatically increase the speed of the main news wire for small daily newspapers and will begin a digital delivery service for newspaper advertising.
Louis D. Boccardi, AP president and chief executive officer, announced the plans April 25 at the news cooperative’s annual meeting, where first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was the scheduled luncheon speaker.
Boccardi also announced two value-added services: expanded election coverage with AP as a charter member of a new national election pool known as Voter News Service, and a weekly column aimed at improving the reading comprehension of children.
The meeting, attended by executives representing AP’s 1,550 daily newspapers, included a report by Frank Daniels Jr., chairman of the AP board of directors and president and publisher of the News and Observer Publishing Co. of Raleigh, N.C.
Boccardi moderated a discussion with AP correspondents on world hot spots. The panelists included Vienna bureau chief Alison Smale, who is responsible for coverage of the former Yugoslavia, Moscow bureau chief Barry Renfrew, Jerusalem bureau chief Nicolas Tatro, International Editor Thomas Kent, Washington political writer John King and photographer John Gaps III, who was wounded in the knee by a plastic bullet fired by an Israeli army officer in the Gaza Strip on March 7.
Reviewing 1993, Boccardi noted that AP began a dial-in service for small newspapers, introduced a digital electronic camera, expanded offerings of paginated pages, started third-party photo transmissions so newspapers could receive other photo services on their AP Leaf Desks, opened a new technical center in Cranbury, N.J., launched news-by-fax services through newspapers, and instituted a new health plan for staff to reduce costs.
The changes in 1994, he said, are aimed at newspapers’ core: news and advertising.
Boccardi said installation will begin in a few weeks to speed up the slowspeed wire. The new service will be known as AP Basic. It will offer generally the same volume and type of stories as the slowspeed wire but delivered enormously faster, Boccardi said.
The digital advertising delivery service, called AP AdSEND, is ″a new way that the cooperative’s experience, systems and equipment can serve our members beyond the newsroom,″ Boccardi said.
It will begin during the next few months.
″For advertisers who want to put ads in your newspapers, digital delivery offers better quality, lower costs, greater convenience, speed, increased flexibility and more reliability,″ Boccardi said.
″For newspapers, it also offers convenience, savings and quality,″ he added. ″Even more importantly, the benefits to your advertisers - speed, convenience, flexibility and economy of digital ad delivery - give newspapers a potent defense to the charge that they haven’t done much to make life easier for advertisers.″
He emphasized that the advertising service will be independent of all AP news and photo operations.
The Voter News Service was formed this spring by AP and the four major television networks, merging the News Election Service and Voter Research and Surveys that provided vote totals and exit polls and projections in past elections.
Boccardi said it will allow more insightful reporting by providing AP full access for the first time to exit polls and projection data. ″This will mean much better election-night reporting,″ he said.
Boccardi also said the AP is addressing ″critical staffing needs″ in domestic bureaus, with a goal of 15 additions in 1994.
--- AP Speeds Up News Wire for Small Newspapers
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Associated Press said it will upgrade its slowspeed news wire, a mainstay of small daily newspapers for decades, by dramatically increasing its speed.
The new service, which will be called AP Basic, will send news about 150 times as fast as slowspeed, which moves 66 words per minute, the old teletype speed. The new highspeed will deliver news at more than 9,000 words per minute.
The AP developed the slowspeed wire in the 1950s to combine top world, national, state, sports and business news in a single report.
The new AP Basic will have similar content, but it will be delivered faster.
″Our slowspeed wire service has been a workhorse for hundreds of small newspapers that did not need the large volume of specialized, in-depth news we carry on our other wires,″ Louis D. Boccardi, AP president and chief executive officer said at the annual meeting. ″They still don’t. But in today’s hectic environment, they need to get the information more quickly, especially for late-breaking news.″
Today, 412 smaller papers and about 80 college papers rely on the slowspeed service. Because many papers have moved up production deadlines, some AP stories do not arrive in time to be published.
″We designed AP Basic to get the news to the smaller papers when they need it, but not to overwhelm editors in small newsrooms,″ Boccardi said.
The new service will carry modest assessment increases over the old slowspeed service. For about 230 of the smallest newspapers the AP rate will increase by $4.10 per week. AP rates are based on circulation.
With the change, which will begin later this spring, AP will offer five levels of news service, for papers ranging from the smallest in the nation to the largest. AP to Start Digital Ad Delivery Service
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Associated Press announced a new service that will enable advertisers to transmit their ads digitally to all U.S. newspapers.
Louis D. Boccardi, AP president and chief executive officer, told the AP annual meeting on April 25 that AP’s board of directors approved a plan to launch the service by September. Testing is under way.
Digital ad delivery means advertisers can eliminate several time-consuming, costly steps and greatly simplify distribution of their ads. They will not have to scan them and physically send the ads to their destinations.
The new service, called AP AdSEND, gives advertisers the broad newspaper audience they want to reach, with more convenience, efficiency, and affordable pricing than existing ad distribution methods, Boccardi said.
