Women In Journalism
Interviewees
Christy Bulkeley
Christy Bulkeley
Recorded by Anne Ritchie
THE WASHINGTON PRESS CLUB FOUNDATION as part of its oral history project WOMEN IN JOURNALISM
  • Introduction

    Earning a journalism badge in the Girl Scouts inspired Christy Bulkeley's earliest interests in a career as a reporter. Growing up in the small town of Abingdon, Illinois, Christy also had unusual role models in the "Argus girls," Mary Lou Stover and Gene Cunningham, who arrived in town to run the local Abingdon Argus. Christy spent many hours at the hometown weekly, learning the trade from setting type to writing local news columns featuring vacations and house guests.

    Christy Bulkeley attended the University of Missouri, Columbia, School of Journalism, where she reported for the department's publication, the Columbia Missourian. Following graduation, she accepted a position with the Rochester, New York, Times-Union, a Gannett paper. She persevered in her first assignment as newsroom clerk for almost a year before securing a reporting position.

    An interest in politics and government and a commitment to accurate and honest reporting gained Christy respect from the local community, as well as her colleagues. A Times-Union promotional ad noted: "From the airport to the zoo, Christy Bulkeley cares about everything county government does and reports it regularly." Believing that citizens have a right to know government officials' plans, and how budgets are developed and monies spent, she endeavored to learn as much as possible about the process and interpret it intelligibly to readers.

    Hard work as a local reporter launched Christy's career with the Gannett newspaper chain. At the Times-Union, she moved to editorial writing and then headed the editorial department. After a decade in Rochester, she became editor, publisher, president of the Saratogian, a small Gannett daily in Saratoga Springs, New York. The new position involved Christy in every area of managing and running a newspaper, and also brought her attention as a one of the first women in such a managerial position.

    Returning to her native Midwest, Christy assumed leadership as chief executive officer of the Danville, Illinois, Commercial-News from 1976 to 1984. During these years she also served as a vice president for Gannett's Central Newspaper Group. She concluded the newspaper phase of her career with Gannett with a brief return to the Saratogian, before moving to the Gannett Foundation for the next seven years. As a vice president of the Gannett Foundation (later the Freedom Forum), she administered its extensive grants program.

    Christy Bulkeley further promoted and encouraged high standards in journalism through her active involvement in such professional organizations as Women in Communications, Inc., the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Newspaper Publishers Association, and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. She also served as a Pulitzer Prize nominating judge. A role model for women entering the journalism profession, she has shared her experiences and expertise through talks with students, lecturing, and participation on accreditation teams. At the same time, she has continued to pursue her own education through graduate studies at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

    Anne G. Ritchie
    March 1994

  • Interviewee Conducted

  • Interviewee Transcript

    [Begin Tape 1, Side A]

    Ritchie: The first session always deals with your early years, growing up, your grade school and high school. I find that's usually a good stopping point, and then the next time we'll start with college. So maybe you could tell me a little bit about your parents.

    Bulkeley: I grew up in a town of 3,500—Abingdon, Illinois. My father was one of six children. His brothers and brothers-in-law ran one of the town's three factories and were the primary owners of Plumbers Brassgoods Foundry, that also got into swimming pool parts in the fifties. He had grown up in that little town. His father moved there around the time of [World] War I. The factory had been owned by some Germans who thought they could no longer stay in the middle of the U.S. of A., with War I looming or starting. So my dad and his family grew up there and, as I say, were the owners of one of the factories. The other two factories, one was a pottery, one was Bluebell, made blue jeans.

    Ritchie: This is in the western part of Illinois?

    Bulkeley: West central part of Illinois, halfway between Peoria and the Mississippi River. Burlington, Iowa, is the other—

    Ritchie: Across the river.

    Bulkeley: Yes. I only learned a lot of years later the significance of being the owners of the factory in a little town, as opposed to hired hands running the factory, for out-of-town owners.

    Mother grew up in Chicago, Tampa, Providence. Her father was an automotive parts salesman who teamed up with another guy and bought the first patent for molded plastic screwdriver handles. So her parents came out of the Depression owning a factory in Chicago that made hand tools. Mother did Rhode Island School of Design two years, then they moved back to Chicago, and she graduated from the Evanston Academy of Fine Arts and took two more years of portrait lessons.

    Ritchie: So she was an artist.

    Bulkeley: She was trained as an artist. She and Dad met in Michigan. A friend of hers from art school was from a wealthy family, made industrial boilers in Michigan. Dad's family owned a factory in Michigan for a while, and Dad was running that when they met. That factory was closed, and Dad and Mother then ended up living in Abingdon, which they had not intended. Mother had expected to be living in bigger places. But anyway, they ended up in Abingdon. We grew up there.

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    I have—oh, you asked parents. You didn't ask siblings yet.

    Ritchie: Not yet.

    Bulkeley: They were how old when they got married? Twenty-seven and twenty-nine, in 1937. Mother never worked after that. She, like everybody else, if she could find a job, she worked in the Depression, and worked in a candy store, actually. It was her only paid work, ever.

    Ritchie: Did she ever pursue her work as an artist?

    Bulkeley: She did some artwork. There wasn't a whole lot of demand in our little town, but she did portraits of all of us. She did pastel portraits. The oil painting of me is down on the wall down there. She did pastels of people when she had relatives' names for Christmas, for instance. She'd do pastels of their kids. Some people commissioned pastels. A doctor in Galesburg, which was the city for our part of the country, commissioned oil portraits of his children. As I recall, those are the only major commissions of her primary medium and work—just the oil portraits. But, of course, we always had the best anythings—buggies in the doll buggy parade, bicycles in the bicycle parade, all of those kinds of things. We all did some artwork. We learned to do our own posters for bake sales and things like that, but never got into heavy-duty art, because Mother could do it. Mother did do it. And she did a lot of the stuff in the house. When they built the house in the country that we mostly grew up in, she did all of the wall painting.

    Ritchie: The decorating.

    Bulkeley: The dining room, for instance, went through two incarnations, and in one of them it had almost an English garden painted all around the walls.

    Ritchie: Handpainted.

    Bulkeley: Handpainted. Another time she changed it, and it had a fence, chains on posts with vines growing. She another time did—I don't remember the official names, but she had a tree on one wall, and as she found bird pictures, she cut them all out so the tree was full of birds. That kind of stuff she did always. And she did some volunteer art work. Our grade-school art teacher is still alive, had a heart bypass at age ninety last fall, and reminded me, when I ran into her recently, that Mother used to come and do chalk talks and those kinds of things, and portrait talks, for the grade-school art classes and for parents' night at the school. So she did a lot of that kind of stuff, but mostly in a little town you did whatever volunteer work it took to keep the little town going—the Scout troops, 4-H, Red Cross stuff during [World] War II. There was a POW camp in Galesburg.

    Ritchie: Which, as you mentioned, was the city near you. And how far is Galesburg?

    Bulkeley: Ten miles—30,000 people, maybe.

    Ritchie: So you would go there for shopping and other activities?

    Bulkeley: Shopping. Once the movie in Abingdon closed, we had to go to Galesburg to the movies. By the time we were in high school and driving, there was a family bowling alley. It was the beginning of bowling being a family activity, not just the beer-drinking industrial leagues. The first McDonald's we knew was there, when everything was 15¢, and everything that they had to offer was hamburger, French fries, and Coke—pop, Pepsi, whatever.

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    Also it was a rail center—the train. My mother's parents lived in Chicago, and died in the late forties and early fifties.

    Ritchie: So you knew them as a youngster.

    Bulkeley: We knew them. We'd go up by train or by car. The main line of the CB&Q, now Burlington Northern, was through Galesburg, and Santa Fe was through Galesburg. For whatever reason, we always went on the Burlington or we'd drive. My father's siblings and parents were all in Abingdon.

    Ritchie: So you really had an extended family right there.

    Bulkeley: True, and every Sunday afternoon was Grandmother—well, Grandmother and Granddad's. He died in '48, so I wasn't all that old. Mostly I remember him when he was sick with cancer, in what was their library, because the bedrooms were upstairs in the big house. The Christmases were at Grandmother and Granddad's. As long as they were alive, all of the family dinners were there—the potlucks—and everybody gathered, including Mother's Day and Father's Day, as well as Christmas and Thanksgiving.

    Ritchie: And every Sunday, too?

    Bulkeley: Not for meals, but we visited every Sunday. After dinner, then we visited Grandmother or Grandmother and Granddad. Then we could change our clothes. But we stayed in the church clothes all the way through that.

    Ritchie: What church did your family attend?

    Bulkeley: United Methodist. It was just Methodist in those days. The furniture in the basement still said M.E., and it was years later that I discovered that it had been Methodist Episcopal. I just thought for some reason M.E. was how people had chosen to abbreviate Methodist, since the first two letters were M.E.

    Dad taught Sunday school, the high school class, for thirty or forty years, starting not long after he and Mother went back to Abingdon. Initially it was just boys, but by the time we were in it, it was boys and girls and all high school. I'm not sure when he quit doing that—probably in the sixties sometime. He took his turns on the church board and the various church committees. Mother was always involved in the women's society. I didn't give you names.

    Ritchie: No, but I'll need them.

    Bulkeley: Gerald C., for Clough, which is family. And Patricia Ann. Her maiden name was Pettingell.

    Ritchie: I know you have at least one brother.

    Bulkeley: Two brothers—Peter C. and Michael C. The grandparents, my father's parents, both had Cs in the middle, so they decreed that everybody else would, too.

    Ritchie: What is the order of the children?

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    Bulkeley: Peter's the oldest, is two years older than me, born in 1940. Michael is November of '44, so he's almost three years younger. There was a girl baby who died at three days, who would have been the youngest.

    Ritchie: Do you remember that?

    Bulkeley: Oh, yes. That was my sister. I was eight. We went through most of the pregnancy—feeling the baby kick, and listening and all of those things.

    Ritchie: And you wanted a sister because you had the two brothers?

    Bulkeley: Yes, because I was the one who was always picked on, or at least I was sure that I was the one that was always picked on, and they always ganged up against me. Of course, we didn't know the baby was going to be a girl. She was born July 1950, during the night. We still lived in town, and I remember Dad saying, "Do you have a sister?" in the morning. Well, of course, he wouldn't have asked if I didn't. So I said, "Yes." One afternoon later that week we were at the lake. Nobody had told us anything was wrong. She had birth defects, and I don't know what. Nobody was smart enough in those days. In the years since we've known that we ought to have those records, we just haven't gotten them. Anyway, she died at three days.

    We were at the lake. We spent summers at Lake Bracken, which is one of the old railroad lakes turned into country club when railroads no longer needed all the water for steam. Knox County Country Club. But during the summers, we spent most of our daytimes out there.

    Ritchie: Did you actually have a house out there, or you just went for the day?

    Bulkeley: No, it was halfway between us and Galesburg, so we could run out and swim part of the afternoon, or if Mother had nothing else to do, we'd go spend all day. As we got older, she'd take us out and drop us off, once we were all waterproof and old enough to eat proper meals at proper times and stay out of the water for the hour. She'd drop us off for all day. And when we were little, we'd have cabins out there rented for a week or two at a time.

    Ritchie: So you would actually stay out there.

    Bulkeley: So we'd stay out there. One of my cousins' families, my aunt and uncle, had a cabin out there and spent summers out there, but Aunt Mary always ran back and forth and kept both houses. We had a lot for a few years, but never built on it. I would guess that my folks built the house in the country, the bigger house that we grew up in, rather than having the two houses.

    Ritchie: So at first you lived in town when you were young.

    Bulkeley: We lived in town, and in the middle of town, right on the border between the two grade schools, until I was in third grade. '51? '52? At which point my folks had the house designed, built in a timber, a mile and a half from town on the highway. We moved—I think it was when I was in third grade.

    Ritchie: Did you have to change schools?

    Bulkeley: No. Abingdon had two grade schools in those days—the north school and the south school. And all of our cousins were in the north school, so we went to the south school. We were on the borderline between the two, and my folks liked the teachers better, anyway, at Washington

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    Page 5 Grade School. The other one was Lincoln Grade School. But old-timers called them north and south. The new grade school was built, and we moved into it, a single grade school, moved into it the last half of sixth grade, and our schools before then, the schools had been one through six and seven through twelve. At the time the new grade school opened, they split seventh and eighth out and put them into my old grade school as junior high.

     

    We sort of went off on tangents.

    Ritchie: I know. We were talking about your parents.

    Bulkeley: But anyway, the baby died. Kate Calnen died at three days, and that was the end of that. They didn't know little kids needed to mourn, so I still do. [Bulkeley cries.]

    Ritchie: Through the years.

    Bulkeley: And it's probably more acute because we're going through the mess with my mother. So anyway, that was 1950.

    Ritchie: Did the war have much effect on your father's business?

    Bulkeley: Yeah. Among other things, they did bomb plugs—some piece that held the explosion in until the right time to let it out. They had an Army-Navy "E" Award. The factory was secured. I still vaguely remember guards at the gates, getting into the factory. There are pictures of the parking lot without fences, and then ever thereafter the whole place was fenced because of the [World] War II—war materials.

    Ritchie: You mentioned that there was a prisoner of war camp in Galesburg.

    Bulkeley: In Galesburg. I don't remember a whole lot about that, either. The Red Cross did work, did its bandage-rolling and stuff, up there. And all I really remember is driving through the grounds and seeing strange-looking people looking out at us. I remember also my two uncles who were pilots, one on each side—the youngest brothers on Mother and Father's sides. I remember Uncle Phil buzzing the family gatherings when he was in town, when there were some, and that that scared me.

    I remember the National Guard trucks. The closest camp was about forty miles away. I remember thinking the war was that close. And I remember when it was over. We were at Lake Bracken. That was one of the times we were renting a cabin. I simply remember hearing that the war was over, and being much relieved, because, as I say, I thought it was close by.

    Ritchie: This would mean that things were normal then.

    Bulkeley: Yes. That was the end of it. I don't remember [President Franklin D.] Roosevelt dying. I remember [Harry S.] Truman getting elected, and my folks not being very happy about that.

    Ritchie: Did your parents talk about politics in the house?

    Bulkeley: Yes, and Mother was involved in politics once the demands of doing the stuff we were involved in got past. She did a lot of Republican Women's stuff in the fifties and the sixties, until Phyllis Schlafly and her crowd started pulling their stuff, taking over the state Republican

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    Women.* Mother basically said she never knew women could be so rotten to each other, and if that's the way they were going to be, she wanted no more of it. So she quit. Had been president of the county Republican Women. She had gone a couple of times to the national conventions in Washington, to visit with [Everett] Dirksen.*

    My younger brother went to the Air Force Academy on an appointment from a representative named [Robert Bruce] Chiperfield,* who got beaten in the 1962 election. My folks knew he was going to be beaten, so Michael took an appointment in Chiperfield's last year, when he was only seventeen. That convinced my folks that they should never have sent us all straight to college; we all should have spent at least a year out with the rest of the world and away from home before we went on.

    My older brother spent two years in engineering—Peter—and then moved into management, into business. My folks think he wouldn't have spent that wheel-spinning time, and that Michael would have either coped better with the academy or not gone had he spent a year away from home. Of course, Michael, as the youngest, was home for two years, effectively ruling the roost, because he was the smartest of us, and as the baby, was there for two years when we were off at college. It had reached the point basically where Mother asked him if he wanted her car. So to go from there straight to the Air Force Academy, in its first year on its new campus at Colorado Springs, when they were going to establish all of the traditions and prove what they were doing, when the freshmen were told basically when they could breathe and how deep—

    Ritchie: He wasn't used to that.

    Bulkeley: And he was not used to that. It was also the year of the big scandals with guys from all four classes being caught in a big ring of exam-stealing. They had found the security gaps in the buildings and were stealing exams. One of Michael's roommates was caught in that.

    So my folks spent that year not knowing, when the phone rang, if it was Michael at the airport saying he'd come home, and doing everything they could think of to try to keep him buoyed up and staying through, because the sense was, if they could get him through the first year, then he'd be all right. And he did. He eventually established his own identity and made it through the four years.

    Ritchie: But that's interesting that in hindsight, they thought that a year in between high school and college might have benefitted.

    Bulkeley: Peter and I had both worked some during high school—Peter mostly at the factory, in the office. I worked for the newspaper [Abingdon Argus] in our home town during high school, and then during college for the daily in Galesburg [Register-Mail].

    Ritchie: Did you have any special privileges in the town because your father owned the factory? Were you of a certain class in the town? Were you aware of that?

    ______________________
    * Phyllis Schlafly, (b. 1924). U.S. political activist, author. Chairwoman of Stop ERA, 1972-82.
    * Everett McKinely Dirksen, (1896-1969). (R-IL). U.S. representative, 1933-1949, and U.S. senator, 1951-1969; Senate minority leader, 1959-69.
    * Robert Bruce Chiperfield (1899-1971). (R-IL). U.S. representative, 1939-63.

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    Bulkeley: Yes, but we weren't really aware of that, except there were the hoods and the rest of it—I mean, the hoods being the ones who stood around and smoked in the street next to school, and who had cars, who were even known occasionally to drink a beer or two. It was only lots of years later that I understood the social classes and the distinction that being the factory owners had, or the children of the factory owners.

    See, there were thirteen in my generation—cousins. I'm about in the middle. I never really lined us up to see, but I'm about in the middle.

    Ritchie: And all of you are children of a factory owner.

    Bulkeley: Right. From the six different families. One family of three was adopted, and the rest of us were all natural children. But everybody used to assume we were all as bright as the first one or two through the school system. I nearly didn't learn to read—[there was] no kindergarten. I nearly didn't learn to read in first grade, because I was put in the big desks. I was tall then. I was put in the big desks, which happened to be by the reading circle, and I'd memorized by the time they got to what they assumed was the "bright kids" circle. They tracked us in those days, though it wasn't formal. It was just dividing up the reading circle by skill ability.

    But my folks would check us at home, to know what we were learning, and I couldn't read. I didn't recognize things if they weren't on the flashcards and if I wasn't paying attention at the reading circle.

    Ritchie: So your memory was good.

    Bulkeley: Yes, but I couldn't—what is it called? Decoding. I couldn't read. In the little town, you see the school teachers everywhere. My folks just kept on them, on her—Miss Earnhart—until I could.

    Ritchie: This was your first-grade teacher?

    Bulkeley: Yes.

    Ritchie: You mentioned no kindergarten, so there was no preschool?

    Bulkeley: Kindergarten didn't start till later. They had kindergarten long before we left town, or before we'd gotten out of high school, but not for us. And I was six and a half. With the February birthday, fall school. So we were all six and a half. And, of course, no television. And parents didn't push kids in those days. There was not that social thing attached. Without "Sesame Street" and those other things, unless the older children started teaching the younger ones, you didn't learn till you got to school, really.

    Ritchie: These were the days before the gifted and talented program.

    Bulkeley: Oh, yes. I started school in 1948. We all started piano lessons the same week we started school. I was given dance lessons, dance and acrobatics, starting when I was four, with my best friend when her sister and my brother started school and piano lessons. Our mothers thought we needed our own special thing, too, so they started us on dance lessons in Galesburg. So we did two years of that, including solos at recitals, at that age. You may have seen—no, that's not in the scrapbook you have—I have a picture of me in my Queen of Hearts suit, with my Band-aid on my knee, from the dance recital when I was five years old. That stopped when school started.

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    Ritchie: And then you took piano lessons.

    Bulkeley: Then we took piano lessons forever. Actually, both of my brothers weaseled out their last year in high school; I didn't.

    Ritchie: You took it all the way through?

    Bulkeley: I took it all the way through. My piano teacher [Alta M. Graves] was bringing me up so I could make a living, she thought, as an accompanist and teacher if I had to. So stuff happened to me, like I had to learn theory, and I didn't get credit as part of my hour-a-day practice for the time I had to spend doing the theory homework. And my brothers didn't even have to do it. So more of the paranoia of the middle child/only daughter. My mother had been middle child/only daughter, so at some point she started doing me extras.

    Ritchie: You mean extra classes?

    Bulkeley: Extra attention and extra favors. At some point I had a clothes allowance, which my brothers were never trusted with. At the same time, my brothers were taught to drive. We had a Crosley Jeep, and my older brother did pigs for 4-H, so the jeep was partly to help manage the woods, but also to haul the pig food around and stuff. They both learned to drive when they were thirteen or fourteen, so the day of their sixteenth birthday, they got their driver's license. And nobody would let me sit on the driver's side of the car until I had my learner's permit, and they made me drive on it for six months. I got my driver's license only when my permit was about to run out. So I never quite felt that it all balanced.

    Ritchie: So you were treated somewhat differently than your brothers.

    Bulkeley: Yeah. Nobody ever really treated us as though expectations were different. It really was like golf; we were all to find our own interests and directions. Mother told me lots of years later that she and Dad used to have fights about what I should expect to do after college, whether I should go eight hundred miles away to a job, and some of that kind of stuff. But the house in the country had their bedroom at one end and ours at the other end, so I never knew about that.

    Ritchie: And what point would she have taken?

    Bulkeley: She would have defended me or championed me in doing my own thing, because she always felt she got trapped. I don't think my dad ever knew it, but my mother always felt trapped in that little town.

    Ritchie: In terms of her own career and abilities?

    Bulkeley: Yeah. You asked earlier about class and again I got off on tangents. Because of the numbers, there really were the kids we were supposed to run around with and the ones we weren't. In terms of my age group, for instance, the ones that were good enough were the bright ones and the ones who had leadership abilities. The guy who was president of our college class, and has turned out to be one of my longtime, still-in-touch friends, his parents both worked in factories. Of course, mothers who worked in factories in those days were unheard of. But I saw his mother last week. Anyway, both parents worked in factories, both were involved in unions, so under the normal management-union stuff, he would not have been appropriate as part of the group, but he was bright and he was good-looking and well brought up, and was part of our group. One of my best friends dated him for a long time. One of the girls' father was a coach

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    and athletic director, and her mother was a store clerk, but she also was bright and nice and well mannered and fun. Another one's mother was a piano teacher and her father a farmer until his hand got stuck in the cornpicker. Then he ultimately went into real estate and, of course, made more money than he'd ever made as a tenant farmer.

    Ritchie: In a small town, the numbers are limited.

    Bulkeley: The numbers. Yeah. But part of what that meant was that we never learned how to choose friends and what the care and keeping of friends and friendships is. Because there was the group we ran with.

    Ritchie: They were always there.

    Bulkeley: They were there from first grade on.

    Ritchie: Did people move in and out of the town much?

    Bulkeley: Sure. But my best friend, Cherry [Byram], her folks were my mother's and father's primary best friends, outside of family, which also, because of the little town and the grandparents, family hung together in that sense, but in my generation, of course, we were all spread out. My older brother Peter, one of our cousins is his age, so they were best buddies. My closest cousin was a year younger, and she ran with a different bunch of people than we did. She ran with her age group, and they all dated older, when our class pretty much stuck together with itself and with just one year ahead of us. And who knows why those dynamics.

    I forgot what I was going to say.

    Ritchie: You were talking about the keeping of friends and choosing.

    Bulkeley: So we didn't learn about all of that stuff, really, and what it involves, until much later. Some of us learned it later, and some of us never did, with the result in its own way not unlike the working-class families where if they stayed in their home town, the women gave up their friends and their activities as part of the compromises with the working-class males, who always needed reinforcement at home because they didn't get it at work. But our whole generation took off. I have one cousin who's still there and is a county judge.

    Ritchie: Out of the thirteen of you?

    Bulkeley: Yes, and he was the youngest. Peter's best friend Bill is in the next little town south, ten miles away, owns the drugstore. His wife's father owned the drugstore. Bill bought the drugstore in our town and the one in Avon. He owns those, and he's still there. Then two of the adopted cousins are still there. One is a stock clerk for the art supply company, A.B. Dick, and one does odd jobs around town. And the rest of us are gone.

    Ritchie: For the most part.

    Bulkeley: And have been, from college. Scattered from Las Vegas, New Mexico, to here. The cousin who's a year younger than me is two miles down Connecticut Avenue [Washington, D.C.].

    Ritchie: A male or female?

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    Bulkeley: Female. She's a partner at Arthur Anderson. Actually she's an executive in the Anderson consulting firm, because she's not a C.P.A. But she's been based here for a while, is currently based in Philadelphia, but still has her fancy apartment.

    Ritchie: Downtown?

    Bulkeley: Just above the Washington Hilton, one of the old buildings. She had it all restored, her 2,700 square feet. But I don't know that she's got friends anywhere.

    Ritchie: She just works?

    Bulkeley: Yeah.

    Ritchie: Her work is everything?

    Bulkeley: She was married once and still keeps remotely in touch with her former husband. When she was in Chicago and we were in downstate Illinois, she'd bring people from work, and stop on their way to the Indianapolis 500. We were in Danville. So they'd drive down from Chicago for dinner, and then get up at the crack of dawn and go over to beat the crowd into the brickyard. But it was always people connected with work; it wasn't people that she knew from other places. She's done civic stuff. She's had a couple of parties here that we've been to, with people from work or through work association.

    So I just don't think we ever, any of us, ever really learned how to do that. If we learned later, it was through the luck of figuring out that we needed to learn it, or by somebody teaching us without even knowing that you call occasionally and stop by and invite out for dinner, and you don't keep a scoreboard. It's not a matter of reciprocity; it's a matter of keeping in touch. And people with whom you can pick up the conversation however many years it's been.

    Ritchie: Many years later sometimes.

    Bulkeley: Yes. Or that you keep thinking, "I should pick up the phone and call." Or the new directory comes from college, and you say, "Gee, I wonder what she's doing," so you pick up the phone and call. We had to learn that stuff all later. But I just don't think we understood the social-class stuff in those days.

    Ritchie: In a small town.

    Bulkeley: Yeah. I think it was only later, catching clues. "Kate and Allie," a television show, which we didn't watch, except once I was on the road and it was on, keeping me company while I was packing or unpacking or something, and it's a class reunion. In one of the corners was a guy she had been dating in high school, twenty years earlier, who just suddenly quit calling, and she's furious, still, because he just dropped her. And she says, "That's not the way you treat people." He says, "But it was because I respected you. I wasn't being mean." He says, "I just knew that because of the way things were, we could never make a future, and I didn't want to clutter up your life." Well, I never understood that kids understood that stuff. And that then started making sense to me with some of the encounters and conversations that I'd had with people at class reunions. I didn't even go until my fifteenth anniversary. My class met every five years.

    Ritchie: From high school?

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    Bulkeley: Yeah. But the first one was a picnic at a park with kids, and I was a single newspaper reporter. The second one was a dinner and dance, and I was still a single newspaper reporter. Had nothing to offer. So I didn't go until fifteen, by which time I was running a newspaper and engaged. It wasn't the "running the newspaper" that people stood up and cheered about; it was the "engaged."

    Ritchie: How large was your high school class?

    Bulkeley: Fifty-one. We lost one in Vietnam. We would have been at the tag end. There's only one in my class who did career military, but, of course, they were also getting drafted. But we graduated in '60, so most of them were out again before anybody was going to Vietnam. Of course, it was only the elite who were going initially.

    Michael's class at the Air Force Academy, the four years at the academy, Michael watched the guys—flight school you did after graduating from the academy. It was eighteen months. Michael watched the class leaders from the classes ahead of him doing flight school and being sent to Vietnam and not coming home. So he didn't go to flight school. He graduated from the academy in '66.

    Ritchie: And eighteen months later, he would have been gone.

    Bulkeley: Oh, yes. Still. They eventually quit sending their elite academy-trained over there as the lead pilots. I think they saw what they were losing on return on investment.

    Ritchie: Let's stop for a second.

    [End Tape 1, Side A; Begin Tape 1, Side B]

    Ritchie: We were talking about your high school class and Vietnam, your brother in Vietnam.

    Bulkeley: Of course, Michael never went. He eventually went to flight school, but he used that—when he was approaching the deadline for going to flight school, he also was stationed in Panama when there still were all of the bases. It was long before the [Panama Canal] treaty and all of the hostility toward Americans. Anyway, he used flight school to get himself out of Panama far short of the normal tour down there. He also didn't have enough work to do.

    Ritchie: In Panama.

    Bulkeley: In Panama. He was the procurement officer for the two air bases, Air Force bases, and the Southern Command, but he said it only took him about two hours a day to do the work. Because he wasn't interested in learning Panama or Central America or doing the things that some people would do with that kind of a base and more demand, he was bored to death and wanted to have more to do. He also turned in a proposal suggesting merger of the four branches of the military purchasing offices so that somebody had enough work to do and the staff had enough work to do, and that they could save all of these extra staffs and gain greater price breaks and things through the combined purchasing power. But in the sixties, early seventies, that was not politick.

    Ritchie: Everybody wanted their own domain.

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    Bulkeley: Yes. So anyway, he did flight school and got out of Panama, and he's never again been stationed out of the country.

    Ritchie: But he avoided Vietnam.

    Bulkeley: And he missed Vietnam. Our class mostly missed, so we lost only one in Vietnam.

    Ritchie: What were some of your favorite subjects in high school?

    Bulkeley: I only did high school because I had to do high school. High school in those days, in little towns, was either the stuff you had to take for college or the stuff you had to take to go to work.

    Ritchie: Was it always assumed or expected that you would go to college?

    Bulkeley: Oh, yes, from the time I knew numbers, I knew sixteen was how long I had to go before I could quit going to school.

    Ritchie: Sixteen years of school?

    Bulkeley: Four years of college. And I had senioritis from probably third or fourth grade on.

    Ritchie: Were you a good student?

    Bulkeley: Well, I got good grades. I was the only four-point in our high school class. But I didn't know how to study. I knew how to figure out what the teacher wanted and do it, and I don't know that it was all that challenging, anyway. Those of us who were going to college did basic geometry, two years of algebra, physics, and chemistry, but the boys did trig and calculus. I didn't have to. None of the girls had to do trig and calculus, which was the senior-year math. I had four years of English, one year of general science.

    Ritchie: Any language?

    Bulkeley: Two years of Latin, and it was terrible, because the Latin—they had had Spanish in the high school and lost the Spanish teacher. We didn't have enough numbers to hire a new one. Then they lost the Latin teacher, and somebody who had taught Latin thirty-five years before got drafted at the last minute to teach it. So we did two years of Latin, got partway through the second book, second year, but not very far, because she just kept us going through the first book the second year.

    Other classes? History—only American. The only history I ever had started in 1492 and promptly moved into this hemisphere. The only geography I ever had was western hemisphere, and mostly northern continent. I took shorthand because I knew I was going into journalism. I was doing journalism, so I took shorthand. I took typing. I was allowed to take typing as a fifth subject.

    Ritchie: But it wasn't a normal college—

    Bulkeley: It wasn't normal for college in those days. We had eight class periods, and everybody took four courses. You took the same thing all year.

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    Ritchie: No changing at semester.

    Bulkeley: No changing. There was room for a little bit of elective, but there wasn't really anything to do. My cousin Susan took a couple of years of home ec [economics].

    Ritchie: But you had no interest in that?

    Bulkeley: No. I was already doing it. I had done as much as I needed to do to keep buttons on and fix hems through 4-H, and I had been cooking for a long time. When my mother's mother was sick and lived her last year and a half in Evanston Hospital with heart failure, Mother would be home a few days and organize and pick up and clean up, and then she'd organize the meals to cover her next trip to Chicago, and leave directions. So I was the chief cook and bottle-washer whenever she was on those trips. People would have us over, it wasn't as if we were totally on our own.

    Ritchie: But because you were the daughter, you were expected to step in.

    Bulkeley: Yes. So I had learned. I hadn't learned how to mix a meatloaf, but I knew how long it took to cook it and when to take the tin foil off so you'd get it brown. I knew how to make gravy from the time I was old enough to stand at the stove, and I probably was thirty before I knew most people couldn't make gravy and thought it was an art.

    Ritchie: It is! [Laughter.]

    Bulkeley: I could cream dried beef and tunafish from the time I was in junior high school, and I didn't know that was an art, or a despised food, in the case of creamed dried beef. So there wasn't any reason to take home ec. I didn't see any need for trig and plane geometry. Nobody else saw a need for the girl who was going to journalism to do it. And indeed, journalism had no numbers requirements. Having done the two years of algebra and one of geometry, I was exempt from anything in college, so what else did I take?

    Ritchie: Because you had met the requirements.

    Bulkeley: Yes. So anyway, that's what you took. There was industrial arts and there was ag [agriculture]. There was business English and there was typing II, which was a lot of business forms and things. There were, I think, four years of industrial arts and four years of ag for people who were doing that. But that's all there was to take in our high school, so it wasn't a matter of having choices. So you did what you were supposed to do. We did everything else, too—band.

    Ritchie: I was going to ask about outside interests.

    Bulkeley: All of the stuff at high school. I spent a lot of my study halls doing band library, and extra band practice.

    Ritchie: What did you play?

    Bulkeley: Flute and piccolo. In our day, they started us in fourth grade on band instruments, and I eventually saved enough money to buy a piccolo, too, because I wanted to do that.

    Ritchie: Where did your money come from? From allowance?

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    Bulkeley: Oh, yes, I didn't tell you that. From the time we moved to the country, our allowance stopped when school stopped, and we had to work for room and board. We had to meet our savings account and church pledges, and then we were free to do however much more work we wanted for spending money.

    Ritchie: What type of work was this?

    Bulkeley: Around the house and the yard. I did house work. My brothers did yard work. I did yard work, too.

    Ritchie: Was there a set schedule of payment?

    Bulkeley: We negotiated our hourly rate. As I got so I could do the windows faster, I could say, "I'm worth more." And Dad would say, "What are you going to do with it if you have it?" We had to do proper allocation to savings and those other things.

    Ritchie: So you each had a savings account?

    Bulkeley: We had checking accounts, too. We had both. And we had Christmas clubs from very early.

    Ritchie: You don't hear much about those anymore—Christmas clubs.

    Bulkeley: You'd think they'd be easy for banks to do in these days, and I think I do hear about them in the little towns. But you'd think with computers and stuff, they'd be a lot easier for savings. Anyway, we did all of that.

    Ritchie: What were you saving for?

    Bulkeley: Well, if we saved $100, we could buy a share in the brass factory and our grandmother would give us another one. And I saved for the piccolo. You'd save for any big thing. We had a certain amount we had to save anyway, but if we saved more than that, we could do what we wanted to with it, although Dad always liked to know we had a goal. I tell people we were brought up getting our M.B.A. We learned productivity.

    Ritchie: So when you say you had to save a certain amount, your father set a goal for you?

    Bulkeley: No. Well, I think we negotiated but he may have known. But I think we probably were expected to save 10 percent, I would guess, or maybe 15, and put a like amount into Sunday school, ultimately church. We had our own pledge cards. The Christmas clubs probably started at 50¢ a week, and we were probably into the $2 or $3 ones by the time we quit. But by the time I was fourteen or fifteen, I was taking the train to Chicago to do my Christmas shopping up there.

    Ritchie: And how long a ride would that have been?

    Bulkeley: Four hours. Three hours. Probably three hours. We'd eat breakfast on the way and be in the Loop just before the stores opened, which probably was ten o'clock. In those days, retailers were a lot smarter. When they were going to stay open at night, they didn't open until noon, even though their public was more available. I never understood stores that still open at nine and ten in the morning, downtown kind of stores, when there's such a relatively small percentage of shoppers available at those hours anymore.

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    Anyway, from the time we moved to the country, that was—during the school year, we had stuff we had to do for our allowance, and our allowances were budgeted. And that always went on, too. We did not get paid for grades. We got threatened if we didn't. As we each found out that our classmates were getting paid, we'd go home and say, "So-and-so is getting a dime. Why don't we?" Dad said, "You know what you get if you don't bring home the grades." End of discussion.

    But the piano practicing and the chores around the house, of course increasing as our competencies were. So we grew up knowing money management and value.

    Ritchie: Financial responsibility.

    Bulkeley: True. And that you had to earn money; it didn't just come. I still get tickled when I see newspapers using "earn" as the verb for "pay." I don't see how anybody who gets $25 million or $30 million or $5 million or even $2 million from a company in any year earned it. By the same token, there are a lot of people who only get $20,000 or $30,000, who earned a heck of a lot more than that. Anyway, that's just another piece that we got to.

    Ritchie: You mentioned band as an outside activity, and earlier your briefly mentioned 4-H.

    Bulkeley: We did Scouts. We did 4-H in the community. Sunday school is what we all went to—not church. Sunday school we went to every week. Church—the earliest I remember is every other week, having to go.

    Ritchie: In addition to Sunday school?

    Bulkeley: Yes. Then after the minister came with four sons, starting one a year older than me, the girls all started going every week, because the Ebright boys did, too. But we did all of the clubs and stuff at school—Science Club, Latin Club. I was on the student council a couple of years. GAA—Girls Athletic Association.

    Ritchie: What sports did you play?

    Bulkeley: Whatever we did at GAA. That was long before Title whatever.* Our P.E. teacher—we were required to do P.E. every day of the week, but our P.E. teacher was the last one the school system hired after all of the bus drivers and kitchen help, so whatever they had left, they hired the girls' one P.E. teacher.

    Ritchie: For all grades?

    Bulkeley: For all in high school. They didn't have P.E. teachers in those days in the lower grades. But there were always three or four or five men—coaches. We had one P.E. teacher who did the cheerleaders and GAA and all of the girls' P.E., probably seven classes a day out of the eight periods, and it was awful. We played either softball or soccer, baseball, outdoors until it got so we couldn't stay outdoors. Then we'd come in and we'd either do volleyball or basketball. At the semester break, we'd switch and do the other one. Then we'd go back outdoors when we could, and do the other one outdoors. And if you couldn't do it, you never learned it.

    ______________________
    * Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is the basis for gender equality in sports at high schools and universities receiving federal financial assistance.

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    I had a golf teacher when I was about forty-five, who hands me the club reversed at our first session and says, "Swing it like a baseball bat." I said, "John, I don't know how to swing a baseball bat." He says, "Everybody knows how to swing a baseball bat." I said, "Well, you stand like this, and when the ball comes, you go like that." He looked at me and said, "Why don't you know how to swing a baseball bat?" So I reminded him that there was a time when girls weren't supposed to be athletic, or when it didn't matter.

    Ritchie: Were you ever a cheerleader?

    Bulkeley: Yes, for one year. Junior high sports included ninth grade. In ninth grade, two of my best friends and I were the junior-high cheerleaders for football and basketball.

    Ritchie: So that kept you busy.

    Bulkeley: Yes. Plus the music lessons. We all did band and chorus. Those were both within the eight class periods. Band was every day; chorus was three times a week. I accompanied my class sextet in high school, and ultimately I was one of the key accompanists in the school. I played for opening exercises at Sunday school for two years. I got to pick the hymns, as well as play them. Sang in church choir. We had a youth choir that was all girls, junior high and high school. There was a short period when the adult choir didn't have thirty people, which is what the choir loft held, so some of us sang in it, too—my last two or three years in high school. We all did music contests, but I also accompanied several people.

    Ritchie: Who were in the contests?

    Bulkeley: In contests, including children of other piano teachers. There were other piano teachers saying, "She's the best accompanist available." Not just my own piano teacher or not just the piano students of Mrs. Graves.

    What else did we do? Of course, everybody did—in those days, we all did floats for the homecoming parade. Abingdon has a fall festival every year, and did even in those days, in the late summer. So we did doll buggy parade and we did bicycle parade. I did some of my own thinking-up for bicycle parade things. The only one I really remember is my pirate ship.

    Ritchie: Making the bicycle into a pirate ship.

    Bulkeley: Yes. It wasn't as grand as these days. We all did all the clubs and things available, and we all did all of the fundraisers. I used to know how many times I canvassed the whole little town selling class play tickets, chili supper tickets. The high school band sold fruitcake. That was the first of the exotic product sales that I encountered, was when we sold fruitcake and made the most money. Lots of bake sales. The health authorities hadn't gotten involved in bake sales in those days, so almost every Saturday there was a bake sale at the Gamble Store uptown. It had the best window.

    Ritchie: This would be to raise money for what?

    Bulkeley: To raise money for whatever, or the Scout troop or the 4-H Club or school activities. The senior trip. Most of what we raised money for all the way through high school was our senior trip, which was a train ride to Chicago, a day in Chicago, and the train ride home after whatever we did that night. The high school seniors from my school this year went to Bermuda, but they couldn't all go; they didn't all have money or approval. But compared with our own train car on

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    the milk train that went through anyway, and doing Midway Airport, one of the fancy movies at one of the fancy theaters, because the Schubert didn't have anything on when we went, and a ball game, that basically is what our senior trip was.

    Ritchie: A whole day.

    Bulkeley: Twenty-five hours. Because it was the longest I had ever worn my contact lenses. But compared with that, even relatively, the cost of going to Bermuda from downstate Illinois is so much more, but now they don't all do homecoming. To make a decent parade at all for homecoming, the whole community gets in. The best contingent in the parade is all of the wheelchair patients from the nursing home, with their helpers pushing them.

    My older brother and his buddies had a seven-member combo for probably three years in high school. There was also a high school dance band. Peter accompanied that. I couldn't ever do that kind of accompaniment. Because of the fight about the piano theory, formally learning it, I never learned how to chord and to play by ear and to improvise, which, of course, I was supposed to have learned from the theory lessons. I absolutely mental-blocked it. I have to have music to play the piano. My older brother didn't. So he not only had his own little band, but he was also the accompanist for the dance band for a couple of years. By the time it got to my senior year, the class right ahead of us had a good piano player, but I really couldn't do the dance band kind of accompanying. I could do everything else.

    What else did we do? Of course, Peter did Scouts. His Scout troop camped out in our timber a lot, or his buddies would just camp out there. We had a swimming pool, because the factory had swimming pool parts. We had a pool that my folks had put in between my junior and senior years in high school. Lake Bracken had movies every Sunday night during the summer, so we always did those for years. When we were young, families or friend groups would do picnics at the lake on Sundays, and the mothers and kids would do picnics during the week. As we got older, we didn't do picnics except on big-deal days by the time we were in high school and we could drive. Summer band and band concerts. Music camp.

    Ritchie: What was the first outside-the-home job that you ever had?

    Bulkeley: Gathering and folding the Abingdon Argus vacation issue—other than babysitting.

    Ritchie: So you babysat.

    Bulkeley: Yeah, and not a whole lot, because we lived a mile and a half out of town, and there were usually closer babysitters. So we were always last resort, but I babysat for two relative families, the one with the adopted children and one other one, and one family-friend family. Two family-friend families. But not a whole lot.

    Ritchie: How did you become interested in the newspaper?

    Bulkeley: Girl Scout badge. The Argus girls, Gene and Mary Lou, started their newspaper in our town while we still lived in town. It would have been '49 or '50.

    Ritchie: And they were two sisters?

    Bulkeley: No. They were two friends. Mary Lou was a chemist, and Gene was a journalism graduate from the University of Illinois. But in the forties, girls couldn't get journalism jobs.

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    College journalism graduate women couldn't get journalism jobs. Gene had some family backing, so they started this paper with a used offset press, because they could handle the aluminum plates, and Mary Lou knew the chemistry, because in those days the offset stuff was not already made, and the plates were not pre-sensitized or any of that stuff. You had to do all of that. There was an ancient weekly that looked like a museum piece. It was a sheet-fed letter press which closed a couple of years later.

    Ritchie: Why did they start in your town? Were they from the town?

    Bulkeley: Gene was from the next city, from Galesburg, and had an older stepsister who had money, but who was also wheelchair-bound with MS [Multiple Sclerosis] in our town. So Gene came there and lived with her sister and the sister's husband, and started the paper, because the Abingdon Kodak was so awful and in those days, Abingdon had a strong retail core. The industrial base in Abingdon, if you didn't look at the scale of it, would have made it look like Cleveland or somewhere in those days, with the three factories. It had one industrial job for every other job there was in town, and total jobs in town equal to a third, or 40 percent, of the population, with people coming from the countryside to work. So it was a good market for a paper. The Argus, at its peak, had over three thousand circulation and was running twenty-four to forty-eight tabloid pages a week, when Abingdon still had big grocery stores and neighborhood grocery stores, three full blocks of stores downtown and beauty shops everywhere.

    Ritchie: No malls?

    Bulkeley: No malls anywhere. Not everybody had cars. Lots of households were still one family, so people didn't run to Galesburg for all of their activities. It was still an outing. You planned to go to Galesburg; you didn't just go. Although a lot of people worked up there. But they worked and they came home, and they shopped where they lived at home.

    Ritchie: Do you remember when this newspaper started?

    Bulkeley: Yeah, because it was delivered everywhere and it was filthy dirty, grubby, because people weren't doing offset newspapers in those days. So the printing was muddy and crummy early on, and we didn't buy it; it just came. Everybody thought they were crazy, of course, because the Shoemakers had their paper and we didn't need another paper, except we soon did. Pretty soon the Argus was, in fact, the newspaper.

    So I was doing Girl Scout badges for something to do in eighth grade. I did twenty-five or thirty, and journalism was one of them, which then gave me the connection with Gene and Mary Lou. They had a couple of employees in those days. But that's when I found out that the label "journalism" covered a multitude of things, almost beyond definition, because with what it took to be a journalist, you could earn your living in almost any field.

    Ritchie: The skills that you learned?

    Bulkeley: Yes, because even in those days there were church magazines and Rotary magazines and science magazines, and there were specialists within the news media. So whatever I really got interested in, if I had to earn my living, I could do it with the journalism training. So anyway, that also stopped people who said, "What are you going to be when you grow up, little girl?" And I could say, "Journalism," and that would end the discussion, which was all right.

    Ritchie: What would you have said before that? Had you thought at all about it before then?

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    Bulkeley: I don't think so, but my mother said I was going to be a dress designer, and she had that all planned, that I was going to have useful art skills—art skills and training with which I could make my money, make a living, unlike her art, which wasn't. And that really didn't interest me.

    Ritchie: Her opportunities were somewhat limited.

    Bulkeley: But it was better than teaching or nursing or secretarial work.

    Ritchie: She thought that?

    Bulkeley: She did and I did.

    Ritchie: You did, too.

    Bulkeley: What did we know about it? What we knew about it was the teachers we had. Nursing meant sick people and secretaries were the lower class. We didn't know lower class, but they were those women who had to work at the office, and they didn't have the education to do nursing or teaching.

    Ritchie: Right.

    Bulkeley: Anyway, journalism gave me an answer, and it wasn't anything anybody seriously undermined or attacked, because indeed there were Gene and Mary Lou, the Argus girls, who by then were an established, accepted part of the community.

    Ritchie: I see. Argus is not their last name.

    Bulkeley: No. Argus is the newspaper—the Abingdon Argus. I forget.

    Ritchie: When you said "Argus girls," I thought that they were sisters with the last name of Argus.

    Bulkeley: No. Gene Cunningham and Mary Lou Stover.

    Ritchie: What does the word Argus mean?

    Bulkeley: I don't know, but there's lots of newspapers with that name. I've never looked it up or heard anybody talk about it.*

    Ritchie: I thought that was their family name.

    Bulkeley: No. The other paper was the Abingdon Kodak. But anyway, no, it was the Abingdon Argus was the newspaper. I started work there as soon as I was legally able to work around machinery, which I suppose would have been sixteen even in those days, even in Illinois. While there were girls who delivered our paper when we lived in town sometimes, it wasn't legal in those days—wasn't legal in Illinois until much later for girls to even be newspaper carriers.

    ______________________
    * Argus (Greek mythology). A giant with a hundred eyes, ordered by Hera to watch Io. After he was killed by Hermes, his eyes were put on the tail of the peacock. Any alert or watchful person; a guardian.

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    Ritchie: Girls specifically or because of their age?

    Bulkeley: I would guess because of the age and the hours a newspaper carrier works, and because—no, it wasn't one man one vote, so it wouldn't have been city people not wanting girls out on the streets. It probably was the protective legislation generally. I don't really know. It probably was just that they never put girls in when they authorized boys to work as carriers.

    Gene and Mary Lou did mountain-climbing and stuff on vacation. They just closed down and left for two or three weeks for vacations.

    Ritchie: The whole paper shut down?

    Bulkeley: But for whatever reason—and I think they said mail permit—they did advance papers for the two weeks they were gone. Sheet-fed paper meant you did two tab pages on one side, had to bounce the papers and run them back through to do the other side, then had to hand-gather and fold.

    Ritchie: So you went around and got all the sheets together and folded them over.

    Bulkeley: Right. And they usually figured it out so you stood in one place. [There were] no more than three double-wides. Sometimes there would have to be a half-size page if that's how the pages were. So you could do three doubles or two [doubles] and a single. Sometimes it would only be two doubles. But I spent two weeks doing that—nothing but bouncing and folding, gathering and folding newspapers, and got to be the fastest one they ever had, because you had to do something with your head. So I'd sit there and figure out what was the most efficient way—stack height and relationship to each other and space between, placement of feet, what degree of lock or loose in the knees.

    Ritchie: Just to keep things moving.

    Bulkeley: And how much body sway and how much arm reach, all of that stuff. That was my first job.

    Ritchie: Do you remember how much you got paid for it?

    Bulkeley: No. It was probably something wonderful like a quarter an hour. My first weekly job, I got $30. My first job at the daily, I think I got $30 a week, but that was between my freshman and sophomore years in college. I worked for the Argus, I did routine reporting and phone answering. They did job work and all kinds of things.

    Ritchie: During high school?

    Bulkeley: Yeah. I worked summers, that summer, the next two summers. They sold the paper the end of my junior year. When Peter was a high school senior, we started doing the high school paper as a page in the Argus, and Peter was editor. So when I would have been the editor my senior year, they sold the paper. But Gene also agreed to stay for a while, and then I did high school news as a column. The guy who bought it ran back and forth from Ohio, so she really was still running it mostly, as he was getting to know it. He mostly did advertising, anyway, so I still worked for her doing a high school column and working Saturdays. I think that was my senior year.

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    Ritchie: Did she encourage you to pursue this as a career?

    Bulkeley: Oh, sure. That's why they took me on, starting with the hand-folding job. I was covering city council meetings and school board meetings when they weren't there. Gene did it mostly. In fact, Gene was on the school board, and nobody really thought a whole lot about it as a conflict of interest that she was also writing the school board stories. It just was efficient. But they encouraged me.

    I also did the High School Institute at Northwestern between my junior and senior years. Peter did it in engineering. Then I did it. Then Michael did it. It was one of the first times they had had a first set of siblings go through. We didn't have journalism at school, so what we got from Gene those years, that it was part of the paper, was any training we had.

    Ritchie: What did your parents think about this?

    Bulkeley: As far as I know, they thought it was fine. I don't know if Mother and Dad had disagreements about it or if they only had disagreements when I was ready to go to Rochester, New York, after college. But I was going to school within bounds—either Northwestern [University] or [University of] Missouri. I couldn't go to the University of Illinois, because Peter was there.

    Ritchie: You didn't want to go there?

    Bulkeley: That's right. There were only 20,000 students there in those days, and Peter was one of them.

    Ritchie: You might bump into him.

    Bulkeley: Yeah. And even though that was Gene's journalism school and my dad's school, and its journalism school was in high repute in those days, I didn't ever even consider going there.

    At Northwestern, I got the distinct impression that they thought girls were more limited in what they could do as journalists than boys.

    Ritchie: But you didn't feel that?

    Bulkeley: No. Heavens, no. I mean, Gene and Mary Lou started their own newspaper. So it never occurred to me. I hadn't really decided what I wanted to do with newspapering, but it didn't occur to me that we had less to offer. I only had those glimmers of different expectations.

    So I applied to Northwestern, but I also knew how much it cost, and that our folks wouldn't fill out the financial disclosure forms, and knew if they did, we couldn't get scholarships anyway in those days. And I liked the feel much better at Missouri. So I applied to Northwestern so I could have the privilege of turning it down. It was probably the first overt snide thing I ever did, when I knew I was being snide. And I was accepted, and I turned it down and went to Missouri.

    Ritchie: Did any of your high school teachers encourage you in the direction of journalism or writing?

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    Bulkeley: Oh, I think they just generally encouraged once I had announced what I was doing. I don't think there was a whole lot of career direction for anybody. In my class, half of us went on to something, if you count barber school and if you count military, and that was normal in those days. We also lost nearly half between seventh grade and high school graduation. We were ninety-eight in seventh grade, and fifty-one when we graduated. That was no big deal in the fifties. Then, as I say, of the half that were still there, only half of us went on to something other than getting married or just work—in the factories or somewhere.

    But I don't recall any specific direction or pushing. People knew I was going to be the editor of the Commando, the student newspaper. That was our team name as well. So one of my best friends, Merrilee, was the yearbook editor, only then the Commando wasn't there, because the Argus had been sold and the new owner, even though Gene was still there, didn't want to commit to the time and attention. Instead, I got paid to do a high school column.

    Ritchie: In the newspaper.

    Bulkeley: In the Argus. So I didn't get to be yearbook editor, either. I obviously had enough to do, but I don't really know.

    Ritchie: It sounds like it.

    Bulkeley: I didn't do GAA my senior year. I could get the yearbook out. I've got my yearbooks. Not my junior yearbook. I gave that to Godfrey Ebright a couple of years ago, because he didn't have his, so I gave him my junior one, which is his senior. The oldest of the minister's sons. I found him because everybody had lost him, and one of the guys from his—my class and the class of '59 do reunions together in order to have enough people to have a decent party. One of the guys from his class assigned me to find Ebright, because I was doing the most travel. And I found him. He's a minister in Mesa, Arizona, which my brothers knew, and I don't know why his class didn't know it, and I don't know why I didn't know it. But anyway—

    Ritchie: But you were the investigator who found him.

    Bulkeley: I was invited to go do a speech in Phoenix at one point, so I agreed, and arranged it so I could stay over, because it was an Associated Press group I was interested in, anyway. I spent four months trying to get up enough nerve to write [to him]. Nobody had seen Ebright or talked to him since college. Methodists move their ministers, so his family was long gone from our town. And nobody knew where he had gone. So I finally, ten days before the trip, having not written, I finally just picked up the phone and called, and he answered at his church. My speech was Friday sometime, had dinner Saturday night with him and his wife, and went to his church on Sunday and met all his kids and his congregation, at least one service worth, before I came home. And we've kept in touch off and on ever since. For whatever reason, he had closed off the Abingdon years, even though it was his junior high and high school. But over time, then he got interested in rethinking that, and I knew he didn't have his yearbook, so I sent him mine. So I don't have my junior one, but I've got the rest of them from junior high on.

    I did speech contests and music contests. I did a lot of the accompanying.

    Ritchie: Did you get any awards in high school?

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    Bulkeley: Well, sure, in something. I always got "first" at state in music. Illinois in those days did not separate sports by school size, but I think separated the biggest city schools out from the rest of us in music contests.

    Ritchie: So you had more of a chance?

    Bulkeley: [It was] competitive. But they also tried to teach us that they were measuring against general standards, not against each other. They didn't have X number of firsts, seconds, and thirds they were giving. We were each rated on our own performance.

    [End Tape 1, Side B; Begin Tape 2, Side A]

    Bulkeley: The band always played. Sometimes my friend Cherry Byram and I would do flute duets. We had this sextet from our class that sang every year. I did piano contests, but I never got to—we had to have a local elimination piano contest, because you could only send X number of entries in. I never got past the local elimination in piano contests, although one judge apologized to me after the local contest. He said, "By the time of the contest, you would have been the best entry, and I don't know why I judged it the way I did, but I'm not going to change it now that we've announced the results."

    I had a school teacher do that to me once—a college teacher. The one class I flunked a mid-term and wrote a perfect final on, I got a C in college. I saw the faculty member, and I said, "I wrote a perfect final and was the first one out of there. How come I only got a C?" He said, "I did a straight average of the grades." He said, "That's what I do." I said, "That doesn't make sense when you've got somebody who knows it better than everybody at the end."

    Ritchie: And then to get a C.

    Bulkeley: He says, "Well, maybe not, but I've already posted the grades, and I never change grades." I said, "You're really lucky, because you will never have in your classroom anybody I know as long as I'm on this campus." Well, that's kind of the way this judge was at the music contest. I didn't really think a whole lot of it.

    I took harp lessons for two years. That was one of the make-ups my mother did. I went to music camp from junior high on.

    Ritchie: In the summer?

    Bulkeley: In the summer. That was early in the days of camp, other than camping. We did camp-out kind of camping at Lake Bracken a couple of years.

    Ritchie: Did your family ever take vacations away from home?

    Bulkeley: We did three. Vacations were still news in those days. Although we could only go where we knew people, the first trip was to Arizona, and it was '52, because on the way back, my mother looked for motels with television sets so she could watch the Republican convention. That also was when they were starting the interstates, so we drove on a lot of dirt and through a lot of construction. But anyway, we did Arizona.

    Dad went with us partway. Dad's family lived in Richmond, Missouri, which is near Kansas City, and Oklahoma City, and I think that's where Dad left, came home. Then we went on

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    to Williams, Arizona, where friends of Mother's were and owned a motel. We stayed there probably ten days and did the Grand Canyon and Boulder Dam and Las Vegas, where we sat in a drugstore while Mother and Bill McKee went into the casino. And Black Creek Canyon. Bill was a geologist, so he knew about stuff that wasn't normal tourist stuff yet and Black Creek Canyon was one of those. Williams is near Scottsdale? No. I've forgotten. The motel owner and his wife went off to see the wife's folks probably in Tucson, and we stayed at the motel. Their kids were close to our age.

    We did a short trip to Topeka, Kansas, to deliver papers to the historical society. After my grandmother died, the big house, her house, had a full attic with regular stairs up to it. My goodness. As Mother and the sisters and sisters-in-law of my dad were cleaning out the attic, Peter was also there, and managed to save a bushel basket full of letters and two family Bibles. The letters turned out to include some of the official papers of Colonel E.N.O. Clough, who was the claims adjuster for the Missouri Territory following the Civil War. He had mustering-out rolls and various other kinds of military papers. The Kansas Historical Society is also the caretaker of the Missouri Territory, we found out eventually. So they wanted those papers, not the family Bibles. We had somebody's handwritten Santa Fe Trail story and some other stuff. I don't remember all of it anymore. But anyway, we did one trip to take those papers out and deliver them. We stopped at Lake of the Ozarks for a few days on the way back. That was the short trip.

    The third trip was to Rhode Island, where Mother had friends with a big house in Wakefield, which is on the bay, I guess. We went through Canada and through upstate New York and Burlington, Vermont, and across. We did some of the stuff in the mountains there—the Old Man of the Mountains natural sculpture. Rhode Island, down the coast, and back.

    On the way back from Arizona, we did relatives in Albuquerque, distant relatives of Mother's, and we did Carlsbad Cavern. I don't remember any other sightseeing from that trip, but that was '52, which would have been between fourth and fifth grade.

    Rhode Island, I think, was probably '57, right before Peter graduated from high school. He graduated in '58. Kansas would have been in between somewhere. But the two big trips were three weeks, roughly, and the in-between one was ten days, I would guess. We did part of Boston. I had read The House of Seven Gables and some of those other things. We did the walking tour, but we didn't get to North Church. That's one of my paranoid stories. We stopped one stop short. The next stop was North Church, but there was some backtracking. Mother says, "Do we want to go on?" And before I could say, "Yes," Peter and Michael both said, "No." So I was never heard.

    Ritchie: That was the decision.

    Bulkeley: And we climbed the Bunker Hill monument on Breed's Hill and those things. The original Bulkeleys landed in Boston in 1635, and helped found Concord, Mass. So part of the reason for poking around up there was to go to Concord and stand by the rock that said "The Reverend Peter Bulkeley" on it, that kind of stuff, and to walk the common where the Gilbert Stuart grave is, because Mother's family claims connections to the royal Stuarts through Gilbert Stuart, though there aren't any records on any of that. We didn't go into New York City.

    Ritchie: But it was a long vacation.

    Bulkeley: Long trip, a lot of time in the car. Came back on the Pennsylvania Turnpike through the tunnels. So that was the third trip.

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    Ritchie: You mentioned having read House of Seven Gables. Earlier you talked about when you learned to read. What were some of your favorite books growing up, do you remember?

    Bulkeley: We grew up hearing the Oz books, being read the Oz books and another series called Sunny Boy Horton. He was so bright, they called him Sunny.

    Ritchie: Your mother would read these?

    Bulkeley: Mother read to us, yes.

    Ritchie: In the evenings?

    Bulkeley: Evenings. Winnie the Pooh. A lot of the books that were written for adults to read out loud, because they had stuff that was funny for adults, too. Mother could never get through the Heffalump story in Winnie the Pooh, because she'd be rolling on the floor, laughing.

    We also listened to stuff on the radio and we played cards. We didn't have television until, I think, I was in fifth grade. My grandparents in Chicago got television at Thanksgiving in 1948 when we were there. You didn't ask that, but that—

    Ritchie: You remember that?

    Bulkeley: Yes. My first book, my first fancy book—we all had our own comic book subscriptions and appropriate magazines. Jack and Jill was my magazine. Peter got the big one.

    Ritchie: Saturday Evening Post?

    Bulkeley: No, that was a family magazine.

    Ritchie: Boy's Life or one of those?

    Bulkeley: He got Boy's Life because he was in Boy Scouts, but he also got another one.

    Ritchie: Highlights?

    Bulkeley: Yes. Children's Highlights. I've forgotten what Michael's was. My comic was Loony Toons—Bugs Bunny. Peter's was Donald Duck, and Michael's was Little Lulu.

    Ritchie: And you'd each get your own and then you'd trade?

    Bulkeley: Right. And we'd also buy some sometimes when we had extra spending money. We also went to movies every Saturday. Movies were 14¢ and popcorn was 7¢. There would be a cowboy and a funny one, and cartoons.

    Ritchie: Would the three of you go together or would you go with your friends?

    Bulkeley: We'd meet our friends there. Everybody went. Sometimes I'd go on Sunday with my friends, meet my friends. The Sunday movies were only one, and they were the color musicals, and they cost a quarter.

    Ritchie: Much more.

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    Bulkeley: For a few years, my around-the-corner-in-town best friend's father worked at Sears. The Howards. If he had to work Saturdays, we'd go up and go to the Orpheum and watch the twenty-five cartoons, and walk over to Sears, and Walter would be through, and we'd come home. But I brought home all of the childhood diseases from that. I was the first to get chicken pox and mumps and measles.

    Ritchie: From going to the cartoons?

    Bulkeley: Going to Galesburg to the movies, to the cartoons. At least that's what everybody assumed, because I had them first. I had encephalitis meningitis with the mumps.

    Ritchie: Hmm.

    Bulkeley: Yeah, whoopee. I'm told I was deaf for six months after that.

    Ritchie: Do you remember that?

    Bulkeley: I remember being very sick and being in the dark room, my room being dark. I don't remember being deaf. I don't really remember a whole lot about earaches and things, but I had them. Then I remember just sort of generally other times being sick, because mostly whoever was sick got to be in Mother and Dad's big bed during the day and listen to the radio, in both houses. As you started to get well in town, you could come down on the couch in the living room. It was a much smaller house, of course, so Mother wouldn't have to run up and down stairs.

    Ritchie: Is that why your parents built the house in the country—for more room?

    Bulkeley: Uh-huh. I didn't know what they were doing at the time, but I remember the little old lady we used to visit with the big house, that Mother and Dad spent a couple of years trying to buy, and Mrs. Norris kept changing her mind. Finally, they gave up on her selling their house, and built instead.

    Ritchie: How was your father involved in the childrearing at home? Did he participate?

    Bulkeley: He did the money management piece, and he did the Scout piece, he was on the Scout Commission for thirty or forty years, helping run the whole territory as a volunteer board member. But he always was in charge of the work in the yard. I learned to run the small power mower. It was one of the rotary motors. So he always was in charge of any yard work we did. We planted evergreens from the state nursery, reforested part of the timber. He was always in charge of that stuff. But in those terms, by setting the expectations and enforcing them, he was really the boss of a lot of things.

    Ritchie: Very much there and a part of it.

    Bulkeley: Yeah. Including Sunday school and church. Mother sang in the choir, but it was Dad who was involved with church, primarily, so he was the enforcer of that. We'd go to the factory with him when he'd stop by on Sundays or Saturdays. We'd do other stuff with him. I think he counseled people around town who had financial trouble, or employees who had financial trouble, because I know lots of times we'd go to somebody's house and play with their kids or sit in the car while Dad would be in having meetings with them about something. Sometimes he'd take us out when he ran errands—probably to give Mother a break on Saturdays. Or we'd go out in the evening for ice cream.

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    Ritchie: With him?

    Bulkeley: Yeah, or to the Maid Rite, in those days when kids could eat whole sandwiches. Yeah, he was involved with us, I suspect more than a lot of people, although I don't really know. We haven't really ever talked through any of that. Because I remember seeing a lot of other people's fathers, too, and maybe it's small town. I mean, my dad's office was on the other side of town, and that was five minutes. But he came home for lunch. We didn't have lunch at school. Well, we carried lunch once we moved to the country. But then we started sometimes walking to the factory and riding home with Dad for lunch, because they never changed from the one-hour lunch hour.

    Ritchie: So you had the time to do that.

    Bulkeley: So we had time. And I think that's probably because they never closed the campus. People who lived in town could always go home. The school busing started when I started school. They started consolidating and closing the country schools.

    Ritchie: And bringing—

    Bulkeley: And bringing kids in. I think it took them three years to close them all, but by then half of the people in our school were bused, and state aid was on a per capita basis, so if it snowed, we didn't have school. If they couldn't send the buses out at seven, we didn't have school.

    Ritchie: To get enough students in.

    Bulkeley: Yeah. That was just an aside, obviously. I don't know how relative it was to anything. Oh, I know. But they never closed the campus and said you had to stay for lunch. Once they could bust up the school and not have six grades in the high school, they started doing hot lunches. Our junior high was right across the street. My old grade school that was made junior high was right across the street, so we went to the high school for gym and could go over for meals. The grade school had hot meals from the time it opened—30¢. I always carried my extra money in my penny loafers, my back-up, in case I lost my lunch money.

    Ritchie: Do you think you missed anything growing up in a small town?

    Bulkeley: No, I think we got a lot more, and partly because our folks also—when we'd go visit grandparents, we'd do other stuff, and because our trips weren't to human-made entertainment. I remember all of the Knott's Berry Farm and Disney World trips people were taking, which mostly was what we reported in the Argus when I was writing up all those little trips and things.

    Galesburg had a civic music association, and we went to music stuff up there. We did some art, not a whole lot. One of the family stories is about the time there was a modern art exhibit at the Art Institute in Chicago, and we all had to leave because my brothers and I were laughing so much at most of the garbage. But we did the Museum of Science and Industry and the Natural History Museum and the planetarium and the aquarium, and we did the fancy dining room at Marshall Fields and Carsons Pirie Scott with Grandmother or with our mother.

    Ritchie: So really you had both worlds.

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    Bulkeley: And we did the history as well as museums and things on the family trips. It wasn't just visiting friends, and we didn't just hang around all day. We did rodeos and, as I mentioned, the Grand Canyon and some of those other things, and stuff along the way. But we also had to learn how to entertain ourselves and how to make entertainment out of what was there. We learned how to hunt arrowheads and how to know the trees and how to hunt mushrooms and take hikes in the woods and hang ropes from the branches so we could swing across the creek, and how to wade the creek and find our way back up and down the creek. My brother and his friends did camping out.

    My best friend, Cherry Byram, her family was in second or third generation of having cabins in Northern Wisconsin, so two different summers I spent a month up there. Again, that's some of what I got that my brothers didn't. I went on canoe trips with the Byrams, so I did camping out then. It was "pitching tent" kind of camping. Our Girl Scout troop went to Starved Rock State Park.

    Mother also took us places on school holidays. On teachers institutes, we did the Mark Twain stuff in Hannibal, we did the state capitol, we did Galena, Illinois, we did I don't remember what else. Oh, Bishop Hill and Nauvoo. Bishop Hill was a Swedish socialist settlement, Nauvoo was the Mormons.

    Ritchie: In Illinois?

    Bulkeley: In Illinois. And Lovejoy. I keep forgetting you're a historian, not a journalist. Lovejoy was a freedom of the press case, a destroyed press during the attacks on the Mormons in Illinois. Nauvoo is one of the places that the Mormons were driven out of the—they had come from Missouri back to Illinois, to Nauvoo, and then they went West. Some of them split both after Missouri and after Nauvoo, some of the splits came. But anyway, we did those kinds of things on school holidays.

    Ritchie: So although you lived in a small town, you were very exposed to the things around you in the state.

    Bulkeley: And I had harp lessons for two years and played with the orchestra, besides playing with the band in high school. I played with the Knox-Galesburg Symphony one year. Music camp.

    Ritchie: You mentioned writing for the newspaper in high school. You wrote about high school events?

    Bulkeley: Yes, both when we did the high school page in the Argus and that last year when I did the high school news in a semi-column format for the Argus.

    Ritchie: So you would report on what was happening in the school.

    Bulkeley: Right. The club meetings and homecoming plans. I covered sports. The Argus covered all of the sports. "All of the sports" meant the boys' football and the boys' basketball and the boys' baseball and the boys' track. So Gene could cover them all. But I learned how to do photography when you didn't have the fast film and the intense lights.

    Ritchie: So you would take the photographs to accompany or to be in the newspaper.

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    Bulkeley: To go with, as part of the illustration. I also learned how to keep basketball score, but that was to keep me entertained during basketball, because I never liked basketball. Of course, that year I was in cheerleading, I had to go to all of our junior high games, and that's what everybody did, so you went to all the other games, too. But nobody ever bothered teaching us the subtleties of knowing where your best shot is from the floor and how you set up plays and make plays to give your best shooters the best shots from their best places. Nobody ever taught the girls that. And since I never dated anybody—which I much later learned wasn't because I was weird, it was because I was the boss' daughter—I never learned any of that. Although I learned to keep score, but not based on types of shots and shooting and from where; just shots and misses.

    Ritchie: You didn't really understand the game.

    Bulkeley: But I didn't understand the strategies and the finesses and nuances of the game. I did football. I understood football. But it was—well, for whatever reason, I understood football. Michael played; Peter didn't. But I started going to football early. I started having season tickets for football in grade school—fifth or sixth grade.

    Ritchie: So you enjoyed that sport.

    Bulkeley: Yeah, and again I have no idea why. There wasn't nearly as much of it, of course. Basketball was three nights a week, usually, one week night and both weekends, Friday and Saturday. And the junior varsity played before varsity. We weren't junior varsity; we were junior high. We didn't have as many games. But we all went to all of the high school games, too, and a lot of the out-of-town games, because they'd take school buses. It wasn't that we had three nights of home games; it was three nights altogether. But for whatever, the 40¢ or 60¢ or whatever, we could go on school buses, go to out-of-town games, so we did that. Nobody paid any attention to baseball. We did track and went to out-of-town track meets and wandered around. The track was also at the football field, and you could wander around that and watch it. But girls didn't do sports, so I just never learned about basketball.

    Ritchie: Did that bother you at all?

    Bulkeley: I knew as much as anybody else did. I knew more, because I had the score book, and people were always checking my score book to see the statistics on their favorite people. It was only the players and the coaches, generally, who were plugged into the play-making for the game.

    Ritchie: So it was a mystery to a lot of people.

    Bulkeley: Well, it wasn't a mystery. Everybody ran up and down and you shot baskets and made points, and that was enough activity for most people and enough to keep most people interested and engaged with the game—cheering and yelling. I just got bored, so I learned how to keep score, for something to do.

    Ritchie: So this would be a part of your reporting? You would use this information in your writing?

    Bulkeley: I don't think I ever wrote the sports games. A woman named Tede Verner, who was several years older than me, was a jock and was one of the women's amateur golfers, outstanding in the territory, even in high school, wrote a lot of the games. Gene just knocked them out and wrote them, ran the statistics. This stuff I did was mostly the routine calling up people—

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    Page 30 we heard So-and-so was on vacation, so we'd call up and find out, or the obits. No, the funeral home brought the obits; we didn't have to do those. We covered the Bunko clubs and Rotary and Kiwanis and all of that stuff, a lot of it by telephone. People would bring in pieces on the out-of-town guests or the little trips, or we'd hear about them and call them up and get them and write them. We had a club meeting book that had every organization in town and when it met—the sewing circles and the card clubs, the Eastern Stars and the Shrines and all of them. That was part of the regular work, checking on all of those, getting them in the paper. None of that stuff is there anymore. I don't think it still happens. It's not in the Argus, if it does. The college kids home, the new jobs.

     

    Ritchie: So you would write it up and then turn it in to Gene?

    Bulkeley: Or even put it over to be set in type. Especially the early years, I'd turn it in to somebody else, Gene or Mary Lou, to edit it. But we also had to do our own proofreading and put our own corrections in after the type was set, because offset was paste-up black on white, and then it was photographed, and then printed on the plate from the negative.

    Ritchie: So you would see a paste-up of it.

    Bulkeley: We'd see the photographic print out of the typesetter, columns of type, and proofread it, then paste in the corrections. Then the page would be pasted up from that, photographed. Then any imperfections on the page, we'd paint out—the lines that the shadows had made around words we'd pasted in or any of that stuff. We'd white-out or opaque-out. Then the negative would be used to print the plate, which then went on the press, and the part of the plate that was exposed held ink, and the part that wasn't exposed didn't. Then it offset on a roller onto the paper. Gene ran the press. Mary Lou did the chemistry. They both did the darkroom. I learned to do the darkroom part of photography, not of the plates. They had one of those huge cameras—enlarging cameras.

    Ritchie: So you did the photography in high school?

    Bulkeley: Some.

    Ritchie: You would take the camera?

    Bulkeley: Yeah, but not all of it. Not a lot of it. Just some. Just enough to know my way around.

    Ritchie: You mentioned dating in high school, and you alluded to the fact that you didn't date much.

    Bulkeley: No.

    Ritchie: Did your friends?

    Bulkeley: Some people did and some people didn't. Some cousins did and some didn't. Peter, my older brother, and Bill dated a little bit. I mean, a couple of girls for a little while. But there were usually more of us at homecoming and proms and things without dates than with.

    Ritchie: So even though you were the boss' daughter, it wasn't unusual that you would—you weren't the only one who didn't have a date.

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    Bulkeley: Right. And I dated Rick Dechow a couple of times, and I dated a guy that I met at the lake from Galesburg a couple of times, but that was all. There were group things going on all the time. There were sock hops after the weekend ball games, some after football, more after basketball because the gym was heated and open anyway. The Dechows had a full finished basement and a multiple-car garage, so most of those years during high school, if there wasn't anything else going on, there would be a big party at the Dechows. Some people may have sneaked out to smoke and drink, but most of us didn't.

    Ritchie: Was there anything you didn't like about living there? Looking back, do you see any disadvantages?

    Bulkeley: I never thought about if I could pick where to grow up, where would I have picked. My guess is even though I didn't learn how to learn very effectively, and had a lot more limits, the more I see that kids are doing and not learning, the more I think we probably had a more solid core education. In a little town where everybody looked out for everybody, we probably had a much more comprehensive upbringing than people who grew up in big neighborhoods of people all alike or people from similar backgrounds. [P.] David [Finks] grew up in an ethnic neighborhood that was various immigrants, but it was all first- and second-generation people, so in lots of respects, their outlook on today and tomorrow was similar, while their history was different. But we had the Down's Syndromes and the spina bifidas and the geniuses all in the same room, and we had the kids who only had two shirts and one pair of jeans, and those who didn't wear the same clothes two days in a row or once every two weeks, all in the same room. The smart kids and the shy kids, the bashful kids and the loudmouths. We ran into everybody. We had to live with the consequences of what we did, because there was no way to escape, which was especially important at the newspaper. If I misspelled somebody's name, I knew about it, because I had to confront—not confront, but I saw that person in church or school or wherever.

    Ritchie: You weren't removed from them.

    Bulkeley: That's right. I think we learned in a lot more comprehensive way. Because church and school and work weren't separated, the people who worked together also ran into each other at the grocery store, and the people who didn't work together ran into each other at other places. I think we were a lot better off to deal with a world brought together with communications and transportation than people who grew up in, and didn't think it was more sheltered or protected, but in more homogenous environments. Our town was all white except for two households of related-to-each-other blacks. But we had the economic diversity; we had the capabilities diversity; we had the expectations diversity; we had older people looking out for us; we had younger people looking up to us; we had peers looking out for each other that I don't think people got in bigger places. So in many respects, if I had to pick and choose, while it might not be as much fun, and while we might have had to scrap a little harder to make a place at big schools and universities, my guess is we all had much better foundations than a lot of people out of big cities.

    Ritchie: For life.

    Bulkeley: Yeah. I say that, and then I look at what some kids have achieved coming out of the crappy rural nothing places in the South or out of some of the no-democracy countries, some of the immigrants. I look at what some of those people have achieved, and I think we've probably shortchanged—a lot of my peers, economic peers, class peers, whatever—we've probably shortchanged everybody and not given back and done as much as we should have, when you look and see how much has been accomplished by people who had nothing to start with. I don't know.

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    So who knows? I guess I figure it's one of those things that isn't going to change, so just be sure I learned out of it. So I can't really answer your question shortly or directly.

    Ritchie: This might be a good point for us to stop today.

    Bulkeley: Okay.

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    [Begin Tape 1, Side A]

    Ritchie: We talked a little bit last time about your selection of college—the fact that you had applied to both Northwestern and Missouri, and that you knew what you wanted to do.

    Bulkeley: To the extent that I knew I wanted to do journalism and newspaper journalism. I don't know when I decided that I was going to fix how the Midwest was covered from the East, when I got interested in government and politics, whether it was in high school or during the Kennedy-Nixon campaign that fall when I started college, or it was an accumulation of things. My guess is, it was an accumulation because of my mother's political stuff and going with her to political things. Paul Douglas* was one of the U.S. senators from Illinois, and I remember reading one of his books, and then going to the next little town when he opened a post office there, and getting the book autographed, even though my parents were a far cry from Democrats. They described the University of Chicago, which was his academic base, as "that pinko school in Chicago." But somewhere in that period, the whole notion of government and political reporting and doing a proper Midwest perspective from Washington evolved as what I set out to do in those days.

    Ritchie: You had this idea very early in your college years?

    Bulkeley: In high school or college, an evolution during that period. I know from the beginning so I took lots of government/political science courses, most of my non-journalism, as much as I could get away with, given the requirements. I took a ton of political science, history and economics. I took more than I was supposed to, but I managed to get away with it.

