Section 1: Q: That's how everybody was doing it at the time. A: Exactly, I'm saying that the changes that were made were all for the good. I mean they were putting it out in eighteenth century techniques and so the changes were all to the good. But, it also changed the nature of the work in the newsroom and on the editorial page. Unless there was compensation for that, unless they made allowances for the change in the nature of the work, then the consequences were not good. --
Section 2: Q: To wrap up, any final thoughts, Professor Cranberg, on your days at the Register? Was it good, bad, a rewarding experience? Maybe just talk about it in general terms. A: I had a great time. I had a great job, I worked with great people. The ownership was wonderful. I don't want to sound like a Pollyanna, but I feel very fortunate. When I talk to former employees, there's a meeting of the minds on that. We were very fortunate and were there in the heyday of newspapering. The profit pressures were minimal. The family was satisfied with a fraction of the return that the ownership of publicly traded newspaper companies is today. I had all the staff I needed. I can't say that the pay was tremendous, but that improved. There's a natural tendency to pay as little as you can get away with. The newsroom was not unionized. There came a time when, because the pay had not been adequate, there was an organizing effort to get the guild in at the paper. That really opened the eyes of the management. It came within an eyelash of passing. I think the guild lost by one or two votes. That sent a signal to the management that they had better get the pay up and improve the physical conditions in the newsroom. It was pretty bad. They had allowed it to get much too overcrowded. The management realized that unless they did something there would be another vote and they would lose. They really improved and they remodeled the newsroom and the management got the message. Q: What were you getting paid when you first started? A: Seventy-five dollars a week. Q: In 1949? A: Yes. Q: And the working conditions were overcrowded? A: Our department was OK. The newsroom was thoroughly deplorable. Some reporters didn't have their own telephones and they had to climb over somebody's desk to get a phone, that type of thing. They had let that slip. It's sort of like, that's the way it's always been and this was not a high priority. But, when this organizing effort almost passed, then the management started meeting with the people and asking what their complaints were. They got an earful. They really remodeled the newsroom handsomely. I used to say, "There really ought to be a plaque in this newsroom dedicating the remodeled newsroom to the American Newspaper Guild." They were responsible for it. Q: From what I've heard from others, this was in the late fifties or early sixties. A: If I had to guess, I would say mid-sixties. Q: The other thing, on that same issue, was there any moonlighting going that you were aware of? A: I'm not aware of it. I think I said earlier that my predecessor once told me fairly soon after he became editorial page editor, "Don't ever really expect to make much money here because you're doing the equivalent of social work." Public service. Q: And we'll end it on that. Thank you very much. A: Thank you, Brian.
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