Time to buy your 2016 calendar

Instead of going down to the local chain bookstore and buying whatever crappy calendars they’ll have on sale after Christmas, why not get something gorgeous and made just for we media types?

Since 2002, Scott Fybush — a broadcast consultant and the guy behind of Northeast Radio Watch — has sold calendars featuring scenic views of broadcast towers.


The calendar is a high-quality publication, with coil binding and pictures from Scott’s own collection. Among the towers in this year’s edition:

  • WWV and WWVB in Fort Collins, Colo.
  • WIOD in Miami
  • South Mountain near Phoenix
  • KWAC of Bakersfield, Calif.
  • WABC of Lodi, N.J.
  • And the giant tower atop the Empire State Building.

And six more, of course. Scott also includes anniversaries of significant dates in broadcast history.

The 2016 Tower Site Calendar is just $19 plus $3.50 for first class shipping or $6.50 shipping for priority mail. Order them here.


A 1992 graduate of Boston’s Brandeis University, Scott worked as a reporter for WCAP in Lowell, Mass., WBZ in Boston, R News in Rochester and WXXI, also in Rochester. In addition to his freelance work, he edits radio trade publications such as the Radio Journal, NorthEast Radio Watch and 100000watts.com.

Find his Fybush Media web site here and his Twitter feed here.

Birthdays for Monday, Dec. 21

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


Esther Kim Cotton is an office manager for an optometrist in Sacramento, Calif., and a digital film producer. She graduated in 2013 from the Art Institute of California at Sacramento. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here.


Eric Palm is an e-commerce sales and service agent for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. A 1996 graduate of Auburn University, Eric worked as copy desk chief of the Opelika-Auburn News and as a copy editor for the St. Petersburg Times before moving to the News & Observer of Raleigh as a designer and copy editor in 1999. He moved to the Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner in 2002, to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in 2003 and then to the New York Times in 2005 before settling in at the Orlando Sentinel in 2006. After the Sentinel laid him off, Eric worked as a freelance designer and videographer while earning an Associate Degree in digital media at Valencia Community College. After a year as a senior illustrator with Lockheed Martin, Eric moved to Disney in 2012 as an enterprise digital media design and communications associate for social media. He moved into his current position in 2013. Find his Twitter feed here. Eric turns 42 today.


Don Tate is a children’s book illustrator based in Austin, Texas. A 1984 graduate of Des Moines (Iowa) Area Community College, Don had been working at the Des Moines Register for nearly two years when I became graphics editor there in April 1999. Shortly before the end of that year, he left for Austin. Don spent about 12 years as a news artist for the Austin American-Statesman, but his job was phased out in Cox Newspaper’s editing and design hub transition. He left the newspaper in 2012. Don’s illustrated more than 40 books — most recently, The Cart that Carried Martin by Eve Bunting (August 2013) and The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton (April 2015).


In 2012, Don’s first book as an author — It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie — was published. Read more about it here and here.


His second was released in September — Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton. Don wrote and illustrated that one. It was written with the assistance of a grant by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Find Don’s personal web site here, his blog here and his Twitter feed here. Find his Facebook fan page here. Don turns 52 today.


Amy Waters Yarsinske is author of 56 books, most involving history, biography or current events and many having to do with the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. Her most recent: An American in the Basement: The Betrayal of Captain Scott Speicher and the Cover-up of his Death, published in July 2013.


A 1985 graduate of Randolph-Macon Women’s College in Georgia, Amy earned a master’s degree at the University of Virginia in 1988. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here.

Eric, Esther, Don and Amy share a birthday with actors Samuel Leroy Jackson, Kiefer William Fredrick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland, Andrew Ryan “Andy” Dick, Raymond Albert “Ray” Romano, Jane Frances Kaczamrek, Jack Noseworthy Jr., Paul Winchell and Jane Fonda; musicians Carl Dean Wilson (of the Beach Boys), Nicholas George “Nick” Gilder and Frank Vincent Zappa; TV hosts Phillip John “Phil” Donahue and Alexandra Ann “Alex” McLeod; sports greats Florence DeLorez Griffith-Joyner (better known as track star as FloJo), Christine Marie “Chris” Evert (tennis), Walter Charles Hagen (golf), Joaquín Andújar, David Arthur “Dave” Kingman, Andrew James “Andy” Van Slyke (all three baseball), Michael Joseph Alstott (football), Adam Schefter (ESPN analyst) and Joseph Vincent “Joe” Paterno (football coach); movie producer Jeffrey Katzenberg; novelist Heinrich Theodor Böll; writer Cicely Isabel Fairfield (better known as Rebecca West), Founding Father Paul Revere and politicians Hu Jintao, Benjamin Disraeli and Kurt Josef Waldheim.