″We went to our member newspapers and asked them what their reaction would be to this service, and the general reaction was, ’How soon can we have it?‴ Boccardi said.
Most advertisers create their ads on desktop computers, but often those ads are put into printed form and shipped by overnight delivery services to newspapers. Instead, AP AdSEND will transmit ads as digital computer files to newspapers.
AdSEND-delivered ads, whether in color or black-and-white, will reach newspapers as first-generation images on reception equipment provided by AP to member newspapers.
AP AdSEND, which stands for Advertising Service for Electronic Newspaper Delivery, has been in development since January. The AP worked with advertisers, member newspapers and the Newspaper Association of America to shape the service.
Boccardi said the new service would complement efforts by the industry association to make it easier for advertisers to place ads in newspapers.
Ad business will be independent of AP news and photo operations, he said.
--- AP Is Charter Member of Voter News Service
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Associated Press will provide members with expanded election coverage as a charter member of a new national election pool known as Voter News Service.
VNS was formed this spring by AP and the four major television networks. VNS will provide election returns on presidential, U.S. Senate, U.S. House and gubernatorial races; national and state exit polls in general elections and presidential primaries; and election projections.
It will provide a new dimension to the AP election-night report, Louis D. Boccardi, AP president and chief executive officer said, with stories on the extensive state and national exit polls as well as election projections.
″It will mean that we can provide for your newspapers more insightful reporting than is possible without full access to the polls and projection data,″ Boccardi said. ″This will mean much better election-night reporting.″
The charter members of VNS are ABC News, AP, CBS News, Cable News Network and NBC News.
VNS was created by the merger of two election pools - News Election Service (NES) and Voter Research and Surveys (VRS). NES, founded in 1966, provided vote tallies to the AP and the four networks. VRS, begun in 1990, conducted exit polls and projections for the four television networks.
This merger is the result of 14 months of negotiations. Evans Witt, director of election planning and assistant chief of bureau in Washington, and Tom Jory, director of election information in New York, are AP’s representatives to VNS.
In some past elections, the AP conducted exit polls on its own or in partnership with others. It obtained some exit poll material from VRS in 1992.
But membership in the new VNS will give the AP and its members access to the full range of exit poll material, starting on election night and running through the cycles of analysis and reaction that follow.
The full vote returns report from VNS will move directly into the AP’s national and state election systems. The AP election computers will continue to provide the fastest, most accurate returns on all the races on the ballot, not just the top of the ticket, using the AP’s own 50-state elections system.
VNS is led by Managing Director Bob Flaherty, with the exit polls and projections supervised by Editorial Director Murray Edelman. Flaherty is the former executive director of NES. Edelman was director of surveys for VRS.
--- AP To Introduce Weekly Column Aimed at Children
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Associated Press will provide its member newspapers with a weekly column aimed at improving the reading comprehension of children and encouraging them to read the newspaper.
Louis D. Boccardi, AP president and chief executive officer, said the column was being sponsored by the AP and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation.
Called ″Reading All About It,″ the column will begin in September and will be written by Susan Fineman, a teacher in the New Haven, Conn., public school system.
Fineman is a reading specialist and has written numerous books and articles on improving reading comprehension.
--- AP Foreign Correspondents Discuss Dangers
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Life, death and the value of beards marked a panel discussion by Associated Press reporters covering some of the world’s most dangerous places.
The panel at the news service’s annual meeting was moderated by Louis D. Boccardi, AP president and chief executive officer.
Boccardi remembered five AP employees killed in the line of duty in the past year.
They were photographer Hansi Krauss in Somalia, Pakistan bureau chief Sharon Herbaugh in a helicopter crash, translator Ali Ibrahim Mursal in Somalia, photographer Andrei Soloviev in the former Soviet republic of Georgia and photographer Abdul Shariff in South Africa.
Boccardi also read an AP board resolution passed in tribute to the risks taken by AP staffers in the world’s hot spots.
Much of the discussion centered on Bosnia, South Africa and the former Soviet Union.
″I see nothing but gloom and doom in the Balkans,″ predicted Alison Smale, chief of the AP’s Vienna bureau with responsibility of coverage in the former Yugoslavia.
She predicted a major battle among the warring Bosnians, Croats and Serbs, with the conflict spreading perhaps to Albania, Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey.
Barry Renfrew, chief of bureau in Moscow, said stability in the former Soviet Union depends on improving the economy.
He said inflation has destroyed many Russians’ savings, leaving ″Russian yuppies and organized crime″ much better off than others.
Renfrew described covering a small demonstration in Moscow in October that suddenly bloomed into a riot with 20,000 participants. As riot police and journalists were being thrown to the ground and beaten, Renfrew was able to blend with the crowd.
″Once again my beard saved me,″ Renfrew joked. ″I looked like a Russian.″
Reporters who cover the violence between Israelis and Palestinians also may find themselves in increasing danger, warned Jerusalem bureau chief Nicolas Tatro. Israeli soldiers in particular have come to feel journalists are fueling violent demonstrations by Palestinians, Tatro said.
