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Publishers Editors Managing Editors

March 4, 1991

A summary of developments in the news industry for the week of Feb. 25- March 4: Pool Snafus Hurt Military, Reporters Say

DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Each day, Newsweek’s Tony Clifton watched Tiger Brigade tanks battle Iraqis as they raced through southern Kuwait. Every night he faithfully wrote reports: his responsibility as a pool reporter.

The stories were filled with drama, color and bits of humanity. ″I showed them to the guys and they loved it,″ he said. ″They’d say, ’Gee, my Mom’s going to read this.″

Later in the week, Clifton and his Army escort officer stopped at a rear area. The officer went into an office and came out with a pile of Clifton’s stories. The articles had never gone back. The world hadn’t heard of Tiger Brigade’s feat.

″When I told the guys they were dumbfounded, angry and then depressed,″ said Clifton. ″From the colonel on down, they were appalled.″

Clifton’s story is not an isolated one. By many accounts, the military-run press pool system failed to get the soldier’s story back to the American public.

Some reporters fought relentlessly to go forward and interview troops. Their stories often languished at corps headquarters, becoming irrelevant as the war progressed at a lightning pace.

″It just didn’t work,″ said Leon Daniels, chief correspondent for United Press International. ″My problem is with the whole concept of a miltary-run pool. Whoever said the Army is good at moving copy?″

In certain cases, the military was good. Elite units like the Marines and the 101st Airborne eagerly sought the publicity that often brings better funding. Some used helicopters to get articles and video tape back from the front. Others allowed reporters to dictate over unit radios.

The Marines gave Gannett News Service reporter Kirk Spitzer a tactical phone to dictate to his Dhahran office. When he couldn’t get through, he was patched into his Washington office, which took his dictation then faxed it back to Dhahran.

But there were many more instances where the news never got out.

In VII Corps, where hundreds of thousands of troops staged a dramatic flanking movement through Iraq and into Kuwait, many reporters waited in vain for couriers to retrieve stories about GIs living the historic moment.

As day grew into frustrating day, the journalists had to listen to bloodless accounts of the move via radio broadcasts of military briefings in Riyadh.

Trapped hundreds of miles behind enemy lines, some reporters had to wait a week before they could get word out. By then it was too late.

″We gave up lots of freedom to join the pool with the understanding that we would be allowed to do our work,″ said Phil Shenon of the New York Times. ″But we were not allowed to do our work.″

The pool system was supposed to work like this: Reporters representing newspapers, wire services, television, radio and magazines, were assigned to specific units. Public affairs officers would provide for safety and logistics.

Stories would be reviewed for security problems, then rushed to the military’s Joint Information Bureau in Dhahran for distribution to the rest of the media.

The bureau director, Col. Bill Mulvey, agreed the system had its problems, but said, ″overall we had a tremendously positive experience with the press.″

″One of the very best parts was leaving journalists with the units for extended periods of time,″ he said. ″It gave journalists who had never been in the military a real understanding of the troops.″

But if the reporters and soldiers built an understanding, other parts of the system broke down.

One argument for the pools was safety. But Associated Press photographer Bob Jordan was sent out with an escort officer in a rattletrap 1st Infantry Division car with a hotwired ignition and flashlights strapped to the hood as headlights.

The public affair officer had no radio, map or functioning compass. Separated from their unit, they spent two days wandering the desert, low on water. The car skirted a field of live ordnance, then blundered into an Iraqi bunker complex where armed troops watched as they changed a flat tire.

″I don’t know what kind of danger we were in, but it sure wasn’t comfortable,″ Jordan said.

Many escorts didn’t understand the news business.

A surprise raid by the 101st captured hundreds of Iraqis as they ate a lunch of potatoes, onions and dates. When the story was written, a young public affairs captain tried to delete reference to the bill of fare, saying it might have a strategic value. His censorship was reversed by a more experienced officer.

Although reporters in the VII Corps area were promised daily courier service, none ever showed up, denying the public vivid accounts of major armored battles until well after they were fought.

Even when the ‘product,’ the military’s word for stories and video tape, did make it to rear areas, it often sat for days before it was distributed.

Shenon said it took 72 hours for some stories to move from Corps headquarters back to Dhahran. When officers blamed the delays on bulky phones and a broken fax, Shenon and other reporters volunteered to use a telephone at a Saudi city a few minutes away by car.

″We were given the ludicrous argument that we couldn’t leave the base because there was a terrorist threat,″ he said. ″They were supposed to help us file our story, but there seemed to be every desire to hinder us in getting the work out.″

Mulvey denied any effort to choke the news. He blamed the long distances traveled by some units and bad weather for slowing the flow of stories from the front.

″Couriers that would bring product back on Day One of the ground war, couldn’t get back to pick up the next set of products or couldn’t find the units,″ he said.

Ironically, the military was the ultimate victim. The stories that never made it out were uniformly positive snapshots of the soldiers.

″The battle strategy was brilliant, there was great elan and bravery on the part of the men,″ Newsweek’s Clifton said. ″All of this could have appeared in their hometown papers. The Army really screwed up.″ The Outbreak of Peace Sends Networks Scurrying Back to Prime Time

NEW YORK (AP) - The surest sign of the Gulf War’s waning was how quickly the news organizations bailed out of coverage.

Peace was at hand the night of Feb. 27 and ″God bless the United States of America″ was barely out of President Bush’s lips when the ABC, CBS, and NBC news teams wrapped up the day’s events and turned things back over to entertainment.

″We went off the air at 9:29:33 (p.m.),″ said ABC News spokeswoman Laura Wessner. CBS’ prime time schedule was delayed 30 minutes by the outbreak of peace. NBC was back in ″Night Court″ about 20 minutes after the hour.

An even surer sign of peace came earlier in the day, when ABC and CBS shifted their evening news anchor desks to Kuwait City. It was less than 30 hours after CBS aired the first TV reports from the liberated capital.

NBC anchor Tom Brokaw and CBS anchor Dan Rather set up shop after leaving Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in a 40-vehicle convoy at 6 a.m., Saudi time, for the 14-hour drive to Kuwait City, network publicists said.

Their caravan was welcomed enthusiastically by the Kuwaitis, some of whom had been gone from the city since the Iraqi invasion Aug. 2.

″It’s pretty wild,″ said NBC spokeswoman Katherine McQuay. ″There’s jubilation, dancing in the streets.″

ABC’s Ted Koppel moved ″Nightline″ from Washington to Dhahran for the Feb. 27 broadcast. Koppel took a commercial flight from Washington to London, to Bahrain, then by car to Dhahran. CBS Correspondent Recounts Terror of Captivity in Iraq

NEW YORK (AP) - CBS reporter Bob Simon described beatings and hunger during six weeks of Iraqi captivity, but colleagues detained with him said the most terrifying moment was when an allied bomb hit the Baghdad building where they were held.

Simon, CBS London bureau chief Peter Bluff, freelance cameraman Roberto Alvarez and soundman Juan Caldera were reported in good condition at a hospital in London on March 3 after being freed in Baghdad the day before.

