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MARY BOBO: This is Mary Bobo of University of Louisville Oral History Center. This is one in a series of interviews on The Courier-Journal and Louisville Times newspapers. Today is Friday, July 2, 1982. I'm talking with George Barry Bingham, Jr. His date of birth is September 23, 1933. His place of birth is Louisville, Kentucky. His parents are George Barry Bingham and Mary Caperton Bingham. His dates of employment with the Courier-Journal extend all the way back to his teen years, but he began, I believe with WHAS in 1962 and extend to the present time. For us. He's presently the editor and publisher of The Courier-Journal and Louisville Times and the other Bingham enterprises.   

We're going to begin today, as we have with many others, with your childhood here in Louisville, and coming into, in early childhood days, your interest in the paper or just things that were going on, perhaps personalities that you met 1:00in those very early years. Now, for example, your father said that he met Henry Watterson as a very young man. So anytime in your childhood that you want to go back to the paper, even though you were growing up as a child, please feel free to go over to the other side. Let's just start with the earliest remembrances that you have.  


BARRY BINGHAM JR: Well, I guess my first memories, were living in Glenview, where I still live, as a child with my brothers and sisters. And it was just a splendid place for young children to live. We had a rather unusual arrangement, however: the 1930s and I guess, even early 40s, but primarily in the 1930s, 2:00there was a great deal of fear of kidnapping in this country. And there had been some very notorious kidnapping incidents, the Lindbergh case, of course, being the best known nationally. But there was also one here, the Stoll case, where there was a kidnapping. And my grandfather was very concerned about my brother and me in particular, we having been the first two born, and so he arranged to have around the clock police service for us. And I'll never forget these men that he hired or had hired. He was in London at the time as ambassador. And so we had these around the clock policemen seven days a week, and I'll never forget them. They were all captains and I think they were all Republicans who'd been put off the police force when the Democrats were elected. And in those days, they just cleaned out the police force and everything else. One was Captain Bud. One was Captain Withers, excuse me, one was Captain Withers, one was Captain Daily, and the other was Captain Hornstein. And they were on eight hours, each one was on for eight hours. And literally, I mean, they changed the guard. Not in uniform, they were in plainclothes. And from my very earliest days, I 3:00remember having at all the time with us, or nearby, one of these men who carried a pistol. And my brother and I used to tease one of them about this great big pistol that he carried. It was Captain Hornstein as a matter of fact. And finally, one day, he couldn't take it any longer. And he put a dime in a tree and walked back around 20 feet and shot the dime out of the tree with a pistol. And that's the only time any of them ever fired a gun, that I can remember. But we were so impressed with that we stopped teasing him about carrying a gun all the time. But they were wonderful people, they played softball with us and things like that.  


BOBO: Like having your own Secret Service, almost.  


BINGHAM: Yeah. Well, it really was. And I don't want to say that my grandfather's concern was unjustified, but it added sort of an interesting element to our lives, because here were people -- I remember, Captain Hornstein for instance. My brother and I wanted to dig a tunnel to China at one point. I guess we were six, seven, something like that. And we found a place where no one else had dug a tunnel to China and started digging. And I guess we got two feet down. And Captain Hornstein came along and asked us what we're doing. We said, 4:00"We're digging a tunnel to China," but we were pretty tired of it. And so he got down in the hole and started digging, he went down seven or eight feet before finally, we all decided it's going to be a long time before we found any Chinese down there. But that was a sort of thing that I remember in my very early youth as being a lot of fun with these people who were basically there for security reasons, but ended up being, y'know, almost like surrogate parents to us.  

BOBO: Must have been really interesting at this time, even. As you said your family was quite involved in other activities and one thing and another and your childhood had to be a little different to, quote, "from the average." You 5:00mentioned in one of your editorials about your early school days in public school here in Louisville.   


BINGHAM: Yes.   


BOBO: Would you care to comment on those and where you went to school?   


Barry Bingham Jr: Yes.   


BOBO: And what were some of the disastrous effects of it?  


BINGHAM: Well, I don't mean to be too mean about the public school system here. The Ballard School was the neighborhood school at that point. And interestingly enough, just to give a little perspective, we had a Black family who lived on our place. And the man of that family was the gardener or one of the gardeners. And his son could not go to Ballard School because he was Black. This was back in the old days of the Day Law in this state. But my brother and I, and all the other children in the neighborhood went to Ballard School and we could walk there, it was a, I guess, a 15 minute walk. And the real problem I had with Ballard School was that it was a lot of fun. And the more fun it was, the less I learned. And before that I had gone to another school called Mrs. Sawyer's which 6:00was a sort of private kindergarten school. But once I started going to Ballard School, I soon discovered, and it was the policy of the school, that if Barry didn't want to do arithmetic, he could go to the back of the room and draw pictures. And I was always more interested in drawing pictures than in doing arithmetic. And before long, I was really having some serious problems. I mean, I just wasn't learning the things I ought to learn. It was one of the schools that practiced the philosophy of -- "look-say" reading, for instance, was one of their philosophies of teaching. In other words, they thought that you should see the word, recognize it, and be able to pronounce it. So you did not ever learn how to break words down into syllables and pronounce each syllable, and then put them all together to make a word. And I think there are probably a lot of people of my generation in this country whose reading ability has been somewhat impaired, by just having been taught what I consider the wrong method. Now, 7:00look-say may be fine for a lot of people, and I expect there a lot of people who learn to read just fine that way. It did not work well for me. And I had, for years and years thereafter, had a serious remedial reading problem, which almost until I got to college I didn't overcome.   


So I look back on Ballard with sort of mixed emotions. I loved all the extracurricular things. I mean, they put on a Gilbert and Sullivan play every year, and that was wonderful. And I remember the old rock quarry out in back where we used to play at recess, and all of my friends, and we just had a wonderful time there. But the real problem was I wasn't getting the kind of education I felt that I needed. And the result was when I finally went away to boarding school, and I guess I was 11 or 12. When I finally went away to boarding school, I was in academic trouble, real trouble. And I had to go back a couple of years. And then the second year, I skipped a year. So I ended up only being one year behind, but my first year at boarding school in New England was a 8:00real trial for me because I was so far behind everybody else. And in fact was in, I was two grades behind where I should have been. So as I say, I look back on Ballard with some resentment, frankly, because I realized that while I was having a good time, I was really wasting time there. And it wasn't a very good way to spend my youth as far as education was concerned.  


BOBO: Was Eaglebrook the school that you went on to?  


BINGHAM: Eaglebrook in Deerfield, Massachusetts. It's a pre-preparatory school. And I remember my, this came about largely because of World War Two, not only the educational problems at Ballard School, but my father joined the Navy. And we first moved to Washington and lived there for about a year, and then he was sent to Europe as part of his Navy assignment. And I think my mother just decided that having Worth and me at home as well as the other children, Sally and Jonathan at the time, was just more than she could really handle. And academically, she, I think, was beginning to have some reservations about the preparation. So we went and looked at three schools, I remember Fay, Fessenden, 9:00and Eaglebrook, and my parents said, "You can go to any one of these three." And my brother and I both thought that Eaglebrook was the best or the one that we thought we would enjoy the most. And we both went there.  


BOBO: One reason that I had you describe this, is so often people point to desegregation is when schools changed or became not what they wanted for their children. And I did not find that you got very many letters to the editor refuting your statement after you wrote it, at least it didn't appear to, so it was interesting, since we were talking about what the 40s?   


BINGHAM: Yes.   


BOBO: Which would have been in some ways, some people say the golden era of some education here in Louisville.  


BINGHAM: Well, I think the real problem was that many of the schools were what you'd call "traditional." I mean, they were very strict and you had to learn everything in the book for that lesson. And then you went on to the next lesson. And Ballard School is one of those experimental schools where they just didn't push you and if you didn't feel like learning that day, they didn't require that you learn that day. And finally, if you didn't learn that week or that month, you were beginning to really lose time. And then it was difficult for the teacher to bring you up to your class level. It was a bizarre school.   



I remember there was a boy whose name I remember, but I'd rather not mention, who was I think three years behind grade level. I mean, he was so incredibly difficult to teach, that they just didn't pass him on. And I remember going in the washroom one day, and this was at the end of the year, I guess, June, April, May, or June, and I saw this guy. And he'd always been in the grade ahead of me and a great big guy, I mean, three years older than me, and big shock of red hair, and tough. And he pulled out the first switchblade I'd ever seen in my life and popped it open and said, "Next year, you're going to be in my grade, and you're going to do what I tell you to." And I said to myself, "Wow, you know, that's pretty tough." Well, in fact, he terrorized the whole class. And the teacher had things fairly well under control in the classroom, but when recess came, if you'd crossed this guy he'd take you out and bloody your nose every day, I mean, just routinely. So those kind of problems. And again, I don't want to say that Ballard School was all bad. I think a lot of people have very fond memories of the place. And I do in many ways. We had an awfully good time, and they took good care of us, but I just don't think they gave the kind of 11:00academic preparation that I felt I needed.  


BOBO: I was asking your father, and I guess I would ask you the same thing: even back in these early years, did you feel any pressure from the family to start preparing yourself for a career with the newspaper, that there were certain areas, subject areas, that you should pursue? Knowing that this, this would be something that both you and your brother might be involved in?  


BINGHAM:  Well, I think my parents were extremely adroit at that, and it's something that I've tried to imitate to some extent with my children. And that is to make it clear to them that here's an opportunity, that my father was the publisher of the newspapers, and I had great respect for him. I frankly didn't know a whole lot about what my father did when he went the office, but I had a lot of respect for the tradition of the newspapers. And I was always given this sort of feeling that here's an opportunity which is going to be available someday, but no one was saying, "Now look, you got three more years to get yourself ready. So you'll be able to intern and you've really got to learn how 12:00to not split infinitives, and you've got to learn grammar and spelling and all that." There was always pressure in our family for academic accomplishment, but not so that you would end up being an editorial writer. I think my parents' approach and my approach is don't make it threatening. Don't say, "This is something you're going to have to do. So just, you know, relegate the rest of your life to some secondary status. And you're going to have to be a journalist, whether you want to or not." Their position was, here's an opportunity, and we would be happy for you to go into the business, but we're not saying you've got to go into the business. And as it ended up, my brother Worth was very interested in the newspaper business, and I got to be very interested in the broadcasting business, which just happened to fit well for what the family ownership was at that time.  


BOBO: Let's talk about these days as you move on into the teens. And then of course went on to Harvard University. What was some of your interests by this time as you began to mature?  



BINGHAM: I guess my major academic interest was in history. And that didn't start very early. In fact, I went all the way through Eaglebrook, and graduated and then the next year, I went to the American School in Paris, because this was 1947, I guess. And my father was the administrator for the Marshall Plan and he was stationed in Paris for a year. My brother Worth went to a private school in 14:00Switzerland for that winter, and I stayed in Paris and went to the American School in Paris, which again, was not a particularly good education in many ways. But there was a history teacher there who was teaching modern European history to what was the 10th grade, and what she just absolutely turned me on. And I had never been in any course in any subject. I mean, math, English, history, literature, anything, where I got so excited about the subject being taught, and the most important thing about it was that every Friday, she would say, "Now here you are in Paris, and you're studying modern European history. And within 60 miles of the city are thousands of monuments to the era that we're studying." And then she'd give us a list of some places that we ought to try and go to see. "If you can get your parents to drive you there, if not, the bus goes to this place and that place." And I also had a very good friend who was in the 10th grade with me then who was very interested in the same sort of thing and I ended up being inoculated with this idea that history can be colorful, exciting and fascinating. And it's something I've carried with me all the rest of my 15:00life. I'm distressed when I hear people say how dull history is. I think history is the most exciting thing that anyone can study. And the real problem with history is taught so badly. If I had gone through school with history courses taught the way most of them are, I would have thought history was dull, too. But that was one experience that turned me on to it. And then later, when I came back to this country and went to Brooks School for two years and then on to Harvard, I ended up majoring in modern European history, basically, because of that experience that I had in Paris. And just to follow that one step farther, I've never regretted it. Some people have said, if you were going back again, to prepare yourself to be publisher of the newspapers, what would you major in and 16:00I, I can come up with some other majors which would be helpful, but especially in editorial writing, and in looking at the world in some kind of perspective of where are we here in 1982, in perspective of the way society has developed, in the way communications have developed over the last 20 30 40 years, I think history is extremely helpful. It makes you look at things in the terms of how they change, and how different things have been in different eras. And when, for instance, people today are talking about "ban the bomb" and what a horrible influence the bomb has for children to grow up under, that they never know if they're going to live to be adults, and the whole world could be destroyed, and they could be killed and all that. And I think they're right. I mean, it is an awful thing to inflict on children. But you've got to go back and look at history, and remember the years when plagues used to clean out the cities of Europe. I mean, there were times in Shakespearean times when, for instance, it was not unusual for thousands and thousands of people to die in London during a plague year, and indeed throughout much of England. But of course, the cities 17:00were where the real menace was. And it was so bad that Shakespeare used to take his theater company out to the countryside to get away from the plague in London. And of course, the plague carried away thousands of young people, children as well as adults. So I think it's important when we think of where we are today, and especially the burdens which we bear today, we ought to realize that we're not the first ones who've ever borne those burdens, that there have been people who have gone through horrible experiences and wonderful experiences, too and that whatever we go through, it's probably not the first time.  


