Board Minutes – 04/2007

Board of Directors meeting
April 24, 2007

President Jason Jedlinski called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m.

Present by phone: Jason, Brian Wellner, Abdon Pallasch, Milbert Brown,
Sandy Jones, Jackie Fitzgerald, Howard Dubin, Michelle Stevens,
Kristen McQueary — along with executive director Kathy Catrambone and
Medill student chapter representative Elizabeth Gibson. Julia McEvoy
and Suzanne McBride joined the call after the first vote, Susan S.
Stevens after the second.

Leadership slate: Abdon Pallasch presented the recommendation of this
year’s nominating committee. Thanks to Abdon, Kathy Catrambone, Ed
Avis, Meg Tebo, and Charlie Meyerson for their recruiting efforts.

Special thanks to Howard Dubin for agreeing to hang on for one more
term as Treasurer. (Howard said he was convinced “by hook, not
crook.”) The board promised to do its best to identify a worthy

There were several “seconds” for Abdon’s motion to present the slate
to the membership and it was unanimously endorsed. The membership
night and election is set for Thursday evening, May 24 at Harry

President: Kristen McQueary, Daily Southtown
VP Membership, President-Elect: Brian Wellner, Hyde Park Herald
VP Programming: Nate Hernandez, Associated Press
VP FOI: Phil Kadner, Daily Southtown
Treasurer: Howard Dubin, Manufacturers’ News
Secretary: Deb Cohen, Reuters America
Immediate past president: Jason Jedlinski, Tribune Interactive

Directors through June 2008
Milbert O. Brown Jr., Chicago Tribune
Lisa Donovan, Sun-Times
Jacqueline Fitzgerald, Chicago Tribune
Christian “Fuzz” Hogan, CNN
Suzanne McBride, Columbia College
Bonnie McGrath, attorney and freelancer
Dawn Reiss, freelancer
Jon Seidel, Post-Tribune, Indiana

Directors through June 2009
Esther Cepeda, Sun-Times
Melisa Goh,
Jane Hirt, RedEye
James Kelleher, Reuters America
Abdon Pallasch, Sun-Times
Laura Putre, freelancer
Howard Schlossberg, Columbia College
Steve Walsh, Bloomberg

Watchdog Committee: Meg Tebo reported that she spent about 2 1/2 hours
with Fuzz Hogan and Beauty Turner, reviewing a “really stellar pool of
nominees,” all of which would have been strong candidates for the
former public service Lisagor category.


In the end, it came down to a choice between three outstanding series:
The Lakefront Outlook’s series on (soon to be former) Ald. Dorothy
Tillman and the Harold Washington Cultural Center; the Southtown’s
reporting on the plethora of problems in Harvey; and the Sun-Times’
detailed and compelling series on abuses in the City of Chicago
worker’s comp/disability system.

Even after attempting to control for the size of the media outlet, in
terms of available resources, Meg said the committee was “blown away”
by the Sun-Times package. With the exception of Abdon Pallasch,
Michelle Stevens and Brian Wellner — who abstained, to avoid the
appearance of a conflict of interest — the board unanimously approved
a motion to give our second annual Watchdog Award to Tim Novak and Art
Golab of the Chicago Sun-Times for “Clout’s Sick List.”

Jason suggested recognizing the two runners-up in our announcement,
hailing them as other great examples of excellent public interest
journalism. The board agreed.


Legislative Update: Bob Roberts, via Kathy Catrambone, reports that
the College Campus Press Act (which quickly and unanimously passed the
Senate) is still stuck in the House rules committee, where it was
assigned on March 15. The bill has bipartisan co-sponsors in Rep.
Naomi Jakobsson (D-Champaign), whose district includes the University
of Illinois and Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) whose district includes
Illinois State University. Both serve on the Higher Education
Committee, chaired by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (D-Orland Park).

The Illinois News Broadcasters will send a letter to stir the pot.
Jason will coordinate with SPJ HQ to rework the letter Jon Seidel
drafted for Sen. Susan Garrett.

After a brief discussion about mechanics/logistics for Friday night’s
Lisagor Award banquet, which was taken off-line, the meeting adjourned
at 11:46 a.m.