MediaWatch: June 1991

Vol. Five No. 6

Revolving Door: Taking Us to Court

Taking Us to Court. July 1 is the launch date for the Courtroom Television Network, a cable channel devoted to showing court room trials and hearings. Offering analysis and anchoring the live action: Fred Graham, a CBS News legal affairs reporter from 1969 to 1987 and speechwriter to Willard Wirtz, President Kennedy's Secretary of Labor. The channel's a joint venture of Time-Warner, NBC and Cablevision Systems.

UPI Rotation. After a year in Philadelphia and two in Washington as a reporter for United Press International, last December Carole Fleck fell victim to a round of budget-cutting layoffs. Fleck soon landed a job with Senator Alan Cranston as Deputy Press Secretary to the liberal Californian. Now the National Journal reports she's back with the wire service, this time as a news writer for the UPI Broadcast Service, provider of news copy to radio and television stations around the country.

RNC to ABC. Three years after ABC News closed its Washington press office, the network has decided to reopen it. As Manager of News Information, Daphne Polatty will handle publicity for ABC's Washington produced shows, including This Week with David Brinkley and the weekend editions of World News Tonight. Polatty has spent the last six years at the Republican National Committee, most recently with the conventions and meetings office.

From Board to Board. Newton Minow, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission under President Kennedy, decided not to seek another term on the Board of Directors of CBS Inc. when his term expired in May. Most famous for his 1961 "Vast Wasteland" speech about the state of commercial television, in May Minow was also elected to the board of the Tribune Company, owner of The Chicago Tribune and WGN-TV. Minow continues to serve as Director of the Annenberg Washington Program in Communications Policy Studies of Northwestern University.

Granite State to Lone Star State. Thomas Gorey, Washington reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune since 1981 and for the Union Leader of Manchester N.H. since 1982, has returned to Capitol Hill. He's now a speechwriter for Senator Phil Gramm, a Texas Republican. From 1977 to early 1981, Gorey served as Press Secretary to former Congressman Morgan Murphy (D-Illinois).

Resume Additions. Tom Johnson, President of CNN and a former Executive Assistant to President Lyndon Johnson, has been appointed to the Board of Visitors of the University of Maryland College of Journalism, Editor & Publisher reported. The Board meets twice a year to review curriculum, advise the dean and meet with students....Richard Burt, a national security reporter for The New York Times during the late 1970s, ended his State Department career in April. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany from 1985-89, Burt was serving as Chief Negotiator for the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START).