BOBO: Just puts things in perspective.  


BINGHAM: It really does. It makes you realize that, especially if I were a teenager today and was particularly worried about this threat of the bomb -- I'm not saying that you shouldn't want to do something about it. I think that getting rid of the bomb as a threat to civilization is terribly important. But I think we ought to look at it from the perspective that there have been other threats to civilization, and civilization has been remarkably vibrant and 18:00capable of overcoming these threats. And I think that the day will come maybe two hundred years from now, when people will say, worrying about atomic warfare was like worrying about war between Catholics and Protestants. I mean, today, it is impossible for us to understand why Catholics and Protestants killed each other. And it just, it's incredible that people -- or Christians and Muslims, for goodness sake. I mean, here were crusades, one after another, of people going off to the Middle East to slaughter each other for what earthly reason, and we just can't understand it. And I think the day is going to come when there will be no more bombs, and when people say, "What were the Americans and the Russians up to? Why did they need to do that?" And that's why I think history is very important when looking at these issues of the day. If I were a math major, or a government major, I think those would be interesting and useful in many ways. It would not give me the kind of perspective that history has given.  



BOBO: When you finished at Harvard, by this time, of course Worth was living at this time. Had the two of you talked much about your future and what you thought you might do?  


BINGHAM: We both worked on the newspapers. I worked as an intern in the Sunday department one summer -- and I've just got to digress for a second and talk about that because it was I think one of the most exciting experiences I ever had. Joe Creason was alive at the time and was the leading columnist for the Sunday department. And I was sort of assigned to spend the summer going around the state with Joe Creason, and he traveled all the time. I don't think he was in the office more than one day a week. And the result was Joe Creason and Tommy Miller and I -- Tommy Miller was a photographer -- just went all over the state of Kentucky and we saw places I've never seen since and I can't even remember the names of all of them. And I'll never forget going with Joe, because every 20:00little village we came into, Joe Creason would walk down the street and a crowd would gather. I mean, it was almost like a Walter Cronkite crowd would gather around him and everyone knew Joe Creason. And they all want to shake his hand. And they all want to tell him a story about what granddaddy did or something like that. And it was just, it was really wonderful. I remember my first experience with Joe, I had been going around with him and with Tommy Miller for about a week or so, and I hadn't written anything yet. And it was kind of uneasy I was 16 years old. And they didn't know if I knew how, and I didn't know if I did either. And finally, we went to Big Bone Lick up in northern Kentucky. And at that time, there was no state park or anything. And we did meet a person, I think, from UK who sort of took us around and told us what was going on there and why it was important. And Tommy Miller took some pictures in the hot, hot, July day. And we got back in the car and went, we're going on to the next place and Joe Creason said, "Well, I just don't feel, I don't have a great feeling about this. I don't think I'm going to write this one." And I said, "Well, would you let me give it a try?" And he said, "It's all yours." So I had taken some 21:00notes. And when we came back to the office, I hit the typewriter and wrote the first article that I ever had published here in the Sunday magazine about Big Bone Lick. And I just remembered Joe as being so helpful and outgoing, and if I ever needed a hand, if I couldn't remember somebody's name, he can find it in his notes. And the high point of the summer was going down to western Kentucky, to a swamp down there called Murphy's Pond, which is a quite a historic place actually. It's, I think, now under the control of Western Kentucky University and is a nature preserve, and nobody's allowed to go in there and change anything. It's an old cypress swamp, and I guess it's about maybe 50 acres or so. And Tommy Miller and Joe Creason -- and Worth went along on this trip -- and I and a game warden went in there to take pictures for a Sunday magazine story. It was full of white egrets and herons, and it looked like part of Florida, with all these cypress trees with the Spanish moss hanging down. And it was absolutely loaded with cottonmouth moccasins. I mean, there were thousands of them. And we were wading through this place with the moccasins all, you know, 22:00going off in all directions. And I just remember that summer as being a wonderful experience. And it opened my eyes about these newspapers. And it made me feel excited about the opportunity to write for the newspaper as well. This is a long way around your question about did Worth and I ever talk about what we were interested in. Worth in boarding school worked for the newspaper at Exeter, on the Exonian. And when I was in school, and just I worked for the Brooks Shield, which was at that time a sort of, I guess it was a monthly magazine at the Brooks School, but was not a very serious publication, as a daily or weekly 23:00newspaper is. And somehow the world of journalism had a lot of charm flying by, I just wasn't sure that was it. And when I finally got to Harvard, I was, Worth tried out for the Harvard Crimson and as I remember, decided not to do it because it was so much work. It literally -- I don't know how anybody goes to college and works on the Crimson because it's a full-time job.  


But he was clearly interested in print journalism. And one day I had an experience which I remember to this day. I was in Adams House, the house I lived in, and there was a common room and after lunch one day, I walked by the common room and there was a TV set in there and no one ever watched it. I'd never seen anybody watching the TV set. And it was turned on in there about 15 people in 24:00there and I couldn't figure out what was going on. And I walked in -- little tiny black and white TV set -- and I walked in sat down. I had 15 minutes until the next class and thought I'd look to see what everybody's looking at. And about four hours later, I realized that I had missed my class. And what was going on were the Army-McCarthy hearings. And this was when Senator Joe McCarthy was trying to prove to the American public that the US Army was full of communists and fellow travelers and this was all on live television in the Senate hearing room. And it was absolutely spellbinding. I mean, I literally lost track of time. And when I finally got up and walked out, I said to myself, "That's something I want to be involved in." Now, I knew that the company down here was in radio, and in fact, we had gone into television right after the Second World War. So we had a television station here, and suddenly this new 25:00option occurred to me and I said to myself -- I never sat down with Worth and said, "You take the newspapers and I'll take the broadcast"--  but this news option presented itself and from then on, it just sort of worked out that way. That when I got out of college out of military service, I went to work for CBS and NBC and Worth went to work for the Minneapolis Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle. And it was a perfectly amicable arrangement without anybody sitting down and drawing up a sort of an occupational chart and saying, "You take this side and I'll take that side."  


BOBO: Being a woman I'll have to ask, what was Sallie doing at this point? Was she divvying up with you or...?  


BINGHAM: Well, Sallie was, you see, we were away in boarding school so much that we really didn't see much of Sallie except during vacation. She went to Collegiate School here in Louisville. Then she went to Radcliffe, and was there... Let me see, I'm trying to remember. I think she was there one of the years I was but Worth it already graduated. So we really, you know, we just 26:00didn't have a whole lot of commerce was Sallie, except during vacation times. And then by the time Sallie was getting older, Worth was in the Navy, and I was in the Marine Corps, and I was on Okinawa, and he was away at sea a lot. So we really didn't see much of her, and her involvement with the companies was pretty, you know, pretty marginal. She, from my memory, and someone else might correct me, but her interest was primarily literature, and I mean creative literature, more than journalism, or broadcasting, or anything like that.  


BOBO: Tell me about these years, there are these few years at CBS, and NBC. And of course, I know you went to Africa and did your [special] there and things like that, let's just describe some of the things that were most interesting to you with that experience.  


BINGHAM: Well, it started off, it started off here in Louisville. After the Marine Corps, I was discharged and came back. And was working in Louisville for 27:00WHAS, and I was also spending some time with Standard Gravure because I was personally interested in the color printing process and nobody in the family and paid much attention to Standard Gravure. And so I was sort of dividing my time between the two. And after about, I guess it was about four or five months, I started to realize that there was a real problem, and that was that I really couldn't learn anything here. And the reason I couldn't learn anything here was as soon as I'd say, "Gee, wouldn't it be neat if we tried" something, well, everybody would turn themselves inside out to do it. And most of the time, like most things people suggest who don't know anything about the business, it just didn't make any sense at all. And it was, I think it was making it difficult for the managers of the station, because here was the son of the owner coming in and saying, "Why don't we try a program on this?" Or "Why don't we try a printing process like that?" And it sort of came to a mutual agreement that the best place for Worth and me to learn would be to go somewhere else. And if he was interested in the newspaper business, he ought to go work on another newspaper. And if I was interested in broadcasting I ought to go work at another 28:00broadcasting property.   


Well, Worth, as I said, went to Minneapolis and then later out to San Francisco, and I decided there wasn't any particular station I very much wanted to work for. So I thought, let's give the network a try. And we were a CBS affiliate at the time. So Vic Sholis arranged for me to go up there and I interviewed and was taken on as an intern, or as a trainee, with the CBS network. And it was, I gotta say in retrospect, just an awful year. Fortunately, one of my college roommates had moved to down to New York, and we got an apartment. And so you know, socially it was alright, but being a trainee is just pretty grim. Most of the time you go from one department to another, you never stay anywhere more than a week and most people were very distrustful of us. There were three trainees. Every week, we had to write a report for management and there was a remarkable train of fired department heads where the trainees had gone. And it wasn't because the trainees were writing anything confidential or destructive, it's just that somehow CBS was cleaning house and they happened to be doing shortly after the trainees went through. Well, before long nobody would talk to 29:00the trainees anymore or didn't want to.   


BOBO: Here we're going to be running out [of tape] in about a minute so we'll just call it  


[end of tape 1, side 1 / beginning of tape 1, side 2]  


BOBO: This is Mary Bobo. I'm continuing talking with Barry Bingham Jr. We're talking about his training program at CBS and then moving on to NBC before he began his career here with the Bingham papers.  


BINGHAM: Well going on with CBS, the training program as I said was really pretty unfortunate. I did run, I had a couple of interesting experiences that I ought to tell you about. One was meeting Gary Moore. At one point I was assigned to the Gary Moore Show. I reported in on Monday and somebody said, "Oh, you're 30:00the trainee," you know, with great enthusiasm. I said, "Yes, that's me." And this person gave me the mail. And of course, Gary Moore got, it came in by the sack full. And put me over at a desk in the corner and open the mail and you put the complaint letters in this pile, and congratulations in this file, and anything that looks like an interesting letter, like a contract, we'll put that over here and we'll deal with that. And I guess I'd been up to my nose in the mail for about three hours when there was somebody standing next to my desk, and I looked over, and this guy held out his hand and said, "I think you're new here, aren't you? My name is Gary Moore." [Laughs] I couldn't get over it. Gary Moore was then making $70,000 a week. He was I think the highest paid person in CBS entertainment. And this guy had walked in, you know, to go to his office and go to work and seen a young kid sitting in the corner and decided to come over and introduce himself. I nearly fell out of my chair. I just couldn't get over it. And that was one of the departments I really enjoyed. After he discovered I 31:00was a trainee, he figured that opening the mail was probably not the most important thing on Earth. And he let me go in the studio and in the sound room and all that. And really I got to go around with Gary Moore quite a good deal for about two weeks while I was assigned there. And then that assignment came to an end and I went on somewhere else.   


The other really funny and good experience I had though, was that Edward R. Murrow was then at CBS and was the voice of CBS really, CBS News. And I had to go to 485 Madison, which was where the headquarters of CBS was. I was in the production center on the west side and every week I had to go over and turn in my two-page report on what kind of week it had been, and pick up my paycheck. And while I was at 485 Madison every week, I'd stop by Ed Murrow's office in the news department, and I would tell his secretary that this is Barry Bingham Jr. and just sometime when it's convenient, I'd like to say hello to Mr. Murrow. 32:00That my father knew him and things like that. Well, this literally went on for months, four or five months. And finally -- and I never got to see him. And she kept saying "Yes, yes, Mr. Bingham, I know, and we'll give you a call." And I was being put off very effectively. And finally, one Friday, Friday morning, I was going to go over at lunchtime, pick up my check. I got a phone call. And the woman on the other end said that she was Ed Murrow's secretary and could I come and see him right away. And I thought, "My goodness, what's happened?" So I said, "Of course I can." And I got in a taxi and went over to 485 Madison, and went up to the floor and got off. And she met me at the elevator and took me right in to Mr. Murrow's office. And I just couldn't believe it. And he talked to me for about 20 minutes or so. And clearly what was, what had happened was finally one day in desperation she just said, "You know, this kid keeps coming in here and saying he's Barry Bingham Jr. he'd like to meet you." And Ed Murrow said, "I want to meet him." And we had a very interesting, fascinating conversation for 15 minutes or so. And then afterwards, I'll never forget, he walked out of the office with me and right by the secretary who just been, you know, a very protective person, doing what she thought was right, trying to keep this little creep away from Ed Murrow, and put his arm around me and said, "Barry, anytime you want to see me just give me a call." And this poor woman, I mean, I would have been in tears. She was doing what was really right to protect 33:00him from just everybody who came by. But I never forgot it. And between Ed Murrow and Gary Moore, it sort of made my one year at CBS.   


