National Masters News releases editor, hooks new one

Randy Sturgeon’s hands are full as publisher of National Masters News. Getting the monthly paper produced, printed and mailed is a monster task. (Not to mention selling ads.) The last thing he needed was a botched editorial product. Sadly, his initial pick for editor, Juliet Wahleithner, was an embarrassment. I haven’t detailed the shameful production and proofreading errors of the past few issues, but they were many and egregious (including a set of results that looked like computer gibberish and labeling the June issue as May. Appalling.) So Randy, in his best diplomatic way, has replaced Juliet after only five issues with a W40 runner named Carmel Papworth-Barnum, whom he says has “a great deal of experience in newsletter production and editing.”

Randy sent this note to various masters mavens today:

I have hired a new editor for National Masters News. It is Carmel Papworth-Barnum. Carmel has a great deal of experience in newsletter production and editing. She is also very active in masters track and field and long distance running.
Of course she is the wife of world champ runner Larry Barnum and both live in Reno, Nevada. Carmel has competed in the WMA world meet in San Sebastian, where she and Larry met and has competed at the indoor nationals in Boston the last two years and will be competing in the meet in outdoor meet in Orono.
Carmel has been working on results the last two months for NMN and will be working full time on the publication. She replaces Juliet Wahleithner who will continue to work full time for the Lodi Unified School District in Lodi, CA and will attend grad school in the fall. She will be helping Carmel with the transition over the summer.
I am certainly thrilled to have a person such as Carmel involved with NMN. She brings both the publishing experience and the passion for masters athletics that is needed.
I also want to thank Juliet. Without her I could not have purchased NMN and gotten things off the ground. It has been quite an adventure taking over the last six months but I could not have gotten this going and passed the baton to Carmel without Juliet. Juliet told me the biggest thing she will miss is all the people she met at the indoor nationals in Boston.

More on Larry and Carmel was printed in their association newsletter after the Boston indoor nationals:

Newlyweds Larry Barnum (63) and Carmel Papworth-Barnum (41) had some terrific results in their first indoor track appearance as husband and wife. World-champion Barnum continued his comeback from injury with a bronze medal in an extremely close 400 meter race while his bride captured the bronze in the 3,000 meter run, silver in the 4x 400 relay, 4th place in the mile, and 5th in the 800.

Carmel is a native Aussie, apparently, who took third in W40 5000 and fourth in the 1500 at San Sebastian worlds in 17:29.07 and 4:53.44, respectively. She can run, no doubt. We hope her editor’s eye is just as accomplished.
We wish Randy, Carmel (and Larry) all the best as they try to salvage our community newspaper — and its long legacy of masters coverage.

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June 28, 2007

10 Responses

  1. Bob Weiner - June 28, 2007

    Randy and Carmel,
    Good luck! We need you and NMN as a continuing invaluable timely source and resource for providing and getting masters news!
    Bob Weiner, Chair, USATF Masters Media Subcommittee

  2. Suzy Hess - June 28, 2007

    The previous staff of four proofreaders at the National Masters News wish Randy and Carmel the best of luck with any changes for the NMN. It took several proofs from all four of us to edit the NMN and even then we found errors after print. It is truly a labor of love that we were deeply attached to, and it does take a lot of effort to produce a quality publication that you can be proud of.
    Suzy Hess, Jerry Wojcik, Angela Egremont, Al Sheahen

  3. Mary L. Woo - June 28, 2007

    Oh for crying out loud, Ken. Why must you be so confrontational? Do you ever stop to consider both sides of the story? True, there have been some problems with editing, but did you even consider asking Juliet about the challenges she faced in trying to get the job done?
    Did you ask her the circumstances of her leaving the job or did you just infer she was let go? Did it occur to you that perhaps it was a mutual and amicable decision? And, why must you single out Juliet as an “embarrasment” when you know as well as I that the Owner/Publisher bears final responsibility for his product?
    I am certain you know that Randy would have been hard pressed to have gotten these first issues out under his new ownership in any form at all if not for Juliet’s hard work, especially since he was additionally occupied with coaching a local high school’s distance runners, a new master’s T&F club, and pursuing his own athletic endeavors.
    So, please, rather than denigrate Juliet’s hard work under circumstances that you understand only partly at best, how about some props? Juliet deserves MUCH better than mean-spirited comments.
    I wish Carmel all the best in her new position. She is a smart and savy woman, and a wonderful person and athlete. I’m sure Randy is the first to admit that he is lucky to employ her, just as he was fortunate to have employed Juliet. And, as always, I wish Randy nothing but success in all he does.
    Mary Woo

  4. Liz Palmer - June 29, 2007

    Juliet is a competent person, an outstanding athlete, and a good friend. She doesn’t deserve to be called an “embarrassment.” It’s acceptable to critique her performance but not acceptable to attack her as a person.
    Carmel is a great lady and will no doubt serve NMN very well. Randy is lucky to have the services of both of these ladies.

