The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 2, 2001 · Page 30
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 30

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 2, 2001
Page 30
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2 WEDNESDAY. MAY 2, 2001 APPLAUSE THE SAUNA JOURNAL Storied press agent retiring By F.N. D'ALESSIO Associated Press Write?' CHICAGO (AP) — Danny Newman doesn't sing, but that's not why audiences at the Lyric Opera of Ctiicago used to fall silent — or even groan — when he stepped on stage. It was because Newman, for nearly 45 years, was the Lyric's bearer of bad tidings. It was liis duty to tell audiences that the superstar soprano they had come to hear had the flu, or tliat the tenor had laryngitis but would soldier on anyway "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN ..." Newman would begin, in a voice as powerful as that of any singer. The voice seemed incongruous, coming from so small a man, and it came imaided by amplification. Wlien an illness last year left Newman's voice diminished, he made his first step toward retirement by turning over tlie onstage announcing to someone else. It was either tliat or tlie shame of using a microphone. Announcing was just one part of Newman's job at the Lyric, from which he is officially retiring sometime later this year. Characteristically, he prefers his job description im- cluttered by modem innovations. "I'm not a publicist or director of public relations. I'm a press agent, even though that's a pejorative term now," Newman, 82, said in a recent interview. "I've been doing this work for 68 years — since I was 14. I was called 'the Boy Wonder Press Agent' back then, and I'm still a press agent." That assessment, though, is a bit simple. Newman has also been a theatrical producer, movie theater owner, ^ motivational speaker, sports promoter, an­ nouncer, author and more. He set up an early talk-radio show with young Myron (now better known as Mike) Wallace, and earned two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star as a World War n rifleman (the Bronze Star, through a gUtch, was delivered in 1984). And Newman's best- known role? The man who revolutionized the way live performances are marketed to audiences. The New York Times dubbed him "the Billy Graham of subscription tlieatre," and his occasional partner. Ford Foimdation vice president W. McNeil Lowry, has said Newman "has done more for the performing arts in tliis country than 10 foundations." Newman downplayed his achievement. "I simply didn't have any competition," he said. "People aroimd the performing arts traditionally just didn't think in terms of audience, and I did. "In my heyday, I was a very good press agent, and I got a lot of good publicity for shows that closed after the first Saturday. I realized that we were barking up the wrong tree by relying on walk-in ticket sales." In Chicago, for example, six consecutive opera companies failed before the Lyric made its hesitant debut in 1954. But Lyric sm-vived, by emphasizing prepaid season subscriptions instead of individual ticket sales. The company now boasts about 39,000 season subscribers. Newman was not in charge of marketing for the Lyric, but he refined the subscription idea and took it on the road diuing the off-seasons, serving as an audience development consultant to lumdreds of professional performing arts organizations on five continents. His 1977 book, "Subscribe Now!," has become a textbook in many graduate schools of arts management and is in its tenth printing. Newman's office at the Lyric has served as home base for his multiple careers, and now he actually gets to spend some time there. It's part mu- sevun and part cluttered workspace. The walls are loaded with autographed photos of opera stars and other memorabilia There are also portraits of his late first wife, Yiddish theater star Dina Halpem ("She had a voice like an Amati cello!"). Dina died in 1989 after more than 40 years of marriage. In 1994, Newman married widow Alyce Katz and moved Avith her to subvirban lincolnwood. It was a msyor departure for the lifelong Chicago- dweller, who never foimd time to learn to drive. He prefers his 72-year-old bicycle. His technophobia is also evident in the centerpiece of Newman's office: a huge manual typewriter. "I've never felt comfortable with an electric typewriter, let alone a computer," he confessed. Newman is working on his second book. "I want to compile 100 short essays about colorful people I have knovm. I have about 25 done so far." What sort of colorful people? Newman roUed off names: Sally Rand and Danny Kaye, firom Newman's youth as a promoter of vaudeville and burlesque shows; Sam Goldwyn, from his movie promotion days; Yul Bryimer and Carol Channing, fi-om his stint as a theatrical producer; "and of course, the opera people, Maria CaUas in particular." looking for star power? CNN Headline News hires former 'NYPD Blue' actress to read news By DAVID BAUDER AP Television Writer NEW YORK (AP) — CNN Headline News is looking for star power to boost its ratings, hiring former "NYPD Blue" actress