Acknowledgements
 


To get to the truth of what happened to the Globe-Times of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, it was necessary to read and analyze statistical data from several sources and to spend considerable time reading the newspaper during its ten-year decline prior to its death on November 4, t991- But the most important resource for this study were the people of Bethlehem and the Globe-Times.

Most of the interviews with employees lasted more than an hour, with some running several hours over a three-year period. The primary research for this study began shortly after the newspaper announced on April 5, 1988 that it was restructuring" its operation. Most of the research and 250 interviews were conducted between June 20, [988 and September 30, 1992; several interviews, especially of certain key employees and former employees, took place after that time. Thus, the author was analyzing a newspaper and talking to many of its staff during its death struggle.

Considerable assistance, beyond interviews, was provided by Ann Marie Gonsalves and Mary Wagner; former Globe-Times reporters; Robert K Noctor, former Globe-Times general manager; David E. McCollum, former Globe-Times chief operating officer; freelance writer Joan Campion, a former Globe-Times columnist; former copy editor Anita Katz; and Paul Wirth, former reporter for the Morning Call. John N. Rippey, head of the journalism program at the Pennsylvania State University, and two anonymous reviewers provided a number of useful suggestions for the improvement of the manuscript.

Among other former Globe-Times employees who provided information and insight were Leonard Barcousky, Janice Barney, Flossie Batt, William Billig, Robert Bradley, Rose Marie Brown, Doug Bruce, Sharon Buck, Chris Burke, Vickie Cage, Dick Callahan, Dolores Caskey, Burt Chaszar, David Chmiel, Dan Church, Michael Cleary, Charles Cohen, Cindy Cohen, John Collins, Shirley Collins, James Coyle Don Cunningham, Tom Davis, Mary DeHaven, Richard Diehl, Richard Dietrich, Valerie Dugan, Sally Erdman, Charlie Errico, Bob Esposito, Stanley Fink, Diana Fishlock, Kelly Gardner; Laura Garger, Steve Gass, Geoff Gehman, Tim Gilman, Joanne Gori, Don Graves, Patricia Gray, Mary Greczyn, Kelly Greenzweig, Jim Guldner, Helen Hammarstrom, Eric Hegedus, Larry Hippenstiel, Young Hong, Lillian Hunsberger, Sally Hunter, Jeanne Jackson, John Janoski, Michcllc Laque Johnson, Dan Jones, Robert Kemmerer, Pat Kesling, Bill Kester, Kimberly Kintzel, Elona Kipa, Monica Davidson Klinke, Julie Knipe, Cliff Koch, Glenn Kranzley, John Kukoda, Sharon Litton, Brian Long, Alan Lovell, Jim Lynch, Patty Lynch, Chuck Malinchak, Marcia Mangan, Jack McCallum, Heather McFadden, Sandra McKinney, Patsy McKown, Lester Mease, Pedro Medina, Gary Metzger, Tracy Mickelson Kathleen Moore, Bob More Tim Murphy, Allen R. Myerson, Chuck Nichols, Dr. Rita Plotnicki, Ernest S. Reed, Kathy Richards, Rosaria Rivera, Steve Robb, Tom Roberts, Ed Roecker, Sally Roth, William Rudolph, Sam Ruff, Stephanie Salaski, Margaret Sarko, Elaine Schadler, Charles Schenk, Anya Maria Schiffrin, Jack Schlottman, Dennis Scholl, Robert Schwenk, Bob Sharpe, Frank Shields, Dan Sigley, Lois Simonds, Michael Skweir, Donald Smith, Rodney Smith, Gary Snow, Tim Solt, Alan Sorensen, Anna Marie Sorrentino, Thomas Spino, Stephen Stilwell, James Stoll, Dotty Stoudt, John Strohmeyer; Kathy Stuber, Ron Stumpf, Donald S. Taylor, Kathryn Toth, Michelle Toth, Harry Trend, Pete Trumbore, Joseph Vassa, Ron Waer, Celia Webster, Allen Wilkins, Ted Williams, Paul Willistein, Mary Young, Barb Younger, Donna Zongora, and Linda Zulli.

Most persons contacted were willing to talk about their perceptions of the Management, direction and policies of the Globe-Times and to give specific examples to back up their beliefs. Several employees of the Globe-Times or those who were intimately familiar with certain situations at the Globe-Times spoke "off the record." Even after the Globe-Times folded, some of the former employees were willing to speak only off the record, afraid of what the Abarta Corporation might do to them. Although anonymous comments and charges may not always reflect the most accurate or reliable information and may at times mask personal agenda, in some cases they are useful. A former employee spoke under the condition that his name not be used because 'I don't know what they could do to me; they have more power than I have." Still another former employee agreed to speak only off the record because he was worried that they'd cut off my pension." The refusal of these employees to be identified does not blunt the intensity or the accuracy of their comments. Every effort was made to verify the facts and opinions of those employees who wished to remain anonymous. Their courage in talking, even off the record, to a person they barely knew but believed would not violate their trust Is much appreciated. Interestingly, some who had refused to be interviewed suddenly became very chatty and went on the record after the death of the Globe-Times.