But to go on and tell the end of the story, the administration knew I was interested in news and public affairs, and I made that very clear. I was not 34:00interested in administration or anything else at CBS. And as the training program was drawing to an end, I made it more and more clear that those were the two areas at CBS I would like to work in after the training program was over. And, in fact, I did work on a couple of documentaries with part of the news department. And then just as we were reaching the end of the one year, WHAS Radio canceled its affiliation with the CBS radio network. I'll never forget being called in by Robert Kalaidjian, who was the head of the personnel department. And he just looked at me and said, "You know, this isn't going to work. You know, if you're going to cancel your affiliation with us, there really isn't anything we have for you." And I said, "You mean a whole year down the drain? Nothing?" And he said, "Well, we do have a spot in station relations." And that's the department that sends people out to try and sign up new affiliates. And I said, "Come on, Robert, you can't do that to me. My station's just canceled its affiliation and you're going to put me in station relations?" and he said, "It's that or nothing." So it was a pretty unpleasant parting, quite frankly. I mean, they didn't throw me out on my ear, 35:00but they made it perfectly clear that they didn't have any more time for me.

And so my father arranged for me to go over to NBC and see a fellow named Julian Goodman, who happened to be from Kentucky and was the president of NBC News. I went over to his office one day, and I had the appointment, walked in and said, "How would you like to hire a CBS trainee?" and he just, you know, he's shaking his head. And he said, "Well, I don't know, but I'll try you ought for 75 dollars a week." So I started off doing research for NBC News at 75 dollars a week. And I'll tell you, I took to it like a fish to water. I just, I really loved it. I was in that big newsroom over at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, and Chet Huntley wandered by the desk every day, and I got to talk to him and Frank McGee -- and in fact, worked for Frank McGee, in his unit, for about a year, doing research of all kinds.

And one of the things that we did mostly, Frank McGee was assigned to something called "Instant Specials," and if some event happened at 3:30 in the afternoon, they would put together a program to go on the air that night. And one of the things they needed was a lot of research done very quickly, and I ended up 36:00doing a lot of that for them. I'll never forget the night that two airplanes, or the afternoon, two airplanes ran into each other over New York. One was TWA and the other was United, and one of them fell on the Pillar of Fire Church, I'll never forget it, in Manhattan. So they had to do a half-hour documentary that night, and I immediately went to work on digging up all the previous airline accidents and all this information for Frank McGee. And we went on the air, and he was literally reading script live from a studio with voice over film - they had someone else who was digging up film clips to put on the air -- and I had typed up this research very quickly in the afternoon about previous accidents, and one of them was back in, I guess it was 1946, a B25, an Air Force aircraft, had run into the Empire State Building. And this was just one of a long list of airline disasters that had taken place in New York. And inadvertently, I had 37:00typed instead of "B25" a "B52," which is an entirely different kind of aircraft, and if that had run into the Empire State Building it probably would have been the end of the Empire State Building. Well, as I say, Frank McGee was reading this cold. He had never seen the script before. And he read through it and he came to "A B25?" No, excuse me, "A B52? Ran into the Empire State Building?" and he looked -- I was sitting in the studio -- and he looked over at me like that and then he went on reading the script, and I knew I'd had it. And when we got out of there, he gave me a tongue-lashing that I'll never forget. And then, just to rub it in, and Frank McGee, now dead, had a way of rubbing it in. He pulled out of his pocket a cigarette lighter, and he said, "Barry, I've never been able to find any flints for this cigarette lighter and I don't want you to come back to the office until you can find some flints for this cigarette lighter." and so by this time it's 7:30 or 8:00 at night, and the next day, instead of coming back to the office, I went all over New York, and I literally 38:00spent two days, until I could find a package of flints for this German-made cigarette lighter that Frank McGee had. And that was his way of rubbing in the punishment a little bit. And at the time I resented it like mad. God, if I could have strangled Frank McGee I would have [snaps fingers] done it like that. But when I look back on it I realize that Frank McGee was trying to tell me something, and that is that no matter how rushed you are you've got to get it right. It's just not fair to the guy who's up there reading it live on the air to give him something that has a typographical error in it. And he was right. I don't know how many millions of people were out there watching that program and thought Frank McGee was crazy when he said a B-52 ran into the Empire State Building. So, I had a marvelous time working there.   


The transition came when a fellow named Lou Hazam came up from Washington. We were working on one of these specials on Africa. Rhodesia was in one of its 39:00periodic rebellions, or revolutions, and Angola and the Congo, and there were just all kinds of problems going on in Africa. And they decided to put on a one-hour special, and I did some research for them on it, and it just was not going together right. And so they called Lou Hazam from Washington and he came -- he had done some documentaries about Africa, primarily about health problems in Africa, and they called him up to New York to try to pull this thing together. And he got in touch with the NBC correspondent in Rhodesia and flew him back to New York to sort of pull this whole thing together. And with some research I did and a lot of other things, we finally put this documentary on the air.

Well, when it was over Lou Hazam came to me and said, "Would you do some research for me? Even though I'm down in Washington, I need some research done." And he wanted research for a one-hour documentary on the Nile River. And Allen Morehead's book The White Nile had just come out, and it was an area of the world that I was very interested in. And I said, "Sure, I'd be glad to." So I took about, I guess, three months, and when I wasn't doing research for somebody else I was working on this project. And I finally sent 40:00him the research book that gave him all the information about where a camera crew should go, and what they should film and what they should look for.

And after he read through it he called me back and said, "How would you like to go out with the film crew?" And I thought he was pulling my leg at first. And I said, "Well, how about tonight? I'll get on the plane." And he said, "Well, probably leave in three or four weeks, when I can put the team together." And I realized he was serious. And he got a cameraman named Guy Blanchard who was an Englishman who had worked for him several times before on previous documentaries, and a director named Ray Garner, and the three of us took off. Not together, actually, we arrived separately in Cairo for the beginning of this trip. And we spent 18 weeks going down the Nile. Actually, we 41:00went from Cairo all the way to Uganda and then started at the southern end of the Nile and followed it all the way north as it flows into the Mediterranean, for 18 weeks. And had an experience which I will never forget. There were times when we were in fear for our lives. There were villages in flames. Burundi was in the middle of a real revolution, there were bodies by the side of the road. Everything from that to Uganda, which was still under a colonial protectorate, and which was I guess the white man's paradise in Africa. it was under an administration which was, for white people it was not only benign, it was marvelous. For Blacks it was not quite so good perhaps, but it was a very 42:00well-organized country with railroads that ran on time and steamship lines and national parks that were just phenomenal. Just loaded with game. Elephants, rhinos, leopards, lions - everything you can imagine. And the filming there, the administration was very good about making all the arrangements for us and the filming there was terrific. And then we went to places like the Sudan, which even at that time was in the middle of a revolution, and had very serious troubles there, getting film in and out of the country and things like that.

But the whole experience, coming back - I moved down to Washington when I came back, and came home with 25 hours of film, which they cut down to 54 minutes for broadcast purposes. And I just, I was in tears. Here was film being thrown on the floor by these film editors saying, "Eh, we can't use that, we can't use that." But it was a marvelous experience, and I worked with Lou Hazam right 43:00through the writing of the script and the recording of the script and the mix of the film and the script and the music together. And then the next year he asked me to work for him on "Shakespeare, Soul of an Age," which I did research for him on that, and was out with the film crew for 23 weeks on that one, so...   


That's sort of the experience at NBC and CBS, and I value it tremendously. As a preparation for working at WHAS it wasn't all that great because it was a champagne diet. I mean, we never sent a film crew out for 23 weeks or 18 weeks to do anything, and we never will. But as an opportunity to work with creative people and discover how television is put together it was an excellent experience.   

BOBO: Well, and in talking with your father on Friday, I asked him, had there ever been anything said about him working on the newspapers, and he pointed out that this was one small regret that he had, that he had not. But he wanted that you boys would do this, and would have these experiences, which of course is 44:00exactly what you are saying. And he felt that this would broaden your experience so much with all of the industries.  


BINGHAM: Well, we've made a big effort with that for the next generation, and I'm jumping way ahead now, but we now arrange internships for all of the Bingham family members when they get to be 16. Now some want it and some don't. But this summer we have two Bingham family members who are interns and we've had another, my niece Clara, who has interned two summers but is not doing it this summer. I think we're making a bigger effort to bring everybody in who is interested in it at an early age. And they may go on to be lawyers or doctors or whatever they want to be. But if they decide to go into the newspaper business they will have had an exposure so that they know what it's like, to some extent.   

  BOBO: Let's talk about you coming back here to Louisville, and to WHAS, and... tell me about WHAS at that time.  

  BINGHAM: Okay. Well, as I said, I was working for Lou Hazam and we had just 45:00finished doing the Shakespeare documentary, and it was pretty clear that my family wanted me to come back to Louisville. They realized that I was having a wonderful time working for Lou Hazam and doing all these documentaries, but they were beginning to look at the management of WHAS and they were concerned that a Bingham family member come back and get involved. Television was beginning to sprout wings. At first it had just been radio with pictures, and suddenly it was getting to be a fairly major enterprise. And so they finally prevailed on me to pack up and leave Washington, which I did with tremendous regret. And I'll never forget the staff, Lou Hazam's production staff, gave a going-away party for me, and Lou Hazam even went to it. Lou was a wonderful and very peculiar person. He never drank anything. And his staff drank a lot. I'll never forget him coming to this going-away party and he got there about an hour and half late, and everyone else was in the bag. I mean, they'd been drinking for hours. And Lou Hazam walked in, just looked around, just shook his head, you know. But they gave me a 46:00bound volume of all the scripts of all the programs I worked on and it was really a very nice thing for them to do.   


Well I packed up and came back to Louisville and went to work for WHAS, and it was a lot better than the first time around. I knew not to walk in and say, "Hey! wouldn't it be neat if we did so and so?" But again, it was - I was sort of a minister without portfolio. I never really had an assignment. I sort of worked with Vic Sholis, who was the station manager, but Vic was - I don't want to be derogatory about him, but he was not one of the great teachers of this world. He was inclined to do things his way when he got around to doing it, and if I happened to be there and happened to hear about, I did, and if I didn't happen to be there I didn't. And so it was kind of a disjointed adventure, quite frankly.  


Standard Gravure was somewhat the same way. Melzar Lowe was running Standard Gravure and I never really had a job there, I never had an assignment. I just 47:00sort of sat around with Melzar Lowe and he'd tell me that, here's a new job, and here's how we bid it, and this is how we'll fit it on the presses, and so on. And it was, to some extent a kind of frustrating experience.

I was enjoying it, and in fact I worked on a documentary at WHAS on Shakertown with a wonderful cameraman and just had great time going over there and shooting film, but I wasn't really getting responsibility. I think that was the real problem.  


And then finally, my father -- Worth happened to die during this period, when I was working at WHAS and Standard - and he asked me to come over and work at the newspapers with him. And frankly, I welcomed it. At first I was pretty shook up about it. I mean, leaving aside my feelings about Worth and his death, I just didn't know if I could handle the newspaper business. It was big. WHAS was a small company. At that time 180 people or something. The newspapers were well 48:00over 2000, or well over 1500. I just, I really didn't know if I had the - I don't want to say the stomach for it, but I just didn't know if it was going to work out for me.


Well, I came over and one of the first things that happened after I'd been assistant to my father for about a year was that Norman Isaacs left as executive editor, left the newspapers and went to Columbia. And I was appointed executive editor. and from a position of never really having had responsibility - I never directed anybody, except in the Marine Corps - to move into executive editor was one big leap. And suddenly, instead of not having enough to do, I was up to my ears. and it was a very difficult year in many ways, and a tremendous learning experience. I think I learned more in that one year as executive editor than in the previous ten years put together. Again, it was fascinating, and in a way 49:00very trying, because I just didn't have the management skills. I'll be very frank. I hadn't started off managing a department of three people and then 8 people and then 20 people. I moved right into being executive editor of a department with 300 people. and it was a real jolt.

But it did prove one thing to me, and that was that I really enjoyed the world of journalism. I got a tremendous respect for these newspapers over and above what I'd gotten as an intern and sort of vicariously through the family. Working closely with the people in news, I got this feeling of dedication that many of them have, about this is a wonderful place to practice journalism. If you want to go into this business, there are some great newspapers that you would want to work for, and the Courier-Journal and Louisville Times are two of them. And there probably aren't more than 10 or 12 others. There are a lot of bad newspapers in this country, and not very many great ones, and these are among 50:00the great ones. And the people who have seen other newspapers and then come to work here will tell you in a very unbashful way how appreciative they are of the quality of work we do here. So that really turned me on. And I got excited about the business and I've never lost the excitement.  


