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The KOLO team you know and trust has undergone some staff changes in the past month. Some staffers, like Jean Casarez, have made incredible career leaps. Others were not so lucky. On Jan. 1, Terry Cole replaced Tim Perry as general manager and Matt James replaced Brad Brokaw as news director (see RN&R, “Pay per news,” Aug. 8, 2002). Cole says his first efforts will be to modernize the station.

“Our plans are that we are trying to make things better,” Cole says. “We are trying to update our equipment. There are no plans for changes in personnel.”

But there already have been a few minor changes. For example, Amanda Sanchez has taken her sunny personality from weekend weather to weekday morning reporting. And Dick Stoddard is doing the weekend forecast. There are plans to bring in new faces but no word yet on whose they will be.

Anchorwoman and reporter Jean Casarez left Channel 8 back in mid-December, as did reporter and sports anchorman Henry Wofford. Wofford moved to Grand Rapids, Mich., where he became sports director for WZZM 13 on Jan. 6. Casarez moved to New York and debuted as a Court TV anchorwoman and correspondent on Jan. 29.

“I love Reno, I love Channel 8, and I never had an intention to leave,” Casarez says. “But Court TV saw my work and they flew me out to New York for an interview.”

Of the three finalists up for the anchor position back in October, two already lived in New York, so she didn’t expect to get the job. When they called, she was ecstatic.

“This is a dream,” she says. “This is national news. I will be going around the country covering high-profile trials. On Monday [Feb. 3] there is a trial beginning in Montana … a 37-year-old murder case. … [Court TV] has offered to fly me to Reno for the weekends. My husband is still in Reno, but he will be joining me in New York mid-year.”

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Posted inDennis Myers Memorial

Media

Spying on the patriot
Antiwar leader John Kerry was followed by the FBI during two Nevada appearances in the 1970s.

The revelation about the apparent Democratic presidential nominee came in a long report by Gerald Nicosia in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times.

Nicosia described the contents of FBI files on Kerry that he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. He received about 20,000 pages, most of which he had not reviewed until Kerry became the Democratic frontrunner. However, his report may not cover all the information on Kerry in FBI files, since on March 26, he filed a police report on a burglary of his Marin County home in which the only thing taken was three of 14 boxes of Kerry files.

Nicosia began the Times piece, “Arguably the most telling piece of information in the FBI files on Sen. John F. Kerry is his speech at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Sept. 30, 1971. He was at the height of his success as a spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War, a motley, grass-roots group of about 20,000 war veterans trying to bring an immediate end to the Vietnam war. Although the peace movement comprised hundreds of groups, this veterans’ organization caught the nation’s attention that year with a series of actions in Washington, D.C.

“Millions watched televised images of long-haired, angry veterans in fatigues, many bearing scars or missing limbs, throwing their medals over a wire-mesh fence at the Capitol … The Kerry who emerges from those files is a man less guarded than the candidate we know today—a man experiencing a visible conflict between head and heart. ‘My 10 years of political consciousness in America is very wrapped up in gravestones,’ he told the 200 students at the Las Vegas campus. ‘These are the gravestones of John and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, the Kent State students, the men of Attica, and the other 53,000 brothers in Vietnam.’”

Nicosia is author of the widely praised Home To War, a history of the Vietnam veterans movement.

In the Times piece, Nicosia describes Kerry as a moderating force in the VVAW, steering it away from violence and even earning grudging praise from the FBI agents who filled out the reports. Kerry was also capable of harsh criticism of inequities in U.S. society. In a Reno appearance, Kerry said, “The United States has become a society based on whose ox is being gored.”

Nicosia’s report on the FBI files quickly shot around the Internet. It was posted on literary agent Lucianne Goldberg’s Web page. (Goldberg was a key figure in the Watergate and Lewinsky presidential scandals.) It also appeared on pages hosted by veterans on both sides of the Vietnam question and was discussed on message boards and Web logs.

The Times report also says Kerry raised $50,000 in a meeting with Seagram CEO Edgar Bronfman, RFK aide Adam Walinsky, Abe Feinberg, and others. The money was raised to help low-income veterans travel to the Washington protests. Feinberg, a rabbi and author (Hanoi Diary, Sex and the Pulpit), who once recorded a song with John Lennon, was a familiar figure on the UNR campus until his death in Reno on Oct. 5, 1986.

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Dennis Myers

Dennis Myers was the news editor of the Reno News & Review. He was a journalist for more than four decades. In 1987-88 he was chief deputy secretary of state of Nevada. He was coauthor of Uniquely...