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Earl Graves Wins Heart & Soul

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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

But Publisher Is Outbid for Vanguarde's Honey

Publisher Earl Graves of Black Enterprise magazine was outbid this afternoon for Honey magazine, the last of the Vanguarde Media publications being auctioned off in Manhattan bankruptcy court. The auction was won by a New York company called Sahara Entertainment in conjunction with Black Book Media Corp., another New York firm, which agreed to assume the publication's subscription liabilities, according to the lawyer representing Vanguarde.

Honey, a female hip-hop magazine refashioned as "a fashion and entertainment magazine aimed at stylish urban women," went for $195,000 plus assignment of liabilities in the afternoon court session, lawyer Joseph Samet told Journal-isms.

Graves, represented by Derrick Godfrey, vice president for business ventures of Graves Ventures, bid $175,000, Samet said.

A day earlier, Graves won the health-oriented Heart & Soul for $450,000, plus its liabilities, Joseph Sarachek, managing partner of Triax Capital Advisors, the firm overseeing Vanguarde's restructuring, said Wednesday.

Vanguarde's flagship publication, Savoy, which aspired to be a "black Vanity Fair," was auctioned May 3 to Jungle Media Group, a small New York publishing house run by three MBAs.

As Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote in December in the Village Voice, "The idea for Honey came from Kierna Mayo and Joicelyn Dingle, who wanted to make a younger, hipper, more multicultural Essence." The publication ended up with Harris Publications. But Keith Clinkscales, who co-founded Vanguarde in 1999 and became its CEO, had other ideas.

"At 35, after cashing out from Vibe, Clinkscales struck a bargain with investors to help found Vanguarde, which initially published a radio trade magazine, Impact. Within a year, Clinkscales acquired Emerge, BET Weekend, and Heart and Soul from BET, one of Vanguarde's investors, and Honey from Harris Publications," Coates wrote.

"Vanguarde Media, the leading urban content specialist, will broaden the magazine's editorial focus and position Honey as an entertainment, fashion and lifestyle resource for the young, multi-cultural woman," a January 2000 news release said.

Honey claimed a circulation of 400,000 when it folded in November along with the other Vanguarde publications and was put up for auction.

The new owners could not be reached for comment.

May 19, 2004

Black Enterprise Publisher in Contest for Honey

Black Enterprise magazine publisher Earl G. Graves won the bidding this morning for Heart & Soul magazine, one of the Vanguarde Media publications being auctioned off in Manhattan bankruptcy court, and remained in the bidding for Honey magazine, Joseph E. Sarachek, managing partner of the firm overseeing Vanguarde's restructuring, told Journal-isms.

Graves won the health-oriented Heart & Soul for $450,000, plus its liabilities, outbidding Goldstein Associates of California, said Sarachek, of Triax Capital Advisors.

Graves was bidding against the New York firm Sahara Entertainment for Honey magazine. The bidding adjourned until Thursday. It stopped at $180,000 plus assumption of liabilities, Sarachek said.

Graves was represented by Derrick Godfrey, vice president for business ventures of Graves Ventures, Sarachek said. Godfrey could not be reached for comment today, and a Black Enterprise spokesman said he was unaware of this morning's developments.

Vanguarde Media was founded in 1999 by former CEO Keith Clinkscales. It went out of business in November, shutting down the magazines and throwing more than 70 people out of work.

Both Honey, a female hip-hop magazine refashioned as "a fashion and entertainment magazine aimed at stylish urban women," and Heart & Soul had circulations of 400,000.

Vanguarde's primary publication, Savoy, which aspired to be a "black Vanity Fair," had a circulation of 325,000 and was auctioned May 3 to Jungle Media Group, a small New York publishing house run by three MBAs. Graves was in the early bidding for Savoy, but declined to outbid Jungle Media, Joseph Samet, a lawyer representing Vanguarde, said then.

Vanguarde bought Heart & Soul from BET Holdings, then-owner of Black Entertainment Television, in 2000. Heart & Soul began in June 1993 as a joint venture between Rodale Press and then-publisher Reginald Ware.

