Birthdays for Thursday, Oct. 23

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to four wonderful visual journalists…


Justin Best is a photo editor for Microsoft’s Filter in Bellevue, Wash. A 1998 graduate of the University of Florida, Justin served as a photographer and photo editor for the student paper there, the Independent Alligator. He interned at the Gainesville Sun, the Miami Herald and the Baton Rouge, La., Advocate before signing on with the Everett, Wash., Daily Herald as an intern and then a full-time photographer. He spent five years as a shooter and then nine years as director of photography and graphics before departing for Microsoft in 2013. Find his portfolio here. Justin turns 40 today.


Daudi Msseemmaa is regional coordinator for Convoy of Hope in Arusha, Tanzania, which operates programs in women’s empowerment, feeding, agriculture and disaster response in Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia. A 2004 graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Daudi served as graphics editor of the school’s student paper, the Daily Egyptian. He spent a summer fellowship at the Poynter Institute before joining the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2005 as a designer. He lived in Tanzania from 2006 to 2009 and then joined the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader in 2010. In 2011, he was named a senior designer at Gannett’s Asbury Park Design Studio in Neptune, N.J. He moved back to Africa in 2012. Find Daudi’s Twitter feed here.


Jim Parkinson is a typography designer and consultant, especially noted for design and redesign of newspaper nameplates. A 1963 graduate of the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, Jim spent several years working for Hallmark cards of Kansas City, Mo., before moving to San Francisco to design for rock bands including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Kansas, the Doobie Brothers and, eventually, Rolling Stone magazine. He worked for the San Francisco Chronicle but has spent most of the past two decades designing nameplates, typefaces and such from his studio in Oakland. Find his web site here.


Clay Sisk is a designer for the Gannett Design Studio in Louisville, Ky. Previously, Clay worked with the Times Record News of Wichita Falls before moving to the Fort Myers, Fla., News-Press in 2008. He moved to Louisville in 2011. Clay has sold free-lance work to clients such as Innovative Kids, Disney magazine and Southwest Airlines. Find his NewsPageDesigner portfolio here, his portfolio site here and his short films here. Clay turns 40 today.

Daudi, Justin, Clay and Jim share a birthday with actors Ryan Rodney Reynolds, Amandla Stenberg and Frank Sutton; musicians Dwight David Yoakam and Eleanor Louise “Ellie” Greenwich; TV personalities Grant Masaru Imahara of Mythbusters, Catherine Elizabeth “Cat” Deeley of So You Think You Can Dance, Greta Brawner of C-SPAN, Sanjay Gupta and Nancy Ann Grace of CNN and John William “Johnny” Carson; directors Ang Lee, Philip Kaufman and Samuel Marshall “Sam” Raimi; model Maria Izabel Goulart Dourado; Philadelphia mayor Francis Lazarro “Frank” Rizzo; meteorologist Tetsuya Theodore “Ted” Fujita; sports greats Alois Terry “Al” Leiter, James Paul David “Jim” Bunning, John Derran Lackey (all three baseball), Juan Antonio “Chi-Chi” Rodr‪í‬guez, John William Heisman, Douglas Richard “Doug” Flutie (both football) and Edison Arantes do Nascimento (better known as Pelé)(soccer); “the Last Lecture” professor Randolph Frederick “Randy” Pausch; comedian Alfred Matthew “Weird Al” Yankovic and writer John Michael Crichton.

In addition, today is National Mole Day, National Pharmacy Technician Day, TV Talk Show Day and iPod Day. Seriously.

Have a terrific birthday, folks! Best wishes!

A look at Wednesday’s World Series pages

Last night, the San Francisco Giants clobbered the Kansas City Royals 7-1 in Game One of the World Series in Kansas City.

It was the first post-season loss for the Royals this season. Their winning streak is halted at eight games.

Circulation: 200,365

Down 4-0 in the 4th inning, the Royals yanked starter James Shields. Star staffer John Sleezer made the picture that was used on today’s front page.


That page was designed by Charles Gooch.

Sleezer also shot this picture of third baseman Mike Moustakas, just after his strikeout in the 5th inning.


That page was designed by Bob Merrick and Neil Nakahodo.

Charles tells us:

We’ve been putting together a special section (usually 10-12 pages) after the games. Tonight, it was a herculean 18-page section. Our sports department really did a fantastic job throwing it together.

The Star has been running a full page photo inside after every playoff game. Today’s picture by staffer Keith Myers is of the pregame festivities at Kauffman Stadium last night.


That, too, was designed by Neil Nakahodo.

Circulation: 229,176

The Giants got off to a fast start last night with a two-run homer by right fielder Hunter Pence in the very first inning. Chronicle staffer Michael Macor got the shot for page one.


