Associated Press Sports Editors honor Daily News’ Bill Madden, Wayne Coffey, Sunday section, website

Hall of Famer Bill Madden wrote movingly of the death of George Steinbrenner in the pages of the Daily News, breaking the news of his death on July 13 on the paper's website, and Wayne Coffey lobbied hard for a stirring jailhouse interview with former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress, setting the stage for another impressive showing for The News in The Associated Press Sports Editors' Awards. The News captured six major awards for the nation's best sports sections at the winter meetings in Indianapolis, held at the National Sports Journalism Center, including Madden's Top 10 finish in the Breaking News category and Coffey's in the Features category and Top 10 honors for its Sunday sports section and website. The News also received honorable mentions in the Daily and Special Section categories for papers with a circulation above 175,000. Madden took readers through The Boss' 35 years on the New York sports scene, during which the Yankees won 11 American League pennants and seven world championships, in and around two suspensions from baseball and multiple feuds and firings. "The Boss - as he was so aptly named by Daily News columnist Mike Lupica, his longtime antagonist - died at around 6:30 a.m. He had been suffering from failing health, the result of a series of strokes, for the past few years," writes Madden. "In Steinbrenner's blustering and bombastic reign as the longest-termed owner in their history, the Yankees recovered from the rubble of their darkest era under CBS' ownership (1964-72) to win world championships in 1977 and 1978, only to fall and then rise again with another dynastic string of four championships under manager Joe Torre from 1996-2000 and then winning a seventh world championship for him under Joe Girardi this past season." Coffey's piece on Burress, whose current home is the Oneida Correctional Facility in Rome, N.Y., took readers inside the wide receiver's new world. He is serving a two-year sentence for felony gun possession Continue Reading

Former CNN and Associated Press executive Jon Petrovich dies after battle with diabetes, cancer

Former CNN and Associated Press executive Jon Petrovich has died following a battle with cancer and diabetes. Petrovich, who would have turned 64 on Feb. 28, died Thursday in New York City, said his nephew, Ron Petrovich. A widely respected broadcast executive, Petrovich joined the AP in 2007. As Vice President for Broadcast U.S. Operations, he oversaw the day-to-day domestic operations, working with AP's broadcast wire, online, radio and television platforms. Petrovich "deeply understood and loved the broadcast business and was very optimistic about the possibilities of digital media," said Sue Cross, AP's senior vice president of U.S. media markets. "He was a force in encouraging our broadcast teams to explore new ways of delivering news, and always a source of inspiration and humor." Petrovich served as executive vice president of CNN for 15 years, where he developed CNN Interactive, which produces, CNN en Espanol and many of the company's niche channels. He was instrumental in developing CNN's news service to affiliates and its airport network. He also held the title of president of Turner Broadcasting Latin America for two years. Former CNN president Tom Johnson said Petrovich was brought in by Ted Turner to run CNN's Headline News, which he built into a prominent presence on the cable spectrum. "He was a tremendous innovator and a creative force," Johnson said. "He really was somebody who helped lead CNN into the future." Before joining AP, Petrovich was a professor and chairman of the broadcast department at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. He served as visiting distinguished lecturer and on the school's board of advisers in the 1990s. He oversaw international networks for Sony Television. Besides news, Petrovich's passions included fine food and dining. He "at least tried to find every great restaurant in every city throughout the world," recalled his nephew, Ron. A native of Gary, Continue Reading

Tiger Woods named Athlete of the Decade by The Associated Press

As sports go, it wasn't close: Tiger Woods was famous for his golf long before he became infamous for his personal life. For 10 incomparable years, no one ruled a sport like Woods. He won 64 tournaments, including 12 major championships. He hoisted a trophy on every continent where golf is played. And those 56 titles in one decade on the PGA Tour? Consider that only four of golf's greatest players won more in their entire careers. Even as a shocking sex scandal changed the way people look at Woods, the records he set could not be ignored. Woods was selected Wednesday as the Athlete of the Decade by members of The Associated Press in a vote that was more about his performance on the course than the self-described transgressions as a person. "The only reason I wouldn't vote for Tiger Woods is because of the events of the last three weeks," said Mike Strain, sports editor of the Tulsa (Okla.) World. "And I didn't think that was enough to change my vote. I thought he was a transcendent sports figure." He received 56 of the 142 votes cast since last month by editors at U.S. newspapers that are members of the AP. More than half the ballots were returned after the Nov. 27 car accident outside his Florida home that set off sensational tales of infidelity. Lance Armstrong, a cancer survivor who won the Tour de France six times this decade, finished second with 33 votes. He was followed by Roger Federer, who has won more Grand Slam singles titles than any other man, with 25 votes. Record-setting Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps came in fourth with 13 votes, followed by New England quarterback Tom Brady (6) and world-record sprinter Usain Bolt (4). Five other athletes received one vote apiece. Woods, who has not been seen since the accident and has issued only statements on his Web site, was not made available to comment about the award. Seattle Times sports editor Don Shelton discussed the vote with his staff, which he said was torn among Woods, Armstrong and Continue Reading

