Friday, December 25, 2015

Paul Grabowicz, former Trib reporter, dies

Paul Grabowicz
(Associated Press) Paul Grabowicz, a former Oakland Tribune reporter who became a digital journalism pioneer at UC-Berkeley, has died.

The UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism said in an obituary on its website that Grabowicz died Thursday (Dec. 24). He was 66 and suffering from cancer.

Grabowicz, or "Grabs" as he was referred to by students, arrived at the school in 1995 and founded its New Media Program, which teaches students to combine video, audio and other media to create stories online.

Grabowicz also taught students what public records were available online and how to access them. Before joining UC Berkeley, Grabowicz spent 20 years as an investigative reporter for The Oakland Tribune.

Photo by Richard Koci Hernandez.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Longtime AP political writer Doug Willis dies

The following is AP's obit for Doug Willis.

BY TOM VERDIN, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Doug Willis, who followed Ronald Reagan from the governor's office to the presidential campaign trail and covered Jerry Brown's first stint as governor during a three-decade career writing about California politics for The Associated Press, has died. He was 77.

He died Tuesday night at a hospital in Sacramento from complications following hip surgery, said his wife, Judy. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's about three years ago and had been living in a memory-care home since summer, she said.

In this Jan. 19, 2011 AP photo by Rich Pedroncelli,
AP Correspondent Doug Willis talks
to Gov. Jerry Brown in Sacramento.
Judy Willis said it was especially sad that her husband suffered from dementia because he had such a quick wit, nimble mind and fail-safe memory throughout his journalism career and their 22-year marriage.

"Somebody once called him a walking encyclopedia," she said. "It's absolutely heartbreaking."

Indeed, Willis was something of an anomaly in a profession notorious for its aversion to math: He had won a full-ride engineering scholarship to Stanford University before getting bored with that major and switching to journalism.

Colleagues recalled him as a congenial but fierce competitor who never forgot a fact or let sources off the hook.

"He didn't give up. He would get his question answered," said Rebecca LaVally, a Sacramento State University communications lecturer who was a reporter and manager in the state capital for the competing wire service, United Press International, during the 1970s and 1980s.

She described Willis as determined, cordial, tenacious — and a bit rumpled.

"He didn't try to be showy or flashy," she said. Willis started with the AP in San Francisco in 1969 after beginning his career as a police and general assignment reporter for the old San Jose News and a brief stint as an editor for a newspaper in Bend, Oregon.

A year later, he was offered a temporary job helping the AP's Sacramento bureau cover the state Legislature. He did so well he was invited back the following year, when his assignment in the capital became permanent. He became correspondent, the bureau's top position, in 1974.

In a memoir written a decade after he retired, Willis recalled his first big scoop as a young reporter covering state government, one that relied on his analytical skills: Piecing together various threads of information, he was able to say how much state taxpayers were shelling out for each trip then-Gov. Ronald Reagan took in a leased private plane. Willis said his reporting on the cost every time Reagan flew to an event "annoyed both Reagan and my press corps rivals for the next three years."

Willis covered Reagan's last term as California governor and his two runs for the Republican nomination for president, in 1975-76 and 1979-80. He also was the AP's lead reporter covering another famous California governor with presidential aspirations. In his memoir, Willis described the abrupt transition from Reagan to Brown, who was 36 years old when he stepped into the governor's office the first time in 1975.

The buttoned-down formality of the Reagan years transitioned to an administration populated with Buddhist monks and former astronauts, Willis wrote. Reporters covering Brown in his current stint as governor would recognize some of Willis' successful techniques in getting the famously hard-to-nail-down governor to talk.

"Forget the press office," Willis wrote in his memoir. "Just catch up with Brown anyplace where there weren't a lot of people around to distract him, and just start asking questions. Once he was talking, if he started to lose interest and cut off an interview, I would just repeat one of his points back to him, but in a slightly inaccurate way. It always worked. He would stick with me until he was absolutely certain that I understood."

No reporter had better access to Brown than Willis, said Chuck McFadden, who was an AP reporter in Sacramento from 1970 to 1974. "Jerry admired people with brains, and Doug had a super abundance of brains," he said.

It was Willis who in March 1976 dictated the urgent news that Brown would run for the Democratic nomination for president, calling it in to the AP's San Francisco bureau from the governor's office and beating rival UPI by 35 minutes. Willis wrote that the governor hovered over his shoulder as he made the call and offered suggestions about what the story should say, "which I ignored."

In a statement issued Wednesday, the governor praised Willis' reporting style. "Doug was dogged, honest and a real pleasure to work with," Brown said. "We could use a few more like him."

An only child, Willis was born April 16, 1938, in Oakland, California, and was raised by his mother and grandmother. His father died during World War II, shot down in the Pacific while serving in the Army Air Corps.

Judy Willis said her husband never regretted changing majors from engineering to journalism. Rather, he fed off the excitement of being present at some of the biggest events of the day.

Willis was one of four AP staffers covering President Gerald Ford's visit to Sacramento in 1975 when Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme tried to shoot the president as he walked toward the Capitol. In addition to covering politics, he wrote about Cesar Chavez's farmworker strikes, got a jailhouse interview with mass murderer Juan Corona and helped cover one of the biggest tragedies in Sacramento history, when a fighter jet crashed into an ice cream parlor during an air show in 1972, killing 25.

He even smoked cigars and drank rum with Fidel Castro during a reporting assignment to Cuba in the 1980s. "He led a good life in Sacramento, and it was immensely gratifying for him," McFadden said. "It had to be gratifying to be a major political reporter in a state as big as California."

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards announced

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club presented the 38th Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, which honored the work of more than 140 journalists representing 35 media organizations. The club presented nearly 200 awards during the luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City.

The club received received 398 entries from the 11 counties in the Bay Area. The contest was judged by press clubs in Cleveland, Florida, New Orleans, Orange County and Kern County.

Top award winners for Overall Excellence included:
•   South Bay Accent, First Place, Magazine/Trade Publications/Newsletters
•   India Currents, First Place, Digital Media
•   Palo Alto Weekly, First Place, Newspapers/Non-Daily
•   Pacifica Tribune, Second Place, Newspapers/Non-Daily
•   The Press Democrat, First Place, Newspapers/Daily
•   The San Francisco Examiner, Second Place, Newspapers/Daily
•   The Daily News Group, Third Place, Newspapers/Daily

Michael Howerton, editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Examiner, gave a keynote speech, and investigative reporter Jonathan Greenberg was a guest speaker. The SFPPC awarded three $1,500 scholarships to promising student journalists: The Jack Russell Award was presented to Kellen Browning of Davis Senior High School; and Herb Caen Awards were presented to Maci Martell and Kyle Schmidt, both from Santa Rosa Junior College.

A new scholarship was established to honor the journalism career of Bill Workman, a former SF Chronicle reporter and past president of the SFPPC. Marla Lowenthal, Workman’s wife, presented the Bill Workman News Writer Award to the First Place winner of the Newspaper/Daily News Story category, Glenda Anderson of The Press Democrat.

(Click on the awards for better resolution)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Press Club awards luncheon tomorrow

The Press Club's Excellence in Journalism luncheon is tomorrow (Dec. 5, 2015), and below is a list of those who won, although we're not saying who got first-, second- or third-place awards until tomorrow's event. The luncheon will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1221 Chess Drive, Foster City.

Click here to register.