A few who left the company after the purge, and were not bound by restrictive contracts, would not talk even off the record. "I don"t know what kind of legal problems they would cause me if I talked," said one former employee in 1988. She said she did not "want to say anything that would cause them to bring a case against me," that she didn't "want letters from their lawyers because I don't want them to hurt me," and that she didn't "even want my name used because they'd come after me." One person in 1989 commented only, "I have a good job now. I don't want anyone [at the Globe-Times] to do anything to huff me." When asked what could hurt her, she replied only, they have their ways." In reality, their fears were probably unfounded since the Globe-Times management had much more important issues to deal with than trying to keep former employees quiet.

I found it especially interesting that about a half-dozen Globe-Times journalists, who were usually vigorous in trying to convince their own sources to comment upon stories being worked on for the Globe-Times, refused to comment about the Globe-Times. One said she "wouldn't rat,' on the company that paid her, yet she expected, sometimes even demanded, employees from other companies to talk with her when she wanted information for a story. A couple of journalists who had never met the author even tried spreading rumors and disinformation among other employees, perhaps hoping to keep them from talking. But employees did talk, most of them pleased that someone was interested in the truth about what was happening to them and their newspaper.

The Globe-Times management, especially during its final three years, feared publication of its problems would irreparably harm the newspaper, damaging its struggle for survival. Senior management had imposed a carefully worded "gag" order in August 1989, then again August 12, 1991; there were rumors throughout the plant that Management would take severe action against persons talking with anyone outside the company. Two former employees, who had left the company voluntarily, report that a supervisor politely explained to them, after they had left the company, that it would not be in their "best interest' to "participate" in any study of the Globe-Times by an "outside person."

Just as those in the media have the right to criticize others, so does the public have the right to investigate, analyze, and criticize the media. Journalists often tell the public, "if you don't want to see it in print, don't do it." Sometimes, though, members of the news media have trouble taking the heat when they are the ones under investigation.

Nevertheless, the Globe-Times corporate management did cooperate as much as it thought appropriate. In addition to David McCollum, John F. Bitzer Jr., Abarta Corporation president; publisher Nancy Adams Taylor; and editor James R. Laubach Jr.1 discussed a number of issues, including the restructuring of the newspaper. The assistance and insight of attorneys Larry Levin and Jon Vegosin of Chicago, consulting attorneys for the Globe-Times and legal counsel for large corporations and other newspapers, was especially helpful in opening lines of communication and securing needed information Assisting them was Celeste Jegen. Their assistance cannot be fully documented.

Among more than thirty community residents not affiliated with the Globe-Times who commented about the newspaper or the corporation during the 1980s and early 1990s or who provided other assistance were Mike Albright, Don Ascani, Wayne Cahill, Rick Cantelmi, Joyce Chordas, Janet Cicale, Emelio Curzi, Peter DePietro, Jack DUII, Amy Dodrer, Howard Engler, Sharon Friedman, Sean Gregorowicz, Julio Guridy, Jane Heft, Glen Hofmann, Norm Jolin, Mike Jupina, Lee Kelechava, Ed Kiova, Earl Laub, Paul M. Marcincin, Barbara Marshall, Steve Parr, Richard Passwark, Fred Rooney, Camilla Shearer, Mayor Kenneth Smith, Sheila Smith, Katy Sower, Dave Sterk, Sis-Obed Torres Cordero, Walter Thrimble, Uriel Trujillo, Scott Vicari, Dave Vresics, and Mark Wiragh.

Among the forty-six persons from the media not associated with the Globe-Times who commented for either publication or background information were Clyde Baeten, Steve Barrymore, Cynthia Boal-Janssens, Ben Burns, Carmen Cesari, John Chambers, Alan Church, Steve Cvengros, Geoff Gehman, Bob Giles, June A. Gladfelter, Susan Gonsalves, Felix Grabowski, Howard Hoffmaster, Ray Holton, Sue Kelly, Ed Koskey, Ralph Martin, John Schoonejongen, Robert Shaw, Frank Shields, Tim Sowecke, Jim Troyer, Eliot White, Les Whitten, and Bob Woessner.

The assistance of several labor specialists is also acknowledged with deep appreciation. Providing insight were Dr. Frank Annunziato, professor of labor studies at the University of Connecticut and Rosemary R. Brasch, former lecturer in labor studies at Pennsylvania State University.

Tim Gilman, among others, provided photos for this book.

-Walter M. Brasch, Ph.D.