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TOM SCHWEICH: A TRAGEDY

I searched every fiber in my mind to decide whether I should write what I knew of him and what may have been a factor in his suicide. He was severely paranoid about his sexuality. We have a mutual friend, who revealed in the the last few years, Tom would have liaisons in both D.C., where he worked for Jack Danforth and in N.Y.C. to avoid being outed here. Much to his chagrin, he was hit on frequently by the most-famous CNN anchor. So much in fact, Tom moved his office to the State Department in an area where reporters and correspondents were off -limits.
JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO, Sam and Marilyn Fox had sent out invitations for a Schweich fundraising dinner on March 15 at the Fox manse in Clayton. Sam wrote: “We must put our strongest candidate forward to compete head-to-head with the Democrats. . .We suggest a contribution of $20,000 per couple. . .”
Co-hosts for the event were to have been: Betty and Neal Ethridge; Thelma and David Steward; Robin and Dr. Steve Roodman; Brenda and Jim Talent and Jennifer and Joseph Passanise.

 

BENJAMIN OLA AKANDE

One of the candidates to lead Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) is Benjamin Ola Akande. The Nigerian-born Akande currently serves as Dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology at Webster University. He appeared at SEMO this week for an on-campus interview.

REV. LARRY RICE

Under the headline “St. Louis Shelter Resists Order to Stop Helping All It Can,” John Eligon of the N.Y. Times describes New Life Evangelistic Center as a place that takes in “just about anyone and everyone and has for decades become a safety net for hundreds of people without a place to lay their head at night.” The writer calls Rev. Larry Rice “A boisterous advocate who is certainly not going down without a fight.Brad Waldrop, a local developer who has invested near the shelter and opposes Rice, gets a less sympathetic portrayal.

TODD AKIN MAY RUN AGAIN

Is Todd Akin considering a primary challenge to Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo) in 2016?
“I have not ruled anything out,” the former congressman and 2012 GOP Senate nominee told The Hill. Akin continued that he thinks “There is a high level of dissatisfaction among conservatives, that they have to some degree been pushed out of the Republican Party.”  Furthermore, he said, “I think (Blunt’s) support among conservatives is weak… His biggest liability is a third party conservative getting into the race. If I were in Roy’s shoes,that’s what I’d be worried about.”
SIGHTEM: The marquee at the Delmar Loop’s Vintage Vinyl pays tribute to our town’s late jazz trumpeter Clark Terry.
IT FIGURES that a talented entertainer like Robert Zimmerman would change his name to Bob Dylan - but that’s not the item. Maybe this is: Eighty years ago today, Babe Ruth was released by the N.Y. Yankees and radar was first demonstrated. Forty-five years ago today,the Beatles released their celebrated song, “Hey, Jude.” Sixty years ago, RCA paid Sun Records $25k for the rights to Elvis Presley. The film, “Around the World in 80 Days,” based upon the Jules Verne classic, was booked 60 years ago by our town’s Esquire Theater on Clayton Road. The epic was to become the theater’s premiere first-run movie house. It was managed by the late Howard Zulauf and owned by Sam Shucart and Sam Levin. Advertising and publicity by yours truly.
In an effort to help tout the film, Michael Todd, Jr., son of the producer, Michael Todd and step-son of Elizabeth Taylor, came to town to tout the blockbuster as well as to give heads-up on the Todds’ vision of “Smell-O-Vision,” a process by which a film could release odors during projection. The idea smelled.

KSDK SHAKEUP

Another major shakeup has rattled the offices of KSDK with the promotion of Marv Danielski to president and GM, replacing Lynn Beale who has been kicked upstairs to the office of exec veep of Gannett Broadcasting, the parent company of KSDK. She will move to Gannett’s D.C. headquarters in April. Danielski has been veep and station manager of KSDK since December, 2013.
Last October, longtime news director Mike Shipley left KSDK after a 30-year stint, climbing the ladder to the director’s spot from the assignment desk manager. During his tenure, KSDK slipped in ratings from #1 to be surpassed by both KTVI and KMOV. His reputation was tarnished in January,2014 when he was responsible for the lockdown of Kirkwood High School after sending an undercover reporter to report on security at the school, which caused a firestorm about media ethics. Anchor Mike Bush gave the public mea culpa on KSDK’s behalf, but many in the industry felt his comments were tepid and lame.
KSDK’s ratings have fallen under Beale’s leadership. She has been widely criticized for the revolving door of young inexperienced reporters who frequently botch the facts. Hopefully, Danielski can repair the damage and make KSDK #1 again.

GLOBE-DEMOCRAT/POST-DISPATCH

It was a great time to be younger, in a city that had not quite grown up yet, in a world on the brink of disaster, but poised for the plunge. We lived through the twilight of the golden age of journalism: two dailies at each other’s throats and great journalists on all of them. Paul Tredway, Ed Presberg, Bill Feustel, Sue Ann Wood Poor, Mary Kimbrough, Bill Fleishman, John Spano, Rich Koster, Bob “Bench Warmer” Burnes, Ted Schafers and Frank Hunter at the Globe-Democrat. At the P-D, there were  Neal Russo,  Richard Weil, Ed Kohn, Eric Mink, Amanda St. Amand, Carolyn Tuft, Ron Lawrence, Harper Barnes, Sally Bixby Defty, Elliot Porter, Joe Pollack, Marty Goldman, Bob Broeg, David Lipman, Paul Berg, Carolyn Bower, Christine Bertelson, Ed Wilkes, Virginia Irwin, Selwyn Pepper, Bill Koch, Michael Sorkin, Bill Koester and Myles Standish. Most all of them were lean, mean, talented and giving the papers the kind of devotion money can’t buy. We lived and breathed the newspaper business. Sometimes I feel like a survivor of a Last Writer’s Club. Throw another dollar at the slot and remember the good times. Oh hell.

 

CHAD GARRISON, WORDS WORDS, WORDS!

Enough to get stoned on beta blockers! Enough to get splenetic over oft’ used words such as “having said that,” “as it were,” and “if you will.” Then there’s “transitioning.” Can’t they simply say “changing” or “switching? Then, there is stupid hand gesturing as if they’re baking a cake.  Deposed P.D. columnist Elaine Viets used the latter frequently as you might’ve noticed during her brief  television career. BTW, she’s now living in Hollywood, Florida with her husband Don Krinklow, who scribbles for the Sun Sentinel. He’s a jolly good guy with an acquired British-English accent (he was born and raised in Iowa.)
THAT BRINGS US TO CHAD GARRISON, erstwhile editor of the RFT, who’s changing jobs to join Gateway Media. In his departing email: “The new gig is by no means journalism – at least the real journalism we try to practice here at the Riverfront Times.”

ST. LOUIS COUNTRY CLUB’S EARLY BARTENDER

One of the few drinks former President Theodore Roosevelt had after leaving the White House “was a mint julep at the St. Louis Country Club.” Tom Bullock was the longtime bartender at the time. The African-American wrote a cocktail manual in 1917 – “The Ideal Bartender.”  The book’s introduction was written by club member George Herbert Walker, both the grandfather and great-grandfather of a chief executive. Among Bullock’s recipes were the Gillette Cocktail (an early gimlet) and Golfer’s Delight, that used Bevo, a near-beer from Anheuser-Busch. The manual has been republished and on sale now.

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