    Ritchie: Were there many females in the journalism program?

    Bulkeley: There were enough that I didn't notice that there were people who had different expectations for us. I got that distinct impression at Northwestern that summer I was there, that they thought there were limits on what girls/women could do and had to offer. But I never had any sense of that at Missouri. Years later, as people started reconstructing when the shift happened in journalism to more than half women, and started monitoring to see if that was creating a new pink-collar ghetto, I remember being a little surprised that we were only probably 30 to 35 percent. I don't know whether that's precise for Missouri or whether that was for the schools that were monitored, but a third would have been well over a critical mass, certainly, and it wasn't a question of being the only one in the room or one of the few in a big room or anything like that. That only happened later.

    Ritchie: What about the professors you had? Did you have any female professors?

    Bulkeley: Nope. One French course. I mean, all the way through college, I had one.

    ______________________
    * Paul H. Douglas (1892-1976). (D-IL). U.S. senator, 1949-67.

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    Ritchie: Not just journalism.

    Bulkeley: In an advanced French course. Again, I didn't think of that. Coming from a little town where we had seen everybody doing everything—not everything, but a fairly wide range of things, from owning the newspaper and the flower shop and partnering the grocery stores, at least the visible part of grocery stores, we saw the husband and wife both work where they owned them, and the kids. The farms where women, as often as not, did some of the field work as well as putting massive meals on the table and had their own parts of the livestock responsibility, from all of that stuff, I really didn't know that the world thought women had less to offer until I got into my first paid job.

    I thought that was an aberration that I ran into at Northwestern. So it never really registered that the only women on the faculty were the ones who did the women's section and backed up the advertising sales for The [Columbia] Missourian, the daily newspaper that the journalism school publishes at Missouri. Because women were the teaching assistants and student assistants at least in proportion to their number in the student body—maybe even more. Those things are hard to go back and reconstruct, because teaching assistants and things just don't show on transcripts. But I know that we were there, because I was one, too. My senior year, for one semester, I was a teaching assistant for the news labs.

    Ritchie: What did you do in that job?

    Bulkeley: In those days, the journalism school was only about a third of today's size—a few hundred instead of 1,500 or whatever. So everybody, whatever intended major, one of the first courses in the fall of junior year, the first semester of junior year, was a course called Introduction to News, a two-credit-hour course that had two lectures a week plus a two-hour lab in which you wrote, practiced, whatever the exercise was from that week's lecture—writing obits or routine copy news or whatever. Teaching assistants managed those labs, led the discussion, presented whatever the story was or the situation to be covered, graded the papers, and did follow-up with the grading. Some of those were graduate students, some of them were people considered the better undergraduates. As a senior, I was one of those teaching assistants, and could have done teaching assistant again either in that or in copy editing, which had a similar kind of arrangement for headline-writing and things, but I didn't do it.

    I had the down payment for the car, which is what I set out to do it for, because my dad had said, since it was my time and my choice of how to use my time at college, I could keep the money, so I did. Mother and I kept it for me to buy a car with, only he didn't know that's what I was doing. Dad always said we couldn't buy cars till we'd graduated and knew what we needed for our first job.

    Ritchie: In terms of where you'd be located?

    Bulkeley: In terms of where we'd be located, if the job would have vehicle demands or not, and the stuff you're supposed to think about before you buy a car, not just what you'd like to have or how much can you afford to have. So I saved my $75 a month, which was pretty good pay for the amount of work involved. It was probably one of the best-paying jobs on campus, and had a third of the price of a Chevy II, so I ordered a car at semester break. I picked it up and paid for it at Easter. Dad ultimately paid for the other two-thirds of it, because my older brother, Peter, was doing a master's degree, an M.B.A., that Dad was helping pay for, and he said, "Since you're not going to do graduate work right now, I'll put the cash into your car so you don't have payments to worry about, but then you'll have to pay that much of any graduate work you do."

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    Ritchie: In the future.

    Bulkeley: So that seemed reasonable.

    Ritchie: And here you are doing it now.

    Bulkeley: Here I am doing it nearly thirty years later, instead of having it done, doing it piecemeal when I had a job that would have paid tuition or split the tuition. C'est la vie.

    Ritchie: What were some of the courses that you enjoyed in college?

    Bulkeley: Most of the political science. I lucked into a required intro to government course. I lucked into a lab instructor, a graduate student. Again, state university—we had big lectures and little discussion labs. "Little" in that term meant forty, fifty, sixty in the discussion lab, several hundred in the lecture.

    John Ramsey taught political science from looking for where the options are laid out and the decisions are made—where is the control that narrows the choices, where the decisions are made that affect how the money is gathered from whom and how it's spent. So in the early sixties, in the federal government, for instance, that meant knowing what was then the Bureau of the Budget inside out, because that truly is where the executive options were laid out and then narrowed down to what went into the final plan. No matter what a president's political philosophy and operating philosophy, there still are many choices to be made. The Bureau of the Budget was the control point on those. But the rest of it, he taught—the outlines and the theory—as simply a yardstick against which to measure, so you'd have some way of evaluating and looking at the effectiveness of government.

    Ritchie: On whatever level.

    Bulkeley: At whatever level. And [he] taught connections vertically and horizontally. I got a lot more of that later. I took probably twenty hours of political science, and I had John—Mr. Ramsey—for two more courses. I picked my political science courses based on his discussion labs, to the extent I could.

    We did Advise and Consent, Alan Drury's first big novel, published that year, and for one of my papers I did a review of that book. I had read the condensed version, so I read the whole one and did a review. He'd start discussion with questions like, "Which United States president was the greatest dictator?" And everybody would say, "Roosevelt," all those Southern Democrats, and city Republicans or country Republicans would say, "Franklin Delano Roosevelt." Then he'd go back and show us what Lincoln did in his first hundred days. He'd ask who'd had experience with socialized medicine. Well, we all did. The campus had a clinic, and access to medical help was part of what our tuition paid for in those days. By the second time he asked those questions, I knew the answers. [Laughter] But it was that kind of pragmatic and use of theory to make sense out of the world rather than theory for theory's sake. So the political science courses I found quite useful.

    We had to take an Intro to Economics course. All of my sorority sisters said, "Oh, you're going to have a wonderful semester. That's five hours of an easy C, because we've got all the tests in the files." Well, with my upbringing, saying that kind of thing to me is daring me to do better. So I led the curve in my lab and got an A in that five hours of economics by spending the requisite two hours a day, and it was great fun.

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    Our big professor there was Pinkney Walker, who was off and on a member of the Democratic administration and frequently on advisory boards and things. I don't remember the discussion leaders. But then I took a bunch of economics courses. One of them, until recently, was the only course I ever flunked a midterm on—an economic theory course that absolutely made no sense to me, because it was abstractions. I had gotten through the required Intro to Philosophy by memorizing, because I couldn't deal with abstractions in those days. I was having a terrible time with this economics course, flunked the midterm. Three credit hours, I did a minimum of two hours a day, seven days a week, wrote the only perfect final, had checked it so many times I could have recited the whole test and all the answers, and still left the room ahead of everybody. I really knew it. Got a C in the course, because the graduate assistant gave straight average of the midterm and the final—the only two things he had to grade on.

    Ritchie: Nothing else?

    Bulkeley: Nothing else. No discussion; the classroom was too big. No little quizzes. No anything else. And to do a straight average, rather than recognizing that while it hadn't made sense at all at the midterm, I either knew it or I grossly cheated at the end, and give people the benefit of the doubt. And I called him on it when I ran into him in the hallway, and he allowed as how I probably was entitled to a better grade, but he always graded on averages and he never changed grades under any circumstances after they were posted. I said, "You're really lucky, because nobody I know will darken the door of your classroom."

    Ritchie: So that was that.

    Bulkeley: And that was the end of that course. But generally, I thought economic stuff was fine.

    History I took a bunch of and tried to cover some of the gaps in my own background, because we had done history and geography—only western hemisphere; history—only United States, basically; geography—both continents. But by memorizing grains and topography and stuff. So I did some European history—modern, not ancient—and some international relations and diplomatic history and stuff like that. But it never plugged into me as well as economics and political science did. Those were my lower grades.

    Ritchie: The history.

    Bulkeley: The history. The journalism stuff was all fine. The degree was 25 percent journalism and 75 percent the rest of the university. Within that thirty hours in journalism, I did about half of it on the Missourian or practice-related courses, and the other half classroom, like international press, communications law, some of those things.

    Ritchie: So you were actually working on the Missourian?

    Bulkeley: Yes. The Missourian is a daily newspaper. There's a regular commercial daily also in that town. So we covered the whole city, and while new sources were used to having students cover, and the professional reporters at the other paper were used to having us competing with them, it still was useful to see where we could beat them on stories or on understanding of what was going on. I did three semesters of reporting—two daytime, with a shift out of several at the county courthouse, which in Missouri is also the governance. They had the commission form of county government, with three county judges as the commission. But we covered courts—civil and judicial government. The last semester I did nightside reporting, which could be anything—concert reviews, lectures, city council, other government meetings.

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    Ritchie: So you were doing this for class credit?

    Bulkeley: Writing for class credit and for publication in the Missourian.

    Ritchie: So you would hand in your story to an editor?

    Bulkeley: An editor. Most of the editors in those days came with professional credentials, not academic.

    Ritchie: They weren't students?

    Bulkeley: No, they were real—real!—newsmen. One of our favorites was a guy named Tom Duffy, who had been the editor of the Metro East Journal, the East St. Louis newspaper, in the days when organized crime managed East St. Louis. So he had wonderful stories to tell about relationships with news sources who happened to be part of the organized crime, how he'd first met them and how he learned to deal with all of that as a reporter and then later as manager of the newspaper.

    The head of the copy desk had always been running that copy desk, but was as demanding and as pragmatic as anybody you'd ever encounter, some of his assistants would absolutely not bend the rules of headline-writing, for instance. [Bill] Bickley knew how long you should fight with the rules and when you should bend them, because there was no other kind of headline that was going to work, for instance, or page make-up or whatever.

    There were some others that were good, but those were probably the two best. Today that whole faculty is Ph.D., as most journalism schools are, to gain acceptance and keep their share of the money at universities. The people I know on the Missouri faculty—and it's far bigger than it was—but of the people that I know, they all have had pretty good experience out in the profession on newspapers and other media.

    Ritchie: Have you ever thought of teaching?

    Bulkeley: I've been encouraged a number of times to teach, but without a master's degree, with only a bachelor's degree, even endowed chairs that bring experienced professionals in, generally expect a master's degree. I've also been short-listed on some administration—some dean searches where they're a little more able to deal with professional equivalence. But in the last one, at a school that used to have maybe half Ph.D.s, and where I used to have a standing offer of appointment to the faculty in chairs that were endowed for professionals, even without a master's, the time had changed and the demands had changed enough that while they had me in on the short list for the dean's search, a list of five, that was their next-to-last list, because they could only send three to the president for final appointment.

    They had me in basically to enrich the discussion, because they really weren't ready to deal with a new university president, with somebody without a master's degree. The whole faculty is Ph.D. We had some pretty good discussions about the challenges that face this school. Can you deal with the lack of academic credentials when, in fact, I'm the only candidate who has done all of the things you say the next dean needs to do?

    Ritchie: Because of your experience.

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    Bulkeley: Because I've had that experience—overhauling buildings, long-range planning in all kinds of settings and in all kinds of names and contexts, and living with the consequences of that planning, which is critically important. To just do the planning and walk away from it, you don't learn a whole lot.

    So while I had done all of that, the new president was out of a hard science—physics, I think—but also known as an executive who made change or created change, facilitated change. What I said to that search committee and that faculty was, "Let him decide. I know from your own conversations since I've been here, that there are two Ph.D.s out of the five that you're not interested in at all. Okay. That leaves you room to send in two Ph.D.s you could live with, and me. Let him decide whether he's going to go for the experience and thus tell you all he's ready to help you make these changes and take these steps that you say are necessary. Let him make that choice, but stand up for the professional experience." Well, they weren't ready to do it. They sent up the two Ph.D.s only.

    Ritchie: So he didn't have to make that decision?

    Bulkeley: Nope. The search committee sent only the two Ph.D.s, and the person they hired has done a fine job. Her executive and administrative experience was light, but her potential was big. She walked into this job, which was much bigger than her last one, and from everything I hear, is doing a fine job. That's okay. They knew what they needed to look for and made a quite acceptable choice.

    I used to do a lot of classroom journalism school visiting. I was on the National Accrediting Council for three years, and the committee that did the visiting and the first decision-making. Between that and being the first female publisher in Gannett for a long time, and the Women in Communications activity, I had enough invitations a year to keep me in touch with what was happening in the academy, in journalism, and to recharge batteries. A lot of times that's the best place to pick up the new ideas or the cutting-edge theory or get a sense of what's going on around the country, as the best journalism schools have a good mix of students, not just your own territory. The little journalism schools give you a good sense of regionalism, and that it's still alive and well in this country, regardless of homogenizing forces.

    So for all of those reasons, I tried to do at least two campus visits of several days a year when the agenda was whatever they wanted to hear from me, but also to give me a good chance to listen and hear what they were about. I haven't had those opportunities as much in recent years. But from all of that, people like the way I handle classrooms. I don't know whether I could sustain a classroom over a semester or not. I would have to work at it. A couple of times I could have taken one-year appointments, but was right in the middle of something and chose not to interrupt—right in the middle of switching a newspaper from all-white to 20 percent other, or some of those kinds of things that would have not progressed and might have, in fact, disappeared had I not stayed with them.

    So it just never worked. That doesn't mean it can't, or won't, sometime, depending on how people look at this theology degree I'm working on. I think it's a critically important way to get at multiculturalism, and is interdisciplinary. That fills some of the gaps that I left by focusing so much on history and political science and economics. I never took a sociology course. Well, to do sociology of religion at the seminary, I had to do some heavy-duty sociology reading.

    Ritchie: Background.

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    Bulkeley: To have the background to do "of religion" piece reasonably well. To do understanding of scripture and interpretation of scripture, you've got to know what scripture came from. You've got to know everything anybody can know about that whole Mideastern chunk of the country for as far back as it's known or speculated. Then in order to validate that information, you've got to know a little bit about how they got it. You've got to know archeology and anthropology and all of those things that go into reconstructing the past and understanding it.

    So it's been a wonderful interdisciplinary fill-the-gap/build-on/validate process, but I don't know that my journalism friends are going to understand that, except some of the most forward-thinking.

    Ritchie: Well, you explain it very well. It makes sense.

    Bulkeley: But some of them say, "But you could have in nine months done a master's degree documenting what you've already learned." I said, "Well, what I've learned is documented, so I don't see any point in paying tuition." I would be bored.

    Ritchie: You wouldn't really learn anything.

    Bulkeley: Well, I might—about academic format and structure and some of that, and it would have been a lot faster, certainly. But I think in terms of enriching me and who I am and what I have to offer, the degree I'm doing is far more valuable than any journalism degree I've ever heard of in twenty-five or thirty campuses and all my friends in and out of journalism schools who've done master's and Ph.D.s and things.

    Ritchie: How did you decide on theology?

    Bulkeley: We were in Rochester with the Gannett Foundation. We got involved with the downtown Catholic parish—David's Catholic connections. In weekly discussions about what the lectionary scriptures had to say that might be of use to whoever was preaching the next Sunday, I started doing the backgrounding and homework, and discovered I couldn't learn religion and theology fast enough on my own, that I was going to have to go to school to do it. But my job didn't give me enough calendar control to go part time.

    Ritchie: Because your schedule was—

    Bulkeley: I didn't control it. With speaking trips and meeting trips and all of that stuff, there's no way I could be sure I could be in town Tuesday nights or weekends or whatever, to do justice to seminary work. Rochester has seminaries. But I kept feeling the need to go do it, so when we had the opportunity down here to cut out of the work force and a variety of seminaries, particularly Wesley, with its classic Methodist pragmatism and its own recognition of the special nature of public policy and religion and theology, it just was a natural fit as if I were called to be there.

    So it's quite fun and far more satisfying than any of my other schooling has ever been. But I'm not sure I knew my other schooling was voluntary. As we talked the other day, from the time I knew numbers, I knew I had sixteen years of school. The question was, what could I do to reduce the work and gain some enjoyment out of it.

    Ritchie: Did you enjoy your college years?

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    Bulkeley: Probably. I say that, because I'm still not really sure. I only occasionally have any contact with anybody from those years, but there are bunches of people I'd like to see again if anybody knew where they were. I've got half a dozen sorority sisters that nobody has an address for, that I'd dearly love to see and visit with, and think I could pick up the phone and pick up conversations with.

    Ritchie: Was this a journalism sorority?

    Bulkeley: No, this is social sorority [Alpha Phi]. I have a couple of friends, classmates, down here that I worked on the student newspaper with—one in Congress and one running a public policy/public relations consulting company, who simply are too busy because of their jobs to set time aside for somebody who's not connected with what they're paid to do, although we tried when we first came to town, the three of us tried to get together, and I know if I needed them for something, I could pick up the phone and get to them.

    But I'm not sure really that if I had it to do over again, I'd do it over again. I'd stay at this seminary for three or four more years if I could afford it, because there are so many things there I want to do. I'm not sure I left anything undone or left any pieces unfinished at undergraduate work. I think some of that goes back to the whole being there not by choice. Some of it goes back to a lot of the stuff we didn't learn in Abingdon. We talked about knowing how to find and make and keep friends, and what are the responsibilities in friendship—not even on some subconscious level having any of that. I think a lot of those things that I was having to learn in college—having to learn how to study, that I just hadn't learned. Now, we had learned a lot of stuff about decision-making and value judgments and making value-based decisions, but not the kind that help you plug into a group that you keep in touch with constantly forever.

    So, I guess, on the whole, I probably was satisfied and content, or maybe even only marginally content, and I probably was not what anybody called joyful. I would guess that my propensity to being sardonic and sarcastic probably grew more there than got reduced, and those are some of the years when that stuff, if it surfaced at all, ought to start getting back into proportion.

    Ritchie: Was it hard for you to go away from home?

    Bulkeley: Nope.

    Ritchie: You were ready?

    Bulkeley: Yep. We were all ready—ten cousins out of thirteen, half or three-quarters of my classmates. There's hardly anybody from my class even left in that little town now. But besides half that went on to other kinds of things, a lot of them took off within a few years.

    Some of that's my own native curiosity. Once it was clear to me that there were regional differences—I went from conservative rural Republican—Ev Dirksen territory—to Southern Democrat. Boone County, Missouri, was still called Little Dixie. Segregation was still in place in public accommodations. I remember the African students being incensed to think that they were treated as if they were American blacks, and that they thought they were entitled to better treatment than that because they were guests in this country. I remember the movies peacefully desegregating, but they were segregated when I got there, in Columbia, Missouri, starting in 1960. The whole stadium stood up when they played "Dixie." That didn't stop till sometime in the seventies. I was in the marching band one year. Of course, the whole university was still mostly white.

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    The Missouri system had black schools, Lincoln University in Jefferson City being the main one. There were a couple of black fraternities, a couple of Jewish fraternities.

    Ritchie: But for the most part, it was predominantly a white school?

    Bulkeley: Yes. It was only the beginning of Asians coming. The journalism school had had connections with China from its own beginnings early in this century, and had maintained connections with Taiwan. It also was among the early ones back into China after Nixon opened China. So we occasionally would have Asians, and we would have Taiwanese in the journalism school. I remember one Hawaiian girl went through rush, social sorority rush, one year that I was there.

    Ritchie: She was the only one?

    Bulkeley: She was the only one. But the people who were different were that easy to spot. We had big fights. We wanted to invite her to membership, and our alumnae said no. That doesn't happen today. You can look at my social sorority magazine and see as good a mix as at the few integrated churches in this town, for instance. But again that's changing times. The women in my sorority from the cities came from the suburbs that were all homogenized, and their schools were still homogenized, generally, although they were a lot more demanding than mine.

    My placement tests put me in advanced-standing classes, but I hadn't had the content. I never had any literature. We read a couple of Shakespeare plays in senior English. When the teacher got behind grading papers, we'd read Shakespeare out loud until she got caught up again. That was my exposure to Shakespeare. I did a junior English paper on Jane Austen, and that was my exposure to the English novel or to classic literature, until I had to take it in college.

    Ritchie: So your preparation was perhaps somewhat behind some of the other students?

    Bulkeley: It had big gaps in it compared with those from the cities—not compared with those from the countryside.

    Ritchie: And, of course, you had the mix there.

    Bulkeley: We had the mix, because in those days the Missouri system, the state university, was only the two campuses—the university and the School of Mines and Metallurgy. The university long since bought a school in St. Louis and one in Kansas City, and made them part of the university as a whole. All of the teacher colleges, as in most states, have upgraded to be full-blown Ph.D. practical universities. The Columbia campus is still the research university.

    Ritchie: What other outside activities did you take part in? You mentioned you were in the marching band.

    Bulkeley: I did that only one year, and I got to the Orange Bowl, and that was enough payback. Marching was two to three hours three days a week, and took all of Saturday when there were home games, plus a couple of weekends. I also marched in a gubernatorial inaugural right after the Orange Bowl. So there wasn't a whole lot more to get out of marching band. The concert band had to go to basketball games and do some other stuff in the spring, and there just wasn't enough reason to keep taking band since I wasn't a music major.

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    So what else did I do? I did campus politics. I did social sorority stuff. I was our Panhellenic delegate for two years, and campus rush chairman one year.

    Ritchie: What sorority?

    Bulkeley: Alpha Phi. I was Student Union research chairman one year, and that involved working with a committee doing some rudimentary so-called market research—early sixties, remember; pre-computer—on what people were interested in at the union. There was a new building to be built, so we did a little bit of poking around for planning purposes on how that space ought to be used.

    What else did I do? I don't remember that I did a whole lot of other activities. We had sorority meetings every Monday night, and the stuff the sorority does.

    Ritchie: That kept you busy.

    Bulkeley: Because that was one chunk of evening activities, one evening lost mostly to study, although the weekends were there. Went to church a lot—I mean, every Sunday. I didn't do other things.

    Ritchie: Still the Methodist Church?

    Bulkeley: Yes, Methodist Church. I did Maneater, campus newspaper, for two years.

    Ritchie: In addition to the Missourian?

    Bulkeley: There was a campus weekly called the Maneater. Missouri Tigers is the sports nickname. The campus weekly was separate from the journalism school. Those of us in journalism who worked on it had to be a little careful that our journalism people didn't think we were pulling away from our journalism studies to do the campus paper. But I guess I worked on that for three years—sophomore, junior, and half or three-quarters of senior year.

    Ritchie: How would that paper be different? I understand that it was a weekly but—

    Bulkeley: It focused on campus activities. The Columbia Missourian was a city newspaper. In fact, it was a small regional newspaper, because people covered the outlying villages and towns, too, and issues. But the campus paper was like every other campus paper. The student governing body was the big governing body to be covered. We covered some legislative stuff affecting university and some university governance questions, certainly, and the Greek activities and the independent dorm activities, campus politics, and whatever went on on campus. What went on in the city, unless it affected the campus, was immaterial.

    My junior year, the editor and a carload of his friends went to Selma* over break—spring break or Thanksgiving break.

    Ritchie: This was '62?

    ______________________
    * Selma, Alabama. County seat of Dallas County which became the focus of 1964 efforts to register black voters and the point of origin of the 1965 civil rights march to Montgomery, Alabama, led by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

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    Bulkeley: Yes. '62. Over one break. They came back and filled the paper up with it, and we were all furious. I was the end of the "silent generation." I was just ahead of the Peace Corps generation, although a lot of people my age Peace Corped. But having come from the Republican part of the countryside, we were slower to follow the Kennedy lead than those who started out in the activist and the Democratic mode, and the Southern Democrats, too, because a lot of them were really Republicans, only there weren't any Republicans in the South. So we were all put out at Larry Fuller when he filled the paper with Selma; we didn't think it was relevant.

    Ritchie: To what was happening on your campus and in your lives?

    Bulkeley: To what was going on and what that paper was there for. Fuller was the prophet; not the rest of us. But I think that's all I did—that and my classes.

    Ritchie: You always knew you wanted to work on a newspaper—not magazine, not a different type of writing?

    [End Tape 1, Side A; Begin Tape 1, Side B]

    Bulkeley: I don't remember ever entertaining any other approach. Between the classes and the kinds of people who came to Missouri Journalism School as visiting professionals in Journalism Week, it was pretty clear to me that what I needed to do was go somewhere where I'd get a crack at covering local government and how it fit together, and then work my way up through state capital and into Washington—that that was the primary path for people who got to be Washington reporters at some point. I was not interested in management. I thought I had all I could fit into a career to do that reporting step-by-step thing.

    Ritchie: What about women's pages? Wasn't this a time when a woman would have been more likely to go to a women's page.

    Bulkeley: Only if you were where they stereotyped, which Missouri didn't. A lot of students came with that expectation and did the women's-page stuff. I did the page make-up on the women's pages. But the first wave of change on the women's pages had started in the field, and Missouri was on top of that. So our women's pages were not just food, furniture, and fashion and brides. We were, in fact, doing the impact, on family life and community, of issues. Not a lot, but some. As I say, for one semester I did once or twice a week the page make-up for those papers, but nobody ever said I had to go work on them or do reporting for them.

    Ritchie: So you weren't categorized?

    Bulkeley: No. And other women weren't either. There were women doing the nightside reporting when I was. There had been women doing it before I did, and we were all over town at night. We could get exceptions. I was in school when they still locked women in at night.

    Ritchie: You had a curfew.

    Bulkeley: Yes, and locked doors. My last semester is when Missouri started experimenting with senior keys. If our parents would sign all of the papers that absolved the university of any responsibility, then we could sign out keys, but we had to say where we were going and why, and why we couldn't be back on time, and who were the people we'd be with. We had to sign in when we got in, and if we were more than fifteen minutes before or after when we had said, we had to explain why, and more than two variations meant that you had to talk to the dean of women

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    students about it. So while it was an experiment, it wasn't much of one, because all but the most determined couldn't fight the paperwork. I was on nightside reporting, so it was a little easier for me.

    Ritchie: You could get an exception.

    Bulkeley: I could get an exception. Some other kids from my home town were going to Missouri by then, one of whom had a car and was a freshman, so it was registered in my name and I had custody of it until I got my own, picked up my own at Easter break. So I spent my last semester staying out. I was tired of all of the people at that point. I had senioritis, as everybody does. One of my male friends was on the graveyard shift out at the radio station. The university didn't own the radio station, but had a contract, so some students had jobs there, some students did their school practice there. A friend of mine was on the graveyard shift, and if my own reporting nightside assignment didn't keep me out until I knew everybody had gone to bed at the house, then I'd go out and sit with Bob [Priddy] at KFRU. We'd visit while the records were on, because I had the car. So I always just went ahead and signed out until one in the morning.

    Ritchie: Which you could do with your reporting.

    Bulkeley: Which I could do, because reporting assignments were generally over by then, and I would know if I had one that was going to run later than that. In those days, the Missourian was an afternoon paper, but people on nightside covered and wrote the stuff and had an editor there working with us. So we were used to having editors critique and make you go back and rewrite and all of those things that in newsrooms at the time they were already too short-staffed to do.

    Ritchie: So you really had the luxury of having the attention of someone.

    Bulkeley: Right. And we really were getting the learning that we were paying for and that we went there to get. Then as I mentioned earlier, we had the Columbia Tribune and its professional reporters' work to compare our own with the next day, and took great delight. The guy who covered the county government for the Tribune was straight out of central casting, an old, sort of slouchy, suited but a little unkempt old guy named Gene Powell. He thought he was God's gift to all of the women students. He was always being so helpful, showing us where things were. It took me about six weeks to start scooping him with what he'd taught me about the courthouse. He never quite understood he had done it to himself, but it was great fun.

    Ritchie: So you learned the ropes of the courthouse from him.

    Bulkeley: And what went on where and how to deal with—the courthouse people were all used to dealing with students. But you could get to the next level of understanding. The surface level, even at routine court business, often wasn't where the real connection with the public came. As with so many things, the real connection, where it starts to resonate at bone marrow level, is at the second or third level of understanding. I developed the kind of relationship at the courthouse that people would invest time in explaining the rest of the story and more than the two or three paragraphs, so I had context and community relevance in anything that was more than a routine record.

    Ritchie: Was there ever anything you weren't allowed to cover because you were female?

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    Bulkeley: Not at Missouri. Not that I noticed. No. I may think of something later, now that you've raised the question, but I don't remember ever having thought of anything or being reminded of anything. I ran into that later.

    Ritchie: So that learning was a good experience in terms of exposure to many different aspects of newspapering.

    Bulkeley: I don't remember going to any fires or anything, but I think it's because they never happened on my watch. I remember coming up on a fatal car wreck when I was on my way somewhere else. It was the first time I had ever seen a dead body. It was all over the middle of the road, and it nearly wiped me out for my next assignment, which is when I became even more aware of how to build, and the necessity of building, that detachment piece that reporters have to learn if they're going to stay in the business, that you have to detach from the environment, too, and turn off your normal human instincts. It's the stuff that got Merriman Smith* and the others through the [John F.] Kennedy assassination, even though Smith and some others had nervous breakdowns, or breakdowns of some kind, later. That's what got them through those hours and those days. It's what accounts for, in my day, the stories the faculty would tell, would be about the newsrooms that were staffed with women during World War II when the casualty lists would come in, and their fiances would be on it, but the editors would never know it because the job would get done. Or the guys who couldn't go, when the casualty lists would come in, it would be the first time they knew their brothers had been killed, or their fathers, or whatever. So we heard those kinds of stories about the detachment. Until you live through it, you don't really know what it takes to get there.

    I just remember after that car wreck, the body was just lying there. They were waiting. The cops hadn't even gotten there. Well, I had a blanket in the back of my car, and I gave it to them, because nobody else there seemed to have a blanket. I figured the least we could do is cover the body, which they did.

    But the guy I talked about who was on the radio graveyard shift was covering the same event I was for the radio station, and when I got back to the newsroom and finished my stuff, I picked up the phone and called him and said, "Do you know what's going on?" He said, "I'm not going to do your work." I said, "Do you know who that was and what happened in the wreck?" Well, lesson two from that night. I was just furious. I wasn't going to write the story for the paper. It wasn't my assignment, and I had something else to do. I had long since spent the time I was supposed to, and there was no boss there for me to say, "Shall I go ahead and do it?" And I don't know why—well, I know why I didn't—because I was too shaken by the whole thing. But that's when I also found out that friends are journalists first. Bob Priddy, who had done the reporting on it, wasn't going to share the stuff with me, because he worked for a competitive outlet. Well, that was a lesson that served me in good stead over the years, too. But I would never have learned it if we had been only doing campus news media. Those are lessons I would have learned sometime later out in the world when my paycheck would have been at stake.

    Ritchie: When you talk about being detached, does that relate to objectivity in reporting—by not getting involved?

    ______________________
    * Merriman A. Smith (1913-1970). U.S. journalist. UPI correspondent, 1936-70; covered White House from 1941.

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    Bulkeley: We would call it objectivity, and what it really means is not letting your own personal reactions get in the way of things. I think we were all realistic enough to know that in most cases we had our own perspective and viewpoint. A lot more is known today about that kind of thing—that our own class and culture and upbringing has something to do with how we see and hear things. In those days, none of that was understood nearly as well by most people, but I think in terms of stuff like you can't worry about whether the guy died instantly or not, because you've got to find out the facts—who is he and what caused the wreck, are there criminal investigations proceeding, who's his family, what's the obit.

    In terms of the Kennedy assassination, my news lab met that afternoon after John Kennedy was murdered. I had the only class on campus that met that afternoon, and of the twenty-some students in it, it was a relatively simple second week on the assignment kind of thing we did, and only about a third of them were coherent. The other two-thirds of the students were so blown away by the assassination of the president, which, of course, was the first time in how many generations—five, six? Most of them were so affected by that, that they could not do whatever our fairly straightforward assignment was that day. Half a dozen of them shifted into professional gear and delivered the assignment as if it were any other Friday afternoon.

    Ritchie: Were you able to do that?

    Bulkeley: Yeah. Ninety percent. I ran the lab. What I didn't do, again not being prophetic, I didn't save the list. To this day I wish I could tell you, or remember for my own curiosity, who were the ones who functioned as journalists and who were the ones who hadn't learned it, just to see whether that was prophetic or not about what they did with the rest of their lives, or even their early career.

    Ritchie: Can you think of other experiences from your work, when this had to kick in? I'm sure it became more natural.

    Bulkeley: True, because it becomes just part of your attitude and the way you deal with things. But my second year out of school, my second year at the Rochester Times-Union, I was assigned to cover a suburban township. In New York State, towns, as they're called, or townships, have, if they choose to exercise them, full municipal powers. So I was covering the town of Irondequoit, which had police department, planning, zoning, and was pretty thoroughly populated as a suburb first tier from the city of Rochester, between the city and Lake Ontario.

    The township elections that fall, the incumbent Democratic majority—the township supervisor was up every two years, two of the four town board members every two years. So a majority was up every time. Part of what I saw was a lot more honesty and integrity in the incumbents than in the challengers, and I had a hard time knowing how to handle that and be sure I was being fair, even though I had decided, the more I was exposed to them, that I wouldn't want the Republicans running my town—that particular group of Republicans running my town. Likewise, one of the two school districts in that township had initiated what ultimately became, and still exists as a city suburban transfer program for students K [kindergarten] through [grade] twelve. It was fought bitterly in that town. Well, I came to believe in the people who had developed the program, and had very little respect for those who were fighting them, and could very easily poke holes in the arguments they were using, and I would give myself headaches in both of those cases, trying to be sure that I wasn't being unfair to the challengers, but that in trying to be fair to them, I wasn't being unfair to the incumbents. Learning that balance and how to keep a perspective, and where to find sounding boards, by then I also understood some of the dynamics of being a single female where people weren't used to women, and dealing with stuff.

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    There had been a woman from the Times-Union, Betsy Bues, covering that town for less than a month ahead of me. The weekly newspaper had a woman [Elizabeth Knight] who covered some of it, but she was married and she was older. She and I became a pretty good team, because I had done weekly newspaper and I understood the difference in its role and the daily role. I understood what analysis and perspective were fair shots on the daily that to some extent was serving that township with its own page that came out in other editions, but to some extent was also trend-spotting and lifting out major stories to run in most of the rest of the paper. So it was a dual role, but Elizabeth's was clear cut as a reporter in the town covering the town to talk to itself. She and I could help each other a lot on interpretation and understanding, looking at options and consequences of things that were being considered, all of which I always thought was part of a reporter's job—to cover processes and, again, thanks to John Ramsey, to show people what the options and probable consequences were, so they could make fair choices from the broadest possible array of options.

    Ritchie: So she wasn't really a competitor?

    Bulkeley: Nope. I didn't think so. Of course, I never thought radio and television were competitors, but we weren't allowed to do the television public affairs shows, because our boss said they were competitors.

    Ritchie: So you weren't allowed to go on them?

    Bulkeley: Right. I kept saying to the bosses, a few years later, when I clearly was the best, in lots of ways, covering government and politics, I kept saying to them, "How are people who don't read our newspaper going to know what we've got to offer if you don't let me go to those television shows that they watch, where I can ask questions and react and run rings around anybody else who's there?" They said, "That's not up for discussion." End of discussion. I don't know when they ultimately changed that rule, but to the day I left there in the mid-seventies, as far as they were concerned, radio and television were direct competitors.

    Ritchie: You weren't to talk to them.

    Bulkeley: That's right.

    Ritchie: Or assist them.

    Bulkeley: And that we would be helping them make money with no benefits to ourselves if we went on their shows. Well, that also meant that I learned to work with those reporters, too. The radio guys could do some stuff I couldn't, and I could do a lot of things they couldn't, because I had the space and the depth. Likewise, the television guys.

    In those days, broadcast newsrooms weren't nearly as big as they got to be in the seventies and eighties. The clear channel radio station—remember AM clear channel, 50,000 watt radio stations? It had five newspeople. Our newsroom had a hundred. The leading television station, counting the cameramen, I think had seven. So they really had to hit and run. We could easily scoop them and leave them picking up our papers and reading it. By the same token, because our bosses never really knew how much broadcasters knew, we could always threaten our bosses and say, "You've got to get that story in, because So-and-so at thus-and-such broadcast station knows about it, and we're going to look foolish if it's not there, because I think he's going with it."

    Ritchie: Big news.

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    Bulkeley: Yeah. It was just in some ways a different time. But I also would play games with them. Most of our news sources for those of us who covered beats had material before press conferences, because they knew our deadlines, and the broadcasters knew our deadlines, and we all understood all of that. But I'd go to the press conferences, because I never knew when some of my colleagues might ask a question I didn't know, and I thought I should honor my sources by being there anyway. But I always got myself into the television film, and it was film in those days, which was a lot harder to edit than videotape. So I always asked a question on everybody's television film, even if they ran their cameras once or whether they ran them in sequence, I asked questions on their film, just to try to make my points and get some exposure. And that probably helped their newscasts and the public, too, because it was stuff they weren't asking, or I wouldn't have gotten room for my question.

    We had a good time in those days. I don't know whether people do now or not in newsrooms.

    Ritchie: What did you do during the summers in college?

    Bulkeley: One year I took a French course to try to not forget what little I'd learned before, because I still had to take one more course required. One year, two years, I worked for the Register-Mail one year. I must have worked for the Argus one year and the Register-Mail one year.

    Ritchie: In Galesburg?

    Bulkeley: Galesburg. Must have been between my sophomore and junior years. Between my junior and senior years, I had applied for a VOA, Voice of America, internship, which I didn't get. But the publisher of the Galesburg paper was so sure I was going to get it, he hired somebody else for his one or two internships. By the time I knew I wasn't going to get the VOA job, he didn't have any work for me, and he didn't have any room in his budget for me. His newsroom was only ten or twelve people.

    So I superintended my folks' swimming pool and read my year's supply of Saturday Reviews and lots of mysteries, and got a suntan that lasted all the way through the next school year. We kept playing in the summer band. There was a high school band that the parks department, playground department, the city paid a little bit. Any of us who were band kids kept playing in it if we chose to, and enough of us did in those days so that it continued to be a connecting thing. And whatever else we did in the summer in our little town—sit around and visit, mostly.

    Ritchie: You went home for all of the summers?

    Bulkeley: Yes, I spent summers at home.

    Ritchie: How did you start to look for a job as you were finishing college?

    Bulkeley: Missouri had the premier job placement for journalism students in the country, and we all had jobs before we graduated. Recruiters came to campus starting in the fall. We got steered to them based on what we wanted to do, as well as on what the faculty thought we could do and should do, and where they thought we should go. I didn't want to go huge places.

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    In those days, places like the Chicago Tribune would hire straight out of journalism school. Within ten years, the metros didn't hire anybody with less than five years' experience, generally. But at that time they were hiring straight out of journalism school, but I didn't want to go to a city that big. So I interviewed only two places: with Gannett, which was recruiting on campus for the first time that year. The heir apparent to Paul Miller had been hired in the fall of '63—a bright, young, aggressive news guy from Knight-Ridder named Al Neuharth had gone to Gannett as Paul Miller's heir apparent. He sent a recruiter from corporate headquarters from Missouri. Before that, Missouri had had the nearest editor, which was Danville—the Danville editor had gone over to interview for Gannett.

    I was pushed at Gannett. I was pushed at Wilmington, because I wanted to go East.

    Ritchie: Wilmington?

    Bulkeley: Delaware. In those days, independent—well, independent in the sense they weren't part of the newspaper group, but Du Pont owned the newspapers. There was a morning and an evening with separate newsrooms in Wilmington. I went to one of them on the front end of Easter break for an interview and to the other on the back end. I had never flown—I had flown commercially once from Columbia to Springfield, Missouri, but I'd never flown in a big airplane. So I separated my job interview trips and made a whole trip out of each one.

    I interviewed on campus, then was on the short list that got to go to the newspapers for more interview. So I did those, and was offered a job both places. Chose to go to Gannett because it was a chain that had all kinds of jobs within it, and I figured whatever I end up really liking to do, and being really good at in reporting, I could do within Gannett because I would have everything from weeklies to big-city dailies—Rochester, and state capital bureaus and Washington bureaus. So I thought this is a lot more sensible than going to a self-contained company, where in order to move beyond a certain level, I'd have to go find somebody else to hire me.

    Ritchie: When you interviewed for Gannett, was it for the Rochester paper?

    Bulkeley: Yes. Turnover wasn't the same in those days, so they usually just hired, filled vacancies out of journalism schools, and then there wasn't any turnover again for a long time. I spent my first forty-nine weeks as the junior reporter on the totem pole. There was no turnover. Again, it changed shortly thereafter—Vietnam among other things.

    But, yes, I was hired for, interviewed for the Rochester Times-Union, which was the flagship of Gannett at that time. Its editorial page was on the required permanent reading list in the Nixon White House because of Paul Miller's connection, and even though it didn't have the Sunday paper, it was slightly larger than the morning paper in terms of circulation in Rochester. But I was the city desk clerk, and the guys were reporters.

    Ritchie: What do you mean—city desk clerk?

    Bulkeley: I was the clerk who answered the phones for the city editors, and I kept the "futures" file for the city editors, and I took dictation from reporters, and that's all they let girls do in that newsroom in those days.

    Ritchie: So you didn't go right as a reporter?

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    Bulkeley: Nope. It was paid as a reporter job, because they'd never bother fighting the Newspaper Guild to change it.

    Ritchie: Do you remember how much you earned?

    Bulkeley: Hundred dollars a week. The first contract raise went through in the fall, and it was another $2.75. Because I was on scale for entry-level reporter, I got that raise automatically, which was about 70-something take-home per week. My first apartment was in a converted house; it was $85 a month. A living room that had the refrigerator in it, the stove and the sink were in what had probably been a linen closet when the house was a house, and the bedroom had probably been the maid's room or the cook/maid, whatever. It had the back stairs down into the kitchen out of the bedroom, which held a twin bed and a dresser. It was at the back of a wonderful painted lady house—carpenter Victorian with two other apartments.

    My car was a Chevy II with automatic transmission. That was the year of Mustangs and Chevy IIs. My older brother bought a Mustang. I bought a Chevy II, because I thought the Mustangs were weird-looking. We all got used to that look later. My car was $1,800, with automatic transmission, no air-conditioning. Air-conditioning was not standard in those days. No windshield washers. And I went to a city that has ninety inches of snow, all of it basically gray slush because of the lake effect, so I had to learn how to cope with a dirty windshield.

    Ritchie: You were unprepared.

    Bulkeley: Yes.

    Ritchie: You moved there in the summer following graduation?

    Bulkeley: I started work two weeks after graduation, and they really wanted me to get there a week faster. I said, "I can't get there any faster."

    Ritchie: Were there other new people on the staff at that time or were you the only one?

    Bulkeley: I was the only—no, there was one full-time new and one summer intern. The full-time new had a master's degree from—he was from North Carolina. I don't remember where his degree was. They had had one new person in the winter with a master's degree from Penn State. The intern had just finished his junior year at Northwestern, but had also had part-time jobs at City News Bureau and United Press International already in Chicago, because he was a pretty good hustler, pretty aggressive. But I had my daily newspaper jobs, weekly newspaper jobs. I thought I should be doing more than city desk clerk work, but I found out in a hurry that that's what women did in that newsroom.

    There were two women who had been there, came the year before me, who had not yet gotten married and left, which was what they expected us all to do, one of whom was doing the church page. They were doing obits and the library and some of those peripheral pieces of government that the government reporters couldn't deign to cover.

    Ritchie: In your scrapbook, I saw a telegram that was sent to the Missouri Placement Bureau.

    Bulkeley: Right. I forgot about that.

    Ritchie: Asking you to submit an essay.

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    Bulkeley: They hired a new women's editor that year. To this day I don't know whether they seriously considered somebody straight out of school for that page or whether they just wanted to get a feeling for what the state of the art was, or what kind of savvy I had about what was going on and what kind of stuff I could put together quick and easy. But with the help of the faculty, I responded to that. I obviously didn't save a copy of my response. But that was between the time of the on-campus interviews, and it was after that, that I was invited to come out for a job interview. So whatever their intent with that request for what I would do with women's pages, the effect of it was to help secure the interview and a job.

    Ritchie: So it worked to your benefit.

    Bulkeley: So it worked to my benefit. Part of the Missouri placement system included a thing called senior assembly, which is where we worked on résumés and scrapbooks and what kind of clips to send what kinds of job contacts, and how to write letters for jobs, and how to deal with job interviews and how to get oriented to the first job once you'd get there. Part of what they always told us was you keep your first job a year. Until you stayed all the way through one cycle of the calendar, you don't know what the whole job is. Few people can even begin to make change in a job, if change is warranted, until they've at least lived through a year of it. So that's the only reason I stayed there that year for clerk work.

    Part of that year I also spent doing filing and stuff in the women's section, because Missouri had said you've got to stay a year or you lose access to the job placement network for the future. They maintained job placement, and to this day they still will do files of people job-hunting and employers looking for jobs.

    Ritchie: For former graduates?

    Bulkeley: Former graduates.

    Ritchie: So they really impressed upon you that you should give it a year.

    Bulkeley: Right. Also, with the much slower rate of turnover in those days, there often wouldn't even be a chance for greater work assignment or for a promotion or the kind of work until you've been there six months or a year.

    Ritchie: And you'd gotten a little seniority. Who was your first supervisor—your boss?

    Bulkeley: The city editor. He had one full-time assistant. A couple of the senior reporters would swing in to cover the sixth shift, which was Saturday, or they would swing on to the desk as assistant during the week, and the assistant would cover Saturday. But basically it was a very tight management group, and with so many senior reporters, as I became senior reporter, we all understood negotiating for space ahead of time. So you write the story to the space, and the editor knows what he's getting.

    A lot of that didn't happen in other newsrooms. It was only as I became familiar with other ones, that I realized how advanced ours was in many ways. Some of that changed as we lost senior people and the average age dropped. They started putting more people on the desk, because reporters needed more help with putting stories in context, rewriting, editors cutting stories because reporters wouldn't stop at the line. We all learned how to use whatever didn't fit one day, how to build a story on it for the next day, or how to build it as an inside story for pages that had to move. With the limits of hot metal and the production limits as linotypes and things

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    began to phase out, our bosses always in the afternoon had some advance pages to move for the next day's paper, so we always knew on beats that if we had stuff that really wasn't worthy of front page or prime space, but needed to get in the paper, we always knew to get it in to them, as fast as they got rid of today's paper, start feeding them for the next day.

    Ritchie: So that you could get a place.

    Bulkeley: So we had no problem when we ran out of space. If it was a three-page story, so it was a three-page story. These other key parts, we'd write a new story for the next day or write an inside story or feed to somebody who was working on something similar. We did pretty good teamwork.

    A lot of that stuff disappeared over the years later. I was in smaller newsrooms, so I don't know some of the dynamics of how it disappeared. I just mostly hear the horror stories that grew out of the creative tension pitting reporters against each other, and how hard they had to work when they went back to teams for investigative reporting or teams for comprehensive political reporting or for major stories.

    When I went to Danville, they had somebody with an editor title tied to the desk for everybody they had on the street. In Danville, I'm also talking about the copy desk. That newsroom in Rochester had a city editor, an assistant city editor, a part-time assistant. There were five or six people on the copy desk. We had a managing editor and an assistant managing editor, a business editor and a sports editor and a women's editor. All the rest of us were reporters, and there must have been thirty, thirty-five reporters. There was a columnist who did reporting and two others in the women's department. Sports was probably four or five. There must have been twenty news reporters, or twenty-five.

    Ritchie: You all reported to the city editor?

    Bulkeley: All reported to the city editor, two-and-a-quarter people. By the time I left that newsroom, there were four people on the city desk all the time, and they were happy if those of us on beats gave them a budget for the next week with one major story sometime in the week on it. When I first went on the county government beat, after I finished on today's deadline, I'd give my bosses a budget for the next twenty-four hours, and beyond that, a general notion of what I was working on. So the whole sense of expectation was so radically different just in that newsroom, anyway—in about a six-year span from a major story, or candidate for major story, a day with a bunch of other pieces, to one a week with some other stuff, maybe.

    Ritchie: Quite a difference.

    Bulkeley: Oh, yes.

    [End Tape 1, Side B; Begin Tape 2, Side A]

    Bulkeley: Editors who simply had expectations far too low. Some of it was the beginning of the change in news content, without a whole lot of understanding of what they were looking for and why. A lot of the procedural stuff that I had reported from government, that I felt helped the readers connect with government and be part of it, was left out, was no longer of any interest. So we shifted to what we still see too often today, where people see the beginning of a story, of an issue, when the president or somebody proposes a program, we don't see it again until we're down to two choices that we don't recognize, neither one of which we're very interested in, but which

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    Congress has to vote on, choose between. We never see in between how it got there. Or the city council or the state legislature or whomever.

    But we covered governmental process and looked for how do people connect with it. We changed—because of how I reported government, learned it and reported it, we changed that whole taxing system—not the system, but the cycle. The county government budget in the Rochester-Monroe County area, when I went on the government beat, came out election day or the day after.

    Ritchie: The new budget.

    Bulkeley: The budget for the following calendar year would come out election day or the day after, routinely drift through its committees on the county legislature—board of supervisors, then legislature—and be voted on after a routine ten- or fifteen-minute public hearing, all a daytime meeting. I learned to project the spending impact of decisions the legislature made, and to translate those into context the readers could deal with, so they could see at least the cost consequence of things the legislature was considering.

    Ritchie: You're talking about the state legislature.

    Bulkeley: County level. I talked earlier about the towns in New York State having full municipal powers. County governments mostly had the second tier—social services, health. In this case, the airport, the zoo, the safety-net things, but that most taxpayers never saw or dealt with. They paid it in a property tax that in townships was offset or combined with county taxes, and most people paid it through the mortgage, so it was a piece of a whole, and they never really saw it anyway.

    Yet after I'd been through the cycle, and with my reporting, by the third year the county administration and controlling party had to move the budget into a September introduction, with public hearings nights and weekends all over the county, and voting on it before the election, because the taxpayers were insisting that they see what the incumbents, anyway, were going to do with programs and taxes. We got rid of the fake welfare spending cuts to produce tax cuts for election year, that also led to borrowing in off-election year and interest costs and revenue for banks in the non-election years, because I wrote the stories whenever they started toying with welfare cuts that the statistics said would not hold because of the welfare caseload and the trends and the state reimbursement dollars and things. I could write the stories that said if they make that cut, the odds are they're going to have to borrow X-million dollars at X-interest rate, at X-impact on the tax rate in another year, whereas if they leave it alone, the tax rate will stay flat now and we won't have to pay the banks anything either. I didn't say it quite that way.

    Ritchie: How did you learn to say it so people understand it? It's very complicated.

    Bulkeley: By listening to people at all of the things. I didn't have anything else to do as a single female. I spent my whole life doing government and political stuff. I went to political dinners and I went to political meetings and I went to rallies. I talked to people, and I listened to people. The women talked to me because I was a woman. The guys talked to me because I was a single female, because I knew what the government stuff was. I got introduced to all of the wives, because everybody wanted to make sure that their wives knew who that was they were talking to, even though I dressed like a church mouse. I didn't even own a cocktail dress for years. But I listened. People would say to me, "I read everything you write, because my husband (or So-and-so) says it's important, but I don't understand it." So then I'd talk to them about what I was writing until I found a way to say it that they understood. First I had to write it so my bosses

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    understood it, because I was writing stuff that nobody had ever done before. I was reporting stuff nobody had ever done before.

    Ritchie: And you had the leeway to do that?

    Bulkeley: As a beat reporter I did in those days.

    Ritchie: How long did it take you before you got to be a reporter?

    Bulkeley: I was city desk clerk for forty-nine weeks, at which point I became a general assignment reporter. That summer, which would have been the summer of '65, there was—was it the summer of '65? No, I was general assignment the summer of '65.

    A reporter with a year's seniority over me—Betsy Bues—was given the assignment to cover Irondequoit, but then her school called and invited her to go to their school in Athens, Greece, and teach English. She had gone to a Catholic girls' college, women's college. I was the first female journalism graduate they'd hired there—the Neuharth influence. So anyway, Betsy's school called. It was a chance for her. She was interested in Europe, so she left.

    Overnight they needed somebody to go cover this township. Well, I had already been going to city council meetings and to some township meetings, town board meetings, where we didn't have reporters, and writing those things in my spare time at the city desk clerk job. So they knew I had more understanding of local government and politics and New York State government stuff than any other junior reporter, so I got the Irondequoit assignment in August of '65. A lot of that was night work, but I also went out to catch the police report before the morning deadline to the afternoon newspaper—some of that kind of stuff. The Irondequoit page was daily, and it was four columns in an eight-column paper. The newsprint was still wider in those days, so we had eight columns across, not six.

    I forgot what your original question was.

    Ritchie: I think I asked how long it took you to become a reporter.

    Bulkeley: I was general assignment reporter forty-nine weeks after I went to work there, rather than the day I went to work there.

    Ritchie: You lasted almost the fifty-two weeks.

    Bulkeley: In the clerk job. I was very close to when I would have quit, had I not been given the kind of work that I went there to do in the first place, but also because of the kinds of things I'd been able to do since I was so grossly underemployed in the clerk job. Within three months of getting off the clerk desk, I had a reporting beat—that whole township of 60,000 people, in all of its forms, the two school districts, the library districts, the volunteer fire districts, the police.

    Ritchie: So anything you wanted to cover?

    Bulkeley: The township government, which was a couple of million dollars, and I was really on my own to decide what ought to be covered and how to cover it. So mostly, of course, I covered the government and political stuff and the governing processes. I had to work very hard at finding feature stories. We also had to do our own photography. For people who see or think graphically, those suburban pages would become almost feature pages or photo pages.

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    It would take me longer to see a feature picture or an illustration for a story, than it would take me to fill the page with copy that was legitimate news copy. Two or three days after a story ran, I'd realize what would have been a fair game, responsible illustration/picture I could have taken, or the editor would call and say, "Why didn't you get thus and such? Did they have some film there that you forgot to tell me about?" I said, "No." He'd say, "Why not?" I'd say, "Because I didn't think of that picture possibility."

    Ritchie: So this was before the day of large photo staffs that would go out with reporters?

    Bulkeley: The paper had photo staff, and indeed it was a combined staff for the morning and evening paper, but because these suburban pages—there were three suburban pages in the Times-Union in those days, covering the biggest of the—Monroe County had nineteen townships. Five of them were of the tier before there was open countryside. In New York State, cities had not been able to annex since early in the century, so while the Rochester metropolitan area is now 800,000 people, the city of Rochester is only 240,000. So in the early sixties, if you drew the line around where the first fields and cows and things and barns were, there were five suburbs within the line. Three of them were clustered together with one reporter, and then two of us each had our own full township. Those were what we called the suburban pages, and they were replated. For Irondequoit, the Irondequoit page was there. It would be taken off the press and the Greece page put in for the papers that went to Greece. Then the papers that went to Brighton, Pittsford, Henrietta, would have their own page. For the rest of the territory, the other suburbs, the other townships, plus the city of Rochester, the best stories, or the most important stories, off those three pages would be put into a fourth replate.

    Ritchie: A composite.

    Bulkeley: A composite, in effect—good word—of our pages. So we did our own photography, because they couldn't justify sending a full-blown professional union-scale photographer out to take a picture for 10 or 15 or 20 percent of the circulation territory, which a lot of our pictures would be. Few of our pictures, especially with people like me taking them, would be worth feature quality, although occasionally one of my pictures would get appropriated to the whole paper, but not very often.

    Ritchie: That wasn't one of your talents.

    Bulkeley: Did not become one of my talents or a permanent piece of my repertoire. I have one wonderful "arty" picture I took, hanging on a wall somewhere. The establishment suburb, the school district, the one that did the urban/suburban transfer program, also had a fine theater department in the high school and, in fact, had one student who played harp, and they did the Fantastiks that fall, which, if you remember, the music has wonderful harp in the theater orchestra. So I have somewhere on a wall the picture I took that ran in the paper. By then I had at least figured out to use my own high-speed 35-millimeter with fast film, and not screw around with the strobe lights and all of that. I just put fast film in and shot with natural light. So I have the harpist profiled against her harp, with the tiny, little bitty cast of the Fantastiks on the stage doing whatever they were doing. It was a wonderful photo—perfectly balanced and dramatic, but told the story, and told people what to expect when they got to the play. Mine didn't always work like that.

    I had a couple other just spot news feature pictures, one where the wind had blown a perfect curved crescent over a mailbox, that just was a freestanding crescent hanging over

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    somebody's rural mailbox that I just happened to see and take a picture of. Some incidental things like that, but nothing to frame or hang on a wall or enter in a contest.

    Ritchie: How large an area did you cover, physically?

    Bulkeley: Physically, I don't remember what the square miles were. Town hall was, by expressway, about ten miles from downtown Rochester. I had a little office and file cabinets and things in the town hall, but, of course, we were all working with typewriters and sending hard copy through in those days. So at night I had to go in and turn in any copy and do my writing. I had a desk in the office, too.

    Irondequoit itself was really outlying city density, so it wasn't all that big. At its deepest north to south, it might have been eight miles, and across, six or seven. So it wasn't all that big. It was an old suburb, and you can't tell the difference through—a lot of it was small twenties' houses and lots, or somewhat bigger houses developed where the subdivisions went bust during the Depression. They were starting to build apartments in the suburbs.

    You asked earlier about objectivity and staying out of stories. I sat in zoning hearings where developers would propose apartments for properly classically zoned buffer areas, talk about the income levels, which would be my income level, but people would stand up there and talk about apartment-dwellers as if they weren't human. I had an awful time sitting there, keeping my mouth shut. I'd want to get up and say, "That's me! That's me and my peers that you're keeping out by attacking this zoning as letting in undesirables."

    Well, what it was, was early fear or backlash against minorities. That suburb was people who had escaped the city. It was the second-generation immigrants. They didn't want any density or anything that was going to look like the city part or the parts of the city they'd gotten away from. By then, of course, the new immigrants into cities were black. Whether there was fear of blacks or simply not wanting anybody at all below their income level and their sense of proper housing, who knows. But it was me they were talking against, and it was the schoolteachers they were talking against, and I'd get incensed and have to sit there and act like I wasn't. And I'd have to write the story with just the facts in it, and try not to reflect that I thought those people attacking the apartments that were separate from their neighborhoods anyway, were unreasonable. So just another piece of the culture of that era.

    Ritchie: It was the mid-sixties.

    Bulkeley: That would have been, yes. I covered Irondequoit from August of '65 till June of '66. But I was working eighteen hours a day, five days a week—maybe only twelve on Friday, except there usually were township dinners, Little League, or political or whatever.

    Ritchie: So you really immersed yourself in everything about the town.

    Bulkeley: I did. When the fire districts had elections, I'd go to all of them on election night and get the head shots of the new officers or water districts or the library boards. That stuff had never been covered in that town before. But to me that was more important than feature stories, so I did it. Often even I'd have to spend some time on Sunday, if only writing copy for Monday, from Saturday night or Friday night or Saturday stuff.

    Ritchie: What was your deadline?

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    Bulkeley: When the boss came in at six in the morning to put the pages together.

    Ritchie: So you'd have to have it in.

    Bulkeley: He would call. He didn't work at night with us. We only had each other to talk to if we had problems or questions or couldn't figure out what to do with something, or we'd leave him notes saying we weren't sure about something. He'd call us by eight in the morning, even if we'd been there till two or 2:30, and we knew we were up if he had questions, which he usually did, and should have. That's what he's paid for. It was only later that they shifted that editor into working when the reporters were working.

    Ritchie: That would seem to make more sense.

    Bulkeley: Generally as long as we had the compartmentalized space. When they gave up those pages and went to some other system, there had to be somebody there during the day to fight for the suburban copy to get it in or to handle the editing of it, shortening of it, or whatever, who knew the suburbs well enough to not do violence to the copy. So times have changed. I don't really remember how all of that worked.

    I was offered the job of editor to establish the night system, but by then I was into the notion of changing how the county and its budget and decision-making of the taxpayers related. I had started seeing what was possible with that, and was committed. I was concerned. I was committed to seeing it through, even though my bosses never really understood what we were doing until the day I came back with the county manager story changing the budget cycle. Then they began to understand, and they saw the public filling those public hearings all day Saturday, insisting on hearings at night out in the countryside. Then they understood what I was doing. Nobody ever entered it in any contests, but they understood that I had reasons for saying "no" to something like that promotion to nightside or a switch over to the city hall beat, which, in their eyes, was more prestigious because it was the city, as opposed to the county, even though the county covered more geography and had more dollars than the city.

    Ritchie: That wasn't how they saw it.

    Bulkeley: That wasn't the prestigious government. It was city, because that was Rochester. But we all have a different perspective.

    Ritchie: Who were some of your colleagues in the early days in the newsroom? Did you make any friends that you worked closely with?

    Bulkeley: Sure. There are a bunch of answers to that. I started going to city council meetings in the fall after I started at the paper. In those days there were only two people doing government and politics full time. One was city hall and politics. The other was county government and backing up city hall and politics during an election campaign—that Labor Day to Election Day period. The county government reporter would take over the basics on city hall, and the political reporter would be full time on politics, so just two people.

    That fall, I started going to city council. The back-up reporter, the county government reporter, was there, a guy named Charlie Holcomb, who treated me like a professional colleague. They made room for me in the press row. When there was time to discuss, Charlie filled me in on the background of what was happening. He saw to it that I had all of the documents that the other reporters got. All of the professional courtesies and background.

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    Well, it wasn't very long before some of the city council members and city administration people started taking me with them to their debriefing sessions after council meetings. Some of them were doing the, "Isn't she cute? She thinks she's a reporter. Show them how big and important we are." Some of them were good government people who, in their own way, had decided that I was as smart as anybody there, and could use that to get stories planted and, in effect, send messages back to the "real" reporters. So they'd lead the incompetents into talking about things in front of me that they should never have talked about in front of a reporter if they didn't want it known, which they didn't. I'd go back and feed it to my reporter friends. Of course, once reporters know the answers, they know how to get them on the record from sources, while protecting their real sources. Some of those guys never figured out what hit them.

    Ritchie: So these debriefing sessions were private?

    Bulkeley: They'd go to rehash the council meetings, and it was just like a caucus, in effect, a follow-up caucus to the council meetings to review. There were some pretty good people in local government in those days in the elected offices. Rochester was city manager, and the county was county manager. It was a reform growing out of some independent research that George Eastman, of Eastman Kodak, had financed. He also had financed and endowed a research bureau—Bureau of Municipal Research, in those days it was called, in Rochester. So there was always that kind of forward looking.

    But anyway, some of the council members were really good and bright and ambitious, and some of them weren't. I mean, some of them were political hacks. But the Democrats were the majority and would generally, with at least the deputy city manager, and maybe the city manager and some other department heads, would go somewhere and drink after the meetings, review what had gone on, and usually drink after hours, because it was they who enforced the law, after all, so a barkeep had no fear if they stuck around. They'd go to the places, though, that usually stayed open after hours if they were doing that. And I could go. Didn't matter if I got any sleep to do my job or if I was hung over. I learned in a hurry what my capacity was, and I seldom exceeded it, at least when I was with news sources.

    But the deputy city manager, who ultimately was city manager, was a University of Chicago Ph.D. and a wonderful teacher. He taught a lot of us a lot about government and politics and survival in cities. His name was Sy Scher. He and a couple of other people, as I say, would get the less bright ones to talk about some of the crap that was going on, that really, in their interest they wouldn't have wanted the public to know, but they weren't bright enough to keep quiet in front of me. So we got it done.

    Ritchie: They didn't see you as a real reporter.

    Bulkeley: No, they didn't see me as a real reporter. The Democratic party was going through some assorted upheavals at that time. Not quite then. It came into them later, and I don't think any of this stuff, the kind of thing I'm talking about, specific examples of which I can't even remember anymore, but that next summer [1966], the Democratic party treasurer, who had taken over his family's business not very long before, filed for bankruptcy in the family business, and there were big concerns about party money, too. So the political reporter ended up being the lead reporter on that scenario as it unfolded over a few months, including the bankruptcy hearings and things, because he was the only one who knew the names and all the relationships.

    The two of them had covered campaign reports and all of those things, so it was important that one or the other of the two from that beat be in those courtrooms, so I got thrown into county

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    government the summer after I covered Irondequoit. I got thrown in there, and again in some other context encountered the "Isn't she cute? She thinks she's a reporter," from the people who fed me news, but part of what that ended up being, they didn't like the reporter on the county beat.

    I covered the county government for a while. It was the summer of '66. I did Irondequoit '65 to '66. That summer I was doing general assignment, I covered county government on back-up assignment, during the political scandal, and I had not been to the county government meetings, because they were daytime. But the county had a good public information director and a good county manager. Their sense of government with integrity was to do it honestly, be ahead of the curve, but also do it the easiest way possible, which is why the budget was handled the way I talked about earlier. They fed me stories—major stories—so that I was on the front page covering their government almost every day for weeks.

    Ritchie: The county government?

    Bulkeley: The county government, when I was only the fill-in reporter. That got to be a little heady, but it also gave me a lot of follow-up pieces, so it didn't take me very long to become independent on the beat. Only I was only temporary.

    When the bankruptcy political scandal thing settled down, the two guys went back to their beats, I went back to general assignment just at a time when the bosses decided we had to start covering all of the suburban townships. I had also only just caught up my sleep from all of those months in Irondequoit, and been able to wake up with less than twelve hours' sleep or stay awake nights again. I got sent back out to a big sprawl of five townships scattered over the far western reaches of the county, and I was furious. That started in the late summer/early fall of '66.

    Among other things that fall, the state Republican convention was in Rochester. Those were Rockefeller* years, so it was consummate political performances short of the national convention. To this day I remember coming back in from being out in my Podunk townships, dealing with dog-leash laws and zoning insults, and coming in with reporters growling because they had been at the state Republican convention with the Rockefeller people and the New York City politicians. Of course, I would have given my eye teeth to have been there. I didn't have any eye teeth, but I would have given them if I had. And I was bored to death—leash laws compared with the next step on the stuff I needed to learn.

    So I was getting ready to give notice and leave again when I was brought back in from the suburbs and put back on the county beat, because the guy who had it was going—1966, late in the year—to a place we'd never heard of, except that there had been a few people from Rochester killed—in Vietnam. So Peter Behr was going to go do the home town boys in Vietnam—wherever it is and whatever it's all about—reporting for a couple of months, and I got to cover county government while he was gone.

    Ritchie: So that became your new assignment?

    Bulkeley: I was sent there temporarily, with the expectation that when he got back and finished whatever he hadn't reported while he was there, and got over that trip, he'd go back on the beat.

    ______________________
    * Nelson A. Rockefeller, (1908-1979). Republican governor of New York, 1959-1973; vice president of the United States, 1974-1977.

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    Ritchie: Why were you moved from Irondequoit in the first place?

    Bulkeley: The township, in the first place?

    Ritchie: Did they stop doing the pages?

    Bulkeley: No. They still did the pages, but partly I was exhausted because of my approach to it, partly because it was a fairly normal rotation. I had been out there doing stuff long enough; it was time to get me back in the newsroom and supervised, although there were no complaints about what I did. Irondequoit Press, the weekly, even did an editorial saying how important I'd been to the people of the community when I was out there because of my approach to reporting. It was just, in those days, a normal rotation, and there were new junior reporters to send out and start finding the best way to use what I could do for the whole paper, not just a slice of it.

    They didn't do a whole lot with me that summer. Then as it turned out, I got shipped back out to the suburbs and also on zoned and the zone circumstance. But I spent so much time driving out there, that I didn't produce nearly the copy, even though I had a lot more institutions and a lot more different townships and sets of people to cover. The total number of people was less than Irondequoit, and the distances were such, I was half an hour from one town hall to another, from the nearest point to the office, instead of twelve minutes on the expressway.

    Ritchie: So you spent a lot of time in your car.

    Bulkeley: A lot of time in the car. There was no such thing as dictating stories for transcribers to do, or portable computers so you could use down time writing stories, or even portable typewriters or offices that you could do that. So it was, by my standards, grossly nonproductive and just an overall frustrating experience.

    Ritchie: Did you complain to anyone?

    Bulkeley: Oh, yes. I was told, "Only for a while," and I kept saying, "How are we defining this," giving deadlines or threatening to give them deadlines if they didn't give me some relief, and they did right after the election. Too late for that particular convention.

    Ritchie: That you would have liked to have been at.

    Bulkeley: There were others, so—

    Ritchie: This might be a good place to stop tonight.

    Bulkeley: Okay.

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    [Begin Tape 1, Side A]

    Bulkeley: This isn't as much as it looks like. I just grabbed the whole résumé out of the machine, in case we ran into chronology problems as we did the last time.

    There are a couple of things about growing up that had impact on work that I don't think I talked about, and I guess the key one is, Dad always said, and insisted, that part of our responsibility to any employer was to bring whatever we had to offer that was different to any job we had, not just to repeat the patterns that were there, that there must be some reason why the boss appointed us or put us in a job, so we should figure that out, or from whatever other knowledge and experience we had, bring something of ourselves to the job, which is part of what has to do with why I always look for what did I know and what could I do with a job that wasn't already there. That's already come into our discussions a couple of times, but it had a grounding back in growing up.

    We also were brought up to assume a responsibility for passing on whatever benefits or experiences we had to other people, and all of that's a lot of very WASPish Christian ethic stuff, but we got it mostly in Boy Scout language, all of it—you know, like leave the campsite better, and things like that. I don't think I talked about those earlier, but because they have to do with why did I do professional association stuff, and why didn't I just follow the job that I got when I moved into it.

    Ritchie: When you say passing something along, you mean to those you were reporting for or to the reporters who would follow you?

    Bulkeley: Or to people who didn't have the benefits and the gifts we had, whether philanthropy, or once you get the door open for people who are different, keep it open and help some more come through. One of the great criticisms of some women, certainly in our generation, has been that when they got in the power spot, they just did the same old thing that the men had always done and didn't help others.

    So as a consequence, when I've been asked to go colleges, for instance, and talk to kids, if I could figure out how to do it, I did. Or if they'd call and want to come into the office and visit and talk about journalism, I made room for them. And again, because we talked about where attitudes and outlooks came from, I thought we probably ought to put those on the record.

    Ritchie: That it came from your upbringing.

    Bulkeley: Right. The reason we never thought about basketball plays is because basketball didn't stop between plays. Football moves play by play. That was one of our side conversations.

    Ritchie: Right, about the basketball and what you knew about it.

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    Bulkeley: And why didn't we think about strategies and plays and setting up plays. I'm sure it's because football moves a play at a time and stops in between. Basketball moves, and unless you really watch it and can keep an eye on all ten players, you don't necessarily see the set-ups, or when they have a chance to [move] or where they get messed up. The strategies just aren't as obvious, and maybe aren't as important. I don't know.

    Ritchie: And if you aren't a player and not trained to observe it, it might be difficult to pick up on.

    Bulkeley: Right. And I'm not sure that's relevant to anything, except we talked about it.

    Ritchie: Straightened it out, yes. I think we got up to 1966 last time, when you were covering county government.

    Bulkeley: I had just started covering county government.

    Ritchie: And you did that for several years?

    Bulkeley: Four and a half, until late summer of '71. I started covering county government as a fill-in, as we talked about, for the reporter who went to Vietnam to cover local boys who were there, when most of us still didn't know where it was. But by the time he got back and finished all of the follow-up to his story, I was settled into the beat and already doing new things, so I got the beat permanently—I mean as permanent as anything is in the newspaper business—and he was assigned to develop what in those days we called the poverty beat.

    Ritchie: The [President Lyndon B.] Johnson poverty program.

    Bulkeley: The inner-city stuff and much more than just the poverty program government stuff. But Rochester was one of those cities that rioted in '64 in the first wave of urban riots, shortly after the Gannett Company had won a Pulitzer Prize for a groupwide effort and series called The Road to Integration. Two months after their prize was announced, the city blew up, and nobody knew why. That was '64.

    Ritchie: Was it school integration or housing integration that they covered to win this prize?

    Bulkeley: That was before I was part of the company, and I never really read the whole series, but it had to do with minorities and probably just involved the Gannett cities of that time, what would have been '63, that had minorities in them, and I would guess it was seen through a privileged white male screen, so they missed hearing and seeing all of the kinds of things that were driving inner cities toward the blow-ups that started the next summer.

    Anyway, it was '66—well, by now '67—before Peter Behr was assigned to do the poverty beat, and Alinsky by then was in town, or coming to town—Saul Alinsky we talked about, I think, the community organizer whose fame and base was Chicago—was brought in, so there was citizen stuff happening, too, in that poverty beat area. There were migrant workers who were part of it, but I was on the county beat.

    Ritchie: So you weren't covering that.

    Bulkeley: So I wasn't doing that; Peter was. That's right at the time the "one man, one vote" Supreme Court decision was taking effect at the local level, so the county government was shifting

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    from the traditional board of supervisors from wards and townships—and in the townships the supervisors were also the chair of the town boards, and chief executive of the townships—was shifting from that geographic base to a representative district, equal population base. I don't know that that was a plus or a minus, having somebody new on the beat at that point, but part of what happened in county government—it was a county manager form of government, the manager in those days hired for specific terms. The city manager was at the will of the government. The county manager was for set terms.

    Ritchie: Elected?

    Bulkeley: Appointed by the governing board. In this case, it would have been the county legislature, the new legislature. But one of the things that happened was the county budget magically appeared one or two days after elections, and went through a pro forma public hearing during a weekday and was voted on, and nobody ever paid any attention to what was in it. I knew that money made common sense, and that we really were entitled to a better shot at it than that. Even though the county government is the one step removed government in New York State, it's not the essential services like police and fire, but it's social services, health—health had connections because they were doing free immunization and provided dental exams and things—the zoo, the airport. But mostly it was things like weights and measures. Who really pays any attention to whether the scale has been tested lately at the supermarket, and who really cares about welfare as long as the welfare recipients aren't on their doorstep?

    It also was coming to the beginning of Medicaid, Medicare. The county legislature started making some critically important financial decisions that probably would never have been made by the board of supervisors, but one of the key ones was shifting welfare from a charge-back system where the taxes to pay it went back to wherever the recipients lived. The recipient from the township of Henrietta was charged back to Henrietta, and, of course, the great majority lived in the city of Rochester, which was a quarter of the population of the county, but that had the effect then of relieving city taxpayers of some property taxes and adding it to the load in the townships. That was the biggest decision the county made.

    It also was the time when the New York State legislature and governor passed legislation enabling government employees to unionize. In lots of parts of the state, employees were organized in professional associations that happened to bargain over contracts.

    Ritchie: But they weren't official unions?

    Bulkeley: But they weren't unions, and they wouldn't dare talk about striking, for instance. Well, the legislation was changed to allow public employee unions, and the county let them organize. You would have thought it was a Catholic bishop letting them organize his school, a Republican county that didn't fight the unionizing of its employees. The city was already organized—trash collection, fire fighters, and police.

    So that first year I was covering the county, it not only was a new form of government, it also had critical new pieces happening: the financing on welfare; the negotiating with employees for the first time; the beginnings of Medicaid and Medicare, which in New York State were managed through the county welfare system, and the counties paid extra costs, the local share of costs came from the counties; and did the fee negotiating. Fees were established for basic services and hospital charges and things, at the local level in those days, at least when they started out. In New York State, they passed all of the options. All of the things the feds said you can do if you want to do in terms of Medicaid, they did—not just people who were eligible for welfare, but also

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    seniors and people unable to work for whatever reason, or not working, the singles, not necessarily families with children on welfare, but also single people on welfare for whatever reason. It was a different welfare program, but it was a wide range of things with very little local money.

    Ultimately New York State had to back off, but it started gung-ho. It was increasing the pension plan to the point that by the late sixties, public employees in New York State could retire at half pay, not counting Social Security after thirty years of service, and legislatures were granting that without looking at the costs. So a lot of things were happening, and the county lawmakers weren't adding up what they were doing; I was.

    Ritchie: The financial costs.

    Bulkeley: And what was going to hit them in the budget that fall. But I knew that when you make decisions, you look at what they're going to cost you in what year, and then I learned how to translate the decisions into property tax rates. I learned how to take the new assessments in June and translate that into property tax rates, whether they were ready to or not. There were lots of good government executives in that government, and I learned rapidly I could test my assumptions and be sure my pieces were right, and they'd straighten me out if I wasn't right, or they'd steer me toward more information. I think they all knew what I was doing, that I was adding up the new costs of doing business.

    Ritchie: Why didn't they do it?

    Bulkeley: Well, it was too much bother. They were doing it, they just weren't going to put the budget together and publish it until after election, because you get in all sorts of bother if the taxpayers start talking about it. As indeed eventually, we did—got in a lot of bother, because the taxpayers plugged into it. By summer I could project the property tax increase that the next budget would ask for just to accomplish what the county was doing and the new things. It was awful. It was going to be a 40 or 50 percent property tax increase on most people because of the welfare charge back elimination and other things.

    Ritchie: Because of all the new programs that had been added.

    Bulkeley: Right. And the Republicans in control of the county government sat there and didn't say a word as my stories were published. The Democrats weren't really sure anybody could do that—project spending and taxes as I had. I got some help out of city hall, where the Democrats were in control. The budget director and the city manager were pretty sure I was right, but because nobody had done it, and girls don't know numbers, everybody just sort of watched. And indeed, when the budget was introduced the day after election, the tax increase—I had said it'll take at least an average of ten dollars, plus or minus, depending on the township—the county manager asked for thirteen, which, of course, blew everybody's mind.

    They did set up some weekend public hearings and changed their schedule for adopting the budget with that much money, did an all-day Saturday public hearing that public television carried live, and it was wonderful, in terms of a reporter seeing her work connect with the voters, and the government admit that the voters, taxpayers, were entitled to a voice, watching all of that begin to unfold and to happen.

    Ritchie: Did you encounter opposition from it? You say they watched you. No one tried to stop you?

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    Bulkeley: No, nobody really tried to stop me. I made sure, for whatever reason, gut instinct, that none of my sources really knew what all I had altogether and how close I was to getting it together until we published it, but I was satisfied, and I had checked and re-checked and multiple checked all of the parts. But I knew that I knew what I was doing and that I was right. They cut all of the discretionary increases out of the budget and the average tax rate increase was $9.98.