The four were captured by Iraqi forces near the Kuwait-Saudi border on Jan. 21. Iraq released them after prodding from Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

The four lost weight because of malnutrition but otherwise were ″in remarkably good shape when you consider they’ve been in prison in awful circumstances for 40 days,″ said Dr. Stuart Sanders, who examined the crew.

Tom Goodman, a spokesman for CBS News, said the four do not have any internal injuries, broken bones or bruises.

In an interview broadcast March 3 on CBS’ ″60 Minutes,″ Simon said all four men were beaten within earshot of one another.

″We were blindfolded which made it all the more frightening,″ he said. ″They beat us with canes, with sticks, on the legs, on the head.

″When they were getting to ... important questions they opened the door and beat Juan, Peter and Roberto so they would scream and I would hear them scream while they were asking me questions and beating me at the same time.″

Alvarez said the Feb. 23 bombing of the military intelligence headquarters where they were being held was more frightening than the beatings.

″The day we got hit with the bombs, that was probably the scariest moment I went through,″ he said.

Caldera said a bomb smashed open the roof of his room and he suffered an ankle injury when masonry fell on him.

″When I went back to the room I could see the sky,″ he said.

Simon said that during one interrogation, a captain in the Iraqi army ″grabbed me by the face, forced my mouth open and said ‘Yehudi, Yehudi,’ which means Jewish, and then spat at me and slapped me.

″I would have killed him if I could have,″ said Simon. ″I would have killed him and I would have had no more remorse than I had every morning when I got up and killed a cockroach in my room.″

Simon said his greatest desire during 24 days of solitary confinement was for food.

When another prisoner was kicked in the hallway outside his cell, Simon said he distracted himself with thoughts of ″walking down Broadway with a chocolate ice-cream cone in one hand and some popcorn in the other.″

″You develop defense mechanisms that you don’t know you’re capable of,″ he said.

Simon said the experience had removed ″a certain childlike sense of invulnerability″ he and Bluff had gained from reporting other wars.

″We weren’t after the story of the war,″ he said of the trip to the border that led to their capture. ″We weren’t after an enormous scoop. We just wanted to check out what was going on.″

Some reporters in Saudi Arabia have complained that the restrictions on access to the military, especially in the early stages of the war, led reporters to take risks they might not have taken otherwise. Pentagon Ordered To Explain Media Rules in Ground Assault

NEW YORK (AP) - A federal judge on Feb. 25 ordered the Pentagon to explain how the ground offensive affected rules governing media access in the Persian Gulf.

The demand by U.S. District Judge Leonard B. Sand of Manhattan came early in the first business day after U.S. Defense Secretary Dick Cheney announced a blackout on information about the war.

The blackout was imposed Feb. 23 and eased the following day, when U.S. military officials gave upbeat reports about the progress of the ground assault.

Sand presides over two lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the Pentagon’s media access rules. The rules establish pool coverage, restrict descriptions of combat and require military review of combat dispatches.

One lawsuit was brought by The Nation, Harper’s, In These Times, Pacific News Service, The Guardian, The Progressive Magazine, Mother Jones Magazine, The L.A. Weekly and The Village Voice.

The second lawsuit was filed by the French news service, Agence France Presse, which sought access to Pentagon pools. Judge Refuses To Order Media Access to U.S. Arrival of Gulf War Dead

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge refused on Feb. 25 to allow the news media to photograph coffins of Gulf War dead as they are returned to the United States.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said he doesn’t consider the government’s refusal to allow media coverage of the war dead arrivals at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del., to be ″improper or irrational.″

He declined to issue a temporary restraining order, which would have forced the government to allow immediate access to the media and public, but said he would hear arguments the week of March 4 on a preliminary injunction.

The suit was brought by members of the news media, various veterans’ groups, and a support group of military families. They said the Pentagon was preventing the public and media from witnessing the return of the war dead ″to limit the emotional impact and significance of the fact Americans are being killed.″

″The press has no constitutional right of access to information under government control,″ Justice Department lawyer David Anderson said in reply. ″Military commanders have absolute control over military bases.″

He told Lamberth that if the military wants to exclude the media to build support for the war then ″I submit there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.″

Dover AFB is the site of the largest port mortuary operated by the Department of Defense and one of two operated by the Air Force in the continental United States. It is capable of handling up to 100 bodies a day and can store the remains of 1,000, according to Air Force literature.

Kate Martin, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer, argued that the military has routinely permitted pictures of flag-draped coffins when they have been returned from combat theaters. She mentioned specifically the Marines killed in the headquarters bombing in Beirut and servicemen killed in the Panama and Grenada actions, when there was widespread coverage at Dover.

The difference at this time is ″the military knows well the power of television to influence the public and it fears the effect,″ she said. ″Clearly, the administration is aware of the power of images.″

The petition to the court made clear that no photographs are sought of individuals but only of the coffins as they are unloaded from airplanes and placed in the hangars.

Ms. Martin said no national security or military secrecy is involved, only ″the viewing and taking of pictures of a real event in the world. That’s not government information.″ Radio Reporter Wounded By Mine

ROME (AP) - A reporter for Italian state radio was wounded in a mine explosion Feb. 28 in Kuwait City, state television reported.

It said newsman Antonio Affaitati was hospitalized in good condition after a mine fragment reportedly injured his hand.

A spokesman for the state radio said in New York that Affaitati was being treated in a mobile military hospital in Kuwait City. Peggy Say: ″Unthinkable″ to Leave Hostages Behind in Middle East

NEW YORK (AP) - The sister of hostage Terry Anderson says it’s ″unthinkable″ that the United States could win widespread Arab support for the Gulf War but fail to gain freedom for Americans imprisoned in Lebanon.

Peggy Say urged President Bush to keep U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf region until American prisoners of war and the hostages are freed.

″My plea now to the administration is: ‘Do not leave the Persian Gulf until you wrap your arms around every single POW and bring them home.’ And while you’re at it, you just grab my brother and the rest of them, too, and let’s get this over with,″ she said Feb. 28 while taping the ″Donahue″ show.

″It would just simply be unthinkable to have gone through all of this in the Middle East and be unable to get six hostages out,″ Mrs. Say said after taping the show. ″They’re going to do it this time. I’m sure of it.

″If there is reconciliation, if the hostages’ release plays even a tiny part in reconciliation with Iran, reconciliation with Syria, an end to the chaos in Lebanon, I will not begrudge one single day of Terry’s captivity - and neither would he. Let it mean something,″ she said.

The U.S.-led coalition against Iraq includes Syria, the major power broker in Lebanon. Iran is neutral in the war.

Anderson, 43, the chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press, was kidnapped in Beirut on March 16, 1985. He is the longest held of six American hostages.

″I’ve been told the captors want it over with. Their demands have been met. Walk away,″ said Mrs. Say, who has frequent contact with the State Department.

Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait Aug. 2 reportedly led to the release or escape of a group of Shiite prisoners in Kuwait whose freedom had been a key demand of Anderson’s captors.