In addition to the Winter Solstice — which happens at 10:49 p.m. CST tonight — today is Celebrate Short Fiction Day, National Flash Light Day, Crossword Puzzle Day, Humbug Day and Global Orgasm Day. Seriously.

Have a terrific birthday, folks! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Sunday, Dec. 20

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


Garrett Evans is a designer for the Hill newspaper in Washington, D.C. A 2012 graduate of the University of Missouri, Garrett worked for the Columbia Missourian. He joined the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2013 and then moved to D.C. in 2014. Find his web site here and his NewsPageDesigner portfolio here. Garrett turns 26 today.


Jon Fisch is social media director for Q Nightclub in Seattle. A 2000 graduate of the University of North Dakota, Jon spent four years on the sports desk of the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald before joining the Charlotte Observer in 2001. He spent two years at the State in Columbia, S.C., and then four years at the Post-Dispatch of St. Louis before joining the Seattle Times in 2007. He was promoted to assistant sports editor in 2008 but was then laid off in 2012. He caught on quickly with MSN and was promoted to West Coast news editor later that fall. Jon started work for Q in 2013. He turns 39 today.


Jen McCaffery is associate editor at Rhode Island Monthly magazine. A 1994 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., Jen earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University in 1999. She spent six years as a staff reporter covering courts, heath and families for the Roanoke (Va.) Times before moving to a similar beat at sister paper the Virginian-Pilot in 2006. She moved back north in 2010 and worked as an editor for AOL’s Patch in East Providence, R.I. She joined Rhode Island Monthly in 2011. Find her Twitter feed here.


Nina Mehta is a designer for Pivotal Labs in San Francisco, Calif. A 2007 graduate of Indiana University, Nina interned for Amnesty International, Macrovision, the Indianapolis Star, software company RockMelt, Inc. and served as a Poynter Fellow. She returned to the Star upon graduation but was laid off a year later. She then returned to Indiana for grad school and to serve as assistant editor of Majority Report, a publication of that institution’s Office of Women’s Affairs. She spent her 2010 Christmas break traveling with a colleague in Botswana, observing how folks in emerging countries use computers and software. On her way home, she dropped by an old friend who was consulting in Johannesburg.


Nina earned her master’s degree in May 2011, spent time that summer working in Mountain View, Calif., Tokyo and San Francisco and started at Twilio later that year. She moved to her current position in 2013. Find Nina’s web site here, her blog here and her Twitter feed here. Nina turns the big three-oh today.


Josh Moore is a grad student at the American University College of Law in Washington, D.C. A 2011 graduate of Western Kentucky University, Josh served as editor-in-chief of the College Heights Herald. He spent three years as copy desk chief of the Messenger-Inquirer of Owensboro, Ky., before quitting in 2014 to return to school. He hopes to graduate in 2017.


Mandi Keown Peebles is a public relations specialist for Kruhu Branding, Design and Creative Agency in Augusta, Ga. A 2002 graduate of the College of Charleston, S.C., Mandi spent two years as a budget analyst for the S.C. House of Representatives before becoming an account executive for Ocozzio business consulting of Augusta. She also spent three years as director of communications and advocacy development for the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce. She joined Kruhu in 2011. She’s one of the few communications professionals I’ve ever run into from my tiny home town of McCormick, S.C. In fact, her stepfather is my own former stepfather (in South Carolina, if you’re not related, we’ll find a way to make you related). Find Mandi’s (really funny) blog here.


Jay Small is president of Informed Interactive — which creates content for a chain TV stations and newspapers around the country — and based in St. Paul, Minn. A 1984 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Jay started out as a copy editor and designer for the Sun and Daily Herald of Biloxi, Miss., and then the News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., where he became design director. In 1988, he moved to the Rocky Mountain News, eventually becoming art director. In 1991, he was hired as art director of the Indianapolis Star and, four years later, became that paper’s general manager of online services. He worked for a Minneapolis-based consulting firm for a couple of years an then rejoined news media with Belo Interactive in 2001. In 2005, he became managing director of content operations for newspapers for E.W. Scripps Co. of Knoxville, Tenn., where he oversaw editing design and interactive for the entire chain. In 2009 he earned an MBA in business administration from Kennesaw State University. He spent two years as president of Cordillera Interactive — which owns Informed Interactive — and then moved to Informed in 2012. Jay also runs his own consultancy on the side. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.