    Ritchie: So they had to do something to keep it down.

    Bulkeley: They did to exercise their responsibilities as elected lawmakers and confirm that the county legislature is a good deal. But by the time they took all the discretionary stuff out, they came down on my number, which was, I had said, about ten dollars. It was $9.98, the official comprehensive figure. The next year, as we started into the decision-making cycle again, I was monitoring the sales tax income and what that meant for the year against the budget.

    Ritchie: The local sales tax?

    Bulkeley: The county had a local sales tax, and had gotten special legislation, it was ahead, before the New York sales tax. The county had its own sales tax.

    I monitored the assessments, the spending, the contingent fund, the monthly reports, financial reports out of the county's computers—a wonderful computer system with the projections and things on it. Somebody—and I have no idea who—in the government reminded me that the county controlled the sales tax—and it took only 10 percent of the sales tax at that point—but I was warned not to hang the whole tax increase on the property tax, and that it would most likely change the sales tax distribution formula to finance the next year's spending increases, because it was clear pretty early they'd need another tax increase, second year in a row.

    So I qualified what I was doing, but this time, because it had worked, I was right the first time, the minority Democrats started making issues out of the spending and out of the tax thing, where they could find questionable practices, they would raise those questions. The Republicans sat back and let them do it. You can't have an ongoing discussion if there's only one side, so none of that really went very far. The budget still came out right after elections, and indeed, the county took 25 percent of the sales tax, the rest of it proportioned back to the towns and the city, which meant if the county was taking 25 percent, everybody else would get less, everybody else would have to raise property taxes. By then I had learned how to do that in a table and chart and show everybody.

    Ritchie: Because it had to balance.

    Bulkeley: Right. And they had to have, unless they took drastic cuts, they'd still need the income they had, but this time they'd have to take responsibility for it within their own town. A lot of the townships didn't have any local property taxes, because the sales tax had covered their costs in the rural area, where they didn't have cops, they didn't have planning and zoning boards that were paid, because volunteers could handle what little demand there was. So we ran the chart that showed that taxes were going to go up this amount, and if the county took it in sales tax, then here's how it affects each township, so one way or another, taxes will be going up across the board at this average. By the third year, they couldn't fight it anymore. They moved the budget cycle and introduced the budget in September, with public hearings at nights and weekends all over the county.

    Ritchie: So the people knew ahead of time.

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    Bulkeley: The people knew, they had easy access. The legitimate control of spending values—questions that were part of the budget became part of the election campaign, and all of a sudden the remote government was, in fact, what it did, and its taxes were part of the election issues, so that the county was a real election campaign with real pocketbook issues, which, I guess, is what I think democracy ought to be, and should be. It just took us a while because it had never been there before. My goodness.

    Ritchie: Did you ever encounter difficulty in trying to get this information?

    Bulkeley: Oh, no, because it was all public records, and the pattern was established.

    Ritchie: But no one had taken the time to do it, to put it together like this.

    Bulkeley: Well, journalists have math anxiety. Every journalist knows what every penny of his or her paycheck is going to do, and they plan years ahead for college education or whatever, with numbers, but for some reason, if it gets to be more than their paycheck or their house mortgage, they can't deal with it, and they don't recognize that it's a lot easier to catch a crook if you can follow the money than if you have to stand around a parking garage and wait for somebody to come whisper in your ear. That's a fault of the journalism education, which does not require numbers. My two years of high school algebra and one year of plane geometry got me off the hook for numbers. I never again had to take a numbers course.

    Ritchie: In college?

    Bulkeley: In college, either for my liberal arts stuff or to get into journalism school, let alone out of it.

    Ritchie: So you didn't take any economics or—

    Bulkeley: Well, yes, but that isn't numbers.

    Ritchie: No numbers.

    Bulkeley: Economics is theories and Xs and Ys and Zs and things. A five-hour economics course is required—or was—in those days at Missouri, and I took lots of economics. I only had trouble with the one that was all theory and Xs and Ys and Zs. It never really plugged into anything, but I got that figured out, too. But all it takes to do budgets is arithmetic, adding and subtracting and multiplying and dividing, and with calculators in cereal boxes these days, for journalists not to report budgets in a context that a reader can read in a headline is an absolute failure of the constitutional responsibility.

    Ritchie: Do you think journalists do it more now?

    Bulkeley: No, they do it less. There's no way to find out what the local government is spending money on by reading newspapers, or there's no way to find out what the federal government is spending it on by reading newspapers. I spent five years in a different job back in the town where I had done this budget stuff. I couldn't find out from the newspapers when the budget was, what it was, what it was spent for.

    Ritchie: So when you returned to Rochester after an absence—

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    Bulkeley: Eleven years.

    Ritchie: —there wasn't that continuity in the coverage.

    Bulkeley: It was all gone. In fact, when I went off the beat, I was not allowed to train my successor in the budget stuff. The bosses apparently thought somebody had been feeding me all of that information. They never understood I developed it on my own.

    Ritchie: That you had done it and put it together.

    Bulkeley: That I had done it and somebody needed to be taught, because it was pieces from fifteen or twenty different places, plus keeping track of the decisions as they were made. I never asked to find out why they wouldn't let me train him.

    Ritchie: It was a male, your successor?

    Bulkeley: It was a male [Larry Beaupre]. When I went off that beat—I'm getting ahead of me—but when I went off that beat, Peter Taub and I had covered the three beats, just the two of us—city hall, county government, and politics. Peter mostly did city hall and politics, I did county, city/county joint things, and city and county to state to federal. I got the federal budget every year, and working with the representatives—Barber Conable and Frank Horton*—always had all of the stories. The day the federal budget was introduced, I had the Rochester money in the paper, with help from their offices, but then I also learned how to follow it with phone calls in to the bureaucracy or to their staff people, depending on what it was.

    Ritchie: You knew who to contact.

    Bulkeley: Knew the contacts, knew enough about the cycles to know when it was time to check on things—airport money, special bridge money that had to get appropriated through to the Corps of Engineers, processes, that kind of thing.

    Ritchie: So you really became an expert on budgets.

    Bulkeley: As they were in the sixties. Because dollars are the connection everybody has to government, and at some point, of course, government also affects your property values, grocery costs, automobile costs, all of the rest of it, and all of those things can be identified. It took me into the second time in the cycle to learn what size dollars to report. That first year, I would go to functions, political dinners, meetings, whatever, and people would come up to me—the spouses, for instance, mostly wives—and say, "Oh, I read everything you write because So-and-so says it's important, but I don't understand it." That said to me I needed to work harder at translating and at finding pieces of spending that everyday people could recognize.

    Ritchie: That they could relate to.

    ______________________
    * Barber B. Conable, Jr., (b. 1922). (R-NY). U.S. representative, 1965-1985. Frank J. Horton, (b. 1919). (R-NY). U.S. representative, 1963-1989.

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    Bulkeley: So I covered the bid openings for the food at the county home and infirmary and the jail, because everybody knows how much eggs cost, or you can find out easy enough, or bread, or whatever.

    Ritchie: So the jail would bid on—

    Bulkeley: They had to bid contracts probably for a year at a time.

    Ritchie: For their goods.

    Bulkeley: For a year's supply of staples. I did salaries in terms of secretaries and auto mechanics in the sheriff's motor pool. I looked for the jobs that people would recognize from their own context, and the workday and the number of holidays and things, which of course were exorbitant, left over from the days when government didn't pay much.

    Ritchie: So they'd give you something, days off.

    Bulkeley: So government had twice as many days off, or more, as everybody else, and they also could accumulate. When in most private business vacations and sick leave disappeared at the end of the year if you didn't take them, they just kept piling up. There were no limits in those days. When that pension plan started, there were people retiring—there are still terrible stories out of New York City and places. That plan has been cut back a number of times since. But at that time, because of the open-ended accumulation of time, and the half-pay after thirty years, and counting everything, if you had worked summer highway crews as a kid in high school, you got credit in the pension plan, there were people retiring with greater gross income than they were making. By the time you look at the state pension not being taxed by the state, and the cost of coming and going to work, there were a lot of people who were foolish to keep working, even taking—they weren't penalized if their thirty years came at age fifty-five. Actuarily they weren't cut back from half-pay; they were given half-pay. And, of course, Social Security, everybody else, does the actuarial adjustments. But in those days, New York State didn't, and everybody figured the guys who passed that kind of thing, if they understood the cost ramifications, figured they'd be long gone before it ever caught up. Those were the days of growth in the Northeast, and as sales taxes and income taxes were in common use, it covered the money for a while. It covered that kind of cost. But it caught up there in the seventies.

    Ritchie: This must have taken a great deal of your time.

    Bulkeley: Well, it was all I had to do, was the government, was my reporting work.

    Ritchie: Did you have any social life?

    Bulkeley: No.

    Ritchie: No time for it?

    Bulkeley: Well, and I didn't know anybody who was more interesting than my work anyway, because I visited with lots of people and sat around bars at all of these events. The bartenders at places where all of these things were held knew to cut me off after two drinks, no matter how many people were buying drinks for me.

    Ritchie: That was it.

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    Bulkeley: They knew I wasn't going to drink them, and they either wouldn't take the money or they'd put it in their kitty or whatever. I did political stuff weekends and evenings during the week.

    One of the union guys at the paper yelled at me once for working all of those hours when guys with families couldn't, because there weren't other women, and there weren't many other single people, and I didn't know about wage and hour laws that said I shouldn't work those times if I wasn't paid overtime. I didn't know about that.

    Ritchie: You were salaried.

    Bulkeley: Well, as far as I was concerned, but reporters aren't. About once a decade, there will be a big, massive hearing arguing that reporters are professional, not hourly employees, and they always lose, and it drives the best reporters crazy, let alone management, because reporters want to work until their job is done. They're driving down the road and see a fire, they're going to stop and cover the fire, rather than go on to the grocery store. But if they don't get paid, the employer's held responsible, not the individual. In fact, even if the employer tries to get people to stop work and they don't, the employer's supposed to pay them, or at least the way the regulations were interpreted when I was a publisher.

    I had dated one guy the first summer I was there, who lived next door, but he went back to law school. He was just there summers working at his brother's law firm, and he was Catholic, and Midwest Methodists didn't date Catholics in the sixties, any more than Catholics dated Midwest Methodists. He grew up in a family of five and he said, "That wasn't enough, I want six kids." Well, I wasn't the least bit interested in kids. I didn't get along with kids when I was one. So anyway, that lasted two summers.

    Ritchie: Did you ever date any of your male colleagues on the paper?

    Bulkeley: No. I eventually starting going with a guy who was at one of the television stations. He also was married, but I went with him anyway for years.

    Ritchie: While you were working on the newspaper?

    Bulkeley: While I was at the newspaper.

    Ritchie: How did you interact with the radio and TV people?

    Bulkeley: Oh, we had a great time. That was before radio and television news staffs were very big. The clear channel station—there were two really good news radio stations with good news staffs, plus there was the Gannett radio and television station that got all of our copy, too. One of our carbons went over there.

    Ritchie: So you really were writing for them, too.

    Bulkeley: So they could use our copy. But they didn't cover a whole lot of stuff. But there were two AM stations, one clear channel, one not, that had good people who were out and around all the time, and we sort of played off against each other, the ones who covered government and politics. We pretty well understood the strengths and weaknesses of each medium, and we'd help each other, because they could do stuff I couldn't and I could do stuff they couldn't.

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    Ritchie: In terms of—

    Bulkeley: We'd sort of compares notes on what was going on and what we knew, and if there were surprise meetings called, we'd be sure each other knew. We also would go back to our bosses and say, "I know Chuck's working on this. You've got to get my story in the paper." That's very classic stuff. We all did that, and I think that just as you always blame the mistakes on copy editors, or in those days the Linotypists, you never admit that you screwed up that word or that name spelling.

    The other thing I'd do, though, and I usually had stuff like budgets and things I'd get ahead of time, and do, but then I'd go to the official news conferences, things that were happening after deadlines. I established a good enough reputation I always got the press conference announcements so I had them in time for the paper. But I also would cover my sources, and I'd go to the news conferences, partly because sometimes somebody just might be smarter than me and ask a question I'd forgotten. That didn't happen very often.

    But I also got smart-alecky. I got so I intentionally would ask questions on other people's camera time. When the television cameras were running, I'd ask a question right in the middle of it, because they were still working in film, which was difficult to edit, and if they were sitting around asking pansy questions, soft questions that didn't really belong, and even if they weren't, if they were doing okay, I'd still ask questions just to get on their film. Some of that was teasing them, but some of that also was because our bosses at both of the dailies insisted television was a direct competitor, and we weren't allowed to go on the public affairs shows.

    Ritchie: So you could ask a question and be recorded at a news conference.

    Bulkeley: At a press conference.

    Ritchie: But you could not go on TV to discuss it on a Sunday morning.

    Bulkeley: The local—no. Or whenever they did their public affairs shows. We weren't allowed to do that.

    Ritchie: Because of the element of competition?

    Bulkeley: Our bosses always said, "We're not going to make them look good."

    I said, "How are people who don't read us going to know we're smarter than they are? If we don't get to those shows—even on the public station we weren't allowed—if we don't go on those shows, the people who don't get our newspaper aren't going to know what they're missing."

    Ritchie: Was this pretty standard in newspapers at the time?

    Bulkeley: It was changing. I think that was a basic initial newspaper reaction to television. I had forgotten that the fifteen-minute network newscast only went out in the sixties. They only went to half an hour in the sixties. I had forgotten that they ever had less than half an hour. It was changing, and that probably was near sort of a mid-point. I don't know when those newspapers starting allowing their people to go on television, but it sure wasn't while I was there. I was there until early '74, and up to that point we weren't allowed on television, and I think we were the losers, our newspapers, and the citizens were the losers, not the television stations.

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    But basically I knew the good guys, men and women, and each television station had one really good cameraman and one other one, and they were as helpful and as polite and respectful. The only guys I ever got any grief from in terms of, "Oh, isn't she cute, she thinks she's a reporter," were some of the men, not all of them, at the other newspaper.

    Ritchie: Which one?

    Bulkeley: The Democrat & Chronicle, the morning newspaper. We'd run into them because of the government and political stuff, and there were some who gave my colleagues a hard time about having me in the press row at city council, because I went voluntarily.

    Ritchie: Because they didn't have a woman?

    Bulkeley: No, because I wasn't paid to be there, and because I wasn't a "real" reporter; I was a girl. But my colleagues from my paper, whoever was covering, would have me up there, too, and got grief then from their peers on the morning newspaper.

    Ritchie: Where was this?

    Bulkeley: The press row at city council meetings, because I went to those on my own time, from the first year I was there. I ran into one of those guys [Conrad Christian]. He left Rochester for a White House fellowship or congressional or something, and never came back. But I ran into him at the grand opening for USA Today, the kickoff party down here on the Mall, and he acted like he singlehandedly had made my government and political reporting career. I couldn't believe it. He never acknowledged me. He only acknowledged me to complain about me, to whoever from my paper was there. But fifteen years later, he was responsible for me and my successes. I couldn't believe it. He was just a shriveled old man by then, doing some hack kind of thing. I've forgotten what it was.

    Ritchie: During this time, were you ever offered other positions at the newspaper?

    Bulkeley: A couple of times while I was doing the county government, I was asked if I'd take the city hall beat if Peter [Taub] left it, and I always said no, that I was in the process of working this stuff out at the county level, but also the county government was twice as big. As far as I was concerned, it was a lot more important, because it was twice as many dollars and four times the number of people. But more important was living with the consequences of the reporting I was doing and fixing it and seeing if it could work.

    I was once also asked to go to establish the night desk to work with suburban reporters. We talked early about the work I did as a suburban reporter and that that there was no boss there, even though it was green reporters. Finally somebody figured out that that was not very smart, and they decided to put an editor working nights to work with the reporters and be there when they came in and handle the copy and the questions while they were there. I was asked to take that job, and I turned it down, mostly because, again, of the reporting I was doing, partly because I wasn't ready to quit being a reporter, partly because what I wanted to do and had understudied and if it ever was open expected to have, was the political beat. I knew the political beat and I covered it, and that's what I really wanted to do.

    Ritchie: You were waiting for that.

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    Bulkeley: Yes, because I'd set out from somewhere back in the late fifties to fix how government was covered for the Midwest, and to do that, I had to do the local parts and help put it together and then work my way up. So that's what I was doing, and I wasn't ready to change my plan. They didn't give me any compelling reasons to, so I turned them down.

    Ritchie: And they didn't force you to?

    Bulkeley: No.

    Ritchie: Who were your bosses at this time?

    Bulkeley: I reported to the city editor and/or the presiding assistant city editor. The managing editor was the chief news executive in charge of the whole newsroom, and was always involved in evaluations and granting of raises and things, and, in fact, most of the time there was also an executive editor overseeing the two papers who reported to the publisher.

    [End Tape 1, Side A; Begin Tape 1, Side B]

    Ritchie: You were talking about your bosses during the time.

    Bulkeley: When I was hired there, the managing editor was the guy who had been managing editor forever. His name was A. Vernon Croop and he was a tired old editor, but he's still alive and alert, even today. Well, as far as I know. When I went back to Rochester in '85, I kept running into him at Gannett functions. For some reason he didn't serve in World War II. People talked about him behind his back. They said the only reason he was the managing editor was because he's the only one who didn't go to World War II, so he got the job and kept it.

    The guy who really ran the newsroom was named John Dougherty, who became known throughout the industry for developing talent, actually, and what John really did was once he'd hired somebody, he trusted us. He was awful on some gender-related stuff, but, of course, none of us knew much about it in those days, and he ultimately is the reason I left the newsroom. But that's later in the story. He became the managing editor when Mr. Croop retired, and Mr. Croop was the only one in the building that was called Mister by the staff.

    Ritchie: Everyone else went by their first name.

    Bulkeley: Yes, including Paul Miller and Al Neuharth, who were first name, but not Mr. Croop. I don't really remember when he retired.

    The city editor was Lou Grant. His name really was Herb Jackson, the first city editor. He had one assistant, and there was a reporter—we published six days—there was a senior reporter who swung into the city desk to help cover a sixth shift.

    Ritchie: So he really was like Lou Grant on the TV show ["Mary Tyler Moore Show"]?

    Bulkeley: Yes, and he also was built about like Ed Asner, which is hysterical. Herb was short and a little round. Of course, Asner wasn't as big then as he is today. But Herb was short and round and balding, and he and Don Fradenburg, his assistant, as soon as the paper out, both lighted cigars, and I was downwind in my quasi-clerical job. But they were wonderful. They were bright and they were quick, and they knew how, again, to trust their reporters, but also to talk to us and get more and better from us, and they had this huge big room full of people, but it also was the

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    era where there were senior reporters, when people stayed forever in newsrooms and stayed with one assignment for years.

    Ritchie: Had one particular beat?

    Bulkeley: Right. And they could do a lot of their own managing. They would know, or the city editor could trust them to know, what the story was and how long it had to be and what was the range. Our editors always negotiated space with us ahead of time. I say that because I later discovered that a lot of newsrooms didn't do it that way.

    Ritchie: So you knew, when you went to do a story, how much space you had?

    Bulkeley: Right. We talked in terms of pages. We all had our typewriters set the same, triple-spaced, and they'd want one page or three takes or whatever. We'd negotiate what was the story and how long was it going to be before we sat down to write. Or if I was calling in from a meeting before I started dictating, I knew how long it was, so I could edit in my head as I went. I learned later a lot of places didn't do that. Reporters sat down and spewed out everything they had, and, of course, we've seen some papers where it looks like they publish it all, too.

    Ritchie: Yes, or they cut it.

    Bulkeley: Or cut it poorly, or too fast.

    Ritchie: Do you think that benefitted your writing and your thinking?

    Bulkeley: Oh, I think so, because it made us focus more clearly on what really is the most important out of these four things, because I don't have room for them, and what is the quickest, best, least wordy way to say this so I can get more in. It also, I think, made us think more in terms of follow-up. I knew from the time I put my story together what I didn't get to say, and I would start working on, okay, now how do I get that in the paper, too? In those days of hot metal, a lot of our space was moved the day before, because the production window was narrow. They could only produce X number of pages of type and columns of type an hour, because in the composing room it had to be keyboarded again and proofread and fixed, and the machines would only process so many finished pages at a time, or in an hour, so some of our pages moved the afternoon before, and to me, that space was extremely valuable because I could get things that truly weren't front page important, or prime space important, but that I thought needed to be on the record and needed to be published. I could get things in those pages.

    When I finished whatever I had for one day's edition—our main deadline was eleven o'clock, with a secondary deadline at one, that would catch the home delivery in the city proper and to street sale, stock edition, but after eleven o'clock, I'd sit down and give my bosses a list of what stories they were going to get from me the rest of the day and what I anticipated the next morning.

    Ritchie: So you didn't stop working at deadline?

    Bulkeley: Oh, you can't, no. And in an afternoon paper, you'd still have half or more of your day left, if you stopped.

    But they always knew what they could expect from me, and if I was working on longer-term big things, they knew it, and when I left, there was always a note on my typewriter and a

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    note on the desk saying where I was and how to get hold of me, so there was never any excuse for making major changes in my copy without talking to me first. But all that fell apart. We got more people with less experience or less self confidence or not as smart or something, on the desk. By the time I left that newsroom, the desk had four people on it, and they didn't talk to each other, and even if you talked to them about stories or projects, if you talked to one of them, the other ones didn't know it.

    Ritchie: It was disjointed?

    Bulkeley: Yes. I ended up once—we were working on some pre-election stuff that involved pictures as well as stories—and I was finally learning how to think about pictures—but I started turning in copy early, before it was to be used. The Saturday paper had only a page for news, all of the weddings and engagements were in on Saturday, and, of course, that counts as news budget. One Saturday the paper came, and the assistant city editor who was in charge on that Saturday had put in the picture that went with a story I hadn't even written, and edited a story I had turned in for the next week to fit the picture, so none of it made any sense, and the package that I had been working on with somebody else was all screwed up. That was typical of what was going on by then.

    Management had also made a mistake and put an in-house hot food cafeteria in, so instead of all of us going our own way out and around somewhere for lunch, we started going to lunch together, and that was a terrible mistake. We met in the cafeteria regularly, comparing notes and complaining; reinforcing the bad morale and negative attitudes toward management. We had bosses with much lower expectations of us. By the time I left the newsroom, if I turned in a list for the next week with a major story on it sometime during the week, they were happy.

    Ritchie: Why would that have changed so much? Had they hired a lot of new people and just had an abundance of writing?

    Bulkeley: Some of it was turnover. Between Vietnam and, I think, growth in the big newspapers staffs, turnover started happening. I was the most junior reporter for forty-seven weeks when I started there. By 1971 or '72, I was within the top five or six in seniority in the reporting staff. It was a whole bunch of things. Some of it was people going into other communications fields so they could get paid enough to send their kids to college, because senior reporters weren't rewarded necessarily for being stars in those days, at least not there. Some of it was people being promoted in Gannett to other places.

    Some of it was Vietnam. Guys who would get called up would miss two years, and if they came back, they'd still not have that kind of claim on beats, for instance. They'd get their jobs and their pay. That was the law as well as morality, but most often they didn't come back to the paper from Vietnam. They went on somewhere else to some other paper or they went to somewhere where they didn't have to deal with such stark reality. I can't, today, give you examples.

    That also made it possible for that staff to shift from basically no women doing real reporting to 50 percent by the early seventies, in that five- or six-year period. We weren't in any decision-making roles except the extent that the senior beats were decision-making roles. But the bosses started telling me how to do my beat. The beat reporters worked kind of a flex time. We basically were there during the normal publishing cycle, but we had night meetings to cover, no overtime, no knowledge of the wage and hour laws, but they knew they got their money's worth,

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    and they didn't really pay much attention to us. We just automatically on the weekly schedule were blocked in for Monday through Friday.

    One day I walked in, there was a legislature meeting or something, and the boss, city editor, says to me, "What are you doing here?"

    And I said, "I'm here."

    He says, "Look at the schedule." Well, he had shifted me. I had for three years been on the Monday through Friday schedule. He had changed me to a weekday off and working Saturday without ever telling me, without ever discussing it, without ever explaining why, he had just arbitrarily done it. And not only that, but three weeks were posted and I was scheduled off on the days of my key meetings. By the next year—well, that's another piece of the story. But basically they started doing that kind of stuff with no basis in trust or credibility or anything, to get away with it. We were professionals.

    Ritchie: So it was management with the reporting staff.

    Bulkeley: He was really taking over hour-by-hour management of us, which is one of the reasons they needed four people where there had only been two, two and a quarter.

    Ritchie: Now this was in the early seventies, and by this time you had moved into the political reporting?

    Bulkeley: Peter Taub, among other things, had a great touch with odds and ends of people stuff, and even as government and political reporter, every year did a Christmas poem full of names on the order of the old Frank Sullivan ones in the New Yorker, the humorous poems. This was in the early days of readership research. They had started throwing out the social columns and the society pages, but decided they needed people columns in the news pages. In fact, Peter was the second one. The man who had been doing it, I've forgotten what happened to him. But all of a sudden, Peter was a columnist, and Phil Currie, a guy who had been on the editorial page for five years was named political reporter. All of this was just announced. I walked in to the managing editor and I said, "Why wasn't I talked to about that beat?"

    He said, "You never said you wanted it."

    I said, "John, I did, too. Not only did I say it, I've been understudying it for five years, since I got here."

    Ritchie: And you and Peter had worked together.

    Bulkeley: Yes. I said, "And I've been doing it. I've been backing up Peter for five years. What more could I have done to indicate an interest and earn the right to the beat, or the right to take a crack at it?"

    "Well," he says, "we had to get Phil off the editorial page. He had to get back into the newsroom."

    I said, "As I understood it, Phil's goal always was editorial page, and he's never been near the government and political stuff. I find it a little hard to believe that he's going to be able to do that beat, unless I teach him everything I know."

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    And John says, "Well, I expect you to."

    They broke the beats up at that time and split city hall off from politics, so the two new guys (Phil and somebody whose name escapes me now) happened to be sitting next to each other, and I was sitting somewhere else in the room—we weren't rearranged to sit near each other—and they worked together as the Bobbsey twins, never passed anything on to me. I always passed the stuff on to them that I picked up on my beats that was really theirs.

    Ritchie: So you, as county, were separate.

    Bulkeley: I was really cut off from the rest of it.

    Ritchie: And they were together as city and political.

    Bulkeley: And worked together on most things. There were only a couple of times we ever did other than that, and it mostly was when we were told to by the bosses.

    Then Phil is the one who was promoted from that beat after a couple of years, was promoted to executive city editor, and he'd never sat on the city desk. He'd never been an assistant even on the fill-in on Saturdays spaces, and all of a sudden was the city editor with a handful of assistants.

    Ritchie: At the same paper.

    Bulkeley: At the same paper. It took him nearly two months to decide I could have the political beat.

    Ritchie: Which is the position he had left.

    Bulkeley: That he had left, so that beat sat empty. I was doing it because that's the way I worked. But it took him two months to decide I could head it, and then when I got it, he started telling me how to do it.

    On my own, I started doing the "follow the candidate when they're out with the voters" stuff that by then Haynes Johnson was doing at the Washington Star. Was he still at the Star? Maybe he was at the [Washington] Post by now. And that some of the guys would all emulate. Jack Germond had been doing it for Gannett, and I had learned a lot from him about understanding the culture of the neighborhood. It's just not numbers, you've got to know the culture of the neighborhood—working class, management, professionals, whatever.

    Ritchie: Where the candidates go.

    Bulkeley: Numbers alone won't tell you what a neighborhood is like and how it reacts to candidates and how it's going to vote. Neighborhoods can look alike statistically and be as different as opposite poles.

    Ritchie: And of course you knew this area pretty well.

    Bulkeley: I had spent by now seven years doing government and political stuff, so I knew the players. I knew the countryside and the city and all the dynamics of both the money flow and the people flow.

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    Ritchie: When you say political beat, it this strictly local politics?

    Bulkeley: It was always all politics, but it did the local candidates. Because the Times-Union was the biggest Gannett newspaper, it was on the permanent reading list of Republican White Houses through Richard Nixon, especially the editorial page, but also other things. Now, Gannett had an Albany bureau.

    Ritchie: For your newspaper?

    Bulkeley: To cover for all of its newspapers, to serve all of them. So the major state stuff was done by the Albany bureau. Sometimes one of us would fill in, as I did a time or two. Lots of times there would be things that were purely ours, even though they came out of Albany, and the Albany bureau wasn't really interested in those. In fact, it had some of the best people in the state capital in it, so they frequently were ahead of everybody else on the big stories anyway.

    Those were also the Nelson Rockefeller years, and Nelson was a superb spotter and bringer-alonger of talent—a mentor, we'd say today. He always surrounded himself with people—very bright and a generation younger, and, in fact, by the time he left state government, he was working on the next generation. People my age were in key jobs in his government in their late twenties and thirties.

    Basically we were responsible, the political reporters, for everybody who was elected out of the territory, and whatever role local people had in state and national activities. If there were local people on the staff of an executive department in Washington, we were responsible for knowing about them and what they were doing. We were responsible for knowing what the local members of the Republican National Committee were doing in that function. We usually got to go to one or both of the national political conventions. I went to the 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami. We did the state things. Rochester often had the state Republican chairman and key state Cabinet people, so we sort of shared oversight of them. We did the Rochester connection part and the career part, and Albany bureau did whatever they were doing in the state capacity that affected the whole state.

    Ritchie: So you really covered both parties.

    Bulkeley: Right. And in New York State, there were four. Conservatives and liberals were both on the ballot and had party structures. New York State is very structured, contrary to the goo-goos, the good government reformers. New York State is very structured with party enrollment and a separate process for voter registration, and party enrollment dictating whether you can vote in the primary or not. Anybody could walk in and get the list of who belongs to the parties, check the lists of who belongs to the parties.

    In those years, issues people were coming into the Democratic party. Basically we think of them as social justice liberals today. But because of the Alinsky organizing, the white suburbs had organized to support their inner city black organization, but once some of the private job stuff was worked out through the Alinsky organization, they all, black and white, started looking at government.

    Ritchie: And political leaders.

    Bulkeley: And political roles, political leadership. Part of what I saw in those days was the issues Democrats using that structured system and the availability of it to, block by block, take the party

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    away from the patronage and graft people, from the old-style politicians. Of course, that's funny to talk about today when both parties have found ways to do so much more patronage at the very high levels than they ever did. The item in the Post today, some guy talking about when he retired from the Government Printing Office a few years ago, there was one political job and it was the public printer, today there are thirty-some. But back in the sixties and the early seventies still, people who were more concerned about issues, quality of neighborhood, quality of safety net, were moving into the Democratic party, and we could watch that happen.

    Later, when I was in Illinois, Illinois doesn't have that kind of structure. Indeed, Illinois only has elections every other year. In New York State, the local elections come in the year that the federal elections don't, so there's always an election, there's always reason and motive to keep the party structure up and in place. There's always something for people to do so there's reason to hold a committee slot. There's always some way to involve volunteers when they're ready to be involved. In Illinois, the whole thing sort of atrophies and falls apart because it's so long in between, and sometimes they never quite get it all put back together in the countryside, which is why even when its numbers drop, Chicago can still control, because in the old Dick Daley years—the father of the current mayor—they kept the machine in place and functioning all the time.

    That happened in New York State. There always were elections. There often were party fights going on. During the growth years in New York State, there was a couple of times they went through special censuses and reapportionments.

    Ritchie: So that would have meant more elections.

    Bulkeley: More elections, or at least the politics of reapportionment to deal with.

    We had superb representation in Washington. Frank Horton was a generalist who worked across lots of issues, and Barber B. Conable, Jr., they both were junior members of Congress when I went to Rochester, so they developed, as I did, and we all sort of grew wise and experienced together. But Barber developed depth in taxing and finance. He also, as a fiscal conservative, but noblesse oblige liberal, learning to give people empowerment rather than—he was going to teach them how to fish, rather than give them fish. Barber learned that as he went along, but he always respected the needs of people, unlike many conservatives today who figure you just abandon anybody who isn't in the work force, forget about them. Barber wasn't like that. He also, as I say, learned, became an expert and chaired the Ways and Means Committee, or was the ranking minority member, rather. For years, he wrote his own column every week.

    Ritchie: For your newspaper?

    Bulkeley: No, we never ran it, but the weeklies did, and we all read it. So he was really a teaching member of Congress, and we had superb representation, so we really could learn it, and had help learning it, and there was integrity in what they did. They could be trusted.

    We also did things like check the campaign expenses on everybody every year. A junior member of the government political reporting group had to go through all the expense reports at the county clerk's office. It was a wonderful learning experience, because you got the names and some of the behind-the-scenes players, you start to discover their names, and then you can track and find out.

    Ritchie: Contributors.

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    Bulkeley: The contractors. The names I then recognized, or would recognize, for instance from having watched a bid opening. We'd put the stories in context.

    In the mid-seventies, when I was on a Pulitzer judging jury, the screening committee for Pulitzer Prizes on national reporting, a noted regional newspaper sent in simply lists of campaign contributions as an entry for Pulitzer Prizes and thought they were entitled to the prize for having discovered that they could get this information and publish it.

    That was the understudy work. At my paper, it never occurred to us to send any of that in. Well, eventually, when I realized my bosses thought I was given all of that budget stuff, I understood why it was never entered in contests, but that was the kind of sea change reporting that should have been in contests.

    But the real impact on our government and political stuff was through the editorial page, because it was read at the White House. The use or abuse of category federal aid programs, the first wave of consolidating those programs into block grants, came in the early seventies. Our editorial page was still dealing with it. Rochester has an endowed research bureau that does government issues.

    Ritchie: The newspaper?

    Bulkeley: No, the city. The community has an independent research bureau that works on government issues. It's one of the reasons that those governments used to be cutting edge. I would read the national county officers news in City Management magazine, so I knew how far ahead we were on lots of things—one of the reasons is that research bureau that George Eastman set up and endowed, and I learned to read heavy-duty research stuff from there. A couple of Kodak guys were involved with the National Committee for Economic Development, which is a conservative but thoughtful and sensitive national brain trust kind of a thing. We always covered their stuff, because there were Rochester connections, and often what Rochester was doing had become models for what they recommended. So in those senses we were doing nationally relevant reporting, but we weren't covering the national news from a national angle.

    Ritchie: You were local.

    Bulkeley: We were local. We seldom would go on the road with presidential candidates, for instance, only when they were in our territory. I never did, except in our territory.

    Ritchie: If they came for a campaign visit.

    Bulkeley: We usually got all of them at least once. We often had what I call the incipient leaders. Gerald Ford was in there a lot because of Barber Conable. George Bush was in there, both as an ambassador and when he was in the Congress.

    Ritchie: So it was due to their local connections.

    Bulkeley: Because of the local connections and Barber and Frank were respected, and leadership members of Congress ultimately.

    So we did have first-hand cracks at all those people. Tom Dewey was still alive. I have a picture of me meeting Tom Dewey. I didn't pose for pictures. I made the photographers take them naturally so it didn't look like somebody—I just encouraged them to, and to give me copies

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    of them, because I wanted them, but I wasn't going to stand there and grin at the camera to get them. Also the Rockefeller stuff—New York State was innovative and ahead on lots of things.

    So by living through a decade of that, when I went other places, both to my next newspaper in New York State and then to Illinois, I knew an awful lot that became of value where I was in my new place. I had no idea that the time, while I could tell to some extent that we were ahead of some other governments, I didn't know that the whole community was really ahead.

    Ritchie: So you were almost on a cutting edge, in a way. You were ahead of a lot of places.

    Bulkeley: Yes, quite. And Rochester was looked to for leadership in all kinds of things—charitable stuff, government stuff, business. Having started my adult life there, I didn't appreciate that as fully at the time, until I got away and got some more perspective. What do they say, you can't know one culture until you know at least two? And it counts as much for local regional culture as it does for national, for ethnic or whatever. But those were fun years. Long, hard work.

    Ritchie: When you were doing the political, did you have anyone else working with you?

    Bulkeley: Not really, because those guys did their own stuff separately.

    Ritchie: So you really worked in a world of your own.

    Bulkeley: Yes. The second year—I was finally assigned to the beat in August of '71, '72 was state elections, so I started with the primary, getting schedules from all of the state legislative candidates, so I could pick and choose when to go with them, when they would be doing a range of activities with a range of people in the public, to just sort of hang around and see how they reacted and dealt with people—on-the-road kind of stuff. I didn't even have photographers with me.

    Ritchie: It was just you.

    Bulkeley: Just me, going after the normal work shift, usually. I'd join them usually after lunch or mid-afternoon, and go through until they went home at night. Then I'd write the stories and give them to my bosses, much to their surprise.

    Fall came, and I had set all of the candidates up to do more of that, and I was cleared to do it, but there were far too many districts for one person to get to. I also had to leave for three days or four days to go to the Women in Communications annual meeting, which by then had been moved to fall, the national meeting. I was a candidate for election, and I knew I wasn't going to win the race, but nonetheless, I had to show up. When I came back, all of the local political races had been scattered out and assigned to other reporters. I had this schedule up, and I had the system set up with all of the candidates to get their schedules.

    Ritchie: So you left for a few days?

    Bulkeley: I was gone three or four days, most of it on the weekend, and came back and discovered that the same boss, without consulting, had assigned the races to other reporters without even necessarily an eye for whether they knew anything about what the issues were in those districts or the people or anything. They were all told to go out and spend a day with their candidate and come back and write the story. Nobody was told to check with me about issues or

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    Page 81 dynamics in the district, and nobody did. I did not see any of the copy before it was ever in the paper. I was left to cover the hand-outs at the press conferences, which, of course, have very little to do with an election campaign or with what the voters are going to do.

     

    We came up toward the election, and Phil [Currie] says to me, "We're expecting an election day forecast of results from you."

    I said, "Good luck. You've had me tied into news conferences and the desk for the last two and a half months. I have no idea what the voters are going to do, and even if I did, I wouldn't write it before the polls are closed. I think that's imposing us on the system."

    "Oh," he said.

    I said, "I'll tell you what. I've got an idea. Let me write it, rather than explain it." So what I gave him was how to interpret the returns as they come in. If there's a big turnout, and they'll know it the minute the radio and television people sign on, this is what it'll mean. If there's a low turnout, this is what's likely to happen. If this township comes in with So-and-so winning, then you can anticipate a landslide. If it's close or if he loses, then it's going to be a wonderful evening of suspense and drama as the whole thing plays out.

    Ritchie: So you set up the situation, how it could happen, without saying, "This is what's going to happen."

    Bulkeley: Right. Without saying, "This is what's going to happen."

    Ritchie: Did that satisfy him?

    Bulkeley: Yes, it did. It surprised him and everybody else, but the people who got the most use out of it, of course, were my broadcast friends, because they had it so they could explain, as the results came in, what happened, and most of them gave me credit for it on the air. Again, that's the kind of integrity that our group had. I don't know if it's out there today. I haven't been around working newspeople in recent years. But that became a standing feature of our newspaper's election day coverage.

    Ritchie: Would this situation be something you would have protested, when you came back and he had—

    Bulkeley: I did. I did that. In addition, that's also the period in which that project got screwed up, that I talked about earlier. I did manage to do a little bit of election color reporting. I spent an evening in the union's telephone room, listening to people do their phone calls to voters.

    Ritchie: Union people calling out?

    Bulkeley: Union people calling. Actually, that year they were working straight for some Democratic candidates, so I sat in and listened to that. There were a couple of other places that they hadn't assigned—whether it was election stuff, I don't remember what the other parts were—but that's the project that got messed up, and that's the only kind of contact I had except when I went to some debates and things that nobody was covering with candidates.

    What I'd do, when I had complaints, was wait until I had more than just my work, incidents that showed there were systematic problems, and that people other than me were being

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    affected by it, in terms of morale, productivity, quality of work. Then I'd go in to the boss, because Dad always told us the bosses wanted to know what really was going on, and nobody would tell them, and we were responsible for that. So I'd go in to the managing editor, and I'd say, "Here's what they've done to us this time," with the examples that weren't mine.

    He said, "What did they do to you?"

    I'd say, "Well, the same kind of things, but it's not me, it's the newsroom. They don't know how to talk to each other, so they are messing all of us up." Or, "They don't trust us, so they tell us what the story is, and they're wrong," was another typical example.

    Ritchie: Did you have any success in this approach?

    Bulkeley: No, this time he says to me, "You're the office bitch." So I walked out, around the corner, down the hall to the editorial page. The editor of the editorial page had been after me for a year to come to work for him. Down the hall, walked in, knocked on his door, walked in, I said, "Okay, first of the year, I'll come to work."

    Ritchie: So this was fall election time, November?

    Bulkeley: This was fall, October maybe.

    He said, "Why not now?"

    I said, "Come on, Cal, there's an election campaign under way. I've got to finish that, then I've got to take my three weeks' vacation. So first of the year, I'll come to work."

    "Okay," he said.

    I didn't really want to work on the editorial page, but I was so tired of working for bosses who didn't want me working for them, or who, if they wanted anybody working for them, wanted to program people. We were all smarter than that, and we were out on the streets. They were tied to the desk all the time. They didn't know what was going on out there. And, in fact, Phil had been tied to the desk so much that one time John [Dougherty] made him take some days off and go knock on doors and visit with real people out in houses out in the suburbs.

    Ritchie: They didn't really know what was out there?

    Bulkeley: They didn't know what was out there and what people were looking at. At best, they might have had some of the very early newspaper research, but that was marginal. Phil's name is Currie. The editorial page editor is Cal Mayne.

    [End Tape 1, Side B; Begin Tape 2, Side A]

    Ritchie: So Cal had talked to you.

    Bulkeley: He had been after me to work for him for a long time. A couple of times when his staff was only three people, one of them did the make-up and editing, and the other one helped write editorials, I had had to fill in in that editorial-writing job a couple of times, which I kept insisting would compromise my reporting, but the bosses said, "No, you'll do it anyway." So I did. That was all part of Cal's trying to find a better assistant than he had, and having identified me as

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    the most analytical and most knowledgeable and connected person in the newsroom and somebody he wanted to work for him.

    Ritchie: But you hadn't been interested in this.

    Bulkeley: I wasn't interested in it. At the time his campaign started, I had just barely started to do my stuff on the political beat, the enhancement or what I thought I could do that was different and better, so it just wasn't the right time. I hadn't realized the extent of the barriers between me and the other guys on what should have been a team working together and equally as peers never really worked, even when there was a new bunch of people on the two beats. It never really happened. It never was the kind of teamwork that Peter Taub and I had had when there was just the two of us, not the three.

    Ritchie: If new people came into that, you would have been the lead person, if it had been a team.

    Bulkeley: I would have been the one that had the depth and the background, and that's what I was concerned about, that without the depth and the background, you can get suckered by politicians, you can miss stories, for goodness sakes, or miss critical parts of stories, or fail to get them translated to where people, the public, can deal with them, the readers.

    There are just so many things that can happen when you don't know the territory, and those guys didn't. They had not been around it, they had not covered it, they had not understudied it while doing other things. All they knew was what they'd read in the paper, and that wasn't enough, because in order to write it clearly, you have to know a lot more than you say, particularly when you're in a space-controlled operation. At papers that seem to have endless space and the stories go on for pages, blithering, you can put down everything you're told, whether you understand it or not. But when you negotiate space before you ever write the story, you'd better know what you're writing about or you're in trouble, and you'd better know what's going to connect the fastest and most significantly to readers, or you're in real trouble. You just can't write everything you know and hope some editor will find out what's important and put it at the top and put a headline on it.

    Ritchie: Because that wasn't the way your paper worked.

    Bulkeley: We didn't work that way. I didn't know that there were papers that worked that way until much later.

    Ritchie: So it was in the spring of '74 that you moved?

    Bulkeley: '73. January. As it happened, at the same time, Paul Miller—Paul was Frank Gannett's successor as head of the whole company. Paul also was a conservative Republican, friend of Republican presidents, and acquaintance of Democratic presidents. That also was the time Paul quit being the publisher of the Times-Union in Rochester. He relinquished that title, both papers or just the Times-Union? I think he had been publisher of both of them, and relinquished the titles altogether.

    One of the things Cal and I talked about before I went to work for him was how I would handle an editorial if Paul directed a particular viewpoint and I didn't agree with it, and I said to him, "Cal, the editorial page is the publisher's playground. If the boss wants that editorial, you'll write it."

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    "Oh?" he said.

    I said, "Well, isn't that the job of the editorial-page person?"

    He said, "If you've got that kind of a relationship, you might try to talk him out of it."

    I said, "I probably would ask him what were his reasons for thinking that way, because as a non-believer in that view, I'd want to know what he thought were the important reasons supporting it."

    Ritchie: So you could articulate what you needed to say.

    Bulkeley: So I could make the best representation for his case. I said, "But basically, that's the role of the page as I understand it. It's the publisher's mouthpiece in the editorial column if the publisher chooses to exercise it." Well, I found out much later that while Cal had started on the page as the editor, relatively young—he was very bright, magna cum laude college graduate and early, young Nieman [Fellow] and did a lot of civic work as Paul's stand-in, in fact—but he started developing independent viewpoints somewhere along the way on the editorial page and would have major stress attacks when Paul would deal with the editorial page. Because the company was growing, Paul really had backed out of the local and state level editorial issues by the time I got there, and the last couple of years, he mostly was concerned about national issues.

    But the year is important. In 1973, nobody in the world except the president and the military still backed Vietnam. In 1973, a lot of people understood that the White House was subverting the democratic system. Not everybody, there are people to this day who don't believe it, but a lot of people understood that. Our paper was still 100 percent behind Dick Nixon in anything he did—Vietnam, defense of Watergate,* executive privilege.

    Ritchie: And you were on the editorial page during this time?

    Bulkeley: In 1972, Paul was still the publisher and there was no question. Once he quit being the publisher, we began to ease into more responsible positions. But Cal had to fight with Paul on every one, even though Paul was no longer the publisher, and Cal had also paid a very high stress price in terms of his health. His back would go out, and he'd hardly be able to move for days on end from having to write that stuff.

    Ritchie: Every day.

    Bulkeley: Yes, on a regular basis. We were expected to have national editorials every day from our own research and thinking and writing, and most of them had to back Paul's view.

    Ritchie: Was Paul actually there in Rochester much to see visibly?

    ______________________
    * Watergate. (1972-74), a series of political scandals during the Richard M. Nixon administration. A burglary at the Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C., triggered the scandals. Nixon, who was found to have ordered a cover-up of the illegal actions, resigned from the presidency as impeachment proceedings against him began in the House of Representatives. President Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon in September 1974.

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    Bulkeley: We didn't seem him much, but he got our page proofs as soon as they were pulled early in the morning, and he still was writing a column most Saturdays that ran on the Saturday editorial page in the space where the editorials ran during the week, so it was very easy for people to not notice the difference between the editorials and between Paul's column.

    Cal also had cataracts, and in June of that year—he hadn't been able to see out of one eye for a long time, and in June he got so his vision was obscured too much in the other eye, so they decided to fix the one. In those days, cataracts [operations] were still months. I don't think they were still three weeks sandbagged, but they were like ten days with your head sandbagged and all the rest of it. So all of a sudden in June, I became acting editor of the editorial page, five months after I'd been there. Before I went to that page, if Cal was on vacation, he called in twice a day and, by phone, reviewed everything that was happening on the page.

    Ritchie: And you had done that a time or two? You had acted for him?

    Bulkeley: He had gone for a couple of weeks in late February, early March, after I went to the page, and in circumstances when he couldn't call in, so I think I talked to him maybe only twice in that time he was gone, and when he came back, he had very little negative to say about the work I'd done. It was during that period that the Dow went over a thousand for the first time, which went past me and I didn't notice anything. He was critical of that, but that's what we had an executive editor and a publisher for.

    Ritchie: To keep an eye on those things.

    Bulkeley: Right, to keep an eye on those things, and they didn't raise the issues either, so I didn't worry about it a whole lot.

    So anyway, I became acting editor and expected to have the role over the summer, and by the time the summer doldrums were over, Cal would be back running the page, so I sort of went along with the paths we'd established. As I ran into all of my friends around town, or colleagues or acquaintances or whatever from the government and political stuff, they'd keep giving me credit for having brought the local and state stuff around to progressive kinds of views instead of status quo Republicanism. I hadn't done that, Cal had done it over the couple of years before I ever got to the page, but they had all quit reading the page. As long as Cal was part of it, they figured it was still Paul's page, and they weren't interested in Paul and his views.

    Ritchie: But now that you were there—

    Bulkeley: So I got the credit for the changes that I didn't have anything to do with, but the bosses also got so much of that, that they decided it would be disastrous to bring Cal back to the page, that any progress we'd made with respectability and reader credibility, impact on decision-makers, would be lost. If Cal came back, people would think we'd regressed. So he moved into a corporate role and I became editor of the page, in my own right, that September of '73.

    Ritchie: And was that a comfortable situation with him? Did it work out?

    Bulkeley: Well, since he was on the corporate staff, I never had a whole lot of contact with him. I don't know that he was all that happy about it, but ultimately that led him to the foundation work, and he really structured a lot of the local grant-making programs for the foundation, which today he would tell you was the most significant and long term useful work he ever did. I worked with him in that capacity, too, when I went to the foundation later.

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    Was it over that summer that Spiro Agnew* had to resign? The pages had moved around, starting as soon as Paul was gone, to criticizing Nixon and calling for the end to Vietnam and the rest of it.

    Ritchie: Who replaced Paul?

    Bulkeley: A guy named Gene Dorsey, who was one of the key newspaper people from a major group, a newspaper chain that Gannett had bought. He came in as general manager, and then when Paul quit being publisher, Gene had the title of publisher. As it turns out, of course, he was also the president of the foundation by the time I went there. So we all worked together.

    Ritchie: It's all interrelated.

    Bulkeley: But there were times, by that fall, Paul really understood that it wasn't his editorial page anymore. His column still ran in the prime space, but one day it was too long, and I went through and saw how it could be edited and marked it up and said to the executive editor and to Gene Dorsey, "Okay, who talks to Paul about editing the column?"

    Gene says, "Well, I wish you would."

    I said, "Well, all right, I'll give it a shot."

    So I called him, checked with his secretary, she said, "He's at home, go ahead and call him."

    I said, "Okay." I called him, and I said, "Mr. Miller, your column's too long. We need to cut it."

    "Well, just go ahead."

    I said, "Well, we've got some options on ways to cut it."

    He says, "You're the editor. Cut it."

    I said, "Do you want to see it?"

    He says, "I'll see it when the paper comes tomorrow." Well, Cal had never had that kind of freedom. When Cal had to edit columns, he had to go over them with Paul. So he really did get weaned from the page.

    It also was the beginning of the newsprint crisis and we started losing space. Our page had been a page and two columns on the adjacent page.

    Ritchie: How did you decide what went in the editorials every day? Did you have a meeting every morning?

    ______________________
    * Spiro T. Agnew, U.S. Vice President (1969-73). Under pressure, Agnew resigned on October 10, 1073, pleading no-contest to charges of evading income taxes while governor of Maryland.

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    Bulkeley: Yes. Good question. In those days, the two newspapers' editorial pages were separate. Each page would generate a budget summary of topics, and we'd have a joint meeting, usually with the executive editor, sometimes with the general manager or the publisher, whatever the title was, and we'd talk them through. That would give us a chance to hear other questions, because the staffs were so little bitty. We'd hear other questions or other reactions, and sometimes we'd see that for their own reasons the other paper had come down on a different place on the same issue or was kissing off an issue that we thought was important. But we'd talk them through, and sometimes we'd go back and do more work. Other times, that simply enriched our own view and understanding for our own writing.

    Ritchie: So how many people would be in these meetings?

    Bulkeley: Usually it would be the two editorial page editors, the executive editor.

    Ritchie: Who was over both papers?

    Bulkeley: Over both papers. There was a period at which reporters would rotate into there. Sometimes it would be the publisher. Sometimes Paul would be there, not very often. Sometimes we'd have guests, people who'd want to meet with the editorial page. We would do candidate interviews. Sometimes the editorial writer would also come, the other writing person from the page, but not very often. So sometimes it was just a little bitty meeting, but that was better than no meeting, and sometimes we'd fill the conference room and anywhere in between. The meetings would usually run around an hour.

    Ritchie: So from there you would leave, and then what would you do?

    Bulkeley: Go back and write. Our page had to be up by the end of the day, be in the composing room, which physically was upstairs, by the end of the day for the next day. When I started on the page, we had a fixed stable of columnists and they ran on fixed days in standard make-up.

    Ritchie: Were these in-house columnists?

    Bulkeley: No, syndicated columnists—four or five conservatives and one (sometimes) liberal. Some of them ran Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and some ran Tuesday, Thursday, and somebody else ran on Saturdays, and letters ran down in the middle, and we had three conservative cartoonists that ran at the top center, and the columnist down the right-hand column, two columns, and the two columns we had on the next page, they ran the same length, whether they were talking about bullfeathers or Vietnam. The same length, every column, every day, which is stupid, but that's how everybody did it. Editorial pages were formatted and predictable.

    Ritchie: So you had the same elements every day.

    Bulkeley: Right.

    Ritchie: No matter how many letters you got, you only put a certain number in.

    Bulkeley: We only put a certain number in. If the columns were lousy, we ran them anyway.

    Ritchie: Did you have editorial cartoons?

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    Bulkeley: We had three or four conservative syndicated cartoonists, ran one a day. Once in a while, we'd shrink one down to fit in the editorials space to illustrate something we were writing over there. One of the guys on the local staff could draw cartoons, but he couldn't think cartoons, so we'd work with him to try to come up with a local cartoon for Saturday. Didn't always make it, but we did try to do that.

    My second year on Pulitzer juries, I happened to be on the cartoons, but that wasn't always on the editorial page. That was later. That's where I found the wealth of cartoonists and that, in fact, in any given year, somebody who was drawing daily or three or four times a week in a given year would have five or six that were absolute sear-into-the-brain-forever knockouts that just so absolutely clarified something. It's the same version as in writing. If you know it best, you can tell it short. If you have great clarity, you can write a simple, stunning cartoon. Otherwise, they get all junky.

    Ritchie: How would the paper decide which syndicated columnists they would subscribe to?

    Bulkeley: Our paper was easy. If Paul liked them, we did them. As I said earlier, they were all conservatives but one who was borderline. Because of the newsprint crunch, we started—

    Ritchie: What do you mean by that?

    Bulkeley: With strikes either in the timber industry or in the newsprint mills, nobody could buy enough newsprint, so it was rationed.

    Ritchie: You had to condense.

    Bulkeley: We had to give up news space in the paper and tighten up on circulation waste and all kinds of things, because we just couldn't get enough. So we had to give up those other two columns as part of what the Times-Union did to live with its ration. But we also used that as our opportunity to bust up the formats and the formulas, to start evaluating every day, based on what we had. If we had letters that were better than the columns, we did page make-up to reflect that. We used more illustrations with letters. If we had a bunch of cartoons that showed the range of opinion better than any words, or more effectively, then we'd do that. If we had three or four columns with different aspects of an issue, whoever laid out the background best within the column, we'd run it full length and then we'd extract the opinion parts on the other ones, and the arguments, and run them as a package.

    Ritchie: So you were really redesigning the page.

    Bulkeley: We were changing to whole concept from everything that supports the publisher's view to a forum of opinion on current issues, so readers could see more than one side of the arguments, or people defending more than one side. Some of the columnists would often say what the other arguments were, the arguments on the other side, and then knock them down. Some of them simply would just write what backed their own position. But we tried to give readers a better range so that they could see the arguments for something by somebody who believed in it, as well as the arguments on the other side, or supporting other sides. We had some letters complaining about it. Paul got letters about it from some of his perpetual fans.

    Ritchie: Who were so used to a certain way.

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    Bulkeley: Right. And I remember one he sent to me, addressed to "Ms. Bulkeley, all yours." So I answered it and explained the shift in concept from one political view to a forum for views, and sent a copy to Paul, on which he wrote, "That's an interesting concept that never occurred to me." I don't think I saved that letter, but I remember it.

    Ritchie: So he stood by and watched you do it.

    Bulkeley: Yes. And if he had complaints—I know there were some times that he complained about editorial positions or what we did with the page to the publisher, but the publisher and the executive editor always protected me. Paul never complained to me about anything I did with the page.

    Ritchie: So they couldn't have been too strong a complaint.

    Bulkeley: Well, they could have been, but he had no right to complain about the page anymore; he was no longer the publisher. And it's that funny stuff that gets classic Republican people involved in politics upset. One of them was the Pledge of Allegiance in the schools Supreme Court decision. It grew out of our county, so it was a local decision, besides Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said you can't—I think it was trying to break a teacher's contract. It was a fairly tough penalty for somebody not pledging allegiance to the flag or not making the classroom do it. Of course, we upheld the Supreme Court on first amendment grounds, upheld the not doing the pledge, and we upheld that decision, and Paul was furious. They had big arguments in the front office, but I never knew it until later. That was one thing.

    Environmental, air pollution, automobiles. Rochester had a General Motors carburetor plant. It was not in Rochester's economic interests, never mind the automobile dealers', it was not in Rochester's economic interests to change faster than they could change over via zero-based engineering because of the carburetor plant. We cheered on efforts to finally do something about air pollution by controlling car emissions, because by then certainly the pure water stuff was well under way, and so we supported that, two things. General Motors people beat all over our corporate people.

    Ritchie: Going right to the top and trying to get it taken care of there.

    Bulkeley: Yes. And the car dealers boycotted, pulled their advertising for weeks. Well, I wasn't buying a car. I didn't notice that, and I wasn't aware of it until it was all over.

    There was one time, through his secretary, I had a request—not an order—from Paul, and as it turns out in the long run, he was right and I was wrong, but at the time it didn't look like it. It was when Bill Rogers resigned as secretary of state [1973]. Dick Nixon held a press conference for the first time in twenty months or some awful length of time, and, among other things, at that conference, he announced Bill Rogers' resignation, which is what cleared the way for Henry Kissinger to become secretary of state. We did a "Thank you, Mr. Rogers" editorial, and really didn't think a whole lot about Henry. But more than that, we talked about the press conference and some of what, in terms of public credibility and access, it seemed to have accomplished, and that was top, Rogers was second, and whatever was local was the bottom editorial for that day. And when the proof went to Paul's office, Mary Golding called and said, "Mr. Miller wonders whether you could move the editorial about Mr. Rogers to the top of the page, because it's not likely that very many papers will do any editorials in his behalf at all, and that's a pretty well-done one, but would you please put it on top?"

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    I said, "Thank you for relaying his concern, Mary. I'll think about it." Well, I called my boss and said, "Do we change it?"

    And he said, "No."

    Well, if anybody understood the impact Henry Kissinger would have on the world in his role as secretary of state, that would have been grounds for a prophetic editorial. I don't think any of us knew it at the time, or if we did, nobody was talking to me about it.

    Ritchie: What were Paul's reasons for wanting to move it?

    Bulkeley: Being nice to his friend Bill Rogers, who had been on the Gannett board before and was going to come back on, as it turned out. But if he knew anything or had any inkling of the Kissinger impact, that wasn't part of it. No, it was just him still being publisher, or wishing he were.

    Ritchie: Well, still having a tie-in to the paper.

    Bulkeley: Right. But as I mentioned, it was a perfectly respectful relay of information. There wasn't any arguing or any of the kind of boss/dictator stuff that guys at the level of Paul Miller are often known for, and indeed there are stories about Paul being just as tough and angry as anybody, but I never encountered that.

    Ritchie: How did the newspaper decide which political candidates they would back, and how did you deal with that in your position? You always see these endorsements.

    Bulkeley: Right. We interviewed candidates. The two editorial boards together would interview candidates, often all of the candidates for state legislature, House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, key candidates or candidates from key districts for county legislature, all of the city council candidates, probably all of the [Rochester city] school board candidates. One year we tried to do all of the county legislature candidates, but there were twenty-seven districts, so we were still playing with that when I was there. But then based on the issues and their own records, we'd sort through who should be endorsed and why. It used to be more cut and dried than that. The interviews were pro forma, the endorsements were Republican, and, indeed, the year that James Buckley, the brother of William Buckley the columnist, ran for U.S. Senate from New York State, at Paul's request he was endorsed even before the deadline for filing for the primary, and in those days, those papers didn't endorse in the primary.

    Ritchie: This was a connection that Paul wanted.

    Bulkeley: This was a connection. Even when I was in the newsroom, Cal would ask for my comments and prognosis and prophecies on the issues and for effectiveness ratings on various people. I tried to stay out of value judgements on individuals, and indeed I really didn't even do that until I had to vote. I would try very hard to avoid making value judgments on candidates until election day when I was all through writing copy that affected the election. Then at some point during the day, I'd sit down with a sample ballot and go through and figure out who I was going to vote for, and go vote, but I really tried not to do that beforehand, and then to forget as soon as I'd left the booth what I'd done. It just is part of that discipline and self-protection discipline.

    Ritchie: To keep your personal apart from—

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    Bulkeley: From my work. From my reporting.

    Ritchie: Did you ever find that difficult?

    Bulkeley: I never had any qualms about keeping them separate. Cal always felt obliged to vote for whoever he endorsed, and I said, "But the judgments are on a different basis. The editorial page has to operate on the interests of the whole community and what's most likely to produce the transcending whole. I have to decide based on my self-interest, my neighborhood interest, and I have different order of priorities than the editorial page does, and sometimes that means different candidate selections than the editorial page does and different places on the issues that are on the ballot."

    He says, "Then your endorsements have no integrity."

    I said, "No, that's not true." But you see, what it was that we understand today we didn't understand then, is the whole hierarchical thing and the whole angle of vision, point of view, world view, whatever label you want to put on it. As the institutional representative, I had one role in the editorial page that fit within that pyramid, that hierarchy of the community and of the paper, but again, and in some what of a contradiction, when I walked out of that office, I didn't have to be that person.

    Ritchie: But you still had a place in the community.

    Bulkeley: But I had a place in the community, and balloting was one the things that I could do that was still private. Nobody was ever going to know how I voted, unless I chose to tell them.

    Ritchie: Unless you did "Bulkeley's picks" on the editorial.

    Bulkeley: Right.

    Ritchie: You see that.

    Bulkeley: Yes. Other than in terms of some reporting, I've never thought it was the personality of the reporter; I thought it was the work that carried the credibility. I believe some day if they ever get any perspective and shake it all out, that they'll find that that's true, that all of that self-indulgent kind of reporting and column-writing, including the editor's picks on the editorial pages for election, when they all do their own separate ones, I think they'll find all of that kind of stuff turns off newspaper readers. [Tape interruption.]

    The Gannett News Service team covering the Democratic National Convention that year had two women on it.

    Ritchie: In '72.

    Bulkeley: In '72. Carol Rubright Richards, who was in the Albany bureau, and me. The convention was in Miami Beach, so some of the women from Coca Beach [Florida] were there. Because of the riots of '68, or the mess in Chicago, that Miami Beach convention had the world's worst security. It was just absolutely invasive. You could hardly move around, which meant Gannett kept teams out in the community at pressure points, general assignment kinds of reporters.

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    Ritchie: Ready to report.

    Bulkeley: Not just the political people on the inside of security and within the compounds and the hotels and the secure buses and things. So there were women there. That's the convention following which Ellen Goodman wrote a column that was one of the first ones that brought her to national attention, talking about all of the women covering all of the wives and all of the women delegates on the floor that women reporters couldn't go cover, and when would the news media catch up.

    Carol Richards and I weren't covering the wives; we were covering the convention, too. We were covering the caucuses of the states, and we were down on the floor talking to delegates and doing the rest of it. So it was years before I'd read Ellen Goodman. I thought, what kind of a reporter is she if she couldn't see the two of us who were there, because there were at least two of us.

    Ritchie: When you did this, you were reporting for Gannett at large?

    Bulkeley: Yes, as well as my own newspaper, the Times-Union. I was responsible for our delegation and producing at least one local story a day, plus whatever they wanted covered for the Gannett News Service. Of course, the biggest thing I found out was how exhausting those things were. The security made it much harder to move around than at other times.

    Ritchie: Within the convention itself?

    Bulkeley: Within the convention and within the geography, from the hotels to convention sites. For me to catch delegates, I usually had to catch them in the morning at the hotel. But we had to file our copy after the convention ended at night, and then move on the designated buses and things, from wherever the bureau was and headquarters. We didn't have faxes and computers and stuff in those days; we were still typewriting.

    Ritchie: You would turn in typewritten copy?

    Bulkeley: Right. And once it was edited, then it would be punched into the teletype wires. So I was getting about an hour and a half to two hours' sleep a night, and about one and a half meals a day, for the whole week, without any notion, of course, of what that was doing to my body, but it was a month before I caught up on my sleep and my head functioned right again. I was making dumb mistakes, sleeping twelve hours a night or falling asleep at things. It was still summer, so we didn't have the political season too much, and I could get extra sleep.

    Ritchie: But you were leading into a fall campaign.

    Bulkeley: Leading into the fall campaign, which, of course, as it turned out, I didn't get to cover, even though I was the political reporter.

    But then I found out why all of the famous people disappeared. Haynes Johnson is a friend of mine, and I had seen him briefly at the convention. He said he was on his way to the Keys for a week when the convention was over. Walter Cronkite would not be on "CBS Evening News" for a week. Well, they all slept it off. I wasn't smart enough to do that. I had been asked

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    by the Society of Professional Journalists to a magazine piece, and I said, "Oh, sure. I'll get home Saturday. I've got all weekend to do it before I have to go back to work Monday."

    Ritchie: So you didn't realize what the impact would be.

    Bulkeley: No, nobody had warned me about the physical impact, and I'm not sure that anybody realized the extra demands that the security would place on logistics and how much that would compound the logistics. Even though it was a foregone conclusion that George McGovern was going to be nominated, I managed to be on the floor when the votes went over the top, and it was electric. It really was worth being there to feel when somebody got nominated, because only two people every four years get nominated to run for president of the United States, and even if you knew who it was, when it actually happens, it actually happens, and you feel that something's different. Sort of like standing at the inauguration this year. Where we were, the crowd reacted more when Al [Albert, Jr.] Gore was sworn in. Immediately through the crowd went a "We are saved from Dan [J. Danforth] Quayle." Well, I hadn't really thought about swearing-in the vice president being particularly significant. But, boy, the people around us in that crowd had, some of them, and the world just moved.

    Ritchie: So you had the emotion of the group.

    Bulkeley: And the emotion of "It's real and it's official now," because obviously, we'd all known forever, I mean, since the election, that Gore was going to be vice president, and [William J. "Bill"] Clinton president. We had known for weeks that McGovern had the votes, but when it went over the top, it was exciting, and it was chills up and down the backbone, and breathtaking. Of course, reporters stood there like bumps on a log while everybody else was going ecstatic, but it's not acting, it's real, which a lot of people wouldn't ever believe unless you'd been there.

    But the other thing was that Carol [Richards] and I, as the only two Gannett newswomen who knew government and politics, were both sent to that one. We didn't get to go to the Republican one. Gannett had enough newspapers in those days that they were trying to share the opportunities. But part of what happened with two of us there, the guys couldn't say, "Oh, she was lucky," if we were both consistently producing. So it was after that convention that they then started sending women into the Washington bureau as full-time regular staff of Gannett.

    I had been in on assignment a couple of times—more I had been in just because I wanted to go in, and Jack Germond was the bureau chief and let me spend the day with him several times. He and another guy named Bill Ringle would take me in tow, and I met the stars, and I went to the Supreme Court while it was handing down decisions. The one advantage of having weekdays off, particularly in those early years, but also even as government and political reporter, was that I could come down and do that, and plane fares weren't structured the way they are today. You could do a one day down and back.

    Ritchie: For not much.

    Bulkeley: It cost a lot, but it was the same as if you'd done it for a week, and it was probably close to a week's take-home [salary], so I only did it once a year or so, but I also could drive to Albany and do the same thing, and did, or take the train over. And I was on assignment occasionally in the Albany bureau.

    But anyway, after that '72 convention, Carol was transferred in to the Washington bureau as the first women reporter into there.

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    Ritchie: So that was really an opportunity for her to show that she could handle the political coverage.

    Bulkeley: Right. And she was also the first one into the Albany bureau after I had done some short term assignments in there. And, of course, I always thought that I should be the one to get to go. I had done the work and the groundwork, and I was the one who had that progression as my published career plan, and told them from the first time I met Neuharth that's what I wanted to do. I didn't understand at that point in time that Neuharth had decided I was going to be management, or should be, and that's why Carol was going on as reporter, because he thought that was her strength, but that I had the kind of analytical stuff and ability to project forward and look at consequences and options that it took to be in management.

    [End Tape 2, Side A; Begin Tape 2, Side B]

    Ritchie: So he knew what you wanted to do, but he, too, had somewhat of a plan in mind.

    Bulkeley: He had a different agenda, which was to close the sex gap in newsrooms, in newspapers. But I also was beginning to understand, from the sequence of events as I left the newsroom and saw all of my progress on behalf of the public lost, that it took more than one reporter showing it was possible to change the system, and when I understood that Neuharth expected me to be a boss, I decided, well, if somebody's got to go do it, bosses can change systems that reporters can't. Then I'll go do that for a while, but then they'll have to let me do what I want to do. If I pay my dues doing what they want me to do, then they're going to owe me.

    Ritchie: Right. Let you do what you want. Were you in a position to assist women in any way—in reporting or on the editorial page, as far as we've gotten?

    Bulkeley: Through the paper, partly through trying to get the place managed right. But because I had no say in who did what with my beats, there was no way I could help there. I was doing Women in Communications stuff, so in the broader sense I was helping that way, but in terms of the paper itself, mostly what I was doing was doing the kind of job that they couldn't use me as the failure that would doom all of us.

    Carol credits my work in the Albany bureau for making it possible for women to go in, and says I helped her. I don't remember any specific kind of help I gave her except that we hung out together. She also had a boyfriend, however.

    Ritchie: What about issues relating to women, in terms of covering those issues, specifically relating to women?

    Bulkeley: Not because they related to women, I didn't cover them. I covered some of them, because I saw that they were there, so I covered them, but without really realizing that it was the female factor as opposed to the "better reporter than my predecessor" factor. Some of the welfare stuff, for instance, in Medicaid and Medicare, that was early in the women's movement. I remember the time that we all decided, okay, on the anniversary of the voting rights amendment, we would all wear pantsuits and break the dress code.

    Ritchie: Because you had to wear skirts.

    Bulkeley: Nobody ever told us we did.

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    Ritchie: But you did.

    Bulkeley: But we'd all been brought up to believe we had to dress like church, because we never knew when we were going to cover the governor or the mayor or whomever. But by then, other people were wearing pantsuits, and pantsuits were pantsuits, not shirts and pants or whatever. They had real jackets and covered your fanny, came down to the tops of our shoes, usually. But we all decided we'd do it that day, they wouldn't dare send us all home because they couldn't get the paper out if they did. So that was our first stand. There also were a couple of key eateries in town. Some of the key restaurants had men's grills that women weren't allowed in.

    Ritchie: They were exclusive for the men.

    Bulkeley: Only for the men, and a couple of them had pretty good buffets at pretty good prices, but we weren't allowed in, so I signed petitions with other women in town. I probably shouldn't have, but I did.

    Ritchie: Were there any repercussions at the paper?

    Bulkeley: No. I ran into one of the guys who had mediated that situation through the Chamber [of Commerce] or somewhere, back in the mid-eighties, who recalled it, and I had forgotten about it. That particular one was gone, but the dining room in one of the department stores that had been a men's grill was still there.

    Ritchie: In a department store?

    Bulkeley: It had its little old ladies restaurant, tea room almost, where anybody could go, but then it also had its men's grill, and by the mid-eighties it was still a general dining room, so I took the interns from the foundation there for lunch once, simply so I could say I'd eaten there. It wasn't very good. Whether it had been fifteen years earlier, I have no idea.

    Ritchie: Did the pantsuit episode bring any repercussions or consequences?

    Bulkeley: Not to me. That became part of our mix thereafter, and I don't know that the guys even noticed. If it made any ripples, they didn't come in my direction.

    I also had to sit in on the company side in early meetings with the NOW, the National Organization of Women's, media committee. What really happened with that, on a national level it was critically important to have outside people raising questions, and particularly radical people, because then the rest of us looked reasonable. But the local committee had not done its homework, except in a very superficial way, because I had been doing the political reporting at that point. They'd talk about the way names were used in descriptions and things, but I knew I had covered the men candidates and the women candidates the same, and I could sit there and say, "Well, now, I can't speak about the other paper, but in terms of our paper, I did those stories. We talked about Tom Frey's scrambled egg supper, and the kids coming down the stairs when he got home from being out on the road. We covered the whole person, men and women, and in perspective and in proportion." Of course, today I would realize that I covered the women in the traditional male approach to the story, and Tom Frey's kids and scrambled eggs came at the end of the story because I did it chronologically, the day of the candidate.

    Dorothy Phillips—they had night crews working on a bridge on the inner loop, and Dorothy and I spotted them as we were coming back from some meeting, and she drove around

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    the barricades right up on the bridge and went up and talked to them. We reported that. I don't know that men would have done that, and if in that sense my being with her might have given her courage more to do that. I don't know whether the men would have covered the welfare mothers' protests and rights things different or not. Nor did I save a volume of clips that I can go back and look at today.

    Ritchie: So you felt that NOW's position, their complaints, weren't really valid in terms of what you had done.

    Bulkeley: In terms of my work, that committee wasn't valid except to the extent that it showed my bosses the value of having had me in that job. They probably also got other things on the agenda that wouldn't have been on an agenda, or not consciously, and certainly made the bosses more aware of what was at stake and of some of the kind of things they wouldn't have been.

    The other thing that happened at one of the—I don't know whether it was that same voting rights amendment or Susan B.'s [Anthony] birthday in February. Susan B. Anthony is from Rochester, too, and Frederick Douglass spent a lot of his adult life based there, and published his paper, The Northern Star, from there.

    But the editorial page asked all of us who had beats to write an editorial. Well, the county government published a little handbook every year of all of its citizen's advisory committees, among other things, a directory, so I did the "how many men and how many women are there on things," and pointed out particularly the ones where women obviously had as much or more to say as men and they weren't there either, but the odds were like six men for every woman.

    Ritchie: This would have been like a guest editorial?

    Bulkeley: Yes, and they were signed. But partly I took that approach because it was an objective approach to opinion-writing. Nobody could quarrel with the facts. I mean, they were free to quarrel with whether women had anything to offer or not, but if these were citizen's advisory committees, citizens were both of us, men and women. So that was a relatively harmless, in terms of integrity of my reporting, kind of an editorial to write. But they thought it was wonderful, "they" the bosses, which I think is how I ended up being asked to fill in later, because I'd see things that other people didn't see. I kept attendance records at the committee meetings, and published attendance records. Well, nobody had thought to do that before, and that stuff is just obvious. Some of it doesn't have anything to do with gender. Some of it has to do with what you think the responsibilities are in the job. Are they even trying, like showing up?

    The county did do the welfare and the health stuff, so in that sense, those things got covered more than they probably would have, simply because I was there looking for gaps. And again, today people might trace some of that back and my even putting all of the pieces together on budgets and things to women being the connectors and seeing more angles. I think it probably has more to do with associative learners who learn by bits and pieces, rather than in straight lines.

    Ritchie: Categories.

    Bulkeley: And that that trait is reinforced more in women as they do the connecting, even mothers who connect kids to things, to the world as it keeps growing for little kids. I am an associative learner. The bits and pieces work their way out and I have multiple layers that run in my head all the time, all of which served that function and led me to that kind of reporting, that somebody who had been conditioned into or was naturally linear and hierarchical simply would

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    never have done, would have picked up the patterns and repeated them, unless he was led or happened to be right in front of a door, wouldn't have gone through it, instead of me checking out the room and saying, "What's the most interesting fact?"

    Ritchie: Did you feel that you were continuing to develop skills as an editor?

    Bulkeley: In the real sense of juggling staff and space and issues, I never really was an editor. On the editorial page, I just had two staff members, both of them borrowed from the newsroom, neither one of them—one was a bright, young reporter, and the other was a guy from the copy desk who liked the activity on the newsroom copy desk better than the separation and working alone on editorial page make-up. So they both had limits on how long they were there and really were borrowed, so even when I became the editor, not just the acting editor, my control over them was limited. They weren't looking to me for career leadership.

    In terms of making sure that the person doing the editorial writing thought it all the way through, I was doing that kind of editing, but we had the fixed space every day, and the judgments were limited to that day and how things fit. The copy editor was pretty good at sorting out what was the best that the columnists and the letter-writers had, and coming up with ways to use them.

    Ritchie: So it really was a relatively small staff.

    Bulkeley: That was it, and half a secretary. I did have help with letters. I didn't dictate; I drafted on typewriter. But she at least would clean up the letters and put addresses on them and all of that time-consuming detail, that if you did newsroom typing, you'd never get down to doing accurate first-pass typing. But that was the staff. I had no budget say, control or knowledge. I really never did staff evaluations. I had developed a plan for changing the page. Because of all kinds of other things going on, we hadn't really overhauled the columnists. We had softened the impact of the conservative stable when we broke up the patterns, but I hadn't really gotten to add other columnists, and I had completed a review process by the time I was asked to go off and run a newspaper instead, but had not presented that and defended it. I had simply put it all together.

    Ritchie: This might be a good place for us to stop and start next time here, finishing up the paper and moving on to Saratoga.

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    [Begin Tape 1, Side A]

    Bulkeley: There was that one piece that I wanted to talk about, about the newsroom and the flood, and I've thought through better your other question about content.

    Ritchie: The newsroom and the flood.

    Bulkeley: When [Phil] Currie sent only men to cover the flood.

    Ritchie: You mentioned that as I was leaving last time.

    Bulkeley: Right.

    Ritchie: Do you want to tell me about that?

    Bulkeley: Oh, we're on?

    Ritchie: Yes.

    Bulkeley: We were talking about the managing of the newsroom and whether women could get their content into the paper. Part of my response was that I don't think we were as aware in those days of the issues that particularly concerned women and weren't getting covered as we were about management style and being allowed to do our own reporting and having our own reporting trusted.