One casualty of the violence was AP photographer John J. Gaps III, who was shot in the leg by an Israeli sniper in the Gaza Strip earlier this year.
″There was no violence going on,″ Gaps told the audience of newspaper publishers. ″The sniper dropped to his knee and started tracking me.″
Gaps said he took a step and was hit in the leg. Since emergency surgery, he has been in rehabilitation.
″John Gaps is a symbol of all those who have given their lives,″ Boccardi said. He asked Gaps why he took such risks.
Tatro said AP complained about the shooting, but is still awaiting an explanation from the Israeli government.
Thomas Kent, AP’s international editor in New York, warned that the African National Congress’ generally good relations with reporters may deteriorate if they win this week’s elections in South Africa.
That’s because the ANC will suddenly find itself criticized if it cannot deliver on campaign promises, Kent said.
The resolution passed by the AP board expressed ″admiration and respect for the continuing courage, commitment and enterprise of Associated Press journalists who brave life-threatening situations to report and photograph the news.″
″Fulfilling AP’s obligation to keep the world informed inevitably entails risk, a circumstance made particularly acute in several current trouble spots where safeguards against violence have broken down,″ the resolution added. ″AP journalists have in fact risked - and lost - their lives.
″We hope all those who receive and publish these photos and reports appreciate the journalistic heroism of those involved.″
The Clinton administration appears to have little interest in foreign affairs, said John King, a political correspondent in Washington, D.C. Clinton is much more interested in domestic issues, and sees passing a health care reform plan as critical, King said. Survey: Newspapers Need Better Content, Usefulness
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Newspapers must improve content and make their product more useful to hold on to readers, industry executives said in a national survey.
″Content is critical to regaining newspaper readership. People watch C- span, they watch CNN - expectations of their local newspapers have obviously increased,″ said Robert Giles, chairman of Foundation for American Communications, which sponsored the poll.
Local news that directly affects the reader’s life is the key, said Giles, who is also editor and publisher of The Detroit News.
For the survey released April 25 during the 1994 meeting of the Newspaper Association of America in San Francisco, 1,000 randomly chosen editors, publishers and advertising managers were sent questionnaires during February and March.
American Opinion Research, which conducted the poll for the foundation, received back a surprisingly high 732 responses, said Anthony Casale, president of polling company.
While the survey showed the executives were concerned about readership, it also found they were generally upbeat about the current state and future of the industry.
Seventy percent classified the industry as ″somewhat healthy,″ and 54 percent said they expected it to be the same in a decade. Zero percent called the industry’s current status ″poor.″
- Eighty percent rated editorial quality as ″good,″ and 12 percent ″excellent,″ a slightly higher level than reader surveys show.
- After content (27 percent), the executives placed competition for advertising revenue as their most serious problem (19 percent), followed by readership (17 percent) and literacy (11 percent.)
- To compete in the future, the executives rated expanding local news as the top priority (33 percent), followed by more overall news coverage (22 percent), expanding reader interaction (15 percent) and shorter, tighter and faster-reading stories (14 percent).
But while the poll respondents were generally positive about their industry many seemed less sure about their own careers.
Asked if, knowing what they know now, they would still enter a career in newspapers, only 55 percent said yes, with 21 percent saying no, and 23 percent undecided.
--- UPI Rearranging Sales Force
WASHINGTON (AP) - United Press International is phasing out the jobs of six regional sales people and is assigning them to other sales jobs within the company.
The reorganization does not affect editorial staff, Howard Dicus, UPI’s general manager for broadcast, said April 18.
Dicus said the move involves six people who have served as general managers of UPI’s domestic bureaus. Regional editors will now oversee the bureaus, Dicus said.
″We’re going back to the way it used to be, having editorial people be the highest at a bureau,″ Dicus said. ″This is not the big shakeup.″
--- Journal Plans Regional Coverage for Florida, Southeast Editions
NEW YORK (AP) - The Wall Street Journal will add four pages of regional news coverage for readers in the Southeast and in Florida every Wednesday starting Oct. 12.
The Journal has been offering added news coverage for readers in Texas since September 1993.
The extra pages will be used for exclusive coverage of issues important to the business and financial communities served by the paper in each region.
The Southeast Journal section will appear in about 122,000 issues of the paper circulated in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and parts of Tennessee. The Florida Journal will be in all issues sold in that state. Journal daily circulation in Florida exceeds 106,000 in the peak tourist season.
--- Financier Indicted in $460 Million Investment Fraud
NEW YORK (AP) - Steven Hoffenberg, the financier who once took over the New York Post while bidding to own it, was indicted April 20 on federal charges of defrauding investors of $460 million.
A 10-count indictment charged that from 1987 to 1993 Hoffenberg overstated the assets and income of Towers Financial Corp., a bill-collection company he operated, so he could sell $250 million worth of the company’s notes and $210 million of its bonds.