Andrea Thompson for a news job. Thompson will be an anchorwoman for the network, according to a CNN executive who spoke on condition of emonymity. CNN also annoimced that it has hired former ABC News reporter Sheila MacVicar as a London-based international correspondent. Thompson played detective Jill Kirkendall on "NYPD Blue." Her character exited the ABC show in 1999 after marital problems interfered with her police work. She switched careers and was hired last May as a reporter and fill-in anchor at television station KRQE in Albuquerque, N.M. She said at the time she wanted a job that allowed her more time with her child and to study economics- Thompson didn't return a call seeking comment. Her hiring may signal a flashier new era at CNN. The network recently came under the control of Jamie Kellner, former chief at the Fox and WB networks, and he told USA Today on Tuesday that he was looking for more star power at the news networks. CNN Headline News, an offshoot of the main CNN network, has an average audience of 171,000 viewers so far this year, according to Nielsen Media Research. That's virtually unchanged since last year. Headline News runs a complete news report in half-hour cycles aroimd the clock. MacVicar was cut loose earlier this year from ABC, where she had reported oii Africa, Europe and the Middle East for "World News Tonight" and "Nightline." She wiU start reporting for CNN on May 7, said Eason Jordan, chief news executive for the CNN News Group. "I am thrilled to be joining CNN, which is committed to serious international news coverage," MacVicar said. 145 S. Broadway • 145 S. Broadway • 145 S. Broadway COUPON SAVmS FOR YOU! M COUPON wm mm Z ALL MATTRESS ' • & BOX SPRINGS • ITWIN, FULL ~ QUEEN, I KING STRArOlOUNOn, nuomATtoNmyoTiotr Enjoy the comfort of this reclining sofa or ioveseat. Loveseat "-I I I I I jj ^9i||n^ ^ ^™j5 ^r J 1^ ^^"^ ^ ^ ^ mm ^^^^"j ^'JI m M COUPON •• m. I ALL HUTCHES, AND! CURIOS! Pi •• COUPON m iTHEUFTCHAIRi For those in need of a Utile boost up. The Lift Chair by Stratolounoer provides therapeutic aid in rising (rom lha sealed posJIIon. Features an elegant button tutted seal back and pad over chaise lounge. 'PreTeena' hits comic pages By CLAUDIA FELDMAN Houston Chronicle When Allison Barrows told her spouse she was working on yet another comic strip in the winter of'99, the words jumped out of his mouth before he could think, "Not again!" For 13 years Barrows had been working on a number of strips, some that resulted in limited success, some that produced only frustration. "It seemed like too long a road," says Barrows, who drew her first comic strip when she was 6. "It wasn't paying off." But Barrows persevered. She spent hours, weeks and months laboring over her newest and favorite project, "PreTeena." And finally, she was glad she did. "PreTeena" debuted April 23 in comics pages of newspa- pei-s aroimd the country. Fails wiU become well-acquainted with Teena, a fiftli- grader teeter-tottering between childhood and adolescence. There's also Stick, Teena's best girlfriend, who can't wait to get her braces off, trade in glasses for contact lenses and qualify for babe-hood; and Gordo, Teena's best "guy" friend and an all-around decent kid.Last but not least is Jen, Teena's 14- year-old sister, a full-blown teen-ager who thinks every: body wants to be her. • Barrows, who talks about the fictional siblings as if they were her own daughters, says, "You often see autocratic older sistei-s being really nasty. That's not .Jeri. She's not a jerk." 2 Bo^ey Burgers i • with Coupon niVW COUPON • Quaff f/ twnltme ^Low Pri€es • fn-Store Finmiing L With Coupon _ _ Expires 5-5-0 f J tm H COUPON n •• I IMMINATION IN MOTIOir | 1 with coupon _ FREE LOCAL S^te^Ends DELIVERY itams Similar to ^ raCKTI Illustration. Limited Quantities l^^^l on all items. BARRY'S 'URNITURE K«on.-Fri. 9:30-6:00 Sat 9:30-5:00 145 S. Broadway 825-5767 145 S. Broadway • 145 S. Broadway • 145 S. Broadway nowers '*|^^„r Flowers For All Occasiom. S to the Make someone's graduation even more special- include them in our Class of2001 Graduation Ad on Sunday, May 2dth, Class of 2001 14 95 I Your Name j Address I Phone Number. Order Form Graduate's Name- School I Please be sure to complete a separate form for each graduate you are honoring. I Orders cannot be taken over the phone. Enclose a check, money order, or credit card number & the expiration date. Send your form, the photo(s) and payment to: the I Salina Journal Connecting communities mth information 333 S. Fourth, Salina, KS 67401 • 785-823-6363' email: fax 823-3207 Includes photo, graduate name and school name. To include a message, add 10(P per word. Use this handy form and mail or bring your ad to the Salina Journal, 333 S, 4th St,, by Friday, May 11th at 5:00 p, m, to include your graduate. *All graduate ads require prepayment. Photo may be picked up at the Salina Journal after Sunday, May 20. Sdlllld. ToU.]*tldl irphoto is to be returned by mail, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your order. Conrwcmcommumti^withmfmrmwn

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