    One of the things that happened in those years, it was during the hurricane-generated floods in the Northeast in 1972. By then, our newsroom was about half women in terms of reporters, but we realized as the flood went on—it was several days, nearly a week affecting our territory, not the city of Rochester directly, but certainly our coverage area—so reporters were sent down into the worst of the flood zone and the periphery to report on what was happening as the flood built and receded. What we realized, I think only the following week when the paychecks came, was that only men had been sent in to cover the flood, and almost every man on the staff, so they were getting two and three weeks' pay.

    As they were leaving to cover the flood, those of us who had beats would pick up their work automatically, so most of that flood week I was covering all three government and political beats, for instance, working the twelve or fourteen hours that it would take, and writing the news stories from all of them, but nobody ever thanked any of us. There were other comparable stories from the rest of the women on the staff, which meant we all did as much work as they did, they all got double and triple-time in their paycheck, we didn't even get thanked, let alone a penny of overtime money. To me, that said that the men who were the city editors didn't trust the women, or when they were gut-reacting because the emergency lasted so long, their trust went to the men, to the male reporters.

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    Several years later, I talked about this at a state publishers' meeting at which Gene Dorsey, who was the publisher still at the Rochester papers, the one who had been the publisher when this event happened, and I told the story. I said, "Even when you think it looks right and your processes are in place so you think you're evaluating women fairly and giving everybody a fair shot, look at what happens during a prolonged news emergency," and I told the story.

    But Dorsey says, "I don't think that's right. That couldn't have happened. I know we offered one woman a chance to take a helicopter ride over the flood zone." Well, the woman that they offered it to was a features writer, she wasn't one of the news reporters, for one thing. For another thing, one person saying no to an assignment should not have affected everybody else. The other thing he said was, "And in Attica,* during the Attica riot of 1971, women were down there covering."

    I said, "But Gene, from the minute it started, the powers-that-be stopped all reporters well outside the prison, so they were not anywhere near any danger, and once they started taking press pools in, the women weren't allowed in the press pools. You didn't have a chance to think about the safety of the women reporters, or whether it was appropriate to send them, because the state preempted that decision, so it was perfectly safe to send whoever your best available general assignment reporters were, and there were only one or two at a time. It was never a question of deploying five, ten people over a huge geographic area." That was the end of that discussion.

    A couple of years after that, at an editors' meeting of Gannett people, Phil Currie, who had been the city editor responsible for those decisions said to his colleagues—essentially told them the story. I did not know Phil knew the story, but the fact is, he told the story on himself as a way to help them learn, to help them understand the bone marrow stuff they were dealing with.

    Ritchie: You had nothing to do with this?

    Bulkeley: I had nothing to do with his telling the story. It was simply a workshop of Gannett editors talking about newsroom integration in terms of women and minorities. Phil said, "One of the ways you really learn who you trust and who you rely on is the news emergency," and then told the story of the floods, which told me a number of things. Somebody indeed had gone back and checked the record and found out from looking at the papers and the paychecks that I was right, that only men went, women were carrying an extra load of work without getting the pay recognition. And then somebody had talked to Phil about it, and he had accepted it and had grown enough and was secure enough in those days that he could tell that kind of a story that would have devastated some people, but that he had really understood at least that point of mismanaging in that newsroom at the time, and thought it was important enough that he could risk his own image sharing it with people.

    I think that that's more dramatic than many examples, but it's the kind of learning that we had to do before we could even start looking at content. We had to learn how to accept each other in whatever frame of mind we'd been brought up with, however we'd been conditioned. We had to learn to be there and to carry our share and to be allowed to carry our share of even the traditional load.

    ______________________
    * Attica. On September 9, 1971, prisoners at the overcrowded Attica Correctional Facility at Attica, New York, took over cell blocks and killed several guards in protest against perceived racially biased sentencing and parole decisions. Thirty-nine inmates were killed and over eighty wounded when state police stormed the prison. The total death toll was forty-three.

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    My own frustrations with the newsroom, again as we talked about somewhat, were not so much with different content as with what was important about the traditional content. I was doing government and political stuff, which was basically traditional content, but I was frustrated that I wasn't allowed to report them in more connected ways, and that some of the connecting that I had done of bits and pieces that ultimately showed systems and how to change them, people thought was being handed to me.

    Ritchie: From someone else.

    Bulkeley: From someone else, and that the systems were givens, rather than something I was able to do, all of which we later learned was at least conditioning and maybe more than that, as people like Carol Gilligan* began to understand and to document that women in the connecting role and how that got beat out of us, or how we would adapt to meet the more hierarchical. There is record that shows some women were concerned about the content in the early seventies, and primarily those on the women's pages.

    Ritchie: Was this the case at your newspaper?

    Bulkeley: I don't think so. I think Neuharth understood that women's pages needed to change, and he had worked with some of the leaders of that change in Miami. Dorothy Jurney and Marj [Marjorie] Paxson were among the people who worked with Al in Miami, though they were on the women's pages, but he was assistant managing editor or something down there, had worked with them and understood that there needed to be more substance and that there was substance that dealt with women.

    There's a Marj Paxson story out of those same floods of '72 that she may or may not have told in this project. She was by then in Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Bulletin as women's editor. During the floods, her staff kept scooping the city side on what was happening and on the information people needed to get through the days as the flood drove them out of their homes or whatever. Her section became so much more valuable that the hierarchical reaction was to kill the section and put Marj in limbo. She was made assistant editor of the Sunday magazine or something shortly thereafter, with about a day and a half a week's work to do, and it was a year, eighteen months, two years later before they then made her an assistant city editor dealing with news. But the initial reaction to the woman producing more valuable news was to decide it must have been a fluke and get her out of the way.

    Ritchie: They didn't know how to deal with it.

    Bulkeley: They had no idea how to deal with it. They apparently had no idea that it was the kind of relevance that needed to be throughout the paper, and the kind of connecting, kind of approaches to news. And, of course, the Bulletin, at that time the strongest paper by far in Philadelphia, is now long gone, and the decline started during that era.

    ______________________
    * Carol Gilligan, Harvard professor, author of Meeting at the Crossroads: Women's Psychology and Girls' Development (co-authored with Lyn Brown, 1992) and In A Different Voice (1982).

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    Whether we're seeing that through the lenses to draw the interpretations we want to draw or what, I don't know, but I find it interesting that there were those kinds of stories coming out of that particular news emergency.

    Ritchie: How did you keep up with other women in the field?

    Bulkeley: Primarily through my Women in Communications activities, which I had started soon after I went to Rochester in the mid-1960s. The men were organizing, at Paul Miller's request, their chapter of then Sigma Delta Chi, which was for male journalists and was a professional association, and Rochester simply had never had a branch, its own chapter of the national, so the bosses asked them in to organize it, and the managing editors were in charge, and that sort of thing.

    A woman, Lorraine Dusky, at the Democrat & Chronicle, and I—the Democrat was the morning paper in Rochester—Lorraine came after a year in Sandusky, I think. But anyway, she and I started hanging around together some. It would have been '65, '66. We decided that if there was to be a Rochester of Theta Sigma Phi, which was the women's equivalent, then it should be because the women wanted it, not because any boss told us to do it. So we contacted the national headquarters and got the list of local people that they knew about.

    We were acting before the bosses told us to do it, but I marched into Neuharth's office, made an appointment and walked in, and said, "We're doing this," just so that they didn't interfere, or at some point before we were organized issue orders that would take the voluntariness off it.

    Neuharth basically said, "Let me know what I can do to help."

    I said, "Well, we'll see," knowing that we didn't want to appear bought by the bosses, either.

    The difference, even in those days, between Theta Sig and Sigma Delta Chi was that Theta Sig kept people, allowed members to stay who were doing something other than traditional news media journalism. It always had women who were journalism teachers, women who were doing public relations or non-profit work, across the whole spectrum of professional communications, to a large extent because the news media weren't welcoming women. Those simply weren't places women could go to work. There were a lot in weekly newspapers, but the National Federation of Press Women was long well established and served weekly newspaperwomen pretty well, also limited itself to newswomen, but had never had a national office or a full national organization to that point.

    So we, anyway, invited everybody to lunch who was interested in coming to lunch, and we had enough people at that first meeting to petition national Theta Sig for recognition as a chapter, so we organized and went on from there. I was temporarily covering government and politics at the first national meeting, so it would have been '66, summer of.

    Ritchie: At the first national meeting that you attended?

    Bulkeley: The first time I went to the national meeting. I got elected president [of the Rochester chapter]. Lorraine [Dusky] went on to Albany to work, so I ended up, of the organizers, being the one who had to be president, having started this whole thing.

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    Ritchie: Since it was your idea.

    Bulkeley: Yes. So I went to the first national meeting as our chapter president, and I thought, when I got there, I'd be able to find women I could learn from how to handle the government and political beats, and to get past the "Isn't she cute, she thinks she's a reporter" stuff. But when I got there, it was awful. With few exceptions, they were non-working women. Part of the housekeeping announcements at every gathering was which social sorority alumni groups were going to gather where for breakfast. Some women who were teaching journalism started following me around and wanting to pick my brain at every instant so they'd know what to do with their kids, which drove me crazy, because I was there looking for help.

    Marj Paxson was the national president, and it became clear from the people around Marj that there was potential to do something other than tea and crumpets with this organization. Those were early enough years that we were drawing firmer lines that we should have between those who weren't working and those who were. Some of that, as we now know, is all a matter of definition and becoming secure in who we are and what we are. The damage that we did, however, who knows? We did damage. But I hooked in with Marj and the crowd, and she made me a national committee chair so I'd have more access. The effect was I had more access to the good people from then on.

    Ritchie: Because you knew who they were.

    Bulkeley: Because I'd know who they were. I could get to committee meetings. She also knew Neuharth well enough to know I could get the support if I'd go ask for it—the time and the travel dollars, if I needed them. A lot of this I didn't know until later. But because of the Neuharth connection, I got involved at the national level immediately and then worked there through my presidency in the mid-seventies. But that gave me access. It also gave me visibility that ultimately paid off in speaking invitations and chances to spend time on campuses and keep in touch with the energy and the idealism that in a hostile work situation can get beat out of you if you don't have a way to recharge it. I don't know that I ever was in a truly hostile work situation in my everyday surroundings, but it wasn't necessarily supportive.

    Ritchie: It got frustrating at times?

    Bulkeley: Sure, because you couldn't make the headway or couldn't understand why stuff you thought was news wasn't, as far as the bosses were concerned, or why approaches that seemed obvious and made sense and had worked other places wouldn't be accepted until they had evidence.

    We talked the other day about my going out with the candidates, picking up the pattern that I had heard Haynes Johnson describe—and, again, I talked about that. Well, why, if it was good enough for Haynes Johnson to win a Pulitzer Prize, wasn't it good enough for us to do without me going out on my own to prove it? Some of that stuff. Again, today we know much better the systems protecting themselves and some of those other things than we understood then. So it was helpful to have access to the other women, to the campuses, and people who knew newspaper, even if they were no longer employed in it, and could help work through things.

    Ritchie: So Women in Communications, the organization, was changing its focus during this time?

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    Bulkeley: Yes. It was beginning to move from what in lots of ways looked like a social sorority doing social things, not the substance that we all know they do do, but it really looked like a gathering of an alumni group more than a professional organization.

    Marj held the national presidency for four years, which in those days it was a two-year term and could be renewed. That gave her enough time to identify a large group of women who understood the need for a professional organization, understood the benefits of umbrella organization, that over a lifetime you'd need to know the best of public relations and advertising and newsletter, even if you always worked in traditional news, that all of the rest of them were part of the whole communication process.

    But the women she got involved and, in effect, set up—one of the changes ultimately was a one-year national presidency, but also a president elect, so you had a year to put your administration in place, to backstop the president. But that system also eats up people in a hurry, since you need somebody new every year. The people that Marj brought into the organization and got engaged and committed and compelled to help covered the national presidency for something like twelve years after her term. It didn't stop with me in '75-'76. There were several after me who also had been set up by Marj.

    Ritchie: That she brought in and placed in positions.

    Bulkeley: Talent she had spotted and brought in and gotten involved and set on tracks where they then could handle their own involvement and progress. With that many who survived and made it through the presidency, with all of the kinds of things that would divert women when there was no support for working women, little child care, and the rest of it with those who left the field for a while or didn't have the support to do national involvement, you know there were lots more of highly talented women who fell by the wayside or were limited to doing their work in their local community, that she also had spotted and brought along.

    Part of what that did, then, back in my work situation, was show Neuharth capacities of leadership and looking at options and consequences beyond what I had shown through my news work or my editorial-page work. At the time he asked me to go off and run a newspaper, he said, "You've done all of the things you need to do to run a paper through Women in Communications with volunteers, so there's no reason you can't do it in a situation where you see people every day and where you sign their paychecks. The paycheck should be a last resort, but remember you do have that power, too, if there's no other way to motivate people to do things, but you shouldn't need it. With working through mail and telephone and hardly ever seeing people, you can help move things, then there's no reason that you can't do it with a newspaper."

    Ritchie: And this was when you were asked to go to Saratoga?

    Bulkeley: Saratoga. This would have been the spring of 1974, after I'd been the editorial-page editor in my own right for eight or nine months.

    Ritchie: When you became the editorial page editor, did you see your future changing?

    Bulkeley: I had understood by then that Neuharth thought sooner or later I should do management, and I had understood, as I think I talked about before, that the kinds of changes that were necessary to fix how reporting happened, having set out to fix how the Midwest was covered from the East, that those kinds of changes couldn't be done by one or two reporters, that it really

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    was a systematic problem and really took bosses to make the changes. So I had decided, without really knowing how it would happen, that if I was asked to be a boss, I'd have to do it.

    What I thought about the editorial page was that I owed that assignment two to three years to make the changes that we were making, and fine-tune them, correct any judgment errors I had made in the process of putting it together, and then I would be free to leave and go off and do what I needed to do, to do my agenda.

    Ritchie: But this came much more quickly than three years.

    Bulkeley: I'll say. This was eight or nine months. But one other quick point about that editorial-page stuff—today we expect editorial pages to look different every day. But in 1973—by then Women in Communications was doing its meeting in the fall. As a candidate or one involved at the national level, I was among those interviewed by the paper in, I think it was Portland, Oregon, where our annual meeting was. The guy who interviewed me split his time between the editorial page and the features staff—then a "Family" section or "Focus" or whatever—and what he found most interesting out of whole couple-hour discussion was that we were making daily judgments on what was most significant and what was most important and varying the make-up of the editorial page every day.

    Ritchie: Which he wasn't doing.

    Bulkeley: He wasn't doing. He was involved in the National Editorial Writers' conference, and he said it really was unheard of, that people were still—

    Ritchie: Was that an organization?

    Bulkeley: It's the professional organization for editorial-page people [National Conference of Editorial Writers], which I never got around to joining, I wasn't there long enough.

    But he basically said that pages were still formatted. The conventional wisdom was you formatted the page and you ran your columnists predictably so people who wanted to read them knew when they were there. Again, a question of content and when did change happen. So that was beginning to change in that era. I know we weren't the only ones doing it, but it was unusual enough that somebody in that particular line of journalism was intrigued by it.

    But that spring of '74, I was simply called in to Al's office one day, and he spent about forty minutes explaining to me why he thought I could go run a whole newspaper, before he asked whether I'd do it, but, of course, I did.

    Ritchie: What was your reaction to this meeting?

    Bulkeley: Mostly my reaction was, he's taking a bigger risk than I am, because by then I understood the business certainly well enough to know I was going to be visible, like it or not, but I also understood enough about the whole enterprise of newspapers becoming publicly held business to know that in terms of the profit-making responsibilities, it was Neuharth who was having to prove to the world that newspeople could run businesses, and that it was his hide that would be nailed to the wall if I screwed mine up. Ultimately, of course, I figured out that Saratoga was only a half of a percent of the Gannett whole, even in those days, so the risk wasn't very big in those terms, although in other terms it might have been.

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    So anyway, I had five days between that conversation and when we went to Saratoga that I needed to organize myself to move after ten years.

    Ritchie: Because you'd become a part of that community, really.

    Bulkeley: Right. And I had been in that apartment for seven, the high-rent-district apartment. Of course, I had no spouse at that point to help with moving.

    I gathered up issues of The Saratogian from the corporate news office to read them and start to get a feel. I had never been to Saratoga. I also needed to finish the work I had started on how to change our editorial page and turn it over to the boss. I had no back-up on the page, which is something else I had been taught was a responsibility, and, again from home, that once you have your job under control, you ought to find a way to train a back-up. I didn't have one, because I had nobody who was committed to my page. But Gene Dorsey wanted ideas on who I thought could take over the responsibility, given no notice, in effect.

    Ritchie: So obviously it had to be someone on the spot.

    Bulkeley: Preferably somebody on the staff, because my staff members weren't really capable of holding it for very many days without my presence, and I didn't have time to set it up very long, and, of course, you couldn't when you had to deal with current stuff.

    So I suggested to him one person he had not thought of, a guy named Read Kingsbury, who was a reporter and swing editor in the newsroom, but was one of the more analytical and connected with lots of issues people around. Well, Gene had not thought of Read, but as it turned out, Read was willing to take the job and did, and served in that job for fifteen years. So I was learning how to spot fits between responsibilities and aptitudes and things.

    Ritchie: So you left it in good hands.

    Bulkeley: As it turned out. Because while Read philosophically is close to socialist, he's also pragmatic, but that gave him the angle that looked out for people who couldn't look out for themselves, and even if that editorial page was still noblesse oblige, at least they were of concern, and over time, instinctively he would have been able to give voice to the newly recognized members of the public, and as space became available for Op Ed pages and things, he would have been ideally suited to handle that, and clearly was.

    Ritchie: Why did the Saratoga situation come up so quickly?

    Bulkeley: That's the way Gannett works. Gannett has never had an in-training kind of philosophy. The Saratoga editor and publisher had already been moved to Niagara Falls. There had been some anticipation of it, and some intent on Neuharth's part to send me into it. In one of his speeches at the Gannett year-end meeting—Gannett in those days had editors and publishers together at a year-end meeting, wrap up the year, kick off the next one, two or three days of big meetings in workshops. Several years later, I found Neuharth's speech from that year in which he had said there was not enough progress in advancing women and minorities, and he said with or without the help of the men who were in the executive jobs, women would be advanced in Gannett. I'm not sure whether that's the time that he started tying money to affirmative action and progress on equal opportunity.

    Ritchie: When you say tying money, what do you mean?

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    Bulkeley: He started making bonuses contingent upon—at least a percentage of bonus—progress in diversifying staffing.

    Ritchie: For the editors and managers?

    Bulkeley: For the executives. Department heads and paper executives, the CEOs of papers and broadcast. Xerox did it first, was the first we saw do it in Rochester, and I think it was when I was on the editorial page. Al did it within a year, because his preaching about it for four or five years had not made a lot of difference. But at that year-end meeting, he said, "There are people out there," and then listed a bunch of positions that had people in it they thought were capable of executive work, and I was one of them. They didn't name names, they just said, "editorial pages in Rochester" among the list.

    But in March of that year, one of the things that happened was I was invited to use one of the Gannett seats to go with the corporate plane and have one of the Gannett seats at the state legislature's state capital equivalent of the Gridiron [Club] dinners, where the Legislative Correspondents Association put on its spoof of the state legislature and government. Neuharth kept—at the table, he sat me next to the publisher from Saratoga, and a couple other times at the cocktail party before dinner, the chief news executive, John Quinn, steered me over to talk to talk to Sal, to meet Sal DeVivo, steering me at Sal. I didn't think a whole lot about it. Then it became obvious, again looking back two or three weeks later.

    I also was directed into a Gannett management seminar. Gannett did its own in-house management seminars for a week, once a year or so, with people from all departments, so they were mixing together. I was asked to go on one, and I said, "I can't. There's a Women in Communications regional meeting that weekend that I have to go to because I'm a candidate, and if we want me elected, this is one of the biggest ones, and I have to go."

    And they said, "Well, get back when you can and catch up with the seminar," was the ultimate decision, and I thought, "Well, this is dumb, but okay. If the boss says, 'Go do it,' I'll go do it." What I found out when I got to that seminar is that I was the only woman there.

    Ritchie: And this was people from all different Gannett papers?

    Bulkeley: Right, all different, and there probably were twenty of us. We were meeting in a conference section of a Rochester hotel—it's no longer there—but it was Midtown Tower, which was a hotel on top of a high-rise office building that had a couple of conference floors, one conference floor, I guess, right above the restaurant that capped the office section of the building. The only rest rooms on the conference floor were for men. I wasn't smart enough to say, as I established buddies in the group, "Guard the door," or to say, "Open another room, open a hotel room for me." I just used the elevator to go down to the restaurant level to go to the women's rest rooms. But that also meant, because of the elevator—the stairs were locked for security from the outside, you couldn't get back in from the stairwell—because of the elevator—they had to wait meetings for me.

    So clearly the lack of recognition of women as part of the business seminar crowd affected the dynamics of things. It identified me as a problem, because they had to wait. Well, those who liked their breaks, identified me as an asset, because I made the breaks wait, but it added to the visibility I had because of being the only woman there anyway.

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    So all of this had happened right before I was called in and asked to go run the newspaper. At first I thought Al was just asking me to go be the editor, but then I realized it was to run the whole newspaper.

    Ritchie: Your title was?

    Bulkeley: Editor and publisher and president.

    Ritchie: What does all that mean?

    Bulkeley: All of that means chief executive officer of the subsidiary, that as far as Gannett was concerned, I had final authority in running the property. Because it was a subsidiary, there were some places where Gannett reserved final authority. They had the experts and the kind of staff help—Gannett publishers never have had the freedom to hire and fire department heads without corporate involvement, for instance.

    Ritchie: So you could not do that?

    Bulkeley: I could not hire an ad director or fire one without their involvement. Gannett also stayed involved with ad rates and circulation rates because of the relevance for total revenue, and because of what they knew about price resistance and things around the country with as many papers as there were. Labor negotiations involved the— [Tape interruption.]

    Ritchie: We were talking about how Gannett, as the parent company, was involved with the local newspapers.

    Bulkeley: The last point, I think, was that Gannett maintained involvement with labor negotiations, and in many ways it was for the same kind of reason it would be involved with advertising rates and circulation rates, was the issues in labor negotiation involved reclaiming jurisdiction from the trade unions, the printers. The public would recognize them as compositors, the normal mood would be to think a printer was who ran the press, did the printing. The pressmen are the ones who do the press work. But anyway, there were major questions involved in making it possible to use computers and other technology in newsrooms.

    The unions, as part of nationals and internationals, also clearly had policies that they tried to maintain in everybody's contracts, so in some ways that just gave us sort of equal footing by having our national organization advising us, helping us with the right kind of language, knowing what is fair and responsible pay. Gannett wanted to maintain enough relative pay in the company. Not all of its newsrooms had unions. Most of its production departments did. But part of the point of being involved with the pay scales even in negotiation was to know that you could keep the professional staff up with, and preferably ahead of, the production departments, since it was the professionals who brought to content to the paper, and the ad sales people.

    Part of it also was to be able to maintain scales that people could move among the papers, and there no doubt were people who tried to minimize pay to maximize profits, but I never encountered people trying to be absolutely awful and to treat the employees as if they were widgets.

    Ritchie: Just to make more money.

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    Bulkeley: Just to make more money. Whether that speaks to the caliber of the lawyers from the corporate staff who came out to help with negotiations and that they were mediating that influence—because some of us would have quit or made our own union had anybody insisted that we treat the unionized crews as widgets—whether they were mediating to be sure we didn't get that impression, or whether indeed that filtered through as a dominant strain at headquarters, I don't know. On good days, I tend to hope that it was a dominant strain at headquarters, and on bad days, you figure that the guys in between were probably mediating.

    Ritchie: Did you ever find this relationship detrimental?

    Bulkeley: To the corporation?

    Ritchie: To your position, to your running the newspaper.

    Bulkeley: They always wanted more profits than you thought you could do. I always understood the role in putting together a plan and a budget to be as realistic as possible, and as in my news work, to do it with as much integrity as possible, which meant I understood that they needed all the profit they could have, and we shouldn't go willy-nilly off spending money just because we thought we were going to bring it in. The corporate staff, in this sense, always worked from the assumption that we were in a negotiating posture and we were holding back. After I discovered this, I asked Al about it, and I said, "Do you want honest budgets or do you want negotiating tools?"

    And he said, "I expect honest budgets. There's too much to do to screw around in penny ante negotiation."

    I said, "I don't think your corporate staff knows that. We spent a lot more time arguing over things than they could save by dealing with them, and they really haven't accepted." This conversation didn't all happen at once in Saratoga, but over time. When we were in a situation to have talked to all of our advertisers and to know what they could do and would do and what was responsible for them to do, we'd still find the corporate staff people redoing our budget to raise the lineage much higher and to raise the dollars much higher, and then we'd get punished.

    Ritchie: Even though you knew what was best.

    Bulkeley: Even though we'd say, "There isn't any more. Your marketing honcho was in town three weeks ago and was amazed at all of the business we had after he saw our town. So how can you tell us we have to have more lineage?" This was in Danville. The income in Danville was shrinking, double-digit inflation with 25 percent loss of jobs. There was no way we were going to have more lineage than in other years.

    [End Tape 1, Side A; Begin Tape 1, Side B]

    Bulkeley: So there was always that running question that also then, of course, affected the corporate evaluation of the publisher's performance, because it wasn't necessarily done by the people who knew how much the budgets had been cranked up.

    There also were people who played the budget game. When I went to Danville, I inherited a budget in which the publisher's proposal had been for a decrease in profit, and when he did that, the corporate people, instead of—well, they didn't crank him up as much as they always jacked my budgets. The final budget called for a modest increase that was far below what the

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    corporate's normal increases in profits were, even though in those days the Danville economy was going great guns, and all of the heavy industry factories were running three shifts and the unions were begging for relief from mandatory overtime, and they let him get away with a 2 or 3 percent increase.

    Ritchie: Why would someone do something like that? To look better when it was over, like he made more?

    Bulkeley: Sure, because one of the things Gannett does—or did in those days, I assume still does—is send out monthly statistical reports showing key indicators by property all the way across the company—revenue to profit, and man hours per page and production, a lot of those kinds of numbers, some other revenue analysis like revenue per inch in advertising, revenue per thousand circulation. Just a bunch of statistical stuff. They also do variances from budget and from prior year on a rolling twelve-month basis for the prior year, so what you see is the short picture only. That becomes important later in my own life and career. But you can always tell percent of profit any paper is producing from those reports and how they compare with budget. So the people who can make more than the budget are the heros, even if, in analysis, their budget was a low-ball budget. Even if his budget was really only calling for flat performance against last year, he's beating it by 10 percent, he's a hero. When you get a budget that's low-ball, you only get it by cheating and by being unfair and having no integrity in negotiations. There's simply no way that if you do an honest budget, you can do a budget that honestly predicts far below what you're going to be able to do in the long haul or in the course of twelve months, but that makes the guys look good and it gets some promotions.

    When Al asked me to go to Danville, he told me part of the job was to replace four of the five department heads and evaluate the fifth one, and to get rid of a very expensive gofer that was on the payroll, a guy with executive pay and perks and no job. The guy I followed got promoted to a paper more than twice the size of Danville. By accident, I discovered a few months after I got to Danville that his income for the ten months in Danville was double what I was getting, yet—

    Ritchie: He was paid that by Gannett?

    Bulkeley: Yes. His Gannett income. I saw his W-2 for the ten months that he was there, and it was double what mine would be for my first twelve months there, even though I was cleaning up after him. He clearly had put in a fake budget, had a variety of perks that were not authorized. He had three club memberships paid out of the company and there was only one authorized.

    Ritchie: These are social clubs?

    Bulkeley: Yes, country clubs. There weren't any city clubs in that little place, but country clubs and other stuff. And twelve season tickets to the University of Illinois football that he took his golfing friends to, claiming to be entertaining advertisers, some of them were, some of them weren't. No purchasing processes.

    It was an absolutely dysfunctional operation that any minute was going to get caught. Because it had no serious competition, it had gotten along fine without personnel policies, replacing only at the entry level in the newsroom. That newsroom that I inherited, half was thirty and under, and half was fifty-two and older. There was a whole generation missing. The only person out of that generation was the editor, and his was not traditional for the mid-seventies. His wife was a bank officer and they had no kids. Out of a newsroom with thirty-five or -seven

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    people in it, we had two executives who had kids in school at that point, both of them seniors. We had no other kids in the school system, so we had no idea what was going on in the schools, just as one illustration of how disconnected we got because of lousy management practices.

    Ritchie: So you were brought in to rectify the situation.

    Bulkeley: Nobody knew how bad it was. There were lots of things that Danville didn't do routinely that were routine other places. There was no events calendar in that paper in the mid-seventies. As the city desk clerk in Rochester in 1964, with some direction but mostly my own common sense—I mean, I was told to create the events calendar, and got some leadership, some guidance from the boss, but mostly I did it, in 1964, and this was Danville, twelve years later, still didn't have one, and they argued with me when I said, "We're going to do it."

    Ritchie: Who is "they"?

    Bulkeley: They being the newsroom executives. Danville, in the mid-seventies, was still buying a canned feature package, running second- and third-rate comics and cartoons and editorial columns, and had never really looked at the cost of replacing—and mostly throwing away the package, throwing away 80 percent of it—but had never looked at the cost of replacing that package with first-rate individually purchased negotiated pieces.

    Danville, in the mid-1970s, did not do advance stories on city council meetings. They only covered what happened after it was over, so there was no way the citizens knew whether it was worthwhile to go to city council this time or not. Well, as it turned out, the culture at Danville didn't demand advance coverage. We started doing advanced coverage, and the frustration of the citizens with the city then was turned on us, and basically people said, "Well, you knew what was going to happen. You're part of the power structure with those council members. Why didn't you stop them?"

    Danville was so thoroughly working class and blue collar that they really didn't exercise initiative within the democracy, and it almost was a waste of time to publish a newspaper in those days. I eventually learned that even the plant managers of the Fortune 500 plants—there were 20 some of them—but the plant manager of the General Motors foundry really was only paid to sit there and watch and to holler for help if something happened.

    Ritchie: No decision-making power.

    Bulkeley: No decision-making, no initiative. Their metallurgist could not go on the YMCA board without the plant manager going through three or four layers at General Motors to get permission. General Motors had 2,500 employees [in Danville]. The plant manager could not commit $5,000 annual dues to secure a place on the Economic Development Corporation when we created it in the late seventies. He could not do that without going through multiple layers and getting permission. I did it. I didn't ask or tell. Five-thousand dollars out of—we were spending probably $4 million in those years, and $5,000 disappears in the rounding. Now, the corporate guys could find it with the computer printouts and going back to the spreadsheets we sent, but basically it disappeared in our rounding with 130 full-time employees or equivalents.

    But the General Motors guy, in those days, he still probably had 2,000 people on his payroll, to not be able to put $5,000 into something like that, shows you how impotent they really were, and I didn't know that those guys didn't have that kind of authority, so I didn't make any effort to hide the fact that I did, which again creates a class kind of a thing. By then it was

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    beyond gender. It was a real class thing, that plant managers with their great big cars and their unquestioned use of the country club were widgets and simply didn't have authority. I forgot what started me on that story.

    Ritchie: We got to Danville. We jumped ahead.

    Bulkeley: Back up to Saratoga.

    Ritchie: We were talking about the company.

    Bulkeley: Oh, that's right, and the company involvement, and I used the Danville story as an example of the benefits and the liabilities, and that the corporate culture didn't always support what Neuharth said. Neuharth asked for honest budgets and honest assessments of what was going on, and the guy ahead of me got rewarded for being dishonest in terms of budget integrity, not in terms of legality, but in terms of corporate policies, integrity, and in terms of the department heads, because he was either to have moved out some of those who were there or never had promoted—in one case he was told not to promote the guy, but he did anyway—and still got rewarded.

    Ritchie: What was the size of the Saratoga paper?

    Bulkeley: The Saratoga paper was about 14,000 circulation Monday through Friday evening, and 19,000 on Sundays in the mid-seventies. The total payroll would have been around sixty. That was before we had the computers for production, so we still had a composing room. It had been shrinking, so the typesetters, particularly in the composing room, were working much more than forty hours a week to get the production done.

    Ritchie: How did this rank in terms of what Gannett owned elsewhere?

    Bulkeley: It was third from the bottom or second from the bottom, and as a percent of the whole, it was less than 1 percent.

    Ritchie: So it was a pretty safe place to start you out.

    Bulkeley: In terms of size, and in terms of impact on Gannett, yes. What a lot of people never realized about Saratoga—again, Al did. He is so bright, and he has so many layers of his head working all at a time, that a lot of people never quite understand where he comes from.

    Ritchie: Because there's so much there.

    Bulkeley: Because there's so much, and they see only the conclusions, without understanding that he really works by accumulation of pieces and multiple layers of processing. Al understood that Saratoga was a window on the horse people of the country, big money, and usually new money, or second generation; on the Philadelphia main line, because the Philadelphia Orchestra summered up there at that point; and on the old money out of New York City, because Saratoga, in and of itself, had been a playground for the wealthy from New York from the late 1700s; that it also was on the way to the Adirondacks, where lots of the old New York and New York City, where some of the national money was invested in the Adirondacks in those days. So it was a window on a lot of people with clout, with influence in the stockbroker circles and investment circles and things. It wasn't like a town of 30,000 or 25,000 and circulation 15,000 out in Kansas, because the world came to Saratoga in the summer. Skidmore College was also some of that access,

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    Texas Instruments' money among others, but not as overt as the summer horses and orchestra. Eventually, New York City Ballet also established its summer home up there.

    Ritchie: So it was a very different kind of community than you had become accustomed to.

    Bulkeley: It was different from Rochester in the sense that it had no real economic base. A lot of Saratoga people made their year's livelihood by renting their summer houses at outrageous prices. The home-owned bank generally would let people have double the mortgage that their income looked like if they were going to rent it during the summer, because it was important to the economy to have a certain supply of houses available, but also because they knew that you could rent, in those days, a three-bedroom, air-conditioned house with two bathrooms, you could rent for a month for $5,000 or $6,000, which would cover the $50,000 mortgage for a year, and people really built their livelihoods that way.

    One of the pieces that nobody really understood about Saratoga was the county seat was a little village five miles away, Balston Spa. Right next to Balston Spa was the nuclear submarine and nuclear research activity of the navy and General Electric, so there were two-thousand military people there who came and went, plus a big civilian employee batch. That was as close as that area came to steady year-round income. There was the little mineral water plants and things like that. The impact of that only became clear to me when I went back to Saratoga in the mid-eighties, but that was another piece of that community.

    What Saratoga had that was like Rochester was an appreciation for ideas. In Saratoga, everybody counted. The community leadership understood that the feeblest little old man guard at the track and the newest bright-young-thing waitress were as important to that economy as the bank was, because misspeaking, mistreating a customer by any one of those people—the customer might be the Mellons or the Whitneys or the Vanderbilts or whomever—that those people were as critical to the functioning of that community as everybody else, that everybody should be treated with respect and treated respectfully for doing what they could, regardless of whether you wanted your own kids to end up that way or not. They also accepted and trusted in a way that we always attribute to the old boys, but isn't always old boy. Some of the key local residents in that community year-round leadership, who also were accepted by the summer people, understood that if Neuharth said she was the boss of the paper, she was the boss of the paper and would be treated like a publisher.

    Ritchie: So you were accepted by the local people.

    Bulkeley: The bank gave me a mortgage with no question, the bank saw that I was on the right invitation lists, the bank threw a welcoming party for me and invited the people that needed to know I was the publisher and to treat me that way.

    Ritchie: That was a nice entrée for you.

    Bulkeley: Oh, it was, and it was important. I found that out later when I went to Danville and didn't get mentored and was treated like the girl Gannett sent in for a long time by a lot of people, to the day I left, in Danville.

    But also, other people ran interference in various kinds of ways. A guy who, with his younger brother, had turned their father's horse and buggy home delivery dairy into a regional convenience store and dairy that can compete with the big supermarkets in price even today, and usually sets the pace for convenience stores, when he realized that his industrial management

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    group out at the chamber was guys who really weren't accepting the girl as the publisher, set it up so I'd come to one of their meetings. They didn't have the publisher in because they were afraid of media knowing secrets, and there were a variety of small factories there and businesses. So he had me come to one of the sessions, and he coached me ahead of time about the kinds of things to talk about, and he said, "You know, it is confidential, so it's all right, I think, if you talk about the Gannett confidential stuff like profit and percent of profit and those things, and you need to do some of that so they understand that your responsibilities are the same as theirs, but don't be too good, or you'll scare them. I know you know more about running a business than they do, but you've got to leave them some obvious questions and some openings to ask questions, rather than anticipating everything they're going to want to know, or you'll scare them off and we won't be any farther than we are right now, so you have to leave some opening questions." So anyway, Charlie Dake did some of that kind of stuff.

    I had real hustler for an ad director when I got there, a real old-time salesman who tried to hustle all women into bed and all men into bets—a classic of his kind, as my husband [F. David Finks] kept reminding me—the Gannett opinion was he's the best we can do in a paper like that. Charlie would let me know when he was making deals on the side off the rate card. Charlie was involved in the regional shopping mall. Not regional, it was a local one on the edge of town. It wasn't very big. But Charlie had a store out there, and was one of the officers, so he'd hear from people if my ad director was making deals on the side, so I could straighten them out or contain them, as the case may be.

    When I ultimately discovered that the controller was helping himself in ways not authorized, and otherwise subverting our resources, the banker got on the phone and took care of it locally. His name was Pete Wait.

    Ritchie: The banker's name.

    Bulkeley: The banker. And saw to it that anybody who might need to know that, did. He helped block this guy's signature out on other bank checks, banking things, and gave me some of the procedures I needed to follow, even while the corporate auditors were untangling the whole mess, but as fast as they had confirmed that the controller was embezzling—we never got a conviction, but he was embezzling—as fast as the corporate auditors had confirmed that, I got on the phone to our primary bank, which was Pete's, and he took care of running some of the interference for us.

    But all of those kinds of things are critically important to your ability to function as a chief executive of a visible business in a community like that.

    Ritchie: So you really moved into the community with ease.

    Bulkeley: Relative ease. Sure, because I had people helping me know what was important. Some of the secondary and third layer, regular people layer, I had to really find ultimately myself, but the stuff I needed to run the paper day in and day out, I certainly got a lot of help with.

    Ritchie: How were you accepted by the staff at the paper? Did you encounter any resistance?

    Bulkeley: The ad director thought he should have been the publisher, and kept trying to preempt my authority, but he and my predecessor had made a couple of decisions that I thought were awful, that I couldn't undo, because they had just been put into place. A key one—The Saratogian published a weekly giveaway with 25 percent news. It was a weekly tabloid, and it really was a community newspaper for the southern end of Saratoga County, which had been

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    growing by leaps and bounds because of the growth of government and government-related industries in Albany, and the light industry, General Electric and things, in Schenectady, and stuff in Troy. Those three cities sort of tuck around the bottom of Saratoga County and the suburbs for all of them were in our county, so one of my prophetic predecessors at Saratoga had started a weekly down there.

    Ritchie: When you say a giveaway, do you mean it was tossed on the lawns? It was free?

    Bulkeley: Well, and in fact, they had been mailing it when I got there, and were shifting over to a delivery company that also carried advertising inserts, which even in those days, even I, not coming out of advertising, knew was direct competition with us, but my immediate predecessor and the ad director had signed a contract with them to deliver our paper, that said they wouldn't take any of our ad inserts but they were free to take anything else they could get and deliver it with our paper, with our money. But it was less than the mailing costs, and it was enough less that it would help my predecessor, who had gotten screwed in the budget process the way anybody did that wouldn't negotiate or play the games, that gave him the room to breathe and the budget he needed before he knew he was being promoted on.

    So that kind of decision I inherited and had to live with from this shyster ad director. Shyster in the sense of hustler, not in the sense of lawyer, a lawyer who hustles. He was just a hustler. But he'd talk to restaurant customers, for instance. He'd write off some of their bills, or bills that were overdue he'd move back into the current column, in return for dinner at the restaurant, or he'd charge off his restaurant bill against the ad lineage and write off the bill, saying it was a business dinner, because he was trying to collect the money and keeping the customer happy—none of which I thought was ethical. It probably was legal, but I didn't think it was ethical. I thought if he had legitimate expenses, he ought to show it in an expense line. If he had legitimate ad income, it ought to show as ad income, and if you had a slow-paying customer, that ought to show.

    Ritchie: Had he been there a long time?

    Bulkeley: Yes. I can't remember, now, how long, but I never got to get rid of him.

    Ritchie: So he outlasted you.

    Bulkeley: He outlasted me, and I can't remember how many publishers later before he actually got fired. He was a mild diabetic, but he ultimately, even while I was there, lost one leg to a circulation problem, because he never really believed the stuff he had to do to control the diet. He continued to smoke and drink, for instance, both of which make worse the circulation problem from diabetes. One makes diabetes worse and one makes circulation worse. But he continued to work as ad director.

    My successor as publisher was just there five months before he was promoted. I don't know whether that guy or the woman, one after, replaced him with a modern ad director or not.

    Ritchie: Did you ever have to fire anyone?

    Bulkeley: Oh, I fired lots of people, from reporters on up, starting with the controller, who around town said, "Well, she was so tight with expense money that I had to divert money in order to do staff morale things." People knew better. We had newspeople who couldn't cut it and

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    weren't earning the money. The circulation director there was the son of a man Gannett had bought newspapers from, and I knew more about circulation than he did just as a customer.

    Ritchie: So he really had the job because—

    Bulkeley: So I ultimately had to fire him, and was, in fact, the first person in Gannett to fire the child of somebody Gannett had bought papers from. Up until that point, people thought children were immune from performance standards.

    Ritchie: Were there any repercussions from that from the corporate headquarters?

    Bulkeley: Not against me. I don't know whether they were headed off by corporate people, whether I was protected the way Dorsey had protected me on the editorial page from Paul, or whether the corporate people dealt with the father who still had big chunks of Gannett stock. I don't know. The greater involvement with firing came during the Danville years.

    I was in Saratoga two and a half years. There was one ad sales guy that the ad director fired before he consulted with me—another example of his preempting authority. The guy should have been fired, but the ad director called him up on the phone and told him not to come near the office, and then told me later what he'd done.

    Ritchie: Were there many women on your staff?

    Bulkeley: The Saratoga business staff was all women except the controller. The ad staff had maybe a third to a half women sales representatives. The news staff had some women—I don't remember the numbers—but all of the bosses were men. The artists were both women. The composing room had women who did typesetting and men did the page make-up.

    Ultimately, one of the ways we got past the union was by letting the women discover that the jobs the men kept—they brought the women in to do the typesetting, and never taught them the rest of the composing room, so one of the ways we ultimately, not intentionally, but it turned out to work, was undermining the union's authority, was when we were ready to bring our computer system, the women whose jobs wouldn't be needed started learning the rest of the composing room, which they supposedly would have learned as part of their apprenticeship, but never did. They found out that the guys had kept them out of the more interesting jobs and left them stuck to the typesetting machines, eight, ten, twelve hours a day. So that helped us get past the union as a go-between and the union officers as a go-between.

    The Women in Communications connections helped me with the ad department. One of my friends in Women in Communications was the creative director at McCann-Erickson, a teeny, tiny but elegant woman from New York City. So I got some contacts at Skidmore to create a classroom situation for Joan Lipton to come up and do classroom stuff, but I also then had her spend time with the ad sales staff in a sales meeting, talking about creative directions and things. At the same time, The Saratogian was doing color printing before most papers, and doing it almost so good that it almost looked like Kodak had done it.

    Ritchie: How did you move into that?

    Bulkeley: Saratoga got into it because it had offset printing early, and with its various kinds of summer magazines for the summer crowd, did color covers on them, had the capacity, had the time to do it, had some pressmen who got creative about learning how to make color separations

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    without the equipment to do it, but they learned some various ways to break up the dot patterns that are part of printing pictures to do separations that would do four-color printing in a really jerry-rigged kind of a way. It was a small offset press. They had enough down time that they could play with it, and they did.

    Joan, on the other hand, was creative director of a major ad agency, McCann-Erickson. Joan thought what newspapers could do was what the New York Times did, so as creative director, she generally, while working with customers we should have had, would never contribute to decisions that got them or kept them in newspapers, because she didn't know newspapers could do color. So I thought, "I can show her that while she's up there."

    A big point of what I wanted to do was show the bright women on my ad staff that intelligence was the future of advertising, not the kind of crummy stuff the ad director did, and I really wanted to get past him and start turning them around a little bit, because they really were learning his patterns, and that's all they were learning, and had no way to learn anything else.

    So that's one of the places where the Women in Communications connection help. One of the women ultimately did change because of that exposure, and ultimately became an ad executive, both in Saratoga and elsewhere. The last I knew, she was doing ad staff training. She was on the corporate staff of a small newspaper company and was doing training both for that company and independently for ad staffs.

    Ritchie: Was it during this time that you served as president of Women in Communications?

    Bulkeley: Yes. See, I went to Saratoga in April of '74, became national president of Women in Communications in October of '75, so I would have become president-elect, run for and been elected president-elect, that first year in Saratoga.

    Ritchie: Did this take you away from the paper much?

    Bulkeley: About half the time. Not necessarily during that first year, but during the year of president-elect and the year after that, there were periods in which I'd be gone half the time or more, doing our own regional meetings or the national meetings of related associations, combined with the newspaper meetings that I was expected to do—the publishers' meetings, the Gannett meetings, the national editors society [American Society of Newspaper Editors] meeting. I was invited onto the Pulitzer nominating juries starting that first year. That was a couple days in New York, a couple of days away.

    Ritchie: How would you make sure things were going well in Saratoga when you were off?

    Bulkeley: By giving my department heads the authority they should have had all along. When my predecessor left, which wasn't very often, I was told by his department heads that other than get the paper out, they weren't to do anything until he called and checked in with them in the afternoon. The managing editor couldn't send the editorial page to the composing room. The flow, among other things, called for some pages out in the afternoon for a day later's paper, because that's what our production window could process, the editorial page being one of them. But the managing editor was not allowed—if Sal was out of town, Sal didn't trust Mike's judgment to do editorials, or even the page make-up, until he, Sal, had checked in and had talked through what was going to go on the page.

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    I didn't really think that that was the way to bring people along. I also thought if I was out of town on somebody's money, they were entitled to my attention. So I simply worked at liberating the department heads, giving them the authority certainly to act in their own departments, and whoever was covering for me, the authority to act on what had to be acted on, and to learn to make the judgment calls and when really to call me when I needed to be called, and when I didn't need to be when they should do things and catch up with me later. And I had to learn to rely on my secretary to know when to holler if they weren't, or to keep them at bay until I checked in.

    For a while, first I did what they were used to, but then I started missing. I'd say to them, "Let Carm—" My secretary's name was Carmella Mayette. She couldn't type worth a hoot. She was a schoolmate of Sal's, had been a high school classmate, and when she got a divorce, she needed a job, so he hired her to open his mail and to answer his telephone, and work half a day doing that.

    Ritchie: So she was a very basic secretary.

    Bulkeley: Right. And she hated filing, so even though she didn't have half a day's worth of work to do, she never did any filing anyway. So she mostly guarded his door. But one of the things that I learned quickly was how bright she was, and that she knew when things were wrong or happening out of sync, so we made a deal that she'd call me if anything was happening wrong or if any of the department heads had said they needed to talk to me. When I quit calling in and touching base with all of them, I said, "Let Carm know. When I call in, she'll rotate the calls."

    Ritchie: So that was a way of weaning them.

    Bulkeley: So we weaned them that way. I didn't take very long doing it. They were grown men. They were paid more than their employees. They have to be able to make basic decisions and be allowed to and required to.

    Ritchie: How much were you making at that time?

    Bulkeley: Twenty-thousand a year, about, when I went to Saratoga.

    Ritchie: Was the equal to what men would have making in the same position?

    Bulkeley: I don't know. It never occurred to me that it wasn't, so I never looked in the records to see what my predecessor [Sal DeVivo] had been paid. It was only after the discovery in Danville, three years later, that I found out, at least in this instance, I was being grossly cheated. In those days, Gannett also was fairly generous, I think. I don't really know other companies' plan, but there were fairly sizeable stock options available.

    There also were bonuses. I mentioned that in the mid-seventies, Al started making the bonuses contingent upon progress for women and minorities, but that was never more than half of the bonus. A lot of it was always tied to profit and profit progress. Since I never had a paper that made great [financial] leaps and bounds, I don't know how much you really could get if there were guidelines relating maximum bonus to salary. There were guidelines, eventually, by the time I quit running newspapers for Gannett at the end of '84. I know there were guidelines that said maximum bonus is like 40 percent of your pay. Well, I never had a bonus anywhere near that, but I also never was in a property that could generate the kind of profit growth that Gannett was looking for. I held margins in flat and declining income situations, but nobody ever looked over

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    more than twelve months at a time, or one calendar year at a time, so bonuses were always sort of secondary in my income.

    Ritchie: Did the summer people in Saratoga have much of an impact on running the newspaper?

    Bulkeley: In terms of what was there to cover, they ran us ragged, because the Performing Arts Center had something almost every night, and we tried to cover it. Of course, in August there was a full race card every day, six days a week.

    Ritchie: So you split your time.

    Bulkeley: So we had to cover that. The Saratogian published an evening extra, a racing sheet, after the last race [each day] in August, about seven or eight o'clock at night, just a thin paper, maybe eight pages, with the charts from that day's races, and distributed it all up and down the area all the way to the Adirondacks and to Albany.

    Ritchie: So you had to take that responsibility.

    Bulkeley: So that had to get done, in addition to the regular newspaper. We had more advertising. The summer was our big income, in terms of advertising. The circulation didn't pick up a whole lot. Some of that's because the New York Times and the Daily News were both up there every day, and, in fact, on a year-round basis in those days, the Daily News was the third highest selling newspaper in Saratoga County. We were first. We were the only daily published in it. Second highest was the Schenectady paper with its reach into the suburbs, even though Albany had two papers in those days, Troy had two papers, and Glens Falls had one paper, The New York Daily News was the third highest selling on a year-round basis, not just during the summer.

    Those two papers were there, plus all of the ones I just mentioned from surrounding cities, so a lot of the summer people would keep buying what they were familiar with, the New York Times or the Daily News, or they'd get along the way a lot of people do on vacation, which is no newspaper. They knew what they came to see and had found out about it ahead of time, or they'd find the movies or whatever they wanted without benefit of a newspaper. Television was still only three channels, so you didn't really need a schedule to find them. The networks ran what the networks ran. While a lot of people would act like summer was a big deal in terms of circulation, the circulation department's big deal was that extra newspaper. Our own circulation would go up a couple hundred, but no more than that.

    The one time we took advantage of the summer people was in publishing an extra when Nixon resigned. Even though all those other papers were there, we figured, well, there will be summer people, and Saratoga's economy and politics are different than the surrounding ones, so we really should do our own extra with those things in it in the morning the day after.

    Ritchie: Had you made a decision to do that, you and your department heads?

    Bulkeley: Right. And we did it. We published an eight-page, no advertising extra that sold five-thousand copies. We had colored pictures of Nixon and Ford on the front of it, and thus were the only color on the newsstand that day, so even with all those other papers that published mornings there, we were able to sell five-thousand, which is far more than our normal newsstand sales. The Saratogian runs fairly high in newsstand sales anyway, or did in those days, but that five-thousand made us the highest in Gannett in extra sales ratio to daily circulation, and in actual numbers, was as high as the best of them. But some of that because my managing editor was smart enough to

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    put color above the fold so that there were color pictures sitting there, and souvenir collectors or whatever grabbed it. It was only a quarter in those days.

    Ritchie: What percentage of your sales were newsstand?

    Bulkeley: I didn't save documentation of stuff like that, but I think Saratoga ran around 25 or 30 percent on a regular basis. That would go up some in the summer, and some of the people who rented their houses in the summer would move out of our circulation area, so we would drop some regular circulation if their tenants didn't want the paper delivered, and pick up some on the newsstands. But our gross increase was still only a couple hundred.

    Ritchie: Overall?

    Bulkeley: Overall. Our Sunday bulge was primarily north towards Glens Falls because in those days there was no Sunday paper published up there, so we'd sell two or three thousand extra papers up there on Sunday.

    Ritchie: Did you change in any way what was covered in the newspaper?

    Bulkeley: I don't think really the content changed a whole lot while I was there. We had designated pages for the county seat and for a little old ancient village called Mechanicville that was three or four thousand people but was really its own separate economy, had their own pages in the paper every day.

    Ritchie: And you had a separate reporter for that?

    Bulkeley: They each had a separate reporter who was full time only doing that. We talked about, and moved toward, breaking up those pages and doing a detailed index on the front of the paper that every day had their towns and their stories designated, so that they knew their presence was still there, even if they didn't have their own whole page.

    [End Tape 1, Side B; Begin Tape 2, Side A]

    Bulkeley: I don't remember whether we made those changes while I was there or left them for some other time. One of the problems with those pages was that the ad staff, ad department, under my predecessor [Sal DeVivo], had created zoned rates for those pages, saying the pages were just for Mechanicville or Balston Spa, so we didn't charge the full rate. But the ads were in there, and the pages ran the full run of the paper. We did not re-plate them in and out, giving them limited circulation, which is a clear antitrust problem.

    Ritchie: You mean if you just had those pages in the papers that went to those homes?

    Bulkeley: No, by charging a lower rate and circulating the pages throughout the whole circulation area, we were cheating all the rest of our advertisers, in effect, or it could have been judged that way. So we had to come up with a gentle way to get away from that, either with re-plating or with gradually eliminating the pages, and I don't remember what we did. But that was an example of question-asking, ultimately discovering some of the illegalities sitting there waiting to trap the company. And again, I don't remember whether we actually made those changes or just talked about them.

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    When I conferred with the corporate guys about the notion of a full column of index and summaries of stories on the front, they said, "Morning papers do that, evening papers don't." Well, of course, eventually everybody started doing detailed indexes. They were fatter papers. Our paper would be twelve or fourteen pages lots of days, but nonetheless, when they were crammed with stories, I thought we should still help people find their story. That was not the conventional wisdom at the time, it became conventional wisdom later.

    Ritchie: What brought you to leave Saratoga?

    Bulkeley: One month after the Women in Communications presidency—back up. I was married in September of '75 and became president of Women in Communications a month later. That was the one-year presidency. A month after that, Neuharth asked me to go to Danville to run the paper there—a promotion. Danville was about twice the size of Saratoga. I wasn't particularly interested either in leaving Saratoga or in going to the Midwest, which I had left on purpose, and had not finished exploring the East, let alone the rest of the country, so I really didn't want to go back to the Midwest, but I was still Gannett's only woman publisher, and I thought I had to play by the rules which said when the company says move, you move. I didn't see that I had any choice or any way to say no. So Neuharth said go, so I went, and I had a successor in place. The controller that we brought in after getting rid of the crooked one had started in circulation, but actually was as savvy to customer and community needs as any newsperson I've ever encountered. The production director at Saratoga, likewise, listened to ordinary people and understood what they were entitled to from the paper, so I figured between the two of them, with the controller Neil Collins, if Neil were the publisher and Frank [Ketchem] still there, there would be no problem, that they could handle the operation.

    So Neuharth called me to New York for a meeting, called one afternoon for me to come down the next day. I met him, in late morning—his wife at the time, Lori Wilson, sat in on this meeting.

    Ritchie: Was that usual?

    Bulkeley: She was doing the company's affirmative action consulting work at that point, so this was part of her learning what goes on.

    Ritchie: And because you were a woman?

    Bulkeley: And because it was me, she sat in. I'm not sure whether I would have argued with Al about going to Danville if she had not been there. My guess is that I pretty much assumed I had no choice, that I had to do what the boss wanted me to do, since I was the only woman publisher. But then Al wanted to know if I thought Neil was ready to run the paper, and I said, "Sure." And he asked if I thought Neil would take the job, and I said, "Well, he told me he would."

    He says, "What do you mean?"

    I said, "Well, I assumed when you called for an appointment, and when I had seen the other moves (some of the moves had been announced) I sort of assumed you probably were going to talk about Danville, and if not Danville, something, so you'd either want Neil or you'd want me, so Neil and I spent some time last night discussing where we were and what the options and opportunities were."

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    "Oh," he says. Well, I don't know if the other guys ever did that or not. To me it was just normal. If you can anticipate what the meeting is, you get ready for it.

    So he called Neil and had Neil come down, had the pieces in place then by the next morning when he came in to make the announcement, and we left on the corporate plane and went to Danville and were there for lunch.

    Ritchie: And made the announcement there?

    Bulkeley: Made the announcement there, and left me, and Neuharth went on about his business. That was the second week in November of '76, right after the election.

    Ritchie: Would you have preferred to stay in Saratoga, had you been given the choice?

    Bulkeley: I would have preferred Saratoga for a lot of reasons, one of them being that it's a wonderful community and has the respect for everybody that I talked about earlier which really makes a more vital kind of a community than places where people are still doing all of the diversionary and backside-covering that goes with class structures, or where you have to work to get around class structures, where you don't have access to people because of class structures, social class, or perceptions of social class. All that kind of stuff just is so draining and contributes nothing to the end result. Again, some of that is stuff we have learned later.

    Basically, David and I liked Saratoga and David had a job he liked half time. It was in the East. It was a whole community, but with easy access to New York, or the state capital, or David's family in Rochester. I was beginning to understand how really to run the paper and what it needed.

    I was working on a project with the guy who controlled the education money at the Gannett Foundation. We were looking at creating a one- or two-week music seminar at Skidmore. Skidmore was already doing summer things, one and two weeks, tied in with the ballet and the orchestra, so we were looking at running probably a one-week at the overlap between dance and music somehow, a one-week thing that reporters could get to that was cheap enough for them to come on their own money, that they could use their vacation and come, because we knew from all our collected experience that lots of reporters were doing music critiquing or arts critiquing in local newspapers, although they weren't trained for it.

    Ritchie: They just got the job?

    Bulkeley: They just had the chance to do it and they liked it, so they did it. So we were playing with building this seminar that would be like camp, so that the kinds of reporters who really wanted to learn and planned ahead could afford to come, and get backstage and access to musicians and dancers and conductors and section heads and all of the kinds of things that would give them greater depth and greater understanding of repertoire and all of that stuff.

    I was working with that with the executive at the Gannett Foundation who did funding, figuring the first time or two we'd need extra money for promotion and maybe some scholarship funding. The costs were relatively low, because all of those people were in town anyway and because Skidmore was doing these things anyway, and Skidmore was interested in it as a possible audience. That was one of the things that I wanted to do that I couldn't when I left, and because of other things going on, nobody at the paper picked up on it, but they brought the professional association of music critics in on it, and they changed the whole tone of it to be things the boss

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    would pay for for them, and it went nowhere, because most of them were so arrogant about what they were doing that they figured in one week at that funny little funky place they weren't going to get anything out of it, anyway.

    Ritchie: So it took a different direction.

    Bulkeley: It took a different direction and fell flat on its face. In fact, the records at the foundation were so bad, Jerry Sass was never sure whether they really even had it or not, or whether it fell apart at the negotiating stage.

    And I had people who were becoming friends, not just acquaintances. As a single female reporter doing government and political stuff and editorial-page stuff, I never knew who my friends were and who were simply colleagues.

    Ritchie: In Rochester?

    Bulkeley: In Rochester. But I was finding people—well, I had some women friends in Rochester and that guy that I went with, but it wasn't the same as friends who make sure you've got somewhere to go on New Year's Eve and take you to the pre-parties and things, which these Saratoga people were doing, even before I got married.

    Ritchie: How did you meet David?

    Bulkeley: David and I met in Rochester when he was the vicar of urban ministry for Bishop Fulton Sheen. That meant he was the Catholic diocesan representative to the poor. The newspaper called him the vicar of the poor, or the priest of the poor. He was based at an inner city church and was involved with the community organizing with Saul Alinsky, whom we've talked about before. But as they started to take the long view, the organizing people knew they needed to understand the government and political dynamics.

    One of my friends [Carole Clifford] from a radio station news staff, who, because of the small staff size, also covered that community organizing stuff and city hall and the stuff I covered, told David, when he asked, he wanted to know where's the best way to learn what we need to know, and Carole said, "Well, Christy knows it best."

    Ritchie: In terms of the government and its structure?

    Bulkeley: In terms of the government and political dynamics and the interface, how the towns and the city and the county all fit together, and with the state, because [Senator Daniel Patrick] Moynihan and others were even involved in the Rochester stuff.

    Because of that, Carole ultimately created a situation at which we were introduced, and David then became part of the group of us that after events or anything would end up somewhere drinking coffee, or dessert, or drinking drinking, or whatever. So we knew each other then. He left in '69 and went to Washington to work for the bishops' conference. I think we knew that there was good chemistry at Rochester, but he was a Catholic priest, which was as if married, and I was involved anyway, so nothing ever came of that. But when I went to Saratoga, he was among the couple hundred people who wrote me letters. His father had saved and given him the clip of my promotion story, and I had had notes from him off and on, but not a whole lot since he left, and Carole, the radio reporter, had seen him some.

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    I got a letter from him that spring when I went to Saratoga that I finally answered in the late fall. Once I found out I could type better than my secretary could, I quit drafting letters for her to answer; I just answered them when I could. So I answered that in the late fall. He wrote back. He by then had left the active priesthood. When he wrote in the spring, he was at Milwaukee in a combined staff and faculty appointment at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. When I heard from him in the fall, he was at Notre Dame on a half-time research teaching fellowship, working on his Ph.D. through what today is Union Graduate Institute. It's the graduate degree program that evolved out of the National University Without Walls, the contract learning program that in those days was still experimental, and it was called Union Graduate School, but it was more flexible and gave David credit for all his seminary years. Diocesan seminaries didn't give master's degrees in those days, and weren't necessarily accredited, so he had college and all those years beyond with no degrees.

    Ritchie: So it benefitted him to go to Union.

    Bulkeley: It was the equivalent of a master's degree already. A place like Union Graduate School honored that without any hassle. David had also negotiated doing a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. He had a friend who was there, a Presbyterian minister who was not ministering, was on the faculty and staff at Michigan. So David had negotiated some there, but without the credentials, they couldn't give him enough financial aid to do a traditional Ph.D. at Michigan, because he couldn't prove his prior academic accomplishment. So he was at Notre Dame doing the UGS thing, and my letter was forwarded to him.

    But he said he'd be in New York City and Rochester over the holidays doing some research, and if he had time he'd stop by. The short version of the story is he did stop by right after New Year's, between trains at Albany, only we talked through the last train to Rochester without noticing that the time got away from us.

    Ritchie: At the train station?

    Bulkeley: At a restaurant nearby. The train station in Albany is in the slums of downtown Troy, so you had to go somewhere else to eat. But anyway, we just could have put him on a train somewhere in Schenectady from where we were at the restaurant, but we had talked through the last train without noticing it. So he stayed a couple of days.

    By the time he got back to Notre Dame a week or two later—he had petitioned the Vatican for a release from the vows of priesthood, and under Paul VI, who was the pope at the time, those petitions were being granted. The official terminology is laization—reduced to the lay state, in English. By the time he got back, he had his papers, so he called up and asked—I had planned to go out there in February, this is early January. He said what if he proposed when I got there in February. He thought he might, so I should think about it. And I said, "Well, if you do, I'll say yes." Then I called the airlines and found out I could get there the next weekend, to keep him from having time to change his mind.

    So that was January. We talked about do we run back and forth, or do we just go ahead and get married and then when he finishes his Ph.D.—he thought he could finish over the summer, writing his dissertation. He finally decided, no, he wanted to wait until he finished the dissertation, which then meant we had to announce an engagement, and we tried to figure out how to minimize fussing about a wedding, even though I was the only daughter and my mother had had a Depression wedding. So we settled on getting married in Saratoga and as soon as the

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    summer people left, which meant a September wedding. So that's what we did. We got the country club and the church before we told anybody.

    Ritchie: So there was no question about how you'd do it.

    Bulkeley: There was no question about how to do it. The church and the country club were the size we didn't have to do invitations and count heads. The laization process says you don't make a big fuss if you get married and you clear it through your own bishop, because the Catholic Church, once ordained, always ordained. Some denominations will undo ordinations.

    Ritchie: Completely.

    Bulkeley: Completely.

    Ritchie: But not the Catholic Church.

    Bulkeley: But not in the Catholic Church, even when they become married or whatever. So we had to do some of that bureaucracy stuff, and part of it was you don't make a big deal out of getting married and you don't do priestly duties, preaching and things like that in Catholic churches, and you don't teach theology in Catholic institutions.

    Well, we figured in Saratoga, all of David's six siblings and their families could come, and his father and stepmother and stepsisters, because Rochester was a morning's drive, four hours at most. Had we gone to my home in Illinois, his family couldn't have come. Had we gone to Rochester, where I really didn't have a church anymore, though I had been involved in one of the Methodist churches there, my family would have had to travel. So it probably was better to do it in Saratoga as a way of saying to Saratoga, "This is our commitment, this is our home," and to my bosses, that home is where my job is. So anyway, we set it all up and then told my folks and other people.

    David came out in April for one of Saratoga's big social functions. The Pillar Society was in those days a fairly new fundraiser, black-tie dinner dance, to honor three pillars of the community, but it was created tongue-in-cheek as a local way to raise ten or fifteen-thousand dollars for something that needs doing, and the creators did it tongue-in-cheek as kind of Saratoga's last party of the season before the summer people come in. David came to that, and that Saturday morning at the greasy spoon we ran into one of the judges, who had already met David some other time, and figured out and guessed that we must have something going, so we allowed as how we were engaged and planning a wedding, so the judge announced it that night at the Pillar Society, and we got the biggest ovation of the evening, more even than any of the honorees did, but we also put it in the paper the next day, locally, since it was announced.

    Ritchie: I noticed in the scrapbook that your mother fixed over the years for you, that you included a card saying that you would retain your maiden name.

    Bulkeley: Right.

    Ritchie: How did you decide to do that, or why did you decide to do that?

    Bulkeley: David basically said, "You don't have to take my name for me to know we're married, and because of your visibility, for continuity, you shouldn't even think about changing your name." And I said, "Okay." End of discussion. And it probably was the right decision.

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    Among other things, it meant that my folks and my relatives got credit when I was around the horn in cities where they knew people, for instance, they'd get clips, or years later when I was on MacNeil-Lehrer as a guest editor a couple of times, they'd hear from people that they hadn't heard from in a long time, because people would know it was me.

    The flip side of the coin, and what some women have done, particularly those who married a first time before any women kept their own name, but were married the second time when women did, or when they had the option, a lot of them would be stuck with the first husband's name, because that's how they'd established their career. When they got married, then they'd take the new husband's name or go back to their original name, or they'd wait until they were at a visible point so that while they were getting attention, they could get people used to the new name. The national presidency of Women in Communications would have been a time that I could have been Christy Bulkeley-Finks and insisted on that in all of our official records.

    Ritchie: Correspondence and other communications.

    Bulkeley: And news releases and the magazine. With all of the names I could have held the continuity, and then later slid back to a middle initial, because that's too long for most people's lines.

    Ritchie: Made a transition.

    Bulkeley: And used the visibility as a transition point. But we really didn't spend a whole lot of time with it.

    When we were in Danville, the Washington Post covered the congressional election of '78, because Danville was part of a swing district, conservative, Democrat, Republican, mixed heavy industry, labor, a longtime member of Congress who quit, so it was an open district and one that David Broder at the Post identified as a swing district. One of their bright young men came out to cover the territory. He did not come near us until after the election—T.R. Reid, who's still at the Post.

    Ritchie: Yes, he's in Japan now, isn't he?

    Bulkeley: In Japan, right. And also one of their technology experts. But he came in, and I said, "You've been in and out of this territory for eight months, since before the primary. What brings you in now?"

    "Well," he said, "I really needed to find out what more there is about you, because I know you're a friend of Haynes', and I know you're in a job that women aren't, but all I heard in the countryside was that people weren't sure you and your husband were married since you didn't use his name."

    So the name thing carried over, at least in the seventies. I don't think it's such a big deal anywhere today. In the weekly paper from my hometown in Illinois, I see regular birth notices with different names of the parents. Whether they're married or not, who knows, because I also see birth notices with only one adult in them. And there are wedding stories with both names under the married picture. So whether people have to make a big effort to keep both names, or whether they just do it, I don't know.

    Ritchie: The card idea, was that your idea? Did that go out with the wedding invitations?

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    Bulkeley: The card went out with the wedding invitations, and it came out of probably a column in Ladies' Home Journal or Good Housekeeping, in those days, or out of something Mother had clipped somewhere, but it was an idea we picked up somewhere. I just don't remember where anymore.

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    [Begin Tape 1, Side A]

    Ritchie: Last time we talked a little bit about your leaving Saratoga, how that came about. We jumped ahead at one point, and you were describing one of the situations in Danville. I wonder if we could start out with Danville today and how you were introduced to the community there, what it was like when you got there.

    Bulkeley: Danville was November of 1976. As we talked before, Neuharth wanted me to go in and clean up behind the guy who had been there. When I went, it was a week or two after elections, so in terms of the government and political stuff, people were starting to look at new things. The staff had the five regular department heads, plus one gofer who had been a department head and had for years done just assorted odds and ends of things.

    Ritchie: Were they all-men department heads?

    Bulkeley: They were all men. Some of them had thought they would be the next publisher. The paper was without a publisher for about a week, I guess, between the promotion of the prior one and the time that I got there. Basically, the difference between Danville and Saratoga showed in almost everything. Danville is a working-class, blue-collar town, and in those days, in the mid-seventies, the sixties and early seventies had missed Danville altogether. In addition, the working class and blue-collar white people hadn't learned about initiative. There were so many generations of workers, union workers, small-business people who still considered themselves working class, not small-business owners, that it really was a very passive kind of a place that was reflected in the newspaper coverage. It was reflected in how they reacted to me. The tendency, if people didn't like something, was to wait until it was too late to do anything and then complain to each other.

    Ritchie: You mean in the newspaper or in the town?

    Bulkeley: In the town, in general. In any bar or coffee shop you could hear complaints about bosses or complaints about city council or complaints about one thing or another, that most of us think you're entitled to take to the person responsible, that you're entitled to talk to city council or your councilmen before a decision is made, and try to talk them out of it if you don't like it.

    Ritchie: And work it out some way.

    Bulkeley: And work out compromises. But that didn't happen in Danville. I think I mentioned the last time, even the plant managers of the big employers were so conditioned into just being cogs in a wheel, that they didn't really exercise initiative or do anything about change. They followed the patterns they inherited. That started to break up when I got there. For openers, my predecessor [Jim Graham] had been on the United Way and Chamber of Commerce boards of directors, and as became clear over time to me, usually when a CEO was changed, the new one

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    just picked up the responsibilities of the old one. When I came, those two organizations went to other people in the media, other media executives, to pick up the terms.

    Ritchie: Were they men?

    Bulkeley: Men. One of them got the retired radio station manager, and I've forgotten what the other one did, but they just automatically—well, they didn't automatically. That was one time they dropped the automatic pattern and did something else.

    Over the next few years, as the community college president changed and two or three other plant managers changed, it became obvious to me that the new guys were picking up the roles and community service things that their predecessors had had.

    Ritchie: It stayed with the position.

    Bulkeley: The community service was part of the job description of the office, of the employment. In addition, I learned later that at least one of my department heads spent months running around town explaining how well he was really doing the work, that I was just the girl who was there.

    At the same time, the president of one of the banks—there was still one major bank that was home-owned. The first day I was there, he was over in my office, out of curiosity, and he admitted it. And I didn't let him out until I had a mortgage commitment at a favored customer rate. I had learned that much, anyway.

    A friend of my parents from Abingdon was by then engaged in an insurance company and based in Springfield, but had as his extracurricular stuff done community college work for years and was well known statewide by community college board members and other community leaders involved in education. His name was John Lewis. John very quickly wrote half a dozen people that he knew in Danville, telling them why I was worthy, and encouraging them to get to know me. He sent me a copy of the letter so I also had the names and knew who he was talking to.

    A couple of the ironies, the executive of United Way was a woman, and was the woman who had organized it years before, and terrified all of the men—Hazel Cavanaugh. The president of the community college was a woman. She was president emeritus, she had been president. She had been a high school English teacher at the time that they started organizing adult education for credit, and that ultimately became the community college. But for some reason they were never considered peers or parallels, and the guys really thought they could beat on the girl from out of town. One of the other bank presidents called me in, and announced to me—he was from out of town and had been in Danville three or four years—that the paper had serious community relations problems, but he would be quite willing and charitably, on his own time, become an advisor to me on what news should go in the paper and what angle should be there. I thanked him politely and went on my way.

    The ad director and I made a point of calling on twenty-five or thirty key customers in key accounts, to give me a feel for their relationship to the paper, because we knew that the paper had been doing that mid-seventies' overreacting to some degree to advertisers that not a lot, some papers fell into.

    Ritchie: What was that?

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    Bulkeley: Automatically questioning anything that came from anybody who was supposedly establishment. It wasn't really being very constructive. It wasn't really working at covering things before decisions were made; it simply was going public with the same kind of harping that people did in the bars and the coffee shops, and then very arrogantly announcing, well, the newsroom was independent from the rest of the newspaper, never recognizing that the newsroom was part of the community and had responsibility to community.

    Ritchie: Who would most of your advertisers be in a town like Danville?

    Bulkeley: Danville was the center of a regional economy.

    Ritchie: It's on the eastern border?

    Bulkeley: It's on the eastern border of Illinois, five miles from the state line. Twenty percent of its economy and geography lap over into Indiana. But it basically is the center. The next circle of communities is Champaign-Urbana, the University of Illinois central city. North is Kewanee, Illinois, which is sort of a swing at the edge of the Chicago-Cook County area and the countryside. To the northeast is Purdue, Lafayette, and West Lafayette—Purdue University. Due east, there isn't anything until Indianapolis, along the interstate, but the Lafayette economy sort of bumps down into Crawfordsville and Terre Haute, Indiana, down to the southeast and south. Then to the south there isn't a whole lot. There are a bunch of little towns, and it gradually merges over to Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. But basically we were surrounded by papers, by cities with bigger papers, and all of the little towns of the countryside. The Danville economy was dominated by agriculture and by the heavy industries that I mentioned before—heavy industry manufacturing plants of seventeen Fortune 500 companies and four food-related, plus us, the newspaper.

    Ritchie: Were you the only paper in town?

    Bulkeley: Yes, the Gannett newspaper. The Commercial-News had been the only newspaper since the early thirties. At the turn of the century, there were four—one Republican, one Democrat, one business, and one other, which gradually had merged down into two and then into one that was left to DePauw University in Greencastle by the last two owners, left the paper to DePauw in the thirties, early thirties. The university, as a Methodist college, wanted to sell it to somebody who wouldn't allow liquor and tobacco advertising in it, looked around, found Frank Gannett, who didn't allow at least liquor advertising in his newspapers, and agreed to buy the paper. So he bought it in 1934. It was Gannett's western outpost until the expansion of the company that began in the late sixties.

    Ritchie: So Gannett had owned it for some time.

    Bulkeley: Gannett had owned it since 1934. As the western outpost, it really had pretty much run its own show. It had returned good profits, which gets me back to your question about retailers. By the mid-seventies, Danville had two department stores, one downtown, one in a small strip mall at the north end of town. Both had been home-owned, but by then one was owned by Carson Pirie Scott, had been Bloch and Kohl. They're long gone, and I've forgotten. Bloch and Kohl was merged with Carson Pirie Scott. Meis & Co. had been home-owned and had merged into another company. A whole extended family of Meises had owned department stores in the Midwest.

    Ritchie: That's one I haven't heard of—the name.

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    Bulkeley: It may be gone now, but one of them came out of Indianapolis, and there were others scattered around there. So that one by then was not home-owned, but it still carried a name similar to the one it always had. There was a major furniture company. Sears and Penny's were both downtown. Downtown Danville's main street, named Vermilion, had been turned into a pedestrian mall early in that movement in the sixties sometime, to try to save downtown.

    But the key to Danville in advertising—two keys. One of them was that the retail base had always been kept small. Compared with Galesburg, Illinois, near my home town, the retail base was about a third of the size, even though the demographics were almost identical—number of people, industry mix, heavy industry, agriculture, regional territory.

    Ritchie: What was the reasoning for that?

    Bulkeley: Henri Meis was quite clear early in bragging to me about when he ran his store, it had the highest sales per square foot of any first-line department store in the country for year after year after year. Before the interstates, it was enough for people to come ten, fifteen, twenty-five miles in to Danville to shop. As a passive kind of community, they dealt with what was there. They didn't know that the retailers were keeping the market tight so that they could make a lot more money per square foot for their effort than was made by comparable retailers where full, fair competition went on. Where that [the control] became a detriment, of course, is when the malls started. Champaign had bunches of malls right along the interstate. That whole side of the county could drive that way. Lafayette and Indianapolis had malls the other way. People could drive that way or to Champaign.

    Ritchie: Because the interstate comes right through.

    Bulkeley: The interstate cuts right through the south end of Danville and races across the prairie. Thirty-five miles is thirty-five minutes. The people in the little towns could swing right down to the interstate and to Champaign as quick as they could come to Danville. As Champaign had more and more movie theaters, people would go there. The point being that when time came to build big malls, because that's the way things were happening, or to replace the stores, Danville didn't have the retail sales to support it, and it didn't have the square footage record [or enough variety of merchandise] to keep anybody's interest.

    The second piece was a tight real estate market. While it probably was no illegal intentional thing, when we were transferred there in late '76, there were so few houses on the market, it was almost a question of standing in line until the next one went on the market, taking what came along.

    Ritchie: And grabbing it before someone else could.

    Bulkeley: Taking it and getting it. So people would buy a house. Then they'd sit there and wait until the one they really wanted or the neighborhood they really wanted came, and then they'd move. There were people who moved every two or three years, even, as their housing needs changed or as their interests changed, or because the women weren't allowed to carry significant roles in the community, and for something to do, they moved and did their houses over. Also with all of those industries, there were a lot of middle management and up to the plant CEOs who had moved in and out of town. But it gave the newspaper tremendous real estate lineage. There were over 100 real estate firms that the newspaper had on contract, which meant a minimum ad in every day, and most of the time they had houses listed, too. There was a lot of turnover in the bottom-of-the-heap housing, but the prices were reasonable.