Organizations who won include: 

Al Jazeera America, The Argus, Bay Area Reporter, Bay City News, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg News, Central City Extra, Daily News Group, The Daily Post, East Bay Express, Fusion, Hechinger Report, The India Currents, KDTV Univision 14, KQED 9,, Los Gatos Weekly Times, Oakland Tribune, Pacifica Tribune, Palo Alto Weekly,, Press Democrat, Re/Code, San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Francisco Examiner, The San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo County Office of Education, Santa Cruz Sentinel,, South Bay Accent,, Traditions Magazine,

Individual winners include: 

AJ Marson, Alexis Madrigal, Ali Thanawalla, Ali Winston, Alison Vekshin, Anita Felicelli Anne Campbell, Annie Pong, Antonia Ehlers, Aris Bernales, Ben Schein, Bert Johnson, Beth Schlanker, Bill Johnson, Breena Kerr, Carol Blitzer, Chris Bollini, Chris Roberts, Christopher Chung, Cierra Webb, Coburn Palmer, Cynthia Stone, Daily News Group Staff, Daniel Brown, Darwin Bond Graham, Dave Price, David Bacon, Debra Schaffner, Dick Sparrer Donna Krey, E.A. Barrera, Elena Kadvany, Elizabeth Schwyzer, Erin Baldassari, Gabriella Gamboa, Gennady Sheyner, Glenda Anderson, Godofredo Vasquez, Greg Frazier, Greg Silva, Horace Hinshaw, Jake Nicol, Jamey Padojino,

Jamie Morrow, Jane Northrop, Jane Tyska, Jason Lelchuck Jason Green, Jason Leskiw, Jaya Padmanabhan, Jayme Roy, Jeramy Gordon, Jeremy Hay, Jesse Garnier, Jessica Christian, Jessica Kwong, Jim Sweeney, Joanne Engelhardt, Joaquin Palomino, Joe Matazzoni, Joe Fitzgerald Rodriquez, Joel Engardio, Joel White, John Murphy John Angell Grant, John Orr, John Reid, Jonah Lamb, Jonathan Allen, Jonathan Greenberg Jondi Gumz, Julia Park Tracey, Kalpana Mohan, Kara Swisher, Kashmir Hill, Kathleen Richards, Kent Porter, Kerry Benefield, Kevin Kelly, Kevin Roose, Lillian Mongeau, Lindsay Oda, Lisa Rosenthal, Lise Stampfli Torme, Liz Gannes, Lowell Cohn, Luke Tsai,

Malcolm Fleschner, Marjorie Beggs, Mark Hedin, Matt McFetridge, Matthew S. Bajko, Matthew Stensland-Bos, Melissa Chan, Michael Barba, Michael Howerton, Michelle Wilkinson, Mike Anderson, Miles Garnier, Nancy Magee, Natalie Yemenidjian, Nellie Bowles, Norman Bonney, Pam Marino, Patty Hayes, Paul Dunn, Paul Gullixson, Peter Kafka, Peter Waldman, Phil Barber, Richard Gunderman, Robert Cartagena, Robert Digitale, Robert Gammon, Roxanne Pasibe, Sam Lefebvre, Sam Levin, Sara Gaiser, Sarah Burke, Sarah Todd, Sarita Sarvate, Scot Tucker, Scott Compton, Scott Morris, Sean McCourt, Shawn Whelchel, Shayna Rubin, Sue Dremann, Susan Hathaway, Susan Kerr, Terri Lobdell, Vandana Kumar, Veronica Weber, Vytas Mazeika, Walt Mossberg

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Examiner editor Michael Howerton will be the keynote speaker for Press Club luncheon

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club's awards luncheon is set for Dec. 5, and the keynote speaker will be San Francisco Examiner Editor-in-Chief Michael Howerton.

Howerton is the vice president of editorial for the San Francisco Media Company, which publishes the Examiner and SF Weekly. He has worked at The Wall Street Journal, The Daily, the Marin Independent Journal and The Berkeley Daily Planet. Michael has taught writing courses at Berkeley City College, UC-Berkeley and San Francisco State.

Please CLICK HERE to register for the 38th annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards luncheon.

It will be from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City.

The luncheon will honor the outstanding work of Bay Area TV, print, radio and digital media journalists, as well as the exceptional work of photographers, graphic designers and public relations professionals. The contest has several divisions: Digital Media, Magazine/Trade Press/Newsletter, Newspaper, Photography, Public Relations, Radio and Television.

The Press Club also will award journalism scholarships to high school and college journalism students.

Come and toast the best journalists in the Bay Area and our scholarship winners!

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 2015 Press Club board minutes

Minutes of November Press Club board meeting Nov. 4, 2015, 6:30 p.m., Serra High School, 451 West 20th Ave., San Mateo

PRESENT: Antonia Ehlers, Ed Remitz, Jim Watson, Dave Price (via phone), Peter Cleaveland and Jim Henderson. ABSENT: Marshall Wilson, Aimee Strain, Jane Northrop.

FINANCE REPORT: Antonia said the club is doing better than she expected. She said there was $8,000 in the scholarship account, $7,967.76 in PayPal (contest entry fees), and $5,319.22 in the operations account. Antonia said the club has enough to cover the luncheon.

CONTEST BANQUET: The luncheon has been postponed until Dec. 5 because the judges need more time, Antonia said. She has put down a deposit for the room at the Crowne Plaza for that date.

IRS MATTER: The tax-exempt status of the club lapsed several years ago. The board discovered this fact earlier this year. Antonia and bookkeeper Ana Glodek conducted a conference call with the IRS. A penalty is possible. The main goal is to correct the situation and renew the nonprofit status. The board voted unanimously to get an estimate and a proposed retainer agreement from a CPA firm for the work that is necessary to correct this situation.

AWARDS LUNCHEON SPONSOR: Antonia reports the club is in negotiations with a corporate sponsor. They are offering help including finding a guest speaker.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Ed said the scholarship committee has selected one high school winner and two college winners. They'll get $1,500 each, for a total of $4,500. The board unanimously voted to increase the number of college scholarships to two, and approve the $4,500 expenditure.

MEMBERSHIP DRIVE/CONTEST: Antonia reports that the club got 430 entries for this year's contest. Jim Henderson suggested that we change the entry process next year so that everyone entering the contest would pay a membership fee with their first entry. Price suggested the club conduct a membership survey at the upcoming awards luncheon on Dec. 5. Price will send a draft of the survey to board members and Jim Watson said he would tabulate the results.

HIGH SCHOOL BOOT CAMP: Antonia said she is shooting to hold the camp in the third week of February. She'd like to open the high school contest the same day as the boot camp so that attendees could be encouraged to submit entries.

Meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m. Minutes taken by Secretary Dave Price.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Former LA Times sports columnist wins $7.1 million verdict in age and disability bias case

This item is a bit out of the bailiwick of the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club, but it might strike a chord with some of our members. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury tonight awarded $7.1 million to former LA Times sports columnist T.J. Simers on his claim that the newspaper discriminated against him because of his age and disability.

Simers’ attorneys claimed during the six-week trial that the Times tried to stifle his critical coverage of former Dodgers owner Frank McCort and then diminished his role at the paper after he suffered a mini-stroke and was diagnosed with complex migraine syndrome. Simers, now 65, was making $234,000 a year when he was forced out of his job in 2013. The Times said it will appeal.

The verdict was reported by Variety and the Times.

Save the Date: Press Club awards luncheon date changed to Dec. 5

The 2015 San Francisco Peninsula Press Club's awards luncheon has been rescheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5.