BOBO: I was just thinking as you were talking about that - perhaps one of the things that might have been lacking in television at this time was just simply the lack of history, that you acquired when you came to the newspapers, this is something that had been going on already for a long, long time, and the tradition was there to pass on, the teachers were there to pass on the knowledge. Whereas with television, in a way everybody was still learning, weren't they? 

BINGHAM: Well, they were, but of course a lot of them came out of radio, and radio had been going on here since 1922. So the company had a tradition, WHAS had a tradition, too, in broadcasting, of being a very, very well-known station 51:00in the country. WHAS was among the very few Clear Channel stations ever allocated in the United States and is still one of the very few remaining ones. So, it's - it is to some extent that, but it's not as if WHAS was just without history or tradition.

But that's one of the things that irritates me about broadcasting in general, is it's a medium without memory. Every broadcast I ever listened to was - radio or tv - it's what happened today, and no one ever pulls it in perspective and says, "This is not what the mayor was saying last year on this subject," or they never say, "Last year's unemployment statistics at this time were thus-and-so." It's just - it is "what happened today." I find that kind of unrewarding, I guess, is the term I would use. Yes, it's important to know that the British have landed on the Falklands, and yes, it's important to know that so many airplanes have been shot down, but it never pulls it into perspective. Only when you read the newspapers do you realize that the Falklands were important in a previous war, 52:00back in 1918, there was a very large naval engagement fought between the Germans and the British around the Falkland Islands. And suddenly the whole thing takes on a new interest and a new perspective for me. Now there may be many people out there who don't care, but I'll bet you six months from now there will not be a mention of the Falkland Islands on television and no one will ever know what happened down there. It will take a newspaper somewhere to write the article which rounds up were all the Argentine prisoners finally returned, under what terms, how many troops are left on the Falkland Islands. Are the British going to garrison it, or are they just going to leave a platoon of Marines there, which is what they had before. That's what I find fascinating about this business, the newspaper business, is that you can put it in that kind of perspective.  


BOBO: And it's really not the retrieval, for television, that you will always have for the newspapers, really.  

BINGHAM: Could be. 


BOBO: Could be-- 


BINGHAM: Could be if they wanted to do it. But somehow - they're dealing with a 53:00very hot medium. I've described the two as being "hot" and "cool." I don't want to say newspapers are cold, but it's a cool medium by comparison. In television you have three networks out there just cutting each other's guts to try and get there first, and get more pictures and faster and everything else. And what happened yesterday, they've forgotten already. I mean, they really don't care. The result is that you get a very hot, competitive medium, and if somebody took a shot at the President this afternoon, all three of them would be rushing to get it on first, whether it's right or not. It's useful. I mean, I'm not trying to put down television, because people ought to know when important things happen as quickly as possible. We can't get an extra out on the street and inform people. So somebody has to do it. But the result is a very hot and very sort of temporary - it's like a hot flash, it's very hot and very temporary. Whereas the newspapers are more laid back and sort of relaxed and they can look at things in more perspective than broadcasting does.


And I think they complement each other. I would not want a world without newspapers, and I wouldn't want a world without broadcasting. I've sometimes been asked, "Which one do you like best? I mean you've worked in both." And I say, my answer is, "It's like two children. you have two children, they have entirely different personalities. You love them both. But they're just different." And that's the way I feel about newspapers and broadcasting, that they are so different and they're both very useful in their own way.

In a way, while newspapers are slow and stodgy and hard to change, and kind of dull a lot of the time, broadcasting is too hot and too competitive, and in many cases kind of unethical, too. I mean, I've seen - when I worked at CBS as a trainee, I remember the NBC guy unplugged the CBS camera in the middle of some sort of press conference. Now what kind of Mickey Mouse is that? For goodness sake. That's childish. They're just two entirely different things. I don't think 55:00television's grown up an awful lot in the last 15 or 20 years, but it was capable of some remarkably childish acts when it was young. As were newspapers, back in the 1920s. I mean, we hired Shipwreck Kelly to sit on a flagpole here in Louisville outside the offices of the Courier Journal and Times building, and people came downtown by the thousands waiting for him to fall off. I mean, that's what they were there for. It was a promotion, to sell newspapers.  


BOBO: Talking to some of the old timers, and they tell these various things. It's the circulation war, even if I read it in a book, it's still hard to believe it actually happened.  

BINGHAM: Unbelievable! Unbelievable! And yet, in a funny way, I think people liked that. Newspapers were putting on a constant circus. They were dreaming up one fool thing after another and as soon as one newspaper did something foolish, the other one would do something even worse, and people would just sit back and laugh at these two crazy corporations down there, doing one idiot thing after another. And in a way, I think the newspapers enjoyed the competition. I mean we 56:00loved beating up on the Herald-Post, and they loved beating up on us. When the Herald-Post went out of business, I think - it's like the world's champion boxer who's never going to box again. I mean, you sort of lie down in the corner and say, "Well, what do I do now?" So we end up beating up on the government instead. I mean, you've got to have an adversary.  

 BOBO: This one gentleman claims that's why he learned to box, was to protect his corner. 


BINGHAM: Sure! Absolutely! 


BOBO: That was just so tired of getting beaten up everyday -- 


BINGHAM: Either that or carry a gun, I mean --  


BOBO: But he was very sincere, that's where it took place. Let's - I hate to have you talk about traumatic things, but I think we have to talk about them some.  


BINGHAM: Oh, sure.  


BOBO: As you said, everybody has traumas in their lives, but it does seem that tragedy has struck in your family several times. 




BOBO: Maybe more times than should be. Even though you're saying that you really didn't have the management skills that you maybe needed when you came to WHAS, could you talk for just a few minutes about how the family reorganized 57:00itself after the death of Worth, and picked itself up, and started over again and moved forward? 


BINGHAM: Well, it was a really awful experience. I remember I'd gone over to the Macauley Theatre, and there was a speaker there, and I think it was somebody, I think it was Chet Huntley or somebody from NBC and it was a presentation by NBC network. An usher came in and said I had a telephone call and I went out and my secretary said, "Come back to the office right away." And the word had gotten back here that Worth had been killed in an accident up on Nantucket. To make it all worse, there was an airline strike at the time and we literally couldn't get there from here. Brown-Forman let us charter one of their private airplanes and we flew up there. And of course Joan and Rob and Clara were just in terrible distress, trying to make all these organizations of the how do you get people 58:00back to Louisville during an airline strike. It was just catastrophic.

Well once we got all that worked out and the funeral was over and all that, the heir apparent to the newspaper just wasn't around anymore. I mean, Worth was not here. And my father, in a very understanding way, said, "Now, I know you've spent your life in broadcasting and you've spent some time at Standard Gravure, and clearly you're interested in the broadcasting business, but would you give newspapering a try? Would you come back and spend some time with me, trying to see if you're interested in this business. If you are, then someday you might want to be publisher of these companies." And he never quite put it in those terms, I'm compressing a lot of experiences, but I started off with him sitting here and me sitting here, at the editorial conferences. And that's where it all started with my reinvolvement with the newspaper business.


[end of tape 1, side 2 / beginning of tape 2, side 1] 


BOBO: This is Mary Bobo, I'm continuing talking with Barry Bingham, Jr. We're talking about changes that took place in the company after the death of Worth Bingham, his older brother. Would you continue, Mr. Bingham? 

  BINGHAM: Okay. Well, I guess Winston Churchill put it best. He said, "Wars are won by survivors." And I think that's true in many cases in this life, that, whether it's companies or whatever, it's whoever's left that takes over and carries on. and it's never quite the same. I don't run these newspapers the way Worth would have, if he had been alive. But I think there really ought to be a willingness among people to make the effort to make a mid-career change if necessary, to move in and help a corporation. And of course, when you're talking about family-held businesses, this is the way many family-held businesses have 60:00just come apart. Because either there were no heirs who were interested in the business, or they were killed, or something like that. The loss of children in a family, as happened in many other families other than ours - I mean, take the Kennedy family, just as an example, where the eldest son was killed in World War II, and then Jack Kennedy was assassinated, and then Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. So it's not as if it's never happened before, but it is something where I guess you take a look at it and you say, "I wonder if they can handle one more blow."

And I guess the thing that really made it the most difficult for me was after all of this, after Worth died and Jonathan died - and Jonathan had never really been involved with the companies very much. He was very scientifically oriented. I think probably had Jonathan lived, were alive today, he'd probably be in science in some way. I mean, he might have joined the family companies, but my feeling is that he would have been in medicine or science, because that's where 61:00his real interests seem to lie.

After all that, and after I'd taken over these companies, then I come down with cancer. You begin to say to yourself, you know, "How many baddies are there up there? and how long is it going to take before all this is going to work its way out and you don't have to worry about it anymore?" Well, the fact is, it can happen to you anytime. I can step in front of a bus crossing the street. So you've got to be as careful as you can about your life, but you can't be totally protective. I guess for the family, with all the suffering that went on after Worth and Jonathan's death, then for me to be either hospitalized or in treatment for six months, and nobody knowing whether I was going to make it or not. I mean the statistics were very good, even at that time, on people with Hodgkin's disease, but it's what my grandfather died of, something I could never get out of my mind. I mean, in 1937 he was detected as having Hodgkin's Disease and he was dead within a matter of months. And there was nothing they could do 62:00for him. I mean, they could tell him what he had, but they couldn't do anything about it. I guess by the time I got it and the stage it was in, the survival rate was probably up in the 70% area. But that means 30% don't make it, and you never know whether you're going to be one of the 70% or 30% until literally years after the therapy is over, because you can go into remission for a year or two and then have it come back again.

So, nobody knew. The family didn't know whether this was going to be the end of the last son of this generation or not. At that time, Rob was, who was the only other male child in the family, was - well - excuse me, Barry Ellsworth and Rob were little tiny kids, and I don't know whether the family would have been able to hold the operation together long enough for them or any of the other children to grow up and actually take over. So it was a very difficult time for 63:00everybody, including me, and I'm in a way the patient is better off than everyone else. The patient is so tied up with his or her own process of getting well and dealing with this that you don't sit around thinking a whole lot about "what does this mean to the leadership of the companies?" Well, for my father and mother and a lot of other people, they not only worry about whether I'm going to survive or not, but if I don't, what are they going to do? That was a very, very difficult time for everybody.  


BOBO: Well, I know, as I've talked to people over this past year about the family continuing in ownership, I just have said to myself that '71 had to be a turning point for these papers as far -- well, '66, when Worth died, and '71, I believe, was the date when your illness was diagnosed.  




BOBO: There just had to be changes going on within the paper, and within your father's mind -- 



BINGHAM: Oh, sure 

 BOBO: -- would he continue with the ownership of the paper, and was it worth it all, and this kind of thing. and I think we have to build this human element into what was happening. 

BINGHAM: Sure.  


BOBO: With these papers.  

BINGHAM: Well for him, you know, the tragedy for him was that he had devoted virtually his whole life, leaving aside the Navy and his government service, had devoted his whole life to making these the best newspapers in this part of the country. With the expectation of passing them on to the next generation and having them run in a way that he would be proud of, and suddenly here within the matter of a very few years, two of his sons are dead and a third one is in the hospital with cancer. I guess he could see his dreams going down the drain. It was a very very hard time. 

 BOBO: Well, with that background, I would like to move for a few minutes with -- perhaps I'm not the person to do this --  


BINGHAM: Give it a try. 


BOBO: Okay, well, the reason I say this, is I came to Louisville in '59, and 65:00this was long before I guess it really dawned on me who the owners of the paper and this type of thing were. I had come from the deeper south. I found that most of the time, I was in agreement with what was going on with these newspapers. I mean, before I really had reason to even be involved or know who was putting forth these editorials and one thing and another. So I guess in some ways I'm a biased on-looker. But in going back and researching about your tenure with the papers, I find pages upon pages upon pages of where people have attacked you, or had differences with you. And, again, bearing all this in mind, of what the family has endured personally during these last 15 years, I guess I would like for you to deal for a few minutes with your mindset, how you personally handle 66:00these tragedies and then come in every day and know that somebody's going to be on your case, every time the paper goes to press.  


BINGHAM: [Laughs] 


BOBO: It just, it really seems to me as though it would be a terribly demoralizing thing, and to keep your or your father's optimism, particularly, I noticed in talking with him, to keep optimism and to keep wanting to do things for the community. It just appears it would have to be an uphill struggle. Could we maybe go back and talk about some of these things and put them in perspective for me? Is this normal? Is this what a newspaper publisher has got to expect to happen to him, or is this unique to a liberal newspaper? 


