The next miracle (v11.1): Owen Youngman

Knight Professor of Digital Media Strategy, Medill / Northwestern

Owen YoungmanOwen YoungmanOwen Youngman

Sliding away

My brother Randy is a craftsman.

Randy Youngman

The younger Youngman

Randy started in the newspaper business the same way I did, as a high school sportswriter in Ashtabula, Ohio. “High school” in this case means a high school student writing about high school sports for a daily newspaper, the Ashtabula Star-Beacon. When I left for North Park College in 1971, Randy took over the job I had filled since 1969 and stayed at until he came to North Park in 1973.

Recently, what had been a brand-new printing press at the Star-Beacon – it was installed just months before I started working there – stopped running for the last time. It was halted by the current economics of the news business; the Star-Beacon is still publishing, but the current owners determined it would be more efficient to outsource their printing to a newspaper in nearby Warren. (The elegiac story about the last call for this particular piece of big iron is heartwarming and sad at once, and quotes people I know who were still working there. Those people, too, are craftsmen.)

For more than 25 years, the younger Youngman, as I am wont to call him, has been writing a sports column for the Orange County Register, where his career as a baseball writer had taken him in 1984. Along the way, he covered sports for the St. Petersburg Times, the Orlando Sentinel, the (late lamented) Baltimore News American, and the (late lamented) Dallas Times Herald. He has been in the business for 40 years.

Would have been. Like the aforementioned press in Ashtabula, the current economics of the news business caught up to him yesterday. The Register is still publishing, but the current owners determined he was among around 10 employees whose services it no longer required.

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