″Their Kuwaiti jailers freed them,″ Mrs. Say said. ″We’ve had that confirmed by the State Department. Right or wrong, those men are free and my brother is not.″

She said some of the prisoners returned to Lebanon and the rest fought in the Kuwaiti underground ″because they were enemies of the Iraqi regime.″

The prisoners were jailed in Kuwait for terrorist activities and are thought to be relatives of members of the group holding Anderson.

Mrs. Say called President Hashemi Rafsanjani of Iran the key to the hostages’ release. Iran has clout with Shiite Moslems holding Anderson and the others. Financial News Network Files for Bankruptcy

NEW YORK (AP) - Financial News Network Inc., the troubled owner of a business news cable television network, filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws on March 1.

The filing had been expected, and means the asset sales that the company has arranged over the past few weeks will be subject to the review of the bankruptcy court judge.

The biggest of those proposed deals was FNN’s agreement announced earlier in the week to sell most of its cable channel and other assets to General Electric Co.’s cable division, which operates a rival business network.

FNN had said it expected to file for bankruptcy before completing the sales because it would not be able to raise enough money to cover liabilities.

The company said that FNN’s television programming would be unaffected by the filing.

It said it has been negotiating for bank loans to continue service without interruption and expects to present a financing plan to the court the week of March 4.

FNN has lost millions of dollars over the past few years and questions have been raised about the accounting practices of the company and its biggest shareholder, Infotechnology Inc.

Infotechnology, which owns a 46 percent stake in FNN, has also been trying to sell assets to raise cash, including its 97 percent stake in the wire service United Press International.

Earlier in the week, FNN said it had reached a definitive agreement to sell most of its media assets for $105 million in cash to the GE cable division, which operates the Consumer News and Business Channel also known as CNBC.

That deal apparently scrapped an earlier tentative deal to sell the FNN cable network to a joint venture of Dow Jones & Co. Inc., the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, and the Group W Satellite Communications division of Westinghouse Broadcasting Corp.

Its agreement in principle to sell the media assets to the Dow-Westinghouse venture was for $90 million.

In addition to the higher price, FNN executives said they selected the bid from GE because it left broadcasting equipment believed to be worth several million dollars with FNN. Dow-Westinghouse would have acquired the equipment as part of its deal.

The proposed sale to GE includes the FNN business cable service, a weekend sports service, a business-news radio service and the syndicated program, ″This Morning’s Business.″

CNBC officials have said they plan to merge the FNN and CNBC networks into a single business channel if the GE bid succeeds.

FNN is distributed on cable systems with 35 million subscribers, while CNBC is on systems with 18 million subscribers.

Dow Jones and Westinghouse have vigorously objected to the sale, however, saying they should be given access to the material used in developing the offer so that they can revise their own bid for the FNN media assets.

FNN officials have said that while they had no intention of reopening talks with the Dow-Westinghouse venture, the venture could make a revised offer during the bankruptcy proceedings.

A spokesman for CNBC said March 1 that the FNN bankruptcy filing had been expected and should have no effect on its offer for the media assets.

Roger May, a spokesman for Dow Jones, also noted the filing had been expected. ″We have the papers and are reviewing them,″ he said.

In addition to the FNN media assets, FNN and Infotechnology own a 51 percent stake in The Learning Channel, a cable network.

FNN announced Feb. 14 that it planned to sell its stake in that cable channel to the owners of The Discovery Channel for $12.75 million.

FNN also owns a data broadcasting business that provides stock quotes via personal computers, and 49 percent of Shark Information Services Corp., which provides stock quotes and market information to professional investors.

The company had been looking for buyers for those businesses, but announced no agreements. Community Newspapers Group Seeks Bankruptcy Law Protection

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Community Newspapers Inc., a newspaper group that expanded aggressively using high-yield junk bonds, said Feb. 25 it has been forced to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The company, which publishes The Morning Journal in Lorain, The News Herald in Lake County and the Dover-New Philadelphia Times Reporter, all in Ohio, announced its decision after failing to get enough bondholders to approve a debt restructuring, involving $240 million in junk bonds.

Community Newspapers said its newspaper operating subsidiaries will not file bankruptcy petitions and there will be no interruption in payments to suppliers and advertisers or in service to customers.

The company’s former publisher, Ralph Ingersoll II, had used extensive junk-bond financing to expand his U.S. newspaper holdings in the 1980s. But he encountered difficulty making the interest payments as advertising revenue weakened.

Ingersoll has since traded his U.S. properties and their debt burden to investment partner E.M. Warburg, Pincus & Co., in exchange for control of a smaller group of European newspapers.

The company announced a plan in November to repurchase a big part of its debt. Community Newspapers said it would file a bankruptcy petition unless bondholders tendered 95 percent of its $125 million in senior subordinated notes and 95 percent of its $115 million in subordinated discount debentures.

But by Feb. 22 it had received tenders for only 91 percent of the notes and 89 percent of the debentures.

After extending the deadline two days, the company filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Trenton, said Community Newspapers spokesman Thomas M. Daly Jr. Union Calls for Subscription Boycott in Tacoma, Wash.

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A subscription boycott against The Morning News Tribune has been started by the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild following more than four years of unsuccessful contract talks.

A Guild statement Feb. 25 said subscribers would be asked to complete a card allowing their union or the Guild to cancel their newspaper subscription. That mechanism would allow a tally of boycott-related cancellations.

The 175 reporters, advertising and other Guild-covered employees have been without a contract since McClatchy Newspapers Inc. bought the paper in 1986.

Major issues include pay, union security and resolution of disputes.

Rather than bargain in good faith, McClatchy ″has preferred to engage in a hundred points of hype,″ said Guild administrative officer Art Joyner.

Publisher William Honeysett said in a statement the company’s last offer would provide higher average pay than Guild contracts at the Seattle Post- Intelligencer and Seattle Times.

″Any union boycott efforts would only hurt the very employees that the union seeks to represent,″ Honeysett said. Judge Orders Records in Police Shooting Turned Over to Newspaper

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) - Records compiled in the 1986 shooting death of a civilian killed while in police custody must be released to the Courier-Post of Cherry Hill, a judge has ruled.

Superior Court Judge Paul A. Lowengrub on Feb. 26 said the documents were public record and ordered the city police department and the Camden County Medical Examiner’s Office to turn them over the newspaper.

The records, including an autopsy report and findings by the medical examiner and witness statements, stemmed from the Thanksgiving Day 1986 fatal shooting of a civilian inside the Camden police administration building. Mark K. Watson, 23, was under arrest on weapons offenses at the time of the shooting.

The newspaper attempted to gain access to the records for almost two years before filing a lawsuit in December 1988 to force authorities to provide the documents.

However, the records will remain sealed until city and county officials determine if an appeal will be filed, Lowengrub said. An appeal must be filed within 45 days of the ruling.

Lowengrub said the public has an interest in ″the right of a citizen who has been arrested to be safe during his incarceration, be it long or short.″

A county grand jury cleared police of any wrongdoing in the shooting. A similar finding was reached by the county prosecutor’s office and the FBI. Ads To Target ‘Liberal Bias’ in North Carolina Papers

CHARLOTTE (AP) - A state political group with ties to Sen. Jesse Helms plans to air television and radio ads attacking what it calls ″the liberal bias″ of North Carolina’s three largest newspapers.