BINGHAM: yeah -- 


BOBO: Let's talk --  


BINGHAM: Oh, I don't - you may want to get into the specifics, but just as a generality, it's not unique to any newspaper, and any editor or any publisher is going to get some of the same sort of thing, unless you are so bland that nobody 67:00knows you are there. I mean, that's the only way you can escape it. I remember my father used to read a story to us when we were young, called Journalism in Tennessee. It's by Mark Twain, and it is one of the great short stories of all time, and anybody who's going to go into this line of business ought to read it, or have it read to him when he's young. it is about a New York newspaper man who for reasons of health is told to go down south, he's got to get out of New York. And so he ends up in a small town in Tennessee, which is invented by Mark Twain. It's about the things that happen to him down there. He's on a very small newspaper, and he is told to write a couple of articles by the editor. There are only two people working there, the editor and this guy, whose come in for his health to work on a small newspaper in Tennessee. And the editor, as soon as his articles are turned in immediately tears them all apart. I mean, they're not nearly savage enough, and calls everybody a varlet and a poltroon, and "the lying scallywag from so-and-so." The editor goes off to lunch and leaves the 68:00newcomer in charge of the shop, and leaves him a pistol and a cat-o-nine-tails and he says, "So and so will be in - shoot him; and somebody else will be in: horsewhip him." And of course when the editor comes back two hours later the poor visitor has been horsewhipped and shot at and everything else. You know, we're living in a very gentle era of journalism - the point I'm trying to make is, yes, we get some nasty letters, and we even occasionally get threatening phone calls, but when you look back, if you're historically oriented, whether you read Mark Twain or whether you look at history, the number of newspaper editors in this country who've been shot is probably pretty substantial. I've never researched it, but I suspect we've shot more editors than presidents of the United States. I know we have. A lot have been horsewhipped, a lot have been beaten up on the corner. When you look at it with that perspective, you say to yourself, "Sure, here's a letter to the editor that I really don't want to publish very much, I mean it's mean-spirited and it's untrue, or it's marginally 69:00untrue," but good heavens, we can put up with that. I mean, that's not all that bad. It doesn't make me jump out of bed whistling and singing every morning, but it's just one of those things that comes with the territory. There are so many opportunities in this business to help people, to give them the information they need to write editorials on whatever it is you want to write about. I mean, I just wrote one today on the sycamore trees. Now where on Earth could you live and what kind of line of work could you be in where if you just happened to like sycamore trees, you'd find an excuse to write an editorial about it? So for that kind of privilege, and for that kind of pleasure, I'll put up with all those nutty letters. And occasionally - I shouldn't really call them nutty letters, because occasionally somebody writes a letter and really rips you apart and you read through it and you say, "Hey, you know, that guy's got a point. We missed something in that story." Now, maybe he's gone off the deep end, and sometimes you get a letter a day later, saying, "Gee, I'm sorry I put it in those terms, but I really think that you made a mistake, and one two three 70:00four, here are the things you should've done, or should've written about, or whatever." Sometimes you get good instruction. And sometimes it's like Frank McGee and the flints for his cigarette lighter. Sometimes you're taken out behind the woodshed because you deserve it, and sometimes it's totally undeserved, and I try and differentiate. if I feel that it's undeserved, I read the letter and say, "Well, there are readers out there who will read it and the people who know me well are going to know that I'm not that kind of person," and I just don't worry about it too much. I don't like having slanders published about anybody, and I think we've published some slanders about me and other people, because we're just inclined to publish virtually anything that comes in. But gosh, when you look back to the 19th century and what kind of business this was and compare it with today - Henry Watterson would have put up with some of the lily-livered letters compared with the ones he got, any day. And nobody has threatened to come in here and horsewhip me yet. So I'll take this era of 71:00journalism any day compared with what they went through back then.  


BOBO: Let's take some of the - 




BOBO: The things year by year that have made the biggest splash as far as the paper was concerned. Let's go back to say, your disagreements with Todd Hollenbach, things like that, which almost - supposedly - ended up in a debate. I don't find any evidence that you were ever going to take on anyone else in a debate -- 


BINGHAM: [Laughs] 


BOBO: Are these serious things, or are these things that again, we take with a grain of salt, that that's part of the show? 


BINGHAM: Well, I'd fill that cup up with salt. It was a lot of show, in that case. And it was a wonderful example, it was a great learning experience for me, because it was a press generated debate. To be quite frank with you, I'd have to think hard to go back and remember. It was Open City, as I remember, which was the genesis of this, in other words, it was a WHAS program about crime and corruption and so on. Alright. Todd Hollenbach challenges me to debate - well, he doesn't. Let me go back and get this right. Todd Hollenbach says the program is wrong. Jefferson County isn't like that. And so the reporter comes to me and 72:00says, "Well, is it like that?" and I said, "Well, the program went on the air, and I think it is. We filmed all this, and I think it's correct." So they go back to Todd Hollenback and say, "Well, Barry Bingham says that it's correct. Would you be willing to debate him on the subject?" Well, who's going to back down? You know, is Todd Hollenbach going to say, "No, I won't debate him"? So Hollenback says, "Oh, I guess I'll debate him." So the reporter comes back to me and says, "Hollenbach's willing to debate you about Open City, are you willing to debate?" Well who manufactured this? Todd Hollenbach didn't call me up and say, "Let's have a debate." The reporter said, to him, "Would you be willing to," and then said to me, "Would you be willing to," and then he put in the news story, here are two guys who are willing to debate about it. Well, it never came about, as you know. I can say now with a few years of perspective that the only people who got any pleasure out of that were Republicans. I have a lot of Republican friends who were saying, "Go in there and get him. You guys - you just have a great time and you're going to clean out Todd Hollenback," and a lot 73:00of his Republican friends were saying, "Go in there and get that Democratic publisher, you can clean him out." and the people in the Democratic party here, and a lot of other people said, "What is this all about? We're going to get the publisher of the newspaper to debate the county judge over program that was on WHAS?" I mean, let's use what I'd call a best evidence rule, let's get the producer of the tv program and get somebody from the police department or whoever thinks he knows something about crime in Jefferson County. If you want a debate, they're the people to it. Not the publisher, who didn't know anything  - well, I knew something about the production of the program, but I never saw it until it went on the air. It's one of those things that you get in society now and then, where a lot of people say, "You guys fight, and I'll hold your coat. You guys get in there and fight." You've got to be restrained about it or the world would be crazy.  


BOBO: Well, the second one I was going to ask you about, in '71 has to do with one of your principles that you've stood behind all along. This was where you 74:00were charged that you disliked Al Schneider because your wife was a preservationist and this kind of thing. I think the overall issue here is your feeling about, you, your family or other members of your staff participating in political campaigns or anything that would be of controversial nature.  




BOBO: Let's just use that as an example to maybe talk about that for a couple minutes.  


BINGHAM: Okay. I think the Al Schneider thing is another example of "you guys fight." There are a lot of people who would love to see Al Schneider and me taking off after each other, and frankly, I don't feel that way about Al Schneider. I mean, the guy can be pretty rough, and he has mistreated members of the press, in my opinion, I mean he hasn't beaten anybody up or anything like that, but he can be extremely rude and preemptory. The only problem I have with Al Schneider is architecturally. I mean, you know, he builds buildings faster and probably cheaper than anybody else in town. I frankly don't like the way they look. This is a city I've got to live in, and that doesn't mean he's got to 75:00clear his architecture with me before he builds it, but I think I've got a right to say that I think of the Portland Federal Building as ugly. Or the Bank of Louisville Building is ugly. And I think they both are. If he doesn't like that, then that's just something we're going to have to disagree about. Give me the rest of the question, because I'm not sure I caught the drift of --


BOBO: What I'm saying is that this was just an example of how you were hit at when your family has any interest in anything.  


BINGHAM: Yeah.  


BOBO: I think in this particular case they were bringing up your wife's interest --


BINGHAM: Sure.  


BOBO: -- in preservation.  




BOBO: Is the whipping boy, so to speak.  


BINGHAM: Well, anything that any member of the family is interested in, I'm going to get nailed with. I mean, somebody's going to say that my interest in old buildings is because my wife is interested in old buildings. Well, frankly, I think a lot of 19th century architecture is better looking than a lot of 20th century architecture. And yes, being married to a woman whose father was an architect and whose brother is an architect and who is personally interested in that may elevate my interest. But she doesn't tell me what the newspaper's 76:00editorial positions ought to be, on these subjects or any others. In a way it's really unfair to her, and it's unfair to me, to lay that off on either one of us. That my problem with Al Schneider is generated because I'm married to Edie Bingham. It just isn't like that. I think if I were married to Joan Smith, just take anybody, I'd have the same problems with the same buildings that I'm critical of. As I say, I think that's a non-issue in that case.  


BOBO: Well, I only bring this up because this was just an example of - of course there were other times, like one time your mother, they were pointing out her interest in the Riverport, I believe -- 


BINGHAM: Yes, yep.  


BOBO: On the Indiana side. Then there've been times when you've had members on your staff that maybe would have been interested in taking part in a political campaign or this that or the other, but just obviously couldn't -  




BOBO: -- because of their relationship with the paper. So I'm really 77:00talking about the bigger issue, the separation of the press from the community involvement in things. One thing I did find very interesting in the tapes that you had done for Louisville Today was where you were talking about your interest in the arts being an area where you felt that you were not threatening anyone, and yet you were doing something that you had a real interest in, and was a benefit to the community. Maybe this would be a good place for us to talk -  




BOBO: just a little bit about your family's involvement in the arts.  


BINGHAM: Well, my father's policy has always been, and it went back to his father's day, my grandfather's day, that the publisher of the newspaper I did not involve himself in any commercial boards. In other words, we didn't go on boards of banks or insurance companies or railroads, and for pretty clear reasons. I mean, those were institutions we write about daily, we are critical of frequently, it just wouldn't be - it would be unseemly, I think, for the publisher to serve on what I would call a commercial board. So what does that 78:00leave for you to do? Well, generally, volunteer work. And by that, when I use the arts, I think that's one good area, but I think that most people would say if the publisher wants to be on the United Way board or the Red Cross Board - there are a lot of health boards in non-profit areas, which are certainly open, or Boy Scouts. I mean, there are just a tremendous variety of boards that you can serve on without entering into a serious controversy. Now, there are problems. I've been the president of the Louisville Orchestra board when Bill Mootz was reviewing the music played by the Louisville Orchestra. I'm not going to say that makes Bill Mootz's job any easier, but I have never gone to Bill Mootz and never would, and said, "Hey, lay off the orchestra, we need to sell more tickets," or anything like that. If I were the sort of person who was inclined to do that, I wouldn't be safe living in Louisville. I mean, I'd have to live somewhere else to insulate everybody from that kind of intervention. The problem is, if you're on boards which are politically sensitive - and let's say 79:00a political party, or endorsing or supporting a political candidate, everybody's going to think that's what you're doing. I think most reasonable people realize that I can be the president of the Orchestra board and still leave Bill Mootz alone. It would be hard for them to believe that if I were on the committee to pass the succession amendment, for instance, which was up last time around by John Y. Brown, that I wouldn't somehow be going into the newsroom and whispering to Bob Johnson, "You know, it looks like it's in trouble, give us a little help." And there are a lot of people who are really very suspicious of the political process, as newspapers are involved in it. And as far as the arts are concerned, they really don't care all that much. I mean, there are some people who would be very concerned if Bill Mootz were polluted by the publisher's interests. There are a lot of people who would just say it doesn't really matter one way or another. Now, I think it matters, and I would never - as I say, I would never say anything to Bill which would attempt to influence his opinion. 80:00But to a lot of people, the arts just aren't that important anyway, and that's not the sort of thing that they feel where the newspaper can really be malicious in the intervention of the publisher in what should be the normal straight news process.


BOBO: Let's move on to something that was touchier, we might say [laughs]


BINGHAM: [Laughs]


BOBO: Let's talk for a few minutes about the busing -


BINGHAM: Oh, sure.


BOBO: Here in our city. Course 1975 was a historic occasion as far as the re-desegregation of the Louisville city schools. They had in past years merged girls and boys -




BOBO: -- which was traumatic to them, and in the 50s had open or volunteer integration. Again, you seemed to get the brunt of the criticism, and it's as if you had created the problem.


BINGHAM: [Laughs]


BOBO: Let's hear how you - I mean, I know I think how you felt about what you had to do, but I'd like some insight into what actually took place during those 81:00early months and personally and as far as the paper was concerned.