That Chronicle page is from the Newseum. Of course.

UPDATE – 8:15 p.m. PDT

And here is today’s sports front.


That lead photo is by staffer Carlos Avila Gonzalez.

This means, of course, the Giants lead the best-of-seven series, 1-0. They’ll play again tonight at 8 p.m. ET — or 5 p.m. here on the West Coast. The World Series is televised by Fox Sports.

The series will take Thursday off and then resume Friday in San Francisco.

Birthdays for Wednesday, Oct. 22

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to five excellent visual journalists…


David Downham is a production designer for Angie’s List in Indianapolis, Ind. A 2011 graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., David interned at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and at the Oklahoman of Oklahoma City before signing on as a designer at the Gannett Design Studio in Nashville. In 2012, he moved back to the Oklahoman and then moved again to Indy last year. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here. David turns 26 today.


Kathryn Esplin is a writer and copy editor with Demand Media and working out of Boston, Mass. A 1975 graduate of McGill University, Kathryn earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University in 1983 and then spent six years as a reporter, features editor and senior editor for Digital News Media of Boston. She’s worked in a number of editorial-type positions ever since. She started work for Demand in 2010.


Jaedda Hall is internship program coordinator for NASA Langley Research Center and a graduate assistant and resume coach at Regent University in Virginia Beach. A 2009 graduate of Norfolk State University, Jaedda spent more than two years as editor-in-chief for the school’s student paper, the Spartan Echo. She spent six months as an intern with the Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau and three years working as an intern and then a full-time reporter with the Virginian-Pilot. She spent a year working in placement services at Howard University in Washington, D.C. In 2011, she became a career coach at the Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads in Virginia Beach. She moved over to Regent last summer and then went to work for NASA two months ago. Find Jaedda’s personal web site here.


Vince Lara-Cinisomo is web editor for Baseball America and feedback editor for the Bleacher Report, working out of Chapel Hill, N.C. A 2003 graduate of St. Francis College in Brooklyn, Vince was assistant managing editor of the Pittsburgh Business Times before joining the Sporting News in Charlotte, N.C., as assistant managing editor. 2008. He left the Sporting News in 2012, moved to Chapel Hill and has done work for Yahoo and, as well as the Silicon Valley Business Journal. He set out on his current gigs a year ago. Find his Twitter feed here. Vince turns 46 today


Melissa Umbarger is niche publications editor for the News & Record of Greensboro, N.C. A 2001 graduate of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., Melissa spent two years as a copy editor for the Daily Press of Newport News., Va. before joining the News & Record in 2003 as a copy editor. She was promoted to her current position last fall. She also worked as a freelance reporter and copy editor, writing city profiles for the in-flight magazines for US Airways and Delta. Find her Twitter feed here.

David, Kathryn, Jaedda, Melissa and Vince share a birthday with actors Annette Joanne Funicello, Jeffrey Lynn “Jeff” Goldblum, Jonathan William Lipnicki, Christopher Allen Lloyd, Jay Johnston, Robert “Bob” Odenkirk, Joan de Veauvoir de Havilland (better known as Joan Fontaine) and Jerome Lester “Jerry” Horwitz (better known as Curly Howard of the Three Stooges); musicians Orville Richard Burrell (better known as Shaggy), Zachary Walker “Zac” Hanson, Wesley Stace (better known as John Wesley Harding) and Franz Liszt; director Adam Spiegel (better known as Spike Jonze); psychologist and LSD guru Timothy Francis Leary; spiritualist Deepak Chopra; attempted presidential assassin Lynette Alice “Squeaky” Fromme; Italian chef Ettore “Hector” Boiardi (better known as Chef Boyardee); sports greats Brian Anthony Boitano (skating), Ichiro Suzuki, Robinson José Canó Mercedes (both baseball) and Earl Heath Miller Jr. (football) and painter Newell Convers Wyeth.

In addition, today is National Nut Day, Smart Is Cool Day, Medical Assistants Recognition Day, International Stuttering Awareness Day and CAPS LOCK DAY. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a wonderful birthday!

Charles Apple named managing editor/visuals of the Victoria Advocate

Today, I have an announcement of my own: I’m leaving my job as Focus page editor of the Orange County Register and moving to Texas.


Starting in early December, I’ll be managing editor for visuals of the Victoria Advocate — a paper I’ve admired greatly and about which I’ve written often, here in the blog.

Monday, Advocate editor Chris Cobler announced to his staff:

I’m delighted to announce that Charles Apple will be joining our team as managing editor/visuals.

As an industry leader in newspaper design, Charles needs little introduction, but I’ll briefly summarize his wide range of experience: Early in his career, he was a sports stringer for the Rock Hill (S.C.) Evening Herald and later became a graphic artist there. His remarkable work led him to similar positions at the Raleigh, N.C., News & Observer, the Chicago Tribune and Des Moines Register.

He served for five years as graphics director of the Virginian Pilot until the recession hit in 2008. From there, he further enhanced his national reputation as an international consultant and through his blog, which is a must-read for all newspaper designers…

To bring in a journalist of this caliber, [managing editor] Becky, [design director] Kiko and I discussed how best to structure the newsroom. Through those conversations, we landed on the title of managing editor/visuals… Becky’s title will be adjusted slightly to managing editor/content, but her job description remains unchanged, except that she obviously will be working closely with Charles on the visual aspect of our content.

You might be wondering why Charles would come to a smaller newspaper like the Victoria Advocate from his current position as Focus editor at the Orange County (Calif.) Register. As many of you know, Charles has been a huge fan of the creative work we have done at the Advocate for many years, and that’s how he and I first became acquainted. With the turmoil in the industry, Charles believes community newspapers like the Advocate are the future and appreciates, as I do, the family ownership here.

His first day is set for Dec. 1. He and his wife, Sharon, will be in Victoria Oct. 29-Nov. 2 on an apartment-hunting expedition.

As exciting as my new job sounds, please understand: I leave California with a great deal of sadness. I love my colleagues at the Register and my editors have been very kind to me. Focus page editor has been the most fun job I’ve ever had.

In addition, my daughter and I just love California.


Some of you know I have occasional health issues with asthma, allergies and the like. I’ve never breathed better than I have here in Orange County. I imagine I’ll be allergic to every other molecule in the air in Texas, just as I was in Virginia, Iowa, Illinois, North Carolina and the rest.

Sadly, my wife, Sharon, never made the move to California. She came to see us a couple of times, but she lingered a bit in Atlanta to help deal with family matters.


But, sadly, it’s time for us to move on. I’m just lucky I have a top-notch outfit like the Advocate — and a top-notch editor like Chris — who’s willing to provide me with a new professional challenge.

The Advocate is a family-owned daily that circulates an average of 26,531 papers on weekdays. The city is about two hours from San Antonio, two hours from Houston, two hours from Austin and two hours from Corpus Christi. It’s maybe 30 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico.


Victoria is a gorgeous little city with deep historical roots. You guys know how much I love history. I was completely charmed by the place during my visit there several weeks ago.


The whole small-town, family thing was driven home — almost literally — when my mom drove down from her place in Fort Worth and crashed my interview.


The Advocate likes to surprise and delight its readers as often as possible. As Chris notes, I’ve blogged about the paper frequently over the years.

The plan is for me to continue building Focus pages here in Southern California through Thanksgiving. We plan to move over the holiday.

Chris covered the standard biographical info above, so let’s skip that this time. If you feel compelled to see more details about my career, read this item I posted 20 months ago, when I moved to the west coast.

A great way to sample some of my work here in California would be to read about the two-day Focus page series on the Beach Boys I did back in June.


Or, you can check out my gallery at NewsPageDesigner. I’m several months behind in posting my work, but you’ll definitely get the idea.

Before I got into teaching, I spent several years as a graphics reporter, artist and editor. One of my favorite battle stories is the work my staff did covering the tragic loss of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003.


Read more about that here.

Before I got into management, I was known for my work as a graphic artist. This was the assignment that really took my career to the next level.


That ran in May 1995.

Not only did I design and draw that page, I also researched and wrote it. I was also known for my work reporting graphics for breaking news stories.

More recently, I’ve done a bit of freelance graphic work. One of my most successful projects has been a big election grid that I originally built in 2000 and have updated for every presidential election cycle since.


In 2012, I sold the graphic to 36 newspapers around the country. Read about that project here.

Chris mentioned I’ve done teaching and consulting work internationally. That’s true: I’ve been to the Philippines, Nigeria (below), Kenya and especially South Africa.


If you put my six trips to South Africa together, it would total more than nine months.

My very first overseas assignment, however, was to England. And the whole thing was a bit of a fluke. I recently wrote about that here.

When I travel, I blog about my adventures. Here’s a sample from my time in Nigeria in March of 2012…


…and here’s my final dispatch from Nairobi (above) in August of that same year.

The last time I was on Johannesburg, it snowed. And it never snows there.


In addition to work, I also manage to get in a little fun from time to time. One time, I went to a nature preserve and got to watch them feed the kitties.


When I’m in Cape Town, I like to drive around and take in the scenery.


Or I’ll just watch the mountain. Table mountain is just incredible.

So I’m looking forward to moving to Texas and I’m looking forward to getting back into teaching+mentoring mode.

This is gonna be fun. Stay tuned.