Hoffenberg was arrested on the charges on Feb. 17 and released on $1 million bond.
Prosecutors also charged Hoffenberg with obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to Securities and Exchange Commission officials who filed a civil fraud suit against him last year. That suit forced Hoffenberg to abandon his attempt to buy the Post. Clinton Pokes Fun at Media, Himself
WASHINGTON (AP) - Jabbing at the press and joking about himself, President Clinton provided the humor at the 80th annual White House Correspondents Dinner on April 23.
Clinton said he concluded there was no deliberate conspiracy by reporters to distort and exaggerate his role in the Whitewater affair.
″You can’t help yourselves; it’s just a matter of pure instinct,″ he said.
Clinton said Whitewater, which involved an Arkansas land investment he and his wife made 15 years ago, taught him valuable lessons that also served as advice to the press corps:
″Do not borrow money. Do not lend money. Do not make money.
″And for goodness sakes, do not lose money.″
His jibes covered the journalistic lot.
The Wall Street Journal, he said, criticized first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton for turning a $1,000 investment in the commodity markets into a $98,000 profit.
″For the Wall Street Journal to criticize my wife for making money is like Field and Stream criticizing someone for catching a fish,″ he said.
He also said that instead of blaming the press for trying to sink his presidency in scandal, he would turn over a new leaf and try to help reporters do their jobs.
″I need to help you get through slow news days,″ he said. ″So we will leak you details of potential scandals.″ These include ″the seeds of grapes I’ve eaten in supermarkets″ and ″the discrepancy between my actual weight and the weight on my driver’s license.″
--- Times, Newspaper Guild Reach Tentative Pact
NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Times and the union representing news, clerical, commercial and editorial employees reached a tentative contract agreement that extends to the year 2000.
Terms of the April 19 agreement were not released by either side. Times spokesman Bill Adler said details would not be released before a ratification vote.
The seven-year agreement for the Times’ 1,600 Guild employees is said to include pay raises equal to what other Times unions have negotiated, about 2 percent.
The top minimum for a Times reporter under the old contract, which expired March 31, 1993, was $1,164 weekly. The raises will be retroactive.
The tentative agreement is the last union pact to be negotiated. Over the last two years, the Times has reached long-term agreements with all of its other major unions.
--- Charges Against Editor, Photographers Dropped
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Trespassing charges were dropped against a newspaper editor and two photographers who accompanied state officials during a surprise inspection of a public school.
The charges against Robert J. Braun, Joe Gigli and John O’Boyle were dropped April 18 as the three were about to stand trial with Hilda Hidalgo, a former assistant state education commissioner. She is charged with creating a disturbance and resisting arrest.
The charges against Gigli and O’Boyle, photographers for The Star-Ledger of Newark, and Braun, the paper’s education editor, were dropped for lack of evidence, said Harold J. Mynett, a deputy assistant prosecutor for Essex County.
Hidalgo, 65, who suffered a broken wrist when she was handcuffed by police, still faces trial next month.
The inspection team was visiting Morton Street School as part of an investigation to determine if the troubled Newark school district should be taken over by the state. The journalists said Hidalgo invited them along.
Barbara Ervin, vice principal at the time of the inspection, testified that the team was told Oct. 18 that the journalists couldn’t enter the school.
The group returned two days later, with Hidalgo saying the state education commissioner had authorized their visit.
When she tried to stop the group again, Ervin said, Hidalgo locked arms with two of the journalists and moved forward.
--- Appeals Court: Judge Improperly Closed Jury Selection
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A judge can’t bar all reporters from covering jury selection in a criminal trial simply because the courtroom would be too crowded, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled.
The 3-0 ruling released April 19 reversed Barry County Circuit Judge Richard Shuster’s order keeping reporters and the public out of the courtroom during jury selection for the murder trial of Stephen Lawrence.
The Grand Rapids Press challenged that order.
Jim Brady, an attorney for the newspaper, said the Court of Appeals ruling protects the right of the press and the public to attend court proceedings.
The appeals court said if judges must limit attendance because of lack of space, the order restricting access must be as narrow as possible. The ruling said Shuster didn’t do that.
Shuster could have kept part of the jury pool in other parts of the courthouse until they were needed, the ruling said.
″It is clear that any number of simple solutions might have been considered to accommodate the legitimate concerns of the press with regard to the right to access to the jury selection process,″ the court said.
The appeals court rejected the newspaper’s other claims that Lawrence’s conviction should have been reversed because of the closing and that Shuster should have notified the newspaper and had a hearing before closing the courtroom.
--- U.S. Newspaper Editors Protest Yugoslav Media Clampdown
NEW YORK (AP) - Two U.S. newspaper societies protested restrictions on foreign reporters in Yugoslavia and Serb-held areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The American Society of Newspaper Editors, in an April 22 letter to the Yugoslav Ministry of Information in Belgrade, protested the decision to deprive 13 foreign correspondents in Belgrade of their accreditation, ″and thus of their right to work in Yugoslavia.″
″We cannot recall an instance in recent history anywhere in the world in which 13 correspondents had their accreditation removed in such a summary fashion, under the pretext of unfavorable reporting,″ the letter said.