BINGHAM: Well, they were hard times. They were hard times for everybody here. And it was one of the few times when we have really feared for the safety of our reporters and photographers who were out covering various things, demonstrations and so on. So I'm not just going to say it was hard for the publisher, in fact a lot of people would say the publisher had it a lot easier than the people who had to be out on the street covering the incidents going on, and a lot easier than some of the kids who were riding on the buses that had to go through these, you know, lines of people screaming and yelling and carrying on. it was a very hard time for the community. I think the reason that it was so hard for the newspapers was that editorially, we had always you ought to do what the court tells you to do, and we had disagreed with Judge Gordon early on, when he said the schools were adequately desegregated and they do not need busing or any other remedy to desegregate them. Clearly, the Jefferson County School system 82:00had planned a segregated system by building the Newburg school among others, right in the middle of a Black ghetto, out in the county. Editorially, we were pointing this out, and I think that made us quite unpopular in the community. and then finally when the Supreme Court ordered Judge Gordon to reverse his decision and impose a busing order, a lot of people felt that, well you can understand the NAACP, I mean they're Black and they want it because it's self-serving. But why does the newspaper support those people? Why do they want to put the community through all that kind of turmoil? I think there was a good deal of misunderstanding about our motives, I mean I'm not sure what they thought our motives were, but, that we were always in favor of Blacks and never in favor of whites, or something like that. It turned out that we were the only institution in this town that I can think of off-hand, other than the federal judge who was in favor of, or supported, the busing order. I mean, you take the 83:00mayor, the county judge, most of the churches - there must have been a church somewhere other than the West End where the preacher preached a sermon saying, "You shouldn't throw rocks at the bus, and you should go ahead and let the process occur without getting violent, without demonstrating." I never heard it. So we were very isolated. And by "we" I mean the newspapers were very isolated in our position we took in support of busing, and Judge Gordon, as you know, lived in a motel room not with just a Secret Service person on each side, but one if the room below and one in the room above, because the FBI and the Secret Service were convinced he'd get killed. It was a very rough time for all of us, primarily, in my opinion, because of - I'm going to use a strong word, but -- the cowardice of other people in the community, who even though in the quiet of their own living room would say to you, "Well, we've got to integrate the school system, we realize that" but they would not make the public statement in favor 84:00of school busing. I think it was that isolation that made it even more difficult for us than it would otherwise have been if the Chamber of Commerce and all the institutions of the community had lined up and said, "No, we don't like busing any more than you do, but you cannot live with a segregated school system, that's just morally wrong." And a community like Louisville, which has had a good history of race relations in most instances, just shouldn't put up with that sort of thing.


BOBO: I guess it almost came as a surprise to me that Louisville did react so violently. I think I was living on the Cowger years, when we had received recognition -



BOBO: -- for making great strides in race relations. And it really sneaked up on me as an individual that there was that much hostility to it.


BINGHAM: Well, what gave us training - and I think one of the smartest things we did was, you know Boston got their busing order in 1974, and Bob Clark and I and about 12 or 15 editors from the newspaper went to Boston. The Boston Globe 85:00turned over to us a full day in which they described to us how they covered the busing order in the news, how they covered the actual getting of children back and forth to school, in the buses, and how they covered what went on in the school, and the editorial process, what they said editorially, and what they said they felt was right and what they wish they hadn't said. We went through a very, very thorough briefing process, and as part of that meeting we also visited a couple of tv stations to see how they had covered the issue. So it wasn't as if we were going to do it with no experience. I mean, we'd never had anything like this in Louisville, in the form of a busing order, but at least we went out of town to the other community which had had a very parallel experience, and got as much information as we could so we could do it as well as we could possibly handle it.


BOBO: I was noticing that it was back I think about 1970, you had done a 86:00pretty, you know, 1970, you had done a pretty complete column on the number of Blacks involved in employment here at the Courier itself.


BINGHAM: Mm-hmm.


BOBO: I haven't picked up that much in the later years, when people have been after you about the situation. Could you describe how things have perhaps changed since you put out that article in 1970 and you were listing the numbers of - at that time you were asking that people encourage Blacks to go into journalism, and -




BOBO: - get into areas that they could, of course, be hired by the newspapers and the positions were here. Have things changed? Have more come in, with the preparation that you needed?


BINGHAM: They have. And this is one of the areas where I'd like to add an addendum, and give you the most recent numbers. I don't have them in my head, but I'd like to give them to you because I think they're important. The problem that we were having back then was I think the newspaper had always had a liberal 87:00editorial policy about Blacks ought to have equal opportunity, but in fact we did not have very many Blacks on the newspaper staff, or WHAS or Standard Gravure. We started to realize that you had to put your money where your mouth was, and we had to really go to work and start recruiting Blacks to work on these newspapers. And at the time, George Gill was the managing editor of the Courier Journal, and George has been - he's now president of the companies. George has been one of the leading lights in this effort to bring young Blacks into this profession. He was the first one who started taking high school students and giving them scholarships to go to Northwestern, to go to the school of Journalism there, in hopes that some of them would come back here and eventually go to work on the newspapers, and some of them did.


The policy has been followed up by Paul Janensch, who's executive editor now, and he has made it, I guess one of the absolute top priorities of the news department that we do two things: that we reach the percentage of Black 88:00employment and female employment in the community. And as I remember, Black employment is 10 or 11% and I think we're about 7% in news now, and female employment's about 40%, and we're about 30%, so we're missing both, we have not gotten there yet. It's not good enough in this business just to have an editorial policy saying, "All Blacks and women and everyone else ought to have equal opportunity and everybody ought to do right." If you don't do right yourself, if you don't lead the way and show that you are making an effort to hire Blacks and women, not just at entry jobs, but also in supervisory and senior positions, your editorial policy is very, very hollow.

BOBO: All right.




[end of tape 2, side1 / beginning of tape 2, side 2]


BOBO: This is Mary Bobo, this is tape two. I'm talking with Barry Bingham, Jr. We're talking about various controversies that the paper has been involved in. 89:00At this point we're dealing with the efforts to bring more Blacks and minorities and women into the working force of the Courier Journal and Bingham enterprises. Would you continue, Mr. Bingham?


BINGHAM: All right. We have not, as you point out, we have not published those statistics recently, and I just don't know whether that's a productive thing to do. The problem with it is, if you are doing well, then people think you are just patting yourself on the back. Quite frankly, I think we're doing a lot better than we were in '71. My feeling is that, if you're going to have the editorial position which advocates equality, practice it yourself. Or else the editorial policy is sort of hollow. 


BOBO: I was just thinking about an article that was in the paper in October of '78, about the Women's Awareness Committee, which was I believed formed of women employees here at the Courier-Journal. Let's just for the record talk about the 90:00types of things you've done in order to bring more women into the paper and into the enterprises in the past 10 years, say. 


BINGHAM: Our interest is, when I talk about equality, is for everybody - Blacks and women and any other minorities -and my feeling is that we have - newspapers and all other companies - have missed a great opportunity with women. That in the past women have been relegated to certain departments in newspapers, and certain departments of other companies, and we've missed an opportunity there. We're making a greater effort to get women involved in all aspects of the news and editorial operation here. We do not as yet have women in as elevated positions as we would like to have them, but we have a female assistant managing editor on the Louisville Times, and a female feature editor on the Courier-Journal, and in times gone by we've had a female managing editor of the 91:00Courier-Journal. The day will come when we will match the community as far as female employment and I hope the day is going to come and will not be too far away when we will have a proportional representation of women in the executive force. We do of the Bingham companies have two women presidents now. Loene Trubkin is one and Linda Purcell is the other, add they represent the future. And I've said this to them, and they know how I feel about it: they represent, they are there presidents of two companies which in my opinion will outlive the Courier-Journal and Louisville Times Company. Because they are in the communications system of the future. And again, I'm not trying to ghettoize women into other companies, other than the newspapers. We want women in these companies in leadership positions, too, but I take women's involvement in business terribly seriously. Again, I say I just think that we've missed an opportunity in the past by relegating them to the society department. I mean, 92:00women have an awful lot to contribute to a newspaper other than that.  


BOBO: Well, you've mentioned the communications, I think we've got to hit on that, before our time runs out today, even if we did something else later on some other things. When I began doing interviewing, in particular last summer, it became obvious that videotechs and this direction was the direction you were ready to move into seriously very soon. I remember one of your executives saying, "He's been saying for years, 'It's coming, it's coming, you better get ready.'" And here it is. 


BINGHAM: [Laughs]


BOBO: Only this week, you of course had put out in the paper that you were putting your first news stories on cable, and this type of thing. And I believe you began back in the fall with the classified ads, did you not? Or you had planned to. Did you? 


BINGHAM: We planned to. The whole system started in April on both the [store?] and CPI systems here in Louisville and Jefferson County, with both news and 93:00classified ads on both systems. 


BOBO: We're going back again, referring to this article from Louisville Today, which was written in '76, you were saying again there, which would be several years removed from right now, that you felt this was direction that you were going to have to go. Trace for me your interest in moving news to video and where you first realized, or felt, that this was a viable way for you to begin to direct the newspapers, or at least part, portions of the news. 


BINGHAM: Okay. Well, I've given this speech so often that people fall asleep who've had to hear -- 


BOBO: Well, don't just [?]


BINGHAM: I won't give you the whole thing, I'll try and do it briefly. Looking at the newspaper business and looking at the broadcasting business, you run into some very immediate and very obvious differences. And one of the ones in the newspaper business is we're very energy intensive. And after 1974 and the oil embargo and the price of gasoline going out of sight, I started to worry, and I 94:00mean really worry about, "what is the future of this business which is so energy intensive?" Here, we had newsprint - the paper we print on - when I took over as publisher in 1971 cost about $100 a ton and now it costs $450 a ton or so. Four times, or more, increase in price. Gasoline in 1971 was I guess 25 or 30 cents a gallon and now it's a dollar 25 or 30 a gallon. As I saw all these things happening back in the mid to late 70s, I was saying to myself, "What is the impact going to be on newspapers? Can we continue to take the Courier-Journal, print it here in Louisville and truck it all the way to Pike County in eastern Kentucky and Fulton County in western Kentucky and sell it without bankrupting the company?"

And the more I looked at it, the more worried I became, because for a lot of people, the newspaper is a discretionary purchase. So if it costs 10 cents 95:00they're willing to buy it, if it costs 50 cents they're not. And where the decision is made in between I'm not sure, but the more you increase the price of the product, the more readers you lose. And the more readers you lose, the more the cost per unit goes up. And if you're selling 500 copies of the newspaper in some county and you double the price and you're down 100 subscribers, it's very difficult to continue to afford to deliver those 100 newspapers.

I kept looking for, what is the technology going to be, which will take this information, this million words of information, or whatever is in a newspaper daily, and get that to you. And also, why don't we practice a little conservation at the same time. Why give you stock market tables if you've never owned a share of stock and you never look at the stock market tables, or any other category of the newspaper which is just of no interest to you. We cut down trees - hundreds of trees -- every year to deliver people information they don't 96:00need or don't want. And I, as a conservationist, I don't like that very much. So I kept looking for what is the system going to be which gets around this energy intensive problem, and which also serves a conservation problem.

The answer is electronic. At first I thought cable was probably going to be the way. Now, I think satellite is the way that, eventually, we will be able to send the newspapers, information directly up to a satellite which will beam it back down into either a cable system, which will put it into your home and your home computer, or maybe you'll even have a dish on the roof of your house, which will pick up these signals, and will load the information you want into the memory of your home computer. And you can come home at 4:00 in the afternoon or 9:00 at night after dinner, or get up at 3:00 in the morning, and you will be able to get, in print form, not a person talking to you as in television, but you'll be able to get in print form the information which is as up to date as the 97:00newspaper has it, and you will be getting the information you want. If you've never bought a chihuahua in the classified ads, you're not going to get the classified ads for little dogs. In other words, you will be able to say, "These are the things I'm interested in, if this were a newspaper, what would be on page 1, I also happen to be particularly interested in what's happening at the University of Louisville, so I need stories about that I would want to see." And we will be able to put into your home computer a lot of information that we cannot publish today. We just don't have the space for it. So the example I use is, if you're interested in Canadian hockey scores, we've got all that in the computer upstairs, it comes from a wire service, but we never print it because we don't have the space for it. We'll be able to put all that out electronically, so we will be able to give our subscribers a tremendous amount of information they want, which they've never gotten from us before, and we're going to get rid of this problem of having 40,000 tons of newsprint every year, most of which goes to a landfill and just causes a solid waste problem. And for me, I get so excited about it, people just have to hold me down. I mean, we buy 98:00a million gallons of gasoline a year to distribute the newspaper, and I would love not to bring from Saudi Arabia a million gallons of gasoline. I mean, think of the air pollution problems we're going to solve.

The other problem is, this is the only multi-million dollar industry in the world that depends on a 14-year-old as the final delivery method. I mean, that's madness. If IBM, or if the computer industry, which is a multi-million dollar industry, depended on 14-year-old salesmen to sell their product, you'd say those people have just gone wacko. Well, the newspapers still do it. And if we didn't have an exemption from the child labor act, we wouldn't be able to do that. So we sort of live by the grace of all the history that Congress has handed down to us, all these privileges and benefits, and quite frankly I just think the technology has surpassed all of those historic privileges and benefits. I think the time has come for us to take the step, into a new form of 99:00delivery and the result is going to be energy saving, pollution saving, and will be information-enhancing. In other words, it will be giving to people a lot more information than they get today and as a publisher I just look at those opportunities and say, "Let me in. I want to be part of that." 

