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February 22, 1994

Undated (AP) _ A summary of developments in the news industry for the week of Feb. 14-22: Court Revives Reporter’s Libel Suit Against New York Times

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal appeals court revived a $10 million lawsuit against The New York Times by an investigative reporter who said the newspaper libeled him with a negative review of his book.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said Dan E. Moldea may pursue his claim that the Times harmed his career and invaded his privacy in its September 1989 review of his book ″Interference: How Organized Crime Influences Professional Football.″

Moldea’s lawsuit was thrown out in January 1992 by U.S. District Judge John Garrett Penn, who said the book review stated ″an unverifiable opinion and is thus not actionable under libel law.″

In particular, Moldea sought damages for the review’s statement that ″there is too much sloppy journalism to trust the bulk of this book’s 512 pages.″

Moldea’s lawsuit said that, following the review, his literary agent dropped him, numerous book proposals were rejected and his lecture business dropped dramatically. He contended that a number of statements in the review could be proved false.

The statement that Moldea’s work was sloppy ″has obvious, measurable aspects when applied to the field of investigative journalism″ just as it would be defamatory to say a brain surgeon had clumsy hands, Judge Harry Edwards wrote for the court Feb. 18..

It makes no difference that the statement was made in a book review rather than a news story, Edwards said. His opinion, joined by Judge Patricia Wald, said the court was not judging the merits of Moldea’s claim.

Chief Judge Abner Mikva dissented. ″If the statement that Mr. Moldea wrote a sloppy book is defamatory, so would be a statement that Bette Midler wore a sloppy dress, or that Oliver Stone made a sloppy film,″ Mikva wrote.

--- New York Newsday’s Composite Cover Photo Stirs Ethics Debate

NEW YORK (AP) - The editor of New York Newsday defended a cover photograph that made it look as though Olympic rivals Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding were skating together when they were not.

The photo appeared Feb. 16 with a caption noting it was a composite, but critics said such a picture - with or without a disclaimer - is a dangerous practice that could undermine the public’s trust in journalism.

″To distort reality is a journalistic sin,″ said Steve Isaacs, acting dean of the Columbia University School of Journalism. ″Traditional news outlets are viewed by the public with a great deal of suspicion. ... Actions like this just exacerbate it.″

The newspaper’s editor, Don Forst, said the composite was done to ″set the table″ for what was to happen the next day - the first meeting of the two skaters on ice since Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee. Photos were available that day of the practice session.

Harding’s former husband and bodyguard have said she approved the attack, although she has not been charged.

The caption said the women ″appear to skate together in this New York Newsday composite illustration. Tomorrow, they’ll really take to the ice together.″

Bill Serrin, a journalism professor at New York University, said telling readers the picture was a composite doesn’t make it all right.

″If readers are (passing) by a newsstand, they’re going to suspect it’s a real picture,″ he said.

But Everette Dennis, executive director of the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University, said the controversy was ″much ado about nothing.″

″It’s very clear to anybody who had been following the story that the two of them hadn’t been on the ice together,″ he said. ″It was clear that Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding were going to meet on the ice and this was one way to visualize it. ... To me it was a lively cover and I don’t think it was misleading.″

--- Boston Globe Launches TV Programming Venture

BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Globe is starting a television programming venture in association with a 24-hour all-news cable station. The Globe, New England’s largest daily, is the latest of several papers to venture into TV.

Matthew V. Storin, the Globe’s editor, said Feb. 14 the programming initially will consist of live news broadcasts by Globe staff throughout the day on New England Cable News. Other programming, including talk shows and news features, also is under consideration.

The Globe also has been experimenting with various computer online features. Last summer it introduced ″Voxbox,″ a regular feature in the Living-Arts section that allows readers to send electronic mail to the Globe over the computer network Internet. Other Globe features, including letters to the editor and Ask-the-Globe, now offer electronic mail capabilities.