The group urged Belgrade to ″reconsider the move.″
Yugoslavia, now comprising only Serbia and Montenegro, started the clampdown April 12 in apparent retaliation for NATO air strikes on Bosnian Serb positions near Gorazde.
Yugoslav authorities revoked the credentials of reporters for the French news agency Agence France-Presse, the U.S. Cable News Network, the Austrian daily Die Presse, British Sky TV, Radio Free Europe, the U.S. daily Christian Science Monitor and the French newspaper Le Monde.
Though the journalists were not expelled, loss of their credentials means they will have to leave once their visas expire.
Also on April 22, the Associated Press Managing Editors association urged authorities in Serb-held parts of Bosnia to revoke a ban on U.S.-based news organizations.
The association, which represents 1,400 editors at Associated Press member newspapers in the United States, protested the decision to exclude the AP and other news organizations from the Serb-controlled areas.
The protest was addressed to Bosnian Serb authorities, including their leader, Radovan Karadzic, at their headquarters at Pale near Sarajevo.
The association said the AP ″now finds itself restricted in reporting the Serb point of view in the Bosnian war.″
In a move emulating Belgrade’s, Bosnian Serb authorities barred journalists working for American news media from their territories on April 14.
Two AP journalists who usually report from Belgrade were expelled from Serb-held Bosnia under the ban.
The following companies released quarterly earnings:
KNIGHT-RIDDER INC. said growth in advertising revenues, especially from help-wanted ads, helped push its earnings up 31 percent.
Earnings for the period totaled $30.4 million, or 55 cents a share, up from $23.1 million, or 42 cents a share, a year ago.
Revenues for the company - which publishes 29 daily newspapers and offers business news, information and electronic retrieval services - grew 8 percent to $630.9 million from $583.9 million.
Operating revenues were up 5 percent in the newspaper division and 22 percent in the business information services division.
Newspaper ad revenues were depressed in January and February but rebounded in March. Ad revenues were up 5.4 percent for the quarter and help-wanted ads were up 15.2 percent.
MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS INC. - Earnings were up 24 percent to $5.9 million, or 20 cents per share, due partly to a strong showing in classified advertising lineage.
Net revenues of $108.9 million were up 3.5 percent from first-quarter 1993 revenues of $105.3 million. Advertising revenues rose 3.6 percent to $83.8 million, while circulation revenues increased slightly to $21.2 million.
The earnings reflected a one-time, $768,000 pre-tax charge for closing several of the company’s Senior Spectrum tabloid newspapers.
Sacramento-based McClatchy publishes 12 daily newspapers and eight nondaily papers in western states and South Carolina.
TIMES MIRROR CO., owner of the Los Angeles Times, reported a 24 percent decline in earnings due to lower revenue from its non-newspaper publishing operations.
The Los Angeles-based publishing and cable television concern earned $22.7 million, or 18 cents per share, compared with $29.8 million, or 23 cents per share, during the same period of 1993. The earlier results included profit of 2 cents per share from four broadcast TV stations that have been sold.
Revenue for the January-March quarter fell about 1 percent, from $868.4 million to $856.7 million.
Newspaper operating profit rose 51 percent to $36.2 million. The company cited lower Los Angeles Times labor costs and higher ad revenues at the Times and its Eastern newspapers, including Newsday, New York Newsday and the Baltimore Sun newspapers.
Times Mirror said its cable TV revenue rose 8.6 percent to $123 million.
But book, magazine and other publishing revenue fell 10.5 percent to $263 million, and divison operating profits tumbled 68 percent to $11.9 million.
NEW YORK TIMES CO. said earnings rose 62 percent due to higher circulation and advertising revenue. The company said its earnings rose to $17.7 million, or 17 cents per share, compared with $10.9 million, or 14 cents per share, a year ago.
Revenue rose 30 percent to $589.5 million from $454.5 million a year ago with much of the increase reflecting revenue from the Boston Globe, acquired in October 1993.
The rise in earnings was mainly due to revenue increases at the Times and its regional newspaper group.
TIME WARNER INC. reported a wider first-quarter loss but said earnings before interest and other non-operating expenses rose slightly.
Falling profits from cable television systems and music operations were more than offset by gains in publishing, filmed entertainment and pay TV networks.
Time Warner lost $51 million in the three months ended March 31, compared with a loss of $15 million in the same period a year earlier.
But per-share losses narrowed to 14 cents from 33 cents a year ago, because of smaller preferred dividends, which are paid before earnings per common share are calculated.
Revenues for the quarter rose 6.3 percent to $3.49 billion from $3.28 billion a year ago.
A.H. BELO CORP. said first-quarter profits fell 28 percent from last year when an accounting change inflated results.