The National Congressional Club was started to raise money for Sen. Jesse Helms and now helps other candidates. It announced the ad campaign in a recent fundraising letter to contributors, and requested donations of from $15 to $1,000.

″The most powerful political opponent Jesse Helms has ever faced isn’t Harvey Gantt or Jim Hunt,″ wrote club executive director Carter Wrenn. ″It’s The Raleigh News and Observer, The Charlotte Observer and the Greensboro News & Record.″

Wrenn said the ads are scheduled to begin March 15. He said they’re in response to an ″outrageous smear″ by News and Observer Publisher Frank Daniels Jr.

Wrenn repeated a Daniels quote that appeared in the paper in December: ″I truly believe Sen. Helms is the prince of darkness.″

Daniels was interviewed about complaints of bias in the Senate race between Helms and Democratic challenger Harvey Gantt. Daniels said he did not believe the newspaper’s coverage was biased, but said that its editorial page had long opposed Helms.

The rest of the quote, as originally published, said, ″He (Helms) appeals to the prejudice that exists in all people. Our editorial pages reflect that. I do not think our news pages do.″

Like Helms, the club has in the past made the media a favorite target and focus of fund-raising efforts.

Daniels said, ″I hope they’ll take the money and buy advertising in The News and Observer.″ Hickel Proposes ‘Media Support Center’ to Generate More State News

JUNEAU (AP) - Gov. Walter J. Hickel wants to set up a capital ″media support center″ to increase the volume of state government news available to newspapers, radio and television stations, an adviser said Feb. 27.

The program was suggested by volunteer adviser Lew Williams Jr., retired publisher of the Ketchikan Daily News and a member of Hickel’s transition team. Williams said the proposal would centralize public communications of state agencies by bringing several agency spokesmen under one roof.

It is not an attempt to control information that comes out of the administration, he said.

″We’d like to have an active, not a reactive means of getting news out,″ Williams told a news conference. ″There’s a lot of little stuff out there that we’re missing.″

The program would help inform the public about overlooked regulations or commission meetings, and better train state information officers, he said.

The center would consist of a managing editor, an assignment editor and up to six reporters. The state’s 29 information officers would serve as reporters for six to 12 weeks on a rotating basis, Williams said.

Stories and news tips would be made available to newspapers, radio and television stations and wire services.

The center would not cost the state extra because it is transferring staff and equipment from elsewhere in the administration, he said.

Williams said he would open an office March 4 and the program should be in operation by April. Daily News, Unions Waiting To Hear From Maxwell

NEW YORK (AP) - Efforts to save the Daily News shifted March 4 from negotiations between management and the unions to courting potential buyers.

With contract talks between the unions and management effectively over, Publisher James Hoge was expected to announce his intentions for the 71-year- old tabloid.

On Jan. 16, he said the News would be either sold or closed if agreements could not be reached. Federally required notices sent to employees set a March 20 closing date.

Meanwhile, both sides were waiting to hear from British publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, who has expressed an interest in buying the paper.

The News delivered financial documents to Maxwell’s representatives before the weekend and Hoge said he expected to meet with them March 4.

Hoge also gave Maxwell the go-ahead to begin negotiating with the striking unions. George McDonald, president of the unions’ umbrella group, said he expected a first meeting soon.

″We’re willing and ready to start if Maxwell’s people are,″ he said March 3.

Contract negotiations collapsed March 1 between the News and the pressmen’s union. Mediator Bill Usery, a former Labor Secretary, said further talks were a waste of time.

From the start, the Chicago-based Tribune Co., owner of the News, stated it meant to establish ″management rights″ in any new contracts, allowing it to control staffing levels and set work rules.

The paper said such changes were theo only way to reverse losses of $115 million in the 1980s and more than $130 million so far in the 1990s.

The News has continued to publish since the strike began Oct. 25, but circulation has dropped by half, to about 600,000, and major advertisers have deserted the paper.

McDonald said he did not know what concessions Maxwell might want. He said the unions are willing to make a deal similar to the $20 million in relief they gave the New York Post last year when it was in danger of closing.

News management has rejected that offer as insufficient.

Maxwell’s other holdings include the Daily Mirror, Britain’s second-largest newspaper; The European, the recently launched English-language newspaper for Europe; and Collier’s Encyclopedia. Des Moines Register Eyes Cuts in News Coverage, Circulation

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines Register may pare its news coverage and statewide circulation because of falling profits.

Some of its five news bureaus in the state may be closed, the paper’s price may rise in some parts of the state and carrier delivery in parts of eastern and western Iowa may be stopped, the company said. The Register is owned by Gannett Co. Inc.

No decisions will be announced before March 5, but Editor Geneva Overholser said she assumes one or two news bureaus in the state will close. They are in Ames, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Iowa City and Waterloo.

The Washington, D.C., bureau will not be affected, said Charles C. Edwards Jr., the Register’s president and publisher.

Overholser said she was upset at the prospect of reducing the paper’s traditional statewide presence and considered quitting rather than oversee major cutbacks.

″This thing hit me with a big emotional punch,″ Overholser said, but she decided to stay on to help the new strategy ″happen in the most constructive way.″

Edwards said the cuts may be tough emotionally but will be aimed at ensuring the paper’s financial health. He would not give specifics on the decline in profits but said, ″we’re down considerably from a year ago.

″We need to be doing a better job in Des Moines and central Iowa,″ Edwards said, citing increased competition in the area.

The paper said earlier it would convert all or parts of 16 western Iowa counties to mail delivery on weekdays, a move Edwards said would save $100,000 a year. Now it might also convert to mail service eastern Iowa counties receiving up to 20,000 papers on weekdays and 53,000 on Sunday.

The Register, owned by Gannett since 1985, has a daily circulation of about 209,000 and Sunday circulation of about 343,000. Edwards said the shift to a central Iowa concentration was not ordered by Gannett. Earnings Fall in ’90 for Central Newspapers Inc.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Central Newspapers Inc. reported lower earnings for 1990, reflecting such factors as weak advertising and costs related to workforce reductions.

The Indianapolis company, the corporate parent of newspapers in Indiana and Arizona, is owned by the family of Vice President Dan Quayle.

It reported net income of $28.3 million, or $1.07 a share, for 1990, down from $38.5 million, or $1.45 a share, for 1989.

Operating revenue for 1990 was $431.7 million, compared with $436.2 million in 1989.

The company said Monday the lower earnings reflected continued weakness nationwide in advertising linage, start-up costs related to a newsprint-mill partnership and costs associated with workforce reductions.

Fourth-quarter earnings dropped to $8.1 million, or 31 cents a share, from $12.2 million, or 46 cents a share, for the same quarter in 1989.

Operating revenue for the quarter was $112.9 million, down from $119.2 million for the same quarter in 1989.

Earnings for the fourth quarter reflected one-time, pre-tax charges of $989,000 associated with work-force reductions, the company said. Supreme Court Rejects Libel Case

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court on Feb. 25 refused to reinstate a $785,000 libel award that a former Minnesota prosecutor won, and then lost, against a newspaper for articles a jury said created a false impression.