Why? It's taking a little longer than anticipated for our out-of-state judges to review this year's entries.

The location of the luncheon will remain the same, the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1221 Chess Drive, Foster City. Please save the date, Dec. 5. The luncheon starts at 11 a.m. Winners will be notified in advance via email.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chron suspends Warriors writer Rusty Simmons

Rusty Simmons, the San Francisco Chronicle's Golden State Warriors beat reporter, has been suspended without pay after he wrote an article Monday that was nearly a word-for-word copy of a team press release, Columbia Journalism Review reports.

Simmons cut-and-paste a news release the Warriors issued announcing the team had purchased land for a new arena in the Mission Bay neighborhood from the software company Salesforce.

PR man Sam Singer, who represents the arena's opponents, saw the duplication and sent emails about it to his contacts. Examiner reporter Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez took Singer’s tip and tweeted screen shots of the press release and the Chronicle story.

Chronicle editor Audrey cooper confirmed to CJR that Simmons, a sportswriter at the paper since 2002, has been suspended without pay pending an investigation of his entire body of work at the Chronicle. But Cooper also told CJR that she'd be surprised if the review reveals that copying press releases was a "chronic practice" of Simmons.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Press Club to award $1,500 scholarships

Friday, Oct. 23 — That's the deadline for submitting entries to the 2015 college scholarship competition sponsored by the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club.

The competition is open to high school, community college and college students from 12 Bay Area counties who are planning a career in print, broadcast, online or photo journalism. The counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Yolo.

The club selects one college student to receive a $1,000 scholarship named for Herb Caen, the late San Francisco Chronicle columnist, and one high school student for a $1,500 scholarship named for the late Jack Russell, club co-founder.

Scholarship funds will be paid to colleges each recipient plans to attend, or is attending, to defray education-related expenses.

Work published, broadcast or webcast from fall 2014 through spring 2015 is eligible.

Entrants should send:

• A one-page resume.

• A letter of recommendation from an instructor in journalism, communications or English.

• Three to five examples of work as published or distributed. All entrants must include at least two examples of news writing or news coverage and may complete the submission with samples of feature writing or feature coverage. Only one example may be opinion-based.

• The entire package — resume, letter of recommendation and examples — should be combined into a single PDF that includes the entrant's name in the title. Video reports should be provided as links on a single PDF that is added to the combined PDF.

Entries should be emailed by Oct. 23 to:

Winners will be honored at the club's 37th Annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards Luncheon on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Book, concert focus on My Lai Massacre

Hugh Thompson Jr.
The 1968 My Lai Massacre, one of the most shocking episodes of the Vietnam War, will come into focus this Saturday (Oct. 10) at 6 p.m. when the musical/monodrama titled “My Lai” will be performed by the Kronos Quartet at Stanford's Bing Concert Hall.

Prior to the performance, author Trent Angers will give a brief talk about the heroism of Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson Jr., who played a major role in ending the massacre and testifying against the U.S. Army soldiers who committed the murders.

Angers, a seasoned journalist and editor from Louisiana, was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work on the Hugh Thompson story.

Angers has written a revised edition of his first book on Thompson. The revised edition, titled “The Forgotten Hero of My Lai,” reveals how Nixon initiated and led an effort to sabotage the My Lai Massacre trials.

One of Angers’ sources for the book were the handwritten notes of White House Chief of Staff H.R. Bob Haldeman. In a Dec. 1, 1969, meeting, Haldeman wrote that Nixon wanted to get the soldiers responsible for My Lai off the hook by destroying the reputation of Thompson. “Dirty tricks — not to high of a level … Discredit one witness … May have to use a Senator or two,” Haldeman wrote.

As for Saturday's concert, the music was composed by Jonathan Berger of Stanford; the lyrics (libretto) were written by Harriet Scott Chessman. The singer/main character is Rinde Eckert (who plays Hugh Thompson), with master Vietnamese musician Van-Ahn Vo.

For more about the concert, go to

For more about Angers book, go to Amazon.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Marinucci jumps to Politico

Carla Marinucci, a longtime political writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, has landed a job at Politico, which is launching a California section. Politico is starting several regional sections, and most of the writers for these sections are coming from newspapers. The news that she had taken a new job was announced by Politico’s Mike Allen. Marinucci has been covering politics for the Chron since 1996 and has been with Hearst Newspapers since 1983. Here’s her Chron bio. (Photo credit: Chronicle)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Newspaper launches a serialized novel

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, the Daily Post in Palo Alto began publishing “Palo Alto Odyssey,” a serialized novel about life in present-day Palo Alto, written by John Angell Grant.

The Bay Area newspapers have printed serialized novels before. The San Francisco Chronicle published Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City," a series that began in 1978.

“Palo Alto Odyssey” focuses on Miranda Jones, a woman who grew up in Palo Alto, attending local public schools, and later Stanford as an undergraduate.

After obtaining her law degree in New York, Miranda stayed in New York for a law career. Now she is returning to Palo Alto, perhaps to retire there, perhaps to sell her parents’ bungalow home in the Southgate part of town. Miranda is surprised at the changes she finds in Palo Alto from her childhood. It is no longer the sleepy university town she grew up in. Millionaire 20-somethings inhabit the cafes, creating new startups, as other wannabe entrepreneurs watch with envy. Housing prices have skyrocketed. New residents in the town, with more money, push out the earlier population. Families struggle.

Miranda’s old friend from high school is now a schizophrenic panhandler on University Avenue. Parents and teachers worry about the pressure on children and Palo Alto’s teen suicide epidemic. Women and men, both, struggle with conflicts between career and marriage.

“Palo Alto Odyssey” will run six times a week in the Daily Post through Oct. 5, in short chapters of about 500 words each. This is the right length, says Daily Post Editor and Publisher Dave Price, “for a reader to enjoy over a cup of coffee.”

Price says that the serialization gives the Daily Post another dimension. One dimension is simply reporting the news and the second is the Opinion page, where local issues are debated. This creates a third level where local trends and happenings can be brought to life through the serial.

The novel’s creator, John Angell Grant, is a longtime journalist and the author of 12 produced stage plays. Grant is also the theater critic for the Daily Post. Back episodes of “Palo Alto Odyssey” will be downloadable daily at the author’s website at  

Full disclosure: Price is the Press Club's secretary and webmaster.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Chron's Henry Lee jumps to Channel 2

Henry Lee, who covers crime and courts for the Chronicle, has joined KTVU as a justice reporter and anchor, TV Spy reports. Lee will lead the new Crime Files franchise for Channel 2. His reports will air on the Sunday edition of the 10'O Clock News. He has been at the Chronicle since 1994. Here's his bio. The last Chronicle reporter to jump to TV news was Cecilia Vega. She went to Channel 7 as a reporter in 2008. She joined ABC News in 2011, and this year became a weekend anchor for ABC.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Police release video of suspects in robbery of Examiner photographer

San Francisco police have released this video showing the black Pontiac Grand Prix that two robbers used as a getaway car after they robbed a San Francisco Examiner photographer of his camera on July 23.

The photographer was walking east on Bryant Street, near the Hall of Justice, when two robbers pushed him from behind.

As he fell, the robbers grabbed his Canon EOS-1D digital camera and dragged him 20 feet. The camera and lenses are worth more than $9,300.

The robbers fled south on Langton Street and a surveillance camera captured footage of them driving away in the Grand Prix. The video also appears to show a possible "Good Samaritan" chasing the suspect in a Toyota Tacoma pickup or a similar vehicle.

Police are asking the public to help identify the Good Samaritan in the pickup truck or the robbers. Anyone with information is asked to call (415) 575-6039 or the Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444. Tips can also be sent by texting TIP411 and starting the message with SFPD.

Suspect jailed in robberies of TV news crews

Bay City News reports that a man suspected of robbing and assaulting two TV news crews covering a homicide at Pier 14 last month has been arrested and jailed.

Michael Anthony Jones, 23, was arrested on July 27 and booked into jail on suspicion of robbing and assaulting the news crews with the help of two accomplices who remain at large.

Jones pleaded innocent on July 30 and remains in jail with bail set at $250,000.

On July 2, a group of broadcast news reporters were robbed at gunpoint of their camera equipment as they were covering the shooting death of San Francisco resident Kathryn Steinle. At about 6 a.m., news crews had gathered on The Embarcadero, in front of Pier 14, when the suspects approached them. The suspects demanded camera equipment from NBC Bay Area and KTVU Fox-2, according to San Francisco police.

Police said there were two armed suspects and a third suspect who acted as a getaway driver. Part of the attack was caught on camera by one of the crews preparing for a live broadcast. One cameraman was struck in the head with a pistol and suffered a laceration to the head. The three other victims were not injured.

The suspects made off with camera equipment valued at over $100,000.

The three suspects fled in a black BMW 7 Series sedan, Gatpandan said. Investigators were able to locate the BMW used in the Pier 14 robbery and on July 27, San Francisco police investigators, with the assistance of the Oakland and Fremont Police Departments, identified Jones as a suspect and located him with the BMW at a Motel 6 in Fremont, police said.

Following a brief foot pursuit, Jones was arrested as he was leaving a room at the motel, police said.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Redwood City photojournalist Reg McGovern dead at 95

The Palo Alto Daily Post is reporting that well-known Redwood City photojournalist Reg McGovern has died after complications from a fall. He was 95. McGovern died Wednesday (Aug. 5) in Mountain View, said his wife Janet.

The two met at the now-defunct Redwood City Tribune, where McGovern was a staff photographer for 36 years. She said he taught her a lot about journalism, and he was well-known because of his colorful personality and sense of humor.

He was not only a photographer, but a reporter too, and knew how to become friends to develop sources, said his wife. McGovern proclaimed that he had “telephonitis” when every evening he would call lots of his friends round robin style, she said.

“He was a maverick,” longtime friend and former co-worker George Gananian said of McGovern. “He always went against conventional wisdom.”

When on assignment for a San Francisco 49ers game at Kezar Stadium, Gananian remembers the herd of photographers huddled together in one section of the sidelines. But McGovern was at the other end of the field, waiting for the play to come toward him. At just the right moment, when the sun was behind the offensive team, McGovern snapped a photo that worked with the sun, highlighting the players.

The other photographers had to zoom in and then crop their photos while McGovern knew how to frame his photo without much editing, Gananian said. “He damn near always got the shot he wanted,” Gananian said. With tight deadlines at the Redwood City Tribune, McGovern invented shortcuts to make the photo editing process go faster.

This photo by Reg McGovern of a 1952 magnesium
fire in San Carlos won a top award for spot news

Gananian recalled a car crash on the corner of Veterans Boulevard and Main Street at noon, close to the 12:30 p.m. deadline for the afternoon newspaper. McGovern had a special fast-acting chemical solution he called “Jungle Juice” that he invented during his years in the South Pacific. The developer converted the negatives in just one minute instead of three to make deadline.

McGovern was born in Redwood City, the son of San Mateo County Sheriff Thomas McGovern and his wife, Hilda, who became the first woman state traffic officers in San Mateo County in 1928, months after her husband’s death, said Janet McGovern.

McGovern lived in Redwood City for most of his life, and attended Sequoia High and San Mateo Junior College. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard in the Pacific aboard the ammunition ship the U.S.S. Murzim.

McGovern was first hired by the Tribune in 1945 as a staff photographer. His wife said he had a “natural nose for news and an eye for unusual angles.” He won numerous awards during his years at the Tribune, his wife said.

Years later, the McGoverns collaborated on the local history books “Redwood City,” “Redwood City Then & Now” and most recently “Menlo Park.” McGovern loved band music and in the early 1950s began his won record company, Fidelity Sound Recordings.

McGovern is survived by his wife, Janet; his two sons, Thomas of South San Francisco and James of Walnut Creek and his wife, Kim; two grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Plans for his memorial are being made, but donations can be made in his honor to the Salvation Army, Golden State Division, 832 Folsom St., San Francisco or Kainos Home & Training Center, 3621 Jefferson Ave., Redwood City.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Report: SFWeekly/Examiner publisher says there's no wall between editorial and ads

The new publisher of the SF Weekly and Examiner, Glenn Zuehls, declared in a staff meeting on Friday that there is no wall between advertising and news, according to Joe Eskenazi, who wrote for the SF Weekly for eight years. Eskenazi's report was carried by San Francisco Magazine.

Zuehles was upset that the Graton Casino in Rohnert Park pulled $68,496 worth of ads over a humorous story in the SF Weekly about the casino. Eskenazi said Zuehls ordered the newsroom to do a puff piece on the casino in the hopes of getting the ads back. When the newsroom staffers objected, Zuehles said the staff should dig into their own pockets to come up with the $68,496.

Eskenazi says three editorial employees have "parted ways" with the Examiner over the dust up. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gannett reportedly looking to buy the Merc

The San Jose Mercury News is a likely takeover target of Gannett, the Wall Street Journal says.

The story is based on comments by Gannett CEO Robert Dickey that he has assembled a team of banking and legal advisers to pursue deals in markets with populations between one and three million people.

“We are aggressively pursuing all the opportunities in front of us,” he said.

The Journal says: “The list of newspapers in markets of over one million people is short. One such title, the San Jose Mercury News, was recently put on the block by owner Digital First Media along with its 75 other daily newspapers, but all were taken off the market in May.”

Thursday, July 2, 2015

News crews robbed, assaulted in San Francisco

News crews from two Bay Area television stations were robbed at gunpoint and a cameraman was pistol whipped during live broadcasts this morning.

The robbery and assault occurred at about 6 a.m. Thursday along the city's waterfront, SF Gate reported. Several camera crews were broadcasting live reports for local morning shows about a killing that occurred nearby Wednesday night.
KTVU reporter Cara Liu was reporting live when someone ran up and stole camera equipment belonging to KNTV, which also had a crew on the scene.

During the incident, KNTV camera operator Alan Waples was pistol-whipped. KTVU anchor Brian Flores was introducing the story and preparing to go live to Liu when she appeared startled and said, “Hold on, hold on, wait,” before disappearing from the screen, as KNTV reporter Kris Sanchez and Waples, 54, were being robbed at gunpoint.

The assailant, one of three suspects, came up behind Waples, who was was adjusting Sanchez’s lighting, and put a gun to his head.

“Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!” Sanchez yelled.
The KTVU camera that was stolen.
Photos from the San Francisco Police.

Waples said, “Take the camera!”

He recalled later that he was waiting for the click of the gun. “I thought he was going to kill Alan,” Sanchez said.

he man then threw Waples to the ground and hit him with the gun in the ear, causing a large gash and leaving a big bruise on his upper arm.

All of this unfolded quickly as KTVU was broadcasting live, although the incident wasn’t audible.

One of the robbers.
“Cara, you still there?” Flores asked. “Sorry, there’s an incident out here,” she replied as she and KTVU photographer Keith Crook left to tend to the stricken KNTV crew.

“What’s going on out there, Cara, doing OK?” Flores asked.

The robber drove away in a black BMW with two cameras and two tripods from stations KTVU and KNTV.

Two other camera crews on the scene weren't robbed.

Waples was examined on the scene and wasn't hospitalized.

The gun used in today's robbery.
Local television and newspaper crews have been robbed several times in recent years, though usually the incidents occur in Oakland.

Many crews travel with armed guards when reporting in high-crime areas.

Wednesday's murder and Thursday's robbery occurred at Pier 14 along the Embarcadero, a popular spot for tourists and locals.

San Francisco police were first called to the pier at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday where they found a 31-year-old woman wounded with a gunshot to the upper body. Police detained a "person of interest," but released no further details about the shooting. The woman died later at a hospital.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

GraceAnn Walden, pioneer in local food media, dies

The Chronicle is reporting that its former Inside Scoop columnist GraceAnn Walden has died.

"She made restaurant news and gossip a dedicated beat in this food-obsessed town, breathlessly chronicling the paths of chefs through town and tracking the underbelly of the restaurant scene with her sharp, witty and sometimes controversial writing," the Chron's Inside Scoop blog said.

She wrote the Inside Scoop column from its inception in 1991 to 2005. In recent years, she had been living in the North Bay, conducting food tours around North Beach, and sending out her food-centric newsletter. (Photo credit: Chris Stewart, Chronicle)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sports writer Ron Bergman dead at 80

Longtime Bay Area sports writer Ron Bergman died today (May 28). He was 80.

The AP reports that Bergman had been suffering from Parkinson's disease. Bergman worked for the AP in the 1960s and covered the Beatles' final concert at Candlestick Park in 1966.

He later worked for the Oakland Tribune and San Jose Mercury News, covering the Oakland Athletics dynasty of the 1970s and writing a book, "Mustache Gang," about the 1972 title team.

He later covered the Golden State Warriors, Raiders and college sports.

The A's were planning a moment of silence in Bergman's honor before their game Thursday night against the Yankees.

He is survived by former wife Sally, children Anne and Adam; a brother Jim; and grandchildren Henry and Ella.

Press Club honors high school journalists

Students from nine Bay Area high schools were commended for outstanding newspaper and yearbook during the 2015 High School Journalism Awards. Sponsored by the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club, the awards ceremony took place on May 21 at the San Mateo History Museum in Redwood City. There were 375 entries this year, which ranged from overall excellence to sports stories to opinion pieces and special features. Here are the winners.

“The students’ caliber of writing was exceptional this year,” said San Francisco Peninsula Press Club President Antonia Ehlers. “Our judges had a tough time determining the winners because there were so many in-depth, thought-provoking entries. Our students investigated important topics including medical illnesses, drug use, racial tensions, and the potential of ‘hookup’ social media sites. On behalf of the Press Club Board of Directors, we commend these students for putting their hearts and souls into making a difference through the written word and photo journalism.”

Press Club Vice President Jim Watson spoke to the students about careers in journalism and how to expand their horizons by exploring related industries that hire writers. Executive Director John Ellis stressed the importance of networking with Bay Area journalists to learn from the experts and seek mentorship opportunities.

Carlmont High School in Belmont received the Overall Excellence Award. The group also received a prestigious Pacemaker Award and is ranked in the nation.

"The Bay Area schools have some of the top journalism programs in the nation,” said Carlmont English Department Chair Justin Raisner. “For us to take top honors in this contest is quite an impressive feat.  I'm really proud of the effort that my students put into their writing, photography and design. Winning these awards helps students know that they are producing top-level work. When a journalism program wins awards, it raises the status of journalism in the school and the community. Between these awards this year and winning the national Pacemaker last year, I have a lot of support when there's push-back on a sensitive story."

Monday, May 25, 2015

Winners in High School Journalism Contest

The following local students received awards in the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club’s annual high school journalism contest for work they did on their school newspapers and websites. The awards were presented to the students on Thursday (May 21) at the old courthouse in Redwood City.

1. News Story Winners 
   First: San Mateo High School: “Senator Jerry Hill Bashes SMUHSD” by Cindy Zhang 
   Second: Carlmont High School: “Former Carlmont student killed at 19 years old” by Kimiko Okumura
   Third: Aragon High School “SMPD tests cameras” by Carolyn Ku 

 2. Features Story Winners 
   First: Eastside College Prep: “Race Matters: Student Poll Finds Police Overstep Power” by Corine Forward, Cohen Price 
   Second: Aragon High School: “Aragon Opens Up About Marijuana Use” by Jordan Kranzler, Brandon Yan, Alex Furuya 
   Third: Convent of the Sacred Heart: “Hookup Culture Becomes the Norm, Causing a Double Standard for Many Women” by Tatiana Gutierrez 
   Honorable Mention: Aragon High School “Tinder and Grinder” by Regina Wen, Jordan Kranzler
   Honorable Mention: Santa Clara High School “Your Brain on Drugs” by Ellie Houseman, Joseph Hughes, Daniel Huynh, Sophia Kakarala 
   Honorable Mention: Carlmont High School: “Behind the Mask: Carlmont’s walking DJ” by Kelly Song    Honorable Mention: Santa Clara High School: “Students in the Shadows” by Theodora Vojnovic 

 3. Sports Story Winners 
   First: Carlmont High School: “Boys varsity soccer falls to Sequoia” by Jocelyn Moran 
   Second: Carlmont High School: “Boys soccer begins season strong” by Naomi Asrir 
   Third: “Eastside College Prep: “Panthers first bid for state title falls short in final minutes” by Chorine Forward 

 4. Editorial Winners 
   First: Terra Nova High School: “You can trust me with cars, why not condoms?” by Emily Stack 
   Second: Santa Clara High School: “California teacher tenure laws not the problem” by Sophia Kakarala    Third: Carlmont High School: “Airport harassment: TSA affects people beyond the gate” by Shira Stein 

5. Column Winners 
   First: Carlmont High School: “Columns by Dominic Gialdini” by Dominic Gialdini 
   Second: Carlmont High School: “Why cops are never prosecuted” by Michael Bastaki 
   Third: Aragon High School: “‘Sucker’ rules” by Murray Sandmeyer 
   Honorable Mention: Mills High School: “Pushing for Progression in Primetime” by Daysia Tolentino
   Honorable Mention: Mills High School: “Fighting Racial Injustice From Ferguson to Millbrae” by Dana Ysabel Dela Cruz 

6. News Photo Winners 
   First: Terra Nova High School: “Fire tears through valley” by Emily Stack 
   Second: Eastside College Prep: “Blood drive successful despite minor glitches” by Elizabeth Perez
   Third: Carlmont High School: “Homecoming begins” by Han Vu 

7. Feature Photo Winners 
   First: Aragon High School: “Students who Cosplay at Aragon” by Jenney Zhang 
   Second: Carlmont High School: “New mural brings color to campus” by Han Vu 
   Third: Eastside College Prep: “Losing loved ones at a young age” by Yajaira Vargas 

8. Sports Photo Winners 
   First: Carlmont High School: “JV softball perseveres to gain the lead” by Avery Adams 
   Second: Aragon High School: “Aragon Varsity Basketball v. Hillsdale High School” by Magali de Sauvage 
   Third: Aragon High School: “Aragon Boys’ Varsity Football v. Half Moon Bay” by Magali de Sauvage 

