1 Herald Plaza

Isenbergh filed an age-discrimination complaint with the EEOC in early 1991 and several months later took his case to federal court. His attorney, William R. Amlong, says Knight-Ridder never offered him the chance to apply for another sales management job within the corporation at similar pay, in accordance with Knight-Ridder policy. Instead he was offered a position under the supervision of the man who replaced him, suffering an earnings loss of some 30 percent in the process. Worried that he would lose his health benefits (he suffers from congestive heart failure), Isenbergh took early retirement.

"What I love about Knight-Ridder," says attorney Amlong, himself a Herald reporter for eighteen years, "is we have this unbelievable feigned sincerity with all these humanitarian awards, but when you work there and you get old, they throw you on the trash heap."

It's not every day that Herald executive editor Doug Clifton meets with the entire Broward editorial team. So when Clifton visited the Hollywood bureau to announce a personnel change in August, staffers pelted him with questions aimed at making the northern edition more competitive with the hometown daily, the Sun-Sentinel. For more than an hour they discussed possible improvements, from installing new equipment to adding staff. But when the discussion turned to marketing the paper, Clifton grew a bit impatient. So impatient, he admits, that he dismissed reporter Scott Higham as "an asshole" for deigning to address the promotion end of the business.

Though Clifton insists he made the comment in jest, word of the verbal spanking spread quickly; Clifton himself knew he was in Dutch before he even made it back to Miami. "I called the office on my car phone, and they told me messages were already buzzing back and forth," recalls the editor, who quickly made amends with Higham and sent out a formal apology to all staffers on the Broward edition's computer newsletter system.

Higham swears the slight was no big deal. "Doug's remark was intended as a joke to break up the debate," the investigative reporter says. "Doug and I have put it behind us. So should everyone else."

But other staffers say one sure reason the comment was received so poorly is the widely held feeling that the Broward staff A who, unlike their Dade brethren, compete with another daily A are treated like second-class citizens by Herald management. "That may be a sentiment in some people," reflects Clifton, who began his career with the Herald in Broward. "But that's a phenomenon wherever you have a satellite office. Some people feel not whole unless they work in the main office."

Good news for Hulkaholics! The major growth industry at the Herald is professional wrestling. Certainly it's been good news for Alex Marvez, the paper's pro-wrestling-beat writer. Marvez, 22 years old, penned his first pro wrestling feature back in 1989. The response was so great he began a biweekly column. Within months the column was running weekly. Now Marvez is the first Herald writer with his very own 900 telephone line dedicated to...you guessed it.

The service is the newest of several caller-paid phone lines the paper has launched in an attempt to tap the lucrative 900 market. "There was a market for information we couldn't provide in the column," notes executive sports editor Paul Anger. "Some people's appetite for wrestling news is virtually insatiable."

That's fortunate for Marvez, an industrious reporter who started with the Herald as a high school intern. He'll be sharing with the paper proceeds from the line, which costs $2.85 for a three-minute call. Although the phone company will take a bite out of the gross revenue, Marvez expects to pick up a cool couple of hundred bucks extra every month, minimum. (The service received 90 calls the first week alone.) "With my contacts, it only takes me ten minutes of calling to update the line," chirps Marvez, who owns a personal library of 300 wrestling tapes. "But to tell you the truth, I'm not in this for the money. It's a service for wrestling fans."

And just what can fans expect for their three bucks? Here's a sampling from a recent message:

"The biggest news this week comes from the World Wrestling Federation. Intercontinental champion Shawn Michaels has left the promotion for undisclosed reasons. The WWF also has suspended several wrestlers. Matt Borne, who plays Doink the Clown, was suspended from wrestling in live shows for two months, also for undisclosed reasons. Borne will still appear on WWF television tapings. However, Steve Lombardi is taking Borne's place as Doink on live WWF shows.

"The highlight of this week's Monday Night Raw show saw Scott Steiner defeat Pierre of the Quebecers with a Frankensteiner. That victory was supposed to give the Steiners a rematch with the Quebecers for the WWF tag-team title, but with the Steiners' status uncertain, that match may never take place.

"And finally, Jim Cornette has become the new commissioner of Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Cornette brought in Terry Funk to wrestle Bob Armstrong to see who becomes the new SMW commissioner. Funk won the match after hitting Armstrong three times with his branding iron."

"1 Herald Plaza" is open for business and is accepting all tips, rumors, internal memos, confidential documents, et cetera. Anonymity guaranteed! Call the editors or a staff writer at 372-0004. Fax: 372-3446.

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