The justices, without comment, let stand a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that the Duluth News-Tribune articles are constitutionally protected against any libel liability.

The articles, all of which appeared in the newspaper’s Nov. 15, 1981, edition, were critical of how Carlton County, Minn., law enforcement officials and courts handled cases involving battered women.

They contained critical comments about Donald Diesen, then the county prosecutor. People quoted in the articles said Diesen was lenient in prosecuting men who battered women.

Diesen sued, alleging the articles falsely defamed him. He said the articles used material out of context, highlighted negative opinions and played down favorable opinions.

After a 1988 trial, a jury awarded Diesen $285,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages.

The trial judge threw out the award, ruling, ″There can be no libel by innuendo if the challenged communication is true and concerns public officers and public affairs even though a false implication may reasonably be drawn.″

A state appeals court reinstated the award, but the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled against Diesen by a 5-2 vote last May. Missouri Senate Bars Public From Briefing on Ethics Law

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators barred the public from a Feb. 28 briefing in their chamber in which they discussed compliance with the state ethics disclosure law.

The Legislature is covered by Missouri’s open meetings law. But Senate President Pro Tem James Mathewson, D-Sedalia, said the chamber was within its rights to close the unusual ″joint caucus.″ Party caucus meetings are traditionally closed, he noted.

The private meeting, which lasted more than an hour with doorkeepers blocking all entrances to the chamber, generated objections from the media and a public-interest group.

″I’m objecting to it right now,″ said Tom Mericle, executive director of Common Cause in Missouri. ″This shows a total lack of regard for the public’s right to know.″

Protests were also registered by The Associated Press and leaders of the news cooperative’s organizations for editors and news directors, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Washington-based Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Fine Against Reporter Is Blocked

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona Supreme Court justice has blocked another court from imposing a $1,000-a-day fine on a newspaper reporter who refused to answer a prosecutor’s question about his interview with a murder defendant.

Justice James Duke Cameron on Feb. 28 denied a request by Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Jerry Landau that the fine against Mike Burgess of The Arizona Republic be allowed to take effect.

The stay will remain in effect pending a decision by the full Supreme Court on whether to review the legality of a Jan. 25 order by Superior Court Judge Paul Katz holding Burgess in contempt.

Katz ordered that Burgess pay $1,000 a day until he cooperates with prosecutors in discussing a July 28 interview with Phoenix lawyer Richard A. Horwitz.

Horwitz, 34, is scheduled to stand trial April 1 on two counts of second- degree murder in the death of two Phoenix police detectives in a July traffic accident.

An Arizona Court of Appeals judge on Feb. 1 ordered that Katz be blocked from imposing the fine, but a stay was sought from Cameron after the Court of Appeals refused to set aside Katz’s contempt order. Media Access at Disaster, Crime Scenes Questioned

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Lawmakers considering whether to guarantee news personnel access to crime and natural disaster scenes should weigh the personal impact media exposure has on crime victims, a spokeswoman says.

″All of a sudden (the) private pain is made public,″ Tracy Bredeson, representing the Crime Victims Council, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 26. ″Crime victims relive their pain over and over again.″

″One of the biggest complaints by crime victims is the media,″ she said.

Byron Ostby, a lobbyist representing the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, said his group opposed the media access proposal because it would allow news media ″to enter a scene that has been roped off.″

Sen. Lynn Adelman, D-New Berlin, said he introduced the measure because access for news media representatives at crime and disaster scenes is not spelled out in the law.

In 1989, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled a television news photographer has no more right to enter a restricted plane-crash site than members of the general public.

The 4-3 decision upheld the conviction of Peter Ah King, who had refused a police officer’s offer to leave the site of a Midwest Express airliner crash near Mitchell Airport in which 31 people died on Sept. 6, 1985.

Ah King was convicted of violating Oak Creek’s disorderly conduct ordinance.

Under Adelman’s bill, SB 6, a peace officer at a crime or disaster scene could permit an individual who has ″a substantial occupational reason″ to enter an area closed off to the general public.

A person who enters the area without authorization could be fined up to $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both.

Adelman said the law is needed because some people at news scenes are reasonable and some are not.

″An officer might tell a reporter to stay two miles away″ from the scene, Adelman said.

News reporters and photographers should be allowed ″if they’re not going to interfere because the public has a right to know what has happened when there’s an earthquake, a flood or a crime,″ he said.

″The press has to function as the eyes and ears of the public,″ he added.

In the Supreme Court decision, Justice Louis Ceci wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts have consistently ruled that the First Amendment does not guarantee ″the press a constitutional right of special access to information not available to the public generally.″

In a dissent, Justice Shirley Abrahamson said the Wisconsin Supreme Court ″should acknowledge that representative of the news media may function as a proxy for the public in certain situations where public access is limited.″ Part of Roseanne Barr’s Suit Against Tabloid Dismissed

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A judge on Feb. 25 dismissed part of Roseanne Barr’s $35 million lawsuit against the National Enquirer for publishing love letters she claims the tabloid stole from her.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Lew dismissed two racketeering counts, saying they did not conform with provisions of federal racketeering statutes. A conspiracy charge was left in place.

″This is a significant victory for us, but this is an interim ruling,″ said Richard Hoffman, an Enquirer attorney.

Lew gave Barr’s attorney, Morton Rosen, 30 days to file amended claims.

Barr and her husband, Tom Arnold, sued the Enquirer charging copyright infringement, conspiracy, invasion of privacy and the intentional infliction of emotional distress. The couple allege that the tabloid stole and published letters they exchanged before they were married.

The paper published excerpts of the letters in February 1990.

Rosen said he brought the civil suit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a law normally associated with organized crime, because he wanted to illustrate a principle about the privacy of celebrities.

″Even celebrities own their property and have their privacy,″ he said. ″They’re entitled not to have their private property stolen.″

The Star, another tabloid that published excerpts from the letters, was named in the couple’s suit for alleged invasion of privacy and other charges, but it was not accused under the racketeering statute.

The suit alleges the Enquirer participated in a ″scheme to obtain the private papers and effects of celebrities by inducing and paying persons and entities to steal such information and transport it in interstate commerce.″ Reuters News Agency Correspondent in Algiers Found Slain

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) - The bureau chief for the Reuters news agency in Algiers was found stabbed to death at his home in the Algerian capital, the news agency said March 1.

The body of Philip Shehadi, 33, an American, was discovered in the kitchen of his apartment, which had been ransacked and its front door left ajar, Reuters said. The U.S. consul in Algiers told the news agency police had no evidence the killing was linked to the Gulf War, and that they suspect robbery.

Police said they believe Shehadi was slain the night before.

Shehadi, a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, had worked for Reuters in the Middle East since 1984. He became chief of the British news agency’s Algiers office in May 1989.

The news agency said Shehadi was unmarried and that his family lives in Princeton, N.J. Islamic News Service Receives Obscene, Racist Messages

ST. PAUL (AP) - A news hot line produced by local Muslims has received dozens of obscene and racist phone messages since its number was published in newspapers Feb. 24.