Last month, the Knight-Ridder newspaper group said it would produce a nightly hourlong newscast based on The Philadelphia Inquirer and would eventually attempt to link print and visual media in all of its markets. The show, to air on a local broadcast station in the evening, is planned as a TV version of the following morning’s paper. It is to begin this summer.

Newspapers in Chicago and California are involved in similar ventures.

The Globe programming is slated to start in late March or early April. The Globe is also negotiating joint ventures with other electronic media, including other television stations and online computer services.

--- E.W. Scripps Proposes to Merge With Scripps Howard Broadcasting Co.

CINCINNATI (AP) - The E.W. Scripps Co. wants to merge with Scripps Howard Broadcasting Co.

E.W. Scripps owns 86 percent of Scripps Howard Broadcasting’s outstanding common stock. E.W. Scripps said Feb. 17 it offered to acquire the remaining 14 percent in exchange for shares of the parent company’s Class A common stock.

E.W. Scripps said it sent a proposal to Scripps Howard Broadcasting’s board of directors, offering to exchange three of the parent company’s Class A common shares for each of the broadcasting company’s shares.

The broadcast company’s board said it formed a committee to evaluate the offer. The company said a final agreement would have to be drawn up, and any transaction would be subject to regulatory approvals and a shareholder vote.

E.W. Scripps operates 19 daily newspapers, cable systems with 412,000 subscribers and a television programming company. It also syndicates news features and comics.

Through Scripps Howard Broadcasting, the parent company operates nine television stations and cable systems with an additional 292,000 subscribers. Court Thwarts Baseball Statistician’s Copyright Infringement Suit

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court refused to reinstate a baseball statistician’s lawsuit that accused The Associated Press of stealing his idea for a chart comparing the records of pitchers in upcoming major league baseball games.

The court, without comment Feb. 22, let stand rulings that dismissed the statistician’s claim of copyright infringement.

George L. Kregos of Darien, Conn., whose company is called American Sports Wire, had been selling a daily pitching form to newspapers before 1983. In 1983 he came up with a new form comparing the records of pitchers who were scheduled to start against each other in that day’s games.

He asked the AP to syndicate his form in late 1983, but the wire service rejected it. The AP began publishing its own pitching form the following year - one a judge later said was ″nearly identical″ to Kregos’ form.

The AP revised its pitching form in 1986.

Kregos accused the AP of illegally using his form, but he waited until June 1985 to seek a copyright. His copyright registration was not approved until December 1988, and he waited until March 1989 to sue the AP and a company that provided its pitching form.

A federal judge ruled that Kregos missed the three-year deadline to sue over the AP’s 1984 version of the pitching form. The wire service’s 1986 version was not similar enough to Kregos’ form to violate the copyright he obtained in 1988, the judge ruled.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling.

In his Supreme Court appeal, Kregos argued that the courts should have allowed the copyright issue to be decided by a jury.

--- Judge Rejects Lawsuit on Kentucky Governor’s Schedule

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A judge rejected news media attempts to force public disclosure of Gov. Brereton Jones’ official schedule of daily activities.

Judge Roger Crittenden agreed Feb. 15 with arguments by the governor’s lawyers that the schedule was a working draft and was never intended for public release.

Crittenden said the schedule of meetings and activities is revised throughout the day and therefore never becomes ″final.″ He said it was a ″working document which is designed to apprise various members of the governor’s staff of the daily agenda of the governor.″

Because it is not final, the judge said it is exempt from disclosure under the state’s open records law.

The Associated Press, The Courier-Journal, the Lexington Herald-Leader, The Kentucky Post and the Kentucky Press Association sued Jones to force the release of his daily schedules.

Louisville attorney Jon Fleischaker, who represented the news organizations, said ″obviously we don’t agree″ with Crittenden’s decision.

″We were asking for the schedule after the fact, so it was the best reflection of what the governor had already done and therefore was not a working document,″ Fleischaker said.

He said the schedule should be disclosed because the public has a right to know whom the governor has met with.

Tim Kelly, editor of the Herald-Leader, said he was disappointed.

″Judge Crittenden apparently believes that the official activities of the governor of Kentucky are no different than those of a head of a private corporation,″ Kelly said. ″We will review the ruling, and consult with the other news organizations before making a decision on whether to appeal.″

--- Hoffenberg Charged With Securities Fraud

NEW YORK (AP) - Steven Hoffenberg, who once tried to buy the New York Post, was charged with securities fraud for allegedly taking part in a swindle that authorities said cost investors $450 million.

Hoffenberg, who was also charged with obstruction of justice, turned himself in to the FBI and was freed on $1 million bond.

″I’m not going to be talking to the press,″ he said Feb. 17 after his arraignment before a U.S. magistrate.

The Justice Department investigated Hoffenberg after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against him and Towers Financial Corp. a year ago.

That lawsuit accused them of swindling about 2,800 investors out of about $215 million, but the Justice Department complaint said the swindle involved $450 million.

Hoffenberg was trying to buy the Post at the time of the first suit, and the SEC accusations effectively ended his efforts. Later in 1993, he started a newspaper for women, Her New York, which recently folded.

Hoffenberg was charged with falsifying Towers’ financial records to show substantially higher assets, revenues and net income between 1987 and 1993 so investors would buy the company’s securities.

If convicted, Hoffenberg faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

--- Gay Bar Files Discrimination Suit Against Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A downtown gay bar has filed a discrimination complaint against the Star Tribune.

The Gay 90′s contends that it and two other bars were excluded from a newspaper guide to nightlife in the downtown Warehouse District because they cater to a gay clientele.

Gay 90′s owner Michael Bloom filed the complaint Feb. 11, the same day the newspaper published a list of bars and restaurants that might be of interest to visitors in town for the NBA All-Star Weekend.

″We think we were excluded out of pure anti-gay prejudice,″ Bloom wrote to editors. He also claims that gay bars are routinely omitted from regular nightclub features in the newspaper.

Star Tribune editor Tim McGuire denied any attempt to discriminate, saying the Gay 90′s was cut from the list because of space limitations. Several other establishments also were removed for space reasons.

McGuire said that editors make similar decisions about news content every day. ″In my view, this does not belong in the civil rights arena,″ he said. ″This was a news decision, a news presentation.″

The Minneapolis Civil Rights Department is investigating the complaint.

--- Explosion, Fire Damage Fargo Paper

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - An explosion and fire in the mailroom at The Forum damaged an electrical panel and reduced the newspaper’s press run for one day.

No one was injured in the Feb. 16 blast.

Forum spokesman Chuck Bohnet said mailroom workers were taking a break after the paper’s first edition was printed when a piece of metal ductwork exploded. Several small fires resulted, but were quickly put out.

″If it hadn’t been between runs, we would have had people closer to the explosion. And had it gotten into the basement, we would have had a worse problem,″ Bohnet said.

Printing operations were moved to DL Printing in Detroit Lakes, Minn., which is owned by Forum Communications Co.

Bohnet said the paper abandoned two of its daily editions and published about 43,000 papers, compared to the usual 55,000 to 56,000.

Acting assistant fire chief Ron Buttke said the explosion apparently was caused by an electrical short in the main power supply to the building.

--- Rust Group to Start Up Malden Weekly

MALDEN, Mo. (AP) - Rust Communications, owner of a group of southeast Missouri newspapers, will begin a weekly, The Malden Journal, as of March 1.

The weekly will be distributed free to about 11,000 households in Dunklin, Stoddard, New Madrid and Butler counties in Missouri and Clay County in Arkansas.

It will compete with two weekly papers, both owned by American Publishing Co., which have some paid circulation but also distribute free copies.

--- BROADCASTING: ABC News Admits Using Phony Background on News Show

NEW YORK (AP) - ABC News said it disciplined a producer and a correspondent for making the correspondent appear to be outdoors on Capitol Hill during a broadcast, when in fact she was inside a network studio blocks away.

The correspondent, Cokie Roberts, and ″World News Tonight″ executive producer Rick Kaplan have been reprimanded, spokeswoman Teri Everett said Feb. 15. Anchor Peter Jennings did not know of the switch, Everett said.

ABC News vice president Richard Wald issued a memo to his staff describing the ruse as ″serious because it misled our audience.″

On the Jan. 26 edition of ″World News Tonight,″ Jennings in New York switched to Roberts in Washington for a discussion of President Clinton’s State of the Union address the night before. Jennings said Roberts was ″at Capitol Hill,″ and Roberts was seen standing in front of the Capitol wearing an overcoat.

Roberts, apparently because she was pressed for time, actually did the ″standup″ from a studio in the ABC News bureau a few blocks away.

She stood in front of an image of the Capitol inserted in the background in the same way a weather map appears behind a weathercaster. She wore a coat to make it seem she was standing outside. FCC Approves 7 Percent Cut For Expanded Basic Cable TV

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Communications Commission voted to reduce rates for many cable television services by 7 percent, moving to correct an earlier attempt at price cutting that backfired.

The new rates, approved Feb. 22 by a 3-0 vote, should be in effect by mid- May. The commission will be able to step in if it finds that a cable company has tried to avoid regulation by changing the way it bills.

It was not immediately clear how the cuts would change an individual subscriber’s bill, but there will be cuts for all but premium channels.

The FCC regulates service sometimes referred to as ″expanded basic.″ It includes such popular channels as Discovery, ESPN, C-SPAN, MTV and CNN.

But cities and other local regulators also use the FCC formula, so the new rules will also lead to a cut in the cable service they regulate, which includes the basic service such as local broadcast channels and government and public access channels. The prices for premium channels, such as HBO and Showtime, and pay-per-view channels are not regulated.

The reduction ordered last year lowered bills for about two-thirds of America’s 57 million cable subscribers. But many others howled when their rates rose as cable companies restructured their charges.

FCC Chairman Reed Hundt termed today’s decision a ″brilliant balance″ between the competing concerns of cable subscribers and the needs of the cable industry.

--- Court to Reconsider Validity of Ban on Indecent Broadcasts

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal appeals court will give the government another chance to argue that its ban on indecent programming on broadcast and cable television doesn’t violate free speech.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said it will reconsider rulings that struck down the federal regulations as unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel had thrown out an FCC rule that banned indecent TV and radio broadcasts between 6 a.m. and midnight. The Nov. 23 ruling said the regulation was an unconstitutionally broad encroachment on free speech.

The other ruling struck down FCC regulations that allowed cable TV operators to ban what they deemed indecent programming from leased-access channels. The court said the regulation amounted to letting the cable operator stand in place of the government as censor.

In orders dated Feb. 16 and released Feb. 18, the court set aside those decisions pending a new hearing by the full court.

Participating in the November rulings were Chief Judge Abner Mikva and Judges Patricia Wald and Harry Edwards. All three were appointed by President Carter, while the full District of Columbia Circuit court is dominated by Reagan and Bush appointees.

The FCC had issued the regulations under legislation passed by Congress.

The FCC defines broadcast indecency as language or material that ″depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory activities or organs.″

The November decision was the third time since 1988 that the circuit court had struck down attempts by Congress and the FCC to ban indecent broadcasts on TV and radio.

In the cable ruling, the court directed the FCC to rewrite regulations that allow cable operators to segregate leased-access channels carrying sexually explicit programs so that subscribers can only view them by requesting them in writing.

--- Anchor Diane Sawyer Sticks With ABC News

NEW YORK (AP) - After weeks of avid courting from rival television networks, anchor Diane Sawyer decided to stay with ABC News.

The network did not disclose terms of Sawyer’s new multiyear contract. However, by some estimates, her salary will rise to between $5 million and $6 million per year. She reportedly had been earning nearly $3 million per year under the five-year contract that would have run out this month.

Sawyer will continue on ABC’s ″PrimeTime Live,″ the magazine show she has co-anchored with Sam Donaldson since its premiere in August 1989.

But she also will share anchor duties with Barbara Walters and Peter Jennings on ″Turning Point,″ a magazine show that begins next month, the network said Feb. 16.

