Moen Elected to Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) _ The late Fred Moen, who directed Associated Press news operations in Kansas and Missouri for 13 years, is the newest member of the Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Moen was inducted Oct. 28 during Kansas State-University of Kansas Editors Day and is the first AP representative to receive the honor. Moen died Jan. 1, 1991, at age 71.

The Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame, sponsored by the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas, honors journalists who have made outstanding contributions to their profession and to their state.

At least one new member is elected each year from a list of journalists deceased at least three years. Journalists who have been in the Kansas newspaper business for 25 years vote on new members. Moen is the 86th person elected since the Hall of Fame was formed in 1931.

Moen's widow, Helen, and members of the family accepted the award from Mike Kautsch, dean of the University of Kansas journalism school. In recounting Moen's accomplishments, Kautsch read from a letter sent by Louis D. Boccardi, president and chief executive officer of The Associated Press:

``Fred Moen did something he loved for a living and he was loved for doing it. Everywhere he went for AP, our members knew he and AP had done everything they could to help make newspapers better. It's hard to think of Fred's being anything other than an AP bureau chief. He was born to the role, as a lifetime of professional achievement attests.''

Moen retired from the AP in 1984 as Kansas City chief of bureau after a 38-year career of service to newspaper and broadcast members in Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota and Tennessee.

___

Prodigy, Investment Firm Reach Agreement that Could End Libel Case

NEW YORK (AP) _ An investment firm that sued Prodigy computer service over a comment made on an electronic bulletin board decided not to challenge new evidence that could mean an end to the widely watched libel case.

The agreement _ while not a legal settlement _ was announced jointly Oct. 24 by the two sides in the $200 million suit, one of the first seeking to define liability for on-line speech.

The firm, Stratton Oakmont, sued Prodigy Services Co. last November after a Prodigy subscriber anonymously criticized the firm's handling of a company's initial public offering of stock. The subscriber's comment was posted on an electronic bulletin board devoted to investments.

In May, Judge Stuart Ain, who presided over the case, ruled that Prodigy was a publisher subject to the rules of libel. He cited statements the company had made to potential subscribers in 1992 and earlier.

Prodigy planned to challenge the ruling. The company came up with evidence that, long before the posting about Stratton Oakmont, it had changed its technical structure and marketing to make it clear to subscribers it was not responsible for content of messages.

In the joint announcement, Prodigy said it was sorry if offensive statements concerning the firm, Stratton Oakmont, and its president, Daniel Porush, caused injury to their reputation.

However, Prodigy reiterated its belief that it is not a publisher subject to libel laws since the only review it makes of subscribers' messages is for obscene language.

Jacob Zamansky, attorney representing Stratton Oakmont, said he still was unsure Prodigy's efforts were adequate to notify subscribers of its changes.

But he said, ``They've apologized and we have agreed to step aside'' and let the judge reconsider his ruling.

In 1991, a federal judge in New York threw out a libel suit against CompuServe, another large on-line service, that involved a newsletter distributed electronically.

___

KRF Reorganizes Global Operations In Marketing Financial News

MIAMI (AP) _ Knight-Ridder Financial is replacing its three regional divisions of the Americas, Europe and Asia with what it calls a new global management team to operate more efficiently.

Some layoffs and job realignment will be made by the new management team, the company said.

Patrice O'Grady, previously managing director of the Americas, will be in charge of global sales. Angus Robertson, previously managing director and executive editor of KRF News, will lead global information and news.

KRF provides real-time news and information to more than 44,000 users around the world. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Knight-Ridder Inc.

___

EARNINGS IN BRIEF:

Some third-quarter earnings reports:

TIMES MIRROR: Reported $299 million loss, citing onetime charges for job eliminations, newspaper closings and other cost-cutting moves. It plans to reduce employment by at least 2,200 jobs, including 1,900 at its newspapers, under new chief executive Mark H. Willes. The loss, the equivalent of $2.98 per share, compared with a profit of $52 million, or 41 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue edged up to $865 million from $858 million a year ago.

WASHINGTON POST: Earnings fell 11.9 percent because of an investment writeoff of a multimedia production company and the sale of a newsprint affiliate a year ago. Excluding the onetime events, profit rose 21.3 percent. Earnings were $41.8 million, or $3.79 a share, compared with $47.5 million, or $4.13 a share, a year ago. Revenue rose to $417.9 million from $399.8 million.

___

BROADCASTING:

New Alliance Gives Boost to `Data Broadcasting'

NEW YORK (AP) _ A group of 13 companies, led by NBC and Intel Corp., are working on a new technology that will soon allow viewers to watch television on their home computers and receive additional information at the same time.

Under one possible scenario, as Katie Couric talks to Julia Child on the ``Today'' show, NBC could broadcast her chocolate mousse recipe directly to your computer.

The concept, called data broadcasting, exploits the technology used for transmitting closed captions to the hearing-impaired. The companies said Oct. 23 they hope to begin providing the service to consumers next summer.

The alliance also includes PC makers Gateway 2000 Inc. and Packard Bell Electronics Inc., which both plan to include the special set of computer chips, or ``chipset,'' required for TV reception in their products.

CNN, cable channels owned by Viacom Inc. and WGBH-TV in Boston as well as NBC plan to be the first broadcasters to combine their programs with extra information _ all accessed on a personal computer.

For example, a newscast may be viewed in one portion of your computer screen just as it appears on television, while on another part of the screen, maps and historical background appear. The maps can have ``hot links'' that, when directed with the click of a mouse, may turn on the computer's modem and access information on the World Wide Web.

Other participants in the alliance are America Online Inc., Asymetrix, Comcast Corp., En Technology Corp., Netscape Communications Corp. and QVC Inc.

Though the companies are unsure of demand for such services, the concept is a relatively inexpensive way to dabble in ``interactive TV.''

``We don't have to rip up streets (for cable and optical fiber) and we don't have to put in a special set-top box,'' said Ken Bronfin, an NBC vice president and general manager of the NBC Data Network.

Their idea also provides a hint of the breadth of programming that may evolve when TV signals convert entirely to the digital language of computers. But for now, broadcasters will be able to use only a small portion of the existing signal, which limits the amount of extra information that can be transmitted.

For Intel, data broadcasting is just another way to promote sales of PCs, which drive its main business: production of the microprocessors that run them.

While the company designed the special chipset that receives the signals, it plans to make the technical designs available for others to develop their own compatible versions.

___

Baker Named Head of News for Associated Press Television

LONDON (AP) _ Nigel Baker, a former senior producer at Independent Television News and Sky News, was named to head the news operation at Associated Press Television, the international video news service launched last November.

Stephen Claypole, APTV's managing director and chief executive, said Baker ``will carry forward the service's commitment to competitiveness and excellence in its news operation.''

Baker, 40, joined APTV in August 1994 as associate editor and was promoted to editor in April 1995. He succeeds Tony Donovan, who resigned to rejoin Reuters Television as head of news.

MORE