Callers, all of them male, generally denounce the week-old Islamic News Service as anti-American through vulgar and threatening language. Some of the calls are being made by the same man.

″You are all lying propaganda pigs - I wish you’d all go home,″ he said during one call.

″I’m from Los Angeles,″ said Ibrahim abd Wahid, administrator of the Islamic Council of Minnesota and the announcer on the three-minute, taped news recordings. ″The same people who call and express their hatred for Arabs and Muslims forget that half the (allied armed forces) coalition are Arabs and Muslims.″

The Muslin community began producing a daily recording of stories being reported in the Middle East to provide an alternative to Western news reports. Volunteers, most of them associated with the Islamic Council, gather information from Arab newspapers and magazines, as well as reports from shortwave radio broadcasts in Baghdad and Jordan.

A former television producer in the Twin Cities, abd Wahid says the news service is ″not pro-Iraqi or pro-Saddam Hussein.″ The intent, he said, is to show Americans how Arabs in the Middle East view the war and to illustrate the loss of life in the war-torn region.

The taped message also gives the telephone number for a Muslim student organization at the University of Minnesota that people can call for more information. After listening to the message, callers are dialing that number and leaving vulgar messages on an answering machine, abd al-Wahid said. Serbian Communists Crack Down on Independent Press

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) - Serbia’s Communist authorities detained several vendors selling opposition magazines on Feb. 27 in an apparent crackdown against independent news media.

Police grabbed at least three street vendors in downtown Belgrade as hundreds of passersby looked on. Stacks of independent periodicals were removed in a police van.

Other detentions were reported in Serbian cities during the previous week.

Serbian Communists exert tight control over the state-run media. They have also refused to issue licenses to those wanting to sell some of the more outspoken opposition magazines on street corners.

The magazines are one of the few ways Serbia’s opposition parties can spread their points of view before local elections this spring. Phoenix Papers Combine Full Electronic Pagination With Remote Production

PHOENIX (AP) - Phoenix Newspapers Inc. has begun producing a complete newspaper edition through electronic pagination at a remote production site.

The company began transmitting pasteup and electronic pagination pages to its remote printing plant 16 miles east in Mesa by microwave in 1985, permitting remote production of whole sections.

New equipment purchased as part of a $3.2 million expansion allows extending the pagination directly to the printing facility at any location. At the printing plants, two pagesetters are connected directly to film processors and deliver a plate-ready negative or broadsheet color separation every 60 seconds.

Phoenix Newspapers publishes the daily morning Arizona Republic, the state’s largest newspaper; the afternoon Phoenix Gazette and the weekly Arizona Business Gazette.

″We were a manufacturing operation in the middle of the city with more than 1,500 delivery and distribution trucks arriving at our downtown plant each week″ when the decision to move production outside the city was made, Bob Kotwasinski, production director, said Feb. 21. It’s Now the Oakland Tribune

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The Tribune on Feb. 27 renamed itself the Oakland Tribune, the newspaper’s name for nearly all of its 117 years.

The newspaper first called itself The Tribune in 1978, but put Oakland back the next year. It returned to The Tribune in 1982.

″This is our way of telling the world that Oakland, Calif., is a city reborn after years of decline,″ said Robert C. Maynard, the paper’s editor and publisher.

Maynard said that, in keeping with the return to its roots, the newspaper would also display a modified version of its traditional logo, a woodcut-style depiction of the Tribune Tower, a city landmark.

The name change and new masthead are part of a makeover that will include an increased focus on the eastern region of the San Francisco Bay area, said Managing Editor Eric Newton.

″The paper will be easier to read, easier to use and more relevant to the people of this area,″ Newton said.

A redesigned metro section will carry more stories about the growing corridor from Richmond to southern Alameda County. A news summary will appear on page 2 every morning, and the paper is adding two new local columnists.

The financially troubled newspaper is in the midst of a restructuring that began last May. More than 200 jobs have been eliminated through buyouts and attrition, and employees earning more than $25,000 a year have suffered double-digit paycuts.

Advertising revenues fell sharply following the October 1989 earthquake, which forced the temporary closure of the Emporium department store, a major advertiser.

The paper won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for photography for coverage of the earthquake. Omaha World-Herald Raising Price of Sunday Paper

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The Omaha World-Herald is raising its Sunday edition price from $1 to $1.25 because of rising costs.

The price increase is effective March 24. The daily newspaper price will remain 25 cents.

The last price increase came 3 1/2 years ago. The newspaper cited increased costs of newsprint, labor, fuel and postage as reasons for the price hike.

Part of the new price will go to carriers, distributors and dealers, the paper said. BROADCAST NEWS All-News European Satellite TV Channel To Start in 1992

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - The European Broadcasting Union said Feb. 27 it plans to launch an all-news satellite television channel, called Euronews, next year.

EBU officials said they aim to broadcast nine hours a day in 1992 and around the clock by 1993.

They said Cable News Network’s coverage of the Persian Gulf War ″showed the absence of a European voice.″ In its bid to rival CNN, Euronews will draw on 50 European broadcasters, many of them state-financed.

It is expected to reach 23 million households in 1992, 26 million in 1993 and 30 million in 1994, EBU Secretary General Jean-Bernard Muench told a news conference.

He said the new satellite channel will cover all Europe and the Mediterranean, as far East as Israel and Jordan.

A broader, possibly worldwide, audience was not excluded, said Henri Perez, head of EBU’s television programs department.

Muench said Euronews will have the benefit of the ″unique cooperation″ of EBU’s television network members. Through the Geneva-based EBU, European broadcasters exchange news footage among themselves and with broadcasters elsewhere in the world.

Officials said Euronews will initially offer broadcasts in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian. Other languages may be added later.

″We want to shed a European light on world news,″ said Massimo Fichera, an executive of the Italian RAI network.

Perez estimated Euronews’ first-year operating costs at about $15.5 million, and said this would rise to $28.9 million during the second year and about $33.5 million a year thereafter.

Perez said the Euronews project would require financial help from the European Community for about five years after which it would be able to support itself through private sponsoring and advertising.

EBU officials met with officials at the EC executive commission to ask for unspecified EC aid. EC officials said they would study the project.

The EC is investigating whether the EBU’s practice of sharing television and radio broadcasts amounts to a cartel in violation of EC fair trade rules.

Last week, it ruled against Eurosport, a venture under which EBU members provide footage of their sports events to British Sky Broadcasting at the expense of other European satellite broadcasters. Sisters Sell King Broadcasting Co.

SEATTLE (AP) - The owners of King Broadcasting Co. announced March 1 they have signed an agreement in principle to sell King’s television and cable operations to a joint venture of The Providence Journal Co. and the investment firm Kelso and Co. Inc.

The agreement does not cover King’s radio stations or mobile television production company, which Steven Clifford, chief executive officer for King Broadcasting, said would be sold separately.

″The agreement is a major step toward the fulfillment of our goal to sell King Broadcasting to a company that shares King’s values, its respect for its employees and its commitment toward good corporate citizenship,″ said majority owners Priscilla ″Patsy″ Bullitt Collins and Harriet Stimson Bullitt.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

Industry analysts have estimated King Broadcasting could sell for $425 million to $500 million.

