Nelson Poynter obituary

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Nelson Poynter obituary - n Times' Nelson Poynter dies at 74 Nelson...
n Times' Nelson Poynter dies at 74 Nelson Poynter, chairman of the board of The St. Petersburg Timet and Evening Independent, died Thursday night, - The 74 -year-old publisher who waa renowned nationally for his editorial independence and hit innovative journalism became ill in hia office momenta after he saw one of his dreams for St. Petersburg come true. He had helped break ground Thursday for a new St Petersburg campus of the University of South Florida and then had received a plaque honoring him and the Times Publishing Company for being instrumental in bringing the campus here. , " ' He was admitted to St Anthony's Hospital and died at 10:16 p.m. of a cerebral hemorrhage. Poynter's insistence on quality in publishing and on independent ownership of newspapers created in St. Petersburg two newspapers that are generally ranked among the best in the United States. H E AN D his late wife Henrietta founded and he served as chief executive of Congressional Quarterly Inc., the Washington news and political research organization that specializes in congressional coverage, and later added its aister Washington publication, Editorial Research Reports. In St. Petersburg he founded Modern Graphic Arts Inc., a commercial printing company. He also founded and served as chairman of the board of trustees of Modern Media Institute, a St Petersburg educational institution that is chartered to meet journalism education needs not being met by existing institutions. Its students use The Times and Evening Independent as working laboratories. Poynter willed the voting stock in the Times Publishing Company to Modern Media Institute. In an article about him in the current issue of Fortune magazine, Poynter explained hia desire to leave his newspapers under professional direction and to assure their continued independence after his death. IN A 1975 memorandum to Eugene Patterson, Times editor and president, Poynter characteristically left instructions for this day. "Most newspapers overplay most deaths of newspaper people," he wrote. "Let's not do this In my case. A one-column head, no comment or a bunch of silly tributes. And it's a one-day story. "You know, of course, there will be cremation, no funeral or memorial service of any kind, no requests 'in lieu of flowers.' You might include that I have observed no one really likes to go to a funeral. I am trying to be considerate of my friends who might come to my funeral by having none." Poynter's widow, Marion Knauss Poynter, said she would of course honor his wishes in this respect Poynter's 1975 memo added: "IMPORTANT in the story is to emphasize there'll be no change whatsoever in the Times Publishing Company at a result of my death. I'll haunt you like the devil if the above it not carried out Just live up to the Standards of Ownership thereafter." t Poynter wrote and publicly declared 15 standards of ownership on Aug. 6, 1947 when he completed buying the controlling stock in the St Petersburg newspapers from his family. They included his vows not to sell to chain ownership or form a chain; to achieve financial stability in order to maintain a strong editorial policy; to hire above-average staffers and to pay above-average wages; to provide decent pensions and share the newspapers' profits with their staffs, and never to permit voting stock in the newspapers to scatter. See POYNTER, 14-A

Clipped from
  1. Tampa Bay Times,
  2. 16 Jun 1978, Fri,
  3. Other Editions,
  4. Page 1

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