In their never-ending search for ways to publicly express their discontent with Union-Tribune publisher Helen Copley, members of the local chapter of the Newspaper Guild, involved in increasingly bitter contract negotiations with the company, decided to place anonymous position-wanted ads in Editor and Publisher, the national trade publication.
After first checking with the magazine to ensure it would accept a large group of classifieds, 46 ads representing more than 75 reporters and editors were written and sent off to the magazine.
Many of the ads clearly identified the authors as Union-Tribune employees seeking a "publisher who cares about employees," or something similar. Many were more detailed.
"We wanted to let people know nationally that something is wrong here," one participant said. "That it's not just a bunch of hotheads embroiled in a labor dispute."
However, the Editor and Publisher advertising department reversed its decision and rejected 43 of the 46 ads.
Editor and Publisher advertising manager Donald Parvin said he was "naive" when he originally told the Guild members he would accept the ads, believing that they would submit ads legitimately seeking employment.
The ads were not an attempt "to get relocated by sincere people," Parvin said. Noting that the magazine reserves the right to refuse ads, he said the U-T ads would confuse readers looking for real position-wanted ads.
Parvin bristled at any suggestion that Copley's influence as a major advertiser might have affected the magazine's decision.
"We have had no contact with Copley," Parvin said.
Meanwhile, negotiations between the guild and the newspaper continued last week. The two sides reportedly came to an "understanding" on health-care costs, an important economic stumbling block.
The majority of reporters and photographers at both the Union and Tribune are continuing a byline boycott against the papers, refusing to put their names on stories and photos. The boycott is now entering its third week. Notable non-participants include columnists Tom Blair and Michael Grant, and several members of the sports staff.
An unsigned letter to The Times complained about a recent column in this space, which chastised local TV sports departments for not following the commonly accepted style of listing the visiting team first and the home team second when reporting scores. The author pointed out that The Times and U.S.A. Today list the winners first in boxes on the front pages of the sports sections, and said an apology was due to the sports departments.
The writer clearly missed the point. Both newspapers include box scores, and plainly tell readers at least once where the games were played--basic information that the local television stations don't bother to share with viewers because of their refusal to follow the logical format. Even the television networks follow the style when giving the scores.
"Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire. It's easy to take pot shots at television sportscasters," the articulate, shy author wrote.
He identified himself as a "local sportscaster."
The San Diego Chargers received a call from former running back Chuck Muncie's attorney after the team aired an interview with Muncie on a recent episode of the "Chargers Report" television show.
The interview, taped in the Metropolitan Correction Center, where Muncie is serving a 2 1/2-year sentence for drug-related offenses, included a strong anti-drug message. Muncie evidently thought the interview was intended for use in schools, and was surprised to see it on television, without so much as a notification from the team.
Muncie's attorney, Cynthia Aaron, said it was Muncie's "preference" that the interview not be used by the Chargers until after his legal situation is completely resolved, i.e. he is out of jail.
According to a Chargers spokesman, there was a "lack of communication."
A Superior Court judge last week denied a motion by an attorney representing Copley Press to unseal a civil suit filed by six deputies against Sheriff John Duffy. One of the main reasons for keeping the case sealed was to protect the identities of the deputies, who are facing disciplinary action in the sheriff's probe of inmate abuse at the El Cajon jail.
One problem: The San Diego Daily Transcript had already printed the names, which it discovered by simply scanning court records. The next day, the San Diego Tribune also printed the names.
The attorney for Copley Press argued that, because the names were already public, there was little reason to keep the case sealed.
Superior Court Judge James R. Milliken, clearly irritated, denied the motion.
"I don't think it is valid argument," to use the publication of the names, which "borders on unethical," to argue for the opening of the case, he said the next day. "It is an argument I find almost contemptuous."
With the station owners heading toward Chapter 7 involuntary bankruptcy, there has been a rash of gallows humor at KNSD-TV (Channel 39). One report has the station's call letters being changed to KNSF for "non-sufficient funds." Instead of Channel 39, Cable 7, one staff jokester says, the station will now be identified as "Channel 39, Chapter 7." . . .
KGTV (Channel 10) anchorwoman Kimberly Hunt is negotiating for a new contract with the station. Her current deal expires next month. "I would like to stay here," she said, although she acknowledged having discussions with other stations. Her agent is Ken Lindner, who recently inked an L.A. deal for Michael Tuck. . . .
Besides turning disc jockeys Mike Berger, Jeff Prescott and Cookie (Chainsaw) Randolph into poster children for insomnia, KGB-FM's (101.5) 30-hour "Foodathon" collected almost 17 tons of food for the Joan Kroc St. Vincent De Paul Center, plus more than $1,000 in unsolicited cash donations. . . .
From the San Diego Daily Transcript: "Allen Neuharth, past chairman of Gannett, told a gathering of the San Diego Communications Council that anonymous sources in news stories should be banned. A source says that's impractical." . . .
Former KCBQ morning personality Jack Hayes is the new afternoon news anchor at XTRA-AM (690).