MediaWatch: December 1990

Vol. Four No. 12

Revolving Door: Acting Up

Acting Up. In December, 1989 members of the militant AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP) threw condoms and screamed obscenities at parishioners in order to disrupt Sunday Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. Among those facing charges: Ann Northrop, a former Good Morning America, CBS Morning News and 60 Minutes producer who is now active with ACT-UP, a group which uses radical tactics to demand massive government spending on AIDS. Northrop, who departed CBS in 1988, "trains fellow activists to deliver pithy soundbites," the Los Angeles Times reported last year.

Moving On. David Shapiro, an off-air national security reporter for the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour from 1983 to 1988, has left his position as Press Secretary to Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN). Shapiro has set up Media Strategy Associates, a firm that works with non-profit groups.....Kristin Clark Taylor, Director of Media Relations at the White House since George Bush moved in, has quit to fill the same spot in BellSouth's Washington office. Between 1982 and 1988 she was a USA Today reporter and editorial writer....Scott Richardson, Manager of News Information at ABC News, has become Vice President of corporate communications for the Arts & Entertainment (A&E) cable network. For most of the 1980s Richardson was Deputy Press Secretary to Republican Senator Bob Dole.

Times Shifts. James Greenfield, Editor of The New York Times Magazine since 1987, has retired. Greenfield served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for public affairs under President Kennedy, moving up to Assistant Secretary of State during President Johnson's years. A Times Assistant Managing Editor since 1977, Greenfield was foreign editor from 1969 to 1977... Leslie Gelb, Deputy Editorial Page Editor for the past two years, has replaced just retired Flora Lewis as foreign affairs columnist. Deputy Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs in the Carter Administration, Gelb covered national security issues until 1986 for the Times.

Jacking Up Jackson. Jesse Jackson, the weekly public affairs talk show produced by Quincy Jones Entertainment, is quickly becoming a haven for broadcast journalists from every network but NBC. After an early November housecleaning swept out four producers from Fox's America Most Wanted, Adam Clayton Powell III took over the Executive Producer slot. From 1987 until February, 1990 Powell served as Vice President for news programming at National Public Radio. Joining Powell as Co-Executive Producer: Randy Douthit, Executive Producer of CNN's Crossfire since its 1982 creation, and Senior Producer of CNN's Larry King Live since 1985.

Supervising Producer Heidi Berenson has held various producer positions with CNN's Crossfire, CBS News Nightwatch and ABC's Good Morning America. Former ABC News White House reporter Kenneth Walker holds the title of Senior Producer. Guest Producer Florence Squassi did the same for Good Morning America as segment producer and then editorial producer between 1988 and early 1990.