Categotry Archives: Media


Douglas Gageby

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Categories: Media, Military, Writers/Editors

Douglas Gageby believed that members of the media should cover the elite, not become a member of it. For more than three decades, the Irish journalist and editor rarely gave television interviews or socialized with those in power. Instead, he focused his attentions on transforming The Irish Times into one of Ireland’s most respected newspapers.
A Protestant from Belfast, Gageby studied at Trinity College Dublin, and served in the Irish Army during World War II. He joined the Irish Press in 1945, moved up to an assistant editor position with the Sunday Press in 1949, then became the editor-in-chief of the Irish News Agency in 1951. Three years later, he launched and edited the Evening Press.
When Gageby first took over the reins of The Irish Times, the newspaper was struggling financially and had little clout in media circles. As editor from 1963 to 1974, and again from 1977 to 1986, he transformed the daily into one of Ireland’s premiere publications.
After Gageby stepped down in 1987, Conor Brady became the first Catholic to edit the newspaper. Gageby continued working as a columnist, however, anonymously writing the paper’s nature column, “In Time’s Eye.” He was known only as “Y.”
Gageby died on June 24. Cause of death was not released. He was 85.


Bill Randle


Categories: Media

brandle.jpgTime Magazine once called Bill Randle the No. 1 disc jockey in America. At the height of his popularity in the mid-1950s, “The Pied Piper of Cleveland” commanded a 54 percent share of the listening audience. He used that power to turn Elvis Presley into a star.
Born William McKinley Randle Jr., the Detroit native was still a teenager when he launched his broadcasting career. He played small parts in radio dramas like “The Green Hornet” and “Hermit’s Cave,” then traveled across the Midwest, spinning records and promoting jazz acts. When he landed in Cleveland in 1949, Randle earned $100/week as a DJ for WERE-AM. Within six years, he was making more than $100,000/year, and owned part of the radio station.
In 1955, Randle arranged a concert in Cleveland featuring Pat Boone and Bill Haley and the Comets; Elvis Presley was the opening act. The show was filmed as a segment for a documentary on Randle, and became part of music history. The following year, he put Elvis on the radio in Ohio and New York, and introduced the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll to a national audience on the TV variety program, “Stage Show.” Randle also helped the careers of other musicians, including Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Bobby Darin, Fats Domino and Johnnie Ray.
Randle left radio in the 1960s and went back to college. In addition to his undergraduate degree from Wayne State University and a law degree from Oklahoma City University, Randle earned a doctorate in American studies, a master’s degree in sociology from Western Reserve University, a master’s degree in journalism from Kent State University and a master’s degree in education from Cleveland State University. After passing the Ohio bar at 64, he opened a law firm in Lakewood, Ohio, and practiced for 16 years.
Randle later became an educator, teaching sociology and mass communication classes at Kent State, the University of Cincinnati, Columbia University and Phillips University. He was unable to walk away from broadcasting entirely, and hosted radio programs whenever a microphone was offered to him. His final show was aired over the weekend on WRMR, and will be rebroadcast on July 17.
Randle died on July 9 of cancer. He was 81.
Listen to a Tribute From NPR