The sisters have said the Bullitt Foundation, a family charitable organization, will receive nearly $100 million from the sale. The sisters plan to devote much of the proceeds to environmental preservation.

Bullitt is chairwoman of the executive committee of King and Collins is chairwoman of the board. KING television in Seattle, an NBC affiliate, is the company’s flagship station.

Privately held Providence Journal owns the Providence Journal-Bulletin newspaper in Providence, R.I., four broadcasting stations and cable television systems.

The sisters said they wanted to sell the company before either of their deaths forced a sale. Bullitt is 65 and Collins is 69.

King was founded by Dorothy Stimson Bullitt, mother of the two women. BBC Gives $100,000 to Museum of Broadcasting

NEW YORK (AP) - The British Broadcasting Corp. on Feb. 27 donated $100,000 to the Museum of Broadcasting’s fund-raising campaign for its new Manhattan home.

″We are pleased to have made this contribution, which will enrich the already fruitful relationship that exists between the two institutions,″ said Jonathan Crane of the BBC.

The money will go toward construction of a new Museum of Broadcasting building on West 52nd Street. The museum is currently on East 53rd Street.

The museum is trying to raise $45 million for work on the new building, which is already under construction. It was designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee. The new midtown site was donated by the museum’s founder, the late William S. Paley. PERSONNEL Doug Clifton Named Miami Herald Executive Editor

MIAMI (AP) - Doug Clifton, managing editor of The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, was named executive editor of The Miami Herald on Feb. 25.

Clifton, 47, succeeds Janet Chusmir, who died in December of a brain aneurysm. She was honored by the National Press Foundation the week of Feb. 25 as Editor of the Year.

Clifton joined the Herald in 1970 as member of the Action Line staff and later became deputy managing editor. He became news editor of Knight-Ridder’s Washington Bureau four years ago, and moved to Charlotte as managing editor two years later.

The appointment was announced by Herald Publisher David Lawrence Jr. Vancouver Sun Editor In Chief Resigns

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Nicholas Hills resigned as editor in chief of the Vancouver Sun on Feb. 26 and was replaced by Ian Haysom, his counterpart at the Vancouver Province.

Both newspapers are published by Pacific Press Ltd., which is owned by Southam Inc.

Hills, 52, was the Sun’s editor in chief for two years after a seven-year stint as general manager of Southam News, the group’s news agency. No reason was given for his resignation.

The broadsheet Sun’s circulation had been losing ground to the Province, a morning tabloid. An afternoon paper, it hoped to recapture some readers by adding a morning edition to its lineup. But the project, originally scheduled to kick off in January, was put on hold.

Pacific Press President Stu Noble said one of Haysom’s top priorities will be to complete the morning-edition project. Donn Named Correspondent in Springfield, Mass.

BOSTON (AP) - Jeff Donn, a newsman on the International Desk at Associated Press headquarters in New York, has been named the AP’s correspondent in Springfield.

The appointment was announced Feb. 27 by Boston Chief of Bureau Mike Short.

Donn joined the AP in Albany, N.Y., in 1985, and transferred to the International Desk in 1988. He was managing editor of The Palladium-Times in Oswego, N.Y., before joining the AP.

Donn, 37, was born in Nyack, N.Y., and is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Princeton University. He succeeds Michelle Locke, who transferred to San Francisco. DEATHS John Daly

CHEVY CHASE, Md. (AP) - John Daly, a journalist and World War II correspondent who later became known to millions as the witty, urbane host of television’s ″What’s My Line,″ died Feb. 24 at his home. He was 77.

Daly suffered from emphysema but was believed to have died of cardiac arrest, said Lila Bader, his longtime assistant.

He went to work for CBS in 1937, eventually covering the White House and reporting on World War II from Europe and the Middle East. He moved to ABC in 1949, where he was vice president in charge of news operations from 1953 to 1960.

From 1950 to 1967 he was moderator of ″What’s My Line,″ in which a panel of regulars tried to guess the unusual and offbeat occupations of guests, before donning blindfolds and trying to name the identity of a celebrity ″mystery guest.″

Survivors include his wife and six children. Edwin Haakinson

WASHINGTON (AP) - Edwin B. Haakinson, a retired Associated Press newsman who covered the U.S. Senate for more than 30 years, died March 2. He was 88.

Haakinson, who had cancer, died at his home in Silver Spring, Md.

Haakinson began his newspaper career as a reporter and city editor for the Sioux City Tribune. In 1935, he moved to Washington to join The Associated Press.

He was assigned to the Senate, where in later years he specialized in national security issues. He also covered national political conventions and other events. He retired in 1968.

Haakinson was a chairman of the Congressional Standing Committee of Correspondents and a member of the National Press Club, the White House Correspondents Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Survivors include two sisters. Joel Irwin

HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - Joel L. Irwin, former editor and publisher of the Cleburne County Times, died March 1 at Conway Regional Hospital. He was 60.

Irwin also worked for the Army Post Times and the Log Cabin Democrat at Conway, and was recently awarded the Golden Fifty Newspaper Service Award at the Arkansas Press Association’s winter meeting.

Irwin was a past president of the Arkansas Press Association and was a member of several other professional and civic organizations.

His family sold the Cleburne County Times last year to the American Publishing Co. of West Frankfort, Ill.

Survivors include his wife, two sons, a daughter and three grandchildren. Leo Katcher

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (AP) - Leo Katcher, a reporter who went on to write novels and become a political organizer, died Feb. 27 of a heart attack. He was 79.

Katcher began his newspaper career at age 10 in Bayonne, N.J., as an office boy for the Bayonne Evening News. He later worked at the Philadelphia Record, Philadelphia Ledger and New York Post.

His longtime friend, Tim Mayer, said Katcher’s stories included an exclusive interview with Bruno Hauptmann, who was executed in 1936 for the fatal kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh’s infant son.

In the 1950s, Katcher turned to movies and books, writing such novels as ″The Money People,″ ″The Blind Cave″ ″Hot Pursuit″ and ″Now is the Time.″

Katcher turned to politics in the 1960s, working as a California organizer for John F. Kennedy’s successful presidential campaign.

Survivors include two sisters. Ben Kern

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. (AP) - Ben Kern, a veteran reporter for the former Minneapolis Tribune who was known as ″Mr. Fixit″ to a generation of readers, died March 2. He was 78.

Kern took over the ″Ask the Times″ column in the former Minneapolis Times soon after joining the newspaper in 1942. He was dubbed ″Mr. Fixit″ by Manus MacFadden, Times managing editor.

When the Times and the Minneapolis Tribune merged in 1948, the ″Mr. Fixit″ column was added to the Sunday Tribune.

Kern retired in 1982. Survivors include his wife, a son and daughter. Paul McGonigle

PHOENIX (AP) - Paul J. McGonigle, a former radio newsman and publicist, died Feb. 28 of cancer. He was 48.