  5. parker white - June 30, 2007

    Mr. Stone:
    Before writing your bash on Juliet W., did you make any inquiry? Did you make any effort to investigate the basis of your comments? Or, did you just make some assumptions to let the cuts fly? The last time I read your blog was when you slammed Fleet Feet Racing in Sacramento and listed a series of false claims about what the team was doing and where it was headed. Again, you made no inquiry but simply published unverified comments. I know Juliet. She is a talented and hardworking person. Your comments about her are false and hurtful. Some day you’ll meet her and her husband; I dare you to call her an embarrassment with the two of them standing in front of you. Good work, pal.

  6. Mike Houar - July 1, 2007

    Its easy to say things about people that we don’t know and talk about situations that we are unfamiliar with- especially when it appears there is no penalty for such loose talk. So I will refrain from saying anything “personal” about Mr. Stone and simply point out that his statements about Juliet W. are -at best- simply one- sided, groundless opinions that do not deserve to be taken seriously.
    Juliet is an intelligent person, a fine human being, and was utterly dedicated to Randy and his work. She deserves far better treatement in more ways than can be clearly expressed in this medium.

  7. Ken Stone - July 1, 2007

    Well, I guess I deserved my public spanking. Thanks to all who commented on this matter.
    The day after posting the above, I heard from Juliet herself. I promised I wouldn’t post her note, but you should know that she agreed with my critique and confided that she was embarrassed by her NMN work.
    Finally, she admitted that she bit off more than she could chew in taking the NMN job amid an already busy life and that she approached Randy about finding a replacement.
    So Juliet wasn’t fired. But she certainly learned that failing to do her job has consequences. I wrote her that I’m fiercely protective of masters track, and her work had hurt the reputation of NMN.
    Publisher Randy also bears responsibility for the many problems with recent NMNs, but the editor is the editor. She was the final gatekeeper.
    I wish her well in her other gigs. But I hope everyone appreciates that taking a job as important as NMN editor can’t be done lightly.

  8. Mike Houar - July 3, 2007

    It does not create much credibility for you when you smash someone publicly, and then defend this by saying – so to speak … but I was right anyway- she agrees?
    Its one thing for a person to say ” I am embarressed about my performance- I could have done better”. all of us can say these types of things honestly about our work – because hindsight is always perfect and each of us is keenly aware when we do not reach our highest potential. The issue here is not the protection of Masters T&F but the callous and insensitive method of describing a good person.
    While she may not have achieved the highest literary standards- she is certainly not an embarrassment.
    If anything, the opposite is true, she is simply a very fine person who was put in a very tough circumstance and did less than she felt she could- when perhaps with adequate support and cooperation- and a little less buck passing- things might have gone better.
    What she may have expressed to you should not now be made the basis for your public smashing of her- whatever your imagined justification might be.
    I guess you deserve the last word on this, and I sincerely hope it includes a genuine apology to a real person- instead of a posture of some absurd righteousness taken on the bully pulpit of this blog.

  9. Mary Woo - July 3, 2007

    Ken- this will be my last word on the subject. I know as well as you that Juliet asked you not to make her comments public, as opposed to “not posting her note”, which are two entirely different things.
    Yet, despite Juliet responding to you directly and fairly, and after all the heat you’ve gotten from others, you still chose to dishonor her request in order to “justify” your position. You say you are fiercely protective of master’s track. I disagree.
    I think you are doing our community a grave disservice with your comments. Again, the just thing to have done would have been to contact Juliet and get her side of the story BEFORE making your initial post. And in her CONFIDENTIAL response to you AFTER the fact, I know she took full reponsibility for the mistakes she made because that is the caliber of human being she is.
    Pretty remarkable, I’d say, especially since she made no mention of the many challenges she faced in trying to get her job done, including, but certainly not linited to, the fact that she was never paid a penny during her employment with NMN.
    Finally, I have said all along that the owner and publisher of National Masters News, Randy Sturgeon, bears final responsibility for his product. I am troubled that he has not responded in Juliet’s defense, privately or publically, as his silence demostrates an inability or unwillingless to shoulder the least bit of responsibility for the mistakes of no one person.
    Mary Woo

  10. Maria Glickman - July 7, 2007

    I just found this post and was appalled about the subject matter and the way you handled it. Those of us who know Randy and Juliet and how much effort was put in by Juliet and her husband John to help this magazine get off the ground for Randy (they drove a rental van to Oregon, got all the equipment , sacrificed their time and money, etc…) all her hard work and the kind of person that she is, are nothing but flabbergasted. And your tongue in cheek apology just makes things worse. Ken, you turn people off masters track with your arrogance!
    Juliet did it mostly for the cause (masters track) and to help Randy in his new endeavour.
    She deserves way better than this! And she is moving on to a higher degree and better endeavours than this petty mudslinging. Good for her!!
    Maria Glickman.

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