The Associated Press to cut 10 percent of work force

The Associated Press will trim 10 percent of its work force over the next year as a cut in fees paid by member newspapers and a declining economy take their toll, Chief Executive Tom Curley said Thursday.The staff reduction will amount to a loss of more than 400 positions from a global staff of 4,100, and Curley said the cuts will include some of the news cooperative's 3,000 journalists.Curley told the staff in a meeting webcast to AP offices globally that he hopes most of the cut will be achieved through attrition, but he did not rule out layoffs.Asked if the cuts would include newsroom jobs, Curley noted that 75 percent of the staff are journalists. "Everybody's going to participate," he said.The AP is still profitable, but cash flow is expected to decline from $95 million this year to $66 million in 2009, largely due to a $30 million reduction in fees paid by newspapers facing unprecedented financial hardships.The remainder of the AP's cash will be spent funding the pension plan, taxes and capital equipment, and the staff cuts are meant to prepare for a possible further economic decline, Curley said. The staff reduction is intended to save $25 million a year."Part of it is to get to the 2009 budget and part of it is to think that 2010 might produce other issues," Curley said in an interview Thursday. "We don't know how far the economic setback is going to go."Revenue for 2009 is forecast to fall 5.5 percent to $705 million from an estimated $746 million this year.The cooperative also faces rising competition, including from Time Warner Inc.'s CNN unit, which is forming a wire service it intends to market to newspapers.More than 100 AP member newspapers also have threatened to quit the service, including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch and the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, Minn.The company instituted a hiring freeze in October, and Curley said its effectiveness will be reviewed at the end of the first quarter.Curley told the Continue Reading

News wins big at Associated Press Sports Editors awards

New York’s No. 1 sports section has done it again. The Daily News captured five major awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors Wednesday in Orlando, Fla. The sports investigative team’s coverage of the steroid scandal leads the way. Our coverage of the Albany district attorney’s investigation into illegal pharmacies - highlighted by the exclusive story on St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel’s online purchases of human growth hormone - was lauded as one of 10 best investigative series in the country among all circulation categories. “The judges were extremely impressed with our steroid coverage,” sports editor Leon Carter said. “We have a lot to be proud of. Our I-team has been out front on this story and has done a tremendous job.” The writers of the steroid entry are Teri Thompson, Michael O’Keeffe, Christian Red, Wayne Coffey and T.J. Quinn. The News’ coverage of the steroid scandal also earned the Sunday sports section top honors. The Sunday entry, which included Andy Pettitte’s apology for using HGH and an exclusive Q&A with George Mitchell, was voted among the 10 best in the country among large papers. The News is the only New York City paper to receive this honor. The News’ five-part series on “10 years of Tiger Woods” received a Top 10 award in the projects category. The series, written by Hank Gola, Coffey and Red, explores the effect Woods has had on golf since winning the first of his 13 major titles in 1997. The series revisits Woods’ 1997 Masters victory through the poignant recollections of Augusta National’s mostly black grounds crew. It also delves into the effect Woods has had on the game’s growth - on the tee and in the board room - as well as his social impact across racial and ethnic lines. Eric Barrow’s piece on Charley Lau, the controversial swing guru of the ’70s and ’80s, was Continue Reading

‘Lost New York’ recaptured in Associated Press exhibition

Though The Associated Press is famous for its worldwide coverage of the news, the far-flung wire service got its start right here in New York 161 years ago. The editors of six city newspapers agreed in 1846 to share the costs of transmitting reports from the raging Mexican War and other distant places where news was being made. A new exhibition at the City University Graduate Center illustrating the AP's distinguished history in news gathering emphasizes its wide reach and its New York origins. Based on the recently published history, "BREAKING NEWS: How the Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace, and Everything Else" (Princeton Architectural Press, June 2007), the exhibit uses iconic photographs and images from the AP's library and corporate archives to illustrate myriad stories AP writers and photographers have covered. One section, "Lost New York," emphasizes the AP's connection with New York, where it is still based. It features relatively unknown photos - handpicked from the AP photo archives - illustrating New York past and present. "It was a nice opportunity to get the lesser-known images out in front of the public," said Chuck Zoeller, director of the AP photo library and leader of the months-long process of sifting through the archives. The exhibit is a timeline of the AP's 161 years of covering breaking national and international news. Closeup photos of Malcolm X, Marylyn Monroe and Mahatma Gandhi are just a sampling of historical figures captured by the news wire service. "There is some juxtaposition of images that wouldn't normally be seen together in the same exhibit," said Zoeller. Of the 30 displayed photos, five are Pulitzer Prize winners - including the historic photo by Jim Rosenthal of the flag raising on Iwo Jima during World War II. The display is open to the public Monday through Saturday, 12 noon to 6 p.m., in the exhibition hallway on the first floor of the City University Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave. (at Continue Reading