9. Layout & Design Winners 
   First: Serra High School: “Homecoming Week” by Robert Horne, Matthew Claybrook, George Anagnostou 
   Second: Carlmont High School: “The Highlander — January 2015” by Staff 
   Third: Convent of the Sacred Heart” by Aoife Devereaux 

10. Website Design Winners 
   First: San Mateo High School, by Angela Zhang, Jean Ye 
   Second: Carlmont High School: Entry 10301 “Scot Scoop News” by Shira Stein 
   Third: Mills High School: “The Mills Thunderbolt” by Nathan Chau 

11. Web Site Content Winners 
   First: Carlmont High School: “Scot Scoop News” by Staff 
   Second: San Mateo High School, by Jean Ye, Angela Zhang 
   Third: Mills High School: “The Mills Thunderbolt” by Nathan Chau, Iris Hung 

12. Yearbook Winners 
   First: Mills High School 
   Second: Serra High School 

13. General Excellence Winners 
   First: Carlmont High School: “The Highlander” by Staff 
   Second: Santa Clara High School: “The Roar, December 2014, February 2015 and April 2015” by Staff 
   Third: Aragon High School: “February, March, and April 2015 editions of the Outlook” by Staff

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Vince Roman, former KGO-TV news director, dies

One of the first news directors in Bay Area television, Vince Roman, died April 29 in Belmont at age 90.

Roman went to work for KGO-TV in 1951, became news director and remained with the ABC station for 37 years until he retired.

Roman and his partner Sam Rolph, co-founder of Hillbarn Theatre, bought a house on San Juan Boulevard in Belmont in 1956 and remained there until some time after Rolph died in 2006.

They also had homes at Lake Tahoe and on the north shore of Kauai. For the past five years, Roman has lived at Sunrise Assisted Living in Belmont.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Roman served as a B-24 radio operator in the 8th Air Force during World War II and flew 13 missions before the war ended. He was mustered out at March Air Force Base in Riverside.

He told friends that he liked the warm weather and decided to remain in California. He parlayed his wartime experience in radio technology into a job in the new world of television. He started by delivering them; then he heard that KGO-TV was hiring and made the jump to TV news.

He rented a room on the Peninsula. When his landlady heard he was interested in community theater, she sent him to Hillbarn where he met Rolph.

Eventually, his mother and father, both Lithuanian immigrants, and his sister and her husband joined him on the Peninsula.

He outlived most of his Roman kin but is survived by Rolph’s nephew, Mike Venturino of Belmont, a good friend who managed his affairs.

Friends will gather to celebrate Roman’s life from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, May 23, at the Congregational Church of Belmont, 751 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Homeless Cat Network, P.O. Box 6, San Carlos 94070, or the Peninsula Humane Society, 1450 Rollins Road, Burlingame 94010, are suggested.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Enter the high school journalism contest

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club is inviting high school journalists from throughout the Bay Area to submit entries for our annual high school journalism contest. The deadline to enter is May 8, so there isn't much time. The awards will be presented on May 21 in Redwood City. The contest is sponsored by Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo. Go here to get the details. Here's a look back at last year's winners.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Chronicle names Kristen Go as digital managing editor

Kristen Go
The Chronicle announced today (April 24) that Kristen Go, a deputy managing editor at the paper since 2008, has been promoted to the newly created position of managing editor, digital, where she will run the Chron's online and visual operations. As deputy ME, she was in charge of providing digital and social media training to the staff, overseeing special projects and the Sunday edition. Go joined the Chronicle after working as a reporter and editor at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix. While at the Denver Post, she was part of the team that won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news for coverage of the student massacre at Columbine High School. Here's the story. (Photo credit: Russell Yip, Chronicle)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

KPFA host Wesley Burton killed in car accident

(From Bay City News) A public radio host who died in a rollover crash near his Oakland home early Saturday morning had deep Oakland roots and loved to barbecue for his friends, family and neighbors, his nephew said Monday.

"He was a guy that you could make friends with within an hour," said Wesley Burton's nephew, 19-year-old Tlaca Hernandez.

Hernandez has raised nearly $20,000 through a GoFundMe campaign to help support Burton's wife and three young children -- a crucial source of support as Burton did not have life insurance.

Burton was killed in a crash Saturday (April 18) at about 2:20 a.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Way near 59th Street, according to police. He was trapped inside the vehicle and despite life-saving measures, was pronounced dead there.

He worked as a board operator and co-host at Berkeley's KPFA 94.1. His two shows, "Sideshow Radio" and "After Hours," played hip-hop, R&B, soul and jazz music late at night.

Hernandez, who first met Burton when he was only 6 years old, said his uncle had always loved music and the two played drums together when Hernandez was young. Burton married Hernandez's aunt, Lucrecia, and since then was like a father to him, he said. Burton's young children, Santiago, Enrique, and Samaya, were like siblings to him.

"Whenever somebody thought of a good father, it was him," Hernandez said. That Burton was such a good and devoted father was a special accomplishment because Burton himself grew up without a father, Hernandez said.

His fundraising page is online at (Photo courtesy of KPFA.)

Friday, April 10, 2015

CNBC opens bureau in San Francisco

Josh Lipton in the new CNBC bureau
CNBC has begun broadcasting from its new San Francisco bureau at 1 Market in the heart of the Financial District. The bureau is originating both on-air segments and contributing to the network’s digital sites. It will share the space with Re/code. CNBC has had a San Jose bureau for several years, but as the center of gravity for tech coverage has move to San Francisco, the financial network needed a bureau there, too. Here’s a Q&A TVNewser did with technology correspondent Josh Lipton about the new bureau. (Photo credit: TVNewser)

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 2015 Press Club board minutes

Minutes of April Press Club board meeting April 1, 2015, 7 p.m., Serra High School, 451 West 20th Ave., San Mateo

PRESENT: Antonia Ehlers, Ed Remitz, Jim Watson, Dave Price (via phone). ABSENT: Marshall Wilson, Peter Cleaveland, Aimee Strain, Jane Northrop.

FINANCE REPORT: Antonia reported that she set up a new account at Chase, and that that the club will keep its existing account there. One account is for the scholarship fund and the other for membership. Accounts at other banks have been closed and the money transferred to the current accounts.

NEW BOOKKEEPER: The board decided in a 7-0 vote to hire Ana Glodek of San Carlos as its new bookkeeper. The contract with Glodek will cover four months at $300.

NEW BOARD MEMBER: Following the recent departures of Kristy Blackburn and Jon Mays, the board voted 7-0 to add Jim Henderson of KHMB radio to the board. Jim spoke about his love for journalism dating back to when he was 15 and did a mimeographed newspaper for his neighborhood, and got the opportunity at that young age to leaf through police reports at the San Mateo police station. He went to CSM and went into radio for several years at stations including KVON in Napa. He later went into the car rental business for 25 years. When that job ended, he moved to Half Moon Bay and launched KHMB on Oct. 15, 2009. The station, at 1710 AM, originally had a signal that only reached a few neighborhoods, so he called it Neighborhood Radio. The station's signal strength has been increased and now can also be heard at 100.9 FM as well as online at Jim said that as a board member, he wanted to focus on bringing younger people into the Press Club. He suggested reaching out to colleges.

CONTEST COORDINATORS: The board, in a 7-0 vote, authorized Antonia and Ed to execute a contract with the club's new contest coordinators, John Ellis and Sarah Allen, who interviewed with the board on Feb. 11. Jim Watson went over details in the contract.

HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM AWARDS: Antonia said the awards need to be presented around May 9 or 10, so this year's contest needs to start ASAP.

MEMBERSHIP RATES: The board in a 6-0 vote decided the new membership rate will be $50 for journalists, $75 for PR people, $25 for college students and $15 for high school students.

CONTEST RATES: The board in a 6-0 vote set contest rates at $25 per entry and $50 for the overall excellence category. The board agreed that it will continue to offer free entry fees for journalists who claim a hardship.

FUTURE MEETINGS: Antonia said the board will meet via conference call in May and at a restaurant in June. Going forward, the board will meet five times a year (excluding the Christmas party), and three of those meetings will be via conference call and two will be at restaurants. As always, any member is welcome to observe or participate in meetings.

Meeting adjourned at 9 p.m. Minutes taken by Secretary Dave Price.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

2 Bay Area high school online news programs finalists for top national honors

Two Bay Area high schools are among 30 nationwide named as finalists for prestigious Online Pacemaker awards.

The National Scholastic Press Association’s Online Pacemaker competition recognizes the top student-directed online news publications in 2015. The 30 finalists were selected from 172 entries.

The Bay Area finalists are The Paly Voice at Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto and El Estoque at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino.

A team of three judges worked over the course of several weeks to select the finalists based on content and coverage, writing and editing, design, rich media and interactivity. Judges are kept anonymous to preserve the fairness and impartiality of the contest.

“This year’s best sites excelled not only with their written coverage but with their photography, multimedia or graphics,” said one judge. “The narrow margins between this year’s finalists are an encouraging indicator of journalism’s exciting future.”

Judges noted that this year’s finalists showcased strong, localized coverage of hard-hitting issues coupled with a solid multimedia presence. The top sites also showed creative and thorough story planning, one judge commented.

“It’s not easy for students to produce quality journalism on a continuous schedule with so many other demands on their time,” said Kirsten Chang, contest and critique coordinator. “These programs bring together the best reporting, writing, photography, design and video skills, and provide a fantastic learning environment for students.”

The Pacemaker winners will be announced at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Denver, April 16-19. The NSPA Awards Ceremony will take place at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 18.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

TV nostalgia: KGO-TV Sat-truck land speed record

TV Spy's Kevin Eck has posted a KGO-TV promo from the 1990s about its sat-truck setting a land speed record of 81.73 mph. The promo harkens back to the time when stations promoted their equipment like InstaCams, Dopler radar and helicopters.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Nan Tucker McEvoy dead at 95

Nan Tucker McEvoy, the last member of the founder’s family to head The San Francisco Chronicle and a prominent olive oil rancher in Petaluma, died on Thursday (March 26) at her apartment in San Francisco. She was 95.

The granddaughter of M. H. de Young, who founded The Chronicle in 1865, McEvoy was the chairwoman of Chronicle Publishing, which included The Chronicle, KRON-TV and other media holdings, from 1981 to 1995.

After the 1994 newspaper strike, members of the de Young family became interested in selling Chronicle Publishing, but McEvoy — who held the largest single share of the company — said the company was not for sale.

“She seemed to be the last member of the family who cared about the people who worked here, and that was important to us,” said Carl Nolte, who has been a reporter at The Chronicle since 1961.

But in 1999, she agreed to sell Chronicle Publishing to the Hearst Corp. Then, McEvoy devoted her energy to her olive oil business.

McEvoy was a founding member of the Peace Corps and a special assistant to the organization’s first director, R. Sargent Shriver. An active philanthropist, she was a board member of the University of California, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the San Francisco Symphony, among other organizations.

Phyllis Ann Tucker was born on July 15, 1919, in San Mateo, the daughter of Nion Tucker and the former Phyllis de Young. Her marriage to the publishing executive Dennis McEvoy ended in divorce. In addition to her son, she is survived by three grandchildren. Here's the Chronicle's obit.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Press Club contest details coming soon

Keep your eyes on this webpage for the Press Club's call for entries for our annual Greater Bay Area Excellence in Journalism Contest. We hope to post details about entering the contest soon. Last year we got 392 entries from journalists and public relations professionals.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Controversial sports pundit Jay Mariotti lands at the Examiner

Former Chicago Sun-Times columnist and ESPN sports personality Jay Mariotti, whose career came to a screeching halt when he was arrested for stalking and assault-related charges in 2010, has been hired by the San Francisco Examiner as its sports director.

Here's the Examiner's announcement and the Chronicle's take.

While Mariotti spent 16 years at the Sun-Times, he gained a national presence on the ESPN show "Around The Horn," where sports talking heads yell at each other.

When it comes to covering pro teams, Mariotti was never a homer. Former Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen called him a gay slur, but apologized later. When Mariotti left the Sun-Times in 2008 to write for AOL, and proclaimed print was dead, Roger Ebert wrote a scathing column about Mariotti titled "Jay The Rat."

Mariotti lost his gig at ESPN when he was arrested for domestic violence and stalking a then-girlfriend. He took a plea bargain that spared him from the possibility of being convicted and sentenced to five years in prison, according to the LA Times.

As the Chronicle put it, "Mariotti was confident that he would be accepted in San Francisco, where accusations of domestic violence — later dropped — against Ross Mirkarimi nearly ousted him from the San Francisco sheriff’s office in 2012."

According to the Chronicle, Mariotti compared the plight of the Examiner to “what I walked into at the Sun-Times. But I was able to keep it alive.”

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Dori Maynard, journalist and champion of diversity, dead at 56

(From the Associated Press) Dori J. Maynard, a journalist and champion of diversity in news coverage, died Tuesday at her Oakland home, the journalism education institute she presided said. She was 56.

The Oakland-based Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education confirmed Maynard's death in a brief statement posted on its website. It didn't give a cause of death.

"Dori was an amazing force for good in journalism," Dawn Garcia, managing director of the Knight Fellowships at Stanford University, told the San Jose Mercury News. Maynard served of the Knight board. "She was the voice that must be heard."

"When others were shying away from speaking about race, Dori was fearless. She made an amazing difference for so many people," Garcia added.

The daughter of Robert C. Maynard, the former owner of the Oakland Tribune, Dori Maynard was herself a journalist, working at the Detroit Free Press, the Bakersfield Californian, and The Patriot Ledger, in Quincy, Mass.

Along with her father, she was a Neiman scholar at Harvard University in 1993. At the time of her death, she was still the president of the Oakland-based Maynard Institute, the nation's oldest organization focusing on ensuring newspapers, magazines and other news outlets accurately portray overlooked communities.

In 2013, she penned an opinion column for the Tribune in the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, saying that media looking for explanations of America's ongoing racial struggle should look at themselves.

"It's time for us to look at what our distorted coverage of communities of color is doing to the country," Maynard wrote. "It's time for us to look at whether we're meeting our ethical obligation to give our audience factual and credible information necessary to make rational decisions in its private life and about public policies."

The morning of her death, she was discussing plans with a board member to help the institute thrive and to attract funding to support that work, the institute said. "Maynard advocated tirelessly for the future of the institute and its programs, reminding all that the work of bringing the diverse voices of America into news and public discourse is more vital than ever."

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Daily News in Palo Alto to become a weekly

The Daily News in Palo Alto announced on its front page yesterday that it will reduce its publication schedule from three times a week to just one day beginning March 20.