No African Americans in Next Nieman Class

No African Americans are in the next class of Nieman Fellows at Harvard University announced this week, and curator Bob Giles told Journal-isms that "the lack of strong U.S. African American candidates is a continuing disappointment to us."

Only six African Americans were among the 113 who applied, he said. The applicants must have the cooperation of their news organizations, however; the employers must agree to hold their jobs for them until they return and often write letters of recommendation.

The only person of color among the 12 U.S. journalists selected is Richard Chacon, deputy foreign editor at the Boston Globe. He plans to study "religion, poverty and public health and their impact on the development of United States foreign policy." The international class of fellows includes other people of color.

Established in 1938, the Nieman program is the world's oldest mid-career fellowship for journalists, and the most prestigious. "The fellowships are awarded to working journalists of accomplishment and promise for an academic year of study in any part of the university. More than 1,000 U.S. and international journalists have studied at Harvard as Nieman Fellows," its Web site says.

"We were able to identify six African-American candidates in an applicant pool of 113," Giles said. "There was one African American among 27 finalists who were interviewed by the Selection Committee."

"We invest heavily in recruiting applicants. We advertise to NABJ and other minority news organizations. Personal letters are sent by the curator to each board member of each minority news organization urging them to spread the word and encourage people to apply. The Nieman Foundation joins with Stanford and Michigan in presenting a panel at NABJ and other meetings each year to explain the fellowships, process of applying and selecting. All this in the hope of getting more candidates, stronger candidates. Our five-member selection committee each year includes a journalist or faculty person of color, some times two. In the end, we try to select the 12 best finalists for the class.

"Looking back over the last three classes of U.S. fellows, this is the record. Class of 2002, two of 12 were journalists of color; Class of 2003, four of 12; Class of 2004, two of 12."

The John S. Knight Fellowships at Stanford University and the University of Michigan Knight-Wallace Fellows program both announced their selections last month. Knight named two African Americans, Phillip Davis, Miami correspondent for National Public Radio, and Jon Jeter, South America bureau chief at the Washington Post; while Michigan chose Otesa Middleton, a reporter for Dow Jones Newswire.

Wendy Palms, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Journalism Fellowships, said that program's 70-member applicant pool included seven African Americans, and 12 total people of color.

At Stanford, "we had 13 African American applicants out of 127 total. Two of our 26 finalists were African American, and both were chosen as fellows," said Knight fellowship director James R. Bettinger.

"We want to make sure that the best people apply, and we're not sure that's the case," he said. "Some people of color have expressed to me the fear that they are already marginalized in the newsroom and when jobs open up, they won't be there" to be considered if they're on a fellowship.

Kerry Holds Conference Call With Black Journalists

John Kerry, speaking with black journalists as a group for the first time since a spate of stories accusing his campaign of being light at its core on African American influence, said he didn't agree with the criticism and listed steps he said he was taking to make his campaign more inclusive.

Kerry and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, held a 20-minute conference call with black journalists Monday from Topeka, Kan., during commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan., decision.

"The mere fact that we are here right now . . . we have total access to him. We know he's listening to us," said Cummings. "For three years, Bush didn't meet with us," doing so only after "we went to the White House and said we wouldn't leave until he did," Cummings said.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said he had hired a Hispanic advertising agency and that there were "three different African American advertising agencies we're talking with now."

A Kerry spokesman identified the Latino consultant today as Armando Gutierrez, a veteran of Democratic campaigns based in Albuquerque, N.M., but said the African American firms under consideration could not be disclosed. [Gutierrez said Thursday that he had formally signed on with the Kerry campaign on Tuesday.]

Kerry said Monday that Alexis Herman, secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, was joining the campaign; that he had appointed Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio, as co-chair of the Democratic National Committee, that he had met with Jesse Jackson "three or four times" and with Al Sharpton "several times." He pointed to Marcus Jadotte, his deputy campaign manager for a year and a half, who is African American, and Art Coles, a black senior adviser. After Kerry became the obvious presidential nominee, the first group he met with was the Congressional Black Caucus, the senator from Massachusetts said.