Paul Klebnikov


Categories: Media, Writers/Editors

pklebnikov.jpgPaul Klebnikov, an American journalist who launched the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, was murdered in a drive-by shooting on July 9. He was 41.
Klebnikov was standing outside his Moscow office when a car carrying at least two assailants opened fire. Shot four times, he died at the hospital. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, more than a dozen members of the media have been slain in Russia since 2000; none of the killers have been brought to justice.
The son of Russian immigrants, Klebnikov graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and the London School of Economics. He became a hard-hitting journalist who was unafraid to investigate the relationships between politics, religion and crime. Fluent in French and Russian, Klebnikov joined the American edition of Forbes in 1989, and worked his way up to a senior editor position.
Over the course of his career, the New York native made many enemies, including Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky. In 1996, Klebnikov published a profile of Berezovsky in Forbes, linking him to the murder of a Russian media mogul. Berezovsky sued Forbes for libel, but withdrew the complaint in 2003 after the magazine printed a correction.
Klebnikov also published “Godfather of the Kremlin: Boris Berezovsky and the Looting of Russia,” a book that described how the Russia economy was criminalized by Berezovsky and other tycoons involved with the Russian mob. Although the Russian government has charged Berezovsky with fraud, he was granted political asylum in Great Britain.
Klebnikov launched a Russian edition of Forbes in April. A month later, the magazine attracted attention for publishing a list of the country’s wealthiest people. Although the Forbes 400 is published each year without incident in the U.S., the publication of “The Golden Hundred of the Richest Businessmen of Russia” caused a stir overseas.
“Paul was a superb reporter — courageous, energetic, ever-curious. I eagerly anticipated reading his stories. The information was always fresh, insightful, fascinating. He exemplified the finest traditions of our profession and served his readers well,” stated Steve Forbes, the publication’s president and editor-in-chief.
[Update, March 1, 2005: Russian prosecutors have charged Muslim Ibragimov, a Chechen also known as Kazbek Dukuzov, with Klebnikov’s murder.]
[Update, May 25, 2006: Two suspected Chechen hit men, Kazbek Dukuzov and Musa Vakhaev, were acquitted of Klebnikov’s murder last week. Jury tampering is suspected, and the case has been appealed to the Russian Supreme Court.]


Jeff Smith


Categories: Business, Media, Religious Leaders, Writers/Editors

jsmith2.jpgJeff Smith, the United Methodist minister who shot to stardom in the 1980s as the “The Frugal Gourmet,” died on July 7 of natural causes. He was 65.
The Tacoma, Wash., native earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound and a master’s degree from Drew University. Ordained as a minister in 1965, Smith spent the next six years as a chaplain at the University of Puget Sound, where he taught a course called “Food as Sacrament and Celebration.”
From 1972 to 1983, Smith owned and operated the Chaplain’s Pantry Restaurant and Gourmet Shop, an establishment that also served as a catering service and cooking school. His teaching skills, kind demeanor and culinary acumen were so renowned that the local PBS affiliate, KTPS-TV, offered him his first show, “Cooking Fish Creatively.” It was later renamed “The Frugal Gourmet.”
Smith moved the show’s production to Chicago in the early 1980s, then made a promotional appearance on “The Phil Donahue Show” that garnered more than 45,000 orders for his cookbook. Soon “The Frugal Gourmet” was the most-watched cooking show in the United States, drawing up to 15 million viewers on 300 stations. His 12 cookbooks sold millions of copies and became best-sellers in that genre. He ended every show with his trademark sign-off: “I bid you peace.”
In 1997, Smith’s television career ended in scandal when seven men filed a lawsuit claiming he had sexually abused them when they were teenagers. Although Smith denied the allegations and was never charged with a crime, his cooking show was pulled off the air. Smith and his insurance company eventually settled the suit for $5 million.


Bernard Grant

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Categories: Actors, Hollywood, Media, Military

Bernard Grant, a fixture on daytime television in the 1960s and ’70s, died on June 30 from complications of lymphoma and pneumonia. He was 83.
The New York native was bitten by the acting bug in his youth. He studied drama at the American Theater Wing and performed in church groups and neighborhood theatres. Grant was working as a radio announcer on WPAT-AM in New York when World War II began. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, served for three years and reached the rank of sergeant.
Upon his return to civilian life, Grant acted in numerous radio plays before making the transition to television. He spent more than a decade playing Dr. Paul Fletcher on the soap opera, “The Guiding Light,” then portrayed Duke Manson on “The Edge of Night” and Steve Burke on “One Life to Life.”
In later years, Grant provided the dubbed voice in English translations of foreign films. He also appeared in guest shots on TV shows like “Barney Miller,” “All in the Family” and “Law & Order.” Grant is survived by his wife, actress Joyce Gordon, and their two children.

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