In addition, Sawyer will be involved with yet another magazine show, the year-old ″Day One,″ currently anchored by Forrest Sawyer. She will serve ″in an undetermined role,″ spokeswoman Teri Everett said.

The big news was not that Sawyer would stay at ABC, but that she had turned down lucrative and imaginative offers from suitors that included NBC, CBS and Fox Broadcasting Co.

Reportedly, NBC had wanted her to anchor a five-nights-a-week prime-time newsmagazine. CBS President Howard Stringer was said to envision a nightly half-hour news and analysis program for Sawyer to follow ″The CBS Evening News.″

And Fox, wielding an offer reportedly between $7 million and $10 million per year, would have starred Sawyer in a Sunday newsmagazine to compete head- to-head with CBS’ top-rated ″60 Minutes.″

Sawyer was a ″60 Minutes″ correspondent when she left CBS News to join ABC in February 1989, at a reported salary of $1.6 million per year.

Before joining CBS in 1978, she had worked at the White House as chief assistant to Ron Ziegler, press secretary for President Nixon. She also helped Nixon with his memoirs after his resignation.

--- Couch Potatoes Can Take Part in Olympics with Interactive Device

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) - Interactive Network Inc., which lets couch potatoes become quarterbacks, detectives and game-show whizzes, is turning customers into Olympic competitors.

Subscribers to the interactive television service can take part in the Winter Games, using a wireless, hand-held device to predict winners, forecast their times and win prizes.

The Olympics are just the latest TV offering that Interactive Network is turning into what is literally hands-on entertainment.

″If you can see it, we can do it,″ said Tom Kanady, manager of network programming for the Sunnyvale-based company. ″If it’s on TV, we want to make it interactive.″

IN, available in the San Francisco Bay area, Sacramento and Chicago, currently has 5,100 subscriber households with service available to between 5 million and 6 million homes.

It is expanding to Pittsburgh and Dallas this spring and other, as-yet undisclosed cities throughout the nation later this year. Eventually, it will be available to all 93 million of the nation’s homes, said David B. Lockton, Interactive Network’s president and chief executive officer.

Subscribers can use IN’s patented technology to play along with 125 televised events per day - news, sports, game shows, dramas and educational programs. And the company is looking to add more programs to involve more viewers.

Subscribers pay $15 per month and $199 for a control unit that receives programming from the company’s Mountain View control center by FM radio signal.

Users can outwit the TV contestants on ″Jeopardy 3/8″ or try to solve the crime on ″Murder, She Wrote″ before Jessica Fletcher does. Or they can guess what play the quarterback will call or what horse will win the Kentucky Derby.

The device also lets them talk back to their TV sets, using opinion polls offered with such news shows as ″60 Minutes″ and ″NBC Nightly News.″ IN also has its own games, for example a Valentine’s Day lovers’ trivia contest asking questions like what movie first matched Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. (It was ″To Have and Have Not.″)

This month, the company lets customers take part in the Olympics. Among other challenges, players can predict who will win the men’s speed skating medal or what a competitor’s time will be. Or they can pick the top three finishers from a field of 20.


--- N.J. College Station Agrees to Change Frequency

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Montclair State College’s radio station has agreed to change its frequency so as not to compete with a more powerful FM station.

The Montclair State station, WMSC-FM, will no longer broadcast over 101.5 and will move to 90.3 FM in exchange for $50,000 from Press Broadcasting Co. of Neptune, which owns Trenton-based WKXW. That station is also known as New Jersey 101.5.

WKXW has become known for its talk-radio shows. It was a leader in the protests against former Gov. Jim Florio when he raised taxes.

The college station will also receive up to $25,000 to cover the costs of the frequency transfer and $100,000 in services such as internships, Robert McAllan, president of Press Broadcasting, said Feb. 15.

The Federal Communications Commission must approve the deal, which could take between four and six months, McAllan said.