BOBO: Did you have these feelings when you bought Pollution Abstracts? Did you know that you might use this company to develop some new technology? 

BINGHAM: Well, I didn't know. I mean, I'd love to say I was so smart that I said, "This is what the future is going to be." But I looked at that and I said, "Those people are doing something interesting. They are, in publication form, are taking all these learned papers and no one can read all the learned papers on all the subjects in pollution, but they're abstracting them, and then if you want information about sulfur dioxide pollution in the Ohio River Valley, you can go to Pollution Abstracts and you can get every single one of these documents which you need for your research purpose. That's the way I think the 100:00newspaper's going to be in the future. The newspaper isn't going to be just what happened today. It's going to be people who will inquire through their home computer of, "Alright the mayor's budget this year is thus and so. What was the budget allocation for Parks and Recreation for the last 15 years?" Well that's getting the newspaper very much into the same kind of business that Pollution Abstracts is in. I mean, they're doing it in the pollution field, but I think the newspaper eventually, with an interactive system, will be able to answer your questions on a tremendous variety of subjects. We will become your research tool, as readily accessible as your home computer or your office computer. I think the technique of abstracting is going to be very important for the newspapers, and we are doing it to some extent in our library service now, where we don't abstract it, we use keywords to recover newspaper articles going back a number of years. I think there's a synergistic relationship there, that if 101:00Pollution Abstracts works for people who do learned research, something like that is going to work for newspaper readers, who will want to get something other than just what was in the paper, what is the news today. What does this mean in perspective? What did you publish about that a year ago? Or five years ago? 

BOBO: I guess what I've not really completely gotten straight in my mind - are you visualizing the continuance of separate television stations, but the use of cable to do what we're talking about, with retrieval of information only? Like we were talking earlier about the fleeting medium of tv, and as someone brought out, how many people are going to buy a Betamax to hear [Bob Morse?] redo his editorial or something, you know? 

BINGHAM: Well, no one [?] Bob. [Laughs]

BOBO: [Laughs] But, we're talking really then about two systems: the commercial system and the cable is -- 

BINGHAM:: Well --

BOBO: -- the cable being what you would use in the newspaper. 

BINGHAM: Yes. Well, not necessarily. I think that eventually - and this is 102:00something which has come on in the last few years, and I feel more strongly about today than I did say, five years ago - is the, what they call direct broadcast satellite, which is -- and we're buying, the newspaper is buying an earth station for half a million dollars, which can send a signal up to a satellite, and the signal, by its signal I mean text. This is words, not, you know, me talking to you in a picture, these are words, just like editorials or news stories, which will then be bounced back down and you can either pick that up through a cable system. That's one way, and that is the conventional way to do it. But the second way is, you can now buy, for about $1500, a dish that goes on the roof of your house or out in the backyard, which will pick up these signals from satellites and go directly into your home, just the way the old tv antenna did. Now, $1500 is a very big investment, a lot of people aren't going to buy that. But the price of that dish is going to come down, and I bet you within five years it'll be $150. You will then have your computer at home, with 103:00large memory storage, you'll have the dish out in the backyard or on the apartment building or wherever you live, and you will be able to tune in your computer to the dish to receive the signal, and it will load your computer in a matter of minutes with literally everything that would be in a newspaper that day. That to me is the ultimate system, and one of the reasons I think it is, is we're not in a very urbanized area here. There's Louisville and Lexington and Paducah and Bowling Green and all that, but in between is an awful lot of farmland. And a lot of those farmers aren't going to get cable for a long, long time, because it's very expensive. Every mile costs hundreds of dollars to string cable. I expect that for this part of the country, direct broadcast satellite into the home is going to be the more effective way of reaching the mass audience. Then, let's say you've got this information on your home computer about, let's see what the mayor's budget is for the city of Louisville, and for 104:00some reason you want historical information on that, then you use your telephone and what's called a modem, which is a connection for the telephone to the computer, and you dial a number and you inquire of the newspaper using your keyboard, "Tell me what the budget allocation was for the last 10 years for Parks and Recreation in the City of Louisville budget," and our computer can give you that with no problem at all. 

BOBO: Is the average person, 40 years old, going to key into this, or are you gearing this for the people 40 and under, the kids that are coming through with the computer technology? 

BINGHAM: Well, if I could answer that, I would assure myself riches. My feeling is that at first it's going to be a lot of young people. At first it's going to be hobbyists and the sort of, the people who buy computers for their own interest and for various purposes. But I think eventually it's going to be like television. We had a very interesting experiment - or very interesting experience in this country with television. And I'll personalize it a little 105:00bit. When Edie and I were first courting, in Washington -- my wife comes from Washington, D.C. and her father as I said was an architect -- and I worked for NBC. I went to visit her at her home one day and discovered that they did not own a television set. And this was back in the 1950s. In fact, I guess it was actually 1959 or 1960. And I couldn't believe it. I mean, even then, most people had a black and white television set. Well, and I think the family was appalled. I mean, here the daughter of the family was courting this guy who worked for television! For goodness sake. They finally bought a television set, and Edie's father is now more hooked on television than anyone I've ever known. The man really can't get away from it. There are somethings that he just has to watch: sporting events, and so on. I think we're going to run into the same thing. There are a lot of 40-year-olds today, or 50-year-olds, who say, "Computers? Earth stations? Not for me. I mean, that's for the kids." I'll bet you that 106:00their kids will get one and they'll go to the kid's house or apartment one night and the kid will say, "Hey, look what I can get on this system." and the 40-year-old is going to say, "Hey, wait a minute. Instead of the 14-year-old who throws my newspaper on the roof every morning, why don't I get one of these? This is a system just like television which is available to me, it will bring me something I want, and it's worth my making the effort to learn how to use this keyboard to get the information I want," rather than going through what is a pretty unsatisfactory experience for a lot of people with the home delivery of their newspaper. So that's the way I think it'll catch on. When people see enough attractions. When my father-in-law saw enough interesting stuff on television, so that it wasn't that creepy medium anymore, it was something that he found interest in, he bought a television set, and he's learned how to tune the television set to get what he wants out of it. 

BOBO: Again, we - all throughout this past year of interviewing, I have dealt 107:00with people talking about change in the newspaper, and of course if you don't change, then you're going to stay the same, you're just going to get left behind. 


BOBO:  But, say the average young person coming into the - journalist, coming into newspaper work now - I can see that he would go along with you. But what kind of terror does this strike in the hearts of people who are mid-career? Do they see this as a real threat to them? 

BINGHAM: Well, if they do they're just not looking at the right thing. If I were charting the course of communications for the next 20 years, I'd say that there are going to be a lot more people working in communications in 20 years than there are today. They're going to be working in different areas. Now, if I were a Teamster truck driver, I'd be worried. If I were a pressman, I'd be worried. Because I think those are both declining parts of this business. But let me tell you, when we no longer have to buy 20 million dollars' worth of newsprint, or a million gallons of gasoline a year to deliver our product, I can instead of having 300 people in my newsroom, maybe I can have a thousand people in my 108:00newsroom. Well, to me, that's the excitement. Owning a printing press has never been the excitement. I mean, that's a noisy, dirty, awful place to work, and why anybody wants to be a pressman, I really can't understand. but I'd love to have a thousand people covering this whole area of the country, and disseminating not just what we can fit in the newspaper, but everything they can write - for those who want to read 80 column inches about how hummingbirds are doing in Kentucky. I mean, when we have a thousand people working here collecting news, we can write about hummingbirds. We can't do it now. We don't have the staff to do that. So for me, I get so excited about the future. We're so restrained by the past. Now I feel like the steamboat captain who just invented a jet airplane, and he's so excited about it and all these people are on his steamboat saying the guy's crazy. What's he talking about, flying 550 miles an hour? Well, that's what the future was in transportation and this is what the future is in 109:00communications. And as I say, there is going to be a dislocation. The people who have normally trucked a product around are not in the future of the business. I mean, there are going to be some of those around, perhaps, but the real future is up there in that newsroom and in the editorial offices. And for the writing and editing and collecting of news, the future is going to be just tremendous. 

BOBO: Are you talking about a person needing a different kind of journalistic background though?

BINGHAM: No. Because everybody up there today - you've been in our newsroom, and you've seen those people. They're writing their news stories on computers right now. the only difference to that person is going to be when he hits the key and sends it to the editor and the editor finishes editing it, instead of it going to the back shop out here and being set in type and then going onto plates and down to a pressroom, it will go directly to a satellite and be bounced down directly into your home and immediately stored in your computer. So what we've gotten rid of is the antiquated, 19th century delivery system which we now have 110:00today and we will have moved to the 21st century delivery system, and the reporter up there is never going to know the difference. We could be doing it simultaneously today and he would be doing everything exactly the way he is right now. The only difference is, it is not being printed on paper. It's not going through the pressroom operation. It's not being delayed for hours and hours. Billy Reed can come back from that basketball game at 2:30 in the morning, write his story, and get it in the earliest edition, which will arrive in your computer in Pike County, Kentucky at 4:00 that morning. Or 3:30. Well, right now Billy Reed can't get his story in an early enough edition so we can deliver it in Pike County. So time is what we're - we're going to save time, we're going to save energy, and we're going to save waste. And all I can say is, any invention in the world which will save time, energy and waste has got to have a lot going for it. 

BOBO: So, the newspaper as we know it now, you do see the possibility that it 111:00might cease to exist in 20 years --

BINGHAM: It'll be a phase out. In other words, there are going to be some people, for one reason or another, who'll say, "I don't want that devilish contraption in my house. I don't want computers. I want it printed out on a newspaper, just the way it was for Grandad." Well, okay, we'll provide that. But the price is going to go up and up and up. as the newspaper's circulation in print goes down, the price per unit goes up. We've got to maintain the whole press room, and the press room crew, and the back shop and all the rest. and someday, if we're down to 10,000 a day -- and we're now about 200,000 a day -- if we're down to 10,000 a day, the cost of each one of those 10,000 is going to be very high. But if you say, "I don't care, $2 a day, I'll pay $2 a day," we'll deliver it to you. On the other hand, if you want it in computer, you might get it for a nickel a day. And at some point, the guy who says, "Mmm, as much as I don't like the computer, maybe it's worth it, 'cause it's getting awfully expensive this way." And that's when the newspaper delivery service is going to 112:00tail off and the delivery by computer is just going to go up like this. 

On that subject, I think that my interest in the future delivery of a newspaper has been misunderstood by people who think that I've got sort of a hate on for newspapers. And because of my background in television, somehow I want to see them go out of business. That's not it. What I want to do is have newspapers - not only ours, but others around the country - become more effective and more successful because of this new means of delivering information, not that I want to see them going out of business. Because we're in that business right now. We know - well, the Washington Star, for instance - there are a lot of newspapers that are biting the dust. until the replacement comes along with this direct communication into the home, I just don't want to see any more deaths of newspapers. 

BOBO: You grabbed my next question - the fact that so many have folded, just in the past - 


BOBO:  -- few years, has to be the writing on the wall to some people. 


BINGHAM: It really is. 

BOBO: It just has to be. The people that have left these staffs, have you absorbed any of them yourself? [?] Washington Star? 

BINGHAM: Well, this goes back to another question about minority employment. Carol Sutton has made a tremendous effort with some of these newspapers that are closing down to find out in particular if there are Blacks on those staffs who'd be interested in coming to Louisville. We, as a matter of course, get applications from a lot of these people, just voluntarily, who write to us and say, "Is there a job there?" But our real recruiting effort has been to try and bring in Black members of the staff. Our problem is that our news staff isn't growing right now. In other words, we're just replacing people who retire or leave, and so the opportunities here are not very many. 

BOBO: I'd like to hit on one more ticklish area before we close out for today. There obviously have been times when you've had to make changes in your staff. 114:00It seems that somewhere in the late, say '77, in that area, that you were making changes and at this time, I believe, Robert Clark left during this time. 


BOBO: How does a newspaper go about reordering itself, so to speak? Forming a new image, making a change as has to make, other than simply changing people around. Is there - must people fall in order for the changes to come about, I guess I'm saying. 