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    Ritchie: Was there not much building and construction?

    Bulkeley: No, they only built what was needed. There were developments and there were houses being built. We looked at a couple across the lake. The bottom of Danville, besides having the interstate, had a river, and a branch of the river ran down its west side, had been dammed to make the lake that was the city's water supply. Across the lake was the establishment country club surrounded by the growing establishment subdivision, which is where we were supposed to live, but we wanted to live more in the city, partly because we wanted to try to do even a little town with one car, partly because I didn't want to spend my time running back and forth to the office, and didn't want to have to commute that much.

    But the combination of a tight real estate market but with lots of realtors churning the property with still in the mid-seventies the end of the captive retail, retailers could spend less than the statistical norms on advertising, because they didn't have to go anywhere except into our paper. They didn't have to do the radio stations or other newspapers or shoppers. There was a little shopper in town that some people had financed getting started, to send a message to the newspaper to shape up, but it was not well managed. It took some of the grocery store inserts, the advertising supplements it was carrying when I got there, but it was not well run, and nobody was serious about it really. They were just trying to send a message to the newspaper.

    Ritchie: This was during your tenure at the newspaper?

    Bulkeley: It was there when I got there. Our ad staff had been told to leave alone the people who were advertising in it and not even call on them, although some of them were small businesses, service businesses and retail businesses we should have had, and didn't, because our rates weren't structured to encourage small businesses. Once the shopper started and had them in it, our staff was told to leave alone anybody who was advertising, that sooner or later those people would, of course, have to come to the newspaper. But the shopper disappeared primarily of its own volition within a couple of years simply because it wasn't well managed, and we started building more competitive rates. We also tried to operate with more integrity. I found the ad rate structure was based on annual bulk rates. You got a lower rate per inch at the higher volume you advertised.

    Ritchie: Did Gannett set these rates? How were these rates set?

    Bulkeley: Each property had its own rates, and it basically was what the market would bear to get as much revenue as possible with as little cost. But the bulk rates were really to try to lock in big customers, they were built for big customers. The rate per inch would be lower based on higher volume.

    Ritchie: If you advertised every Saturday in the paper?

    Bulkeley: Or X number of inches per year, then whenever you used those inches. But the principle of bulk-rate contracts was if you advertised more than you'd anticipated when you signed it [a contract], and went to the next [price] layer, at the end of the year you'd get the rebate. That would bring your average rate down to whatever you had earned by going to the higher level. If you didn't come up to the level you'd advertised, you'd be charged the difference. So if you had had a contract that said you should pay two dollars an inch, but your annual total came at the one-dollar-an-inch level, the paper was supposed to go back and bill you the difference, with a valid contract that says you could. But nobody had done that at the paper. The big advertisers who knew to ask for their rebates got them. Little advertisers were neither short rated nor rebated. The contracts were not resigned every year or when the rates changed.

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    So for all intents and purposes, we had no integrity in our rate structure, and no basis to establish integrity because we didn't have current contracts.

    Ritchie: Why did this situation come about?

    Bulkeley: Because Danville was sending enough money to Rochester that nobody paid any attention. It just was a lot easier if nobody raised the issue, if the big advertisers or medium advertisers didn't know they should get their money back.

    Ritchie: Why tell them?

    Bulkeley: And it balanced off against those who should have been asked for more, so it all came out all right, anyway. The same thing with circulation. We were running with 10 to 15 percent of our carrier routes vacant all the time, with the staff out trying to collect those routes. We didn't have carriers. We had terrible unpaid subscriptions. Once I got a new circulation director, we wrote off more than $50,000 for each of two years. In those days, our rates were probably $1.00, $1.25 a week, meaning we were claiming that much circulation we didn't have, because it wasn't paid for. It was uncollectible. Even when it was collectible or if there was somebody responsible, our circulation department wouldn't go to court or even to credit agencies to collect it. If they couldn't get it, they just forgot about it, because it wasn't good for community relations.

    Ritchie: To press the issue?

    Bulkeley: To press the issue. What they didn't understand was that we were the laughingstock of the community, at least in those parts of the community where people were getting away with our money. Little kids were able to rip off the newspaper, for goodness sakes. Again, some of that comes back to the class stuff—social class, which is different from economic class. Some of it relates, but not all of it. So we had all of that to clean up.

    Our carrier force was turning over two and three times a year. Our district manager staff was turning over two and three times a year.

    Ritchie: District manager for circulation?

    Bulkeley: District managers for circulation are the people who supervised the carriers. So we were doing more wheel-spinning than getting anything done. Circulation is claimed as revenue when the paper is delivered, which also meant that while we had been claiming profits and revenue, we never got it. So when we wrote it off, had we been our own company, it would have been a restatement of prior years instead of just knocking the bejeezus out of my bottom line, which, of course, I got blamed for. Had nothing to do with my predecessor [Jim Graham] who promoted an inept circulation director and let him run the place into the ground. I got blamed, because we wrote off the money under my watch.

    Ritchie: But had you let them pass it along, it just happened—

    Bulkeley: The girl would have been responsible. Stuff was blamed back on the women publishers that happened on their watch, but it was never blamed back to the men who were there before them. I was at fault for the crooked controller in Saratoga. Never mind that he'd worked for two publishers before me, two men [Fred Eaton and Sal DeVivo] before me, who never caught on. The fact that it took me eleven months meant he got away with all that money in eleven months.

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    Ritchie: Where would this blame come from? From the higher-ups at Gannett?

    Bulkeley: Basically a lot of the middle management staff at Gannett. The corporate guys were all right. Al [Neuharth] and Jack Purcell, who was the chief financial guy at the time, both understood that I had done something the guys hadn't and accomplished it, were quite helpful during the trauma. But Purcell left Gannett shortly after I went to Danville, and Neuharth was beginning by the late seventies to build toward USA Today and was also beginning to transition out, moving the next generation into key jobs. So it becomes the matter of the grapevine and the middle management guys at the corporation. There weren't very many women at significant levels on the corporate staff yet either, but one of them who was, was connected with some friends of ours, who kept sending messages saying, "She's got to cover her backside. They're still out to get her."

    Ritchie: Meaning you?

    Bulkeley: Meaning me.

    Ritchie: And "they" being?

    Bulkeley: Middle management, corporate staff guys.

    Ritchie: How large was Gannett's corporate staff at this time?

    Bulkeley: It had moved out of the fifth floor of the Gannett Rochester building up to a building called Lincoln Tower, one of the first high-class office buildings, taking two or three floors. So I suppose by then it was over 100 people, well on its way up. When I first went to Rochester, the corporate staff was a handful of people on the fifth floor. As it went public, it got to be more and more, and as the company grew, of course, it got to be more.

    The other problems we had were things like open union contracts with the printers in the composing room and the press room. The contracts that had expired had language in them that in most properties had been negotiated out in the late sixties and early seventies, but for whatever reason they had not been negotiated out of Danville, and we had to make the progress in one contract in getting flexibility for new technology. We had to make that kind of progress in one contract when most properties had been able to ease into it over two- and three-year contracts.

    Ritchie: So the situation with the union was not—

    Bulkeley: Not very good. It was compounded by the fact that my production director and this jobless executive, who was helping with the negotiations, both of them sided with the union in our private conversations. The basic principle that we were trying to get in the contract, which was standard throughout the industry, was lifetime job guarantees in return for the freedom to use whatever was the most appropriate computer technology to come along. In those days, it basically was relieving newsrooms of the retyping of all copy that went on in the composing rooms.

    Ritchie: Would these people be retrained as the technology changed?

    Bulkeley: Yes, that would be part of the deal. Their jobs would be bought out or training would be offered to do the work with new technology. Knowing that was coming, newspapers had quit hiring new people for their composing rooms. When we were talking about Saratoga, we talked about the massive amounts of overtime it was taking to get the paper out, because they had quit hiring.

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    We faced the same thing in Danville. The Danville paper published all seven days a week, Monday through Sunday, with morning editions on Saturday and Sunday. So we had the same thing there, although not as extreme, and paying overtime simply to get the straight volume of work done, because they had started letting attrition reduce the staff, to reduce the number of people affected by the transfer to new technology.

    In addition, the press room had been managed with a lot of unwritten agreements. That contract also said how many people we would have on the press crew, regardless of whether we needed them or not. But in addition, some of the peace with the pressmen had been bought by unofficially guaranteeing the equivalent of one more person in overtime, so we were running with—we had ten guys, but those who wanted overtime took it as they wanted it, because prior administrations had assured them of that much overtime as a way to get some of what they needed in contracts somewhere along the way. We were looking for relief from specifying how many people we had, and it was based on number of press units being run and configuration of the paper, which, among other things, limited when we could use color.

    Ritchie: Had color been used before you got there?

    Bulkeley: Some, but not a whole lot. That particular press was an ancient press that had been run by the Chicago Tribune before Danville bought it and installed it in the thirties. We no longer could get parts for it. Then it had been converted from letter press to what was called direct printing, which was a halfway in between toward offset. But if we broke a gear, or a gear got worn to the point that the unit couldn't run right, we had to have it custom-ground. At the same time, Gannett would not consider doing anything about the press as long as we had manning clauses in our contract. Manning clauses are the generic label for those that tell how many people you have on how many units and under what circumstances. Because there was no way they were going to let us put in a new press, that we should be able to run with a lot fewer people or with some fewer people, and let that press change get started under bad staffing patterns—inappropriate, unnecessary staffing patterns. So until we could get that contract changed, we couldn't do a thing about the press. So there were all of those things.

    We talked some the last time about the newsroom still having news standards that reflected, at best, the late fifties or early sixties in content. The staffing in the newsroom was strange, because they had hired only at the entry level. Again, we've talked about that.

    Ritchie: Was there anything positive about the job when you got there?

    Bulkeley: No, not really. I hadn't expected there to be when Neuharth said that you had to change all the department heads. I just had figured, well, the sooner the rest of the people know that women can hire and fire—especially fire—too, the sooner there will be more women publishers. I had accepted the job because I was the only female and thought I had to accept moves because the men had to accept moves.

    Ritchie: Did Gannett transfer people at many other levels?

    Bulkeley: Yes. Department heads would be moved, transferred, and newspeople, in fact, are moved. Sales people aren't moved a whole lot except when they move into management, into the management jobs. Publishers were moved fairly often, usually to bigger papers. The man I followed had been at one other paper almost this size, and he had been in Danville as a young supervisor in an ad department, and had some relatives in the area, or his wife's relatives, but he really wasn't very interested in going back to Danville, and he did only the bare minimum that

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    they told him he was supposed to go do [the jobs], and then he just waited until they moved him. But his seniority, the fact that he had been at a paper that size was part of the excuse I was given when I raised the issue informally about the pay—he had all those years in size.

    Ritchie: Prior to coming there.

    Bulkeley: So he was overpaid for being in that job. Then why was he left there for three years? But anyway, what we ran into immediately in Danville was everybody we met wanted to know how we liked it. A massive insecurity complex. In Saratoga, everybody would tell us why we were going to love it in Saratoga with their list of things to do and their offers to take us places. Everybody in Danville said, "How do you like it here?" And we had to come up with ways to answer the question, because you don't tell people, "We're furious about being here and I am being treated like a little girl or an oddity," which I was.

    In terms of the paper and running the paper, the fact that there had not been a woman there before meant I got a lot of invitations from women's organizations to come speak, which gave me a lot more access to the community than anybody had had or exercised in a long time.

    Ritchie: These would be clubs of one type or another?

    Bulkeley: Even the secretaries at the community college, the DAR, Daughters of the American Revolution, the PEO, one of the adult women's sororities. I don't know what that stands for, because I'm not a member, and it would be a secret anyway. But all of those kinds of organizations, plus the men's—the Rotary and Kiwanis and Lions, and all of the rest of them. I did thirty-some speeches in my first year or eighteen months in town, because I was asked. Most of the time when the women's groups called, they'd say, "We would never have dared asked your predecessor this, but—"

    Ritchie: You're a woman.

    Bulkeley: The men would say, "Of course, your predecessor would have belonged, so he wouldn't have had to speak, but since you can't join, I guess we have to ask you to give a speech." In Saratoga, I had gone to Rotary every week. It was a noontime meeting at one of the best eating places in town, and gave me access to people like the government executives from the county government who were in the next little town, I could see key people at Rotary and knew I could. That's where I began to understand the benefits of the service clubs in some places and under some circumstances, so that I knew later how to get our money's worth when my department heads joined, since I couldn't.

    Ritchie: But you could attend meetings?

    Bulkeley: In Saratoga, I was almost treated like a member. I was subject to fines. They would kid and fine me the same way they fined each other. When they did their every-other-year home show fund-raiser, I went ahead and signed up and helped, as their regular members did. They were a little surprised at that, but I figured I really should, because I was showing up all the time.

    When I went to Danville, I was not even taken as a guest to any of the service clubs. They tolerated having me come speak when somebody on a program committee would badger them into having me come speak, but the time or two that I heard ahead of time about a speaker I wanted to hear, and made a department head take me, it was quite obvious that they were very unhappy

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    about having "her" (meaning me) there. So we just didn't push it. I didn't see any point in creating unnecessary conflict or conflict that at the time didn't seem productive.

    Meanwhile, the women in town, I mentioned two of the senior women. There was also a woman staffing the real estate board. There was a woman who had ended up owning one of the travel agencies when she and her husband divorced, and a third one who owned a temporary help agency—all the low-level, non-threatening service work. These three decided that women really needed their own luncheon club, because they had all been subject to men whose luncheon clubs were sacrosanct, and you just didn't interfere with their Rotary days or whatever. So they invited a bunch of people—the family editor from the newspaper and some others—to come to a meeting to talk about the possibility.

    This also was at the time when the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was still pending, and Illinois was the state considered key to whether it could move forward and gather up the rest, and the extension was pending on the ratification period. So every meeting opened and closed and was sprinkled in between with, "Now, remember we're not an ERA organization." But it was clear that the women wanted a place to be able to get together and compare notes and talk, that they didn't get in normal business contacts. So I sat on the Bylaws Committee, having done bylaws lots of other times. I knew how to pick the pieces out of Roberts that we needed for bylaws and to write bylaws to support what they wanted. Basically they said, "Weekly is too often, but monthly isn't often enough," so they decided to meet on the first and third Wednesdays, I think. They said no service requirements, because service done as a requirement is not service, not voluntary, and is not done for the whole point of volunteerism. It's done just like a work assignment.

    Ritchie: Mandatory.

    Bulkeley: No attendance records, because Rotary and Kiwanis both had required attendance, required service, but promoted themselves as a fellowship, which I really never understood, even though my dad and my granddad were big honchos, and my uncles were all honchos in one or the other.

    [End Tape 1, Side A; Begin Tape 1, Side B]

    Bulkeley: So we wrote bylaws and, among other things, did not put a service or attendance requirement in. By mid-1977, the Executive Club was born. The Sheraton kept posting it. The Sheraton was the in-town meeting place within walking distance of the downtown mall, a couple of blocks away. It kept posting it as the Women's Executive Club, and the men would say, "What are you women doing, being so exclusive?" And we'd keep saying, "You can join. There's nothing in the bylaws that restricts it."

    Ritchie: It was open membership?

    Bulkeley: We said, "You just have to support the goals of the organization, which are the progress of women in business." Well, they never did. If some of the men joined, it was after I left town seven years later. But that ended their complaints or their attacks on it, when we simply made clear to them that they were welcome to join, that they were even welcome to come as guests if they wanted to see what we were doing and to know that we were doing the same thing that they did at theirs. The club ultimately grew to over 100 people, and it was professional women as well as executives who were working. Some of the community volunteer executive women types went out and created ways to get paid so that they could join, because they considered themselves peers. In many ways when you think whole community, those who are running the symphony or the art

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    organizations or whatever, without pay, certainly were as important to the whole community as those of us who were getting paid. But as far as I know, the club always kept the "paid work" rule in.

    By the time it was five years old, the Executive Club had such a positive reputation that when Jim Thompson, the governor, wanted to come to town to do a town meeting, his advance staff called me and said, "How do we get access to the Executive Club?"

    Ritchie: So they were established and recognized.

    Bulkeley: So it was established to the point that the governor wanted the Executive Club for his luncheon speech, not the Rotary or the Kiwanis or the Chamber of Commerce, because the chamber only did one big annual meeting a year for members and the rest of the time it was just the board sitting there doing not much.

    I forgot where I was going with that.

    Ritchie: Did the Executive Club ever address issues such as ERA?

    Bulkeley: It never dealt with ERA because that issue ultimately got killed before the Executive Club had an opportunity to. Over time, we brought in speakers dealing with issues all the way from workplace discrimination to mainline community issues. To my knowledge and memory, it never took stands as an organization, but it made sure that members had the information they needed, and generally the officers were women who had encountered enough negative stuff and discrimination in the workplace that had anybody analyzed the speakers, they would have seen a decided feminist tilt to the whole thing. Women ultimately got enough confidence that they could deal with those things.

    One of the things I did with all of this "but we're not an ERA organization" stuff going on was break all of the rules and put an ERA bumper sticker on my car and start wearing a formal-looking lapel pin "ERA," to show people that you wouldn't get struck down by lightning if you supported the amendment.

    Ritchie: When you say you broke all the rules, what rules?

    Bulkeley: Journalists and newspeople—I still consider myself a journalist, even though in that capacity I was the publisher—decidedly try not to even think their own position through, think through to a position on issues, especially those they're covering and that the paper is covering. The individuals connected with the paper try not to display partisanship on political or issue positions. The car I had was the company car, which probably also should not have been subverted into supporting a political issue, but I decided there are times when the rules have to be broken. One of the reasons for knowing why the rules are there is to know when it's appropriate to break them. So I put the bumper sticker on and I wore the lapel pin.

    Ritchie: Were there any repercussions that you were aware of?

    Bulkeley: Nope. I had a conversation with Henri Meis, who said, "What's that pin for?"

    I said, "Henri, I like to talk about baseball."

    "Earned run averages?" he said. "Really?"

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    I said, "Not really."

    He said, "Then what is it?" So I told him, and he, ever thereafter, was tickled by the whole thing. But apparently I am one of the few people in town who ever stood up to Henri Meis, because he had made a bundle and also then married money, and in a working-class, blue-collar town, somebody who's made a bundle, you don't challenge or question or stand up to. But Henri and I were good friends all the time I was there.

    Ritchie: Did you ever find it difficult at other times in your career to separate the political or your personal views from your reporting or your managing of the newspaper?

    Bulkeley: Not really, except when I first started covering—and we've talked about this earlier—the suburb of Irondequoit. I didn't consciously build barriers between me and what I was covering and the people I was covering, and discovered that I indeed had opinions on the issues and the people in both the school board race, a school board fight going on over city/suburban school transfers in one part of the territory, and township elections. That gave me such huge fits then, never trusting the integrity of my own copy on any side of it, that I learned how to put the discipline in, that stops your conscious thinking short of taking sides or picking friends, which is why when we went back to Rochester eleven years after I'd left, I wasn't sure whether I had friends or leftover colleagues in that town. We had a wonderful time discovering that a lot of them were ready to be friends once I was no longer a single female reporter involved with the issues.

    Ritchie: You were in a different position.

    Bulkeley: Yes. So we could find out who was friend and who wasn't, or who could be.

    Ritchie: Who became your friends in Danville?

    Bulkeley: A lot of people thought they were our friends that we never knew. We found out, when I was asked back in 1991 to do the fifteenth anniversary luncheon speech for the Executive Club, there were a lot of people who thought they were our friends, but nobody socialized with us. Nobody invited us to things.

    Ritchie: Who did you socialize with?

    Bulkeley: So we ended up not doing it either. Danville, because of all of the kinds of insecurities and class-consciousness and things, some of the most interesting people it wasn't appropriate for us to do things with. On our own, we joined the little country club that had been set up. The establishment had set up a club called Vermilion Hills Country Club, with a nine-hole golf course on the opposite side of town from either the Elks Country Club, which was the middle-management country club, which I was never asked to join, and the Danville Country Club, which was the management country club. Those didn't serve everybody, so in one of their noblesse oblige—there was a public golf course that had been the original Danville Country Club, but it was in the flood plain of the one branch—I've forgotten the name—of the Vermilion River. So the establishment had moved out onto the hillside fifty years earlier. That still didn't meet the demand, so the establishment set up this little club called Vermilion Hills down on the other side of the river and the interstate.

    What we discovered about Vermilion Hills is your work role stayed at the door. In Vermilion Hills, people were not allowed to talk about work. In Vermilion Hills, everybody was

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    on equal footing. So we had people we considered friends there, and goodness knows we sat and drank far too much more than once at Vermilion Hills, simply as a place to escape and relax with other people, including a night a major storm hit Danville we were down there.

    Ritchie: Snow or rain?

    Bulkeley: Wind and rain, damaged houses, knocked out the power, flooded some of the river valleys, creek valleys. David and I drove home through it. The phones were out. And as we came into town and saw the trees and the power lines all over, we drove straight home without stopping at the paper, but then I couldn't reach the paper [by telephone] until the next morning, and I wasn't going to go out in the mess by myself, because there were no street lights or anything. It was all very wet and dark, that dark that comes when it's still cloudy and when everything is wet and you just don't know where there's water and where there isn't.

    The paper did a wonderful job. It's one of the things that showed me we had talent potential with that news staff. They just didn't know what to do when there wasn't a news disaster.

    Ritchie: So they covered it?

    Bulkeley: They covered it marvelously. Pictures—they had the whole story. They were an hour late on the press, but they had reduced power. We didn't have the computers yet. But nobody got scared of going out in the weather like the publisher did, or thought it was foolish. By then, since there was nothing I could do to help get the paper out, even as a reporter, I always felt if I wasn't covering a disaster, I shouldn't go near it and get in the way. It kept me from seeing the [Ku Klux] Klan march the one time it's ever marched where I lived.

    Ritchie: In Danville?

    Bulkeley: In Danville. Against the Iranians at the community college. The community college had both sides of Iranians—the pro-Shah and anti-Shah, and some of the royalty. Because it was a fast track into the University of Illinois, engineering and agronomy, they were coming there to go to Illinois, but they had to establish a college record in English before they could get in the state university. The community college, the Illinois system reimbursed for credits, subsidized community colleges for credits granted, completed, and never looked at the ratio of student-to-credit-hour, so the Iranians were allowed to take as much as twenty-three and twenty-four hours a semester in their second or third language in their first semester living in the English language. We found that out when David taught a class out there. I ultimately found it out otherwise. We [the newspaper] never took it on [as an issue], and we should have.

    Ritchie: They allowed this to get the rebate money?

    Bulkeley: To get the rebate money. David taught a sociology course out there, and the tenured sociology faculty members said, "Those are the textbooks. Here are the days of the tests. Here are sample test questions. I don't take roll." That was the intro to sociology. So one of the Iranian kids, as a for instance, said to David, "Dr. Finks, what you're going to do in this class with reading and writing and discussing, a reading list, it would be wonderful, and I would love to have time to do it, but I can't. I'm carrying twenty-some hours. I still read slowly in English, so I just can't keep up in here. I have to take this other one where I know this is what it is." Of course, the other thing is, they also had all the bodyguards registered at the community college.

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    Ritchie: The bodyguards of—

    Bulkeley: The Iranian kids. Again I'm racing off on a different tangent, but they probably, if they had ever been called on balancing hours and credits, would have charged it somehow to the bodyguards. But the Klan marched, and because it was part of the history of this country, I really wanted to go see it, but I couldn't. I wasn't covering it. While we didn't think there would be trouble, I decided I'd better stay away, so I never went down to the march.

    Ritchie: So you knew about it ahead of time.

    Bulkeley: Sure, except if they're doing things that might be construed as illegal, the Klan wants all the attention it can get. But that's an example.

    The news staff knew what to do [following the storm], there was no fear or hesitation about doing it, and did it rapidly, because the circumstances were very difficult with limited phones, limited power. The plant had power coming in two ways, and its backup line was fine. The other line was out. But the comprehensiveness with which that coverage was done, and the efficiency, was part of what said to me they really are basically gut newspeople and good ones; they simply don't know what to do when the agenda needs to be initiated or when there isn't news happening right in front of them.

    Ritchie: On a day-to-day basis.

    Bulkeley: That it was worth investing in trying to bring it up to speed or up to what I knew of modern news standards, current standards, and what I was trying to learn of what a community like that needs and wants from a newspaper, because it never occurred to me people didn't know that it was their democracy and how to live with it. I really never got a good handle on how you do a newspaper for people who don't know that.

    Ritchie: How do you educate them to—

    Bulkeley: To democracy. And how thoroughly you have to do it. I've learned a lot of that later, and I began to understand the social class thing and the impact that has on people exercising initiative and whether they think they can, or should, or whether they think they'll be punished as they are at work if they speak up. Nobody else knew it either. So where the paper began to lose connection with its public was long before I got there when it quit having natives in the newsroom. As college graduation became the entry requirement, it was no longer necessarily local people who hung around with local people who did the reporting to answer the questions their neighbors had about stuff. It was now the parachuted-in hot-shots from out of town who asked the questions they had learned in their college classes to ask, whether they were relevant to their readers or not.

    Ritchie: And they had no bases in the community.

    Bulkeley: Yes. The kids hung around with each other, the young reporters. The older people were either doing copy desk editing of what they got, with no ability to impact it, or they were doing features and being the best part of the paper because they were connected and would pick up on news stuff and do feature approaches to it later, or they were doing the sports or the "throw-away" country news, not the cross-cutting whole territory news.

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    I was uncomfortable from the day I got there with our news product, and I was not satisfied to the day I left. The editor that I inherited ultimately moved, was promoted. I brought in an editor from West Virginia. Ron Dillman was the editor I inherited. He'd never been anywhere else to work except for a year or two, and had been in Danville twenty years, but he still saw Danville as he had seen Danville growing up in one of its little satellite towns. When he was moved to St. Thomas as the editor and then ultimately general manager and chief executive of Gannett's paper in St. Thomas, he moved that paper much farther along than anybody and developed far more potential, developed far more reality out of its potential than anybody in Gannett ever imagined could happen.

    Ritchie: With him?

    Bulkeley: On St. Thomas, given the vagaries of how business is done there, the cultural work habits, power, electricity uncertainties, and all kinds of things. Chuck Carpenter came in while Ron was still there, and was there for a year, a year and a half, while Ron was. I moved him from Gannett's West Virginia paper. He had also worked at the Charleston [West Virginia] paper. Chuck basically came out of a working-class background, but, I've understood much later, was very strong into denial and very much into the trappings of being an executive. He rapidly bought a house out in the executive subdivision. Years after I left, he bought a bigger house in the next executive subdivision. He always resented the fact that Gannett started enforcing the personnel benefits rules. When I got to Danville, three newspaper people had executive country club memberships paid for by the newspaper.

    Ritchie: Three people?

    Bulkeley: Three people—the editor, the jobless gofer, the gofer with no portfolio, and the publisher. But I was not allowed to continue those. When the gofer left, that was the end of that company-supported membership, and when Ron left for St. Thomas, I was not allowed to buy one for Chuck. If I had operated the way my predecessor [Jim Graham] did, I would have done it anyway and buried the money somewhere.

    Ritchie: Did you see this as an advantage or a disadvantage to the paper?

    Bulkeley: I didn't really understand the different class reactions to institutions and to people in power and to information from institutions. I only started finding that reading in the eighties, when I was gone from Danville. I had thought that Chuck would relate better than I would, did, although I had worked very hard at getting to know all kinds of people. I had thought Chuck probably would relate better to non-establishment people than I did, but instead, of course, he related to the equivalent of the yuppies of the era.

    Ritchie: Because he wanted that.

    Bulkeley: Because he was ambitious and grasping to move up and have more status symbols as they were, and in a town like Danville, there weren't a whole lot of them.

    Ritchie: When you say you moved him from West Virginia, how did you do that?

    Bulkeley: When I had an opening that could be built into an executive opening, the process works through the corporation, and you simply work with the corporate news executive over candidates—what you think you need, what the corporate executive thinks you need, and you

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    ultimately agree on what you're looking for. Then he refers from within the company or people they want to bring into the company.

    Ritchie: And it was a "he" in that position.

    Bulkeley: Yes. Still is. Different "he," but it's still a "he." He would refer people from within the company who looked right for the job, and from then it goes like a normal job thing. You talk to him [the job candidate] on the phone, bring him in, bring in the most promising, interview him.

    Ritchie: You said that he had been at Gannett's paper in Charleston, West Virginia?

    Bulkeley: Huntington, West Virginia. He had also been at a Charleston paper which somebody else owned. When it was time to replace the controller, the chief business executive, I was allowed to hire out of the local market, because with all of those companies there, we figured there were probably executives ready to move into our size or over to our size.

    Ritchie: Who had experience in the field?

    Bulkeley: Right, in accounting and financial management. And I had a good bunch of applicants for that job. I shared the r&$233;sum&$233;s that I got with the corporate guys and agreed with them who I'd interview. After the first round of interviews, I reported and then I interviewed maybe eleven or twelve.

    Ritchie: Were there any females in that group?

    Bulkeley: A couple. I'm not sure that they had the credentials the men had. I don't remember right now. I may have that in a file somewhere, but I don't think so.

    The corporate guys met with three or four of the candidates. Of the finalists, the one they wanted, would let me hire, wasn't what I wanted, and ultimately turned out to be an abject disaster. He had no notion of how to manage people.

    Ritchie: The one that you hired?

    Bulkeley: The one that they told me to hire. He turned out to be a disaster. What we needed was somebody who knew how to upgrade the department and move it from manual bookkeeping and doing a lot of work that we didn't even need, into the computer age and systems and financial accountability and financial management systems. The guy we hired was probably very bright as a work-alone accountant, and was absolutely unable to understand people or deal with them or understand change or how to lead change, and it took me a couple of years to convince the corporate guys to let me get rid of him, at which point they had somebody they wanted to move somewhere else, that was ready for a move out of a business office that by then had too much strength. So I finally got a good business executive, didn't have to do all of the financial thinking myself. But that was one of the cases, one of several cases, where I don't know whether it was intentional or not, but the corporate connection certainly undermined my ability to do the job.

    Later, I—later? Same time? Somewhere along there, I ended up with a production director who was, at the time we moved him, a non-drinking alcoholic, except that the guys who transferred him in knew that, and they should have known better than to take him out of his support systems.

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    Ritchie: They moved him from another paper?

    Bulkeley: Moved him from another paper, out of his support systems and into a tough situation, because again it was the change agent role. While he had the intelligence to do it, he didn't have the personal ego strength to do it, and had been a printer and moved into supervision within the trade. So he just didn't have what it took to move and to not drink and to do the job. Well, I had never been around an alcoholic of any kind before knowingly. My department heads wouldn't even tell me that he was a drunk. Some of them knew it. Because socializing at that level, you don't socialize with the boss, you socialize with your peers. They realized that he was a drunk. Some of the employees, the foremen in the departments knew he was a drunk, and nobody would tell me. I must have been there three or four years by then. He was there over a year, and a lot of them thought I knew it and was accepting it and putting up with it.

    Ritchie: But there was no communication about it?

    Bulkeley: No. And all of this stuff I had done to try to establish communication even with the department heads, none of it worked, and I went back not in a—I don't think in a furious punish mode, but in a trying to understand why wouldn't they tell me or be sure I understood those things. Well, the foremen—you just don't talk to bosses, let alone women that way, tell them those things. The department heads really weren't sure why, but a lot of it was the whole new relationships thing and the assuming I'd known it. But the regional president who was responsible and the publisher at the other property, both had known what the guy was.

    Ritchie: And never told you?

    Bulkeley: Never told me. Whether they didn't understand human dynamics enough to know that you don't move people like that into tough situations or whether the publisher was, as some of them will do, unloading a problem, and the regional president trying to help those who were out to get me, I don't know. There are times, of course, when all of the paranoia is there, and I assumed that they all did it on purpose—"Make her life as hard as possible and get rid of her."

    It's the lightning rod role that those of us who have been there know and understand. You do what you can to protect yourself from it, but you never realize that sometimes people's own fear of those who are different consciously or subconsciously even transcends their company loyalty. They should not have been doing things that undermined the company. If the alcoholic couldn't hold his own where he was, he should have been retired on a disability or whatever, not sold somewhere else in the company to do more damage.

    Ritchie: How did you deal with the situation when it finally came to your attention?

    Bulkeley: He was moved on to sick leave, given an opportunity at company expense to dry out, then get his feet back on the ground, and be relocated into a job where he wouldn't be exposed to the kinds of pressures that would create problems, but until he had been through drying out and full evaluation, nobody had any idea what that might be.

    I brought in a new executive, and I sat down with the different groups of people and repeated the same old stuff about, "I'm here to try to help all of us do the best we can, because the best of all of us is what it takes to make the best for the company," and regretting that it all went on, both apologizing but also trying once again to build better communication.

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    We got whopped with an OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] inspection in the press room. You and I talked earlier about the press contract. That contract ultimately was settled between our corporate guy negotiating with their international representative, while we all sat there not knowing what was happening, but the pressman's international rep and our corporate guy were on opposite sides of the table several places. So they really were doing an ongoing conversation about all of the issues between our subsidiaries and their locals.

    Ritchie: So you had no role in that negotiation?

    Bulkeley: We were sitting there, and we had the words to say back and forth, but after all of this discussion, all of a sudden our contract was settled. Their rep and our guy were gone the same afternoon. They caught the last plane out of town. Neither the pressmen nor I really quite understood how we got past an almost impasse and settled the contract, but, more important, I didn't understand that they didn't understand how to teach the new contract. They didn't fully understand what the new contract did.

    Ritchie: "They" being?

    Bulkeley: They being the press negotiators, the guys from the table. Part of the long involved negotiation is to be sure the union representatives know how to sell whatever the contract is, that they fully understand whatever's changing, and that they have the information they need to sell it to their colleagues once an agreement has been reached. Well, our guys didn't know what the contract was. They really didn't understand the changes, including the elimination of everything that wasn't written in the contract, like that extra 10 percent overtime they had all grown used to, or several of them had grown used to, so it was really more than that, because there were some who only worked their straight pay.

    As we began managing to the contract, and as the overtime was gone, the pressmen all got frustrated and angry, but I didn't understand that. The alcoholic didn't understand it or wasn't functioning. So they did what they knew how to do. They went to OSHA. The stuff that OSHA found is all stuff pressmen had done themselves to the press. The showers needed to have the floors made bumpy again so they weren't slick. Some little stuff. But the things we really got whanged about were some of the press guards missing from the press, the units that keep people from getting pulled in between the rollers; the sound levels and the pressmen not wearing earmuffs or earplugs. I think there were one or two other things, all having to do with the press equipment, all having to do with the convenience of the pressmen that they had done it themselves. The company had to pay the fine. They called OSHA in.

    Ritchie: Out of frustration?

    Bulkeley: In the frustration, they went somewhere. They wouldn't come to the boss and try to work things out, because they didn't have anything they could file contract grievances on, and that's the only way they knew to talk to bosses—the union and people level.

    Of course, then we started making them wear the earmuffs and the earplugs, put the press guards back on, had to have some made, because we were still on the old press.

    Ritchie: Which they probably didn't like.

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    Bulkeley: They didn't like it, but I said, "I'm sorry, you guys did it. We didn't call in OSHA." The corporate guys, the good ones, knew that I wouldn't know a press guard from—well, I was going to say a hole in the wall, but I know about holes in the wall. And I went back there every day to see that they had the earmuffs on. Of course, they all said, "She's being punitive." Well, yeah, I suppose, but I also was trying to get enough of a feel for what was going on.

    The other thing they did was organize. The part-time workers in the mail room and the park-time drivers organized them as a union.

    Ritchie: So the press people were expanding their base?

    Bulkeley: Trying to expand their base. Right. Of course, in any company that tries not to have unions, the first reaction is, "The boss screwed up." Well, yeah. I had no way to know about needing to teach contracts, and nobody ever made any effort to tell me.

    I talked to my press foreman about why hadn't he ever alerted me to the problems of the press and the decibels. He said, "I brought it up with your two predecessors."

    Ritchie: And they didn't do anything.

    Bulkeley: "And they didn't do anything about it. I get tired of sounding like I'm complaining all the time. So I just figured if two of them had turned it down, you weren't going to make any different decision."

    I said, "Well, okay, but understand that every time there's a new boss, no matter how many it is, it's a new chance to make things right. Sooner or later you're going to find a boss who wants to do things right. In this case, we have blown it, and we have all this crap we've got to deal with now."

    When the corporate labor negotiator was in, we had a meeting with the drivers at one point.

    Ritchie: These are the people who deliver?

    Bulkeley: The people who deliver the paper in the countryside, some of it house to house, some of it bundles to carriers. More than half of our circulation was scattered around the countryside. That reminds me of something I want to talk about—the economy—in a minute.

    The labor guy, after we had the meeting with some of the drivers, we met in the dining room, the lunch room, in the building, we walked back into my office, he shut the door and collapsed into the chair, one of the chairs, which I had never seen him do, and he says, "If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have believed it."

    I said, "What?"

    He says, "All of the hostility from the women at you."

    I said, "What don't you believe about it?"

    He says, "Well, it's clearly a class sexist thing. They know they're at the bottom of the heap and you're at the top, and they hate it, and they hate you for it. That's why they were

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    willing to do whatever anybody offered that would attack you. You had nothing to do in terms of how you're running this place. It has nothing to do with this union organizing thing. They responded to it out of the class and sex stuff, and anybody who knows anything about people who had been in that room would know that."

    Ritchie: So they were joining the union, or thinking of it, thinking of organizing, to get back at you?

    Bulkeley: It was an extreme class jealousy attack kind of a thing. Again we're talking late seventies, early eighties, in a working-class town. I had power that their men should have had. I had money that they should have had, or their men. As I say, John [Jaske, the labor lawyer] just was absolutely knocked out. He'd been doing Gannett's labor stuff for five or six years by then, all over the country, and came from somewhere else. His name is John Jaske. He's still in corporate legal staff, and one of the best guys I've ever encountered there. We had lots of talks about lots of things in between our negotiating stuff. But that's another of the kinds of places where knowing community and community culture can have an impact on a paper or a product that's supposed to be in and of a community, that, again, I don't think any of us understood in those days. I don't know that the outcome would have been any different.

    Ritchie: How large was your staff there?

    Bulkeley: The total body count when I got there was nearly 200 people and about 160 or 170 full-time equivalents, because the economy collapsed in the late seventies and never stopped collapsing. The technology provided some relief, but mostly jobs were lost. We were down to 135 FTEs [full-time employees] and about 150 bodies by the time I left.

    [End Tape 1, Side B; Begin Tape 2, Side A]

    Ritchie: A few minutes ago you said that reminded you of something you wanted to tell me.

    Bulkeley: We talked earlier about the retail business and the economy of Danville. The other dynamic that was affecting the whole thing—the Danville paper, because of the strength of the economy and the 40-some-thousand jobs in Danville, had dominated the countryside all the way over into the Champaign-Urbana county and many miles farther in all directions than a normal prediction would have suggested. People worked in Danville, their jobs were there, so they did their shopping there. That also contributed to the ability of that limited retail base to more than hold its own for a long time.

    All of that started to collapse in the late seventies. The first thing that happened was the real estate lineage started going down as interest rates started climbing, with inflation climbing toward double digit and into double digit, and the third factor was those giant jumps in minimum wage. Until this early nineties' round of increases, that was the last one before it. Minimum wage was jumping 30 and 40 percent a year. I had inherited a pay structure built up from the minimum wage. The least of the jobs paid a dime over minimum wage, but as it went up 30 percent a year for three years. The clerical jobs paid a little more than minimum wage and then upward from there. We had to move the whole thing.

    Ritchie: So your payroll increased?

    Bulkeley: Because of those union contracts and the time it took to get those settled, I had been limited in what I could do with anybody. But that started raising the payroll, compounded by the—

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    my predecessor hadn't really budgeted. The corporate budget instructions say, for instance, any increases over X percent, say 5 percent, in a line item or a department needed to be explained. So my predecessor would always just raise all of his expense numbers by whatever percent didn't require explanation. They'd spread it evenly across the year on the spreadsheets, but then they'd manage as they went. They didn't think ahead on, "How much raise should So-and-so get?" They'd wait till the union contracts were settled, then raise all of the professional departments the same amount, which also was archaic. Gannett had long since been preaching merit and merit pay and individual evaluation, none of which we were doing in Danville.

    Ritchie: No evaluation?

    Bulkeley: No evaluation. The department heads would come in and say, "I'd like to give So-and-so this much raise. He's going to retire next year, so we've got to get him way up for his pension," when he was carrying the lightest load in the department, for instance. I'd say, "Is there money for it?" They'd say, "Well, sure. We haven't been spending money, because we've been below in payroll." But no plans. Nobody ever thought through ahead of time what they were doing in the budget or anywhere else.

    We started working toward that as I got department heads who were capable of it, but we had all of those things working against us when the economy started down and we started losing lineage with the interest rates up. The housing turnover stopped. The agriculture side of the economy, which was a big hunk of it, started having trouble. The banks were big advertisers, and started having cost concerns. So that recession that most people talk about as '81, '82, started in Danville in '79. Our lineage started down in the beginning of '79, and the jobs started to disappear out of our market.

    Ritchie: What do you mean when you say your lineage?

    Bulkeley: Lineage is jargon. Advertising space used to be sold by the agate line, which is a type measure, a measure of type. It's actually inches, quarter inches. X number of lines make an inch—I think fourteen. Twelve? Something. Anyway, it was still called ad lineage in those days, in the vernacular. But our advertising volume started down in '79.

    So that recession that a lot of people didn't feel until later, we started feeling. Jobs started leaving the market late in that same year. Within two years we had 25 percent fewer jobs in our economy as the labor department defined it, which is about the same as our circulation defined it. But that also then meant we started losing our hold on the far reaches. People at the far edge bought our paper because they were coming to our town to work and they'd shop and entertain there, and their friends were there, so they needed to know whatever we told them that was going on. But when they no longer had jobs to come to there, they no longer needed our paper, and they gradually would shift over to the physically closer economies.

    So by the time we got our circulation department straightened out, the economy started costing us circulation, starting costing us geographic reach. I used to watch the numbers of all of the neighboring papers. We could get them by township.

    Ritchie: Circulation numbers?

    Bulkeley: Circulation numbers by township, including the Chicago papers. There were a couple of tiny dailies within our circulation area and a few weeklies. The weeklies are where people would swing back and forth if they had related to other neighborhoods and communities.

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    But we simply started losing miles of reach. We really had dominated the economy all the way over into Champaign County. While there were two newspapers there, a morning and an evening, we still dominated the countryside and the little villages all the way over. Their morning paper folded. It had only about 1,000 circulation in our whole county. And the other paper switched to morning. It took the surviving paper six years to get its circulation numbers up to where the combined two newspapers had been, and in those six years, once a year it would saturate the whole countryside. For two or three weeks it would give papers away to everybody along every road and in every village, and offer them cut rates, and it still couldn't make any inroads.

    So as unhappy as I was with our newsroom, people didn't always believe me, because we had this wonderful dominance in circulation area.

    Ritchie: When you mentioned you would get the numbers from each township, how would you do that?

    Bulkeley: There's an organization called the Audit Bureau of Circulations that is an agency created by the newspaper business and the advertising business.

    Ritchie: Because they want to know where their ads are going?

    Bulkeley: They want to know where the ads are going and that the circulation really is paid for. It's left over from the days of newspaper wars, when there were lots of newspapers in towns, and they were junking each other's papers, robbing the racks, hijacking the carriers. So those reports are available. We could buy them to get the township and little village numbers.

    Ritchie: They would show what papers were going to what township, how many copies?

    Bulkeley: Right. So I could always keep an eye on it. There also is a national magazine that does magazine circulation by county, so I could kind of monitor things like magazines I knew well enough to know their content and who read them, and national standards like TV Guide. Danville sits between two scattered-out television territories. "Area of dominant influence (ADI)" is the television language. So it had terrible television reception, which meant early in the cable television era, when cable operators were still mandated to carry the two nearest network stations of each network, Danville had been cabled—primitive by today's standards, but it got two of each network and two public television stations.

    Ritchie: And the networks would have been Champaign-Urbana?

    Bulkeley: The local network stations were Champaign and Decatur, which is forty miles west of Champaign, over towards Springfield, they were the two, and we were in that ADI officially. Then from the other side we had Terre Haute and Lafayette stations that made up the other set.

    I learned at the time the Terre Haute papers had a strike in the early eighties—because of the number of people who asked me about it—I discovered that people in Danville watched that CBS affiliate in Terre Haute rather than the Campaign affiliate, and that has to do with the local news content that would reflect an industrial city. Terre Haute was a declining industrial city as Danville was by then. That had to do with their news interest. They weren't interested in what the local reporters in Champaign felt was important.

    Ritchie: What connection does this have with the newspaper strike?

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    Bulkeley: Because Terre Haute television was covering the newspaper strike, and that's the only place people could get news of the newspaper strike, would be on the Terre Haute television station. But they knew about it. We'd carry a paragraph or two, but it really wasn't local news either. But that's how I discovered things like that's why television guides, TV Guide, sold much lower in our territory than in others, because it didn't carry the channels we got. Our own television schedule book was okay, the one the newspaper published, because we knew which ones we carried, but no other organization that tried to sell on television channels could match us. That also then told me that we had a way of showing the value of our television book, but our ad staff never could sell it. We simply had those other kinds of things to measure our own performance with, that for years simply weren't used by newspaper people. I don't know how I learned to use them, but I did. The zero-based budgeting they only started talking about for Gannett newsrooms in the late eighties, and we had been doing it. The Danville paper also—we talked earlier about the inane features package that Saratoga was buying and not using very much of. Danville was doing the same thing. Again it was a chance to raise the quality of our content without raising the cost.

    But one of the clues of memory and how long memory lives, where you don't control change, where people don't have control over their own lives and their own change, one of the cartoons in that package was "The Born Loser," in those days only available in the package, and they [the features syndicate] used that as a way to try to leverage the whole package. They wouldn't sell it [the comic] to me independently. It was one of the most popular comics in Danville, in our area, in that area where people asked us all the time, "Do you like Danville?"

    After I left, one of the first things my successor [Gary Stout] ran into in some places was, "Now can we have 'The Born Loser' back?" It had been out of the newspaper for nearly seven years.

    Ritchie: Because you discontinued it?

    Bulkeley: I discontinued the package. They wouldn't let me buy it separately. They wouldn't let the paper buy it separately.

    Ritchie: Who is "they"?

    Bulkeley: They would be the features syndicate that sold it—the Newspaper Enterprise Association in those days. The package had features for women's sections and editorial page columns, editorial page cartoons, home building pieces, comic page comics, all of those things in it.

    Ritchie: But you didn't see that it benefitted the paper.

    Bulkeley: Of the stuff we used, which was probably three or four comics, weekday and Sunday, and a couple of editorial page columns and some of the cartoons, we could replace with first line columnists and cartoonists and comic strips at less than we were paying to get the whole package. There was stuff in the package that we didn't use, that we could have, but even working through it and using it, we could see—I could see and some of the newspeople could see—that we could do better and quit wasting having all of this stuff come in and somebody have to sort through it for what we did want.

    By the time I left, the paper was, as it turns out, able to buy "The Born Loser" independently. It had run into enough other things or other problems with the comic artist

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    himself insisting on it. So one of the visible changes my successor could do to show there's somebody new in charge was to put "The Born Loser" back in the paper.

    That newsroom did not have dictionaries. There was nothing in the library except news clips when I got there in Danville.

    Ritchie: So there were no reference books or materials?

    Bulkeley: No reference materials. They didn't even have the newspapers within our territory. The weeklies within the territory and those two little dailies didn't even come into the newsroom. The editor assumed that our bureau people who covered those areas were reading those papers and doing what they needed to.

    Ritchie: On their own?

    Bulkeley: On their own.

    Ritchie: Without providing them.

    Bulkeley: If they knew that the newsroom wasn't reading them, of course, and we had—anywhere there were integrity problems it would have meant they were lifting stuff from the weeklies. I don't know whether we had that kind of situation.

    Ritchie: Integrity problems or lifting from the weeklies?

    Bulkeley: Well, I would consider that an integrity problem or lack of initiative or whatever. I don't remember whether we ran into that once we started getting them in, but, in fact, when I ordered them, I found out the newsroom still wasn't reading them, so I started reading them, to know the rest of the countryside better. But because of the way the budgeting was done that first year, we had enough money to—I just bought dictionaries for everybody in the newsroom and left a bunch more in the supply cupboard. We switched over to the NCR, the non-carbon paper copy sets, instead of using cut-up newsprint and carbon paper which everybody was always getting all over them. We subscribed to bunches of magazines and bought reference books—encyclopedia and statistical books. I just never understood how anybody could expect a newsroom to do a job without the basic tools.

    Ritchie: But they had been doing—

    Bulkeley: They'd been doing it for years, and it wasn't that great a newspaper. We staggered the magazine subscriptions so they didn't all come due at once. I said to spread them out over one to five years, those that you know are things people will use. Those you're not sure about, do on the shorter ones.

    Ritchie: On a trial basis.

    Bulkeley: But if somebody comes in after me and sees that as an easy cut and way to save money, you want to be sure you've still got access to outside material. I had forgotten, but that's one of the things we did early on to show there's a new boss, and I hoped to show there's a new chance to pitch ideas and things that needed fixing. As I already said, we learned later that it wasn't.

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    Ritchie: Did you get any staff reaction from this type of thing? You said they didn't read the newspapers.

    Bulkeley: The editors didn't read the little newspapers. The newspeople were so busy discovering that we were providing other resource materials and the reporters in our newsroom weren't responsible for covering the countryside—the news or city councils in the little towns or whatever. But I knew that they were being used, I assumed, because people talked to me, and I wandered the plant all the time, carrying my coffee cup with me, if necessary, for cover.

    The news staff also never did any learning things. In the Rochester newsroom, about once a quarter we'd have what was called a beer and cheese session with somebody—the DA [District Attorney] talking about change in the criminal law, or a judge or a politician, or a businessman or whatever. Anybody [from the news staff] was invited to come who wanted to, so we could learn more about whatever the speaker had to do with.

    Ritchie: To get updated on changes in the law or something.

    Bulkeley: Right, that might affect what we were doing or just because we wanted to know it. Sometimes it would be on writing—the mechanics—but more often on substance. We started doing these in Danville as I realized that I had really good newspeople who simply needed to be led into being better or being adequate for other places, because what was adequate for us wasn't good enough for many other places. So we set up the beer and cheese sessions and started doing those on a regular basis.

    We did our own stylebook—the peculiar local spellings. Where the Associated Press stylebook would leave you a choice on what was the correct way to do something or spell words like "employees" or whatever, we set up our own local stylebook with all of those peculiarities. Just a lot of the things that I had taken for granted where I was before, our newsroom didn't do, because Danville had been so removed in terms of Gannett, that there hasn't been a lot of feeding back and forth of the good people.

    Ritchie: Who did you report to at Gannett? Did you report to one person directly?

    Bulkeley: When I first became a publisher, I reported directly to Al [Neuharth], as did every other local chief executive, which meant you didn't really report to anybody, because running a half a percent of the company, I wasn't about to think I should bother him with my questions. There also were corporate staff specialists by then in each major area—news, production, advertising, circulation, finance, personnel.

    Ritchie: So if you had questions.

    Bulkeley: But they were peers or service to us, not bosses.

    Ritchie: Would they monitor you?

    Bulkeley: They theoretically monitored the kinds of reports we sent in, including the occasional things we sent for the newsroom. All of the newspapers went in, and theoretically they read our newspapers on some kind of regular basis, audited to see where we were and what we were doing.

    Ritchie: Did you ever get feedback from this in terms of your news coverage?

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    Bulkeley: Not a whole lot. Ron's [Dillman] capabilities and capacity, they weren't sure about when I went to Danville. He had been promoted around two or three people a few years before I went there, and without a whole lot of seasoning as an executive or manager, but because the [corporate] news guys didn't really know Danville other than what they saw, whether he was good or smooth or just smooth or what, as I got to know the community, I realized, as I mentioned earlier, that he still saw Danville the same way he'd seen it growing up outside of it. As a consequence, they were missing a lot of things, and his ideas about news hadn't really changed. He had upgraded through workshops or something a little bit on page makeup, but not a whole lot on content—not at all on content. There just were lots of things that the paper needed, that we couldn't do as long as he was there, because as long as he was the boss, people were going to do it the way he wanted it done, not the way she wanted it done. He would ignore or redirect. I spent a year going to the daily news meetings to listen to the interreactions. Well, even though by then everybody was saying the best feature of the day might well be better than any news and should go on the front of the paper, it didn't really matter at our place. The features page was locked up the day before. The deadline for the features section was mid-afternoon twenty-four hours before the paper was published.

    Ritchie: So you couldn't move it.

    Bulkeley: The story meeting wasn't until nine o'clock in the morning the day of publication, so whatever they had in features was too late. It never occurred to anybody that that created a problem. It just never was going to be. When sports stuff needed to go on the front, when the best of any sport is happening, it's stuff we all pay attention to, whether it's the World Series or the Kentucky Derby or the NCAA Playoffs. Those are the times that sports affect all of our lives, and particularly in the Midwest. You know people are going to be watching the basketball or the baseball or the whatever, and you work around it. It's time to put it on the front page. The sports guys would never agree to that, and nobody ever made them. I said, "You know, then what happens is the chance you have to show off for people like me, I read it every day. I have to. I'm paid to. But people like me who are out there are never going to know that you guys are good."

    It's the same argument that I used on television in Rochester. If you don't occasionally go where the non-readers are, how are they going to know you have something to offer them all the time? Sports—if you don't put your wonderful stuff about the Indianapolis 500 on the front page, how are people like me, who otherwise only listen to it on Memorial Day, going to know that you're over there and you know all of the drivers and they tell you stuff that they don't tell anybody else? Well, the editor didn't care one way or the other. He wanted to showcase his hot-shot news reporters on the front, so he never fought with the old sports editor.

    The sports staff was the last place in town to know, after the rules changed, that every high school in our territory—we had twenty-some school districts—the sports department was the last place to know that every one of them had girls' teams playing interscholastic sports. Our ad staff found it out first. That stuff just always went on and on and on. It just kept happening.

    Ritchie: Were you able to change any of that?

    Bulkeley: Oh, yeah, some of it got changed. Over time we were able to change the mix on the staff and start hiring experienced reporters. One of the best moves, a young woman—not young by then, younger than me—and her husband, she presented herself to me one year, had been a managing editor of a five-day-week, 10,000-circulation paper. When she married the sports editor, the company fired both of them for being married to each other. He picked up a job rapidly at DePauw in sports information, and they lived in between Lafayette and Danville.

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    She said, "I'm tired of this stuff. I'm only going to work for Gannett, so I'm not going to work until you or Lafayette has room to hire me."

    Ritchie: Lafayette was also Gannett?

    Bulkeley: Lafayette was a Gannett newspaper in the northeast corner of our territory. She had already done four years in Washington, in the Washington bureau, and I knew from the interview she knew how all those pieces fit together up and down the political, governmental, regulation, dollar ladder. So when we had room, we hired her at what for us was a premium, as the government affairs reporter, but she knew part of her job was to teach the rest of the people who were interested in government and politics, to teach them about negotiating space and that that was fair, about anticipating what was going to happen, not just reacting to government and political moves, initiating coverage up and down those chains, not just waiting for decisions, but talking ahead of time about what was going into decisions. And the staff flocked around her. She was a peer, so she wasn't threatening to staff. She wasn't a boss teaching a way they had to learn. I could see the dynamics happening and I could see the coverage improving.

    Ritchie: It could have been you years earlier.

    Bulkeley: And that was not too far off a kind of proposal I'd made that was ignored at one point in our staff.

    Ritchie: What was her name?

    Bulkeley: Judy Keen. She's one of those who ultimately ended up at USA Today. There was a period at USA Today where three of its seven or eight page-one reporters were women I had brought into Gannett, two of them out of Danville and one out of Saratoga. The one out of Saratoga was Marilyn Greene. I had known her first husband when we were all cub reporters together. She came back to work after fifteen years raising children, working for me and us in Saratoga, then was a features editor [at Gannett's Ithaca paper], married another editor at that paper. In Gannett, people like that didn't get fired. But anyway, I brought her into Gannett in Saratoga. She, Judy Keen, and Jean Becker, three women, all were on the front-page staff of USA Today, and I, of course, naturally said to the corporate news vice president one day, "Come on. Lots of days two of them have their bylines there at the same time. Do something and get all three of them on there at least once for me." And he knew that I was reminding him that out of two relatively little newsrooms I had produced more newspeople that understood the dynamics of that newspaper that still really wasn't understood by the trade, and could hold their own on the front page and were critically important reporters for him. It wasn't long after that, that I got my front pages with all three bylines.

    Ritchie: So they understood how things worked.

    Bulkeley: In many ways the front-page people at USA Today had it the easiest, because on big stories, the first layer or two of story affects everybody and everybody wants that layer of information. To some extent that happens at USA Today. But they also understood the stuff that traditional newspeople didn't think was important, that they as women who had lived through families and things on the cutting edge of change they understood was important news, and they knew how to cover it in ways that made the front page of USA Today vital to not just men, not just men looking for traditional news headlines. I wasn't smart enough to save a few of those front pages with all of their bylines; I should have.

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    Ritchie: Was Gannett pleased with how things were going in Danville? Were they aware of what a mess it was when you came in?

    Bulkeley: No. They knew some of the mess, but the corporate staff was changing as the company grew and turned over and expanded. Danville was in the bottom half of the company, so the corporate oversight people were always the newest people on the corporate staff. The structure was increased, so instead of all of us reporting to Al, who was the chief executive officer, at one point they set up regional presidents or vice presidents. Anyway, they set up a regional structure, and we all reported to a regional executive. It was at that level—that first regional executive was a guy when I went to the National Women's Conference at the Decade for Women thing in Houston, that I went for Neuharth. His wife, Lori [Wilson], was chair of the Florida delegation. I went and let Neuharth know I was going, and he said, "I really only expected to hear from you if you didn't go, because I assumed you would go to that."

    That was right before the regional presidents got control of our expense accounts. I said something about going in my monthly summary report to headquarters. The regional president wrote me a letter that said, "You travel too much. If I had control of your expense account, I would never have approved that trip." He had no idea that I was there because Neuharth expected me to be there, as much as I was there because it was history in the making, that I had a right to. In fact, there wasn't much expense. I guess there was a plane ticket, but the rooms in Houston were long since gone, and I stayed in an extra room my Good Housekeeping magazine friends had. But that was an example of the kind of sniping that happened even from my bosses.

    The next round, the new regional president was a guy brought into Gannett for his name. He's now retired. It's [Bill] Keating, who was a longtime politician from Cincinnati who was connected with people who owned the Enquirer. He had been a member of Congress, had worked up through the elected official ranks in Cincinnati, ultimately to Congress. A conservative Republican, Catholic, who was so appalled at the stuff in the Nixon era, that he left Congress in the middle of his second term. He was on the Judiciary Committee and simply couldn't stomach the stuff and be a part of it anymore. Came back and was made the president of the corporation that owned the Enquirer. Cincinnati Enquirer is spelled funny, and it's not the way you expect. I no longer remember which is right, but I think it's E-N.

    Ritchie: Yes. Isabelle [Shelton] had worked there in her early years, in the late forties. She was in Washington, but for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

    Bulkeley: Bill [Keating] always insisted that no negatives would be sent to headquarters.

    Ritchie: No negatives?

    Bulkeley: No negative anything, like economy decline, that too many people use negatives as excuses for not producing and delivering, so he would not countenance negatives being reported to Rochester. The publishers all did monthly summaries of two or three sentences on highlights from each department and overall.

    Ritchie: And you submitted these to him?

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    Bulkeley: And to the corporate chief executive office, the head of the newspaper division. I guess by then each division had a head, and then our division was broken into the regional executives whom we all reported to. But our reports went to headquarters and were circulated so that the staff specialists—see, we had that vertical structure, then we had the horizontal one connecting to the staff specialists. But their bosses would be the head of the advertising division on the corporate staff, not the head of the newspaper division. So we had a double report relationship with all of those people responsible for what happened to us. Keating didn't know the newspaper business.

    The Midwest by now was fighting a recession. We'd talk about cost-saving stuff, and the stuff he'd say he was doing in Cincinnati was stuff we'd never had money to spend on in the first place. "Well," he'd say, "we cut back our messenger service among departments from twenty-four hours to twelve." He was head of not just the newspaper, but the joint agency that ran the common departments for both Cincinnati papers. The joint agency is the vehicle for getting around the antitrust laws. There's a thing called the Failing Newspaper Act, that if a city is about to lose one newspaper, they can merge all the departments under guidelines and controls and contracts, keeping the news department separate.

    Well, Keating was the head of that, as well as the publisher of the Enquirer, but he didn't understand the dynamics of little places at all, where you don't have specialists anywhere and you don't have sixteen layers anywhere. We were long since down to one secretary who also did other stuff in the whole building. There were three executive secretaries when I got there. We long since had shaken out any excess reports and leftover, because nobody had ever evaluated at processes. But he'd say, "So we cut the messenger service." Well, we didn't have messenger service. When the woman at the switchboard finished sorting the mail, she called the department heads and told them their mail was ready, and they sent somebody down to get it.

    Ritchie: He didn't really know how you operated.

    Bulkeley: He didn't know how we operated. In the early eighties, he'd come in and visit, and I'd have him be in the lunchroom with open access of my staff, who by then was learning to talk to bosses a little bit. He wouldn't understand why would I let my staff have access to him and use up some of his precious time, having free coffee and doughnuts in the lunchroom for staff who wanted to come visit, to know he doesn't have warts or horns either. But he really was a waste of my time, because he didn't know about running newspapers. He wouldn't let us take the stuff we were having trouble with to headquarters to find out.

    Ritchie: Because he wanted it to look good.

    Bulkeley: Because he wanted it to look good, only wanted good to go. As USA Today started, as the economy was collapsing, as the company kept growing, the next layer of regional vice presidents was set in. The Lafayette publisher and I were asked to do regional vice presidencies.

    Ritchie: So this was a new position.

    Bulkeley: New position, new layer. We were reporting to Keating. I took responsibility for the small newspapers within the region. The Lafayette publisher was Mal Applegate—Mal, short for Malcolm. I took the little papers, the size I had worked at and was working at. We were, in effect, the corporate generalists providing oversight.

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    Because all of those newspaper publishers were first-time and had first-time department heads as I had, I decided, after trying it myself—they were scattered across Indiana and Ohio, basically. I had Richmond, Indiana; Chillicothe, Ohio; Marietta, Ohio, both in the bottom of the state, Chillicothe in the middle, south-central. Chillicothe was straight below Columbus. Marietta is southeast, near Parkersburg, West Virginia, in the river valley on the river. And Fremont and Port Clinton, which were two little papers up on the shore of Lake Erie. Port Clinton is on the shore and is a seasonal town and paper. Fremont was ten miles in and was the food production place for the truck farms that run all along the Great Lakes where the weather is warm enough, that are far enough south, including Rochester—the truck farms that grow in that old Ice Age sandy soil. So those two cities were totally different, even though they were run out of one plant. One paper was 4,000 or 5,000 circulation, the other was 10,000. But that meant Columbus and Dayton were really right in the middle of all of them. They were all two hours away from there.

    So the first year on our budget, I just pulled us all together to talk through our budgets together, thinking if we went through them we might find ways to help each other save money or make money in the terrible economy.

    Ritchie: You were still in charge of the Danville paper.

    Bulkeley: I still was also the Danville publisher. Keating said it cost too much money having those people come in for an overnight meeting and feeding them meals, and ever thereafter insisted that I had to go visit their properties. That's the only firm direction I ever got from him.

    A year and a half later, about fourteen months later, when we had what are called subsidiary meetings, one of Gannett's reporting structures in those years was that a cluster of papers would come together, the corporate staff equivalents would come in, and each department head would report to the group what was going on and what they intended to do.

    Ritchie: How were the clusters chosen?

    Bulkeley: Generally by geography.

    Ritchie: So you would be with other newspapers from your area?

    Bulkeley: Other newspapers from the area. In the olden days, all the New York State papers would usually go to Rochester, for instance.

    [End Tape 2, Side A; Begin Tape 2, Side B]

    Bulkeley: Keating would, of course, say to Mal and me, "Rehearse your people and make sure they only talk upbeat." Well, when they're turned loose, live, in front of corporate, you can't be sure that's going to happen. Then each publisher would have a private session with only the publisher and the corporate staff. If other newspapers were sitting in, everybody would leave the room except the publisher and the corporate staff, and that's where you talked about personnel problems or any of those things. With our economy so awful, of course each publisher chose to dump about the economy at those points where Keating couldn't stop them. I didn't mind that, because one of the things Dad always taught us was the boss has to know what's going on. You can't keep secrets or only say what the boss wants to hear

    After that meeting, Neuharth was there. We had a session with a corporate staff—Keating, Applegate, and me. Neuharth read us a riot act about how little progress was being

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    made at these papers, the publishers not learning and growing, and the department heads. But in the course of it, I heard him saying how much authority I had, that I had never heard about before, how much initiative I had been expected to exercise, that Neuharth had expected to come by having these layers of supervision with somebody able to get into the properties, none of which I had been allowed to do, nor had I understood. I had really heard my job from Keating and the head of the newspaper division—Jack (John) Heselden. I had really heard a role not unlike what I saw the corporate plant managers having in Danville, that I could go look and see what was there and tell Keating, and that was it. That isn't what Neuharth expected.

    I had also for years heard about Neuharth's terrible temper. So after this meeting, I said to Keating, "On a one-to-ten, where did that chewing-out stand?" I was thinking three or four, maybe. Keating said, "Well, his language was cleaner than usual. Of course, you and Madelyn were there." Madelyn Jennings, the personnel vice president. Keating says, "You and Madelyn were there, so he probably cleaned up his language for you. But otherwise, it was about a seven." Well, I was floored. If that's what he thought was a seven, no wonder he didn't want negatives to go on. But he also didn't know enough about newspapers to know he also wasn't giving us room to do anything about them, and they were going to keep piling up.

    Ritchie: How many people reported to Keating?

    Bulkeley: The two regional vice presidents plus the biggest papers. We basically split the papers up into the three sizes, so whatever the biggest papers in the region were at that time reported to him.

    Ritchie: Directly?

    Bulkeley: Directly. I don't even remember what they were.

    Ritchie: Did things change after this meeting?

    Bulkeley: Well, my dealing with my publishers was a lot stronger, because I knew then that Neuharth expected me to take charge, so I did. USA Today by then was started, so a lot of people blamed USA Today anytime they had to cut their budgets.

    Ritchie: Because that was taking corporate money?

    Bulkeley: Because it was corporate investment and certainly was big losses, big investment. One of my publishers wanted me to sit with his news staff and talk to them. He had a small news staff. Terrible newspaper. What they did was awful. I did, and we talked economy and we talked USA Today and we talked lots of things. The first question was, "We've got these vacancies on our staff. How can we be expected to do better when we have to send money to USA Today?" Well, as it turned out, that paper's profits were lower than it had been the prior year, and the cutbacks, even had it been a family-held newspaper, there would have been cutbacks. The publisher was the son of the people we had bought the paper from.

    Before the Neuharth chewing-out, I probably would have done a "If that's the way it is, that's part of being here. We'll get the long-haul benefits." I sat there and I said, "The staffing situation here has nothing to do with USA Today." We don't talk profits. I mean, you don't talk dollars and stuff in Gannett. Well, I did. I said, "The fact is, you're producing fewer dollars and a lower percentage of the gross, both. Either way you measure, this paper is performing worse this year than it did last year. Even if a family owned this newspaper today, those vacancies

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    would sit, because what's not being spent that's coming in is less than families settle for from their newspapers today. I know that from my experience." And the son was sitting right there. He was the one who had said, "USA Today is taking the money. We have to send it to USA Today."

    By then I didn't give a hoot. I knew he was letting them moan and pout and complain, rather than admitting that he and his cousin, the controller, and his lifelong friends in the other departments weren't on top of it. I made no bones about it, and then I sat down with him afterwards. That got his attention. I said, "What Neuharth told us was that I am the boss, not Keating. You answer to me. You're not doing your job, and I've told you that, and you haven't listened to me. Now that I have your attention—," and we proceeded to set up what needed to happen at that newspaper. He didn't like it, but then he hadn't been happy before. So there was nothing to lose by taking him on.

    Ritchie: And trying to set them straight.

    Bulkeley: And trying to get some improvement, because the community was entitled to better newspapers than it was getting, either or both communities. I'd been around them enough by then to know that those papers were worse than they looked—even worse. There really was work needed, and as long as he thought he had some immunity from the girl vice president. The time the vice presidents were announced, we had meetings, we were all called into Chicago for meetings. Jack Heselden did the announcing, and he sat there in front of the people that Mal and I were about to supervise, and said, "This is a new structure. Not all of us agree with the people being put into these vice presidencies." Jack is one of the guys that from the beginning made no bones about the fact that he thought I had no business running newspapers.

    Ritchie: And that's how he announced your new appointment?

    Bulkeley: That's how he announced the appointment of me and Mal. I had no idea how other people reacted to that announcement. I know how I reacted; it was to know that there was Heselden undermining me again. I don't know whether his attitude was known among those corporate staff guys who undermined me as long and as often as they could, but that's one of the places where he did it in public. At least I think he undermined me in public. This "son of," who thought he had some kind of immunity because he was the "son of," was one of those who probably assumed that they just had to be nice to me because corporate had to show up once in a while.

    Ritchie: He had been at this meeting where you were announced?

    Bulkeley: Yes. I don't know whether he remembered that I had fired the "son of" and that "sons of" no longer had immunity, but it was after that, and that was the kind of situation when I finally began to be able to do with some of those papers what I thought needed to happen with them.

    Keating never got over being a problem and never got over letting us talk to headquarters, which brings us back to what your original question was—did Rochester understand what I was doing. And the answer is no.

    Over the course of those years from '79 until I left Danville, with double-digit inflation and, in fact, in the first two years, Danville lost 25 percent of its jobs, it lost more than 30 percent of its payrolls, the jobs lost were heavy industry overtime—I mean, that's all we lost. We gained the same service jobs everybody else was gaining—more fast food and restaurants and things, in spite of the terrible economy. Over that period from '79 through all of '83—I left there in April of '84—

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    our total costs were only 17 percent higher—15 [percent] maybe—in '83 than they had been in '79, though inflation was more than double digit three of those years, and nearly double digit the other two.

    Some of that savings came from the computer production system that saved us overtime in the composing room. Some of it came from less business volume reducing our newsprint costs. Most of it came because we gave up staff and learned how to do the same volume of work with fewer people, with better people. And because we got everybody involved. One of the supervising clerks, the office supervisor for circulation, for instance, came to me at one point and said, "You know that night complaint clerk job that we have two people in at minimum wage? Well, for another 50> an hour, I could keep So-and-so, and she, with the switchboard person, can handle it. But if I can't pay her more, I'm going to lose her, and both of those jobs keep turning over anyway, because we just won't pay another little more."

    I said, "Okay, let's try it. We'll keep her. When the other one goes, when we have a turnover that lets us raise the pay, we'll do it. We'll give her some of the raise now, but then we'll try it after that and see if it works." Well, it did. So instead of paying two people $2.80 an hour, or whatever the minimum wage was, by raising one person 50> an hour, we saved all of the rest of the other person. We stopped the turnover that had cost the office manager hiring and training time and occasionally filling-in time at an even higher rate, a much higher rate. We got better service. We got much better work from one person keeping hold of the whole job, and she didn't need to be supervised, because she was doing the whole job rather than a supervisor having to put together the two parts. It wasn't a huge savings in dollars to the bottom line, but in terms of principle and convincing materially that the people at the front lines know what it takes to do the job, it was a wonderful object lesson.

    We stopped the turnover in those district manager jobs, the circulation supervision jobs, by identifying clearly the measurable parts of all of the jobs—the carrier training, keeping carriers, collections, sales—we put a weekly premium on each job [part]. At first, because we had so many carrier routes open and such lousy collections and sales, at first the standards would be set by each district, and what it took to get it up to snuff, but we left the pay where it was and then put a bonus on for each area of performance each week or every other week.

    Over time, we found what caliber of people it took to keep the jobs together and how much we had to pay to do it, so we then converted it into a salaried job at the pay level, but expected the performance to stay at the highest standards. That took us a couple of years, and it tied up the circulation director a lot, but it gave him weekly training in ways that got people's attention, because they actually could make a difference in their pay each week. It helped us adjust. There had never been any adjustment to the two people in a household working and to the great increase in single-parent households. One of the reasons the district managers were failing so badly and being frustrated and turning over was that they were still expected to handle the territory that had been handled in the olden days when two parents were at home and one of them could help the kid [who was a newspaper carrier], and where kids had standards that said you do the job every day. But as we moved into one-parent households, there was nobody there to be sure the kid did the work or to help the kid if there was trouble. So the kids were having a terrible experience. We had a terrible time recruiting carriers, because everybody had done it and had a terrible time, or everybody knew somebody who had and it had been terrible, after those years of 200 and 300 percent turnover in carriers and in district managers. It took us years to straighten that out.

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    As we made improvements, we got our complaints down to the statistically normal acceptable level, and then they shot right back up again. People who had given up complaining learned word of mouth that, hey, complaints got action now. So the next whole layer of people who had quit complaining because, "It didn't make a difference anyway, and that's the way it always is. The boss never listens," all of a sudden found out you could complain and make a difference. So after all of this work and we'd gotten the thing down and it started looking right—boom—the complaints went right back up again.

    Ritchie: Complaints in regards to circulation?

    Bulkeley: Circulation, delivery, vacation papers not being stopped when they were supposed to, or restarted, new papers not being started, papers being not delivered on time or at all, all of the things people who pay at home complain about. So we went back through the whole thing all over again. We had the right people who knew their jobs. They didn't take nearly as long to get those complaints under control as it had, but it was altogether a four- or five-year process while all these other things were also happening in the economy and affecting us. The paper was smaller, so people who measure by bulk said, "Eh!" The paper was of less use in the outside territory, so we were having to reevaluate and rearrange routes. The driver routes cost a lot more to deliver than carrier routes, but even in the little villages we were losing penetration to the point that we could no longer have foot carriers—the kids—because the houses were too far apart.

    Ritchie: So you needed people old enough to drive, and had a vehicle.

    Bulkeley: We needed to have drivers, people who could drive. Ultimately they'd be so scattered out that it wasn't worth their while either, and we'd have to just go ahead and lop off the circulation and then do newsstand sales, find the stores in town, some places where people could buy it and promote it enough to try to maintain a presence in those places. So all of these things were happening at the same time.

    The corporate guys were mostly managing strictly by computer printouts and getting the money to USA Today. That's the kind of pressure they were under. Keating, with USA Today in the territory, would do things like hire drivers to go eight hours to set up new USA Today sales, when we couldn't hire anybody else, but had to add in USA Today circulation. He'd be paying drivers to go forever into new territory so he could get his bonuses, but with the same people, we'd have to try to sell and deliver USA Today throughout the whole territory.

    Ritchie: So you were responsible for that.

    Bulkeley: For USA Today delivery within our territory as the production capacity reached the point that they could deliver to us. So there were incredible strains and tensions, but in spite of all of that, the people who worked for me continued to make the paper better and to do a better job with the resources we had and within the territory. The printouts the corporate guys looked at were current financial year, the month, and the year to date against the budget. They also would look against what was called the rolling twelve, the year ago—month and year to date a year ago. That's all the farther their history went. Nobody ever understood that under all of those pressures, changing the press in place, integrating the paper from zero color or minority of any kind, people of color, from all white to about 20 percent non-white, when nobody else could do it or was doing it, all the rest of those things, doing color printing once we had a new press that could handle color.

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    In 1983, we delivered expenses only 17 percent more than 1979. A couple of times in that cycle we'd do two fiscal years at flat dollars.

    Ritchie: What does that mean?

    Bulkeley: That means we spent no more money to do the paper in 1980 than we spent in 1979, in spite of that giant increase in minimum wage and double-digit inflation.

    Ritchie: You were holding.

    Bulkeley: We held our cost flat. We had to. Our revenue was going out the window. With no payrolls in town and those terrible drops, our retailers were closing or tightening up, and had it been a family newspaper, there would have been no choice but to batten down the hatches. We almost held our profit margin, but there was no way we could send 10 or 15 percent increases or even the same number of dollars to Rochester every year. They did not exist in our marketplace. But nobody ever looked at the long haul. Keating wouldn't allow me to talk about a 25 percent job loss, a 30 percent payroll loss. Most people's double-digit unemployment in those days was, in fact, new workers in the marketplace.

    In the papers I was supervising, they all had the same number of people working in their economies throughout that period. Where they had double-digit unemployment, it was because more people [were] looking for work. Some of them had loss of heavy industry jobs and additional service jobs in their particular market, but they still had the same number of people collecting paychecks. We dropped from 42,000 people collecting paychecks to 32,000 in two years. It sort of held at that 32,000 area, but continued to shift.

    Ritchie: Did you ever request a transfer?

    Bulkeley: Constantly, and I was told to quit belly-aching. But also during the years that Jack Heselden was in charge of the newspaper division, no woman was named to a job in a bigger place than Al put me in before he turned over responsibility to Jack. The time that I went to Danville, Al was still making the appointments. By the time I left Danville, there were twelve women publishers, at least two others had moved at least once, and I still was the publisher at the biggest paper. There was one at one the same size—Niagara Falls—but there was nobody above that. As I say, three of us had moved at least once from a teeny paper to bigger, but we were all still in the bottom half. If you ranked the newspapers by size, we were in those that were in the second half below the median.

    At the same time, men were being moved from papers our size, from the department head jobs, into publisher jobs in the bigger newspapers. A guy would go from being a department head in 30,000 circulation to being publisher of a 50,000- or 60,000-circulation newspaper, rather than one of us going from the 30,000 paper into the 50,000 or 60,000, which is how it used to work. The guys would go from department head to running the whole thing in the much bigger size.

    Ritchie: And you were aware of this going on?