Kerry stressed education in keeping with the Brown commemoration, lashing out again at President Bush for failing to fully implement the "No Child Left Behind" initiative. He also mentioned health care and environmental problems in inner cities, and the need to keep a Supreme Court that favors affirmative action. Kerry said the nation needs "a secretary of education who is not punitive and arrogant and disrespectful," a reference to Rod Paige, who is black.

"I have a 35-year record of fighting on these things. I fought for veterans," Kerry said. "They were African American veterans and Hispanic veterans who were getting screwed by the VA," he said. "I have a 100 percent record of voting with the NAACP. . . I could run a list of 100 different things, each of what I think is right."

The conference call took only two questions before time ran out, from columnists Terry M. Neal of and Deborah Mathis of Tribune Media Services. About a dozen black journalists and publishers were scheduled to be on the call, a campaign aide had said.

Previous meeting with black journalists

Kerry tells Univision Bush is bad for Latinos

Reuters Says U.S. Troops Abused 3 Employees

"Reuters news agency revealed today that three of its Iraqi employees were subjected to sexual abuse and humiliation in January, when they were arrested by U.S. troops near Fallujah while covering the aftermath of the downing of a U.S. helicopter," as the Committee to Protect Journalists reported Tuesday.

"According to Reuters, U.S. troops detained cameraman Salem Ureibi, journalist Ahmad Mohammad Hussein al-Badrani, and their driver, Sattar Jabar al-Badrani, on January 2. The men were released without charge three days later.

"A cameraman working for the U.S.-based TV network NBC, Ali Mohammed Hussein al-Badrani, was also detained with the group, according to NBC News Vice President Bill Wheatley. Wheatley said that while U.S. troops mistreated the NBC cameraman, putting bags over his head and kicking him, he did not suffer sexual abuse.

"According to Reuters, while their employees were detained, '[t]wo of the three said they had been forced to insert a finger into their anus and then lick it, and were forced to put shoes in their mouths.'

"Reuters also reported that, 'All three said they were forced to make demeaning gestures as soldiers laughed, taunted them and took photographs.' The employees also claimed that U.S. soldiers said they would take them to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and that the soldiers 'deprived them of sleep, placed bags over their heads, kicked and hit them and forced them to remain in stress positions for long periods.' One of the Reuters journalists said he feared that he would be raped because soldiers told him they wanted to have sex with him."

Editor and Publisher today ran excerpts of Bureau Chief Andrew Marshall's report to senior editors on the incident.

Robin Washington Leaving Boston for Duluth

"Boston Herald columnist Robin Washington was named editorial page editor of the Duluth News Tribune on Monday," the Minnesota paper announces.

"He joins the staff on June 21.

"Washington has worked for the Boston Herald since 1996, the latest leg in a 25-year career that has taken him to nearly every form of media -- from television documentaries to editor of a women's magazine to managing editor of the Bay State Banner, New England's largest black weekly publication," the Duluth story said.

Washington is also a former board member of the National Association of Black Journalists and onetime president of the Boston Association of Black Journalists. The son of a black father and white, Jewish mother, Washington helped organize the Alliance of Black Jews in 1995. He also produced the 1996 award-winning PBS documentary, "You Don't Have to Ride Jim Crow!" about the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, America's first freedom ride.

"I wanted to find something more congruent with what I'm about," Washington told Journal-isms. "I wanted to get into management and [also] keep writing." At the Herald, he most recently has been "the Roads Scholar," writing a transportation column. He said, "this has been the best job ever."

The Duluth paper, owned by Knight Ridder, has a circulation of 47,718 daily and 71,710 Sunday. Washington worked in Minnesota in 1986, when he was editor and publisher of Minnesota's Lake County News-Chronicle, in Two Harbors.

"I'm thrilled about [the Duluth job] because I know this is a community that is very literate and takes its editorial page very seriously and interacts with it accordingly," Washington said in the News Tribune piece. And although Duluth is not particularly known for its diversity, Washington noted to Journal-isms that the paper's president and publisher, Marti Buscaglia, is Peruvian American.

Elizabeth Vargas to Replace Walters on "20/20"

"ABC News on Tuesday appointed Elizabeth Vargas to replace Barbara Walters as co-host of the newsmagazine '20/20,' and hired British celebrity interviewer Martin Bashir for the show," the Associated Press reports.

