After linking to a piece about “impossible and brilliant” boss Meg Greenfield, I heard from Seattle Times investigative reporter Michael Berens. He wrote:
“Saw your link to the wonderful WaPo opinion story today about a tough editor, Coincidentally, I posted this 1984 mag cover from the Columbus Monthly magazine which voted my first editor, Bernie Karsko, as toughest SOB in town, from the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. I was a police beat reporter at the time.”
On Facebook, Berens described the city editor:
He believed a “special project” should take two hours instead of one. And, yes, he always chomped on an unlit cigar in the newsroom. He once sent me back to a house fire scene because I didn’t know the name of the dog. I learned never to come back to the newsroom without the name of a pet.
Debra Mason of Religion News Service added in comments: “He made me cry in January 1986 after the Challenger disaster, when I was sent out to get public reaction and I felt like a heel asking people and so I had lousy quotes. First and last time he made me cry, though.”
Berens continued in his email: “With the avalanche of coverage re: Abramsom and the recent eulogies of Arthur Gelb, I think a lot of people are reminiscing about their first or most pivotal editor. Karsko was a trial by fire for a young cub like me. Survive him, survive anything.”