    Bulkeley: Oh, sure. All of the announcements were always made everywhere, and every year at the time of the publishers' meeting, the American Newspaper Publishers Association annual convention, Gannett always bought ads running its pictures, bragging about its diversity, among other things.

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    Ritchie: Putting the women in the ads?

    Bulkeley: The pictures of all of the publishers would be there. I was always asked, "How many are there?" And I always knew the number. A lot of the guys didn't; they'd come ask me, "How many of you are there now?" So I knew they didn't know the numbers, but they always knew the numbers of my operating performance. They always knew whether our monthly operating income was what the budget said, and of course it never was, because they all got the computer printouts.

    At the same time, I said something to Al about a transfer not very long after the regional vice presidencies. I had assumed new job, new responsibilities, you had to stay a certain amount of time to get the work established, but within months, some of the guys who had been named regional vice presidents were being promoted to other newspapers outside of their regions, and new guys were being appointed to regional vice presidents. I was a regional vice president something over three years by the time I finally got moved from Danville and on a negotiated move back to Saratoga.

    Ritchie: What do you mean by a negotiated move?

    Bulkeley: By then John Curley was head of the newspaper division and was the heir apparent to succeed Al as chief executive of the company. When he got the job, I wrote him a note and said, "I've got to be moved. I don't fit this town. I've done all I know how to do with the news page, with the news stuff. It's not right. Somebody who understands this kind of place or fits here needs to come fix it. I don't know any more to do. I am (and I was) absolutely exhausted from all of the teaching I've been doing without getting enough new back in."

    So we went in and talked. Curley said, "Come on in." I had a meeting in Washington. I met him, and he said, "Will you go to Rockford?" I said, "No."

    Ritchie: Rockford, Illinois.

    Bulkeley: Rockford, Illinois, was a Gannett newspaper about twice the size of Danville and, in fact, is where the guy had gone that I followed to Danville.

    Ritchie: And you didn't want to follow him?

    Bulkeley: He'd already been moved again a couple of times from Rockford. I said, "Rockford is another Midwest industrial place surrounded by an agricultural economy. What I'm telling you is that the culture of Danville is one I don't understand. I don't know how to do news for Danville. I won't know any better in Rockford."

    "Oh," he says.

    I said, "Besides, John, I left the Midwest on purpose. While Danville is different from the part of the Midwest I grew up in, there are lots of parts of the country that are a lot different, and if you're not going to let me go to them, then I'd just as soon—"

    He said, "Well, where would you go?"

    And I listed a bunch of places, and I said Saratoga. He said, "You'd go back to Saratoga?"

    I said, "Sure. So would every publisher who's ever been there."

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    Well, later I learned about the people who think bigger is the only kind of better, and you measure success only by having more and bigger, and that that's the kind of standard and value that was John's first cut at anything—was bigger.

    Ritchie: So he expected you to ask for—

    Bulkeley: A bigger place. I said, "I like places this size. I don't like rush hours. I don't like having to drive, to assume half an hour to get anywhere. There are too many things to do, to spend my life running around in traffic or being bound to two cars or whatever. I like these places and I know enough about all departments, I can help them. You've really got to start putting people who know all departments in little places, and quit having the blind leading the blind because of all of these, if nothing else, the legal messes that you get in."

    Well, he asked me some questions about Danville and what was wrong with it, some of which I couldn't answer. He said, "In terms of lost circulation, about the only other places in the Midwest as bad as yours are Gary, Indiana, and Terre Haute. Why is that?"

    I said, "I don't know." Well, I didn't. I hadn't paid any attention to Terre Haute and Gary, Indiana. They're both heavy industry towns. He didn't ask me, "Why has your circulation gone down so far?" I could have told him that $100,000 of write-offs in two years, whole trailer parks that had disappeared as the economy went blooey, 1,000 empty houses on the market, contrasted with a handful when I went there. I could account for almost every paper that had been claimed as sold before I got there and that we were no longer selling, but he never asked me that, and I didn't volunteer. That's part of why you get such long answers now. I've learned to volunteer until I'm cut off.

    Ritchie: What did he ask you? What did he want to hear from you?

    Bulkeley: He wanted me to tell him why we looked like Terre Haute and Gary, and I couldn't, so I said I couldn't. I didn't know. He didn't ask any more about circulation. I don't really remember what else we talked about that day. It wasn't very long—half an hour, maybe. But he said, "You really would go back to Saratoga?"

    And I said, "Sure."

    He said, "Was it a mistake to go to Danville?"

    I said, "Well, in lots of ways it was. Not in terms of size; that's no big deal."

    Well, this was in January. He said, "Well, we'll get you out of there," but he didn't really know what was going on. He said, "That might solve some things that we've been looking at."

    Ultimately, in April of that year, I was offered to go back to Saratoga and then to carry a corporate title that was a made-up title, with no portfolio, but to cover my association work and speechmaking and things that I did and was continuing to do, simply because there weren't other people to do it. The other women mostly weren't involved in association work.

    Ritchie: Professional national associations.

    Bulkeley: Right. Or they didn't have the experience yet to meet the assignment, though every time anybody asked, I only went where people could pay for it, because Danville couldn't

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    subsidize my travel like that. If I couldn't find some way to send it to Keating as a Gannett central region bill, then I wouldn't go unless somebody was interesting enough [to me] for my time and would pick up the travel costs. I kept giving them names, and I'd hear back ultimately that the women would never accept the assignments. Well, the women Al had appointed did and would. The next generation of women didn't, and I assume it's because they heard from the corporate guys about not to do it or, "Don't do like she's doing and screw up your newspaper. Look at her numbers, because she's never there. She's spending all the money running around." Again, some of this is reconstruction.

    I found out later that the guy who followed me into Danville walked into the business office and said, "Show me where her $100,000 slush fund is, so we can get rid of it." That was somebody's estimate on how much money I was spending on community stuff and my own travel, out of that property. Of course I wasn't spending any. By then I had even figured out how to get the mandatory trips charged to Keating, not to my property. So he [my successor] didn't have any travel money for himself. The only question he ever asked me was, "How many University of Illinois football tickets does the paper have?" Well, we didn't have any. There had been twelve when I got there. The publisher mostly took his friends from the paper and the community all the time and did tailgate parties, but people didn't go with me. I wasn't all that hot anyway for it.

    The ad director and other people, the guys who ran the stores, couldn't go out with my ad director. He was a department head. If they were going to socialize, they had to go with me, and I wasn't taking people to football games. So ultimately the tickets just atrophied and we cut them back and cut them back, and finally let them go. But the only question he ever asked me about the paper was, "How many football tickets are there?"

    I told him, "None."

    He said, "How can that be?"

    I said, "They weren't being spent when we went on flat dollars. Even if advertisers were going with me, I'm not sure that that's the highest and best use of what money there is."

    Well, once I learned that he thought I had a $100,000 slush fund, I understood both the question and why I didn't get any other questions.

    Once again, I have lost your original question and where I was going with all of that.

    Ritchie: To tell you the truth, I'm not certain either.

    Bulkeley: Also at the time I left Danville, I used to know the number of how many people had been regional vice presidents. There were probably eight of those jobs across the country altogether, but there had been lots of men through them. At the time I left Danville, I still was the only woman in that job—the regional vice presidency. The Richmond, Indiana, paper by now had a woman publisher, one that had been moved from a tiny little Gannett paper into Richmond at my behest, because we needed a marketing person there, and that was her background. She was given my regional vice presidency. She became the second woman three years-plus after the job was established and twenty-some men after the job was established. This was all under Heselden.

    Ritchie: And you had requested that.

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    Bulkeley: As head of the newspaper division. She would not have been in that region, there would not have been a woman in that region to succeed me if I had not asked for her as the next publisher, because the list that the guys came up with didn't have any women on it to come into my territory. Even though they were saying, "We know you need a marketing person there next, somebody with a marketing background," and she was an experienced publisher, for goodness sakes, with a marketing background, her name didn't surface on any of the lists.

    Ritchie: What was her name?

    Bulkeley: Pamela Meals.

    Ritchie: I asked you if you ever requested a transfer. Did you ever think of leaving Gannett and doing something else?

    Bulkeley: Yes. There were two different jobs that I pursued seriously. One of them was a one-year visiting professor job at Kansas that, in fact, was financed by the Gannett Foundation, so they only occasionally could have a Gannett person in, and hadn't for a long time. The dean was a friend of mine from my work in accrediting, so I talked to him about that job, because I knew that was a safe escape and I knew that people from other companies had used that as a way to bust a pattern, whether within their company or to get out of a mold or a stereotype. So Del, in fact, had set it up for me the way he would have for one of his buddies and hadn't advertised the job or anything.

    Ritchie: What was his name?

    Bulkeley: Del [Delbert] Brinkman. Del Brinkman had set it up. He may have advertised in the pro forma affirmative action way, late seventies, early eighties. He probably would have had to. But they had me in to do a Women in Communications thing on campus and ran me past the faculty at a cocktail party at the dean's house and all of that stuff. I think it was the regional vice presidency that came along at that point.

    The other thing that happened was a workshop on integrating newspapers, led by Jay Harris, who was still faculty and staff at Northwestern at that point, a black journalist, and Bob Maynard, put together by Phil Currie, whom we've talked about, by now a corporate staff professional on dealing with the news side, on integrating newspapers, that brought in people from all departments and of all kinds, colors, and ages, and seniority. Spent a couple of days.

    Ritchie: Who sponsored this?

    Bulkeley: Gannett meeting. What they did at the end of the meeting, after talking about all of the departments and how they're seen by the people who are different, in their own experiences, in the first place I found out that people who are different [i.e., African-American, Latino, etc.] basically run on the same motivations and interests that people who are the same, and that indeed they all have troubles being heard, that bosses will hear the suggestions from the white males that they don't hear from the person of color or the female, that they all had learned ways to deal with credibility in the community when somebody would say, "I want to talk to the man who's the boss," or whatever.

    We learned stuff like black communities' carriers getting robbed because it's whitey's newspaper, and particularly if it's a white carrier in a black community, robberies are not unusual and nobody will help. But where there were black kids in good circulation departments, the black

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    communities looked out for them and protected them. All of that kind of stuff that we now know routinely, nobody knew in those days.

    Jay and Bob closed that workshop by doing the altar call. Around the room, everybody had to say one thing you were going to do different because of this conference when you got home.

    [End Tape 2, Side B; Begin Tape 3, Side A]

    Bulkeley: Between what I picked up from that workshop myself, what I knew and had already done from having been the only and the first and the visible female, and knew not to ever again allow it to happen to anybody, and then the altar call from all of these people from all the different parts of newspapers, I went home with the information I needed to truly overhaul that newspaper, at least in terms of making it a place where people of color could come and be welcomed and contribute, and short of hanging from the rafters, the least accepting of the people. But it gave me the knowledge and the ideas to be able to lay out plans for the whole place.

    Ritchie: Until this time, was the staff predominantly or exclusively white?

    Bulkeley: My best department heads had made efforts to hire minority people. They had not been very successful for a variety of reasons, and mostly because they [the people of color] were all alone. We had a black district manager, a black guy who was the only one in circulation, and we weren't smart enough to not send him to Indiana. He got sent to Indiana, which is still Klan territory. Our Indiana territory is the northern reach, and Danville is the northern reach of that southern Indiana hotbed of Klan activity.

    Later, during the economy mess, at one point we had our district managers walk every route with every foot carrier to be sure we knew what the situation was, and along the way they'd visit with customers. We ran into customers in Indiana who said, "We moved over here to get away from the blacks, and now they show up in your paper and on your staff all the time."

    Ritchie: Were there a considerable number of blacks in the Danville area?

    Bulkeley: Before the 1980 census, we didn't have the numbers, but the schools were nearly 30 percent black, which we knew from other places meant the city was somewhere between 12 and 15 percent. As I recall, the census showed 17 or 18 percent, all in the city. But there still was one black physician. Ron [Dillman], on introducing me to the city, shows me where the black physician lives, and says, "He was the first one to move over the line at that street." I found out later, that had been fifteen years earlier. To Ron's thinking, that was still so new, it was worth commenting on. We went through the area where the public housing was and part of the segregated part of the city, and Ron says, "If it weren't noon, I wouldn't drive you through here." That's just old, old thinking.

    The other thing was, that percentage means there were between 5,000 and 6,000 black people in Danville. As David would do heavy duty community volunteer stuff, on the symphony board, for instance, he'd get there and it would be all white, and he'd say, "Why is the symphony board all white?" People would say, "Well, Elizabeth is on the school board and David just became school principal," or whatever. They'd name the five or six black people they knew who were capable of serving on the board, and then they'd say, "So who else is there? They were all too busy."

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    Well, David would say, "The other 5,000, there must be some people of competence." Nobody knew there were that many, let alone who they were or where they were.

    Ritchie: Or what their abilities might be.

    Bulkeley: Or what their abilities were. But armed with this stuff from this workshop, I hauled the department heads out to the country club, to the private meeting room, and we spent a day going through stuff and laying plans, starting with counting the pictures and the names of non-white people in our local coverage, including the inventories of carriers, the penetration. Living was still so segregated that you could identify by block the color of people that lived there. We simply established inventories of all of those places we could, and by then we had long since established what our normal turnover was in staff, so we could start talking about what percentage of hires had to be minority, rather than what should the number be at the end of the year. Because if you didn't have turnover and had expected to, I didn't think it would be fair to dock somebody on an evaluation. So I knew we had to track turnovers. What else did we track? We tracked how the Gannett Foundation grants were being used.

    Ritchie: What did that have to do with minorities?

    Bulkeley: Foundation grants went to nonprofits doing community service work. Up till the time I got there, almost all of the money went to the Boy Scouts and Junior Achievement, which were white organizations in Danville.

    Ritchie: Did the local newspaper dispense these?

    Bulkeley: Good point. In those days, each local newspaper had its fair share of Gannett Foundation money for which it could recommend grants. The foundation's main asset was still Gannett stock. The federal laws required spending 5 percent a year against asset base from 501C3s. The Gannett system in those days was a very little foundation staff. It's a totally separate organization, but because the money came from the Gannett communities, Frank Gannett's direction and will, both when he established the foundation, then when he left the money to it, were that the money should go back to Gannett communities. So there was a formula, but basically the size we were to the Gannett size would say how much our fair share of the annual money was. So we could recommend grants which the foundation would then make. In forty-some years of access to the foundation, Danville had hardly taken any money, less than $100,000, and it had all gone to the Boy Scouts.

    Ultimately, by the second or third year, I created a committee of employees in order to have enough outreach to figure where it was going, and so that also became one of our tools. If we say that this is everybody's and everybody's community and everybody's newspaper, then the grant money ought to go where it's needed, and in that case the black community was certainly entitled to a fair share.

    I earlier mentioned the Iranians. The only other minority in Danville were international physicians, immigrant physicians, both Asian and Mediterranean, Mid Eastern. Danville didn't have Hispanics. A few Greek restauranteurs and things, but basically the minority in those days in Danville was black.

    Ritchie: No ethnic groups had settled there?

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    Bulkeley: One public housing unit had Vietnamese, and I've forgotten which tribe. They weren't Hmong. But they didn't stay there very long. It was such an inhospitable place and so segregated, that as fast as they could get their feet on the ground, they left.

    So anyway, we set up a full plan, and by then I understood the need for presence in the black community. We couldn't just give lip service. We knew what jobs we could hire out of the local community, that basically the journalist jobs were the only ones that required a college education, and indeed one of the daughters of the physician was in journalism at Illinois at that point, only the editor didn't know it. We identified where our grapevines were. The least jobs we had were the mail room jobs putting the ads inside the paper, the grocery ads and things. Those had mostly been filled by the schoolmates of the foreman's children or the people the foreman and his wife knew in their little town.

    Ritchie: The foreman in charge of mail room?

    Bulkeley: The foreman in charge of the mail room. But among other things, they told me at one of the public housing units, those are wonderful jobs for some of our tenants, because they're outside of school hours. The mothers know they can get home, and even though they're not predictable, those who don't have any training certainly can earn work discipline and start earning money and start establishing some pocket money and self-esteem. Even though it's not money that's going to free them from public housing, it's money, and they haven't been able to earn any. So we just started pushing the grapevine to all those other places where it hadn't been, but where there were people that could do the work we needed.

    The schools had integrated the staff, and the school superintendent was quite willing, as we brought professional staff in, to help connect ours with theirs, so they had fast access to the minority community of like class. Again I still didn't understand all the class stuff, but schoolteachers and entry-level journalists, entry-level schoolteachers, were all paid about the same and had comparable educations. In the cases of minorities, they probably had comparable kinds of family push and encouragement at home or at least experiences, so it would give them a way to start.

    But our early hires—while I knew some of the things to do to help take the first or the only pressure off, I didn't know enough of them, and I didn't know the territory well enough. One of the black women nearly killed herself, a black reporter, because outside of work hours she'd go around to activities at all of the [black] churches, and on weekends she'd spend her whole weekend going to activities at the black churches. Another sign of the class thing in Danville is that there were 120 churches for 40,000 people in the city. There were sixteen black churches for 6,000. Her first name was Benita. I don't remember her last name right now. She was physically exhausting herself, trying to establish the paper's interest and presence and using herself as the evidence.

    Ritchie: In the black community?

    Bulkeley: In the black community, finding nobody to socialize with, but also not sitting still long enough to really socialize and build a new community for herself of friends.

    Ritchie: She had been brought in from outside?

    Bulkeley: She had been brought in from outside. They all were brought in from outside. Kim Crockett wasn't about to stay home and work when she, in fact, had access to bigger places, and

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    went first, I think, to the Rockford paper. The last I knew, quite a while ago now, she had a major reporting or editing job in the Cincinnati newspaper.

    Another of the early ones had been in the Champaign paper, had moved over into book publishing to get regular hours during a critical period for her kids, did not want to go back to the Champaign paper, which was still mostly white, and we were, too, but we were at least a company and Champaign was a home-owned paper.

    Ritchie: She was black?

    Bulkeley: Black. She wanted to work on the copy desk, which was fine, but because of the driving and because she had kids, she negotiated for, and I went along with, a four-day work week. Well, my supervisors in the newsroom didn't understand that, and they didn't understand that we needed her just as much. It didn't really matter when the forty hours were that she worked; we needed her ability and her presence. They never really understood flexible hours and how to negotiate them.

    As we started laying out the plans and making them public within the building, one of the editors at one of the open meetings, one of the middle editors, said to me, "You mean we're going to give up on our reach for quality in order to have minorities?"

    And I said two things. "With evaluation processes in place, any person, black, white, yellow, three-headed Lithuanian, who doesn't carry his or her share of the load will no longer stay on this staff, and you've made enough excuses to me for enough of your white people that I don't buy that quality crap. Second, the way we get money, particularly in a terrible economy like this, is to find new customers that cost as little to deliver to as possible. There are somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 households of black people who do not buy this newspaper. They live closer to the plant than most white people do. If the time comes when they understand this is everybody's paper, not just whitey's, we'll have money to fill jobs on your staff that we can't fill now. So don't tell me we're wasting money and lowering the quality. If you think that way and continue to think that way, I'll take your resignation." He stayed.

    Ultimately, as USA Today borrowed some of our people, we ended up with four or five openings and were in a position to fill them in the newsroom. The editor came to me and said, "Okay, we're ready to hire nothing but minorities," and we proceeded to, and it took us maybe three months, but that's all. A lot of newspapers will say there are not qualified minorities out there. Even today, 1993, they will say that, and it's simply not true. It was not true in 1982. One of them had worked for a paper in Indiana as a reporter for five years, and for all five years was their only minority. As she came over to interview with us, it was about the same size paper, but by then we had pretty good representation throughout the building, except in production, where we weren't hiring—in the press room or the composing room. But because of the local market and turnover, inside sales and outside sales both had people of color, and the other clerical jobs were well mixed. As she walked through the building, you could see her relax and lighten up, simply become less tense, less defensive or protective, probably is a better word in a job interview situation, because she found out she was no longer going to be the only one, that we had reached what probably was critical mass, although who knows, where you can maintain the mix, because of the grapevines.

    We also for a long time told our minority employees first of openings before we even posted inside. We gave them advanced notice, because they were still having to convince people that it was an okay place for black people to work. One of the things we didn't keep track of and

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    only suddenly realized that it had happened was when we would run classified ads for job openings, when we suddenly started having as many people of color apply as white people, out of the community that was 20 percent maybe African-American. To have as many applying or more said to me we'd institutionalized and community connected at least at this level.

    Ritchie: It was a place that they would be accepted.

    Bulkeley: They knew they would be accepted and given a fair shake.

    Ritchie: What did you mean when you said USA Today had borrowed some people?

    Bulkeley: Part of the staffing at USA Today in its start-up years, because they didn't know what it was going to take to do the job, they had their projections, but reality never quite fits the plans, they also were insistent on—and rightly so—as much mix in terms of race and age and experience and original location as possible. Some staff people they knew well enough to know they wanted on the staff, and they hired and transferred and took onto their payroll. Others went for tryouts and would be there for up to six months, and maybe would be offered a permanent job, but maybe would be sent home again. Some people agreed to go for only a trial period, and said, "I don't want a job there, but I will come help," and wanted the learning experience to enrich their own performance at home. So there were all of those kinds of things. And because of our own profit situation, we had to be careful on whether we filled all of our openings or not, but as long as somebody was on your payroll but at USA Today, there was no vacancy anyway.

    The Gannett Rochester newspaper were the ones known best to those putting USA Today together. I think between them they lost something like 15 to 20 percent of their news staff initially. Because of the growth of news staffs in the seventies, that still left those newspapers with more people than they'd had at the time I was part of those newsrooms. We were down on bodies in Danville because we had been consolidating low-paying jobs, three entry-level jobs into two much better jobs and some savings, for instance, trying to find the right mix. With all of those schools and all of those communities, it took a certain number of bodies just to be out there covering the news, but at some point it also took better experience to try to give it some balance and perspective, and what does it all mean, and what really is important.

    So we were hurting in terms of bodies to some extent, because we at one point were also down 20 percent. The 20 percent, when you're starting it at 37, and 20 percent when you're starting at nearly 300, is quite a bit difference. And 20 percent when you've got two products is quite a bit different than 20 percent when you've got only one.

    That bringing in and deciding we were going to get over the hump and do it happened in 1983, so by the end of that year—one of Gannett's internal things was called the Frank Tripp Awards. He was an early partner of Frank Gannett. They were awards by departments for innovation. So I went back and reconstructed what we had done over the five-year period in terms of affirmative action and hiring, that it was grapevine.

    The corporate people were still only collecting numbers at the end of the year, not turnover, and letting everybody off the hook because they said, "We couldn't find anybody." But if 20 percent of your staff turns over and you've got that much opportunity, you can wait on some jobs, or you start with the tough hires first. If there aren't enough minority journalists to satisfy everybody who's looking, then you go there where you've got the most openings, so you've got the most flexibility. You don't wait until you've got one very narrow job and then say, "Gee, I couldn't find anybody who was qualified," unless, of course, you have no intention of changing

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    the status quo. Then you do wait until you've got the narrowest job possible and say, "Gee, I went to all of these places and they didn't have anybody for that job," but they never say they filled four general assignment entry-level jobs. The corporation was not asking for turnover as part of the accountability for minorities. We were, and we filed it with the corporation all the time, but nobody ever picked up on it. So anyway, as much as I could reconstruct, I put the whole thing together.

    One of the critical points, another of the turning points was when some people in the black community that the paper had not identified until we started being out there came to us and said, "Our kids need to understand newspaper. Help us help them do a newspaper." Well, what grew out of all of that was a weekly newspaper in the summer with black high school and college kids doing all of the reporting and deciding what the stories were, coming in our newsroom to do the writing and the editing, with our staff helping edit, but under serious constraints. Part of what I knew was to let people tell their stories their own way, and I had to let those kids have their head to get what they thought was the story or found was the story. We had to be careful about grammatical demands. We insisted on basic standard English and on those elements of style that made sense, like doing time, date, place, in the same order all the time, using the same abbreviations all the time for street and address and correct spelling and stuff. But it was up to them to decide what was important and why.

    We published an eight-page tabloid newspaper with our staff working as volunteers, basically, to work with them, and a couple of critical staff people, some of whom had the contacts in the community to do it, to help, because they'd been there forever, one of whom was Berniece Courtney. We called her Niecy. Niecy had grown up with a lot of the people who by now were the leaders of the black community and had been in the tiny little part of town that was integrated, so she knew a lot of the people we didn't, and I ultimately moved her from number two out of three in the features department into our personnel role. She really was coordinating our affirmative action stuff and our community outreach.

    But it was a wonderful paper. Of course, because it was covering a part of the community and talking to people who had never been talked to, they kept scooping the newsroom, which drove the newsroom crazy. They named the paper Black Awareness. I suppose today it would be AAA—African-American Awareness. Out of that bunch, four or five out of the first group of twelve or thirteen went to journalism, only one of whom had started out that way. One of them—I came in one day for my share of the work. We did our meetings and things out in Laura Lee Fellowship House, which was the black community center. Laura Lee had been one of the early black leaders. But then we'd work in the newsroom, and they even helped do the paste-up. Even our union guys from the composing room would stay and help on their own time. We printed a couple thousand copies which pretty well saturated the black community and community centers—the stores and barbershops and churches. We ran it off the newsprint that would have been thrown away anyway, because it was too short to do anything with, too short for part of our newspaper run.

    Ritchie: Because of the size?

    Bulkeley: Because it would only print 1,000 or 2,000. Too short to paste in to make a whole new roll of newsprint, because where you paste paper together it wastes copies or it breaks and damages others. So we were using newsprint that would have been thrown away, printed on spare time in the press room, and all of the rest of our staff time was donated the first year. They scooped the newsroom. We published five or six or seven copies. We did not save enough,

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    because it rapidly became a collector's item in the community and with people who had been part of it.

    The next year would have been '83. Through the Fellowship House, we got a grant from the Gannett Foundation that we used to hire a journalism faculty member. Eastern Illinois University had one black journalism faculty member. We hired him to be the presence at the Fellowship House and to do the editing and most of the work that we had mostly done on our own time and nearly killed ourselves the summer before, though we all intended to do enough working with to keep learning from all of it. Well, he never really understood the cycle of a weekly publication, that you story plan ten days ahead of publication. As people finished their assignments, they then get plugged into the next week's publication cycle. He never really understood that, as many times as we tried to talk it through. Whatever I was doing, I wasn't paying close enough attention until I started seeing how awful the paper was, and it turned out they were having to ramrod poorly done and poorly edited stories, and nobody was working with the kids enough, because this guy that we were paying never got through his head how far ahead you had to start on things. He was starting two or three days ahead for one week's paper, and it just doesn't work that way, not in anybody's weekly newspaper. You always have to have things working farther ahead than that. So our staff moved back in on it, trying not to put him down and to find things he could do to help, but also to take over the advanced planning.

    We also at the same time, because of what we'd done the first year, were getting help from Gannett newspapers and news service. Both let us borrow one person a week to come in and meet with and work with the kids, so they were seeing minority reporters other than our own, but our own minority reporters also were latching onto, and our department heads, because these were the best Gannett had in those days, many of whom—well, one of them is now in line to be president of the Gridiron.

    Ritchie: Who is that?

    Bulkeley: Jessica Lee. I first met her in El Paso [Texas], which is a Gannett newspaper in one of those joint arrangements with another owner. I'll tell the Jessica Lee story in a minute. But she was one of those who came in to work with our kids, and there were others.

    Ritchie: So they came from different Gannett papers.

    Bulkeley: They came from different Gannett papers at Gannett's expense, to work with the kids. Since the cycle was screwed up, the printed results weren't as good that year as the first year, but I think in terms of morale and encouragement, we had a lot of the same kids back. It probably was those folks and the networks that they started building then that accounted for the numbers of them that went into newspapering. Niecy [Courtney] stayed at that newspaper for years. She by then was a widow. She ultimately remarried and retired a couple of years ago. I tried to get her to keep track of the kids, and not only the ones from Black Awareness, but also those who joined Gannett first at Danville, to show that while Danville, because of the economy, maybe wasn't carrying its financial share of the load for the corporation over the eighties, that it more than carried its share of the load for building the future of the company and of the news business.

    Ritchie: Were there any other programs like this?

    Bulkeley: Not in those days. I'll back up a minute. There were a couple of national companies or organizations sponsoring workshops that would take one or two kids from big cities or

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    communities in for workshops on campus. One of them was at Berkeley. The Newspaper Fund, which is the foundation related to the Wall Street Journal Company, would finance workshops for a couple of weeks, but these all took kids out of their community. It didn't give them the impact so that at some level they got to understanding of the role of news and news media in community and the responsibility to the public and to readers for accuracy, accurate representation of what people told you for news, proper behavior and demeanor in dealing with news sources. Those kids would never more do a Sam Donaldson shout/yell/crap/abuse news reporters, those kids who grew up learning news on the streets, if they had to keep their job, which isn't all that different from my original work for the Argus girls.

    "Argus," by the way, means "sentinel." It comes out of Greek or Roman mythology. I looked it up after we talked about it, and I didn't go back and look it up again when I remembered. I forgot the particulars. But it's in unabridged dictionaries.

    Ritchie: Had there ever been a black newspaper in Danville?

    Bulkeley: No. Of course, this one didn't last once we got our own news fixed. I have no idea of all of the black reporters and journalists and salespeople who have been through there and gone on to other things. Between that and my other stuff, though, there's at least one black publisher Gannett has that's a woman I brought into Gannett. I met her through an accrediting trip to a backwoods Arkansas state university. I knew from talking to her that she'd gotten everything there was to get out of a journalism education. She wouldn't come to Danville. She followed up and wanted to come to Gannett, wouldn't come to Danville. She said, "It's not a big enough place for me to have what I expect in a community." And she probably was right, but she went to Rockford. She's now the publisher, ironically, in Chillicothe, Ohio, again one of those papers that reported to me once upon a time.

    Ritchie: What is her name?

    Bulkeley: Wait a minute. She's been promoted. Her name is Dorothy Bland. She was in Chillicothe. She's been promoted, and I've forgotten to where. That was just in the last few weeks, sometime this spring, maybe, or early summer. But she would not be in Gannett if it had not been initially for me. One of the guys that she worked with as assistant to, in fact, had been my first editor in Saratoga. And one of the guys that I took a chance on, one of his other publishers had said, "He's doing all he can do," but again it was another case of somebody who needed to get out of his home town. Once he got out of his home town, he blossomed. As it turns out, Dorothy ended up doing her assistant to the publisher, learning the other departments' work, for this guy, and then went on to one of the papers that I used to supervise. Even in a company as big as Gannett, the pieces just keep overlapping and connecting.

    Ritchie: Did the summer program for the black students continue after you left?

    Bulkeley: I think they did it one or two more years, and maybe only one. Whether it had outlived its usefulness, because the newspaper was doing a more complete job, or whether the publisher was unwilling to invest staff people in it, and didn't understand the dynamics of it, I don't know.

    Ritchie: You were going to talk about the Frank Tripp Award.

    Bulkeley: I wanted to talk about Jessica Lee, too. The Tripp Award, I simply put together our whole program and said we didn't know it had worked until this year, but it's really a five-year thing, and eventually it got recognized at the corporate level. It did not get the first prize in

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    Frank Tripp. Somebody who wrote a newsroom management manual did. One of the guys. But anyway, it got a second-place recognition, so at least it got on the record somewhere.

    Jessica I first met in El Paso. The publisher down there who also ran the joint agency asked me to come down and meet with some of his women executives, because while he was trying very hard to do things right, he wasn't sure he was. He thought if I'd come down and visit, I could give him ideas on what more to do. He was one of the good guys, had come out of some other business into newspapering, and Gannett inherited him when it bought into the process. I think there was some Women in Communication stuff they put together, too.

    So he said, "Would you meet with some of the women while you're here, stay over and meet with them?" I sure, "Sure." Well, as some of them heard I was coming, a lot who hadn't been invited wanted in on the meeting. Frank Fueille was smart enough and secure enough to say, "Okay, whoever wants to come." So we ended up at the country club. He knew to do that—the establishment country club where women still weren't allowed to join, but we ended up in a country club dining room on a Saturday with sixty-some women, including Hispanic and black women. Jessica was a bright young reporter doing government reporting. I didn't know what in the world I was going to do with this crowd, but I recognized that the number was equal, and they were from all departments. The number was equal to or somewhat bigger than I had to run my whole newspaper in Saratoga, and this was just the female contingent out of the joint agency and the two newspapers.

    So we started with the "Which departments are here?" And then I pointed out that this was how many people, that the room represented the number I had for a whole newspaper, and that was all the empowering it took to break loose all of the questions and all of the discussion. Frank wasn't doing anything wrong. There were some things he wasn't doing that could help, but he was as close to the cutting edge in terms of women and minorities as we knew in those days.

    Ritchie: This was in the early eighties?

    Bulkeley: Yes, it would have been early eighties, and maybe even late seventies. But it gave me a visible—and you could feel it in the room—feel for empowerment and what empowerment does in terms of freeing people and energizing them. It also, among other things, set Jessica loose, as she ultimately was in the Washington bureau and covering the White House and is now—as I say, whether it's the White House Corespondents Association or the Gridiron Club, I can't remember, but I think she's the first black female in Gridiron and also on the ladder at the other one. She spent years taking advantage of being one of the smartest and seniorest black females and would tell them where she was going and then disappear and come back with big reporting projects done, having been out of touch for days, breaking every rule in the book, but she was good enough and we were then enough into it, she could get away with it. So she has been able to always stay as a reporter, but she has made her own mark and helped change how things are done that way. And I think Frank knew she was good even then. I like to claim being part of those who helped keep her keep going and keep her involved with the company.

    Ritchie: Did you ever regret that you didn't stay as a reporter?

    Bulkeley: I don't think so. While there's some reporting I'd like to do now, as one of the possibilities of what I'd like to do now, I think if I had done my original plan of working my way to Washington as a reporter doing my own fixing the content as I went, it would have taken longer for the industry as a whole to do some things. Sure, Neuharth would have had women publishers anyway and Gannett would have had. Sure, somebody would have integrated newspapers anyway.

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    There was an Ohio newspaper—Akron, Ohio—that went from an all-white newsroom to an integrated newsroom at the same time I was doing the whole newspaper in Danville. It was not a Gannett paper. I think it was Akron or a suburb. No, it wasn't Akron, because that's where the guy went next. It was a suburb, close enough to a big city that he could bring in black journalists who were liberal arts graduates, for instance, who would come to his town because it was close enough to a big city.

    Ritchie: Which you didn't have the advantage of.

    Bulkeley: I didn't have the advantage of. The University of Illinois had some minority faculty, but that was early in minority faculty days. So the closest minorities were the Rantoul Chanute Air Force Base, which was already gearing down, and not all journalists thought all military people were a peer class anyway. NCOs [Non-Commissioned Officers] weren't considered peer class; only officers. I'm not sure that the air force had much for minority officers, particularly in small bases that were being phased out.

    [End Tape 3, Side A; Begin Tape 3, Side B]

    Bulkeley: In fact, it was far enough down the air force pecking order by then that it had a woman in charge of it. It must not have had a whole lot to offer. So our minorities who wanted entertainment had to go to Chicago. The black Elks Club in Danville still had black musicians stopping by on their way between St. Louis and Chicago. Danville had a big enough black community during the days of jazz moving north, and Danville also had had a hemp plant during World War II and before, which meant it had some of the best marijuana in the country in the forties and the fifties and the sixties, and it was close enough to Route 66 that it became a regular stopping point for black musicians. Bobby Short's home, of course, we talked about that earlier. But they still, even in the seventies and early eighties, were stopping by for jam sessions at the black Elks, but that wasn't enough variety and diversity, and no access to social life other than sitting around the club for the young black reporters when we started to have enough. And they were beginning to be accepted by white reporters and editors and other people in the community.

    Ritchie: So you were at a disadvantage there.

    Bulkeley: In terms of integrating.

    Ritchie: In terms of location.

    Bulkeley: And in terms of location. But all of those things would have happened. They wouldn't have happened as soon. The minority stuff, had it had champions other than me and the affirmative action guys on the corporate staff, had it had white men learning from it, could have been transported other places faster, but because of that crowd that was working to discredit me and my work all the time, even a lot of that stuff didn't get carried beyond Danville unless there were people promoted from there who took it with.

    I remember one time being told by Madelyn Jennings, whom I mentioned earlier, Madelyn told me about a Danville alum, a young black man, who had just been on a panel at the editors society, had come to Danville after my time, had moved on in an entry-level editing job somewhere else, was on a panel at the American Society of Newspaper Editors, as an editor, and one of the audience questions was, "Does it make any difference?" And that young man who was one of the few blacks where he was, and was an editor, said, "It sure does," and talked about being

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    in Danville, where by then he'd had a black supervisor and a black critical mass, going to a place as a supervisor without critical mass, and the problems he had gaining credibility and voice.

    Ritchie: When he was the only one.

    Bulkeley: When he was the only one, and having the confidence to stand up at a meeting when he was still in that touchy situation, having enough confidence in himself and in his ultimate bosses to be able to talk about it out loud in a public place. He did the equivalent of what I did at that state publishers meeting when I talked about the unfairness of the flood overtime money, the flood ten years earlier in New York State. I think he did the equivalent, or maybe even more so, because I was a publisher by the time I spoke out and was heard. I wasn't always heard as a publisher within Gannett or within the industry. He had enough courage and presence to say that. Madelyn told me the story later, so she knew, so I'd know that the message was continuing, at least some of the ways and means.

    But a lot of the institutionalization just didn't take, because they weren't listening. I had for years told them that they needed more in the news and that if they wanted to work in the newsroom, they needed to follow me with another news publisher because as good as Chuck [Carpenter] was at some things, he couldn't handle the complexities of what we were dealing with in the newsroom. He could carry them out, but he didn't have the front end creative capacity to see and put things together. But once he saw what needed to be done, he could do it like gangbusters.

    And they didn't believe me. They sent in a guy to shake all of the excess spending out, because they hadn't looked at five years to know that we had been doing that, and, in fact, we had been doing it since I got there, because there was a ton of waste, a lot of it token waste, but, nonetheless, the palm tree on the ship's deck, the kind of stuff that says people aren't going to give up on their own little pieces until the boss has given up. So the guy who went in after me, of course, didn't find any money, had promised them $100,000 out of that nine-months budget that was left, because they had told him it was there and he had trusted them.

    Ritchie: He was quite certain it was there?

    Bulkeley: Yes, and it wasn't. A lot of stuff then went by the wayside, even some of the stuff that was doing community-building that needed doing. The guy from what in those days was Mobil Oil Corporation, who put all of their money into Public Television but also ran the first so-called advertorials—institutional ads, company ads in newspapers that state positions on public issues, I cannot remember his name, but he was a major honcho and also one of those that showed the whole world public relations people should have input into corporate decisions because of community reaction, and that they knew how to read that.

    He spoke at a Gannett meeting one time and talked about the horrible relations between media and business, and that something needed to be done about it. At one point I said, "Herb [Schmerz], so come to Danville." One of our learning tracks in our beer and cheese sessions was teaching my reporters who simply didn't know business and didn't understand business and learned it only at home where their folks were union members or blue-collar workers without unions, but always on the bottom end of things. "Come to Danville and watch and hear what's going on, where they've learned to talk to each other and understand where each other's coming from, and that teaching and learning is part of what has to go on."

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    Well, I went home and I wrote him a letter. We did an annual "Letters to the Editor" banquet in Danville, inviting writers of letters to come hear some big speaker. I went home and I wrote him, and I said, "Come be the speaker," and already had arranged to work with the Economic Development Corporation to put that together with our "Letters to the Editor" dinner, accomplishing a whole bunch of things, getting them a name speaker for the dinner so everybody who paid membership would be interested in coming, getting regular people who had found enough voice to write letters together with business leaders, just all kinds of mixing and knitting together a whole community kind of a thing.

    I got him to agree. Neuharth made the company planes available if we needed it, but, of course, he wasn't going to need our plane; he had his own. I got the whole thing set up, and that's when I was moved.

    Ritchie: Back to Saratoga.

    Bulkeley: Back to Saratoga. So I left before it was totally put together. The Economic Development Corporation was doing the dinner detail. We were simply going to buy the tickets to the dinner. The Economic Development Corporation was going to handle all the logistics other than our letter-writers. They negotiated the meal price based on the number, based on our people coming. My successor [Gary Stout] canceled our participation, canceled the plans we had for the pre-dinner cocktail party to give this guy proper access to business leaders, which he should have had and which they should have had, so there was no cocktail party at all. Nobody else moved into the gap.

    None of our people went to the dinner except me. I went back for it and had, in fact, arranged house sale or movers or something, to help cover that cost. So all of this deal that I had set up with Neuharth looking in on it, because Neuharth thought that the challenge to him to come and creating a forum was superb, and it was only because he knew Neuharth was watching, that this guy was willing to do it. Neuharth was looking in on all of it. But my successor and his bosses, who had made this commitment now for money, canceled all of the company stuff, and it wasn't that big a deal. I mean, it wasn't going to make or break his $100,000 commitment one way or the other.

    That kind of stuff then continued, so I don't know whether Black Awareness died because he wouldn't let people do it. He also diverted Niecy [Courtney] into selling newspaper in education copies, out nagging school districts to buy papers, and that kind of stuff to try to shore up numbers and bring in the money he'd promised, since he couldn't do it by saving. So lots of the dynamics I simply was cut off from ever thereafter, and David and I were so exhausted and worn out with the whole thing, that we didn't even make a big deal effort about keeping in touch until we were invited back for the dinner, that luncheon, and the fact that anybody asked, said, "Well, I guess I should go." Then David decided he'd go, too, and as it turned out, that's when my father died. He died six weeks before that. So we ended up taking my mother with us, because she wasn't able to stay alone at that point.

    David called one of his golfing buddies and had him gather up the people by then we wanted to see and catch up with, to go out for dinner with. The Executive Club not only did the luncheon, they did a cocktail party. By then they had a women CEO subgroup of the Executive Club, and that group just did dinner at the country club which by now some of them were allowed to join on their own.

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    When I went to Danville and exercised my perk of joining the country club, I just edited the country club forms and put my name in the application, and where it said "wife's name" put David's and scratched "wife." The clerks processed the membership as my membership, even though women weren't allowed to be full members of a club in those days. That would have been '77. Several years later, one of the wives of a board member, one of those who ultimately created her own business so she could be in the Executive Club, and who discovered her own name and presence while we were there, discovered this membership thing and pointed it out to her husband, who was on the board, and said, "You've got a couple of choices, but my guess is you probably better go ahead and fix the bylaws, not make any big deal about it, because sooner or later somebody's going to sue."

    One of the ones who had been treated the other way was a woman who was the chief operating officer of a local savings and loan, whose bank ultimately authorized her membership and was paying for it, it went through the books in the name of her husband, who was the manager of a supermarket.

    Ritchie: Because she wasn't allowed.

    Bulkeley: Because she was a woman. She happened to find out about that. But shortly thereafter, they just quietly changed the rules at the country club. The golf pro also had fixed it. On the long weekends, when we first got there, all of the special events all three days on the golf course were for men. At some point they started fixing it so at least one day was couples, and then the golf pro started letting mixed couples or women out on the course on Saturdays, as soon as the last of the men had teed off, even though the rules said two o'clock in the afternoon or something. So some of those things, even in that little town, we ultimately got some of those things fixed simply by people recognizing that the time has come and it's time to do otherwise. But in terms of visible social class structure busting up, we never got anywhere. That has broken up some since. Some of the things that have happened there since were seeds that we planted, that just took a long time to germinate. So it's a different place than it was when I lived there, and might even be a lot more interesting to us now than it was. We would never go back there and live, but we have talked about going back for a vacation.

    Ritchie: This might be a good place to stop today.

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    [Begin Tape 1, Side A]

    Ritchie: Last time we pretty well covered your Danville years, and I wondered if you had anything to add to that.

    Bulkeley: Thank you for the opening. I had three Danville stories I remembered I should have told, that I think help illustrate at least my notions of what's news and what's community-building and responsibility. Whether they're mine because I'm female or because I started on a weekly newspaper or what, I don't know, but anyway, for whatever it's worth.

    The first one, one morning the morning news was about a house fire in which a three-year-old girl had died from suffocation, smoke inhalation, whatever. All of that was right there and was part of the morning news.

    Ritchie: Television news or radio?

    Bulkeley: Radio. When I got to the paper that morning, or mid-morning, the editor showed me a picture of a fireman walking out of the house with the little girl's body in his arms, the way you'd carry a little kid to bed or whatever. He says, "We'll put this on the front page above the fold."

    I said, "No, you won't put it in the paper."

    Of course, he got a little upset. He said, "Why?"

    I said, "That's a dead body. You don't need to put a dead body in the paper."

    He says, "But our photographer can win a prize because he caught this picture. It's so telling."

    I said, "It doesn't add anything to the story. Everybody knows she died of smoke inhalation, so they know it's not a gruesome picture, but they know it's a body. We're not going to publish a dead body in the paper when it adds nothing to the story."

    Well, for weeks after that, when we'd go out, one of the things we did was go out in the countryside and have luncheons with community people or visit with them about the paper.

    Ritchie: You and some of your staff members?

    Bulkeley: Some of the key editors, and sometimes one of the other department heads, advertising or circulation, or even the finance guy, because they were all interested in the whole product, the whole newspaper, and the whole community. But this was Ron Dillman, whom we talked about before. Ron would take the picture, and part of his discussion with the group would be to ask them whether it was a picture that should have been in the paper. He'd tell them what the story was.

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    He'd not tell them that we had a disagreement about it. He said, "Now that you know we had the picture, is that something you would have expected to see in your paper?" But he never really believed that I knew something about readers' sensibilities. Invariably, people said, no, it didn't need to be in the paper. Occasionally we'd run into somebody who would say, "There's nothing wrong with it, if you wanted to publish it, but it's nothing we needed to see."

    Ritchie: But he didn't trust your decision or your judgment?

    Bulkeley: He didn't trust my judgment on that and, in a way, was openly challenging it. He didn't ask me, "Can we discuss this with the readers at these luncheons?" He just started doing it. Well, I didn't say anything. It didn't matter to me, because I knew I was right. And over time, he found out that I was right, too.

    The next one, I'm not sure which of these two situations happened first, and it was after Ron was gone, so Chuck Carpenter would have been the managing editor, the chief news executive. One of them was the birth of Siamese twins in one of the Danville hospitals--not the Catholic hospital, but the other, the general hospital--general, secular. We didn't know about it until the twins were five days old and the state filed criminal suits against the hospital, the parents, and everybody who was in the emergency room at the time the babies were born.

    Ritchie: Why would the state file suit?

    Bulkeley: The twins were joined at the body, shared some organs, shared some limbs. The medical community at the time of the delivery was of mixed view whether it was Siamese twins or a monster--"monster" being the technical term for a baby with extra limbs and organs.

    Ritchie: The local medical community?

    Bulkeley: The local medical community. The parents were hospital people. The father was an emergency-room physician, the mother was a nurse. A bright young couple were the attending physicians, but they brought in the senior OB/GYN guys in town for the delivery, and they issued "do not feed" orders, the assumption being that as in the old times of medicine, this whatever-it-was would die anyway. The babies were put in the intensive care nursery, and the nurses started feeding, and then reported them to the state, which under child protection laws claimed custody and filed criminal charges of conspiracy to commit murder or attempted murder or child neglect or whatever.

    Ritchie: Who had given these orders--the doctors?

    Bulkeley: The "do not feed" orders, the doctors, as I recall. The attending physicians would have. This was before the Indiana Baby Doe case that went to the Supreme Court. I have forgotten the details of that, but it had to do with medical treatment and who's responsible for babies whose life expectancy, because of birth defects or problems they were born with, or life expectancy without extraordinary measures is very low. That was a question of custody and treatment.

    In this case, among other things, the head of the state Children's Services Division, the state employee within the Social Services Department, was still under a cloud from a case elsewhere in the state in which state employees at the local level had not gotten a kid out of a home where he was being battered [and the boy died]. The state ran local social services in Illinois. Some of us felt he overreacted in having the criminal charges filed instantly with no effort to do anything in the Danville case. The thing polarized instantly, the state guy and the

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    birth-right people and others on one side saying, "Everybody responsible for neglecting these children should be hung," and the other side saying, "We don't know."

    It turns out the guy from the state [Greg Koller], who was almost daily saying outlandish things and keeping the thing stirred up, was a prot&$233;g&$233; of a friend of mine from Rochester, or at least an acquaintance of mine from Rochester. Of course, he was contributing to the community being torn apart. So without discussing with anybody anywhere, I picked up the phone and I called my friend in Rochester, and I said, "Here's the situation. I think your prot&$233;g&$233; is going to make this community two communities that can't live with each other, and that can't happen. This community is too small and faces too many challenges to be torn apart by something like this from some guy out of town mouthing off."

    My Rochester friend, Gabe Russo, had been the social services director in some of my years there, and I first knew him when he was the union president. Anyway, I said to Gabe, "If you agree that he's out of line and that he's said enough and doesn't need to say any more and he's damaging a community unnecessarily, will you shut him up? If you don't agree, I'll understand, and we will survive."

    That's the last we ever heard from the guy at the state level. I never called Gabe back, and he never called me, but a couple of years later when I called him for something else, I was going to be in town or whatever, I called and said to his secretary, "I think I owe him a drink." She says, "You owe him more than a drink."

    The other thing I did at that time, in that same situation, was insist that I be part of every story discussion. Part of what I found out was the guys who ran our newsroom didn't know enough about anatomy at that point. One of them came in with the rumor saying, "One of the rumors is that the father had a vasectomy reversed, and that's what caused the Siamese twins," which said to me if a man knows so little about his own body that he can even repeat a rumor like that without laughing, then I can't trust them to guide the news coverage. I'll have to do it. So I did.

    We immediately decided no letters to the editor would be published, because we knew, with the polarization, that we were going to get libelous letters, we were likely to get letters that could screw up the court case if it ever went to trial, because it was a criminal matter, and most papers don't publish citizen comment on cases, criminal things when they're pending, and I wasn't sure that we could edit letters, or even be considered to be editing them fairly, because they all thought that she [Christy Bulkeley] was a radical abortionist, anyway--she didn't use her husband's last name and was in charge of the paper. The very conservative people in the community. So we just won't publish letters on this.

    Ritchie: Had you ever had to do that before?

    Bulkeley: I had never done that before, and, again, I didn't ask. I just knew from other things that people couldn't write temperate letters, not many people could, on this kind of a situation, and it was all so iffy for so long. Ultimately, a year later, the twins were separated.

    Ritchie: They lived for that long?

    Bulkeley: They lived for that long. They were separated in Chicago. They were moved to Chicago Children's Hospital. The judge who handled the thing in Danville was superb, a highly sensitive, ethical, wise, very wise, man who handled it with the utmost fairness, and the parents

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    always had physical custody once the babies were out of the hospital, together or separate. What never happened was nobody ever took over the bills, but ultimately the family got out of town. The story kept surfacing once a year on the anniversary.

    The other thing that compounded it all was the editor's wife was a nurse who worked for a partner of the senior doctor, OB, who ultimately was called in and helped deliver. The controller's wife was the secretary to the president of the hospital. Somebody else's wife was secretary to the marketing director of the hospital, and the retired ad director was the volunteer manager at the hospital.

    Ritchie: So you had so many tie-ins.

    Bulkeley: So we had all those ties, nobody believed that we didn't know about it for five days until it became a criminal matter of public record.

    Ritchie: They thought you probably were suppressing the news?

    Bulkeley: Yes. Some people in the community did, and that also raised the potential of biased coverage, because all of those people had their incomes at stake in the hospital.

    What ultimately told us we did it right was the number of reporters from out of town who were in town covering the story who came to read our clips, and it turned out that people on both sides, or all sides, of the story wouldn't talk to any out-of-town reporters until they'd read our clips. They all said, "The paper's coverage is full and complete and accurate and fair. Read that for background, we don't have time to provide that. Then if you still have questions, we'll be glad to talk to you."

    To me, it was the ultimate compliment for coverage of a terrible situation, and the fact that it never went beyond the local court, of course, meant it never became one of the baby cases of record. There were a slew of them shortly thereafter, and it just was an absolutely "no way anybody can come out ahead" kind of a story, and nobody can benefit from it. But it was one of the tough calls, and a case where, my guess is, the fact that I was a woman meant the coverage was handled differently than it would have been, unless, of course, there had been a woman running the newsroom or in a key authority spot, though nobody was.

    Ritchie: Was there anyone on your staff who had any medical expertise?

    Bulkeley: We didn't have anybody with any particular medical knowledge or training, and, indeed, I don't recall that we had anybody with any particular science expertise. This would have been the late seventies, is my guess, maybe early eighties, so what knowledge we would have had was the beginnings of whatever those of us who were women were starting to learn about what they didn't know about us. We were beginning to learn that nobody ever did any medical research involving women.

    That was early when the medical community starting pushing down the age at which they could maintain a premature baby, but it wouldn't have been in Danville, because Danville was sort of laggard in medical practice. So we had to learn the medical parts of this as we went.

    Ritchie: Quickly.

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    Bulkeley: Quickly. Daily newspaper. When the parents were hauled into court, I was out of town, but, the first time they had to appear in court, Chuck said, "We got a head-on picture of them walking down the sidewalk to the courthouse." Luckily, it was after deadline the day it happened.

    I said, "Okay, I will talk to you in the morning. I want to know what the television film showed on the television news."

    Ritchie: The local television news?

    Bulkeley: I said, "Were there television cameras there?"

    He said, "Yes, all of the local stations, and some of them feeding the network."

    I said, "Okay, I want to know what's on the local newscasts from all of the local stations."

    "Why?" he said.

    I said, "We aren't going to be the paper that shows everybody in town what those parents look like, because they have to grocery shop where we do and go to church where we do and live in this town. I'm not going to be the one that lets the town point fingers at them."

    He says, "It's not our concern."

    I said, "Yes, it is. We're a community newspaper, and we have to consider the sensibilities of everybody." Well, as it turned out, it was moot, because the television stations all ran ninety seconds or more head-on of the parents, so anybody who wanted to know what they looked like was going to know what they looked like. I just said, "Inside the paper, not on the cover," and we ran the picture.

    Ritchie: But had it not been on the television, you would have been reluctant to run it?

    Bulkeley: Yes, I would have. You always have to weigh and balance individual and community rights, responsibilities, sensitivities, but in that case, I figured those parents have more burden to live with for the rest of their lives than any of us are ever going to have. The last thing we need to do is to compound it. Maybe running their pictures would open them to compassion from people who saw them, but I didn't think so. I was afraid they'd become more curiosities, and I just didn't see doing that, to the parents or to the medical people. I figured I'd rather err on the side of being conservative than run the risk of opening them to that.

    There were other times. An ice cream store on the main drag, The Custard Cup, didn't open one season, and I kept looking for the story, and finally I said, "Why doesn't The Custard Cup open? Why don't we have the story?" It wasn't downtown, but it was where you went to see people. Huge parking lot for this little bitty soft-freeze store.

    "Oh," says the editor--it was one of the middle-level editors--"the owners are trying to sell it, and so they didn't want the story in the paper that they weren't opening it this year."

    I said, "Wait a minute. Everybody knows they're not open. We owe everybody an explanation of why not." Just an example of the weighing that has to go on, and where does the balance come.

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    Ritchie: So it's a balancing and understanding of what the community is.

    Bulkeley: That's right, and what kind of sensitivities there are in the community and what might polarize the community and what might not, and whether that's a risk you take. Sometimes you've got to take the risk, certainly.

    The last one fell, again, into one of these grey areas. It's when United States Representative Daniel Crane* was charged by the Ethics Committee of the House with sleeping with pages, or a page, one of the teenage kids who do the errand-running for the House. He was from Danville, the paper had never supported his election. He apparently is a fine dentist, but he was an idealogue, comparable to his brother Phil,* who was a member of Congress from Cook County, near Chicago, which, obviously, then, for people who choose to see it that way--and in Danville, they did--would raise questions about any of our coverage.

    But Dan Crane had a wife and six kids who lived in Danville. They never went to Washington. The kids ranged down to a babe-in-arms. So Dan was on his way back from Washington when the story broke. He had not talked to his wife in person about the situation, to the best of anybody's knowledge, and there were all these little kids. Well, we found out that the wife had gone to Champaign to the airport over there to get him. He wasn't on the little plane, commuter, to Danville.

    I issued some orders to the newsroom, "Nobody on their personal property. There are kids in that house, and I'm not going to have my staff responsible for bothering those kids. If they go with the parents out to the countryside of Indiana, nobody on that property. I'll not have my staff leading the out-of-town news media."

    Ritchie: On kind of an investigative snoop?

    Bulkeley: Moving them out there to that house, or being the entr&$233;e that's used to get at them. I had already had far too much of the rudeness of national media, or out-of-town media, or even in some places and some cases local media, television cameras in the face and the rest of it. And, again, this would have been the early eighties.

    I talked last time about Judy Keen, who had been a Washington reporter and bureau chief who was on our staff. Judy, as it turns out, knew some people on the Ethics Committee, some of the staff members. My friend from Rochester, Barber Conable, was on the committee, so Judy and I both put out our lines to find out basically what we needed to know in order to judge the tone of the coverage, whether this was a tip of the iceberg with either our representative or with other people, or was it an isolated, only situation, because that also affects what you cover and how hard you push at finding out what more is there.

    It's the only time in thirty years that Barber Conable did not return a phone call to me. I had talked to his key assistant, whom I had known all along, and told him I needed to know, because it's the kind of stuff that if you're not careful, you can go overboard with, even though it's the tabloid news scandal stuff rather than the substance of the issue.

    ______________________
    * Daniel B. Crane (b. 1936). (R-IL). U.S. representative, 1979-95.
    Philip M. Crane (b. 1930). (R-IL). U.S. representative, 1969-89.

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    Ritchie: Why do you think your phone call wasn't returned?

    Bulkeley: Partly because the committee work is confidential. I said to Harry Nicholas, "I need to know if we know all there is, or if there's more. I know it's a confidential committee and confidential activity, and I don't want anything more than is there or isn't there, and I don't even if that's within what Barber can talk about." It's the kind of thing that young reporters think they're going to win a prize with, by finding out what more is there that the committee did not talk about, and what kinds of deals and bargains were made about the kind of punishment he would get. If that's all there is, that's all there is, and I can keep it contained. If there's more than that, I don't know what I can do.

    Well, as I said, we never heard any more about it. Until this day, I haven't talked about it with Barber when I've seen him.

    Ritchie: How did you handle the coverage on that?

    Bulkeley: I never had any kind of feedback that told me. We handled it with as much restraint as I could impose on the newsroom, and partly out of deference to the kids, partly because it was all over. Once the charge was there, the family was together, there was voted a censure on the floor, and then as far as that was concerned, it was all over until he ran again.

    Ritchie: Did he run again?

    Bulkeley: He ran again and was beaten, but not because of that. The Danville people said, "He's asked forgiveness, he's been forgiven." But the district included Champaign and Urbana. At a forum at the University of Illinois when Dan was taking questions, somebody said, "Congressman Crane, what if the page you slept with had gotten pregnant? Would you have still been against abortion at that point?"

    And Dan Crane says, "It has nothing to do with me; that would have been her problem."

    The campus organized against him and he was beaten in Champaign-Urbana, not in Danville. He carried Danville in the next election.

    Was I still there, or was that was after I'd gone? Must have been when I was still there, because--no, it wasn't. It was after I was gone. I left in the spring of '84. There would have been an election not for eighteen months after that. Odd years for Congress. Terry Bruce* was elected--conservative Democrat. I think it was that fall of '83 when I was still there, he was beaten, but we didn't hear the story about the University of Illinois confrontation, hadn't been covered, and we didn't hear it until later.

    Ritchie: Did you cover local candidates, though?

    Bulkeley: Not all of the time. We had to cover all of the races, because we were the only daily our people read, but Danville, with 40,000, and our circulation area with 80,000, was a relatively small piece of the congressional district, because they run in nearly what--600,000? So we would not have covered Crane full time. He would have been in our territory enough that we would have covered a variety of appearances within the Danville area or within the newspaper's

    ______________________
    * Terry L. Bruce (b. 1944). (D-IL). U.S. representative, 1985-89.

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    circulation area, but we would have relied on the Associated Press or Gannett News Service, or even reading their papers to know what was going on in the rest of the area.

    But again, in that case, I was issuing orders that were--in the first place, publisher issuing orders about news is always a little suspect, even when you're not the owner, but also they ran contrary to the journalistic norms of the time. But as far as I was concerned, we were trying to counter some of the things that made news work so difficult and gave all of us credibility problems. The rude and crude stuff I didn't see any reason for, any call for.

    And, as I say, there never really was any good way--unlike the situation with the twins where the circumstances simply brought us as good a documentation as you can get, that the coverage was as careful and as thorough and as sensitive, we called ethicists and all kinds of people. We knew to do that.

    Ritchie: To try to figure out how to cover it?

    Bulkeley: And to talk about how to make decisions in these kinds of cases, with the Siamese twins.

    There wasn't that much we could do in the Crane thing, and, again, it was just such a touchy story involving a minor in Washington, a wife and a bunch of kids too young to understand even if Mommy and Daddy are having fights, let alone sex, and sex outside the family, and sex with somebody under age, and all the rest of it.

    Ritchie: Would this have been something that brought outside media in?

    Bulkeley: To some extent and only short term as they tried to get Crane to react to the story on the record. He left Washington before the story broke, but it broke while he was in the air, so there was some media waiting for him at the airport in Champaign, including one of our reporters, and there were the television cameras from the two sets of stations--again, that we talked about before--and there were probably four or five sets of television cameramen at the house, hoping to catch the wife and get her reaction, or to catch him or them together, or whatever. It was a much shorter story, and in town, much shorter-lived than the Siamese twin story, which unfolded over a period of time.

    Ritchie: Would that have brought national media, or other media, state and regional?

    Bulkeley: We had New York Times, Miami Herald, Washington Post, and a variety of other papers in town, news magazines. The local stations did the network feeds on television, but the Chicago Tribune and some of those were in town. We counted, and I don't remember exactly, but it was between fifteen and twenty outside reporters over a period of time with the Siamese twins.

    Ritchie: And that would have an impact on your working, wouldn't it? I mean, don't they come and use your facility?

    Bulkeley: Most big-city newspaper people disdain the little home town paper. In the case of the twins, they came to us because the news sources wouldn't talk to them until they did. The news sources were unanimous and individually, independently, the lawyers and the rest of them saying, "The background is there, it's thorough, it's complete, it's accurate, it's fair, we'll talk to you after you've read it." So they were, in effect, forced to come talk to us.

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    I talked to a couple of them. One of them was a New York Times reporter, a black guy stationed in Chicago, and not any of the ones I knew at that point, and he said, "Well, I wouldn't have been here, except the sources wouldn't talk to me. So then I got curious about what kind of people stayed at a newspaper in a little town like this, who could do that kind of reporting. So I wanted to come in and meet the people doing it and the bosses responsible for it, because I got curious."

    Ritchie: But had he been able to get it via the telephone he would have?

    Bulkeley: Or with interviews with them in person without coming to our place, he would have. Not unlike the situation with T.R. Reid when he covered the congressional race four years earlier--in fact, when Dan Crane was first elected. Reid was in town off and on for eight months, but didn't come to the paper until after the election. He said he didn't want the local media impacting biases or whatever they might be, to affect his own seeing and hearing and reporting of the story.

    Ritchie: So he steered clear.

    Bulkeley: He steered clear. I thought he'd made some mistakes in his coverage. Part of that, I talked to one of my friends at the Washington Post after that, who said, "You have to remember the cultural differences in how people read things like that."

    In the case of one of the candidates, his coverage, as Danville read it, made the guy look like a brilliant logistics hero and a shoo-in for the race, when, in fact, he was just a somewhat refined hustler. I talked to my friend at the Post, Haynes Johnson, said, "Oh, no, it's quite clear, the way people read and relate to races and stuff. It was perfectly obvious to us he was a blow-hard hustler."

    I said "Okay." Different context. Of course, out here, where so many people live and breathe politics full time, as opposed to out there where the polls are only open every other year. So it was another reminder that television hasn't homogenized us. There still are regional differences and perspective and stance and reaction.

    Those were the stories that I wanted to tell, that may or may not answer some of your earlier questions.

    Ritchie: When you were talking about the Siamese twins, you mentioned a label that you had--the woman who kept her own name.

    Bulkeley: A lot of people in Danville never really believed we were married, because I kept using my own name. And because the anti-abortion, anti-equal rights people were so strong in that area, I had, again, earlier told the story about the Equal Rights Amendment. A lot of people figured that the paper with the woman who doesn't use her husband's name as the boss isn't going to want to cover that story anyway, that they figured that I'd be a flaming liberal, pro-abortion, etc., etc., etc., and would bias the coverage of the newspaper. I don't quite see how you can bias the coverage of something like that, unless you get too compassionate, and, of course, that's ridiculous.

    Ritchie: How did you cover the abortion issue or how did the paper cover it?

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    Bulkeley: Oh, the abortion stuff--I don't remember whether it was ever a live issue in the years I was there. It must have been to some extent, because it would have been during the period when states could not allow federal money to be used for Medicaid patients. I don't remember that we did anything with it on the news and editorial pages.

    Through the vehicle of the Gannett Foundation, we had what was called a "Lend a Hand" fund, which was an emergency community contingent fund kind of thing. We were financing abortions out of that, for women whose ministers referred them, or, in fact, usually made the contact and were doing the go-between. That kind of counseling was the only kind of counseling under which we would consider it, and we knew the counseling ministers in town well enough to know that they [the women] would get all of the help they could possibly have, both in making the decision and in living with it. Since it's really a last-resort decision, we only dealt with ministers that we knew treated it that way, and then would help the mothers and parents deal with whatever the aftereffects were. But I don't know that the birth-righters or others ever found out even that we were paying for abortions out of that community fund.

    Ritchie: Don't you think you would have known if they had found out?

    Bulkeley: Probably. Those were the years that Phyllis Schlafly was so visible and aggressive, and Illinois was one of the pivotal states on the Equal Rights Amendment, but all of those things were tied in together.

    This reminds me. We did write pro-ERA editorials. A little old man came in one day, and he said, "I really need to talk to you, because I really don't think you understand this."

    I said, "Fine. What about it?"

    He said, "Well, there's something about that amendment that you just must not understand, and I'm trying to think what it is." So I handed him the text of the ERA, all three clauses, including the effective clause. He said, "Where's the rest of it?"

    I said, "This is all there is."

    He said, "No, you know, the stuff about homos and all of that stuff."

    I said, "There's none of that in this proposed amendment. That is the full text."

    "Well," he says, and then he looks at it, and he points to "on account of sex," the classic phrase that's in it, and he says, "Here it is. That's what does it. That's what's so dangerous."

    I said, "That's exactly the language that was used to give women the vote. That's the exact prepositional phrase that was in the Voting Rights Amendment. Today, if it hadn't already been constitutionally approved as constitutional language, today you and I would probably call it gender rather than sex."

    He said, "Well, it says sex and that means homos and all that other stuff."

    I said, "I'm sorry, it doesn't."

    But anyway, that is interesting that a little old man came in, even wanted to talk about it, but it also confirmed what people were saying, that the anti-Equal Rights Amendment people

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    really had convinced their followers that it carried a lot more weight of different kinds of things than it said.

    Ritchie: They read into it.

    Bulkeley: I hadn't really planned to tell that story. I hadn't even remembered it.

    [End Tape 1, Side A; Begin Tape 1, Side B]

    Ritchie: Did you have many regrets when you left Danville?

    Bulkeley: Not really. David and I needed to be in a different place, in a different environment. We were having to work too hard at learning for ourselves, and we were doing too much teaching, and it really had worn us both out.

    If there's a regret it's that I never again lived within five minutes of a gorgeous golf course. I took up golf in Danville. We were five minutes away. It's a latitude that has sun until 7:30 or 8:00 or 8:30 at night, has light, so we could play nine holes in the evening in an hour and a half when nobody was on the golf course, and it was a wonderful way to unwind and relax and keep in shape. I learned to do something athletic, which I had never done before, coming from the generation before women's sports were funded well, or decently or at all, much. So it would be nice to live that close to a golf course all year, but that's hardly anything to keep you in a town.

    Ritchie: When you mentioned you and David needed to live somewhere else, obviously your being married changed your work pattern some. You also had changed jobs and responsibilities. When you talked about living in Rochester and being a single female, how you went to meetings at night.

    Bulkeley: True. I had a reason to go home. One of the challenges even in my reporting job, but more when I was the publisher in Saratoga as a single female, was who do you bounce things off of, where to go ask the touchy, tough questions, or who do you think things through with.

    Ritchie: Who did you?

    Bulkeley: A couple of the businessmen in Saratoga, as I got to know them, I could, but then once David was part of my life, I also had him. He could also wander around and listen for me. At the same time, even in Saratoga, the first time we were there, there were guys who, after they had a couple snorts, would come over to him and say, "You got to do something about your wife. You got to her about thus and so."

    And David said, "Wait a minute. My job is to sleep with the publisher. If you want me to talk to her, my fee is $40 an hour." And most of the time they got the message, and either dealt with me or decided it wasn't that important, after all.

    We had a few times when we'd be standing at a publishers' meeting or somewhere, and people would talk to David and I'd answer the questions. They'd ask David the question and I'd answer. It was old men--I mean, late sixties, seventies in those days--who simply could never accept the fact that "she" really was the publisher.

    We'd get circulation complaints. One guy called up once and said, "Is the girl there?"

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    David would say, "We don't have children. You must have the wrong number."

    The guy says, "I don't think it's the wrong number. I want the newspaper girl."

    David says, "You mean my wife? She's not a girl."

    You try to take that stuff with a grain of salt all the time, but if it's in the middle of dinner, or it's six o'clock in the morning, or wherever, it's not as easy to be civil or sympathetic when the first reaction is they're insulting, but the fact that that guy called at all, no. David would always say, "Yes, but you'd never have called the men publishers. He never would have called in about a complaint." Well, I don't know whether he would have or not.

    Ritchie: Given the situation in Danville, it was probably good that you had David with you there.

    Bulkeley: Probably. I don't know what it would have been like for a single female. We talked a little about the women and the kinds of businesses that women were running there, were either married or had been, and had been known in their married lives. There were a couple of women who were in partnership with their husbands. One of them and her husband ran a safety supply company. He had been an executive with one of the big companies and didn't want to leave town. She ran the company, and he was chairman. He also happened to be their key salesman. She was the first one to go on the Chamber of Commerce board. I told them I wouldn't do it, and I wouldn't sit on any board as the only female. I had done that, and I wasn't going to do it anymore. It was not productive for anybody. So Nancy Mettam went on there, and they all knew her and had known her for years, so I think it was a good way for the first woman to be on the board, because she was dealing with products they all knew, the industrial guys, and she was somebody who was comfortable to them, because they were used to having her around. So I didn't do all of that. There's a limit to how much you do.

    Ritchie: And being one of the firsts in a position, you probably were asked very often to take a female seat on a board or whatever professional organizations.

    Bulkeley: I did more of that in the newspaper industry than in the community, because the minute I was through with the Women in Communications responsibilities, then Neuharth started steering Gannett stuff at me, but also in my job, I was one of the first and one of the only, or the only. So even just my regular survival was lightning rod. But Neuharth also kept throwing newspaper industry responsibilities at me, and said, "Just go be a publisher. They've got to get used to having women around."

    Ritchie: So it was almost an obligation on your part.

    Bulkeley: So it was really part of the job description. So I was involved with the Publishers Association, and the Editors at the national level, and I was involved with the state things always, in Illinois and in New York State, plus the usual collection.

    In Saratoga, I did the publisher's community stuff. We talked before about the mentoring that went on. In Danville, none of that happened, so I didn't have to do those, but as it turned out, we used community service as part of the affirmative action thing, and I wouldn't let department heads do the things they wanted to do, like the service clubs, until they were doing community work somewhere where they wouldn't have normally been.

    Ritchie: So they had to find something new, something that would interest them.

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    Bulkeley: With the minority community, or an organization that had always had the non-working people on the board but really was dealing with stuff that needed people who knew how to make things happen in a business sense on the board. And in more traditional roles, I expected them to be doing things to change. The circulation director was involved with Junior Achievement, and worked at bringing minorities onto that board. The ad director did Rotary [Club], and as fast as we found, or as companies promoted, or promoted into town, minorities who were eligible, or in the position to even go occasionally as guests, he took them to Rotary, which was all white except one guy.

    Ritchie: And that was something that you encouraged and promoted in your newsroom?

    Bulkeley: I required it. I figure if a club based on fellowship can require attendance, and making up and some of those kinds of things that the service clubs did, the one who's paying the bills can require the people who belong to do what needs to be done.

    But we also helped create an organization called Opportunities Industrialization Corporation (OIC). It was minority community job training. It was created originally in Philadelphia by Leon Sullivan, a minister who was one of the first blacks on corporate boards. He was on General Motors or Ford for years. OIC is the organization that he built nationally and with community pieces. In lots of places, it became the key job training, work training in minority communities, because the boards would be dominated by people in the minority community, and they could shape it and tailor it to what they knew the people in the neighborhoods needed, as opposed to an adult ed division or a junior college doing the job training for what they thought ought to happen, as opposed to meeting the students and the clients where they were and building on what was there. And in lots of cities, white-run or establishment-run organizations simply had no credibility, so people with potential would never go to them for help anyway. So OIC was one of the ways to do that.

    I sat with the original steering committee and helped get it set up, and then I chaired it for a couple of years, and had my controller be the treasurer so that I knew the books were run right, because we had a guy learning how to run things, and he, in fact, was a very good teacher and not much of an executive. He was doing a lot of the training we got funded himself, which was all right, but I was sitting with him every week on managing the stuff that had to be managed, which is why I made sure my treasurer did the books. My controller served as treasurer, so this kid wouldn't have to worry about it, and we could focus more on getting the training done and trying to build the organization.

    That was all part of the affirmative action stuff we did, but also I didn't see any point in standing around protecting the status quo when it was clearly to the detriment of the community.

    Ritchie: Did Gannett encourage this?

    Bulkeley: Oh, I don't know that anybody ever knew what we were doing. Whoever read the report when we put back together the plan of what we'd done over five years might have discovered it.

    We got help from the corporate affirmative action guys. Bob Maynard, whom I mentioned earlier, who ultimately owned the Oakland Tribune before he died of cancer, came in to visit and help a couple of times then, when he was the consultant, but I don't know that he went over all those details with anybody. Bob was black. Then Gannett's first staff guy was Jimmy--and he really is Jimmy--Jones, a former New York Jet. Great big and really dark. I always made a point

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    of taking all of them to the country club whenever they were there, because it was not integrated. I made sure that we had our meetings with them out there, and we had dinner with them out there, and when Gannett had its first black on the board, first African-American, Dolores Wharton, I quick wrote her a letter and I invited her out. She came, and I invited all the plant managers to a reception at the country club, and all of the black leaders. We had more black people in the club that day than I think had been there accumulative in its whole history, but some of the club board members were also there, and nobody said a word to me about it, ever. But it was one of the fun things we could do. At least I thought it was fun.

    Just as when we got Bobby Short--David got Bobby Short--to play with the symphony, and saw to it that Bobby Short's whole family was at the club for dinner before the symphony and at the reception after, the same way all the other artists were, just helped to show them that it's one community, and we're all in it together. And nobody ever said anything. They didn't dare by then.

    Ritchie: You were too well established.

    Bulkeley: Yes. And again, I don't know that Gannett ever paid any attention to any of it. Ultimately, Gannett changed its policy [about country club memberships], so people couldn't belong unless they got a clear exception, even if it was the only country club in town. If it discriminated as overtly as one like Danville did, the publishers would have to forego that benefit rather than belong. That happened later.

    Ritchie: But in a way, you helped them.

    Bulkeley: Well, I think in a town like Danville, where they didn't know any better. Danville really missed the whole civil rights thing in the seventies. It simply had never thought about a lot of those things.

    Ritchie: So they needed to be shown.

    Bulkeley: I think in many ways we were doing a teaching ministry the whole time we were there. They didn't know there were six-thousand black people in town until the census came out in 1980. The school superintendent did. I respected him, but I didn't like him. I liked his wife. Don something. But he knew they were all there, and he was helpful with us, and he was the first one to make the change. Again, we talked about that before.

    Ritchie: We also talked about your wanting to leave Danville, and your occasional, frequent, whatever, requests to headquarters.

    Bulkeley: Occasional is probably better. The key time was the discussion I had with John Curley that we kind of talked about before. That was in January of 1984.

    Ritchie: And that was prompted by a memo that you sent to him?

    Bulkeley: I sent him a memo after he became responsible for the newspaper division, just to make sure he wasn't operating under an assumption I wanted to stay there forever, because I had already been there a lot longer than I expected to. The one time I had the visiting professorship thing set up, then I decided I'd better stay because we had started the affirmative action stuff, and I wanted to see it through.

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    Another time, I was a finalist for a dean's job, a journalism dean job, one of two, but after I'd spent a few days on campus, I knew there wouldn't be any faculty left, because they were all prima donnas, and each one expected the dean to come in and save his or her interest. I had no patience for that. They may have been staking negotiating positions, but my sense after three days with them was that they had no sense that they were going to have to compromise to move the school forward, so I withdrew from that.

    But it was long since past the time when, even through normal stuff, I should have been moved. So having once missed a promotion and being told, "Well, you didn't make it clear you wanted the job," I decided that I would be sure Curley knew I wanted out, needed to get out of Danville for the good of all of us. Even if it had been a fun place for me and David to live, five years of that economic stress, I nearly killed both of my sales department heads, the advertising guy [Bob Miller] and the circulation guy [Dennis Lenart], because it was such a tough market.

    Ritchie: Did they really seem surprised that you would go back to Saratoga?

    Bulkeley: Yes. To the people who think up the organization chart is the only way to go and the only measure of success, that would be a clear demotion. But I saw it as a chance to show what could be done with that newspaper in that particular community, once I knew so much more about community. By then I was encountering the reading that talked about the different ways people from different social classes relate to institutions and relate to authority.

