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July 24, 1981 - Image 10

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1981-07-24

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Page 10-Friday, July 24, 1981-The Michigan Daily

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TWO WASHINGTON STAR newspaper staffers study the final Thursday edition of the 128-year-old newspaper. The
newspaper announced it will shut down on August 7 due to severe financial losses. This leaves Washington, D.C. with
only one daily newspaper.
Was hington Star dies after
128 years in news business

From AP and UPI
WASHINGTON - In a black-
bordered, front page story headlined
simply "An Announcement," the
Washington Star reported its own death
yesterday after 128 years of
newspapering. The closing, in two
weeks, leaves the nation's capital as the
largest American city with only a single
daily.
Bill McAllister, an editor of the
Washington Post, gave this eulogy to a
fallen rival: "A great paper has gone
down. I still want to hear somebody say
it's not true."
TIME INC. President J. Richard
Munro said his firm had invested $85
million in the Star since it bought the
newspaper for $20 million in 1978 and

that it had $35 million in after-tax losses
over that period. "This certainly wasn't
for lack of trying," he said. "We gave it
our very best effort."
The Star, once Washington's premier
newspaper, had suffered continuing
circulation and advertising losses.
From a 1972 high of 418,000 daily, it fell
to 323,000 daily and 294,000 Sunday. The
Post's circulation as of last fall was
584,500 daily and 820,000 on Sunday.
"We are not blaming anyone about
the failure," Munro told a news con-
ference. "We came down here with our
head held high; we are leaving with our
head held high."
THE EDITOR in chief of Time Inc.,
Henry Grunwald, told reporters that
"many other observers, including
sharp critics, have said tha tthe
Washington Star is the best afternoon
daily in the United States." And he said,
some have gone further, calling it one
of the three or four best and most
responsible papers.
"It's the death of a friend," said Tom
McMartin, publisher of the Dallas
Times Herald, in reaction to yester-
day's announcement that the Star
would cease publication Aug. 7.

President Reagan, in a statement,
said, "It is an extremely sad day when
a newspaper announces it will cease
publication." Post publisher Donald
Graham called it "a sad day for
Washington and the newspaper
business. The Star is a great
newspaper."
JAMES SHEPLEY, chairman of the
board of the Star and chairman of
Time's executive committee, said there
have been no inquiries he "would call
serious," but it had been decided to keep
publishing for two more weeks on the
outside chancea buyer can be found.
Most staffers got the bad news on
radio newscasts early yesterday, but
key editors were summoned to an early
morning meeting at the paper and
briefed.
Reporter Jeremiah O'Leary, an em-
ployee of the Star for 44 of his 61 years,
learned of the closing as he returned to
his office from the economic summit
meeting in Ottawa. "There are tears
here," he said..
"IT'S A LOVE affair when you work
for a newspaper," said Morris Siegel,
who had just been jilted.

Political
ideals
displayed
at Art Fair
(Continued from Page 3)
Metaphysics were also manning a
booth to get more exposure to the
public. Randy Custer and Cindy
Shellenbarger mentioned "the quantity
and variety of people" at the Fair as
one reason why they set up there.
THESE BOOTHS do not force their
information on passers-by. Sometimes,
however, the passers-by force their op-
posing opinions on the people in the
booths.
A man at the Gay Liberation booth,
who said one of the booth's main goals
was "clearing up misconceptions"
about gays, spoke of one reaction to a
sign asking "What do Gays and
Lesbians Really Want?" "This guy
came by and said, 'Who cares? They
should all be shot!"
He said that the aggravation they
have received has not been a surprise.
"We've gotten expected harassment,"
he said. "Even in liberal Ann Arbor, we
(the residents) don't escape
socialization.'
HE ADDED that he feels people
make these kinds of comments to "try
to laugh off their fears and apprehen-
sions."
Another incident of loudly voiced op-
position occurred at a booth run by
Lifespan - Right to Life, an anti-abor-
tion group.
A young woman with obviously
widely differing viewpoints began
pushing her ideas on a Woman working
at the booth.
THE MOST trivial thing that her
arguments lacked, however, was tact.
"Do you have a son?" she asked the
woman at the booth. When she an-
swered that she did, the girl replied, "I
hope he doesn't rape me, because if he
does, I'm going to get an abortion!" and
rode off on her bike.
Another worker at the Lifespan booth
said, however, that she didn't think that
overall they were having problems with
people at the fair.
"WE'RE NOT here to argue with
people," she added.
The relationship between the dif-
ferent booths seemed very friendly and
congenial. Though the different booths
are placed so close to each other.
physically touching many times, none of
the groups spoke of any sense of com-
petition or strong division.
The man in the Gay Liberation booth
did mention last year's Fair, however,
when his booth and the booth of the
Mormons were next to each other.
"It made for some very interesting
discussion," he commented.
Never
Remains
Silent

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