Purdue basketball: Boilermakers open season No. 20 in Associated Press poll

Purdue opens the season No. 20 in the first Associated Press men's basketball poll, released Wednesday.The Boilermakers are ranked fifth among Big Ten Conference teams, behind No. 2 Michigan State, No. 15 Minnesota and No. 19 Northwestern.Among other Purdue opponents, Louisville is ranked No. 16. Two teams in the Battle 4 Atlantis field — No. 3 Arizona and No. 6 Villanova — could play the Boilermakers during that Thanksgiving week tournament.Purdue will participate in a closed scrimmage against No. 11 West Virginia on Sunday.Duke received 33 of 65 first-place votes and is ranked No. 1. Michigan State (13), Arizona (18) and No. 4 Kansas (1) received the other No. 1 votes.Last month, Purdue was ranked No. 21 in the first USA Today Coaches poll.• Per Purdue basketball sports information director Chris Forman, Jacquil Taylor received a positive result from Monday's CT scan on his left foot. While the senior center previously hoped to return for Sunday's closed scrimmage against West Virginia, Forman said it's more likely Taylor returns for the season opener against SIU-Edwardsville on Nov. 10.(Obviously, Taylor will not play in Wednesday's exhibition against Carroll College of Montana.)Taylor has been held out since early October for precautionary reasons. A previous CT scan showed a possible complication in the junior center's recovery from ankle surgery that cost him all of last season.Taylor played well this summer in his first action back from that surgery. His presence as a defender and rebounder, in particular, would enhance a post situation that includes senior center Isaac Haas and redshirt freshman Matt Haarms.Taylor spoke yesterday of how he's tried to stay positive through the injury uncertainty:• Purdue opens the season ranked fourth in ESPN's Basketball Power Index. Per ESPN, the rating is meant to represent "how many points above or below average a team is." Strength of schedule — or more accurately, strength of record Continue Reading

Associated Press sues Hillary Clinton for access to email records

The Associated Press filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the State Department to force the release of email correspondence and government documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. The legal action comes after repeated requests filed under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act have gone unfulfilled. They include one request AP made five years ago and others pending since the summer of 2013. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, comes a day after Clinton broke her silence about her use of a private email account while secretary of state. The FOIA requests and lawsuit seek materials related to her public and private calendars, correspondence involving longtime aides likely to play key roles in her expected campaign for president, and Clinton-related emails about the Osama bin Laden raid and National Security Agency surveillance practices. “After careful deliberation and exhausting our other options, The Associated Press is taking the necessary legal steps to gain access to these important documents, which will shed light on actions by the State Department and former Secretary Clinton, a presumptive 2016 presidential candidate, during some of the most significant issues of our time,” said Karen Kaiser, AP’s general counsel. “The press is a proxy for the people, and AP will continue its pursuit of vital information that’s in the public interest through this action and future open records requests,” she said. State Department spokesman Alec Gerlach declined to comment. He had previously cited the department’s heavy annual load of FOIA requests — 19,000 last year — in saying that the department “does its best to meet its FOIA responsibilities.” He said the department takes requests “first in, first out,” but noted that timing depends on “the complexity of the request.” Michael Oreskes, a senior Continue Reading

Jim Gaines, Associated Press worker killed in Amtrak crash, was a ‘geek’ beloved by all

Jim Gaines was a geek with a good heart. A video software architect who worked for The Associated Press, Gaines was heading home from a series of meetings in Washington when the Amtrak train crashed. There was little doctors could do to save the 48-year-old father of two by the time he got to Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, where he died at midnight Tuesday of massive chest trauma. “Jim was more precious to us than we can adequately express,” his widow, Jacqueline, and children, Oliver, 16, and Anushka, 11, said in a statement Wednesday. Gaines, who lived in Plainsboro, N.J., joined the news service in 1998 and helped develop nearly all of its video initiatives, including the AP’s Video Hub. “Aside from being a great human being, he was very, very skilled at what he did, and he won a lot of awards here,” said Paul Caluori, the AP’s global director of digital services. Among those awards was the AP's “Geek of the Month” award in May 2012, which was given to Gaines for his “tireless dedication and contagious passion” for technological innovation. “Everybody’s surprised, can’t understand why such a good person would disappear,” Caluori said. “And there’s just a great appreciation for who he was and what an example he set for how we should live. Probably the most poignant thing somebody said to me today was: ‘Remember Jim, be kind today.’ ” OTHER AMTRAK VICTIMS ABID GILANI | RACHEL JACOBS | JUSTIN ZEMSER| DERRICK GALITH |BOB GILDERSLEEVE ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Continue Reading

Daily News honored with 13 awards in 2014 New York State Associated Press Association contest

The Daily News was honored with 13 awards, including seven first place citations, in the 2014 New York State Associated Press Association contest. The News received awards in virtually every category: -First place in “spot news reporting” for day one coverage of the murders of NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. -First place “in depth reporting” for a story on racial disparities in the NYPD’s “broken windows” policing. -First place in “continuing coverage” for a series of stories on the police chokehold death of Eric Garner. -First place in “beat reporting” for Ben Chapman’s education coverage. -First place in “graphic illustration” for a design spoofing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s support for a dirty power plant. -First place in “news presentation — spot” for page design on coverage of the grand jury’s decision not to indict an NYPD officer in Garner’s death. -First place in “news presentation — nonspot” for page design on coverage of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Winners will be honored at the annual state AP awards banquet, scheduled for June 6, at the Holiday Inn in Saratoga Springs. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading