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MediaWatch: February 1989

Vol. Three No. 2

Revolving Door: No Longer Speaking for the Speaker

No Longer Speaking for the Speaker. Charmayne Marsh, Press Secretary to House Speaker Jim Wright for the past eight years, resigned at the end of last year. Marsh began her journalism career in 1966 as a UPI Washington reporter moving on to Washington bureau positions with Reuters and the Dallas Morning News. Her departure, however, does not leave Wright without experienced media hands. Chief Press Officer George Mair once worked for CBS News and Wilson Morris, Information Director for the Wright controlled House Democratic Steering Committee, reported for The Washington Post from 1972 to 1978.

From Carter to Nightline. A few months ago ABC News promoted Deborah Leff, a Nightline producer in Washington, to Senior Producer in London for the show. Leff worked as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice from 1977 to 1979 before Carter named her Director of Public Affairs for the Federal Trade Commission where she served until 1981.

Bingaman's Man. Veteran broadcast news producer Charles Woolsey, most recently Executive Producer of News at KOB-TV, the NBC affiliate in Albuquerque, has just become Director of Communications for Senator Jeff Bingaman, a liberal Democrat representing New Mexico. Beginning in 1968, Woolsey held a variety of Washington-based field producer positions with NBC and ABC News. He ended his network career in 1983 as Special Projects Producer for Good Morning America and World News Tonight. That year he became Assistant News Director at WTTG-TV in Washington, jumping to competing WRC-TV two years later where he remained until heading West in 1986.

Time's Cover Writer. "The Silver Fox," Barbara Bush, graced the January 23 Time cover. Senior Writer Margaret Carlson penned the inside profile piece on the new First Lady. In his "From the Publisher" column Robert Miller noted that in 1974, "under the inspiration of consumer advocate Ralph Nader," Carlson wrote a book on car repair. But Miller didn't tell readers Carlson was a Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission during the Carter years.

Back on the Hill. In 1966 Wes Pippert became a Congressional fellow in the office of U.S. Representative Morris Udall, a liberal Democrat. Now, 23 years later and after 30 years of reporting everywhere from Bismarck, North Dakota to Jerusalem for UPI, he's back on Capitol Hill. This time, however, he's working for Republican Paul Henry. Pippert is putting in a six month stint handling public affairs and policy development for the Michigan moderate.

Bush Brigade. A couple of Bush Administration members already in place bring media experience to their new roles. White House Personnel Director Chase Untermeyer was a Houston Chronicle political reporter from 1972 to 1974....The Office of the First Lady has appointed Jean Becker, a USA Today reporter since 1985, as one of two Deputy Press Secretaries.