For the quarter, Belo earned $10 million, or 49 cents per share, compared with $13.9 million, or 70 cents per share, a year ago.
The year-ago results include a $6.6 million gain from the income tax accounting change.
Revenue climbed 7.5 percent to $132 million from $122.8 million a year ago.
Publishing revenue rose 5.3 percent to $82.9 million, while operating earnings from publishing dipped 1 percent to $10.9 million.
Broadcast revenue rose 11.3 percent to $49.1 million, while broadcast earnings were $11.5 million, up 39 percent.
Dallas-based Belo owns The Dallas Morning News and television stations in Dallas, Houston, Sacramento, Calif., Norfolk, Va. and Tulsa, Okla. Special Phone Numbers Not as Lucrative as Some Had Expected
ATLANTA (AP) - The three-digit telephone numbers providing information on stock quotes, sports scores or soap operas have not been as lucrative in Georgia as some had expected.
Several businesses that were awarded the numbers in Georgia have done little with them.
″This business does not hold the big financial boom everybody once thought it did,″ said David Burgess, director of the state Public Service Commission’s rates and research section. ″Even Cox is not making a killing.″
Cox Enterprises Inc., parent company of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has the only number - 511 - now being used commercially in Georgia.
Among other organizations that have been awarded numbers but have not yet put them in service because of a rate dispute with Southern Bell are The Albany Herald, Morris Communications Corp. and The Bainbridge Post Search Light Inc. All have been assigned 311.
″Many providers in lower-density areas are protesting the amount of money they have to pay Southern Bell to use the numbers,″ Burgess said. ″The PSC will be reviewing the rates, which the providers say are too high.″
″Their upfront charges and monthly minimums are just too high,″ said Lowell Dorn, director of information services for Morris, which owns newspapers in Augusta, Athens and Savannah. ″You might can get those kind of numbers in Atlanta, but others can’t afford those type fees. We’re hoping the PSC will rule favorably for us to reduce the charges for these smaller markets.″
″It’s just on hold,″ said Chris Schilt, president and publisher of The Albany Herald. ″The tariffs are extremely severe. We’re trying to understand the market appeal of 311 versus the revenue potential.″
The number of 50-cent calls Cox has received on 511 has averaged about 75,000 a month, well short of the volume of free calls it got on lines that 511 replaced.
″We never said that this was a windfall or a gold mine,″ said Jim McKnight, vice president of telecommunications for Cox Newspapers.
BROADCAST: TV Stations Feel New Push For ‘Family Sensitive’ TV
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - An Asheville, N.C., television station is trying to cut the amount of violence depicted on its evening newscasts under a ″family sensitive″ policy that appears to be gaining nationwide momentum.
WLOS-TV, an ABC affiliate, has pledged to make its dinner-time newscasts less gory by cutting out graphic close-ups, news director Alan Mason said.
Under the new format, camera operators covering car accidents are instructed to shoot wide- and mid angle shots, Mason said. The station also will keep a closer eye on national and international footage.
Since January, about 15 stations around the country have adopted similar formats, said Ed Bewley, chairman of the Audience Research and Development company in Dallas.
Bewley said his company’s surveys show that 40 percent of the news-viewing audience want to see less violence during newscasts. Most people with that reaction fall in the 35- to 45-year-old age group, he said.
Mason said he hasn’t heard much response since the change was made earlier this month, and he hasn’t had any situations where editors deleted material that they previously would have included.
--- Justices Refuse to Review Ruling on Indecency Complaints to FCC
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court on April 25 let stand a ruling that bars radio listeners upset over allegedly indecent broadcasts from asking federal courts to revive complaints that government regulators dismissed.
The justices, without comment, refused to review a ruling that said radio listeners generally don’t have the proper legal standing to pursue such complaints beyond the Federal Communications Commission.
Peter Branton filed a complaint with the commission after listening to a National Public Radio news program on radio station WSMC-FM in Chattanooga, Tenn., the evening of Feb. 28, 1989.
The program contained a report on reputed New York mobster John Gotti and included a tape-recorded telephone conversation between Gotti and an associate that was used as trial evidence.
In the 110-word portion of the tape aired, Gotti used what a federal appeals court called ″variations of the f-word 10 times ... to modify virtually every noun and in one instance even a verb.″
Branton, a Chattanooga-area resident, was offended by the language. He filed a complaint with the commission’s Mass Media Bureau, requesting commission sanctions against NPR.
The commission refused, ruling that the report Branton found objectionable was part of a bona fide news story.
Branton then sought help from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
A three-judge panel dismissed Branton’s appeal, ruling last June that he lacked legal standing.
Branton’s ensuing Supreme Court appeal was supported in a friend-of-the- court brief submitted by two advocacy groups, People for the American Way and the Washington Area Citizens Coalition Interested in Viewers’ Constitutional Rights.
Lawyers for NPR and other broadcast organizations that intervened in the case urged the justices to reject Branton’s appeal.