Jana Thompson is an English teacher at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Ill. A graduate of Northern Illinois in DeKalb, Jana worked for the Northwest Herald in that same city before returning to NIU in 2011 as an English teacher. Jana turns 39 today.


Bill Walsh is a copy editor for the Washington Post. A 1984 graduate of the University of Arizona, Bill worked as a reporter and editor for the Phoenix Gazette before moving to the Washington Times in 1989. He left in 1997 as chief of the Times’ copy desk and leaped to the Post — where he’s worked for nearly 19 years since.


However, you might know Bill better as the author of books about grammar:

Find Bill’s web site here and his Twitter feed here.


Suzanne Yada is a web and social media strategist via her consultancy, YadaCreative, based in Berkeley, Calif. A 2004 graduate of the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif., Suzanne spent four years as a copy editor for the Visalia Times-Delta before heading to San Jose State for a degree in journalism. She served as social media director for the Public Press of San Francisco, managing editor of the Global Media Initiative — in London and Paris — and as a reporter for the Spartan Daily. She graduated in 2010 and interned at the San Jose Business Journal before joining the Center for Investigative Reporting as a senior web producer. She produced two projects that were judged to be finalists for a Pulitzer prize, but was laid off in 2014. Find her company’s Twitter feed here.


Suzanne also writes and records music. Find samples and buy her CD here. Or, better yet, go here to pledge to support her efforts to record her work and to create more.

Find her personal web site here and her personal Twitter feed here.

Garrett, Nina, Mandi, Suzanne, Bill, Jana, Jen, Josh, Jon and Jay share a birthday with actors Jonah Hill Feldstein (better known as Jonah Hill), Michael Badalucco, Nicole de Boer, John Benedict Hillerman and Charlie Callas; musicians Christopher Mark Robinson (of the Black Crowes), David Roland Cook, Joanna Noëlle Blagden Levesque (better known as JoJo), Stephen William “Billy” Bragg, Alan Parsons and George Peter John Criscuola (better known as Peter Criss of Kiss); director George Roy Hill; TV producer Richard Anthony “Dick” Wolf; models Lara Catherina Stone and Jillian Grace; sports greats Richard Joseph “Rich” Gannon, Jack Leroy Christiansen (both football), Aubrey Lewis Huff III, Cecil Celester Cooper and David Wright (all three baseball); tire dealer Harvey Samuel Firestone; alleged spoon-bender Uri Geller and politicians Harry Flood Byrd Jr. and George Ervin “Sonny” Purdue III.

In addition, today is Mudd Day, Games Day, National Sangria Day, Poet Laureate Day, National Human Solidarity Day and the World Day for Prayer and Action for Children. Seriously.

Have a terrific birthday, all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Saturday, Dec. 19

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


Dan Buettner is the founder of Port 80 Productions of Des Moines, Iowa, a company that creates custom web-based software. A graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa, Dan worked for a company called Outsell, Inc., and then spent several years as IT manager for the Des Moines Register. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.


Brian Cleveland is a multiplatform editor for the Washington Post. A 1997 graduate of the University of Missouri, Brian spent four years as a copy editor for the News Tribune of Duluth, Minn., before joining the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., in 2005 as a copy editor. He was promoted to chief of the Pilot’s copy desk in 2007 but left in 2011 to join the Post. Find his Twitter feed here. Brian turns 37 today.


Dan Taylor is a freelance comic book writer in Orange County, Calif. You might know him as the writer and co-creator of the web comic — and occasional print collections — Hero Happy Hour.


A graduate of California State University in Long Beach, Calif. Dan spent two-and-a-half years as an editor with IDW publishing before going it alone. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.