Now a broadsheet, the free paper will switch to a tabloid size. With the one-day-a-week publishing schedule, the Daily News will be delivered “to most homes and targeted businesses in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton,” Publisher David Rounds said in the story.

Mercury News subscribers in Los Altos, Mountain View, Portola Valley, Redwood City and San Carlos will also get the Daily News inserted into their Friday Mercs, he said. The Merc and the Daily News are both owned by Digital First Media.

On Fridays, the Daily News will continue to be delivered to its news racks. And Rounds said that the Daily News will continue to provide breaking news coverage on its website,

"We will be tripling our reach and will focus on home delivery,” Rounds said. “The redesigned tabloid-size newspaper will provide the same quality writing and editing our readers have come to expect and we will be tightly focused on the local news and sports that is so important to Peninsula residents.”

The Palo Alto Daily News operated as a six-day-a-week newspaper from its start in 1995 until March 2013 when it went to three days a week.

The Daily News competes in a three-newspaper market with the Palo Alto Weekly, which comes out on Fridays and delivers to homes, and the Daily Post, which publishes Monday through Saturday.

Meanwhile, the chain that owns the Daily News, Digital First Media, has been for sale since last fall (more).

Full disclosure: The Press Club’s webmaster is Dave Price, a former owner of the Daily News and now the editor and co-publisher of the Post.

Friday, February 13, 2015

February 2015 Press Club board minutes

Feb. 11, 2015, 6:30 p.m., San Mateo Daily Journal, San Mateo

PRESENT: Aimee Strain, Antonia Ehlers, Jane Northrup, Dave Price, Jim Watson, Ed Remitz. ABSENT: Jon Mays, Peter Cleaveland, Marshall Wilson.

FINANCE REPORT: Aimee discussed a spreadsheet showing contest income and expenses from 2014 to 2004 that was prepared by Darryl Compton. Ed said the cost per plaque had risen in the past couple of years to $31. He related a conversation he had with the vendor. Antonia said a vendor she knows in Foster City can produce plaques at a cost of $11 to $20. They’ll do more research on the plaques and return to the board for a decision.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SEARCH: The board conducted a conference call with John Ellis, a board member of the Bay Area Black Journalists Association, who with a colleague from that board, Sarah Allen, expressed an interest in the executive director position. Ellis discussed how he played a role in reviving the association and putting on successful luncheons. He also spoke about how he could assist with the IRS tax-exempt status of the Press Club, which has lapsed. Ellis indicated that he had experience with the issues currently challenging the Press Club. After the conversation with Ellis, the board turned its attention to its bank accounts. The board has expressed a desire to require that all checks have two signatures, those of the president and treasurer. Price motioned and Antonia seconded a motion to move all funds in the Press Club’s current bank accounts to two accounts that Antonia and Ed would establish at a bank. Antonia, as president, and Ed, as treasurer, would sign the signature card. Going forward, checks would be signed at board meetings. The motion passed unanimously.

MEMBERSHIP: Jim made a presentation about how the club could increase membership. He proposed the club create mutual benefit groups for freelancers, retired journalists and public relations professionals, among others. A tool these circles could employ was He also showed the board a list of talking points that can be used to recruit new members called a “value brochure.” The freelancer circle would be designed to connect writers with employers. Aimee will get the freelancer program started.

CONTEST: After discussing what other press clubs across the country charge for contests, the board voted unanimously to charge $25 for contest entries this year to club members (those who pay a $50 annual membership fee), and $55 per entry for non members. The cost of a “overall excellence” entry will be $100. The Press Club’s entry fees will be well below those charged in New York, Los Angeles and other large markets.

The meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m. Minutes taken by Secretary Dave Price

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

KTVU reporter, photographer attacked and robbed in Hayward

The string of attacks against Bay Area TV crews continues. On Tuesday, a KTVU crew was attacked and robbed of camera equipment after doing a live shot in Hayward.

The Chronicle reports that Channel 2 reporter Tara Moriarty and camera operator Keith Crook were reporting from World’s Fare Donuts at 20800 Hesperian Boulevard west of Interstate 880. The restaurant is the home of many lottery winners, and the two had been doing live shots earlier in the morning about the Powerball jackpot, which is approaching $500 million.

Moriarty and Crook had just finished a live shot at the donut shop about 6:40 a.m. and were walking back to the news truck when they were confronted by two men in masks. Crook was hit and fell to the ground.

The assailants robbed Crook of a live transmission unit — a device attached to a camera for use in live broadcasts — and a microphone, officials said.

The men were last seen fleeing east on West A Street on foot, police said. KTVU said Moriarty and Crook were shaken up, but otherwise uninjured in the incident.

“They’re fine. That’s the good news,” said KTVU news director Dana Hahn.

The Chronicle said the
stolen gear was tracked by GPS north on Interstate 880, across the Bay Bridge and into San Francisco’s Mission Terrace neighborhood. But it wasn’t immediately recovered.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Audrey Cooper new top Chronicle editor

Audrey Cooper
Audrey Cooper tried unsuccessfully 15 years ago to get an internship at the San Francisco Chronicle. Now she has been named editor in chief of the paper, Hearst Corp. announced.

She succeeds Ward Bushee, who retired in 2013. Cooper had been acting editor-in-chief, though her title was managing editor. The appointment is effective immediately. A search for a new managing editor to succeed Cooper will start immediately.

Cooper, 37, is the first woman to hold the position of editor in chief at the Chronicle. The appointment comes three days before the Chronicle celebrates its 150th birthday.

Cooper is a native of Kansas City, Kan., and a 1999 magna cum laude graduate of Boston University, with degrees in journalism and political science. She previously worked at the Tri-Valley Herald, the Associated Press and the Record of Stockton, where she served as metro editor.

Cooper joined the Chronicle as an assistant metro editor in 2006. She was named metro editor in 2009, assistant managing editor in 2011, deputy managing editor in 2012 and managing editor in 2013.

The story announcing her appointment said her immediate plans call for hiring investigative reporters and expanding

Cooper’s appointment to lead the newspaper was in sharp contrast to her first attempt to join the Chronicle 15 years ago. “I applied for an internship three years in a row,” she said. “I never even got a callback.” (Photo credit: Mike Kepka, Chronicle, 2013)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Newspaper building defaced with paint after it uses term "illegals"

The Associated Press reports that the Santa Barbara News-Press building was defaced with paint and graffiti after the paper referred to immigrants as "illegals" in a front-page headline.

Police were investigating the vandalism that occurred Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

In addition to apparent paintball splatters, the entrance to the building was spray-painted with graffiti that read: "Fight back" and "The border is illegal not the people who cross it." Cleaning crews went to the building to wash off the paint.

The paper on Saturday printed a story about a California law taking effect that allows people who are in the country illegally to apply for driver's licenses.

The page had a photo of people waiting in line at a Department of Motor Vehicles office with the headline: "Illegals Line Up for Driver's Licenses.

The headline drew intense criticism.

"Not only is snapping a photo of a group of Latinos and calling them illegal wrong and ignorant, it also creates a hostile environment for the largest ethnic community in the state," said a petition on the website

The petition, which had 2,500 supporters as of Thursday, called on the paper to retract the story and apologize for what it terms "racist and hateful" language.

A demonstration also was planned for Thursday evening in front of the News-Press building.

Donald K. Katich, the News-Press director of news operations, said in a statement that the newspaper has used the term for nearly 10 years.

"It is an appropriate term in describing someone as 'illegal' if they are in this country illegally," he said, adding, "When breaking the law becomes the norm, America is no better than other lawless nations."