AWARDS: AP’s Hunt Wins Smith Award for Treaty Signing Story
WASHINGTON (AP) - Terence Hunt, chief White House correspondent for The Associated Press, has won the Merriman Smith Award for his account of last September’s historic Israeli-Palestine Liberation Organization treaty signing.
The prize bestowed by the White House Correspondents Association honors excellence in presidential news coverage for a story written or broadcast under deadline pressure.
Hunt, 48, has covered the White House since 1981 and has been the AP’s chief correspondent there since 1987.
The judges said his Sept. 13 story, written under deadline pressure, ″captured the poetry of history in the making.″
″In a breathtaking moment of hope and history, Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin exchanged a handshake of peace before a cheering White House audience Monday after the signing of a PLO-Israeli treaty that once seemed unimaginable,″ Hunt began.
The Associated Press’ Washington bureau chief, Jonathan Wolman, said, ″Terry’s story captured the momentous gamble by leaders of Israel and the PLO, and the sweep of optimism that surged through the Rose Garden. He saw hope and history, a theme that echoed in the headlines across the world.″
Another AP reporter, Jim Drinkard, won the Barnet Nover Memorial award for a series of articles on the interaction between lobbyists and the government.
National Public Radio’s Mara Liasson won a Smith award in the broadcast category for her coverage of President-elect Clinton’s ride into Washington on Jan. 17, 1993, three days before the inauguration.
The association also named Richard Whittle of The Dallas Morning News Washington bureau as winner of the Edgar A. Poe Award, and Jeffrey Birnbaum of The Wall Street Journal as recipient of the Aldo Beckman Memorial Award.
Whittle was honored for an expose on how Senate-paid staffers to Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, arranged media events as part of a re-election campaign strategy. Birnbaum was cited for the depth of his reporting on the new presidency.
The awards were presented April 23 at the White House Correspondents Association’s annual banquet.
The association also cited four other contenders for the Poe Award for meritorious achievement:
-Russell Carollo of The Morning News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash., for a series on ″AWOL Weapons.″
-Bryan Denson of The Houston Post for three stories on ″The Price We Pay.″
-U.S. News & World Report’s investigative unit for ″Secrets of the Cold War,″ ″Separate and Unequal″ and ″Made in the U.S.A.″
-Rhodes Cook of Congressional Quarterly for his analysis of the 1992 elections.
--- Chicago Tribune Wins Top RFK Journalism Award
WASHINGTON (AP) - A Chicago Tribune series about murdered children won the top prize in the 1994 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards contest.
The Tribune was honored for its decision to cover every child murder in Chicago on the front page in 1993.
The judges, who announced the winners April 24, said the series ″demonstrates that children are all vulnerable, regardless of race, economic status or geography.″
The series won the print journalism category and also was awarded the contest’s grand prize.
Jack Bass won the annual RFK Book Award for ″Taming the Storm: The Life and Times of Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr. and the South’s Fight Over Civil Rights.″
Other winners were:
-Television: Home Box Office, ″I Am A Promise.″
-International print: The Washington Post for a series about women in Third World countries.
-International television: ABC for coverage of famine in Sudan.
-Cartoon: Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution.
-Photojournalism: Gregory Mellis, The State Journal Register, Springfield, Ill.
-International photojournalism: Susan Winters, Philadelphia Daily News.
-Radio: National Public Radio Horizons, ″Taking Care of Undocumented Kids.″
-International radio: National Public Radio, ″A Prayer for Burundi.″
-Student journalism: The Sentinel, North Idaho College, for a series about challenges faced by students attending a community college in a remote area.
--- Associated Press, Canadian Paper Win War Coverage Awards
BAYEUX, France (AP) - A photographer who died while covering a separatist war in Georgia for The Associated Press and a journalist writing for La Presse of Canada were honored April 23 for their war coverage.
The inaugural Bayeux War Correspondents Awards were also given to Belgium’s RTBF television station, the British Broadcasting Corp. radio and Germany’s Stern magazine. Recipients are awarded $8,800 each.
Andrei Soloviev, a Russian freelancer working for the AP, won top honors for his photo of a man and his dog shot dead in fighting between Georgian and Abkhazian forces in the town of Sukhumi. Soloviev, 39, was killed last September in that fighting.
Denis Arcand of the Canada’s French-language La Presse newspaper won the daily newspaper category for an article on what he called ″European hypocrisy″ over the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
RTBF producers Elisabeth Burdot and Andre Chandelle were cited for their TV documentary ″Flowers of Shankill Road,″ about children in Belfast.
BBC correspondent Allan Little was cited for reporting from Sarajevo, and Stern magazine reporter Philipp von Recklenghausen was cited for his story ″70 Days in Hell,″ also about Bosnia.
The prize was inaugurated to coincide with the 50th anniversary in June of the invasion of Normandy, which eventually forced the Nazi army out of France and led to the end of World War II.