McAllan said they decided to try to remedy the situation after his station received complaints from listeners in the northern part of the state that the college station interfered with their listening to WKXW. The non-commercial WMSC broadcasts seven days a week from 9 a.m. to around midnight.

--- West Virginia Station Suspends News Programming

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - Television station WYVN-TV has suspended its newscasts for a second time because of financial problems and has laid off 24 employees.

The Martinsburg station is still broadcasting, said Ben Ewing, president of station owner Green River Broadcasting Inc. of Martinsburg.

″It just won’t have any news. The news is gone,″ Ewing said Feb. 16.

WYVN, a former Fox affiliate which operates out of a renovated barn, went on the air Oct. 1, 1991. It suspended news operations last May and went off the air for two weeks last September. It resumed newscasts Jan. 4.

--- Cincinnati, Denver Radio Stations To Change Hands

CINCINNATI (AP) - Great American Television and Radio Co. Inc. said it will sell a Denver radio station and buy a Cincinnati radio station in a deal with Secret Communications.

Under the agreement, Great American would sell KBPI-FM in Denver to Secret Communications and buy WWNK-FM in Cincinnati from Secret Communications, a limited partnership.

The deal is subject to Federal Communications Commission approval. The parties said Feb. 21 terms wouldn’t be announced until they reach a final agreement.

The transaction would give Great American two FM stations in Cincinnati, where it already owns WKRQ, and Secret Communications two FM stations in Denver, where it is acquiring KMJI in a pending merger.

Secret Communications is a partnership formed between Detroit-based Booth American Co. and the Cincinnati-based Broadcast Alchemy partnership.

Great American owns five AM and 10 FM stations and six network-affiliated television stations nationwide.

--- Lexington, Ky., Station Names News Director

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - James Ogle Jr. will become vice president of news and news director of WKYT-TV in Lexington, effective Feb. 28.

Ogle, 36, has been an assistant news director at WTVJ in Miami and a news director in Nevada and North Carolina.

Ogle has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.

--- PERSONNEL: Plevin Named AP Correspondent in Newark

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Nancy Plevin has been named correspondent in charge of The Associated Press bureau in Newark.

Plevin, 41, has been the news cooperative’s correspondent in Atlantic City since April.

The appointment was announced Feb. 22 by Chief of Bureau Mark Mittelstadt.

Previously, Plevin worked at the AP bureau in Albuquerque, N.M., and for the Albuquerque Tribune. She was graduated from the University of New Mexico.

Plevin is a native of Oceanside, N.Y., and briefly lived in Newark.

She succeeds Henry Stern, who was named the New Jersey regional writer at AP’s bureau in Washington.

--- Welch Named Publisher of The Salt Lake Tribune

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Dominic A. Welch, president of The Salt Lake Tribune’s parent Kearns-Tribune Corp., was named publisher of Utah’s largest daily newspaper. He succeeds Paul J. ″Jerry″ O’Brien, who died Feb. 15.

The Tribune has a daily circulation of 125,000 and a Sunday subscription of 160,000.

Welch will continue as Kearns-Tribune president and as president of the 1,100-employee Newspaper Agency Corp. The NAC oversees advertising, printing and distribution for The Tribune and the Deseret News, which have different ownership and competing news-gathering and editorial operations.

Welch, 61, also serves as president of Kearns-Tribune subsidiaries that own the Lewiston Morning Tribune in Idaho, The Daily News of Moscow, Idaho, and Pullman, Wash., the Daily Sparks Tribune in Nevada and a weekly newspaper, The Gazette, in Colfax, Wash.

Welch was named publisher Feb. 16.

He was hired by the Kearns-Tribune Corp. as controller in 1965, became general manager and treasurer in 1970 and was named corporate president in 1983.

--- Honeysett, Pruitt Named to Vice President Posts at McClatchy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - McClatchy Newspapers Inc. promoted William L. Honeysett to executive vice president and The Fresno Bee publisher Gary Pruitt to vice president of operations and technology.

Honeysett will have responsibility for all McClatchy operations.