A broadcaster for more than 27 years, McGonigle worked in Columbus, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; Detroit; Raleigh, N.C.; and Phoenix, where he worked for KOY-AM from 1973 to 1985.

While with KOY, he was president of the Phoenix chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

In 1986, McGonigle became director of community relations for the Arizona Transportation Department.

Survivors include his wife, mother and two daughters. John McCormick

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - John Elliott McCormick, former state and regional editor for the Deseret News, died March 1 at a Salt Lake hospital. He was 78.

McCormick began his newspaper career with the Salt Lake Telegram after graduating from the University of Utah in 1935. He joined the San Diego Union in 1947, returning to Utah in 1948 to work for the Deseret News. He served as photo editor, personnel director and the newspaper’s first consumer troubleshooter, a position he held for 10 years before retiring in 1977.

Survivors include his wife. Clark Mollenhoff

LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) - Clark R. Mollenhoff, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1958 for his reporting on labor abuses, died March 2 in a local hospital. He was 69.

Mollenhoff had been a professor of journalism at Washington & Lee University since 1976. He began his career as a reporter for the Des Moines (Iowa) Register in 1941. He worked for Cowles Publications, parent company of the Des Moines newspaper, until he began teaching at Washington & Lee.

Many of his years as an investigative reporter were spent in Washington, D.C., as a correspondent for Cowles.

Besides the Pulitzer, Mollenhoff won many awards for investigative reporting, magazine writing and television commentary. Included in Mollenhoff’s stories on labor racketeering were those linking then Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa with organized crime.

He was inducted into the Society of Professional Journalists’ Washington correspondents’ Hall of Fame in 1979.

Survivors include his wife, son and daughter. Marjorie Ruth Moon

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Marjorie Ruth Moon, a former newspaper owner and state treasurer, died March 1 at a Boise hospital. She was 64.

Miss Moon underwent heart surgery six months ago, but a nursing supervisor at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, where she died, said the cause of death would not be disclosed.

Miss Moon worked as a reporter for the Pocatello Tribune and Caldwell News Tribune, and was Boise bureau chief for Salt Lake City’s Deseret News.

She later owned several papers, including The Valley News in Meridian, a weekly that she sold last year.

Miss Moon was elected state treasurer in 1962 and was re-elected five more times. She gave up the office in 1986 after 24 years on the job in an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor.

Stuart Rose

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) - Stuart R. Rose, editor of The Hudson Dispatch, died March 2 at his home in New Providence after a long battle with cancer. He was 49.

Rose began his career as a journalist for the Army. He joined The Trentonian in 1969 as a reporter and after six years was named the first editor of the paper’s Sunday edition. He edited The Ocean County Observer in Toms River from 1979 to 1980, leaving that year to become editor of the Delaware County Daily Times in Pennsylvania.

He joined the Dispatch last year.

Survivors include his wife, son, mother and two brothers. Shelby Strother

DETROIT (AP) - Shelby Strother, an award-winning Detroit News sports writer and columnist, died March 3 of liver cancer at Harper Hospital. He was 44.

Strother wrote for the Denver Post, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times and Florida Today in Cocoa, Fla., before joining the News in 1985.

Besides covering major sporting events including the World Series, Super Bowl, the Olympics and World Cup soccer, he was assigned news stories such as the 1989 dismantling of the Berlin Wall in Germany.

Strother won more than 100 journalism awards, including being named Michigan’s top sports columnist by The Associated Press for three straight years. He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize four times.

Survivors include his wife, two sons, a brother and sister. Abel Quezada

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Abel Quezada, the pioneering Mexican political cartoonist whose work was featured in The New Yorker magazine, The New York Times and Conde Nast publications, died Feb. 28 of leukemia at his home in Cuernavaca. He was 70.

Quezada is credited with breaking out of the solemnity that enveloped Mexican political cartooning earlier this century.

Political cartoons have since earned a special niche in Mexico, where the media tends to echo the line of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party and the government it has controlled the past 61 years.

Cartoonists in Mexico often express what writers and broadcasters would never dare say.

Survivors include his wife, son and two daughters. Raymond Zirkel

SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) - Raymond ″Zeke″ Zirkel, retired chief photographer for The Times of San Mateo, died Feb. 25 while on vacation with his wife in Mendocino County. He was 75.

Zirkel joined the Times in 1952 and retired in 1988.

Before that he was a combat photographer for the Navy during World War II, covering the D-Day landing and Pacific naval operations.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Jane Clinton, an editor at the Times and secretary of the board of directors of Amphlett Printing, which publishes the newspaper.

Other survivors include his father-in-law, J. Hart Clinton, chief executive officer of the Times; his brother-in-law, John H. Clinton, publisher of the newspaper; and his sister-in-law, Mary Ann Gardner, vice president of the Times board. AWARDS ASNE Names Writing Award Winners

WASHINGTON (AP) - The American Society of Newspaper Editors has selected five winners of its Distinguished Writing Award.

Richard Aregood, editorial page editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, won the award for editorial writing. Rick Bragg, staff writer for the St. Petersburg Times, non-deadline writing; Jim Dwyer, columnist for New York Newsday, commentary-column writing; Paul Moran, staff writer for Newsday, deadline writing; and Julie Sullivan, reporter for the Spokesman-Review and the Spokane Chronicle, short news writing.

Each winner will receive a $2,500 prize and will be recognized at the ASNE convention, April 9-12 in Boston. Selections of the winners’ entries will be published in ″Best Newspaper Writing: 1991,″ published by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. Paul Miller Fellows Picked

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - The Gannett Foundation on Feb. 27 announced 15 recipients of Paul Miller reporting fellowships in Washington for the 1991-1992 year.

Fellows are Washington correspondents covering news of interest to their home regions. To improve their skills, they meet two days a month for a year with veteran reporters and visit government and non-government news sources.

The fellowships honor Paul Miller, honorary chairman of the foundation, former chairman and president of the Gannett Co. and former chairman of The Associated Press.

The new fellows are:

-Stephen W. Campbell, Portland (Maine) Press-Herald.

-Earle Eldredge, Gannett News Service (Nevada and California).

-Jon Healey, Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal.

-Patrick Jasperse, Milwaukee Journal.

-Grace Lee, WUSA-TV, Washington, D.C.

-Peter J. Leffler, Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call.

-Alice M. Lipowicza, Bridgeport (Conn.) Post.

-Sean Louhglin, New York Times Regional Newspapers (the South).

-Judith Mathewson, Ottaway News Service (Connecticut and upstate New York).

-Pamela Porter, Thomson Newspapers (the Southeast).

-Deborah Jane Price, Detroit News.

-Katherine Rizzo, The Associated Press (Ohio).

-Mary Ann Roser, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader.

-Martin Van Der Werf, Arizona Republic.

-Ed White, The Associated Press (Illinois). NOTES FROM EVERYWHERE

Geraldo Rivera says he bought a 75 percent interest in the weekly Two River Times of Red Bank, N.J., to return to his journalistic roots. ″This gets me back just where I started,″ said Rivera, who lives in the neighboring town of Navesink. ″I miss it, I’m nostalgic for it. When you get in the national TV business, you miss the forest for the trees.″

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