    I thought I knew by then what to do with the newspaper in Saratoga so it could live up to its potential and, in terms of quality, given the range of stuff that goes on in Saratoga, the caliber of people who come there or stay there, because it has the best of a city without any of the liabilities of a city. I was pretty sure I could turn that into a showcase newspaper, with new ways of doing reporting. We had changed the dynamics of the ballet audience the first time I was there when I was working with instinct, not with knowledge. Well, there was a lot more that could be done, particularly now that I had the knowledge. So I was quite pleased when my boss asked me if I really meant it, and if so, I could go the next week as soon as they set some of the things [other promotions] up. I said, "That's fine with us. I'm ready."

    There were lots of other women in Gannett, lots of women who wanted to go to big cities and run big newspapers and drive big cars. I didn't. They kept saying to me, "You don't have to give all the speeches, let other people do it."

    I kept saying, "I do. When people call, I give them names. I can't help it if nobody else says yes, but I'm not accepting even the majority of invitations." I said, "Well, one way to make that clear is I'll go back to the little paper. I don't have to do the association stuff, somebody else can do it."

    Ritchie: At that time, were there other women moving up in Gannett?

    Bulkeley: There were other women publishers. There were twelve publishers by then, but none of them were at papers that are bigger than Danville. One was at Niagara Falls, but the ceiling was firmly in place.

    Nonetheless, I was quite willing to relinquish some of the association stuff. I was only doing it because I was expected to. I was on the nominating committee for the Associated Press. My boss, Bill Keating, was on that board. The Associated Press board, at least in those days, had no more than one from any of the big companies, and the one was either the CEO or the CEO's

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    designate, although they had to stand for election in a competitive election, but you could only stand if you were the CEO or the CEO's designate. Kay Graham, the publisher, then chairman, of the Washington Post, was the only woman on that board. I was chair of the Advisory Committee to the Publishers' Association Magazine during its start-up years, two years when it ran without advertising and had to prove its worth. And as committee chair, I did a solid, detailed critique on it, monthly. And I worked more with the editor than he expected, much to his chagrin.

    Ritchie: He didn't know what he was getting.

    Bulkeley: Yes. He didn't know what his bosses were getting him into when I was appointed chair of the committee. But we brought the magazine into enough value fast enough. I did two things. I saw that they put a journalism educator on the advisory committee to try to keep the field and the journalism schools connected a little better. With all of us who worked on it, there was some others on the committee who helped, we brought it to the point that within two years, it was valuable enough as a product that they could sell advertising in it and help pay for it. Now, I didn't know anything about that, and I offered to--when the new volunteer head of the board came into ANPA [American Newspaper Publishers Association], I did the protocol resignation submission and it was accepted, much to my surprise--but that guy ended up not having any women run anything.

    By the same token, Frank Banneck from Hearst was available and willing to chair the committee, and he knew magazines and magazine sales. He was a broader executive than just newspaper, so it was a good time for him to take over the committee. But I was the only Gannett person, only Gannett publisher, who had committee chair experience, and the Gannett chair was about to come up on that board. Under the normal rotation, Keating would have finished his nine years at the AP, so in effect the Gannett chair would have been open for one of the chairs to fill it.

    I found out that Curley wanted to go on the AP board. Okay, that's fine. I'm not sure how Al would have dealt with his colleagues in the business, because where Al had been browbeating all of them in public for not doing more with the progress of women for the benefit of the business. But what happened was that Keating was asked to go on the ladder on the AP board into the AP chairmanship, which, the way it was set up in those days, anyway, was a six-year commitment, adding six onto the nine he already served. So he would just move through the ladder into the board. But that meant Curley couldn't run for that board, and ANPA was the next most prestigious board. They are hard-working boards. It's not just you get to go to, an excuse for the company to pay for travel. Again, he hadn't done any association work. He'd done all of his work inside Gannett since he'd joined Gannett.

    So I'd been doing that chairmanship stuff, but I didn't care. I wasn't doing that to get on boards. I was doing that because Al said, "Do it. They've got to get used to having women around." And there was nobody else when I started. I've never asked him, but I think John [Curley] thought I was competition and it would be a public relations problem in the way of he and/or his prot&$233;g&$233;s.

    Ritchie: If you moved up?

    Bulkeley: If I moved up, if I were still around, as there were opportunities for Gannett people to assume responsibilities and the board stuff, and I didn't really care. I had done national board

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    stuff through Women in Communications. I was quite willing to. I could hold my own, and a few other peoples', but I had had my share of not being heard, of not being seen.

    Ritchie: Did you encounter much of that on these boards?

    Bulkeley: Only when it was too much. I learned very quickly where I was and where I wasn't going to be heard, and if I knew nobody was going to listen, I didn't bother saying anything. I had better things to do. I'd sit there and do my own stuff in the meetings. I was a little startled the first time it happened.

    Ritchie: When you knew you weren't being listened to?

    Bulkeley: I heard a friend of mine [H.L. Stevenson] across the room, it was a convention planning committee for the Publishers' Association. Kay Graham was chairing the meeting. We went around the table with ideas on topics and speakers, and I offered some stuff. I think it was probably getting Lane Kirkland, who was the head of AFL-CIO. We were beginning to talk about changing nature of labor-management relations and changing values in the workplace, more employee involvement in thinking how things get done, and all the rest of it. But I'd suggested getting him and a couple other people, and sketched out the topic. Nothing was said. The discussion went on around the table. A friend of mine straight across the table gave an almost verbatim repeat of what I said and got applauded.

    And Kate Graham says, "Oh, Lane's a friend of mine. I'll call him when I get home."

    Ritchie: After no response when you spoke.

    Bulkeley: After no response when I spoke. That was the worse example, but it's no more than lots of other women and minorities have run into lots of other places, but there were other times and places of various caliber, and I just don't beat my head on brick walls. If I had to keep doing these groups that didn't listen, I didn't bother.

    Ritchie: Well, you had enough other things to do.

    Bulkeley: Sure, I had plenty to do. And I always had things I needed to learn on how to do the paper better, or the community better, or whatever, so if I didn't have to think about what I had to contribute to a meeting because they didn't want it, then I could sit there and soak it all up and focus totally on learning, or if it was a committee doing something I already knew and they weren't adding anything to what I knew, I could monitor that at a secondary level and work on planning something else I had to do while sitting there and being at least physically present.

    But it was still nice when the Gannett meeting finally reached a point that there were lines in the ladies' room.

    Ritchie: And you weren't the only one?

    Bulkeley: And I wasn't the only one. I knew I could start missing meetings and nobody would notice. At least maybe not, because there were enough of us that the absence of the only woman or the three wouldn't be noticed.

    Ritchie: Back to Saratoga. What was the paper like when you arrived? Had it changed much?

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    Bulkeley: When I got back?

    Ritchie: When you came back in '84.

    Bulkeley: Came back in '84. The paper was probably about like I'd left it. For lots of reasons, Saratoga usually had more news staff than the statistical norm for that size paper, and more news space, but it was grossly overwritten.

    Ritchie: What do you mean by that, overwritten?

    Bulkeley: Reporters would paraphrase what somebody said, and then quote, so the story would say the same thing two or three times, when once was enough. That's the worst kind. But then some of it is just sloppy writing, and some things the longest way possible instead of the clearest, most direct way possible.

    What I found out in a hurry was stuff like they had ceded coverage of Albany to the other newspapers. When so many people within Saratoga, in fact, worked for the state government or in Albany. We were an afternoon newspaper, so we had up till noon, anything that affected state government in the morning, we certainly could put in the paper. But you couldn't tell from reading our paper that the state legislature was meeting when it was.

    Ritchie: To be so close to them, that's a gap.

    Bulkeley: Right. Our people said, "Well, we can't do what the Albany papers can do, even do what Schenectady can do, so there's no point in doing anything that calls attention to our weaknesses."

    I said, "Wait a minute. We've got an Albany bureau that's second to none. If they're not doing what we need, let's talk to them about it."

    Ritchie: This is the Gannett Albany bureau?

    Bulkeley: The Gannett Albany bureau, and we had the AP, too. The Gannett bureau, especially, was as big as anybody else's bureau. I said, "And if they can't do what we need, they can teach us how to do it for ourselves. But at the very least, there is the local impact stuff we've got to have. You can't ignore the state government."

    The other thing that I didn't get corrected while I was there, but got done later, was the military base. The county seat was five miles down the road, Ballston Spa. Right outside of there was the nuclear submarine research and training base, Navy and General Electric--and, again, we talked about that a little bit--which said to me we should have had everything about nuclear, at least a news digest kind of a thing, everything about the federal government and the military, and everything about the Navy. Not everything about the whole military, but the defense department, on a comprehensive basis, and anything about submarines. We probably needed to keep a pretty good eye on ocean stuff, because all of those things affected that whole bunch of people.

    Ritchie: For the economy there.

    Bulkeley: The economy, and in terms of interests, those people were at least were entitled to as much news digest stuff as any other special interest group of size. But my staff kept saying, "But it's all top secret. We can't cover it."

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    I said, "I'm not saying go in and bust up the secrets. I'm saying cover the stuff that we know is of critical importance to those people. At least tell them it happened so they can go to their sources. Give them the headline so they can go to their sources. Give their drinking buddies the headline so they'll know what to ask them about at the bar or the bowling alley."

    I was on my way out of there. This stay in Saratoga lasted only nine months, and, in fact, not a full nine months. As I was getting there, I was told that the editor had just agreed to go to another newspaper. Well, okay, that's all right. I can deal with the newsroom. And there were a couple of people on the staff that I was encouraged to look at as successors to the editor job. But then I discovered the circulation director was more gone than present, doing USA Today stuff and some training around the country and sales for them, even though our staff was trying to handle the whole capital district in terms of USA Today sales and distribution, plus our own stuff, and before she ever got back and got settled, she got promoted out of town, and then the ad director did.

    So I'm sitting there with no sales executives and nobody on either of those staffs capable of backing them up or even holding the fort. The production director I had was incompetent, and the financial executive was adequate, but that was all.

    Ritchie: Had most of these changed since you were there?

    Bulkeley: Several times. There had been three publishers. Of course, my last controller there, their second controller, succeeded me as publisher. There were people on the staff who had been there all along, but the department heads were all new. And to all of a sudden be without my sales executives, the newspaper sales executives, as we were hitting our peak season--

    Ritchie: Into the summer.

    Bulkeley: Into the summer. I got the ad director I asked for, and was allowed to go recruit, the woman [Sharon Damico] who had been number two in the Chillicothe, Ohio, paper that I supervised. And then I asked for and eventually was allowed to recruit the circulation director. Sometime after the regional vice presidencies were set up, I was given Coffeyville, Kansas, as an added responsibility.

    Ritchie: Kansas?

    Bulkeley: Yes. For some reason, it was in our district, even though to get to it, you had to fly to Tulsa and drive north to Coffeyville, over an hour. Muskogee was closer to Tulsa than Coffeyville, and Coffeyville didn't really fit our region. I don't know why we got it, but we did, and I was given it.

    Ritchie: So you knew the paper there.

    Bulkeley: So I knew the paper there. The circulation was smaller than ours. The circulation director was a young guy who had to learn how to be a sales executive, but he'd gotten pretty good, and he was systematic and organized, and trained his people, all of which we needed, and it took them a while to decide that I could recruit him, to the point that he agreed to come, but it was too late to even get temporary housing because of the horse season.

    Sharon Damico was the ad director. I was renting a house until we could close and move into our house in late June, and it was three bedrooms, so Sharon, the ad director, just came out

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    and we camped out together in that house, and she found a house to buy. So she got there in time for the sales season, though her family, Roger, came and moved, I think probably in July. I don't really remember specifically. But we didn't have circulation.

    By the time we got the agreement on moving Marvin--Marvin? I'm not sure; I've forgotten. It was too late for temporary housing or anything else, so we had to go through August without a circulation director.

    Ritchie: Your busiest time.

    Bulkeley: Busiest time. And USA Today. Because of the tourists staying all over that part of New York State, it should have been gangbuster sales for USA Today. We just couldn't do it. Couldn't get everything done, and we had our own extra racing edition to do. All of this is compounded by the personnel and payroll stuff I was wrestling with.

    [Material removed and sealed will be available at the Oral History
    Research Office of Columbia University after April 8, 2019.]

    He had contracted for a television schedule book, the quarter-fold kind like big papers have, that was going to cost a substantial amount of money that he hadn't budgeted.

    Ritchie: What do you mean when you say he contracted for it?

    Bulkeley: Buying it from a service that helped sell advertising into it. The newspaper had done its own tabloid size. In Danville, we had contracted with this service to put the book in our newspaper, because we had clear evidence that the Saturday paper where the television schedule was sold more, and with nothing to sell it, and was stolen more, with the television book, and for reasons beyond that escaped me, we couldn't sell advertising into it, so I thought, well, this might help us do it. And we were the primary ones around. In Saratoga, there is no way we could do a television book that would compete or compare favorably with the Albany newspapers with ten times the circulation.

    Nonetheless, my predecessor [Mike Coleman] had already done the deal before I got there. That added time in our mail room for handling it, it reduced some of our flexibility because the tabloid we could run right off the press with other things sometimes. So I inherited that major cost item, the two cost items of the three moves, moving me and two department heads.

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    [Material removed and sealed will be available at the Oral History
    Research Office of Columbia University after April 8, 2019.]

    Some of the things, as well as having budget out of line--in my early days as a publisher, you were allowed expenses over if they related to a move, and my understanding was that was to make sure you didn't hold back your employees as a budget-saving device, when you had people who clearly had potential or that the corporation did and wanted to move them on.

    But my boss who worked with me on this payroll thing all of a sudden got mad or tired or sick or something, and quit and retired, and I got a new boss [Vince Spezzano], and there was no record about the payroll stuff or about these other expenses. So he started beating on me about not meeting the budget, not selling enough USA Todays. I said, "I'll be glad to drive over and talk to you. If you're going to haggle about budget, I won't spend air fare, but I'll drive over and talk to you anytime." Well, he never had time to talk about it. He just went ahead and did the stuff we all know how to do to set up somebody, to put them on warning and fire them.

    Any publisher has enough discretion and enough decision-making that if you want to set a publisher up to be fired, it takes about three months. I had done it when I was a regional vice president. I had set up a couple of mine, I think legitimately. What's legitimate and what isn't? Anyway, I was getting beat on about the expenses and about the bodies.

    Ritchie: Even though you had to run the newspaper.

    Bulkeley: Even though I had to run the newspaper somehow. The third one was during the budget proposal stuff, one of the big variances, of course, for the next year, was the television magazine. One of the corporate budget guys hand-wrote on the budget sheets, "Well, I think she slipped one in there just like she did in Danville." I had not sneaked it in or slipped it in in Danville. I had worked with the corporate marketing people on it, and had clear permission to try the system. It was new to the syndicate that was doing it, and I wasn't the one who made the decisions in Saratoga. I had advised the publisher there against it. I told him, "In that market, you can't compete in terms of quality of book with those other people, so why call attention to it?"

    Well, anyway, the corporate guy, without even asking, would circulate a snide remark like that, a snide attack, just added more to what I'd known for a long time about some of those guys. It's like the corporate lawyer, one day at a workshop they were having that one of his staff had asked me to come do a publisher piece on, said to me at dinner afterward, "Well, we're graced to have the company's most traveled publisher in our midst." I didn't need that kind of stuff. I was asked, I thought they wanted me there, and here I am, being--

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    Ritchie: Treated like that.

    Bulkeley: Yes. So anyway, when the boss starts writing the letter that says, "If you're not going to get your bottom line in order, we'll get somebody there who can."

    Ritchie: And this is the--

    Bulkeley: The regional president [Vince Spezzano]. I said, "I'll be glad to talk to you about it any time. Here's what we've done, here's what we're doing, here's what we're not going to do anything about, and here's how much it costs to move us. With the exception of the cost of moving, we will, in fact, have made up the cost of the television book before the end of the year."

    He says to me, "You've got to make up the moving costs, too. You didn't have to let those people be moved."

    I said, "If I didn't, and if I have to make it up, those were both policy changes I was never told about."

    Ritchie: Was the headquarters good about communicating policy changes?

    Bulkeley: No, and to this day, I don't know if those were policy changes or if he, for whatever reason, was setting me up to get me out of the way. The USA Today thing, circulation thing, was a terrible mess. We just didn't have enough people and weren't allowed to do enough.

    Ritchie: So you were expected to handle that for that area?

    Bulkeley: For the whole capital district--Schenectady, Albany and Troy, and I think we got one more person. We were allowed to add one person to our circulation department to do it. The recordkeeping was awful. I really never did get that straightened out while I was there on my watch. My successor in Saratoga had to do it, and, in fact, we turned it over to Utica, which was also a Gannett newspaper, but had a lot of depth in the circulation department and people used to handling that kind of stuff, which ours just weren't. The Saratoga circulation department had a lot more people in it than when I'd been there before, but they hadn't been trained and they just couldn't handle the complexities of running an operation forty miles away that was pretty much scatter shot.

    Ritchie: So these events were all taking place during the summer and that fall?

    Bulkeley: Summer and fall of '84. So when the personnel reviews came, my boss [Vince Spezzano] tore me apart and said, "At best, belongs in company public relations kinds of work." Well, I didn't even say anything; I just signed it and sent it back. I probably should have put some of the stuff on the record, but I didn't bother, because I was tired of all the crap. And right before the Gannett year-end meetings, then I got a phone call from that boss, who said I was going to be called by the president of the Foundation and offered one of their vice presidencies that was being expanded from a part-time vice presidency a retired publisher was doing to a full-time job in the office, and I'd better listen to him. He gave me a lecture about people's attention span and boredom cycles, that he thought I must be bored being a publisher because I wasn't paying attention to the job and getting the work done. Just a bunch of trite crap.

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    So anyway, I got the message, and I called the corporate vice president, the personnel executive at headquarters, and I said, "Am I supposed to do this, and is Neuharth part of this, or is this only the incoming gang?"

    She says, "It's the people who have the decision power." Well, I probably should have called Al and talked to him directly. I never did.

    Ritchie: So was it people who were there at headquarters?

    Bulkeley: It was the headquarters and the Curley crowd. I had about twenty-four hours to decide whether I was going to take the Foundation job or whether I was going to wait until they fired me.

    Ritchie: Had you gotten a call yet about the Foundation job?

    Bulkeley: Yes, shortly after. My operating committee, some of my staff and I had a meeting in Utica about the USA Today transfer, so I had to make up some kind of a story, and was picked up by one of the Gannett planes in Utica and taken over to Rochester to meet with the Foundation president and then delivered back to Albany. Nobody got suspicious. But I had, as I say, about twenty-four hours to decide whether I was going to go along with it or wait until they really fired me and then decide whether to sue, and I just decided I was too tired to fight with anybody. At least I knew Rochester, and David knew Rochester. If we had to leave Saratoga, then Rochester was a good place to go.

    So that was the end of my newspapering. That was early in December. The Foundation had its regular year-end board meeting at the same time Gannett had its year-end executive meetings. I talked about this early on in this discussion--I mean, several days ago. By now, the Gannett meetings every year were in Washington, and I was told that the Foundation board would elect me to the vice presidency during that meeting, and the news release would go out at that time, and my successor would be named shortly thereafter.

    My successor was one of the other women who had been a Gannett publisher. She was going with, but not married to, one of the Gannett men executives. His wife had died. She was told at the time that she couldn't do both, so she quit being a publisher.

    Ritchie: She couldn't go with him and be a publisher?

    Bulkeley: And be a publisher. This was several years before Saratoga. By the time I'm getting thrown out in Saratoga, he has retired. He had been the Saratoga publisher back in the forties at one point.

    Ritchie: It's a nice place to retire to.

    Bulkeley: Especially if you can get the company to pay for your move because your housemate is the new publisher, and that's precisely what happened. I didn't know that's what they were going to do. I finally found out. Shortly before they announced it, I was told. But nobody even had the courtesy to tell me beforehand. I was just guessing. And I kind of guessed that was one of the ways they would try to save face, by at least some of the old-timers in Saratoga knew, having turned the publisher over again too fast up there.

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    Up to that point, we had made some pretty good strides in fixing things. We were starting the press on time, and our sales were up. Nobody had ever bothered telling the newsroom we had to start the press on time. But an afternoon paper with noon street sales, you've got to start the press on time. You also don't need to be paying drivers to stand around and wait because you were ten minutes late starting the press. So our circulation had gone from a decline year-to-date to an increase. We were up a hundred or two hundred papers a day, simply by being consistent in getting them out there, or mostly.

    We had started to overhaul. Part of old Saratoga Springs had been the Skidmore campus in big, old houses. A few buildings they built, but mostly big, old houses. Skidmore had moved to a new campus in the north end of town in the seventies. By 1984, when I'm back in Saratoga, the circulation department has never overhauled how it handles the old part of town where Skidmore used to be. A lot of the big old houses had been converted to apartments, some congregate living halfway house kinds of things, but they still just had the news stands scattered around, and nobody had ever done a sales sweep through there, telephone, door to door, or whatever, so we had started doing that. We had also started spotting boxes better, based on adult residential and families rather than college kids, because regular residents buy more papers than college kids do. We were doing some of those kinds of things. As I say, our sales were up.

    During the year-end meeting, I got a call from my ad director and controller telling me that we had beaten the bottom line for the budget, the whole bottom line including the moves and the television tab.

    Ritchie: So you really caught it up?

    Bulkeley: We had caught it up, and we still had two and a half or three weeks of the year, calendar year, fiscal year, to go. So one of my small joys was walking up to my regional president who'd said we'd never do it, and telling him we had done it, and asking him if I should let everybody go home and not bother for the next three weeks. I was no longer even trying to be gracious and charming. We did not make USA Today sales numbers, but there was no way we could have. And as it turned out, the bookkeeping had been set up wrong ahead of me on the USA Today sales numbers, so they weren't even selling what they thought they were selling.

    Ritchie: To begin with?

    Bulkeley: To begin with, let alone what somebody had decided what they should be able to sell, in spite of the logistics and the lack of people to do it.

    Ritchie: How did you feel during this time? Here you were coming back to Saratoga, you had requested a move there, and then all of this happened.

    Bulkeley: I was fine until I started being unfairly blamed for other people's decisions.

    Ritchie: You could deal with fixing things at the paper.

    Bulkeley: Oh, sure. I never liked to have to do over again things that had been done once, and it confirmed in me that with institutionalizing comes teaching so people know why something's done and know how to maintain it, or how to keep evaluating and moving on. It just was a real bother to think that we had to slow down during that period. We didn't have the staff in place. But then to know that my from-out-of-town recruited staff had been able to save the sales situation in new

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    communities was gratifying, certainly, to know that I had made the right judgments on those people, at least for the time and circumstances that I had to deal with.

    I worked more with the news side once those other department heads were there, and the production director, because he was incompetent. Of course, when I said, "Let's do something about the production director," he said, "You've had too many department head changes," all of which they had been responsible for, and I said, "Well, he's part of the cost problem, because he can't manage the mail room, and he doesn't use the equipment, he just does it all with people, which is part of the body count problem, so if you're not going to let me change him, then you've got to take me off the hook on these other things."

    And they, of course, said, "No, we don't."

    Ritchie: So it was almost like an endless circle.

    Bulkeley: It was clearly, as far as I'm concerned--and again, I never asked point-blank--but it was clearly a situation that had gone from me negotiating a peaceful, graceful way to go do what I wanted to do and let them do what they wanted to do. It had been moved into a situation of, "It's time for her to go. She has outlived her usefulness as a lightning rod," or whatever, and they may have totally different versions.

    The one other thing that came along, after I left Danville--I talked about my successor [Gary Stout] there thinking he could save big bunches of money. They also did a readership study in Danville of a model and with consultants that I hadn't worked with, and it was a bad readership study.

    Ritchie: How do you do a readership study?

    Bulkeley: This particular model was telephone interviews asking, random sample, I think readers and non-readers, or at least readers and occasional readers, about everything from delivery service to what they like and don't like about the paper--what's wrong with it, what's right with it, what would you like to see in it that's not there. One of the points of the test was to measure loyalty to see whether it would stand a shift from evening to morning, because the decision had already been made that the papers all ought to be morning papers.

    Ritchie: You mean all the Gannett papers?

    Bulkeley: Yes, and that's a trend in the industry. I'm not convinced that it's an absolute in a town where people go to work at six in the morning and are off at three.

    Ritchie: They like to come home to their paper.

    Bulkeley: I think an afternoon newspaper that tells them what went on during the start of the day serves a purpose if it's well done. In a town like Saratoga, where there are already four area morning newspapers and two metropolitan papers and USA Today available, when you're already the smallest by far, I'm not sure you set yourself up and force a choice, because I think that's what you're doing when you go morning. Now, the Saratoga paper was converted to morning, and they had already decided it was to be converted.

    Ritchie: After you left?

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    Bulkeley: Yes [they had decided while I was there but without my input], and the schedule was already in place. They had agreed that as part of the conversion, a Saturday paper would be added. There had not been one since they started the Sunday paper, so Saratoga was Monday through Friday plus Sunday.

    I had said, "Well, if it's morning, you can't really go from midnight Thursday, close of the Friday morning paper deadline, until Sunday morning, the next time people see new news from you. You've got to put a Saturday paper in."

    Ritchie: To fill the gap.

    Bulkeley: The gap is too big when there are all those other papers around. So they had agreed to that, and I was willing to sacrifice changing the cycle, because I thought I could fix the news, particularized or localized to Saratoga, so no matter when they got it, it would be worth reading, and I was pretty sure that it would be read at night, not in the morning, no matter when we delivered it. But I really wanted that other paper back, so I didn't fight with them about changing the cycle; I just went ahead and agreed.

    But the point was the readership study from Danville. I didn't know how to interpret the study, because, as I say, it's not one I had been involved with before, although we had one in Saratoga, same consulting team, late while I was still there. In fact, the debriefing with the Gannett marketing people came after I knew I was leaving Saratoga and going to the Foundation.

    Ritchie: The debriefing about--

    Bulkeley: About our Saratoga readership study. That's where I learned the dynamics enough to learn how to interpret the Danville study and how to counter what was portrayed as negative in it, and basically it's the lag time between perceptions and reality. As those readership studies work, if there's something wrong with delivery service, for instance, it usually takes a while for public opinion to catch up with the fact that it's fixed. We'd already lived through that once in Danville. I had lived through that in changing the editorial page content in Rochester, that the perceptions didn't change until the people on the page changed, though, in fact, the opinion content had changed. They never talked to me about the Danville study. In fact, some people didn't know that I didn't know anything about it except that I read it.

    Ritchie: Even though it reflected your years there?

    Bulkeley: Even though it reflected my watch. Well, they never were willing to concede that maybe it reflected when we were at our worst before I got to the newsroom to start changing it, because every other department was dysfunctional, and we didn't even start working on news until I'd been there three or four years. Nor did anybody bother remembering that twice when I had fixed schedules and plans for the year to take a direct hand in improving the news sections, the corporate news vice president told me, no, if I had more time, I should be working with those other papers I was responsible for, so I'd been directly told to leave alone the newsroom.

    I had also told them, consistently, that I didn't know what to do with the news for a community that wasn't interested in democracy, or didn't understand it, or something. I said, "I know we're not doing it all right, but I don't know how to fine-tune it," and fine-tuning may be too general. There were changes needed, and I didn't know what they were. I do now. I've learned enough, and there's been enough learned that I've run across about social class and attitudes toward institutions and attitudes toward self, that I know now what I'd do differently in

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    that news content, and where I would ignore the corporate wizards and follow the instincts and gut of me or my staff.

    One of them was beefing up the sports section, and primarily so we could cover more of the local stuff. This was even before we knew that there were all those girls' teams we weren't covering. The corporate honchos said, "No, you already have more news staff and more news space than the norm for papers your size." Yes, but we also had more industrial leagues than anybody our size. It was one of the few places people in Danville could be who they were, and could have teamwork where it was their own and their friends' efforts that make the difference. When you work on an assembly line, it doesn't really much matter what you do. You can either screw it up, or you're another widget. But sports was the one way they had to validate themselves, or one of the few ways, and we really needed to smother the coverage of it. I didn't understand that then, and nobody else did, either. But it's another time when we were told "no" by the corporate guys, because we had put it in the budget.

    None of that was relevant. The Danville readership study was never discussed with me. They sent in some yuppy editors, and I never saw any studies since, but I certainly heard for a while from people about how awful their paper was getting.

    Ritchie: The Danville paper?

    Bulkeley: Yes, because the yuppy stuff doesn't fly in that kind of community, or the way the community was then. I haven't seen the paper a lot since then.

    But Saratoga was a totally different kind of a place. Saratoga is really an entrepreneurial bootstrap kind of a place, and again, we've talked about that before. What we needed to do with that paper was simply sharpen up the copy, clean it up, be sure the grammar was right and the sentences and the paragraphing was right, quit overwriting. I edited some stories for one or two of our special sections that I could cut in half without taking out anything. In the copy they were simply so grossly overwritten, or written the wrong way which often would obscure the information rather than help it, without creating mood or doing any of those story-writing things that creative writers do, that was irrelevant to the point of the kind of information we were trying to convey. When you're trying to convey straight factual information, you don't create moods.

    Ritchie: It doesn't seem like your regional president [Vince Spezzano] gave you much leeway.

    Bulkeley: That last one didn't. No, he gave me no leeway at all. He acted like I was a blithering idiot and didn't know anything and had nothing to offer. Never gave me a chance to talk about what we were doing or why. But, no, he never had any idea what was going on. He never talked to me.

    Ritchie: Did you ever meet with him?

    Bulkeley: Not about the paper, no. He kept saying, "We need to talk," and I kept saying, "Any time." And he never had time. He just kept writing nasty warning letters or set-up letters. Actually, he's somebody I had learned from, and we had had a pretty good relationship when I had been in Rochester before and he was on corporate staff, the first career, and he was still the publisher when we went back to Rochester, and I started discovering that the Rochester papers were doing things we'd never been allowed to do in the countryside. The Rochester papers were delivered later in the morning than the corporate standard we'd all been expected to live with. They had shorter complaint hours than we'd all been allowed to do when we had a much lower

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    expense base from which to pay complaint clerks. They were allowed to get away with a much longer time without correcting circulation problems. Just all kinds of stuff.

    Ritchie: You realized this when you moved back?

    Bulkeley: When we moved back with the Foundation. The news content had changed to the point that David and I learned more at the public market about what was happening in government and politics than we could learn in the newspapers.

    Ritchie: After all that work you did.

    Bulkeley: After all the work I did fifteen years earlier. But there was no way to find out what your tax money was doing from reading the local newspaper.

    Ritchie: Did Al Neuharth ever say anything to you about the change to the Foundation--leaving Saratoga?

    Bulkeley: Oh, when I was getting a cup of coffee at a meeting, he walked up and says, "Congratulations."

    And I said, "For what?"

    He was on the Foundation board, and I don't know whether he engineered it, or whether the next generation knew he probably wouldn't have let them fire me, ever, and that this was looked at as a rescue, and whether they all hoped I'd get bored with the Foundation work and go find my way back into the newspaper business. But the newspaper business did not take women publishers seriously. We weren't invited to the cocktail parties at the publishers' meeting. A lot of people would have pre-parties before the official events. The women publishers weren't invited. Even when some of the guys acted like they thought we were friends, the men of my age, when I'd run into them they'd treat me like friends, but I was never invited to their cocktail parties. None of the other women publishers were. Nobody raided women publishers until the last two or three years.

    Ritchie: What do you mean by raiding?

    Bulkeley: Other companies coming after us. Recruiting. Other companies recruiting us. The men changed companies. I've never polled all of them while I was in the company, but I've talked to enough of them to be convinced that it just wasn't done. We were never on headhunter lists, or if we were, never were hired, and the men were coming and going and trading companies all the time. That has now started happening with women. There have been a few, and most of the major companies have women publishers. Times Mirror just hired one from Knight-Ridder. She won't be in place until after she has a baby. L.A. Times, that company. And she'll be in Baltimore, so once she gets in place, she will have the best publisher job, if you like biggest and growth, that a woman has in the business, once she takes over in January. Because Baltimore is a good community, and the Sun paper, the papers there are in pretty good shape, and I think they have all of their equipment and stuff in place, so she doesn't have to do remedial stuff. There are the same challenges everybody publishing a city newspaper has, of suburbs and the rest of it, but that was a raiding situation, because she was a Knight-Ridder publisher and had been explicitly trained for and served in two of their newspapers.

    Ritchie: So you still keep up with the business?

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    Bulkeley: To some degree, sure. I spent more than twenty years there, not counting the years of training and educating to get into it in the first place, which, if you go back to that Girl Scout badge in eighth grade, was another nine years. And I still consider that one of the possibilities, since after I finish this master's degree I really should go back to work and earn some money again. I still think newspapering is one of the things that I could and should do--whether as a reporter, using directly what I've learned with this degree, or as a manager or columnist or something. In managing, it would be used not quite as overtly, but clearly what I've been learning in this interdisciplinary, multicultural degree and setting would enrich my abilities as a manager, and as a manager of information designed to connect the whole community with itself and to help a whole community talk to itself, and to talk to those above it in the structures, state and federal people.

    We could run a wonderful discourse about health care reform, and knowing the kinds of people to talk to and look for, both locally and beyond, and the kinds of forums to help the community set up for people to talk live, face to face, the kinds of charts and graphs and tables to put in the paper and how often to run them so people could look at them and think about them and find where they fit.

    Ritchie: And understand them.

    Bulkeley: And what it means for them for the future. There are some others out there who can. Some people in the print business have been doing some pretty good work in the last three or four years. I don't know that anybody's done the depth and learning and looking at news as potential new knowledge, and that everybody's been looking at the learning theory and the women's study stuff on how and why people learn, and how you progress from thinking the world has nothing to do with you, through the various stages of learning how to be part of the world and participating and somewhat in charge of your own parts of it. I don't know if anybody's looked at all of that stuff other than me, and how it all fits. Some of my journalism faculty friends have not seen any of it at the meetings they go to where the journalism faculty publish and present their papers, follow the newest, latest research. I have not read or monitored the academic journals in journalism to see if it's showing up there, but my friends say not. So I'm still working on doing some of that writing related to all of that. But I'm also clarifying and solidifying a lot of it through the seminary work.

    Ritchie: So it will be interesting to see what direction it takes.

    Bulkeley: True, and where it all goes next. I've done a lot of my seminary papers, in fact, on journalism and religion and how come they share the first amendment and nothing else, at least to look at newspapers.

    Ritchie: Shall we stop? Is that good?

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    [Begin Tape 1, Side A]

    Ritchie: When we finished our last session, we had talked about your return to Saratoga in 1984, and shortly thereafter, you left.

    Bulkeley: Yes, moving to the [Gannett] Foundation.

    Ritchie: Do you have anything else you want to tell me about that time period?

    Bulkeley: One of the changes in corporate culture that I never talked about was the switch from the early days when [Al] Neuharth and then [John] Quinn, on his behalf, made sure whenever there were meetings with "newsmakers" speakers or whenever Neuharth was doing a "take questions from all of us" kind of thing, Neuharth always wanted to be sure there were questions, and generally wanted to be sure there were questions of substance that the regular news media wouldn't ask. So John Quinn used to plant questions or they'd call us and alert us, some of us, ahead of time, to who was going to be there and be ready with your questions. So some of us just automatically, as part of our job and routine work, came to the regular meetings ready to ask questions.

    Ritchie: These meetings would be at corporate headquarters?

    Bulkeley: Gannett would do year-end meetings. It used to do the year-end meetings of CEOs in various cities, but part of the program was always newsmakers. It eventually settled into having them here in Washington. Then lots of times there would be meetings connected with the Publishers Association, for instance. They might, in addition to having in-house meetings on corporate stuff, bring in somebody who was going to be at a conference anyway to do a speech or bring in somebody for a speech with question and answer. But the point is that some of us were expected and trained, in effect, to be sure there were questions—different questions, but of substance, than particularly the political newsmakers would get from the Washington press corps.

    I got so that I waited until—as the company grew and there were more and more people there, I figured, you know, everybody ought to be doing this, so I sort of started waiting and only filled gaps with my questions. But that last meeting I had with John Curley that we talked about before, one of the things he said to me that I didn't remember when we talked was to quit asking questions. He said, "You ask too many questions, and everybody's getting tired of hearing you ask questions."

    "Fine, John. You're the boss." So I never again asked questions, even after I moved to the Foundation, and after the Foundation moved from Rochester to down here. We got a new president and we also started having luncheons with VIPs, particularly those who were connected with grants. Betty Friedan would come periodically and brief us on her men, women, and media work. But lots of other people—journalism deans or whomever. Well, I still didn't ask questions, except once or twice when there were dead silences that were not at the right time. Yet the last

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    review I had at the Foundation, the president, who by then had been there a year and a half, chewed me out for asking too many questions, seven years after the last time I'd been chewed out for asking too many questions.

    Ritchie: How would he have thought that?

    Bulkeley: Well, apparently he was—and I'm guessing—but he still has lots of friends in the corporation. Whether he was running on myths in the negative story sense from the Gannett days—there are a couple of other things he complained about.

    Ritchie: Do you remember what they were?

    Bulkeley: He was talking about the way I'd screwed up newspapers. Well, that was some people's view; it wasn't Neuharth's view. It wasn't my view. It wasn't the view of anybody who ever worked for me. It wasn't the view of anybody who looked at the record, rather than just looking at computer printouts.

    I've forgotten what the other one—being too demanding of my peers. I always sort of thought consistency was part of what you looked for when we were managing and doing grants in some things. In grants administration—and I've sort of made an end run around the core of the Foundation work, but we can go back to that—in grants administration, when I first went to the Foundation, the three vice presidents had their own stuff and sort of worked independently. I did some cross-cutting. But I always built evaluation into the grants I administered and had reporting back kinds of things, but I discovered that grants in other areas didn't.

    The journalism grants—we seldom had complete budgets. The professional associations would never tell us what the other revenue was, what their dues amounted to, any accountability so we could see how what we were asked for fit within the whole thing, and whether those professionals who were using professional organizations to make themselves more valuable were, in fact, expecting somebody else to pay the whole load. By the same token, the adult literacy grants I was administering, the organizations were expected to be self-sustaining and to find other revenue to replace our grants in one to two years when we were working with people who were at the bottom of the heap financially, who were working very hard on their own, coming back to institutions after they'd been failed by the institutions when they should have learned to read and write and use those.

    Those grant recipient organizations that I was working with were being held to a far higher standard than professional journalists were being held and organizations of professional journalists, and I tended to get a little impatient about that once in a while. We sat there one year down here, the first year of collective grant review, and agreed that while some of them could have repeating grants for routine operations, that they should have learned to pay for themselves, they would be told "No more. And henceforth, we want your whole budget and we need to see, when you ask for money, how it fits within the whole scheme of things, and how you're going to evaluate what you're going to do."

    They were evaluating workshops by how many people came, not by how the performance changed when they went home, if there was a reporting workshop of some kind. Nobody ever had to submit clips that showed, "This is what I did and am now able to do because I went to your workshop."

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    So anyway, that first year I thought we made an agreement in committee on reviewing grants, that we'd start having some professionally responsible expectations for the professional journalism organizations. Ten, eleven months later when they came back with a new proposal, there was no more information than there had ever been, including no accounting for the prior grants, and no explanation of why they had not been expected to provide this material. So in these circumstances, yeah, I'd get a little huffy and I'd refuse to vote "yes" on a grant recommendation. It just didn't make sense to me in the era when we were still doing community-based grants and issues-based grants, that people who were scraping to get by and organizations that were scraping to get by would be held to so much higher a standard than professional journalists whose work affects the democracy.

    If they didn't learn about expectations and responsibility, then I don't really want them doing my newscasts or my newspapers. They aren't the kind of people I would turn loose to go ask questions somewhere. I would have trusted a lot more of these literacy people that I met over the years, or literacy students, who had much greater sensitivity to responsibility and accountability than some of the journalism professionalism stuff that we were encouraging and aiding and abetting through the Foundation.

    Ritchie: Were there not standard guideline applications?

    Bulkeley: No. When I went to the Foundation—

    Ritchie: You went as a vice president?

    Bulkeley: Yes, which was the professional title. Technically, an officer that ran a program staff, grants administration, program administration.

    Ritchie: How large was the staff?

    Bulkeley: The Foundation at that point had a financial vice president, a communications vice president, and three vice presidents dealing with grants, a president, and support staff. A couple of people were added, a couple of writers were added to the PR staff later.

    Ritchie: Were there any other women in a position the same as yours?

    Bulkeley: Not handling grants. The communications vice president was a woman. The financial vice president was a man. All of us except the communications vice president had come from Gannett. The local grants vice president was, in fact, Cal Mayne, whom I had gone to work for on the editorial page and succeeded as editor of the editorial page.

    Ritchie: Back in Rochester.

    Bulkeley: In Rochester, at the Times-Union in the early seventies. The vice president who handled the journalism education grants was a man named Jerry Sass, who had been the personnel director at Gannett Rochester newspaper some of the years I was there, so I didn't really know him. He was a friend of David's from growing-up days—David, my husband. I had worked with Jerry a lot over the years on journalism grants. The grants dealing with status of women he'd have me look at. Some of the other grants, he'd have me look at any Missouri grants. Neuharth had originally had me involved with grants to University of Missouri back when I first became a publisher.

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    When I went to the Foundation, I was absolutely cut off from journalism. The story of my job change and the story of my successor in Saratoga was never sent on the Gannett news wire and was never sent to the journalism trade press. I kept watching Editor and Publisher magazine to see that the story was there so people would know where I was, and after a month when it didn't show up, I finally went to our communications vice president and asked if she would get to her contact there and find out what was going on, why they hadn't run the story. She said, "I didn't send it to them. Why would they?"

    And I said, "Well, I did twenty-one years there. I was on one national board and a regional board that I had to resign from, and on a number of national committees I had to resign from. I had a few friends there. That was my whole adult life and half of my getting-to-adulthood life. It just seems to me that there should have been a story there."

    "Oh," she says, and that was the end of the discussion.

    Ritchie: So there was no press release sent out?

    Bulkeley: The press release was sent to the philanthropy and foundation press only, and my successor in Saratoga kept waiting for the story on the Gannett wire so her friends in the company would know she was back at work—Margo Drobney. I had left with somebody—it was announced in mid-December, during the year-end meetings down here, so I had left appropriate quotes and stuff, assuming it would go on the Gannett wire immediately as Gannett stories always did. Well, it didn't. So my staff had to go and write the story anyway. They got the Foundation story sent to them, but not on the Gannett wire, and I had left stuff there.

    Ritchie: You mean your staff in Saratoga?

    Bulkeley: The staff at the newspaper, yes, the staff that I had temporarily and was leaving. So they dealt with it, but Margo called me a few days later and asked if I'd seen the story, had the wire been out and they missed it somehow, and I said, "I don't have access to the wire anymore." But anyway, she found out that they'd never put it on the Gannett wire.

    In addition, then the newspaper association meetings or the journalism association meetings. The Foundation president, who was a thirty-year newspaper veteran, went to the key ones as the Foundation president. Jerry Sass went because he handled the journalism grants. By now the Foundation also had the Media Studies Center housed at, but not part of, Columbia University. It's a tenant and has some scholar exchange kinds of things. Two or three people from there go. So there's no way to justify me going, too, and Jerry had quit using me to look at grants. Now that I was down the hall from him, I was no longer asked to evaluate grant proposals. So it all was very strange to suddenly be cut off.

    What I was doing at the Foundation, the job I took had been a part-time vice presidency held by a guy on the West Coast, primarily setting up what we called volunteer appreciation luncheons in the Gannett cities. The Foundation did 40 to 50 percent of its grant-making in the local allocations that I think we already talked about, to the local Gannett communities, another chunk in a major local grants competition I'll talk about in a minute, and then the journalism grants. On a rotating annual basis in the big cities, the Foundation would sponsor and pay for luncheons honoring the grant recipients with a speech by the Foundation president or somebody from the Foundation doing some philanthropy boosterism and putting that community kind of in the picture on how it stacked up, plus highlighting some of the best grants from that community.

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    It really is just a "thank you" to people for doing the unsung-hero work that most nonprofits do, but also some commercials for us.

    So anyway, I was setting those up. We'd do twenty-five or thirty a year. The speech texts needed to be put together, the arrangements made.

    Ritchie: Long distance you were doing this?

    Bulkeley: The work would be done by somebody at the local Gannett property, but there were certain standards and expectations Gene [Dorsey] had. We'd never had guidelines to help the local people. Somebody would sit on the phone and talk them through it. So I wrote guidelines as I found out what was needed. I'd do guidelines and revise them, checklists for the local people, and just try to organize and systematize the thing, so when whoever was making the trip had whatever worked and was right for them in terms of facilities and arrangements. I was several months without a secretary. Once I finally got one, we also put the speech text together, and that was basically a formula format, using the computer printouts.

    In addition to that, money had been budgeted for an adult literacy program, $300,000 the first year. Cal [Mayne] had a general idea. He was involved with Literacy Volunteers of America. That's an organization—LVA. He had a general idea on how the money could be spent, but I needed to set up a program, and I didn't know anything about adult literacy or the organizations or the rest of it, so I spent some time learning that. We ended up with $100,000 for local grants, which with eighty Gannett properties wouldn't go very far—$100,000 split a couple of ways or split between the two national organizations who do adult volunteer training literacy organizations, and another $100,000 for some special project stuff.

    I said, "We have to have application blanks if I'm going to have to hold the locals accountable. If they don't know any more about this than I do, they don't even know what to look for, but an application will help them know what to look for, and guidelines." We never had either one.

    Ritchie: For any of the grants?

    Bulkeley: No. No. Some general guidelines had evolved on the grants competition, but no formal application sheet and no format for keeping track. I was told to design a program that could be self-contained or go on. This was 1985. Endowed foundations such as the Gannett Foundation are required to spend the equivalent of 5 percent of their assets every year. Well, during those years when the stock market was growing by leaps and bounds, that was no big deal, because the egg kept getting bigger every year anyway. But it also meant some years we didn't budget high enough, so we had extra money to spend during the year.

    Ritchie: The Foundation.

    Bulkeley: The Foundation did. We ended up doing nearly a million dollars that year in adult literacy stuff because we got so many valid applications back for the local grants that the president, Gene Dorsey, and the board agreed we should go ahead and put it into more local grants and help build the capacity of organizations. At that point, adult literacy organizations and those publicly funded adult education things dealing with basic reading, writing, and arithmetic skills were reaching about 1 percent of the estimated population in need of help at that basic level. Now they're reaching closer to 10 percent. The federal budget has increased by leaps and bounds,

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    some of that spending forced up in the late eighties by the amnesty act for undocumented immigrants.

    The grants competition thing was an annual competition among the Gannett communities for grants of up to $150,000. Those were big grants by anybody's standards for a local organization. A lot of Gannett communities' total annual budget for Foundation grants was in the neighborhood of $20,000 to $30,000. The biggest cities would be three or four-hundred-thousand, but even there $150,000 for a grant was a big deal.

    Ritchie: When you say a grants competition, they all applied and several grants were awarded?

    Bulkeley: And there would be a limited number awarded. It required a needs ascertainment report of any of various kinds. The contest was called Community Priorities Program. So they had to document their priority problems and provide an innovative solution, show why it was new in the community, at least, why it was a high risk or a higher risk than usual grant proposal. And I helped judge that. Every year I was there, I read all eighty-some applications.

    We started trying to develop guidelines or developing guidelines in judging sheets. The contest had been in place, I think four years before I went to the Foundation, and we had won a couple in Danville. But the guidelines were all very vague and we didn't really get a good critique back from them, so when I got there, which meant Cal had more captive help than he'd had before, judging it and thinking about it and analyzing it, we started working on guidelines and judging criteria and judging sheets. After the fifth year, the Foundation also commissioned an outside evaluation to go see what had happened to some of the early ones and to interview CEOs in the field about what they thought about the program, what was good, bad, indifferent, what would they change, as well as to talk to those who had the best records about how they evaluated proposals, how they scared up proposals, for that matter, and all the rest of it.

    From all of that we started developing guidelines, and the proposals started getting fatter. The first year that I was there, it took about an hour a proposal. By the last year it was averaging two and a half or three hours per proposal to read them. They were usually due around Labor Day for early December announcements and start-up soon thereafter, so they could get them going.

    Ritchie: Did these grants only go to communities that had Gannett affiliations?

    Bulkeley: Yes, local Gannett subsidiaries. But there were eighty-some communities, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Cincinnati.

    Ritchie: Did they have to work through the local paper to do this?

    Bulkeley: Yes, all local grants were made only upon recommendation of the local CEO. That's why the Gannett Foundation could do several thousand grants in the $25 million to $30 million total category with only three program officers, the three vice presidents, because all of the grant screening, in the vast number of grants the grant screening and administration was really done by those local Gannett properties. So they handled the vast majority. There would be a couple hundred journalism grants.

    The Foundation's function in those local grants—and Cal handled it—was for legal and policy compliance. He didn't have to pick and choose among the grants. What he got were the grants recommended by the local property. He'd find things that needed more information and

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    better documentation certainly, but probably 90 percent of the grant proposal requests that came in could be handled as a technical paperwork pass-through. The rest would need more work or more questions or be rejected for some reason. Then there was the community priorities proposal, which was a big job, and there would be around thirty grants granted every year that then had paperwork. In the early years of that program, they had arbitrarily cut budgets or cut amounts out of grants to try to get more grants.

    Ritchie: To spread the money around.

    Bulkeley: To spread the money around, not necessarily with discussion, because nobody knew who won until they were announced at the year-end meetings. So proposals would be cut. Well, we started asking for more budget information partly to help them see how to justify the dollars and do better budget planning, and to help the Gannett people learn to evaluate nonprofit budgets when they were working on hard computer print budgets, profit-oriented budgets. But that also meant more paperwork, and the more information you get, the more questions it raises, of course.

    One of the things I learned in the newspaper business was if your business office isn't functioning, the auditors write very short reports. But the better the records are, the more things they find to raise questions about, so even with internal auditors, you get longer and longer reports the better your office is. The better your budget proposals are because you zero-base them, the more questions you get from the corporate staff. Well, it's the same on grant proposals. So they kept getting fatter and taking more work.

    It was wonderful stuff. When I went to the Foundation the first year, we went to the annual Council on Foundations meeting, and David went with me, and between us we could not get to all of the programs that offered new information on issues we were interested in or needed to know. By the third or fourth year, when I'd been exposed to these major proposals every year plus the literacy stuff, community foundation work, the volunteer luncheons, I did some of those speeches. By then the Council on Foundations wasn't so far ahead, and I realized that with all the autonomy we're allowing, that the Foundation allowed in grants, we really were getting cutting edge, both the big proposals. And once we'd learned the detail for the big ones, we could go back and see in the local grants that people out in the countryside were not only ahead of the news media (which I found out that at the council the experts were ahead of the news media, is part of what I read into that council experience), but also the people in the countryside who see problems and see each other at the grocery store or at work or at church or at the gas station or wherever, bake sale, talk about a problem and figure out how can we do something about it, and they go ahead and do it without access to the experts who might tell them, "No, you can't do that. No, it's never been done that way." Well, it is done that way.

    The first year I was there, in 1985, in Fremont, Nebraska, one of the site visits I made was to the organization that coordinated the stuff for battered women. It wasn't the shelter, because the shelter was tucked away somewhere. But in 1985, in Fremont, Nebraska, guys who battered were walking in off the street, asking for help. In 1985, there were lots of progressive cities in this country that didn't even have shelters for the battered women or ongoing programs of advice. But in Fremont, Nebraska, it was so well established and so trusted and the battery syndrome being so understood, beginning to be understood on the streets, that guys would walk in saying, "Hey, I do that. I need help." In those early years we were seeing people move the services for homeless into the shelters, so the overnight shelters also became all-day get-help peer places. This city, Washington, D.C., in 1993 is only starting to talk about that. It's coming out of the churches and agencies in Northwest Washington, where the problem is the least and where it aggravates people the most, now starting to talk about a day-care center to get the homeless people off the

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    street in Northwest. Nothing has been done in the rest of the city where most of the homeless are and where the shelters are.

    Ritchie: But you saw this much earlier?

    Bulkeley: We saw this in the mid-eighties in other cities. We saw a huge variety of affordable housing and alternatives to the old downtown single-room occupancy hotels, a variety of ways neighborhoods, often with church leadership, would find alternate ways of providing housing. We saw early—well, in Rochester, we saw, not because of the Foundation—in-home intervention in single-parent children with children, but shortly thereafter we saw in-home intervention keep the family together and battering families coming out of Georgia. The earliest that we saw, we didn't find anybody else at that time who knew about it so we could see whether this was valid or not, so we said, "Go ahead. If anybody's doing it, it's still a secret."

    We saw incubator businesses in old schools with little bitty start-up grants. Women's organizations were doing this in the early eighties in, I know, the Twin Cities and some other places—the $5,000 and $6,000 business start-ups. When the Small Business Association wouldn't talk to anybody who didn't have a business plan and need $150,000, women were moving their craft shops out into stores and their flower arranging into flower businesses for the $5,000 and $10,000 loans. We saw this move into more traditional businesses and incubators in the mid-eighties.

    Ritchie: So you really funded a wide variety of programs.

    Bulkeley: Sure, because we didn't have limits. It was really what was the community need. We saw clinics in schools, in the mid-eighties, or clinics near schools, so that kids could get all kinds of medical help. We saw a pediatrician set up a clinic. He retired from his fancy practice at age forty-two and set up a clinic where the combination of Medicaid and insurance payments within three years was financing medical care for any kids. By giving the assignment of insurance at market rates and assignment of Medicaid rates, they had enough income to cover the uninsured kids whose families had too much money for Medicaid and not enough money for insurance and no job insurance. Just all kinds of stuff going on out there.

    Ritchie: Was it difficult to evaluate so many different types of programs?

    Bulkeley: In the sense of do we know whether it's going to work or not, sure, we didn't know. But in the sense of how much does it cost to staff an office, we know how much secretaries cost and how much computers cost. We'd have to assume that the local experts knew what they were talking about when they'd say a case worker with generalist knowledge can help seven homeless people in a day, or we need X number of showers and X number of lockers. They've got to start somewhere. There are going to be mistakes made, but where else are you going to get the research and development money for social problems? Businesses aren't even spending it on their own future. Government doesn't have enough money to keep safety nets in place. Churches are running on flat real dollars, even though they turn half of those into social services. That was still the era of the Reagan cutbacks in safety net and social services, so in order to find new solutions for new problems or solutions to old problems that hadn't given into old solutions, somebody had to do it. We figured, why not?

    Cal and I were both good analysts of money and common sense. We both grew up with enough common sense that even when we didn't have the plans, sometimes people wouldn't know how to deal with the forms and the guidelines, and you'd find the stuff in the letters of

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    endorsement that said, "Hey, these two individuals have their feet on the ground and their heads on straight, and they know what they're doing. Sooner or later somebody will come in who can put it on paper the way we used to, but turn them loose."

    Ritchie: So you probably had done a lot of this in your position in both Saratoga and Danville?

    Bulkeley: As publisher, I certainly was involved with community services, on boards of things and committees, and I had handled grant proposals to the Foundation, but I really had a committee that handled grant proposals—a committee of employees that I set up because I figured I was from out of town, I didn't know where money ought to go, and the geography was more than I could reach, so I invited employees from each department to make a committee to look at proposals and recommend them.

    It turned out, as people found out later everywhere, in those days I wasn't to tell that I had a committee, that it was publisher's prerogative. So the Foundation president, it was Gene Dorsey's predecessor, a guy named Jack Scott, who is now dead. But when he was the publisher in Hawaii, occasionally filled in as the judge on "Hawaii Five-O." So Jack is still with us in more ways than one. But anyway, Jack said, "Well, just don't tell anybody you've got a committee. Really it's the publishers who are responsible."

    I said, "Yes, sir."

    He said, "But it's a wonderful idea."

    I said, "Okay."

    Well, a few years later, the Foundation was promoting it and saying, "You really need more input than a CEO can have. You really need committees working with—" And what we all found is the employees were so tickled to be able to do something constructive for community, on their own they'd go make site visits. A lot of times they'd end up finding places they wanted to volunteer and help or they'd be volunteering for something that was entitled to establishment attention and never had it because they never knew how to ask. Our employees, of course, had become empowered and could help them do it. So it just greatly increased the reach and the connection of the newspaper to the community.

    But I also had, over those years, with the Women in Communications stuff originally and then community service stuff, learned enough to know that there are some core pieces of management that are the same, whatever you're managing, and there are some pieces of synergy and chemistry and creative insight that will never fit in a form and can never be explained, but if it's there, you can feel it even coming out of the paper. You could feel it in some of those proposals. While to read through it, it absolutely would not have passed muster if you were being computer printout rigid, but you knew they were on to something and you simply had to say, "Let them do it."

    Ritchie: So you had the flexibility to do that?

    Bulkeley: Yes. Our accountability was fifteen typewritten lines to the president and maybe six to the board of trustees.

    Ritchie: The president of—

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    Bulkeley: Of the Foundation, who then made the recommendations to the board, plus news releases, the big ones for the local communities and summary releases for the others.

    One of the problems we found with the program, the competition was for innovation, but by the time we had thirty grants to announce and put in a news release, they were all boiled down to one or two sentences, which didn't leave room to say why is this new and different. So among the people who thought the program was rigged and political, rather than a sincere attempt to find what was going to work, a lot of it was because we were our own worst enemy in our PR.

    [End Tape 1, Side A; Begin Tape 1, Side B]

    Bulkeley: We just needed to work a lot harder at getting the innovative pieces into summaries, explaining explicitly to those who didn't win why they didn't win, what they could do to win another year if that was still there or to make the proposal sounder. We'd get things like hospitals that were running 20 percent surpluses, the surplus being 12, 14, $16 million and 20 percent of the gross, applying for a grant for less than $150,000 for a $300,000 or $400,000 project that actually was going to add to the hospital's balance sheet.

    One of them, as a for instance, was to convert a house in the next lot to the hospital into a senior wellness center. Well, okay. This was early in the senior wellness thing, but nobody ever told us why the hospital couldn't spend some of its own $14 million instead of our $150,000 to create what was going to become another income-generator for them over time, after it got past the introductory period, because people didn't know what those were at that time. In very short order it was perfectly clear it had the potential of being an income-maker, not a loss leader of any kind, and nobody told us whether the hospital had a policy against investing X number of dollars in new services or whatever. There might have been some policies that made it necessary to have outside money, but we didn't have any idea.

    Well, the CEO responsible had never looked at the balance sheet and had never stopped and calculated that that hospital—in a comparison with prior years, we had, in effect, three-year budgets, and it was a nonprofit hospital, but its profit, its surplus, ran over those three years from 12 percent to 20 percent, and it was running probably 10 percent of unpaid. Well, I now know that that unpaid is what it would like to get paid for things that Medicaid and insurance won't pay. Very seldom is that service provided to somebody who had no money. I didn't know that at the time or I would have been even harder on hospitals that came in with proposals.

    But anyway, we'd run into that kind of thing that just had never been well explained before.

    Ritchie: Did you ever feel the program was rigged?

    Bulkeley: Well, since Cal and I sat there and decided the recommendations ourselves, I know there were times when Cal wanted, or I wanted, to give money to people or programs that we thought ought to have it, that we couldn't prove ought to have it, and whether it was because they were favorite places or favorite people or just gut instinct that the program was right, is always hard to read.

    Saratoga and Danville didn't get grants unless they had documentation. Some of my friends, the publishers, weren't in the big winners' list. I could show anybody who said to me, "You're rigging the contest," I could show quite clearly that any place I would have a preference for or favor for was not benefitting unduly from the judging.

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    There were a couple of times when Cal and I bargained over some, the ones his gut said "do" that mine said "don't" or that mine said "do" and his said "don't." But other than that kind of bargaining or bargaining over amounts in cuts, I don't think that there were grants given just because somebody felt sorry for somebody, or somebody said, "Well, he's a good guy and he hasn't had any lately. He ought to have one." I think most of the concern about the program came from our own not always clear handling of it. I think the effort to make the announcements quick and short as part of an overloaded year-end Gannett meeting and doing it verbally with pictures and not detail necessarily on a fancy slide show kind of thing, caused as much problem for the program as anything else, because if a day care said it was getting money, by the time you got the community, the publisher, the organization, day-care center, the amount named, you didn't have room to say what was new and different about it. Some of that kind of stuff. We worked on it.

    Ritchie: Did you like working there?

    Bulkeley: It was okay for a while, and I had fun doing the adult literacy program. One of the innovative things we did with that, ultimately we did a big project with USA Today. I felt the Foundation, in a whole lot of ways, kept itself from living up to its potential. The budgets were never approved until December for the fiscal year starting in January. We were not allowed to recommend grants for more than twelve months. Dealing with adult literacy, as a for instance, in a developing, evolving field, I had no way to assure a start-up organization or somebody working on innovative stuff like developing a technology for adult literacy learners, that I could fund them more than twelve months.

    We wouldn't fund research, so there was no way to do formal academic evaluation of the adult learning stuff, which ultimately has to happen if it's to become part of the learning system, as it should.

    On these community priority things, they could have renewal grants, but they'd have to apply for them by Labor Day or August, whenever the deadline was, which meant within four or five months from the start-up of an innovative project, which meant they probably didn't have any record with which to apply. To apply that early but not know till December whether they were getting money and how much, because we backed down on cutting budgets finally at some point, or cutting them so hard, that if an innovative project was to maintain any continuity and if our intent was to let them concentrate on building the record and documenting why other people ought to fund it, then to have to have them turn around with a new proposal and sit there and not know until December whether they were going to get money for the next month, with this new thing hanging in the balance, and often with publics that were hard to get involved anybody because they had been disappointed, abused, neglected, insulted, condescended to, screwed by agencies and governments before, a lot of it didn't make any sense. But nobody was ever willing to change it or do anything realistic about any spirit of philanthropy discussion about why weren't we willing to do it and to go ahead and do it.

    Some multiple-year funding would have meant when you first started the overlap, you'd be short a couple of years, but ultimately they'd settle out so you'd have a consistent dollar amount to deal with every year. You'd just have to do some policy or operating decisions on how much you were going to commit and how far ahead, unlike the Congress, which seems to have committed the full federal budget for a number of years. You don't have to do that, and most foundations with big assets and big grants budgets operate on a longer string than twelve months, and it wasn't always twelve months. Well, we could do grants for twelve months. If I'd recommend a grant for approval in November, then it would carry through to the following November.

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    We set up one program where they said, "Yes, you can have two years' funding, but we won't approve it officially until each year comes along." With USA Today, to do literacy grants, my boss, Gene Dorsey, asked for ideas. Well, literacy is tied in with education system. The local stuff, by then I understood enough to know some economies of scale just didn't work, but basically I ended up, among my recommendations, my favorite one was seeing that there were collaborative state-level literacy coalitions in place to provide the link up to the federal government, the oversight of adult literacy money, which included not only adult education money, but some money out of jobs training, some VISTA [Volunteers in Service to America] volunteers, were the primary sources.

    But also the link down, because in most states, people can get to a state capital for management training for literacy programs, for instance, or at the state level you can have a corps of trainers who can get out, train a whole bunch of people at once, where if you have to do it at the local level, the economies of scale just don't always work. So we did a grants competition with what we'd learned from USA Today and what I'd learned from the literacy stuff, and we were looking for systems change. We required governor's office, the chief education executive, the nonprofit literacy people, if they were present in the state at the state level, and in most states the nonprofits did have organizations. But the collaboration was new, both for the government people and for the literacy people, but without it there was no way we'd ever get a handle on the problem.

    Ritchie: Were you successful in some states?

    Bulkeley: Oh, we had a wonderful time with that package. We got proposals the first year. We gave them from mid-September till the end of the year to put their proposals together, and that's one of the places where you quite clearly could feel the energy. People had known they should talk to each other, but until this $100,000 was dangled out there, they didn't have an excuse to stop providing service and go talk about the future. In some of the places, you could feel the energy coming through from the fact that they all got together and figured out how much more they could do together than they were able to do adding up their individual efforts. Some of them were all dead, wooden kinds of things.

    Ultimately we made thirteen grants the first year. We got some extra money. The stock market was still going up, so the Foundation usually had extra money toward the end of the year, so we got some more money for those. The next year we did renewal grants at 50 percent for the first-year winners. Then we had another open competition for all of the states that didn't have literacy packages.

    One of the structural things I had learned, I needed an equivalent of the Gannett CEOs, because I had only me and whomever I could borrow from USA Today to read proposals. I'd have been dead if I'd had umpteen proposals from each state. Since the point was collaboration, we required the sign-off from the governor's office and the education guy. Not "Get it if you can," but "It's got to be part of the proposal." That really said, "All of you in the state have to get your act together. We are not going to do Solomon's stuff." Well, in some states we got multiple proposals. In some of them we'd get two that were kind of balanced between everybody there, but they hadn't gotten their act together.

    New York State sent us a proposal on how they would hire a nonprofit consultant to spend a year doing long-range planning intervention with all of the different interests, because they couldn't all get together and agree without a consultant. So they wanted $100,000 for that.

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    Well, I called up my friends there and told them I knew what they were doing, and we weren't going to do it. I didn't tell them until we announced the winners.

    In some states the proposal would come from the white folks, and we'd get a side proposal, the second proposal from minority groups—Urban Leagues or OICs.

    Ritchie: What's an OIC?

    Bulkeley: Opportunities Industrialization Centers. We talked about Leon Sullivan's. Or the anti-poverty program state executives, which, in effect, would say, "Don't be fooled. The rest of the community, the grassroots community, is organized in this state and should be in that proposal and isn't."

    Ritchie: So these proposals were really removed from the Gannett people in the state.

    Bulkeley: Yes. The connection was USA Today, which by then was doing high school kids' all-star teams by state, has its daily states page and does a variety of things at the state level, so it fit their format. With them as co-sponsors, there were a lot of places where Gannett Foundation $100,000 wasn't a big deal, but USA Today would give people the entr&$233;e to the governor's office, for instance, or whatever. USA Today, I had a partner from there who helped work out what we were doing and helped do the judging. The CEO of USA Today, Tom Curley, happens to be the brother of Gannett's CEO, John. Tom was the one who would sign off at USA Today for this project, and he's the one who ultimately made the call in doing state level out of the proposals I had put together. We talked through all of our stuff with him. He had sign off on the winners at the time we did them.

    One state, with a change of governors happening, had an election during the first proposal round, with a new governor elected. We had sign-offs by the outgoing and the incoming, but then the incoming governor's staff tied the money up. I even made a visit, trying to shake it loose. But by the time the next year's grants were around, they hadn't done anything. We rescinded, took the grant back, much to everybody's surprise. They thought until they got around to it, we'd let it sit, because foundations don't take their money back. Well, we took it back and made more grants with it in the second round of the program.

    At the same time, the national literacy field was putting in the first proposal ever in Congress to recognize adult literacy as a particular discrete field within adult ed, within job training, for people who needed the basic reading, writing, arithmetic skills, and how to use them in context. At the time they started introducing that legislation, the experts, including both social analysts and policy people who had dealt with other issues, said, "We might get it through by the end of the next Congress after the one where it's introduced," meaning at the end of four years. For sure we'll get it by the third Congress. The bill died in conference over Jesse Helms* wanting to be sure that birth control and abortion stuff was not ever any of the learning material that it would finance, at the end of the first Congress in which it was introduced. It got that close. The differences were reconciled over the winter break, before the new Congress was sworn in, at the staff level, so the adult literacy bill was signed, was passed and signed into law in the first four months of the second Congress in which it was considered—two years and four months after it was first introduced.

    ______________________
    * Jesse Helms, (b. 1921). (R-NC). U.S. senator, 1973 - .

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    Ritchie: This would have been the late eighties?

    Bulkeley: This would have been '89, '90, thereabouts. The point that I was getting to is the experts all say if it had not been for our grant program giving national attention and legitimacy to the state-level efforts and the governors' involvement as part of it, calling governors' attention to it, that bill would not have been passed that fast. Now, after it was done, it took President Bush a year and a half to appoint the committee, and a lot of it is still struggling to happen, but at least getting it through the Congress.

    As I say, I only have anecdotal evidence to prove it was our activity that stirred it up, but some of the states that never got our grants were bound and determined that we were wrong in not giving them to them, so they set out and did without our money more than they had promised to do with it. The states with wannabe presidents for governors all saw USA Today, Gannett, and by then some other foundations dealing with it, and they all had governors' wives or governors' offices doing adult literacy. A lot of that has fallen by the wayside, I'm told, since our program, but I've been away from that for a couple of years now since I left the Foundation. So I don't know what's happening now.

    The other thing we did that nobody else was doing was start getting the educational technology people thinking adult literacy. The adult literacy field snickered and giggled when I said, "What about technology?" Because I knew little kids were learning to learn with technology, and I knew everybody was using bank cards, but the adult literacy people snickered and giggled, and I said, "Well, that's not right." So I finally found a few people in the country who were doing adult literacy learning with computers, and we made a grant to have them call an invitational conference to look at what could be done. So the people who needed to hear the message, as well as some could deliver it were all part of that.

    We continued to fund adult literacy and technology work for the rest of our program, which was five years. It never turned into a national organization of substance, but as far as I know, a steering committee still puts together an annual conference every year with computer vendors, software vendors in the literacy field, and makes enough money each year to seed the next year's conference, out of the work we did.

    What we kept running into in the field, and I never could get solved, was people doing adult literacy were doing it because they wanted to help people. Managing was the last thing they'd do. If we didn't find a way to enforce a budget item that said "development work" or that said "management clerk to do the records work," it didn't get done. Our grants usually weren't big enough really to hold back a percentage and say, "We won't grant that if you don't do it right." So we never licked that one.

    The difference is a foundation out of North Carolina, Kennan Family Trust, made a three-year grant to a former adult ed director state-level in Kentucky—her name is Sharon Darling—to do work with mothers and children, bringing the mothers into the schools, learning what they needed to learn plus learning how to help their kids do homework and working with their kids on homework, coming in on the school bus, going home on the school bus. That attacked a number of myths, including "Adult non-readers won't come into a school building because that's where they failed before," and, "Most adult non-readers don't even want their kids to know they don't know how to read, let alone that they're trying to learn." What they found out, of course, was the intergenerational stuff works a lot faster, providing the right environment for learning, provides the concentration, the mothers and the kids worked together fine, and

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    Ritchie: So they were on the same level.

    Bulkeley: The same level. They can explain what it feels like. They haven't had hierarchy beat into them, and, "This is the way we do it," as opposed to, "Any of these seven ways are fine." Well, that foundation made a multiple-year grant, from the beginning made sure that everybody knew its intent was to document everything, to do formal academically and elsewhere acceptable research, to document what happened and why and how and where they changed things if it didn't work. Within three years, that was the basis of federal legislation on the Even Start program, basically creating a whole new way and format of involvement.

    That foundation and others have continued to fund it, and it's now a major national training center, some pieces of which will be spun off into the federally financed one if it ever happens, but the difference being multiple-year commitment, recognition that if you want documentation, you've got to have staff, and recognition that if you want your contribution understood, you've got to pay for research, because the other people who hold money want research, and without it they're not going to recognize it and it won't institutionalize. If innovation is worthwhile, you also need the research so people can adjust it as circumstances change.

    Ritchie: But your grant program wasn't quite at that level?

    Bulkeley: My programs were basically stuck with the same rules that the local grants were—twelve months, no research, minimal administrative money, and generally only what it took to convert whatever records they had into what I wanted. Our trustees never really recognized that in an evolving field, you've got the whole learning curve thing to deal with. Even those whose career is education never understood that in a start-up, scattered across the country in a field without any resources, you've got to overinvest in the learning end even for the people who are leading it. You've got to overinvest in communication to find out what's going to work to create a field out of disparate parts, and out of parts that historically have not talked to each other and sort of been at odds over some things.

    All of those things we needed to be, and our trustees never really understood that. Some of them really wanted to know how many more people have learned to read this year because of us, and how many words have they learned to read. As staff, we sat with trustees in committee for some discussion. The last meeting, one of our trustees said, "Our technology stuff should have just been having all of our famous friends read their favorite books on television and run the words across it, and everybody could learn to read that way, you know, like an adult 'Sesame Street.'" She said that.

    At the other end of the table, a college president who's on our board says, "What research underlies our program?"

    I said, "There isn't any, except the first-cut anecdotal stuff."

    "Oh," he says, "there's got to be research underlying information."

    I said, "There isn't. There's no money in this field."

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    The whole federal budget, at that point, for all of adult ed, not just adult literacy, was $200 million. The AIDS people are unhappy because they only have a couple billion for research. He gave me the name of somebody to call and find out about the research for the adult learners, and I called this guy. He said, "I don't know why he would have thought we'd have it. Our foundation, the Carnegie, only deals with K-12, this particular piece of the Carnegie money. But I do see at least summaries of most research, so I'll keep my eyes out and pass it on." Well, of course, I never heard from him again. There isn't any—wasn't any at that point.

    So at one end I heard, "We have to do this Ph.D.-caliber work or post-Ph.D.-caliber work with all of the research, and at the other end I was having this, "Let our cameramen set some people up when they come to visit, and we'll drop it on all the television stations." Absolutely irresponsible.

    She said, "Like Children's Television Workshop." So I went out and learned about that. In 1968 it had $8 million and did all known kinds of research on every step of the way, did state-of-the-art graphics because they found out fast, even in '68, kids wouldn't deal with less than the best. Because they wanted kids to relate to the stuff on television the way they related to toys, and television is only two-dimensional, they had to have the best graphics to be compelling and attractive. Well, anyway, which would have been the equivalent of $25 million by the time we were talking about this. So I said, "You know, CTW, Children's Television Workshop, wasn't a low-cost seat-of-the-pants operation." Then I recited the stuff. I said, "There's no research. So-and-so told me there's no research. He said he'd send any if he got any. I haven't heard from him."

    But in the meantime, I had found out half of the people who watch the Children's Television Workshop stuff are adults. Of those, 20 percent—so it's 10 percent of the whole—have no kids in their house. Well, they've always been satisfied that in a lot of houses, the parents are watching with the kids, so they're helping. I said, "But what are the parents learning from it?"

    "Gee, we don't know. We haven't asked."

    I said, "Well, why are those other people watching?"

    "Gee, we don't know. We haven't asked. We don't really care. We're doing this for the kids."

    Next I found out Educational Testing Service was by now involved in adult literacy. I found out half of the people who take the high school equivalency test, G.E.D., had never been in an adult ed class; they'd just come take the test. Also half of the people who take the test don't pass it the first time. Nobody knows, at least at that time, ETS didn't know whether those were the same people, they didn't know where people got the courage to come take the test without the classroom first, or what motivated them. Maybe they're the same people who are watching "Sesame Street," but we don't know.

    Third piece. The decoder people discovered that more immigrants were buying decoders than deaf people, especially the Asian immigrants, were using the decoders to get the words on the screen, to learn English. That much they knew. So we did find out that indeed people who are motivated and probably already literate in one language can learn off the screen without much more help. I said, "You know, the decoder is going to be in all sets starting by the next year. There probably really is a basis for something to go on cable or even general television that could

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    make the difference for the vast majority of those marginal and non-readers. We've got enough leads that we could go find out what is it or what are the choices of what is it."

    Well, at this point the Foundation had started reinventing itself. It stopped all the Gannett local programs, decided to sell the Gannett stock that was the primary endowment, and invest in multiple ways.

    Ritchie: The Foundation owned stock?

    Bulkeley: The Foundation was endowed with 16 million shares, and they decided to sell all of that and do other kinds of assets, and to focus primarily on journalism programs and to work internationally and nationally, not locally at all. So even though I was quite ready to work toward a program that would satisfy the interests and ideas of both trustees and with my integrity intact, we didn't have a chance to do it.

    Then shortly thereafter, I was invited to take a one-year terminal leave from the Gannett, so I did. The journalism stuff I had not been welcome to do before. The executive committee was still dominated by Rochester trustees, one of whom was the guy who had been after me from the day I was named publisher, that I never should have been named publisher, the same guy whose wife chewed me out at a party at the White House once upon a time for being a publisher when all those men should have had the jobs, and he was the one sitting there telling the Foundation president, "She couldn't run newspapers. Why could she run anything else?" When in fact, working against all common sense on what it takes to innovate and to do things from scratch, we had made great waves.

    Ritchie: But then the whole focus was changing.

    Bulkeley: The whole focus of the Foundation was changing, but with that guy sitting there, and the other one was the guy who had been the corporate news executive, who told me, no, not to get any more involved with my newsroom, and who then was as put out as some others in Danville when the negative readership report came out. They had been told and they had been warned, and I had tried to do things about it. They all said, "No, no, no, no, no, no." So they were all sitting there telling the new trustees, "She can't run newspapers. She can't run programs. She's done Neuharth's stuff for twenty-eight years, so she's entitled to better than just being canned. Buy her out." So they did. And I was tired of beating my head on a brick wall, and I also was ready to go to school.

    Ritchie: Had you been thinking about that at all?

    Bulkeley: Early, early, early, back when I was doing government and politics, I thought about law school, but I never lived where there was a law school, and I never was in a situation where I wasn't learning a lot doing what I was doing. I wasn't learning a lot about what I wanted to know about at the Foundation.

    When I went to the Foundation, it was a move back to Rochester. For the first time, my public was not where I lived. As a newspaper person, I had always been accountable to, and trying to serve, people around me.

    Ritchie: Did that feel funny?

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    Bulkeley: It certainly was different. David, who had been a priest, of course, was in the same situation. It gave both of us a chance to develop friendships or find out where there were friendships that we hadn't really been able to trust or acknowledge before. It gave us a chance to do as volunteers and with spare time what we chose to do because we chose to do it, not because it was what the publisher had to do. Part of what we did is get more involved with church, including a weekly discussion group on the scriptures assigned for the following Sunday. There's an international ecumenical lectionary developed by committee that has patterns and Old Testament and New Testament, gospel, and letters. The parish that we started going to, the priest had a weekly discussion with other priests and lay people on what do these readings say, what do they mean to every-day people and for every-day context.

    Then I started doing some homework on that, and discovering that I couldn't learn this stuff fast enough by myself, but I also did not have enough calendar control—Rochester has an ecumenical seminary—but I didn't have enough calendar control to sign into tuition programs and their lay programs, non-tuition stuff wasn't any more depth than I was doing on my own.

