By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
By Jeff Balke
Memories of Deano
Dean Singleton denied selling the Post up until its dying day. Never mind the new chairs, fresh paint, new carpet (in some departments), parking lot reconstruction, whitewashing and the ironic "For Sale" sign that went up on the southwest corner of the lot recently, which was dismissed in a staff memo as old Hobby property. A lot of expense for a man who gave sparse pay raises and probably couldn't name ten of his employees who weren't on his special "bonus" list.
He treated his relatives with the same respect. His brother-in-law Roy was given the enviable job of dispensing stamps in the musty, open-air mailroom. Until now, most of his employees couldn't have picked Deano's mug out of a lineup, such was his hands-on work ethic. What they could tell you, though, is that when he was there, he had a different car for every day of the week. (This, in sharp contrast to the employee parking lot -- the majority of vehicles were older model, paid-for automobiles). And that no one was really sure what sidekick Ike (Massey) did except walk around saying "hi" to everybody (at least we knew his face). As a final kick in the butt, rumor has it that reporter Jim Molony was denied a job at the Singleton-owned Denver Post under orders not to take on any ex-Post staffers. I guess the rich get richer and the rest get special closed sessions at TEC.
So now Houston is a one-newspaper city. I will miss my mornings scanning the clever headlines and not having to wash dirty newsprint off my hands. Even after the Chron gets hold of our presses, we'll still be facing their mind-numbingly dull headlines. Thank you, Houston Press, for giving Houston a real story with substance ["Post Mortem," by Tim Fleck, Michael Berryhill and Jim Simmon, April 27] and space to say good-bye.
Editor's note: For what it's worth, Dean Singleton, in a phone interview with Press staff writer Tim Fleck, denied that he ordered his remaining papers not to hire former Post employees. Of course, as you point out, he also publicly denied the Post was for sale.
Covet Thy Competitor's Comic
Notice that the first former Post feature picked up by the Chronicle the very next day after the Post's demise was Doonesbury. I recall several years ago after Garry Trudeau's sabbatical how much the Chronicle really wanted Doonesbury, but the Post somehow managed to hold on to it.
Remember how Victor Kiam loved the Remington shaver so much he bought the company? My analysis of the real reason the Post is out of business: the Chronicle coveted Doonesbury so much it bought the paper!
Then There Was One
In the early 1960s photography was my hobby. As a member of the Houston Volunteer Fire Department I was fortunate to arrive at fires well ahead of the newspapers and my shots would regularly wind up in the [daily] Houston Press. Of course, I took photo credit instead of the $5 fee -- especially since they bought all of my film. When the Chronicle purchased the Press it was at least afforded a decent farewell with 20-point headlines, and the columnists simply changed addresses. And then we were two.
It was another story with the Hearst purchase of the Post ["Post Mortem," April 27]. Just a terse disclaimer that the Post had "shut down" and they purchased the assets. Obviously, a great ploy that nobody believed. No farewell edition, no transfer of columnists and cartoons -- nothing but a void in the lives of Houstonians who have had a Post with their coffee forever.
Inasmuch as we're now a one-daily-paper town, the Press has an excellent chance to become a major player in Houston news. Columnists such as Herskowitz, Harasim, Palomo and Parish should be wooed to join you. Why not bring their employees on board the Press? After all, they're the ones who really made the Post what it was. Requiescat in pace.
The Smart and Not-So-Smart
Please keep us informed of new jobs for Houston Post staffers!
As is typical of the Chronicle, they hired only supervisors from the Post pressroom and these supervisors did not know how to put out papers as the real workers did. That is why not everybody could get a full Chronicle even days after the sale.
One item overlooked is how columnist Leon Hale used the fake issue of out of town ownership of the Post to transfer to the Chronicle. He was much smarter than anybody thought and propelled himself into making more than $100,000 a year, plus company car and travel expenses around the world.
Thank you for the "Festi-Brawl" article regarding the Westheimer Street Festival [News, by Mitchell J. Shields, April 6]. I used the article several times as an accurate explanation of the series of events that surrounded the biannual event.