He is a former publisher of The New Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., and The San Bernardino Sun and a former regional president for the Gannett Co. He has been vice president of operations for McClatchy since 1991.

His appointment fills a vacancy created with the death of Robert Byerly in 1991, Elaine Lintecum, McClatchy investor relations manager, said Feb. 18. Pruitt’s job is a new post, Lintecum said.

Pruitt, publisher of The Fresno Bee since 1991, previously served as McClatchy general counsel, assistant to the president of The Sacramento Bee and assistant to the vice president of operations.

He will take his new post this spring.

--- Knight-Ridder Promotes Pioneer Press Editor

ST. PAUL (AP) - Mindi Keirnan, managing editor-news for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, has been named assistant to the president of the newspaper’s parent company, Knight-Ridder Inc.

Keirnan, 38, has been in charge of metro, national, international and sports news at the Pioneer Press since December 1990.

In her new job, she will work with Knight-Ridder president Tony Ridder and other top corporate executives and publishers in the company’s Miami headquarters.

Keirnan will leave her old job Feb. 25. Her departure comes as the newspaper prepares to add 11 editorial positions and expand its news coverage.

Before coming to the Pioneer Press, Keirnan worked as managing editor-days at Gannett News Service and held editing positions at Crain’s Chicago Business, the Detroit Free Press and the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat.

Names in the News:

In other changes in the news industry:

- Richard R. Hawkes, 49, most recently vice president at News America Publishing, was named vice president and general manager of the New York Post.

- Victor R. Ketchman, 68, publisher of the Standard Observer in Irwin, Pa., is retiring after 25 years. His successor, Richard T. Rae, is the former publisher of The Morning Journal, a daily in Martinsburg, W.Va.

- Pete Litterski, 40, acting managing editor of the Longview (Texas) News- Journal, was named editor.

- Jim Thompson, 41, publisher of the Bonner County Daily Bee in Sandpoint, Idaho, has been named publisher of the Coeur d’Alene Press.

- Mark Conlon, 42, publisher of the Valley City (N.D.) Times-Record, has resigned to become editor of the Bismarck-based Farm and Ranch Guide. Dennis Vernon, circulation manager for the Dickinson Press, will replace Conlon, according to American Publishing Corp., which owns both newspapers.

- Nancy Sims, former director of national advertising for the American Publishing Co., has been appointed general manager of The Marion (Ill.) Daily Republican. Sims replaces Sam Shelton, who became the paper’s publisher last year.

--- DEATHS: Douglas F. Attaway

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Douglas F. Attaway, former president and publisher of the Shreveport Journal, died Feb. 21. He was 83.

Attaway, who joined the Journal staff in 1934 as a proof runner, was president and publisher from 1957 to 1976.

He was also chairman of the board of KSLA-TV from 1966 until the late 1970s after the Journal bought a controlling interest in the station.

Attaway is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters. Jack Fogarty

CINCINNATI (AP) - Jack Fogarty, a radio and television news reporter for more than 40 years, died Feb. 17. He was 78.

Fogarty began working for WCPO radio in 1940. After serving in the Army from 1942-45, he resumed his career with the radio station and WCPO-TV. He retired in 1986. Jim Gibbons

CHICAGO (AP) - Jim Gibbons, a reporter with WLS-TV since 1969, died Feb. 16 of leukemia. He was 55.

Gibbons began his broadcasting career at KLOE-TV in Goodland, Kan., in 1960. In 1962 he joined WWTV-TV and radio in Cadillac, Mich. He moved to WLWD- TV in Dayton, Ohio, in 1967.

He is survived by his wife, a daughter, a son and a sister. Thomas R. McCartin

DALLAS (AP) - Thomas Ronald McCartin, a former publisher of the Dallas Times Herald and an executive of the Times Mirror Corp., died Feb. 20 of heart disease. He was 59.

McCartin, whose newspaper career spanned more than 30 years, was publisher and chief operating officer of the Times Herald from 1981 to 1983, when it won two Pulitzer Prizes.