    So when we knew the Foundation was moving down here [Washington, D.C.], we also knew that I probably would want to leave once I had seen what we could do at the state level and with those dynamics and learned all we could from it, because a lot of the stuff that's going to happen in this country over the next few years is going to have to be worked at the state level. You can't localize from Washington, but you can't do economy of scale locally. School change has to come a lot from the state level. The money for schools has to come from the state level and federal—not federal necessarily, except R&D money.

    Anyway, I figured once we get past this literacy thing, I really would have learned all I can learn from here, and if we're not going to take advantage of what this Foundation's files knew, to help enrich the public discourse, I'm going to reach the point of being too frustrated with it to stick around, and will start becoming more difficult to deal with than I have been anyway. But we also figured Washington was a better jumping-off place than Rochester, that I'd need to come and stay long enough to justify the expense of moving me, but then I could leave in good conscience.

    As it turned out, they were ready to have me leave sooner than I thought I was entitled to, with a one-year pay and office support and stuff, so I left. As that was being negotiated, in fact, my father got sick and died, so I spent the first half of my terminal leave dealing with his estate and Mother and being out in Illinois rather than here. So I didn't get the admissions stuff done to the seminary in time to start as a regular student in the fall of '91, and I decided, well, I probably better find out if I can do it anyway. Wesley Theological Seminary has a special student status that's a truncated admissions process, and you're treated like a regular student in the classroom, and graded. I could have audited. Special student is regular four-credit student status, but you don't have to do the full admissions policy, so you haven't tied up the faculty and the academic admissions committee and that kind of stuff. You haven't bothered references about doing references. You just sort of come in and you record your credits and pay your tuition. Then if you convert to a degree-based program, you can carry, the catalog says, eight hours. The way my stuff split, I ended up with ten.

    I did two semesters as a special student. The application process due in by second term would have been before I had any grades, even, to do the rest of the application process and come in as a regular student. I was spending an awful lot of time on the school work, because I was reading all of the recommended stuff as well as the required, and when we had only part of a book to read for assignments, I was reading the whole book. When we had to do outside research

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    stuff, I'd keep going one more source, one more source, and end up with three times the material I needed for a five-page paper. It was my first ever graduate work. I was in school the first time when those of us who could type automatically got a grade better than our classmates who were turning in handwritten papers, so writing expectations had increased. I didn't really know what it took at first for a five-page paper or ten-page, fifteen.

    [End Tape 1, Side B; Begin Tape 2, Side A]

    Bulkeley: Without some kind of feedback, I wasn't willing to put me on the line or the seminary on the line as a full student, so I did part time two semesters. Then in the spring after the mid-term, when I had mid-term grades, I took New Testament, a four-hour course, and I did that two hours and two hours split. I took Sociology of Religion that first term. The second one, I took the rest of New Testament, plus Ecumenicas and Ethics, so I got a third faculty member. By the time I knew that I could satisfy at least that many and was beginning to get a handle on how to spend my time so that I could do more than five hours a semester, I decided that really was what I thought it was and I really needed to do that. So I quit applying for jobs.

    Ritchie: You had been applying for jobs?

    Bulkeley: I had been applying for jobs—various things.

    Ritchie: Were they journalism jobs?

    Bulkeley: Some were journalism and some were grant-making and some were issues project kinds of things. I can do any of that stuff. I don't really know what's the best use of what I ought to do.

    The newspaper business at that point was still in the throes—still going down in the recession and laying off people, which was unheard of. It had not flattened out, let alone started back up. It also had not started the big companies hiring away the women from the other ones. There was a long period when a lot of them still didn't think women could do the job. Gannett had lots of us. Then there was a period in which I'm told they all figured we'd be so loyal to our companies, we wouldn't leave. Well, that's never stopped them from going after men who discovered they were executive caliber when they started out with no thoughts other than professional-level work. Then they had to get to know us, because we weren't part of the social circles, where you get casual with people and find out whether they can talk sports or not. We just did some committee work.

    But in the last year, a lot of that's changed. Companies have been bringing in outside men and women into publisher jobs and editor jobs, I've seen in the trade publications. The newspaper business, the news business, including the Freedom Forum, which is the new name of the Gannett Foundation, have suddenly discovered that the world cares about religion and the news media should learn how to cover it and how to recognize it when they see it in every-day issues. Well, that makes me more valuable as a reporter than I've been in a long time.

    Ritchie: Would you like to be a reporter again?

    Bulkeley: For the right place, with the right agreement. What I would like to be is respected for what I know and can do, and allowed to do it without being second-guessed, and if the rules are going to be changed, then let's talk about them, don't just impose new ones and expect me to sit

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    back and take it. I wouldn't have negotiated a deal in the first place. I don't know where I'd do that.

    Some of the news companies have grown up enough since the days—the learning curve on learning to manage and learning to be publicly held companies meant a lot of very tight clamping down on people while they all learned what it took to meet the expectations of the market. They're beginning to understand the damage they did to newsrooms in those days and the damage they did treating news and newspaper executives as three-year rotatable items just like foundry managers and food processing plant managers. The specialist journalist, the same way.

    They're beginning to understand that without knowing the gut and bone marrow levels of living in a community, you can't always or necessarily often make the right choices on news/news perspective. That takes people who either understand what's involved in social class and learning and knowing and people relations to institutions they're in or dependent on or subject to, which is a lot of the stuff I've been learning both on my own and through the seminary. Counseling classes make you a better manager than doing common sense, trying to be sensitive to and aware of and respectful of. Scriptural interpretation once again gives lots of understanding and ways of dealing with any kind of text, not just ancient text.

    All of that kind of stuff should make me better in a newspaper or a news operation than if I had spent my whole life just doing news. The Foundation community-building stuff and learning from the streets of lots of places about how much regular every-day people can do with just a tiny little bit of encouragement and recognition, and how much they do without that, I think that's an understanding and a depth and a richness that I don't see in a whole lot of news.

    A few people can do it. Some of those who spend all of their time out there listening, they may not know the research and the theory and stuff behind it, but they understand that there are different classes of people and different perspectives and different ways of being, and they work very hard at making their reporting reflect that. There are some news organizations that are working very hard at hearing the different parts of their community and adjusting their news perspectives and their world views, if you will, to that.

    I'd be glad to work for them. I don't have to be paid as much as I've been paid or have cars or country clubs or any of the rest of it. Mostly I need to be allowed to use what I know and know how to learn for the benefit of the community or the benefit of the profession, because as long as we're taxed in geographically defined areas and we elect in geographically defined areas, I don't care what kind of fancy high-tech special communications you have to go find your special interest/ community of interest/community of purpose stuff. We've got to have information that reaches or is available to a whole community, a geographic community, on a uniform basis, which means we've got to have newspapers.

    There may be something out there in somebody's think tanks that's going to give us the ease of access and information in context that newspapers could if they would, or that a dominant television station or local cable channel could if it would. But, boy, I sure haven't heard of it. If we don't have that, we don't have a democracy.

    If we don't have a critical mass of people getting the same kind of information and good information, valid information about their tax dollars and their tax spenders and regulators, and whatever else is shaping their lives, if we can't get that bulk information to all of them, or available so they can have it if they want it at the same time, I don't know how you run a democracy and I don't know how you run a capitalist society based on relatively free markets, if

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    you can't reach everybody at the same time. The postal service can do it, but again that's print. You've got to have something for them to deliver. And advertising alone doesn't cut it.

    Even some of the catalogs with the highest response are putting editorial content in their catalogs, and some of the advertisers who have always been sought after, their ads have been sought after, are now buying ads in the least likely places—paperback books with ads in them and some of those other kinds of funny things you'll run across, or the front and back of the movies that you rent and bring home. Now we know how come you can rent a videotape movie for a buck, because you've got ten minutes of commercials on each end. Well, all right. There are some things that we've just all got to have at the same time.

    Ritchie: Do you think newspapers fulfill that now?

    Bulkeley: Some of them do some of the time, to paraphrase our friend Mr. Lincoln—Mr. Lincoln or Mr. Twain or both of them. Anyway, and some of them do most of the time. Nobody does all the time, and not very many do it very well. If newsrooms understood the principles of advertising and classified, in particular, that there's some stuff that's got to be there all the time because over a period of a week or a couple of weeks everybody wants it, but not everybody wants it the same day, if they understood the principles of storytelling and letting people tell their story their own way, which is part of what makes some of the so-called entertainment television valuable—

    Ritchie: You mean like the talk shows?

    Bulkeley: Not only that, but the story shows. There's a lot of social change coming down through entertainment television because it's telling stories in contexts people can relate to, or it's telling issues they can relate to in a context that's not threatening. "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" is an absolute knock-out program. They are dealing in contemporary language, but a safe frontier setting, with contemporary issues—contemporary language and contemporary ways.

    "Star Trek: The Next Generation," I don't like the new "Star Trek" with all of those ghoulish people. While the commanders are all men and hierarchical, to some extent, in fact, the issues, the interpersonal issues they deal with in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" are the ones we deal with today. The high-powered women counselors with positions who in fact run the ship when the men are gone, and make the tough decisions on a sound basis, but also the relationship of powerful peers, because without the counselor, without the doctor, it doesn't matter whether those men are there to run the ship; they're dead in the water. When, in fact, the women can cover for the men running the ship, the men can't cover for the counselors or the seer or the medical person. So the women are absolutely indispensable, and we see adult relationships on a peer power basis, which so much of our generation has had so much trouble learning to do.

    We see some of the same thing in "Medicine Woman." Those are safe places. But those are also stories we ought to be able to tell in our feature sections. Those are stories we ought to be able to tell as part of the profiles of candidates, as part of the profiles of the new chief executive or school superintendent or hockey coach or whatever. We ought to be able to tell those stories, but we're so busy telling the stories the hot-shot journalists think they have to tell, or that their bosses want for their cocktail parties, or because those are the questions we always ask, that we're not finding the ways to put the stories where the readers can deal with them.

    A lot of us would like to know what goes on in our high schools, but what do you see in the "back to school" advertising sections that the advertisers want? All sorts of canned garbage

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    about what brand blue jeans and what brand sneaks. What if we ran the course descriptions? I helped judge a scholarship from the high school I went to this spring, and I didn't recognize much of anything they're taking in that high school. That little high school that's not much bigger, still 300 students, it now—well, it may have 350 students and it's graduating 70. We were 51.

    Ritchie: So it hasn't grown very much.

    Bulkeley: No.

    Ritchie: It hasn't gotten much less.

    Bulkeley: It hasn't shrunk. It's still there and they're in a wonderful new building that my dad helped do when he was on the school board. But they have multiple ceramics classes, English writing classes, and stuff I wouldn't have even bothered with in college, yet the applications were only semi-literate, most of them. Most of the essays that came with them would have been sent back for rewrite.

    Ritchie: Had they been in your newsroom?

    Bulkeley: Had they been in my newsroom, even as interns. It just is mind-boggling. I didn't think of this when I was running newspapers, but I'd like to see even the course descriptions, but maybe a "back to school" section that's the equivalent of the sports football season playbook.

    Ritchie: Is that the kind of thing you could do as an editor?

    Bulkeley: Sure, in the right place. I'd like to talk to teachers about new courses, anyway. What is the plan? What do you hope students will get out of this, and how will you know if they're getting it? And how will they know if they're getting it? I'd like to go back and do that about some of the basic courses, too. I think some of that kind of stuff would help adults know how to help kids that they encounter, whether it's their employees or their own kids or their grandchildren or the babysitter if they have little kids. I think it would help all of us have a better understanding of what's in school, and thus be able to do better with school board candidates. I think we could probably do quarterly reports not unlike financial reports, on faculty attendance by school, student attendance by school, library books checked out by school.

    Ritchie: Do newspapers have room to do these kinds of things?

    Bulkeley: Sure. They have room for all those sports scores. They've got room for all those financial tables, both of which serve a teeny tiny little bitty piece of their market. They've got room to let reporters write fifteen paragraphs of obscure literary allusion before they tell us why they're interviewing this famous person who's in town. If they don't have room to give us something that's relevant to our tax dollars and our future, that's clearly a known relevant and that has to do with whether we're going to vote or not, then they don't deserve the first amendment protection they have. If all they're going to do is indulge wannabe novelists and poets, to hell with them. The first amendment is there so that people can understand what the democracy is doing or trying to do and should do, and so people can have the information they need to govern themselves. And newspapers or television news that aren't providing that have no right to first amendment protections.

    Ritchie: Do many of your colleagues in the journalism community share this view?

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    Bulkeley: You'll find mixed views. There are people who say their job is money, and you put around the ads what it takes to get them sold, and as long as we make enough money, we don't care whether 20 percent of the households read it, or 1,000—100 percent. There are people who say as long as we're not losing money, then we'll do whatever we have to to provide news the public wants. The whole range is out there.

    I have not been at the journalism meetings in two to three years, so most of the debate that I see now is in some of the trade publications, and I've even had to stop reading some of those while I'm doing my school stuff, but they're easy enough to catch up on. There are people who think the way we've always done it is still the way to keep doing it, as long as we're making enough money. So there's all kinds out there. Some newsrooms think that they are the ultimate and people ought to accept what they put in the paper, and trust the newspaper to know what's important, what they ought to be reading, even though they write dollars in billions. They don't even know what billions of dollars are.

    Ritchie: It's hard to imagine.

    Bulkeley: Why can't they tell us how much the federal penitentiaries are paying for eggs this week and how they decide they're going to pay that per egg, and how much they're paying for cars and for auto mechanics? Why can't they give us those numbers that relate to things we know about in the real world and that are in dollar sizes we deal with?

    Ritchie: I know you tried to do this in your work in Rochester. Do you feel you did that successfully in Saratoga and Danville, at your papers?

    Bulkeley: We had a wonderful Saratoga example. Did I talk about the New York City Ballet and changing how we covered it? I don't think so. The New York City Ballet summered in Saratoga and did when I was there. I didn't know anything about ballet until Pete Wait, the bank president, was on the Fed and took me down because they had citizens at the Federal Reserve Board meetings in New York. When we got out of that meeting, he said, "Come on," and we raced up to Lincoln Center and went into a New York City Ballet rehearsal. I don't know how he knew I hadn't done ballet yet. But we were sitting second or third row center, and I suddenly realized what a superb art ballet is and what superb talent and discipline and training and stuff it takes to do ballet.

    Then I went home and looked back and discovered that ballet is the same as anything else on stage—some of it stories, some of it is motion for the sheer joy of the motion, some of it is motion to describe something, whether music or something else. But the stories we had before the ballets didn't tell us any of that. Oftentimes our stories after the ballets didn't tell us that. I thought, "Why is this?" Because we tell what a musical is going to do or a non-musical play, we tell what a movie is doing, we tell what a book is doing. But we don't tell what an opera is doing, we don't tell what a ballet is doing, and we don't tell what the symphony is doing. We tell how often it's been staged where and who costumed it when, and all of that stuff that really doesn't mean a whole lot to the greasy spoon owner or cook or the bank teller or loan officer or the school teacher who's trying to help kids learn how to connect to the world, and those are the readers of our paper.

    So I went out to the Performing Arts Center and sat down with the executive, and I said, "I need the stories of the ballets. If they're not telling stories—" "Coppelia" was one of the great Balanchine ballets—George Balanchine. Another one was "Jewels." He had a western one called "Rodeo," and was, of course, still alive and still up there. And the Philadelphia Orchestra

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    residencies in Saratoga. So I went out to the Performing Arts Center and said, "I need the stories. I don't care about this stuff that the New York Times wants for the ballet fans and aficionados. I need information to tell every-day Saratoga people what's going to happen if they go out there, and basically so they'll know whether they want to or not."

    "Okay," he says. "When do you want to start?"

    I said, "Now." This was in the fall, for the next summer. So we worked out a schedule. He had his public relations people do draft material for me late that winter. I edited it, asked questions, gave it back to him, and they did it over again. We had to edit some of the fluff and puff out of it, but basically we got the stories for the ballet and the symphony, and did them in Saratoga. We published a tabloid magazine once a month, basically the start of each phase of the summer season. So we did all the advances in there on the ballets and at the right time for the symphony. But then we ran advances again as each one opened, and we summarized the story in each review. That summer, which was the tenth summer of the ballet, the per capita attendance leaped up at a faster rate than their chart for ten years. It leaped off the chart, and thereafter went up at a higher rate of increase. They had had steady increase in per capita attendance all of those years, and it had gone from the first year having to import the whole kids' ballet for "Nutcracker" to having two or three local applicants for each slot. They had done that.

    So it may have been a critical-mass question when enough local people were involved that the dynamics changed and more and more people went to the ballet. The ballet people say our change in coverage changed the dynamics.

    Ritchie: So they recognized that?

    Bulkeley: Yes, they gave us full credit for it. Neither one of us commissioned any research to figure that out, but it's an example comparable to the budget stuff in Rochester. What is it people are entitled to know and should know so they can deal with this if they choose to?

    At the Performing Arts Center is a state park, so everybody knows there are strange rules about booze, but what are they? We put the alcohol rules in, and we ran them regularly in the paper, about what were the rules at the park about alcohol, about picnics. We ran park maps showing where the rest rooms were, and did everything we could think of to do to help people take advantage of it. As I say, the ballet people are convinced that that jump off the chart and to a new dynamic came from us. The orchestra numbers weren't as clear-cut, but then orchestra music people are more used to. The high schools did have orchestras and you do hear orchestra music on radio and see it on television more, and it can promote itself better because it can promote familiar themes in radio ads and stuff.

    I also had discovered Lake George Opera Company did a couple of Saratoga residencies, and I discovered the political intrigue, the story of Boris Gudonuv. Well, shoot, I would have loved that, but I'd never been to opera and I'd never paid any attention to it. So we did the same thing with that. Opera has continued to evolve up there, and I have no idea whether we were responsible.

    But a government situation, garbage collection in part of the city was done by city crews and part of it was done by private crews. The city was at its constitutional tax limit. It could not raise any more money through property taxes at one point, and needed to with routine increases and benefits—payroll and stuff. Well, I knew what we were paying our private garbage collectors, so I got the city budget from the reporter and calculated the per-household cost of the city

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    garbage collection. It was three times what the private was. Well, we wrote that and put it in one of the budget stories, and we raised the questions about why is this so, and what can we learn from the private ones about efficiency, and is it even really necessary for the city to do garbage collection when we have private collectors in place. Well, the council—it also just happened to be about the kind of money they needed, so the council just automatically, almost, went ahead and gave up the garbage collection business as a city business and turned it over to the private contractors. That took some of the controls off the private contractor, and if we'd been smarter about privatizing, there would have been other things we would have looked for and done in those days. It was shortly thereafter that I left.

    But all of that just comes from asking the other questions. In Danville, we had so much. Danville was so archaic in the newsroom and we had so much we had to do, none of those department heads had seen budgets for their departments. Again we've talked about a lot of that remedial work. But even to bring that newspaper's news coverage up to the minimum standards of the other two places was a multiple-year project because I was being fought tooth and nail by editors. Ultimately, Ron Dillman went off to St. Thomas. I had him spend one summer doing the budget for the whole paper, because I knew he wanted to leave, but the odds were he didn't really want to leave, he wanted to run Danville. His only other interest was St. Thomas, which is pretty interesting—a guy from the corn fields wanting to live on an island. I knew there was a possibility that that would come through, at least the news part of it, but he needed to know the whole budgeting thing.

    Ritchie: So you gave him the opportunity.

    Bulkeley: So I had him put it together and work out the conflicts and contradictions and stuff among departments, and the coordination, and give me a finished budget, basically.

    Ritchie: Did you ever put stories on the front page that a man might not have?

    Bulkeley: Probably. I don't really have examples. I didn't spend a whole lot of time in Danville on the news thing. The decision-making cycle in Danville was peculiar, because the feature pages and sports pages were pretty well locked up before they had the news meeting. They also never thought ahead on anything. When we got to another election year two years after I'd been there, I discovered that they weren't planning their campaign coverage and they weren't anticipating and assigning ahead the election result stuff. They were going to wait until they came in the day after the election and figure out what they had to cover and do it.

    Ritchie: After the election?

    Bulkeley: The day after the election, they were going to figure out what they had to cover and make the assignments and do it, and we'd get the paper out sometime that afternoon, but probably not on time. Well, I had to do such remedial work like that, and I also didn't have access to the news digest because I wasn't allowed a news computer in my office. So unless somebody had time to print it off the machine and tie up the computer to run a printoff for me, I was having to just listen by ear to what was going on in the nine o'clock news meeting. But with those other two sections locked up ahead as long as we were stuck with that, and we were for longer than we should have been, I really couldn't affect the front page a whole lot, except I started flagging which sports things came into the consciousness of those of us who weren't sports people, and insisting that they be moved out, which killed everybody, because they knew I had no interest in sports anymore other than golf, and they'd just get hysterical when she'd say, "Get the horse race out ahead of time. The story needs to be on the front, including when it's on television," or,

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    "The World Series is coming. Get it on the front, because that interferes with everybody's workday." Well, they wouldn't call it interfere, but a lot of us knew better than to call certain people during the games. And the state basketball tournaments in Illinois, some of that kind of stuff.

    So in that sense, I was changing that newspaper in ways nobody would have ever expected, because you would have thought that those guys would have long since wanted the sports stuff on the front. Well, the sports guy said, "Our readers don't know to look on the front part of the paper; they always look on the sports page." I said, "Fine. Put a little box on the sports page that tells them the big story's on the outside." There was just so much remedial stuff, and it took me a long time to find out enough to know what else wasn't covered and what other angles, and to get women into decision-making and key reporting roles to pick up on stuff.

    We ran weddings and engagements months and months after people sent them in. Again, I talked earlier about the ice cream stand. Well, people thought we were hysterical because there would be stories saying, "So-and-so was not available for comment," or, "This is all we know about this story by deadline," yet on the weddings, there would be one that was six months old and we were just publishing it. In lots of ways we really were the laughingstock of the community because we made absolutely no sense. The stuff they could see and know about, like you have your pictures taken the day of the wedding, so why isn't it in the paper next week?

    Ritchie: Why wasn't it?

    Bulkeley: Well, we didn't put any deadlines on it, and when people got around to sending it in, we published it. We didn't want to impose deadlines on people who just changed their lives and just went through all of this. Well, I'm sorry, but I had never lived anywhere where there weren't deadlines. With all the other detail you do at weddings, you can fill out the form, too, because you know all the detail months and months and months ahead. A lot of papers require the stuff in ten days or two weeks ahead of the wedding, and they'll run it that weekend or they won't run it. People were saying, "We always wonder if you're going to get the wedding in before the first birth announcement." So just all of that kind of stuff.

    We'd run awful letters to the editors—harangues and insults and just vicious. They contributed nothing to the public discussion or discourse, and they'd go on and on and on and on, and nobody would ever edit them. We'd run letters to the editor stating things as fact that weren't. We'd run editorial pages the day after election with unrelated editorials on it, because nobody wanted to have to think about what it meant and do it in time to meet the production constraints.

    Ritchie: So there were many, many things there that you had to put your attention to.

    Bulkeley: True. Besides teaching financial management to the finance office, bringing the ad department up to snuff on contracts and being a full service ad department, not just carrying ads in and out.

    Ritchie: Did you miss it all when you left and went to the Foundation?

    Bulkeley: I missed activity and I missed having access to knowing what was going on. The Foundation was on the twenty-sixth floor of a building with a lousy elevator system. While you might be able to catch an elevator and get out in two minutes, as often as not it would take ten. I was used to whipping out. As publisher, I'd been on the ground floor, so if I needed to walk around, I could go out and walk around the building or up and down Main Street and visit

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    customers or whatever. Or I could wander through my building and see what was going on, or go poke around in the basement or be sure that the rest rooms were being cleaned, or whatever. I had nowhere to go in the Foundation. It was just our little row of offices on one side of a building and six or eight other people who were there. I couldn't get outdoors in less than ten minutes. The best I could do was stay out a whole hour or more at lunch, which was a little hard to do in downtown Rochester, which had really become nothing but an office place with not much for stores or anything, unlike other cities.

    I also didn't have a secretary, and while I was very good at detail—well, not very good, I was almost very good about detail in the newsroom. I could never letter-perfect any copy on paper. They always found typos and things I didn't catch, but I could do my own chasing of details for budgets and things. But by the time I'd had secretarial help for twelve years, without an aptitude for that, the ability to do it had atrophied. I went to the Foundation and didn't have a secretary. I didn't even have a terminal. The secretaries had modest word processing attached to the financial computer. The men, some of them had typewriters and some of them dictated. Two of them dictated. But they didn't even have a spare typewriter for me. They had to go borrow. By then, of course, the Selectrics had all disappeared and they didn't want to buy one anyway if I was going to be on a terminal. Well, the printer situation was so bad that I ultimately got a Selectric typewriter and a terminal, but I was five months before I had a secretary. I had to rely on the receptionist who did backup secretarial work for the executive secretary, I had to wait until she had time for stuff, so I couldn't communicate. I could, but not so it looked like much, or I couldn't be sure of the timing on it.

    I was still developing the work to be done, so a lot of times I had to work hard to find something to do because I was waiting for decisions or whatever.

    Ritchie: So it was a different pace.

    Bulkeley: There was a lot of the crap I didn't miss, like circulation complaints in the middle of the night or from drunks or whatever, or dealing with second-guessers at corporate headquarters, or explaining computer printouts that were invalid printouts anyway because they weren't really relevant to the work that was going on. That kind of stuff I didn't miss and don't miss to this day. I wouldn't mind if I'd never experienced it.

    Ritchie: But it's all a part of your business.

    Bulkeley: As I got more and more into the grant stuff and found out how far ahead of the experts in the world our grant recipients were, then I'd get frustrated that we weren't doing anything with it, and I kept coming up with ways and formats to do that, but nobody else ever got excited about it, so it just became a drag up there, too. The adult literacy stuff, we weren't putting enough money in in a way to make the kind of difference that our volume of money should have been able to make, and that what we knew and the context we had should have made.

    As I said earlier, I guess, I just wasn't learning enough anymore, but even more frustrating was I wasn't able to use what I knew. So when I passed that cycle, the learning curve was okay once I had enough to do to learn. Watching it happen and fixing it and all of that was fine. The outside learning was fine, but it ran out. Neuharth had his own agenda and wasn't going to rescue me anymore, and that's all right. I'm adult and have learned my way around the world a time or two.

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    So there's a lot of stuff about the newspaper business I'd just as soon not have to deal with, and in some ways I'd probably much rather go be a reporter making sure religion is recognized than to be an editor or publisher again, but for the right people I'd do that again, too. But maybe I'll just go play golf.

    Ritchie: That's a good solution. Are we ready to stop?

    Bulkeley: I'm about ready.

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    [Begin Tape 1, Side A]

    Ritchie: Christy, in our earlier sessions—now we've done seven—we've covered much of your life and career. Today we'd like to summarize some of that and discuss some new areas, too. I thought first you might talk a little bit about the influence of family and growing up in a small town in Illinois.

    Bulkeley: I grew up in Abingdon, Illinois, a town in west central Illinois, that was both industrial and agricultural. The influence of that and in a family that was influential in the town, I think has had significance throughout my career, some of which I still am only uncovering. Part of it was with the family being factory owners and managers in that little town. We encountered some social-class things that I didn't understand at the time, but more important was growing up in small schools where all kinds of people were in the same classroom. We grew up with rich kids and poor kids and smart kids and dumb kids, and families that achieved from nowhere and families that were dissipating inheritances. All of those different kinds of people were in our everyday life, so we learned very early an appreciation for all different kinds of people, which I think gave us a head start over peers who grew up in suburbs, for instance, that were all alike and where the standards and expectations were so similar.

    In addition, my early journalism work was in that small town. Two women had started the weekly newspaper there—Gene Cunningham and Mary Lou Stover. I started working for them as early as eighth grade and learned accountability in a hurry, because in our town of 3,500, everybody knew everybody. If I spelled somebody's name wrong in the paper or left out a middle initial, I heard about it from the very people that I had offended or insulted by doing wrong. If I reported a meeting so that people who attended it didn't recognize it, I heard about it. If I did well or did right, I heard about that, too, but I think it's a kind of accountability and consciousness that the newspaper, that journalism, is for readers, that I learned in that little town, that you don't learn necessarily in bigger places.

    We learned resourcefulness in how to entertain ourselves and how to learn from what was there, how to take advantage of whatever assets we had. The entertainment, of course, was sports. High school sports was the primary activity most of the year, but we had summer band. Our folks took us to Chicago so we had a lot of the big city advantages with none of the detriments. We also had lots of people that we considered ourselves accountable to—friends of the family who would ask how we were doing at school, or later when we went off to work, would want to know about our careers and what we were doing. People who in their own way would teach us things along the way, whether we knew it or not, at church, civic organizations, Scouts, 4-H, when we played with their kids, and all of those other things.

    Our family, in addition, grew up with in many ways stricter rules than a lot of our peers had. Our allowances were budgeted from the time we started getting them, and there were certain things we had to do every week in order to have our allowances. When school stopped, our allowances stopped. Then we had to work around the house or the property. By then we lived in the country. We had to work around the property for room and board, and we had to meet our

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    church pledge, we had to meet our savings account pledges, and were free after that to earn whatever we wanted to, doing work, grass cutting, clearing the timber, weeding the strawberry bed, washing the windows, any of those things.

    Dad also brought us up doing cost accounting. As we could do work faster or better in some way that was measurable, we could negotiate for higher hourly pay from him. In many ways I think I got both an MBA in financial management and a marketing degree all at the same time simply by growing up in that small town, because we were always in close contact with everyday people.

    Ritchie: You mentioned that you started working at the newspaper in eighth grade. What brought you to that newspaper? What attracted you to it?

    Bulkeley: I discovered journalism through Girl Scouts. I did a journalism badge as one of many I did during eighth grade because school was boring and not very interesting. Well, "boring, not very interesting"—a little redundant. School didn't keep me challenged, and the piano lessons and practice weren't enough either, so I did a lot of Girl Scout badges. One of them was journalism. I learned enough doing that badge and in meeting with Gene and Mary Lou, whom we all called the [Abingdon] Argus girls, I learned enough to know that through journalism I could, if I had to, earn my keep, working with whatever field I really got interested in.

    My mother had said for years that I could be a dress designer. Mother was trained as a portrait artist, four years of art school beyond high school, plus more portrait training beyond that, and never really got to use that when she ended up being the wife of a factory owner in a small town. So she wanted to be sure that I could, in the first place, earn my keep if I had to, but, in the second place, make a career in art. I don't really know whether I had an aptitude in art, but she had it all figured out—where I could go to school to do my training for dress designing and how to get jobs. As I say, I wasn't really interested in that, but when I found journalism, it gave me an answer for all of those people who said, "And what are you going to be when you grow up, little girl?" I could say, "I'm going to be a journalist." And they'd say, "Like Gene and Mary Lou?" And I'd say, "Well, maybe." Or maybe they'd just stop dead when I'd say "journalist," because they were expecting "nurse," "secretary," "schoolteacher," or "wife and mother." That would have been in the fifties when women really didn't aspire to do more than—other than the traditional things. I know better than to say "more."

    Ritchie: So Gene and Mary Lou served as role models for you.

    Bulkeley: Quite. The old weekly in our town was run by a husband and wife together. Then Gene and Mary Lou started the paper, so I had no idea until after I was out of college and in paid work that women didn't have as much to offer journalism or that people thought that. I just thought that women could do anything in journalism, too, because that's what I had seen in my home town.

    Ritchie: What kind of attitudes did you encounter when you attended the University of Missouri Journalism School?

    Bulkeley: Primarily positive. The University of Missouri School of Journalism, when I looked at it during high school, seemed to me to be quite open to all kinds of people in journalism. Again, I wasn't looking for people who understood women had as much to offer as men did or that talent didn't come based on gender. But I had been to the [National] High School Institute at Northwestern University in Evanston. I had been there between my junior and senior years in

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    their journalism program, and got the distinct impression that some people there thought women had less to offer than men. Well, I attributed that to big-city school, private, fancy university, and figured it had nothing to do with me. I didn't sense that at Missouri. As Mother and I made the rounds in the journalism school, people were quite welcoming and positive and very high on the school, so I just automatically went there. Actually, I applied to Northwestern, too, and as one of my first overtly snide acts, did it so I could get accepted and then say no and go to the state university in the next state. But I never really had a sense at Missouri that the faculty or the people in town thought women had less to offer than men did. I really feel I got a solid grounding in "all things are possible."

    Ritchie: Did you get that feeling when you went to your first job in Rochester?

    Bulkeley: No. My first job was my first big being discriminated against. I figured that out later, too. I was one of just two people hired in June of 1964. I was hired by The Rochester Times-Union, which only a few months before had come under Al Neuharth's management. Gannett had hired Al Neuharth away from what was then the Knight Company, to be the heir apparent to Paul Miller, the head of Gannett. I accepted the job offer to go to Rochester, was there within two weeks after school stopped, after I graduated. My job was city desk clerk. I was paid reporter scale because the Newspaper Guild and management had never thought the job was worth fighting over. I was paid $100 a week, but my job was the city desk clerk job, while the summer intern and the other person who was hired at that time were both doing actual reporting. The only time I was glad that I was tied to the city desk was a month later when the riots broke out. What few women were on the staff weren't allowed to go out and cover the riots, and I was glad. I'm a physical coward and would have had to say or figure out some way to avoid that anyway. But basically I had the same training that the guys did, had the same kind of experience, but I was doing city desk clerical work, putting the weather data together, doing the futures file, answering the phone call for the bosses, taking dictation from reporters.

    Ritchie: How did you break away from that?

    Bulkeley: I broke away from that job mostly by sticking it out until the next crop of new reporters was hired so there was somebody to replace me on what we called the "Who" desk, because that person did the daily events calendar which was called "Who, What, When." So we called it to the "Who" desk.

    At the University of Missouri, the job placement service was the model for its time. They required that you stay in your first job one year. The sense was it took a year to get your feet on the ground in a new place, to know whether it really was a good fit, to know whether you were going to be able to develop your potential and do the kinds of things you thought you could and get the help you needed to keep developing. I was relieved of the "Who" desk three weeks before that year was up. If I hadn't been, I would have quit or found another job and then quit. But three weeks before the deadline, I was promoted to general assignment reporter, which is what I thought I was hired for in the first place.

    Ritchie: How were you accepted by other reporters then?

    Bulkeley: The other reporters, most of whom were men (there were two women in that newsroom on the city side, the hard news reporting), the other reporters generally were accepting of anybody. We still had wonderful mixes in the newsroom in terms of age and experience. By hiring only entry-level people every year for the two or three openings, they did not short themselves of a mix of generations, because career reporters stayed until they retired as reporters.

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    I started going to city council meetings that fall, the fall of 1964, because government and politics is what I was interested in. So I started learning the city council by going to the meetings. The two reporters responsible from my paper, The Times-Union, treated me as I would hope most professionals treat anybody who expresses an interest in their work. They were most eager to share and to teach me what they could, to treat my ambition respectfully. Soon thereafter, I started going out with the whole city council majority after the council meetings, and learning a lot more about city government and council politics, and was able to repay my colleagues at the newspaper by telling them things I learned at those post-council debriefing sessions. Some of the councilmen were giving me the "Isn't she cute? She thinks she's a reporter" treatment, and were talking about things in front of a reporter they should not have been if they had wanted to keep them out of the paper, political decisions that shouldn't have been political, that kind of thing. But basically my colleagues at my newspaper were fine. There were some men at the morning newspaper, the Democrat & Chronicle, who treated me like a bother, a mascot, or whatever, and there were some good ones there, too, but I encountered all of them in the press row at the city council meetings if nowhere else. So it was mixed, but my guess is, most new reporters ran into mixed treatment.

    Ritchie: What about when you moved on in your career to become editor and publisher? How were you accepted by your staff and colleagues then?

    Bulkeley: A decade later when I became editor and publisher at my first newspaper, which was The Saratogian in Saratoga Springs, New York, most of my staff was fine. I had one department head who really thought he should have had the job and continued to undercut my authority most of the time I was there. I had a controller who had been helping himself to benefits not authorized for himself for years and had taught two other publishers the business office. So those guys were both problems. My news editor, the managing editor of the newspaper, the production director were wonderful. The circulation director was okay but incompetent.

    The community was wonderful. Saratoga Springs is a very special kind of place. It's always very positive about people and ideas. It treats everybody with respect, whether it's a lame little old guy who's the guard at the race track or some green kid who's trying to be a waitress in the greasy spoon or Mary Lou Whitney or the ballet stars or the orchestra stars. Everybody is treated with respect in that town. If I was good enough for Al Neuharth to send to run the paper, I was good enough to run the paper and was going to be treated like the publisher. The president of the home-owned bank, Newman Wait—we called him Pete—Pete called the day I got there and assured me of mortgage access which, as a single female in the mid-seventies, was unusual. I had never even considered buying a house in Rochester because I knew that single women couldn't get mortgages unless they had some man to sign on for them, like a father or a well-to-do brother, and I wasn't about to exercise that kind of dependence. But anyway, Pete called and immediately offered a mortgage and asked if the bank could throw a cocktail party to welcome me to town. He understood that I would be a curiosity in that town, but that also that party was a very important entr&$233;e to the people who were important to Saratoga, be they local business owners, be they the arts supporters, the men and the women who make Saratoga the special place it is.

    There were other businessmen who did similar kinds of mentoring in their own way. There were guys, after I was married, who would approach my husband at the country club and said, "Will you please straighten her out about thus and such situation?" David would look them in the eye and say, "My only job is to sleep with the publisher. If you want me to talk to her, my consulting fee is $40 an hour, and I'll be glad to work on your behalf if you pay the fee," which usually was enough to stop them. Some of them were insulted. Some of them saw the humor in it and understood the message.

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    Ritchie: You mentioned the word "mentor," and I wonder if you can tell me who some of your mentors have been through the years and how you learned from them.

    Bulkeley: I've had lots of people—today we'd call them mentors—who were important to my work, my learning how to be a journalist, learning to be a journalist, how to do better and more than I started out to do. I've mentioned some of them—the Argus girls [Gene Cunningham and Mary Lou Stover]; the publisher of the newspaper in our region in Illinois, Chuck Morrow at the Galesburg Register-Mail, who hired me one summer between college terms and made clear that I was the best person, even then, working for him, and that if I wanted to come back I could ultimately run that newspaper. Well, as it turned out, he died of cancer long before I was ever ready to go back to the Midwest.

    There were college faculty members who would help me do scheduling and concentrate in the kinds of things I wanted to concentrate in, even though they didn't quite meet the guidelines for journalism school or for graduation. Some in the journalism school, an editor named Tom Duffy, who had been the editor of the Metro East Journal in East St. Louis and had wonderful stories about getting to know the mafia in East St. Louis as well as the newspaper stories, wonderful stories about dealing with the intensely personal conflicts of interest. He's one of the first ones I heard from about World War II, when women staffed newsrooms while men were out saving the world for democracy. One of his stories was about the women on the wire desk whose fianc&$233;e was in one of the casualty lists that she handled, and Tom didn't know it until days later, because she never batted an eye. She exercised the highest professional detachment, the kind of detachment that got the world famous reporters through the assassination of John Kennedy, still doing their work, through the assassination of Martin Luther King [Jr.], Bob Kennedy, and the rest of it. That's where we first heard those stories, from some of the real newsmen, real journalists who were part of the faculty in those days at Missouri. Tom was important.

    A man named Bill Bickley, who ran the copy desk and was head of the copy editing sequence, who was thoroughly real-world—the University of Missouri Journalism School publishes a city daily newspaper separate from and different from the campus paper. It's really a city newspaper where city council is covered, the county government, and the rest of it. But Bill Bickley would make sure any of us who could handle it ran into all of the kinds of copy editing and page makeup experience he knew we would run into when we got into jobs. They all in their own way paid attention to us as individuals. Shortly before graduation, when I was working nightside, I "Mr. Duffyed" Tom about something, and he says, "Call me Tom now." He says, "Professionals call each other by their first names." Well, that's not a bad last conversation to have with a favorite faculty member. I had others later, but not a bad way to get sent off into the world.

    My first job, the city editor and his assistant, a man named Herb Jackson and Don Fradenburg, knew I was dying in the clerical job. They encouraged me in going to not only council meetings on my own, but they pointed out parts of the suburban area that didn't get covered, where they thought I could learn if I'd go listen to those meetings and sit in on them. Then they saw, when they knew I was doing that, they gave me time to write the stories, even though I wasn't supposed to, partly because I'd been to the meetings without pay, but I wrote the stories on company time so I think legally we probably were in compliance with the laws, though I didn't know wage and hour laws in those days.

    Cal Mayne, the editorial page editor who ultimately recruited me out of the newsroom where, in effect, I made the end run around a lot of management tiers and into management and very shortly thereafter then was promoted to Saratoga. The men in Saratoga that I mentioned, in

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    their own way some of my best employees and department heads, even when I was a publisher, were wonderful mentors. They taught me what I needed to know about the people that worked for them. My production director, Frank Ketchem, came in one day and said, "I feel like I've lost a third of my vocabulary. I have trouble getting things said."

    I said, "I don't know why, Frank."

    "Well," he says, "I have to clean up my language, and the guys in the composing room don't think they can talk when you're around because they have to clean up their language."

    I said, "Do you really think you know words I don't know?"

    "Well, you're not supposed to say some kinds of words in front of women," he said.

    I said, "Okay. Let me work on it."

    So the next time I went out to the composing room, I tripped over something and did a "goddamn son of a bitch" loud enough for everybody to hear, and we never again had a language problem. But that's very important teaching, and to me that's part of what mentoring is, is people who have enough confidence in their own role and are willing to share what they know that will help another individual do his or her job better. There were lots of people who did that with me and for me along the way.

    Ritchie: And have you, in return, done it for others through the years?

    Bulkeley: I sure hope so. I sure tried. There are women publishers in Gannett who are in Gannett because I encountered them somewhere along the way and brought them to the company. There are women executives and very good journalists lots of places whose lives have crossed mine somewhere along the way. There was a time when three of the front-page reporters at USA Today were women I had brought into Gannett at their mid-career, one who had been raising children for years after an early journalism career, two others who had come to the newspapers I ran, for various reasons, but all three of them were of the seven or eight people who were front-page reporters for USA Today, and some days all three of their bylines would be there. Well, I'm not the only one responsible, certainly, for what they achieved and continue to achieve, but I had a piece of their career along the way. In the communities there also are women who have been able to do more than they ever thought, or different than they ever thought, because of the example or things they heard me say that struck home. I cannot give you a list of half a dozen people without whom my career would not have happened or of half a dozen people whose careers would not have happened without me.

    Ritchie: So it's an ongoing process.

    Bulkeley: But it's ongoing and it changes as circumstances change. Our dad insisted that we all owed other people whatever we had that they needed, whether that's money into the church pledge or information we had that they needed, which I think has something to do with my being in journalism, knowledge we had, access to something they needed, access to the boss, any of that kind of thing. We really were brought up to share and to pass on long before people knew about mentoring and were consciously trying to do it or were aware of it.

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    Ritchie: A few minutes ago you mentioned the word "detachment." Can you remember any situations where you found it difficult or you had to consciously try to detach yourself from a situation you were covering?

    Bulkeley: There were a number of times when I found myself more interested in people that I was covering than I thought a reporter should be, or making judgments in news issues I was covering when I really thought I should not have had an opinion on whether it was good, bad, or indifferent. The role of the reporter is to lay out all of the options and all of the facts so that people in the democracy can decide what they want to do, look for the options and the consequences at an early decision stage, show people what would happen, and let them decide. At least that's my understanding of democracy and the role of journalists.

    So in my first major assignment in Rochester, I was covering the township of Irondequoit, the town of Irondequoit, which was a 60,000 community immediately adjacent to Rochester. We covered for a zoned page, a page that circulated only in Irondequoit. But during the township elections the fall when I first got there, I realized that I had gotten to know the Democrats who controlled the town board and the executive, the town supervisor, and had a lot more confidence in them than I had in the Republicans who were challenging them. Coming from somebody who grew up in downstate Illinois, Everett Dirksen Republicanism, that's a funny situation to discover. But I also knew, because I was covering it, I really should never have allowed my own reactions to gel to that point, and it drove me crazy because I never knew from that point on whether my coverage was detached and fair and objective enough, or whether I would, through some subconscious process, write more favorably than the facts allowed about the guys whose judgment I trusted or, in fact, not write fair enough because I was afraid of doing better by them than the facts allowed. [Tape interruption.]

    [End Tape 1, Side A; Begin Tape 1, Side B]

    Ritchie: Was it ever difficult to keep your personal beliefs or political beliefs out of a story or out of your covering a situation?

    Bulkeley: After that incident in Irondequoit and a parallel one at the same time involving a school board in the township that had adopted a city suburban transfer program, I learned the discipline of not letting my own judgments reach a decision point as nearly as I could tell. Even when I was covering government and politics, on election day, I'd have to sit down and think real hard about who I was going to vote for, because I tried to maintain what I call detachment, remembering that the democracy was everybody's, and the newspaper was to provide the information that everybody could use to make their own decisions, that it was not up to me to decide what was good, bad, or indifferent, because most situations can be read several ways, not just either/or.

    There were other kinds of ethical problems that came in when I was a publisher. Do we want to talk about those now?

    Ritchie: Yes.

    Bulkeley: The most critical was during the Danville years. [Tape interruption.]

    Ritchie: Why don't we talk a little bit about some ethical situations that you encountered later as a publisher.

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    Bulkeley: The biggest string of serious news coverage in community problems I encountered that were ethical dilemmas came in Danville, Illinois, when I was the editor and publisher there in the late seventies. One of them involved the birth of Siamese twins at one of the local hospitals. There were a lot of complicating factors, but nobody outside the hospital much knew about the Siamese twins until the state filed criminal charges against the parents, the medical teams, and the hospital for ordering not feeding the Siamese twins. Apparently—and we probably won't know until we're all much older—when there were seriously damaged babies such as these twins that at birth people didn't know whether it was a "monster," one child with extra limbs or two children, the practice often is to simply let the baby die. The nurses did not. The babies were kept alive. In five days the state filed criminal charges, and the whole town was at risk of being torn apart as people sided with the family or with the state and the people who had filed the charges, gotten the charges filed. Anything like that is an absolutely no-win situation under any circumstances.

    I discovered that the state child welfare department official [Greg Koller] who was responsible for the criminal charges and keeping the issue stirred up by making outlandish statements regularly was the prot&$233;g&$233; of a friend of mine [Gabe Russo] from Rochester. I decided we really had to get the rhetoric down and let nature and the processes of the system work, without all of the unnecessary hate language that was being stirred up, so I called my friend in Rochester and explained the situation to him and said, "The parents, the medical team, the judge, the people who turned in the complaints all have to live in this town, and we all have to live together, and I think your guy is going to make it impossible if he's not shut up. If you agree with me, can you, and will you, please shut him up?" And we never again heard from that state child welfare official. My friend Gabe Russo indeed called him and told him he didn't need to say any more and he'd be in serious trouble if he did. So as a journalist, that's interfering in a news story, certainly. As a publisher responsible for a whole community, I think I had to do that. We also wouldn't publish letters to the editor on the situation.

    Ritchie: And that was your decision as publisher?

    Bulkeley: That too was my decision as publisher. With the criminal charges, with all of the hate language that was being thrown around, I wasn't sure anybody could write a letter to the editor that would contribute to the discussion, and because we had allowed lots of intemperate kinds of letters to run in the past, I was afraid if I let any in, no matter how constructive, they wouldn't necessarily be seen that way. So I simply said, "This is a criminal case. It's impossible to make fair judgments on letters. We will not publish any for the time being."

    Ritchie: How did your staff react to your decision?

    Bulkeley: They were furious. I also maintained control of the coverage. Again, late seventies. One of the men in the newsroom came to me and said, "One of the rumors is that the father had a vasectomy and then had the vasectomy reversed, and that's what caused the Siamese twins." Well, if the men in my newsroom knew so little about their own bodies and about reproduction that they would seriously talk about that kind of a rumor and give it any credence at all, I was afraid of what could happen with coverage of sensitive issues, the nuances, if I left it totally to them. So I stayed involved. I had the editor title. I had the corporate authority to be involved in the newsroom, so I stayed on top of it until the whole thing had settled down into a reasonable situation.

    The story is very long and I don't need to tell it all, but basically every out-of-town reporter that came in was told by news sources on all sides that they had to get their background out of our clips, that news sources would not give them background. They didn't have time to

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    deal with the fifteen or twenty who came into town. The out-of-town reporters, of course, were all from big places and were used to ignoring the local newspaper, but they had to come use our library to read the clips, because the sources from all sides of that story said, "Their coverage is accurate, it's right, we don't have any quarrels with it, so get your background there and then we'll talk about any other questions," which I guess is probably one of the highest compliments a newspaper can have in that kind of a situation.

    Another situation was when our United States representative [Daniel Crane] was charged with ethics violations for having sex with a page, one of the high school kids serving the Congress. His wife and kids lived in our town and were in our town when the news was released. He was on his way home from Washington. He did not even get to tell his wife, who either was with child at that time or had been pregnant at the time the episodes were going on. He did not get to tell her in person; he had to tell her by phone and then head out. I ordered our staff to stay off their personal property, off the residence. I didn't want our people to be the ones badgering the wife and kids. I ordered them not to lead out-of-town media to the property or to the country place they had over in Indiana.

    Even then, and again this would have been late seventies or early eighties, I was so tired of the ambush journalism and all of the rudeness that we saw just watching newscasts or read about in big cities, that I wasn't going to allow anybody to stay on my payroll to pull that kind of what I call crap. It simply was not necessary to do the story right and fairly. So I issued those orders, and again my news staff was furious, but they complied, and I never heard a complaint from anybody in the community that our people acted as other than professionals doing a job.

    Ritchie: What kind of reaction would you get from the Gannett headquarters on issues like this?

    Bulkeley: I have no idea. I never asked guidance. I never called somebody and said, "This is what I did." We just did it. Nobody ever said anything to me. So whether anybody was even ever aware of those things happening, I don't know.

    Ritchie: Did you ever feel a conflict between your personal values and the corporate values?

    Bulkeley: I had conflicts between my values and the corporate values relating to some degree to changes in news content and format during the Saratoga years. I had stronger conflicts over ways of managing the property wherever I was and managing with integrity and what was integrity and what was fair corporate oversight.

    The easy example is budgets. We prepared and submitted honest budgets with no more spending in them than we felt necessary to do the job that our plans called for and that would support the revenue we anticipated. But that was never enough. The corporate staff people always felt they had to take out some spending and add in more revenue. A lot of the publishers played that game, and I had seen it when I was a reporter. I watched. In covering government and politics as a financial system and a financial exercise, I watched people inflate budgets so that they had enough after cuts to live with.

    I talked to Al Neuharth about it and said, "Do you really expect us to be playing these games in budgeting and to submit false budgets with low revenue estimates and inflated spending so your corporate staff has something to do, or do you expect honest budgets?"

    He says, "I expect honest budgets. There's enough they have to do without playing games with people out in the field."

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    I said, "Will you please tell them that? They don't know it."

    So I've always submitted honest budgets and we always got them blown up higher and far beyond the capacity of our community to deal with.

    Ritchie: So there was a certain amount of pull between you and the corporate headquarters, whether in Saratoga or Danville?

    Bulkeley: Yes. Some of the headquarters staff and I never got along. There was healthy tension with some of them and some of them certainly were very good friends. Again, part of that list, how I define mentor, there were people on the staff who would warn me where were the guys who were making a career out of trying to bring my career down.

    As the first woman publisher in Gannett who was publisher and CEO of the property (actually there had been one ahead of me who was publisher of a small daily reporting to the bigger daily in the neighborhood), I was the first woman publisher who reported straight to Neuharth, and I was the only woman publisher for three years. It was three more years before another one was named. For the eleven years I was a publisher, there were guys in Gannett who knew where I was and what my operating statistics were, even when they didn't know any more how many women publishers there were. From growing up as a daughter with two brothers, sometimes I think I get paranoid, but I don't think that's paranoid. I was a lightning rod. There were peer/colleague/age peers who thought I should not have been a publisher. There were people in Al Neuharth's generation who argued with Al about whether I should ever have been named and whether I should have been allowed to stay a publisher as long as I did. I was aware of most of those because of my friends on the corporate staff who would warn me who was trying to do what kind of attack on what I was doing. By the same token, I was the first one to change a newspaper staff from all white to nearly 20 percent non-white at a time when everybody was talking about it and nobody was doing it.

    Ritchie: So you had the capability and the power to do your budget and to hire and fire, and to hire as you would have liked.

    Bulkeley: Gannett publishers did not have hiring and firing authority over their department heads. The corporation was involved with that. Below the department head level, the publisher was the final say, working with the department heads and supervisors on hiring and firing. Budgets—the corporate staff had the final say. They would add in whatever they thought and say, "You agree with this, don't you?" Well, no, but they put it in anyway, and then put the thing in the computer the way they had changed it, and it was their version of the budget against which you were measured and evaluated.

    It did not have room for situations such as I encountered in Danville when the economy started to collapse in 1979. By 1981, we had lost 25 percent of our jobs in Danville. We had double-digit unemployment not because of more people in the work force; we had double-digit unemployment because our jobs had dropped from 42,000 to 32,000 in that economy. That affected income in the economy, it affected income in even greater percentage because those were the double-digit inflation years. Those were the years that minimum wage was jumping, that the three-year increase cycle, after not increasing for eight or nine years, minimum wage was going up 20 and 30 percent every year, and we had minimum wage jobs. Those were the years that interest rates and inflation were double digit. Interest rates affect an agricultural economy, which ours was.

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    Losing those jobs and 30-some-percent in payroll easily also meant we lost control of territory around Danville. The job base was so strong in our community that Danville was the center of the countryside all the way to the Champaign-Urbana University of Illinois border. My newspaper's territory pushed all the way into the next county in that direction. We commanded more than half of the countryside north toward Kankakee, Illinois, northeast toward Lafayette, Indiana, southeast toward Terre Haute, Indiana, and southwest toward Charleston. Because our economy was so strong, people worked there, people shopped there. When the jobs disappeared, those people went to their more natural urban centers in the other directions. We could see almost weekly our newspapers dropping off.

    Ritchie: The circulation.

    Bulkeley: The circulation, as people needed the newspaper where their new jobs were and where they were shopping and where they were redirecting their lives because Danville no longer had anything for them. That started in '79. By '81 we had lost all of those jobs. We never really flattened out, but the job loss slowed down to a trickle. At the time I went to Danville in '76, there were half a dozen houses on the market. When I moved in '83, there were 1,000 houses on the market. There was no block without at least one house for sale.

    We ran that newspaper on almost flat dollars. We incurred no more cost one year to the next for five years. Some of that was because we got our first computer system to capture the original typing of the reporters, rather than having to pay composing room employees to retype everything. That saved us some money, certainly. Some of it was needing less newsprint because we had less circulation and less advertising, but most of the reason we could run on flat dollars for five years was because the people who worked for me were so good and, as they understood our situation, responded to it. We shared with everybody regularly not in absolute dollars and cents, because that was violation of all sorts of corporate policies, but we talked about "no new income" means "no new spending," and we've got these new demands to meet, or we want to give raises if we can. I never had to lay off a person to meet our spending goals and to keep our spending down except one member of the press crew. The press contract said if our page reduction ever equaled the percentage that was a person on the crew, we were entitled to a layoff. Well, when you've got unions and you've got a contract, you have to live with the contract whether you like it or not. Our pages were down nearly 15 percent for a whole quarter, which, with a ten-member press crew, meant I had to lay off a member of the press crew. That's the only layoff I ever did to live with five years of flat spending, because we knew what our normal turnover was. Normal turnover slowed when jobs were tighter, but it didn't stop. If we had promised to cut jobs, we knew how soon we could get a job cut through turnover, and we lived with it that way.

    I had a supervising clerk in circulation who came to me once and said, for instance, "I have these two part-timers that we're paying minimum wage, who answer the phone and take complaints, but I spend about half of my time recruiting and training somebody for that job. So-and-so is about to leave if I can't give her a twenty-five-cents-an-hour raise, because she can get that much more down the street. If I only had her, I wouldn't need a second person. Can we eliminate that other job and change the amount of pay for the job?" Well, of course! Minimum wage was over three dollars an hour or getting to three dollars an hour. If I could keep somebody for a quarter or fifty cents, relieve the supervisor from hiring and training, get the job done with one person instead of two, we were all far better off. There was more money for profit, there was a better job instead of two awful jobs. There was one job that was at least decent and paid a little bit better. The supervisor had more time to do her stuff.

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    Ritchie: So you were in a position to do much of this on your own, as long as the bottom line that headquarters looked at was all right.

    Bulkeley: Well, they were never satisfied with the bottom line, because I could never meet what the corporate staff built into the budget. That economy didn't turn around until the late eighties. My department heads and I had to satisfy ourselves with what we thought was reasonable under the circumstances, knowing that to meet the corporate budget would have destroyed the newspaper and in many ways reduce the community's capacity to function. It was small enough it had no television stations; it had only radio stations. So it did not have a complete way to talk to itself. We were the best it had. We really had to try to make up for the fact that there was not the headline live, in place stuff you could get from television, that we had to do newspaper job and television job both. So we made conscious decisions on where we were going to draw the line on meeting the budget the corporate staff gave us and living with our consciences and what we could, in good conscience and good faith, ask from that community and from the people who were working for us.

    Ritchie: What do you mean when you say "we made"?

    Bulkeley: The department heads would have been the ad director, a man named Bob Miller; the circulation director, Dennis Lenart; the editor, who by then was Chuck Carpenter; the controller was either Bruce Cannady or Bruce Klink. I had two very good controllers there. Who did I miss? Production director, Joe Casey. We sat down together and said, "This is the shortfall compared with their budget. Here's what it takes to meet it. Are we going to do it or where are we going to draw the line?" And we made those decisions and lived with them. As I say, basically we ran on flat dollars. But in Gannett at that time, nobody ever looked beyond twelve months—the calendar year or twelve months. Nobody ever understood that we survived with no more expenses year after year when everybody's expenses were going up, and that a lot of it was because of our ability to manage not because of stuff like plugging in a computer that let us cut payroll.

    Ritchie: Do you think a man would have managed the situation as well?

    Bulkeley: I have no idea. I have no idea whether anybody else would have managed it the way I did. I almost literally killed both of those marketing department heads. The stress of trying to find more money in a market that didn't have any, year after year after year, and we also were all aware that because we never met the corporate budget numbers, the assigned budget, because we never met it, we were never going to get promoted. Putting sales executives through that, where there's a no-win situation in terms of traditional sales evaluation year after year after year nearly killed both of them. One of them had a stress episode. The other one developed an aneurism and explosive blood pressure. Both trace straight back to stress, and that was in the fourth or fifth year of this terrible economy.

    So I would never do it again the way we did it. I did not understand the toll on those guys, and they didn't deserve that. Nobody did. I'm not sure what I would have done.

    Ritchie: Would you have managed it differently?

    Bulkeley: Somehow I would have managed it differently had I understood the implications of what that was doing to the people who were carrying so much of the load. I don't know how I would have managed it differently, but I would have figured some way or found some way or we would have all quit and blown the whistle on the mess. I don't know what we would have done.

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    We talked about options at the time, but I don't really remember them anymore other than knowing that we were all putting our own future on the line.

    Ritchie: We talked a little bit about personal and corporate conflict. Did you ever feel professional and personal conflict? You obviously put a great deal of time and effort into your career. Did you have any personal life?

    Bulkeley: I had no personal life to speak of really before I was married. Those years in Rochester as a single female, I just worked all the time, except when I had to do laundry or get the snow tires put on the car or taken off the car and all of those things that I had to do for myself. After I got married and had a reason to go home, I had to learn different ways of working, because I couldn't just add more hours to the day to get done what had to be done.

    After the marriage, the real personal conflicts were being in jobs that didn't allow time for things like international travel. Before we were married, David had done some travel in Europe and Russia, and there are things that still today he wants me to see. I had only done a little. When I was single, I had done a couple of trips to Central America, one to visit my brother and one to do the Mayan Indian stuff with my mother. But I've never traced the family roots in England and Wales, for instance, that I would like to do sometime. I would like to see the stuff David thinks I ought to see. There are things neither one of us has seen we'd like to see, but I was never in a job when I could take enough time to make it worth the effort of getting there—passport, shots, getting to Europe. This was long before the SST [supersonic transport], which was beyond anybody's affordability anyway, but all the time and the adjusting to time zones and things. So there were those kinds of conflicts.

    I don't know that I ever had personal friendships on the line because of conflicts with work or anything like that, or personal belief systems that weren't compatible or negotiable with work. That just seemed not to happen, and it may be because I was so absorbed in what I was doing that I didn't build friendships with people that were going to make conflicts.

    Ritchie: Did you have friends who were other females in the business?

    Bulkeley: I had newspaper friends, I had journalism friends that I met along the way and indeed should have talked about more than probably in the mentoring thing, such as Marjorie Paxson, who was the president of Women in Communications when I first got involved, when it still was Greek-named—Theta Sigma Phi. Marjorie eventually became a Gannett publisher and partly because of my intervention. People like Judy Woodruff and Pat Carbine and all kinds of women who were pioneers in their own parts of journalism and who also lived on the cutting edge—Tad Bartimus, who was one of the first AP [Associated Press] bureau chiefs, who was one of the first women assigned to Vietnam during the worst of that war. One of my stories is Tad saying, "Where did you ever get the courage to go into management?" She, who put her whole life on the line in Vietnam! And I said to Tad, "That doesn't take courage. Where did you get the courage to go to Vietnam?" And she says, "That wasn't courage; that was just following the story." Well, okay. There are all kinds of us and all kinds of journalists and lots of people that I can pick up the phone and pick up a conversation as if we had seen each other yesterday and it's maybe been six years. [Tape interruption.]

    [End Tape 1, Side B; Begin Tape 2, Side A]

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    Ritchie: Christy, you've been described as Al Neuharth's "cutting edge female." What did that title bring with it?

    Bulkeley: Being the first woman publisher in Gannett, that sounds like a self-description—"cutting edge female." Being the first woman publisher in Gannett and in many ways in this generation—some companies still don't have their own—brought with it a lot of opportunities and a lot of grief as any place of difference does. The opportunities, of course—at least I considered them opportunities—were chances for access to people I would not have had access to in constructive ways. I was on a Pulitzer judging jury the first two years that I was a publisher, because they knew in the mid-seventies they needed to have a better mix of jurors, and that's a very high privilege to be one of those who makes the first cut at entries to the Pulitzer Prizes.

    I was invited to do speeches lots of places that were fun places to go, sharing the platform with people that I considered stars, when I never really considered myself a star. That meant some travel and things that other people were envious of. A lot of people never understood the invisibility. I would sit at meetings of the Publishers Association.

    The best example is a program meeting for the Publishers Association annual convention. Kay Graham, the chairman of the Washington Post Company at that point, was chairing the meeting, and asked us to go around the table, offering our ideas. People would get oohs and aahs and little questions as they offered their ideas. When I offered mine, there was dead silence, as if I'd never said anything. The guy next to me did his stuff. We went around the table, and a friend of mine across the table, H.L. Stevenson, then the editor-in-chief at United Press International, H.L. "Steve" did my idea all over again, in my words, and it was the best idea they'd heard. Now, that story is common for women who have been the first ones and for people of color who have been the first or the only in meetings. That was the most graphic time I'd encountered it, and it convinced me of the need for added authority of some kind to back up our own ideas. It simply added to other evidence I'd had that, "The girl can't be right. The girl can't know what she's doing."

    Some of the reporting I did in Rochester was cutting-edge reporting, but my bosses didn't know I had developed it and needed to teach somebody, so when I left that particular reporting beat, I never was allowed to train my successor in how to do the reporting of county government as a financial management exercise. My reporting had given the public control of the budget during election campaigns, and that all disappeared when I left the beat. So that's a kind of invisibility and lack of credibility in your own work that comes with the territory of being the first and the only. The visibility that kept some of the corporate staff on my back, even though I was cleaning up messes of the publishers I followed, the publisher before me in Danville was paid twice as much as I was, yet I was specifically ordered to fire the department heads that he refused to fire. He had intentionally lowballed a budget and gotten away with it, and was paid twice as much as I was, and was promoted out of there. That goes with the cutting-edge territory.

    But I also had lots of trips on the corporate jet with Al. I had Al's ear when I wanted to test ideas. As a mad genius at new ideas, it was a wonderful place to test ideas. People with less imagination or less smarts or fewer tracks running in their head don't see the connections or don't feel connections that Neuharth could feel. You could throw an idea at him in one sentence and get a full reaction back if you understood how his head worked. I got full support for my professional association work because I was cutting-edge female and Neuharth wanted it done.

    By the same token, when the new Gannett management generation came in, I was criticized for professional association work. I was criticized for asking questions at company

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    meetings, even though I had been trained to do that by Al Neuharth and John Quinn, his key news executive. But I was seriously criticized more than once, even after I quit asking questions and started stepping back, even when I explained that I didn't do professional organizations except to advance the agenda that I was given. When I was told to let other people do the speeches, if I was asked to do a speech, refer them to other Gannett people, I said, "I do, and the other Gannett people turn them down, so they go outside of Gannett. If you want Gannett to have visibility, you have to tell those other people it's okay, because they're saying no. Or tell them to call you and ask and not automatically say no."

    So the pendulum swings, and "cutting edge" means you're at more risk, but by the same token, people who understand change and the risk with change will do what they can to make it a highly rewarding experience rather than disaster.

    Ritchie: Did the direction of your career change when the staff at headquarters changed—the upper management?

    Bulkeley: When the Neuharth successor generation came into Gannett, I had been in Danville seven years, which is far longer than I should have been, and a lot of it was because of the economic stuff. A lot of it was because of the transition period that was happening in Gannett. Other people were making a lot of the decisions that Neuharth used to make. During those Danville years, women were not appointed to jobs any bigger than I was in in Danville—probably what we today call the glass ceiling. The transitional executives were not going to move women any farther than Al already had. There got to be more of them, but women would be promoted from one publisher job to another and still be in papers that were in the bottom half of Gannett's size, while men would be appointed to their first publisher job in papers in the top half. Glass ceiling.

    When the new generation came in, I remembered other times when I had been told I didn't get a particular job because I hadn't told anybody I wanted it. So I went straight to the new boss, to John Curley, and I said, "I need to get out of this town after all of these years of economic strain and being in a community that isn't compatible and that I don't really understand and haven't been able to figure out. I can't do the news job right. I've done all the stuff I know how to do. You need somebody in here who can handle it, who can figure it out, or who is of the same culture that this community is." It was a very working-class, blue-collar community where people for generations had not been allowed to be creative or to take initiative or to have ideas. Its last flourishing in that way was immediately after World War II when some inventors surfaced and made some good money out of there, but by then, of course, that was a whole generation or two later.

    So Curley was surprised when I told him I was quite willing to drop the professional association stuff and go run the Saratoga paper, because he's of the belief system that says you always have to be doing bigger things, that success means more and bigger. Well, success doesn't mean that to me; it never did. I had learned enough that I thought I knew what kind of a newspaper Saratoga really needed, and that it needs a different kind of paper than it had. It was growing, and the paper should have been growing, and it wasn't, so I wanted to go do that. In fact, he let me. A couple of months later I was offered that job. In that same conversation with John, I turned down a bigger paper. He asked me to go to one of the bigger papers, and I said no.

    Ritchie: Why did you turn it down?

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    Bulkeley: Partly because it was Midwest, partly because it was another heavy industry community. I didn't know whether it was the passive culture such as Danville had at that time or whether it was a more creative kind of community. All I knew was I really wasn't ready to do that. I didn't want to stay in the Midwest, and I really didn't have whatever it was going to take to run a bigger operation in an industrial community, which probably was still fighting recession, too. So I told him no, that I wouldn't do that, and listed a bunch of places I'd be interested in going, and ultimately I got to go back to Saratoga, David and I. The Saratoga publisher [Mike Coleman] in fact went to the paper I had turned down.

    Shortly thereafter, I thought I had, in effect, negotiated with John a long-term stay, showing what could happen with a little newspaper and training department heads and reporters for him, knowing I would have regular turnover and be in a training situation because I'd always been in one anyway. Well, it became clear within a few months that John or somebody wanted me all the way out of the newspaper in Gannett. The statistics gave them enough statistical excuse to stand up in a first-pass firing, if that's what they wanted, and my boss put me on warning. I knew how to do that. As regional vice president for a few years in Illinois, I had learned what factual basis you could use to fire a publisher and indeed had put some on warning, so I knew what was going on.

    Then my boss called and said, "You're going to be offered this job at the [Gannett] Foundation. You'd better take a good look at it."

    Ritchie: Which meant?

    Bulkeley: Which meant that if I didn't take that rescue, there would not be another one, and I would be fired at some point. That's the way I read it. With the written warning already on the job evaluation, it would have been hard if there were other clues or if he had any other intent. He might have. I'm second-guessing; I never confronted him on it.

    Ritchie: Did you think of fighting this?

    Bulkeley: Sure. I hadn't recovered from Danville and the move and getting to Saratoga and immediately losing three of my five department heads, losing all three capable ones to promotions, so thus running the paper shorthanded. There were all sorts of reasons. Yeah, I looked at whether I should sue and what the odds were. I went back over the statistics period the years when there was clearly a glass ceiling, a limit on how far women could go in Gannett. I looked at the secondary evidence of what I had accomplished and whether in a personal case that would stand up against the corporate computer printouts, which is what they were managing by, and I looked at what I'd heard from the women who had sued, about their own cost, the cost to all women in the companies where they were while the suits were pending, the cost to the company and whatever progress had raised their expectations enough so that when they were at some point they did feel they had to sue.

    I decided that with Gannett, whether I had grounds to sue or not (I never got a legal opinion), but I decided I wasn't going to even go that far looking at it, that Gannett, in fact, was ahead of the rest of the newspaper business in progress of women and people of color. With USA Today, some people in Gannett in a way understood content changes and different products for different audiences—not enough, but some. There were a whole lot of reasons, and I was afraid that if I even went to a lawyer about a lawsuit it could slow down what was happening. John Curley was a newsperson in origin, and his brother Tom, who is now the publisher at USA Today,

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    there are a lot of good people in their generation of Gannett managers, and there were good people in the rest of the company in a lot of places.

    I just decided I was offered a chance to do some stuff I'd wanted to do at the Foundation. It gave David a chance to live where his family was for the first time in twenty years, in Rochester, and we had lots of friends there. So I really didn't expect to stay seven years at the Foundation. I really thought after a year or two, I'd poke around and find myself another job in the newspaper business, but I got into stuff there that was so interesting, that I wanted to follow through. It was a multiple-year process. There just never came a good time to find my way back into journalism.

    Ritchie: Did you feel that you had accomplished what you set out to do in journalism? I know at one time you said you wanted to change how the East covered the Midwest.

    Bulkeley: I set out, I thought, to improve the coverage for the Midwest, because I didn't believe even in the fifties and early sixties that we were getting the coverage from Washington that we needed to make our decisions for the democracy. I found out in those years in the Rochester newsroom that mismatches between news and what the public knew it needed to know to participate was a systemic problem. It wasn't just a funny regional question about the Midwest. There were lots of things news media could do to keep the public more connected with their communities and this society and to keep themselves, the media, better connected with media than they are today. The gaps weren't quite so clear in the sixties.

    Anyway, I found out that to do what I set out to do really meant changing systems, and that if systems can be changed, bosses have to do it. So when I also understood that Neuharth wanted me to be a boss and not do my original reporting career plan, I decided, "Well, I'll go along with it for a while. How long does it take to fix things? It shouldn't take very long when you're a boss." Right. Well, that's not true, as anybody has learned who has tried to do systems change. It's even hard within a small group to institutionalize change. Some of the reporting that I did in Rochester did not get institutionalized. Some of the changes we made in Saratoga in the two and a half years I was there were gone when I went back in seven and a half years, even though they were as valid, or more valid, than when we had them before.

    So, no, I didn't meet my immediate goal, but in many ways I participated in a much bigger and more important work and still have time to do more in keeping the information available to the public that it needs to find and develop its own potential, because that's what I was really trying to do through journalism, was help the democracy work better for people than it was. I saw more potential than was happening.

    I still think there's opportunity to do that, although goodness knows in the years since I started, television has fragmented all over the cable and the satellites, and it's no longer just three networks and no longer a handful of radio stations, some with news staffs and some without. It's no longer one or two newspapers, and between them every house has a daily newspaper in a community. The statistics are terrible for the traditional news media. Women have been defecting as readers from daily newspapers even faster than men have in most recent years because of mismatches between expectations. There is research that shows very clearly what the public needs and wants and thinks it's entitled to in order to participate as citizens in community, citizens in the democracy, in order to be willing to vote and to give money to candidates and to give money to nonprofit organizations to do work for homeless or Girl Scouts or whatever.

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    The news media is not paying much attention to that. Many parts of it are not looking at it at all. They're inventing their own solutions and taking far longer to get to the same conclusions in many cases than if they'd been willing to hear and to learn and to listen what was being offered by people who are different. Not just women and not just people of color, but people in other pragmatic parts of the academy. There are pragmatic political science people in universities—pragmatic theologians in seminaries and divinity schools, pragmatic sociologists, all of whom really hope that they can help the democracy work better, which I think is what most of us hope, not just for our own selves. Most of us have plenty and don't need a whole lot more, but we see increasing numbers of poor people, and that's not the way it should be. It doesn't have to be that way, if we can quit navel-gazing, if we can quit being driven into hiding in our own little corners of communities. A lot of people disconnected from doing community stuff at all.

    Ritchie: Do you see your career going in this direction of combining your background with new education?

    Bulkeley: Among the many possibilities for what I do next, I've spent those seven years at the Gannett Foundation learning a lot about changing systems all the way from local community to federal. I had a hand in making possible the first national literacy legislation. We changed some state governments in terms of adult literacy through a program I designed. And some other things. Just routine projects. Through that I saw everyday people being far ahead of the "experts" in possible solutions to a lot of the problems we deal with. I think there are ways to show the news media, or some of the leading news media, how to hear and see what's happening on the streets in their towns in a different way than they do now. I think there are ways to show them that a lot of the coverage that is being invested in in big ways can be condensed and collapsed and replaced with more constructive coverage that means more to more people and thus will sell more papers or stop the loss.

    Ritchie: Do you see yourself as having a role in this?

    Bulkeley: There are lots of ways I can help do that if I can find somebody who wants to let me. I'm about to finish a two-year theology degree. I've never done master's degree work before, and finally discovered I couldn't learn theology fast enough on my own, so I've taken two years to do a degree, in a seminary which is a pragmatic place to do theology. So most of my work has been how do I apply the stuff from the theology class or sociology of religion or religion and politics, how do I apply that to something that means something in my world. So I've done various attacks on the media—not attacks, but various ways so the news media can see belief systems and how much that has to do with how people react.

    I'm doing another paper for one of my classes on how to train gatekeepers in a newspaper, how to show them where religion is, because it's most places and they don't know it, so that they, in turn, expect reporters to find it and to see it when it exists, rather than shutting it off the way I was ignored and shut off at that meeting of that committee years ago. In many ways religion is the same; it's part of the life of far more people than sports is, but you'll never know that to look at a newspaper or a traditional newscast. It even gets more money than sports does, but you'd never know that. So if you want to measure it by the way traditional society measures, the news media ought to be trying to do religion, but they don't even have to do that if they just learn to see it where it is. So that's one of the things I can do.

    I certainly can do project management or public relations or any number of things. I don't really know what I'll do next. I've got a few more months and a few more years to sort that all out and see what's the best place. I will not, if I can avoid it, ever again work where I'm a moving

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    target. That takes too much time and energy, and there's too much to be done to waste it on people who think everything operates in little compartments or by computer printouts. That isn't the way the world is, and it's not going to be. I'm not going to waste my time on them anymore.

    Ritchie: Looking back over your life and career, is there anything that we haven't talked about in our interviews that you'd like to add today, or that I haven't asked you?

    Bulkeley: There probably are lots of things that would be useful to other people if I could remember to tell the stories, but there also are lots of other people who have been cutting edge in their own places of journalism and of social change. I think probably the greatest strength we all have is knowing how to live in change, which a lot of people still don't have, and that change means information and knowledge are the most important product. That means the news media should be more valuable today than they ever have been, the media that look at and cover the institutions of community. People really need community. They need to be able to connect with other people. This ought to be the best times of all for the news media. They ought to be more in demand than they ever have been. My experience shows me that they ought to be more in demand. My experience shows me a lot of why they aren't, but I'm not the only one who knows that. I suspect adding my theology degree to a journalism degree gives me credentials nobody else has, but whether that leads me to insights beyond what we've already shared, I would guess the answer is no. It confirms a lot of what I suspected and thought I knew, but again as somebody on the cutting edge, it helps to have outside validation, because there aren't patterns to follow. And increasingly there won't be patterns for anybody. I mean, increasingly we're going to have to learn as we go and learn to share and learn to be part of community, because Lone Rangers can't survive in our kind of economy, our kind of society.

    Ritchie: Do you feel that you're still cutting edge?

    Bulkeley: Not really. There are lots of times I can go into rooms and learn things, and there are lots of times I can go sit in a whole meeting and never find a question to ask that isn't being asked. The seminary has been wonderful, because more than half the people there are women, more than 30 percent of them are people of color, African-Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, Asians, Asian-Americans, Africans, African-Americans, all ages. In fact, the kids right out of school with all that energy and vim and vigor are in the minority, and we have to be careful not to stomp on it, because we need our batteries recharged, too.

    But there are just so many accomplished people and so many things happening, and you'd never know it to look at traditional news, and that's too bad, because it would satisfy the computer print readers if the media could reconnect with all of those people. It would make the papers, the broadcast, more valuable for the advertisers who need to be in a lively environment for their ads to pay off. It would be better for everybody. But I'm not the only one who knows that. There are a lot of people who know that, and they're working in various ways to try to change a massive culture of traditional news media, who are also looking at brand-new things coming at them out of places that they never expected to find competition. It just makes it a very scary time for them, and I understand that, and I'm no threat to anybody. I never set out to be, either, but I sure turned out to be.

    Ritchie: We thank you very much for sharing your experiences both today and in the audio tape interviews that will be compiled together as a transcript.

    Bulkeley: Thank you. It's been fun.

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