"Vargas has been a frequent fill-in on various ABC News broadcasts and a reporter for its newsmagazine. She'll be teamed with John Stossel on "20/20," which retained its Friday time slot in the fall schedule announced by the network on Tuesday.

"Walters was the show's original co-host since 1979, and will continue doing interview specials for the network.

"Bashir, no stranger to ABC audiences, will fill Walters' role in competition for the big celebrity interviews."

Last November, Vargas was named permanent anchor of ABC News' "World News Tonight Sunday," succeeding Carole Simpson, whose 15 years in the chair ended when she was named an "ambassador" for ABC News in classrooms.

Jackie Thomas, Ritu Sehgal Run Features in Indy

Ritu Sehgal, a member of the South Asian Journalists Association who was assistant managing editor for Sundays at the Miami Herald, started Monday as features editor at the Indianapolis Star, working under Jacqueline Thomas, who has been AME/features since Feb. 9.

Sehgal "is one of the senior-most South Asian journalists in the United States," says her SAJA bio, and was "part of the Herald team that won a Pulitzer for its coverage of the INS raid on the Elian Gonzalez home (the INS raided the house on a Saturday, her first day as the new Sunday 1A editor)." Sehgal is a 1993 alumna of the Maynard Institute Management Training Center.

Both Sehgal and Thomas are working under Dennis Ryerson, who, the American Journalism Review wrote in its February-March issue, "doesn't want the Star to be among the many also-rans of second-tier papers. He says he wants the Star to be a destination paper. He wants the industry to take note of what they're doing in Indiana. He wants to turn heads. To get there, he has to repair a newspaper that has been demoralized by rapid-fire changes, decimated by departures and damaged by the harsh and abrasive style of a number of past managers."

"I'm doing Features for the first time and I'm loving it," Thomas told Journal-isms. The Star wrote when she was appointed that she had arrived "after spending the fall semester at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, where she researched a book and worked with students studying media coverage of local and state politics. Before that, she was a visiting fellow on The New York Times editorial board.

"Thomas also has served as Washington bureau chief of The Detroit News and the newspaper's news editor in Detroit. She has been associate editor of The Detroit Free Press, an associate editor of the Courier-Journal and Louisville Times and a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times," as well as editorial page editor at the Baltimore Sun.

She told Journal-isms that she was at the Kennedy School thinking about what she wanted to do next, decided it was features, e-mailed Ryerson and got the job.

She also said she keeps in touch with former colleague Morris Thompson, formerly of Newsday and Knight Ridder, who is now reporting from Mexico. Thompson is doing a travel piece for the Indianapolis paper, Thomas said.

Washington Post to Buy Spanish-Language Weekly

"The Washington Post Co. announced yesterday that it is buying El Tiempo Latino, an Arlington-based Spanish-language newsweekly, from Farragut Media Group Inc.," Annys Shin reported Tuesday in the Post.

"The purchase is The Post Co.'s most significant effort to date to connect with the rapidly growing Washington area Hispanic population, which now numbers roughly 447,000, according to 2000 census figures.

"El Tiempo Latino, which has a circulation of 34,000, is distributed free at shops in the Hispanic community, at Metro stations and in selected Giant Food and 7-Eleven stores in the metropolitan area.

"Its business and editorial operations will remain independent and under the control of its current leadership, although Post Co. executives and editors said The Post and El Tiempo Latino may collaborate on news gathering and advertising sales.

"'El Tiempo Latino is going to remain El Tiempo Latino. We don't have any plans for any joint editorial projects,' said The Post's deputy managing editor, Milton Coleman, who helped initiate the deal."

NAHJ Surveying Spanish-Language Media

"The National Association of Hispanic Journalists has commissioned a two-part report on the state of the Spanish-language and Hispanic-oriented news media in the United States," it reports on its Web site.

"The NAHJ is calling on journalists and managers who work for Hispanic-oriented media across the country to participate in the study by responding to a brief online survey on issues such as job satisfaction, work experience, employment status, educational background, and their professional expectations in and about the Hispanic/Latino news media. . . . NAHJ will release the reports in August at the UNITY: Journalists of Color Convention in Washington D.C., August 4-8, 2004."

Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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