BINGHAM: Well, the answer is we don't do it very adroitly! [chuckles] I'm not just singling us out. I don't' think any newspaper does it very well. But on the other hand, newspapers are terribly visible entities, and I think that most manufacturing companies could change an executive without anybody being too interested or upset. In the newspaper business it's much more visible and dramatic. I guess the real question is, how flexible is everyone going to be. 115:00And I am a person who relishes dissent. I mean, I really am interested in people who say, "Well, I'm not sure if that's going to work, I'm not sure it's right. Even if the publisher says so, I'm not sure that's correct." But at some point when the marching orders come, then everybody's got to sign on board. And if people don't sign on board then you can't run the operation. And this is the problem you sometimes run into with people who just say, "I can't bring myself to do this. I mean, I know it's what the company want to do, and it's what you think ought to be done, but I just can't bring myself to it." At that time you've got to look at each other and say, "The company can't stop. We've really got to make this thing work, and if you're not the person to make it work, then I as publisher have got to find somebody who can make it work." I try and do it, and I think most other managers try and do it, in a non-abusive way. I mean, the last thing I want to do when I get up in the morning is fire somebody, it's just an awful experience, not only for the person being fired, but the person who has 116:00to do it. You know the old parent who says, "Spanking hurts me as much as it hurts you." Well, you've got to be a parent to know that that's true, and you've got to have fired somebody to know that it's extremely painful for the person who has to do it. So I don't look for those "opportunities" to clean house and get people out so you can start afresh. But if the team cannot get on, if the team cannot recognize the same goal and all march toward it, then changes have to be made, or you're in such disarray you can't accomplish anything. 

BOBO: Well, again, I guess I'm asking, is this just part of the game - like earlier we were talking about you learning to accept criticism. Most newspaper persons coming into these positions realize that they're coming to papers with a certain philosophy and certain way of doing things.


BOBO: So, you don't necessarily take it personally - so personally - when it happens, you know that you've just got to get on a team that's going in your direction -- 

BINGHAM: Well, and you have to end up doing what the company needs you to do. 117:00And I have seen the change in my own way of operating. I used to read the newspaper every morning and I would circle every misspelling and every split infinitive and every grammatical misuse, and send it up to Bob Clark who then sent it on to somebody else. And we were so tangled up with the minutiae. Grammar is important, and misspelling is important. We're so tangled up with that that we were not looking at the whole product. I wasn't spending my time saying, "What do the people out there really want? What should we be giving them? What is the new way of delivering that information to them? What should we be doing 10 years from now?" And Bob Clark was very much the same way. He was an excellent grammarian, and he could correct and edit something to a fare thee well, but that wasn't the kind of management this operation needed. It needed somebody to say, "Let the editors correct the spelling, and if they don't do it we'll get on them and make sure that they do. But let's not have the top executives correcting the spelling. Let's have them working on what is the future of this company and how are we going to get there." 


BOBO: Well this is something that was brought out in this particular article I was looking at, put out in 1979, at the time Mr. Clark left, that you said that "He and I share the same weakness: we're not very good with numbers, financial, and long-range planning." But what you're saying is that you need to hire on someone who can add on to maybe something that you maybe a little weak in, and -- 

BINGHAM: Exactly. We didn't need two people who were doing the same thing, and Bob and I were very much alike in our - I guess nitpicking, you might call it - of the newspaper. And I really needed somebody who was going to look at the bigger picture --

BOBO:  -- complement your personality. 


BOBO: As we do begin to wind down for today, again, I would as, are there some 119:00areas that we have failed to touch on that perhaps we should mention? As should be known to anyone listening to this tape, this is one of an overall set of tapes that go --


BOBO: -- with the history of the Courier-Journal and the Louisville [Times]. 

[end tape 2, side 2 / beginning tape 3, side 1]

BOBO: This is Mary Bobo. I'm continuing to talk with Barry Bingham Junior, we are getting ready to talk about some of the areas within his family, even of disagreement as to the policy of the newspaper, and the way that the editorial policy particularly might go, or what political candidate might be backed or this type of thing. You mentioned your sister Sallie's recent skirmish with you this past year. 

BINGHAM: [Laughs] Well, let me go back into history for minute, before we get to the skirmish. I was reading the frontpage story that was in the Courier-Journal announcing my grandfather's purchase of the Courier-Journal. This is back in 1918. it's a remarkable article. It refers to him as a "fine Democratic gentleman." That sort of puts into perspective what this newspaper stood for, which was it was literally the mouthpiece of the Democratic party. And by 120:00"this newspaper" I really mean the Courier-Journal and the Louisville Times. They were the mouthpiece of the Democratic Party. The reason the Haldeman family was willing to sell to Judge Bingham, my grandfather, was that he was a "fine Democratic gentleman," and I think if he'd been a Republican he could have bid twice as much money and never bought the operation. Well, the Democratic Party relationship with the Courier-Journal and Times went on, right through my father's time. With the exception of John Sherman Cooper, the famous Senator from Kentucky, a Republican, I can't think of a Republican who was endorsed by these newspapers. Now, I don't want to go completely wrong, because there may have been one or two, but I can't think of any. We didn't endorse Cowger and Cook, for instance, when they ran. And so if you were a Republican running for office in Kentucky, you might was well write off the Courier-Journal and Times, because unless you were John Sherman Cooper, you weren't going to get an endorsement. That has changed  in the last few years, and we have even endorsed people like Gene Snyder, who is the extremely conservative Congressman from our neighboring district, and a man with whom I have very, very few philosophical agreements. But the problem with Gene Snyder is, usually he's 121:00running against somebody who is, would be incompetent if elected to office. Given the choice between a competent person with whom you disagree and an incompetent, I'll take the competent person every time. So we have endorsed, as I say, Gene Snyder - I guess two or three times -- we endorsed George Clark, a Republican for mayor, in the last mayoral election. We endorsed Mitch McConnell for County Judge, a Republican. And I don't want to get the picture across that we are doing nothing but endorsing Republicans, but we have broken the record, the purely Democratic record of endorsements in this company, in the last few years. I think that that is the subject of some resentment on the part of a fair number of people. For one, Democrats. I think the people in the Democratic Party took the newspapers for granted, and once the newspapers stopped endorsing Democrats across the board, they were upset with it. And the other is that there are some members of the family who don't necessarily feel that these are all the 122:00best decisions, and one of them happened to be my sister Sallie, who wrote a letter to the editor saying that despite the newspaper's endorsement of George Clark, Harvey Sloane was clearly the better candidate, and that she just didn't think the newspaper was right. So that was one controversy. Then another controversy was over our conflict of interest guidelines, where she was involved in a committee which was supporting the school tax, which was on the ballot last time around and which was in conflict with out guidelines around involving ourself in political activities or controversial activities. Again, she wrote a letter to the editor saying this is a subject for the board of directors to decide. Well, leaving aside the niceties of whether that's correct or not, I think the point I want to make is that I try not to suppress dissent, and I think the newspapers have a pretty good history of not suppressing dissent. When 123:00Weldon James, who was an editorial writer here, left the newspapers - and this was in a disagreement largely with my father over the way we covered, editorially, the way we dealt with the war in Vietnam, he took a large part of the op ed page and wrote a blistering piece about how you can't play Hamlet with the war in Vietnam. So the tradition, the family tradition is there before I came along, and all I can say is that members of the family exercise it as much as anyone else. 

BOBO: Well, I think this again is what makes this newspaper what it is. 

BINGHAM: Mm-hmm.

BOBO: And this is what has come out in everything that I have done this year. I've had people tell me that never, in all the years in working with the paper, were they told not to write something. 

BINGHAM: Well, I'm glad to hear that. 

BOBO: Which, you know, I think reinforces what you're saying. That there was no, as you said obviously you're not going to libel people and this type of 124:00thing, but there were no fetters on [?] -- 


BOBO:  -- as what they were to believe or what they were to write -- 

BINGHAM: Well, there's a lot of disreputable journalism in this country, and it's -- being in this business it embarrasses me -- but even a newspaper as fine as the New York Times, when Punch Sulzberger that published the New York Times was charged in a paternity suit, the New York Times didn't carry the story. it was carried by the New York Post and the New York Daily News. Since there were competing newspapers there, you could get it somewhere else. Well, my feeling is that didn't do anything for the New York Times. Now maybe the paternity suit was completely spurious and maybe there was absolutely no ground for it. In fact, 125:00I'm inclined to think that was. But if somebody filed a suit like that against me, it would be in the newspaper. Because that's where it ought to be. I just don't think that a matter of record like that should happen without the newspaper covering it. And if it's the publisher whose ox is being gored, then it's going to get gored just like anyone else's. 

BOBO: Again, this is a historical thing. 


BOBO: For example, when Mark Etheridge I believe  -- 

BINGHAM: The drunk driving --

BOBO: -- was arrested for drunk driving -- 

BINGHAM: Exactly. And it was in the newspaper. And it should have been. 

BOBO: I can't remember. It seems like there was a story on Henry Watterson that he published something on himself. Right this minute, it escapes my mind, but

BINGHAM: It may well have been. Well, I have had two. just while we're on the record, I've had two in the newspaper, even though I didn't bring them with me, even though I carry them in my pocket all the time. One was when I was arrested for shooting dove over a baited field, and that was in the newspaper, and the other was when I made a right turn on a red light and was arrested. This was before it was legal. Both of those got in the newspaper. And you can say, "Well, those are minor events," and indeed they are. But my feeling is that anybody, 126:00somebody gets arrested for some driving infraction, they call me up and say, "Keep it out of the newspaper," I can say, "Well, wait just a second, let me recite to you the time that I did that, and my name was in the newspaper." And that pretty well takes care of the argument.


BOBO: We cannot stop without mentioning Standard Gravure. 


BOBO: And your recent [pact?] with the unions -


BOBO: Most of this, of course is in the paper for all of us to read, but I would like to have your feeling, when it looked like it was not going to work out, and then of course, how you felt when things were worked out with the unions as far as then to take part in profit-sharing and -- 


BOBO: -- and to review the plan, I believe, in three years. Is this correct?

BINGHAM: Well, it's a five-year wage freeze moratorium, in which there, during which time there will be no wage increases for the unionized departments of Standard Gravure. In the interval period there will be profit-sharing. In other words, if the company is successful and if we're profitable, we are going to 127:00share the profits 50-50 with the union membership. So there is the opportunity for them to get more income. We devised this proposal because Standard Gravure was in deep, deep trouble. Their average salaries in the unionized departments were above $12 - $12.76 I think was the exact figure. Competitors who were taking business away from us had salaries that were about $7 an hour. I'm talking about hourly salaries here. And we realized that without presenting to the union some way of holding down salaries until there's some parity between us and them, we were just going to lose business, because people don't print with you because you cost more, they print with you because you cost less. So we made the presentation to the unions. The initial response was chilly at best. In fact, chilly is a charitable word. It was resentful. And we then went through several months of continuing to explain the problem and to point out that if they didn't accept this, we'd continue printing as long as there was any customer that wanted to print with us, but the future of Standard Gravure would be very limited, and that we could foresee the company going out of business in a matter of years. Let's say two to five years. Finally, the unions, one by one, bought this. It started off with the mailers and then later went on to the pressmen and so on. The last union to hold out was the Teamsters union, which 128:00ironically is the smallest here in the plant. I think they only had 15 employees, or twenty. They were the last ones to hold out and by far the most difficult for us to gather in under this agreement. But finally, when they signed the agreement, and we had all of them on board, I think it was like, it was just a rejuvenation. Because it gave Standard Gravure the opportunity then to purchase $12 million worth of equipment to modernize the plant, knowing that we were going to be in business not just for two or three years, but for a long period of time, because we could be cost competitive. it was one of the -- Louisville has had a succession of black eyes in the labor business, and just 129:00today I heard that Anaconda is moving its headquarters out of the city of Louisville. Another tragedy for the city of Louisville. And yet, Standard Gravure was able to pull off a salvation in the middle of this long string of problems that the community has had, Standard Gravure is one of the bright lights. I'm just delighted that I was able to be in volved in it, and that it did indeed work out. 

BOBO: Well, I'm going to let you go for today. 

BINGHAM:: Okay [laughs]

BOBO: I'm not promising that I won't ask you to --

BINGHAM: Alright. 

BOBO: -- do something again in the future. As you know I will be finishing up most of the interviews for the project this summer. If at some time, after I have finished them all, if maybe you and I could have a wrap-up session perhaps?

BINGHAM: Be happy. 

BOBO: A short session on some of the things that have come out, particularly that deal with your years here. 


BOBO: That would be very nice. Well on behalf of your own foundation, the Bingham Foundation, University of Louisville, and the Kentucky Oral History Commission, I'd like to thank you for taking part in this today, and I feel that we've put down some things that are important for the record. Thank you. 

BINGHAM: Thank you Mary, I've enjoyed it. 

[Recording stops, starts again]

BOBO: This is Mary Bobo. At the end of side 1 of tape 2, it was agreed that an addendum would be added to tape 3, concerning the number of minority 130:00professionals hired by the Courier-Journal and Times. This information was sent to me by Barry Bingham Jr. 

The Courier-Journal and Times news staffs and photography departments, as of 6-1-81, employed 14 minority professionals in news, 5.9%. On the date of 6-29-82, there were 19 minority professionals in news, or 8%. This is almost double to where the news was less than two years ago. 

This is the end of this addendum. This is Mary Bobo. 

[End of interview]