The 112-year-old newspaper ceased publication in 1991 and its assets were purchased by A.H. Belo Corp., publisher of its rival, The Dallas Morning News.

After leaving the Times Herald, he was president and chief executive director of Times Mirror National Marketing in New York.

Before coming to Dallas, McCartin also worked at the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post,

He also owned and published Park Cities People, a weekly newspaper serving the Dallas suburbs of Highland Park and University Park, from 1985 to 1988.

Survivors include his wife, two sons, three daughters, a brother and a sister. Harold A. Naeter Jr.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - Harold A. Naeter Jr., a former publisher of the Southeast Missourian newspaper, died Feb. 16. He was 76.

Naeter’s uncles, Fred and George Naeter, founded the Southeast Missourian in 1904. Naeter was publisher of the paper from 1965 to 1976, when it was sold to the Thomson newspaper group.

He is survived by his wife, a daughter and three sons. Paul J.G. O’Brien

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Paul J.G. ″Jerry″ O’Brien, publisher of The Salt Lake Tribune and a founding director of Telecommunications Inc., died Feb. 15. He was 68.

O’Brien joined Kearns-Tribune Corp., the Tribune’s parent company, in 1963 as assistant to the publisher. He was named publisher in 1984. He also was an officer and director of Kearns-Tribune, and director and secretary-treasurer of the Newspaper Agency Corp.

O’Brien worked for the Daily Chronicle and The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., before joining The Associated Press in Spokane in 1945. He was chief of the AP bureau in Salt Lake City for four years before joining Kearns-Tribune.

He was a founding director, corporate secretary and member of the executive committee of TCI, now the nation’s largest cable television company.

He is survived by his wife, three sons, a daughter and two sisters. Robert Lee Sherrod

WASHINGTON (AP) - Robert Lee Sherrod, a former editor of The Saturday Evening Post and a World War II correspondent for Time magazine, died Feb. 13. He was 86.

Sherrod joined Time in 1929 and accompanied the Marine Corps on a series of amphibious assaults on Japanese-held islands in the Central Pacific.

In the 1960s, he was managing editor and then editor in chief of the Post before becoming a writer for Life magazine. Randy Shilts

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Randy Shilts, one of the nation’s first openly gay reporters, died of AIDS - the disease about which he wrote a best-selling book. He was 42.

Shilts worked at The San Francisco Chronicle for 13 years before his death.

He died at his Guerneville home either late Feb. 16 or early Feb. 17.

He tested positive for HIV in 1985 and announced in 1993 that he had AIDS. He said he kept it secret for years for fear it would detract from his role as a reporter on AIDS issues.

His 1987 best-seller, ″And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic,″ was an exhaustive history of the disease, chronicling the neglect of governments and the medical establishment in the epidemic’s early years. It was later made into an HBO movie, which aired last year.

Shilts’ ″Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the U.S. Military,″ published last year, described the turmoil of gay soldiers who were targets of investigation under the U.S. military’s ban on homosexuality. It was also a best-seller.

He also wrote ″Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk.″ The 1982 book told the story of the openly gay San Francisco city supervisor who was murdered in 1978 along with Mayor George Moscone.

Shilts is survived by his partner, Barry Barbieri.

--- NOTES FROM EVERYWHERE: The weekly newspaper Crain’s New York Business is planning a new monthly magazine geared to small-business owners; it’s scheduled to premiere in May. ... The Hearst Corp. has acquired an interest in Books That Work, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based publisher of instructional software for ″do-it-yourself″ home improvements and repairs. Terms were not disclosed. ... City councilors in Revere, Mass., irritated by a column in The Boston Herald that they thought smeared their city, were prepared to ban the newspaper from being sold in Revere. When it came time to vote, however, they dropped the issue. ... Phoenix television station KTSP switched its name to KSAZ in an attempt to hook viewers through its new marketing slogan - Spirit of Arizona. ... The Oakland (Mich.) Press is celebrating the newspaper’s 150th anniversary by, among other things, reducing the newsstand price by 10 cents to 25 cents.

End Industry News Advisory