Brian, Dan and Dan share a birthday with actors Jacob Benjamin “Jake” Gyllenhaal, Alyssa Jane Milano, Amy Rose Locane, Marla Lynne Sokoloff, Jessica Steen, Jennifer Beals, Timothy L. Reid, Cicely Tyson and Robert Michael Urich; musician Walter Anthony Murphy Jr.; magician Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos (better known as Criss Angel); sports greats Reginald Howard “Reggie” White, Warren Carlos Sapp, Randall Cornell McDaniel, Jason Steven “Jake” Plummer, Robert Lawrence “Bobby” Layne (all five football), Kevin Edward McHale (basketball) and Albert William “Al” Kaline (baseball); paleoanthropologist Richard Erskine Frere Leakey, WABC-TV news anchor Lizabeth Aimee “Liz” Cho; talk show host David Susskind and former Soviet leader Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev.

Have a totally great birthday, folks! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Friday, Dec. 18

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six talented visual journalists…


Bill Baker is the owner of Bakedmedia Inc., a 3D animation and multimedia studio based in Owings, Md. A 1977 graduate of the Pensacola School of Liberal Arts, Bill spent a couple of years as a jet mechanic in the U.S. Marines before joining the News Star World of Monroe, La. He worked for the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the Detroit News and then USA Today before moving to Knight-Ridder Tribune graphics in 1988. He eventually became animation director for KRT’s News-In-Motion unit, producing graphics for TV news. He founded Bakedmedia in 2002. Find his Twitter feed here. Bill turns 56 today.


Suzanne Behnke is a grad student at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and a legislative clerk. A graduate of Wartburg College, Suzanne spent three years as a reporter and copy editor for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier before moving to the Des Moines Register in 2000. There, she coordinated special sections and managed the copy desk. Suzanne left the Register in 2009.


Don Morris is assistant art director for the Tampa Bay Times of St. Petersburg, Fla. A 1986 graduate of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., Don joined the Times in 1988 and has worked there ever since, as a reporter, illustrator and art manager. In addition, he’s freelanced for such clients as Red Bull, Turner Broadcasting, Coca-Cola, Chick-Fil-A, Smithsonian magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Find samples of his work via his agent.


Neal Pattison is executive editor of the Everett, Wash., Daily Herald, in the northern suburbs of Seattle. A 1974 graduate of Ohio University, Neal spent four years as assistant city editor of the Arizona Republic and the Phoenix Gazette before moving to the Spokesman Review as assistant managing editor. He spent ten years in Spokane before becoming managing editor of the Albuquerque Tribune in 1992 and then assistant managing editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1996. He served as president of the Society for News Design in 1997, spent two years as a journalist in residence at American University in D.C. and then moved to Everett in 2007. Find Neal’s Twitter feed here.


Diego Sorbara is a copy editor on the foreign copy desk of the New York Times. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Diego spent a year-and-a-half on the copy desk of the Rocky Mountain News before moving to the Times in 2008. Find his Twitter feed here.


Francie Williamson is regional news editor for the Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A 2000 graduate of the University of Missouri, Francie spent two years as a designer for the Sun News of Myrtle Beach, S.C. and then two more years as a copy editor at the Press Herald in Portland, Maine. She moved to the Savannah (Ga.) Morning News in 2004 and then to the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa in 2007, where she was page one editor. She moved up the road to Cedar Rapids in 2010 as copy desk chief and took on her current duties in 2014. Find her Twitter feed here. Francie turns 36 today.

Francie, Suzanne, Diego, Neal, Bill and Don share a birthday with actors William Bradley “Brad” Pitt, Kate Noelle “Katie” Holmes, Raiford Chatman “Ossie” Davis, Raymond Allen “Ray” Liotta and Elizabeth Ruth “Betty” Grable; musicians Keith Richards, Shawn Randolph “Randy” Houser and Christina Maria Aguilera; wrassler Steve James Anderson (better known as Stone Cold Steve Austin); sports greats Don Lee Beebe (football), Charles Oakley (basketball) and Tyrus Raymond “Ty” Cobb (baseball); former Mythbusters co-host Kari Elizabeth Byron; painter Paul Klee; South African activist Stephen Biko; Russian leader Ioseb Besarionis dze Dzhugashvili (better known as Joseph Stalin); Austrian leader Franz Ferdinand; movie critic Leonard Maltin and director Steven Allan Spielberg.

In addition, today is International Migrants Day, Underdog Day, Arabic Language Day, Answer the Telephone Like Buddy the Elf Day and National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, y’all! Best wishes!