Bayeux was one of the first towns liberated from Nazi occupation in the D- Day invasion.
Candidates from six Allied nations - Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, the Netherlands and the United States - as well as Germany were nominated in five categories. NAMES IN THE NEWS:
Changes in the news industry:
- John W. Madigan, 57, executive vice president of Tribune Co. and head of its publishing group, will become president and chief operating officer of the company, effective May 31.
He takes over the president’s job from Charles Brumback, who remains chairman and chief executive officer. The job of chief operating officer had not been filled since August 1990.
- William D. Florence, 43, head of the journalism department at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Ore., has been named managing editor of the Standard-Examiner in Ogden, Utah.
The newspaper has been without a permanent managing editor for more than a year.
- Dennis Ryerson, editorial-page editor of The Des Moines (Iowa) Register, will become executive editor of the Great Falls Tribune in Montana, effective May 16.
He replaces John Hollon, who became executive editor of The Honolulu Advertiser on Jan. 31.
- Jeff Cohen, 39, special projects editor-new media for the Hearst Newspaper Division in New York City, will become executive editor of The Times Union in Albany, effective May 16.
Cohen succeeds Harry Rosenfeld, 64, who will take responsibility for the newspaper’s opinion pages.
- Gordon Winters, 44, city editor of the The Lincoln Star in Nebraska, has been named managing editor.
He replaces Tom White, who resigned to become editor of the Racine (Wis.) Journal-Times.
- Daren Watkins, former publisher at the Beloit (Kan.) Daily Call and Post, has been named managing editor at the Portales (N.M.) News-Tribune.
- Don McKinney, city editor at the Alamagordo (N.M.) Daily News, has been named managing editor.
DEATHS: David L. Bowen
WASHINGTON (AP) - David L. Bowen, a retired vice president of The Associated Press who piloted the news cooperative into the era of computer and satellite news delivery, died April 21. He was 67.
Bowen directed AP’s communications department in the 1970s as the news cooperative shifted from a news delivery system based on leased telephone lines to one based on computers and satellites.
He was the first president of SATNET Inc., an AP subsidiary formed in 1982 to market the excess capacity of the AP’s satellite distribution system to corporate clients.
Bowen joined the AP as a newsman in Milwaukee in 1950 and transferred to the New York General Desk two years later. He was supervising editor of AP Newsfeatures for eight years before moving to administrative work in 1962.
In 1964, Bowen was named general executive in charge of the AP’s Traffic Department, the forerunner of today’s Communications Department. He was named director of communications in 1970, responsible for all communications functions, including research and maintenance.
He is survived by his wife, Rosemary; a brother, Frank Bowen of San Antonio; daughters Mary Beth Bowen of Washington, Patricia Jones of Metairie, La., and Margaret Bowen of New York City; a son, David F. Bowen of Canon City, Colo., and four grandchildren. George T. Campbell
OWOSSO, Mich. (AP) - George T. Campbell, who rose from carrier to publisher and chairman of The Argus-Press, died April 21. He was 70.
Campbell joined The Argus-Press as wire editor in 1945. After working in the advertising department, he became vice president and general manger in 1965. Five years later, he became president and publisher.
He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. Peter Hackes
WASHINGTON (AP) - Former NBC Washington correspondent Peter Hackes, who covered Capitol Hill, the State Department and the space program, died April 17. He was 69.
Hackes worked for CBS for three years in Washington before joining NBC in 1955. He covered every national political convention from 1956 until his retirement in 1986.
Since 1987, Hackes had been the ″Voice of the AARP″ - the American Association of Retired Persons - on a daily radio program called ″Mature Focus.″
Hackes appeared as a gruff network executive in the movie ″Broadcast News″ in 1987. He also had a role in ″True Colors,″ a movie about politics. John T. Jones
HOUSTON (AP) - John T. Jones Jr., former chief executive of the Houston Chronicle and a respected business and civic leader, died April 21. He was 76.
After serving as the Chronicle’s chief executive for 16 years, Jones resigned in 1966 to head the Rusk Corp., which operates radio stations in Austin, San Antonio and Midland-Odessa and formerly operated KTRH Radio and KLOL-FM in Houston.
Jones was president of Houston Consolidated Television Co. - KTRK-TV - from its inception in 1954 until its sale in 1967. He also had been a trustee and president of Houston Endowment Inc., a philanthropic foundation.
Survivors include his wife, a daughter, two sons and a sister.
NOTES FROM EVERYWHERE:
May 3 has been designated International Press Freedom Day. The Newspaper Association of America and other trade organizations are urging newspapers to use the day to remind readers of the importance of a free press. ... Newspaper columnist Lewis Grizzard had said he would remember an old college friend in his will, and he did. ″To Gary Hill, who I promised to mention in my will, ‘I want to say, Hi, Gary,’ ″ said Grizzard’s will, which became public record April 19. Grizzard, who died last month, left the bulk of his estate to his wife, Dedra, and added bequests to relatives and friends.
End Industry News Advisory