Monday, March 11, 2013

Photo of the Day: Roanoke World-News, Late 1970s

My pal Emily Brady Carter sent me this copy of a photograph of the newsroom staff of the Roanoke World-News in about 1977 or 1978 at a Christmas party, I think. That's me on the back row, third from the left, standing next to Margie Fisher. We are both in the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame (me in 2010, she in 2012). I remember dancing with the very sexy Margie, who could flat dance.

The others I can identify here (bottom from left) are Jimmy Thacker, city editor as I recall, the managing editor John Eure, and reporter Charles Stebbins. Second row, sportswriter Bob Teitlebaum, Frances Stebbins (religion writer), Mary Bland Armistead (women's editor), reporter Jack Chamberlain (who later went to live on a boat), a copy editor whose name escapes, feature writer Chris Gladden (fully bearded), reporter Dick Hammerstrom, reporter Pat Metheney (Margie's best pal) and copy editor/reporter Si White on the far right.

On the back row are sportswriter/copy editor Marty Horn, me (a sportswriter at the time), Richmond bureau reporter Margie Fisher, reporter and outdoor editor Frank Hancock, columnist Mike Ives, copy editor/reporter John Pancake (who later became the managing editor of the Miami Herald), and copy editor Frank Starkey.

Sports editor Bob McLelland is not in the photo. I'm not sure if he'd had his stroke at this time, but he likely had. Columnist/reporter Ben Beagle, who was famously camera shy, was also not in the pix. Excellent reporter Ozzie Osborne was not here for whatever this event was, either.

The World-News and Roanoke's other daily, whose name escapes me, merged shortly after this photo was taken and I served on the committee that tried to help smooth the transition. One of the details I recall pretty clearly, is that reporters were asked to write both a morning lead and an evening (World-News) lead for the same stories they were covering, thus giving us reporters covering more stories--theoretically. Mostly what it gave us in fact was more reporters in the office and those out of the office doing more work. The afternoon paper--like just about every other one in the country--died a few years later.

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