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Hole in One
June 28, 1995
Your Golf Buddies
DESIGNS IN DECORATOR
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO COST A FORTUNE...ONLY LOOK LIKE IT!
• Wall Units
• Dining Rooms
Allied Member ASID
1964 Newspaper Strike
Put WSU Grads In Business
JULIE EDGAR STAFF WRITER
he headline leapt off
the front page: "YANK
KILLED IN VIETNAM."
That was 1964 and the
war was as innocent as the re-
porters who, with only guts and a
feiv borrowed typewriters be-
tween them, launched the Detroit
Daily Press on a single floor of an
abandoned building on Wood-
That simple but ominous head-
line greeted readers in the early
weeks of the Press.
Albert Holtz, Michael Dworkin
and Gary Stern, fresh from stints
at Wayne State University's Dai-
ly Collegian, ran the Daily Press
during the long summer workers
at the Detroit News and the De-
troit Free Press walked out.
By strike's end 20 weeks later,
typewriters clacked away on four
floors of the building Samuel
Shulevitz leased to the idealistic
graduates without even demand-
ing a deposit. Not only were
staffers soon paid what they made
at the two dailies, but Mr. Holtz
and pals made a cool $500,000.
As prosperous and even mag-
ical as those days were, Mr. Holtz,
now a Bloomfield Hills attorney,
has no plans to revive the news-
paper in light of a week-long strike
at the two major dailies.
"As old as I am, I've never had
as good a time in my life. I was
young, I loved it, I did things I nev-
er did before, I had to make deci-
sions ... But the thing is, I don't
know if I'm technologically cur-
rent enough. Things were simple
then," he said.
Approximately 2,500 employ-
ees of six unions walked out last
Friday, unable to settle economic
and non-economic issues with
management of the newspapers,
which are jointly operated by the
Detroit Newspapers Agency.
When he heard about the
strike, Mr. Stern, now a real es-
tate broker in Boca Raton, Fla.,
dug up some old copies of the Dai-
ly Press to show some friends. He
said he got chills looking at them.
"Picture this: Here's a couple of
young pishkalas sitting in Wayne
State University's newspaper of-
fices. I've taken a job (as adver-
tising director) for $20 a week
because nobody else would take
it. In comes a guy named
Dworkin, who was one of the past
editors of the Daily Collegian. He
peeks into my office and says,
`Let's start a newspaper,' " Mr.
Stern recalled. •
So, he got on the phone to court
advertisers and landed an account
with Federal Department Store.
From the first day, Mr. Stern
said, readers clamored to buy the
newspaper, driving the circula-
tion to 200,000 practically
overnight. By the end of the strike,
circulation hovered around
Attorney Albert Holtz, co-founder of the
defunct Detroit Daily Press.
"It was probably the best in-
terim newspaper in the history of
interim newspapers. We spared
no expense. We had eight pages
of color comics, a slick TV guide.
No interim newspaper ever did
that," he said.
Mr. Stern acted as business
manager, and although he was
a newlywed, he couldn't pull him-
self away from the paper.
"It is the most exciting situa-
tion that could happen to any-
body," he said. 'Do you know what
it's like to be the only publisher in
New York City? The only pub-
lisher? I can't explain the rush. It's
Michael Dworkin, a Southfield
investor, did not want to comment
this week on those times, calling
them "ancient history."
Holtz admitted that luck
played a role in the wild success
of the Daily Press: The United
States was at the brink of military
entrenchment in Vietnam and the
only news service available to
them was Reuters, which report-
ed widely on Southeast Asia. Plus,
the Beatles were coming to town.
Escorted by guards through a
back door to avoid the multitudes
hanging around for a glimpse of
the Fab Four, Mr. Holtz, then 20,
was spirited to their 15th floor
suite in a defunct hotel near Belle
Isle. He remembers Ringo stand-
ing by the window in his boxer
shorts, chugging a beer.
The Beatles were "tongue in
cheek, very glib. They were wise
guys, but they were very friendly
to me," Mr. Holtz said.
He also interviewed Joel Grey
and Gregory Peck that summer
and would have interviewed
Jayne Mansfield if her boyfriend
hadn't thrown him out of the ho-
tel, angry that Holtz had panned
Bus Stop, the play she was in the
night before at a Chicago theater.
Although he had plans to go to
law school that fall, Mr. Holtz still
harbored aspirations to become a
big city reporter. But before the
strike, Frank Angelo, the man-
aging editor at the Free Press, sent
him away with a sympathetic pat
on the back, telling him to go out
and get some experience at a
weekly and then they'd talk.
Of course, Mr. Holtz's leap was
much, much higher.
"The day after the strike was
over he called me and said, 'Are
you ready?'" Mr. Holtz recalled.
Mr. Holtz spent his nights on
the copy desk at the Free Press
and his days in law school. Three
years later, when the unions
struck again, he and Mr. Stern
put their respective careers on
hold and restoked the presses at
the Daily Press. That strike last-
ed nine months, but the paper
No matter. It already had the
indelible mark of legend. Some of
the young reporters who found
refuge at the Daily Press are still
scribbling today. L\
Detroit News columnist George
Cantor, then a Free Press rookie,
attributes his success as a jour-
nalist to his days at the Daily
-This was one of the big breaks
I had early in my career because
I wasn't given a chance to do any-
thing of substance at the Free
Press. I was given a lot more re-
sponsibility when I came back. r`
made the mistake of showing
them I could write a headline, edit
copy, so I became a copy editor,"
Mr. Cantor recalled.
But he also started writing
"Names and Faces," a gossip col-
umn that still appears on the back
page, and took off as a general as-
The Detroit Daily Press, Mr J
Cantor said, "was really a good \
• way to get your feet wet. I was a
reporter part of the time, on the
copy desk part of the time. What-
ever came up, you did it. Every-
body had to be a generalist.
"I remember it as being a lot of
fun. It was mostly younger people
who were up there and we were
all thrown into a situation where
we had to do everything. Working
conditions were a bit primitive.
The biggest bonus is we were