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Former AP president To Replace Charlotte Hall As Adirondack Explorer Board Chairman

Former Newsday and Orlando Sentinel editor
Charlotte Hall chaired the board through six years
of online and print changes. Photo courtesy of Hall family.
Former Associated Press president and USA Today publisher Tom Curley is the Adirondack Explorer’s new board chairman.

Curley, a part-time Tupper Lake resident who retired from AP in 2012, replaces another retired news executive, Charlotte Hall, in leading the 17-member board. He joined the board last summer, and its members elected him president at their Aug. 25 meeting.

Hall is a part-time resident of Paul Smiths and was managing editor at Newsday and editor at the Orlando Sentinel before retiring. She has chaired the board for six years, and will remain on the board.

Hall started her journalism career in 1972 and held editing positions with the Washington Star, Boston Herald-American and The Record of Bergen County, N.J., before joining Newsday in 1981. There, she oversaw a project that won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. From 2004 to 2010 she was editor and senior vice president at the Orlando Sentinel, where she led the paper’s digital transition.

She began regular visits to the Adirondacks in the early 1980s.

The Explorer’s focus on preservation and recreation matched Hall’s own interests when she was among the first subscribers two decades ago, she said, and she is proud of the in-depth reporting it has provided in years since. During her time on the board the magazine boosted its online presence with the Adirondack Almanack blog and its own news site, and its print product with glossy paper.

“I remember saying at one point that the magazine needs to be as beautiful as the Adirondacks,” Hall said. “I think we’re there now.”

Attribution: Brandon Loomis -
Full Story: Charlotte Hall

Jane Mayer: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Mayer, 62, is a native New Yorker. Her mother a painter and printmaker, her father a composer, her grandfather was a historian and John D Rockefeller Jr. biographer, and her ancestor Emanuel Lehman was a founder of the Lehman Brothers.

She attended tony New York high schools, was an exchange boarding school student in England and then, graduated magna cum laude from Yale in 1977. While at Yale, she was editor of the Yale Daily News Magazine. Also while studying in New Haven, she began her professional career in journalism as a freelancer for Time magazine.

In 1992, Mayer married fellow journalist William B. Hamilton, then Washington Post national editor, now Washington editor for The New York Times. They have one child, daughter Kate.

Mayer is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press.

And because good journalists pay their dues on the ground covering small communities, Mayer began as a beat reporter for small weeklies in Vermont, then moved on to the daily Rutland (VT) Herald before joining the staff of the now long-closed Washington Star as a metro beat reporter. In 1982, Mayer was hired by The Wall Street Journal. There she soared and was named the first female White House correspondent.

Full Story: Mayer Facts

Duke Zeibert’s: How a legendary restaurant brought old DC together

Duke’s “top-shelf” clientele were kept in the front of the restaurant. Average joes were more likely to end up in the back area, also known as “Siberia.”

(Duke’s former manager, Mel Krupin, described how seating was handled in a 2008 interview with Washingtonian magazine.)

Make no mistake: Few, if any, wanted to eat in Siberia.

Take the time, for example, when writer Nora Ephron was ushered back there with a lady friend during the Watergate era. As related by the Post’s Lois Romano in 1982, Ephron noticed that a particularly newsworthy boy’s-club crowd was getting all the good tables.

“Exactly what do you have to do to get a good table in this place?… Be indicted?” she snapped.

When Conconi was writing the Personalities column for the Post’s Style section in the 1980s, he frequented Duke’s to hunt for material. He was among the selected few who were higher up in the pecking order.

At the top, he said, were Cooke and King.

What made Duke’s so successful was the personable man behind it.

“The worst thing a guy can do is put his name on a restaurant sign,” he told The Washington Star’s Sandra McElwaine in 1986, some three decades after he went into business. “Then you become a slave; everybody comes to see you and wants you to come over and say hello, impress their boss.”

He had a point. The restaurant was really all about Duke. In part, because Duke was all about the restaurant.

Born in 1910, the Troy, New York, native got his start working at resorts in the Catskills and Berkshires. He later worked for the restaurant chain Fan and Bill’s in Florida, where he learned some valuable lessons about stature, as he told The Washington Star in 1972:

“I was a very popular guy. I was invited everywhere … on yachts, parties, estates, people catered to me. Until I had a run-in with my boss and left the place. In two weeks’ time, I noticed no one bothered with me anymore. I learned the lesson very early … it wasn’t me, it was my position that made me in demand.”

Attribution: Jack Pointer,
Full story: Zeibart

Doris Fleeson: Incomparably the First Political Journalist of Her Time.

Q: Who was the first woman in the United States to have a nationally syndicated political column and where, in Kansas, was she born and raised?

A: Doris Fleeson / Sterling, Kansas

Doris Fleeson was a newspaper reporter and syndicated columnist in Washington D.C. for nearly 40 years.  Fleeson was born in Sterling, Kansas, on May 20, 1901.  She graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism in 1923. During her time at KU, she was a correspondent for the University Daily Kansan.  According to the archives at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas, her first newspaper job outside of KU was with The Pittsburg (Kan.) Sun.  Eventually, she obtained a position at the New York Daily News. Within a few years, she was assigned to the newspaper's Albany bureau and became acquainted with Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose administration she later covered in Washington.

On September 28, 1930, she was married to John O'Donnell, a fellow Daily News reporter.  Fleeson joined her husband in The Daily News' Washington Bureau in 1933. Together they started the "Capitol Stuff" column.  Fleeson and O'Donnell divorced in 1942. The next year, Fleeson left The Daily News and went to Europe as a war correspondent for The Woman's Home Companion. After the war, she returned to Washington and began a column on political affairs, which appeared first in The Washington Star.  In 1958, Fleeson married Dan Kimball, who was President Harry Truman's Secretary of the Navy. 

By the time Fleeson went into semi-retirement in 1967, her twice-a-week column was distributed by United Features Syndicate, Inc., to 90 newspapers. Her reporting over the years earned her a number of awards and citations.  A champion of women's rights, she was an active member of the Women's National Press Club and an inveterate foe of the National Press Club, which did not admit women members. 

Full Story: Fleeson