You can call me Tony, but soon, I may be Larry

August 14, 2005|By Tony Mulieri

At The Herald-Mail Co., like a lot of businesses, summertime gets kind of crazy.

With so many vacations to cover, you often find yourself doing someone else's job.

The paper doesn't shut down when employees go on vacation.

So that's why you often hear someone in the newsroom saying, "I'm Larry this week;" or "I'm Liz today;" or "I'll be Tim on Saturday."

At a small paper like The Herald-Mail, you have to wear a lot of different hats. You take on the duties of the person on vacation and all calls and assignments for that person fall to you.

That can be a daunting task.

I was Larry a couple of Mondays ago. That's Daily Mail Sports Editor Larry Yanos. I had to conjure up all that sports jargon from my sportswriting days as I put together The Daily Mail sports page that day. You da man.


I was also Tim Shea a couple of Saturdays ago. Tim is in charge on Saturday nights of getting the Sunday paper out. That's not an easy job. The deadline is early and there are a multitude of events to cover. It sometimes takes a juggling act to find space for all of the photos and stories and then you have to be on time, to boot.

And so it goes.

I overheard reporter Tammy Baker say she was going to be Liz for a week. Liz Thompson is City Editor. She makes most of the assignments and supervises the reporting staff. In war terms, Liz would walk point on the news. I felt for Tammy that week.

Daily Mail Copy Editor Bob Fleenor probably feels like Jim Carey with so many split personalities. Bob has been Larry on Sports, Arn Platou on the Farm Page, and Tony (that's me) on Local - sometimes all in the same week.

Sometimes you just don't feel like yourself - and you're not.

But there are a few jobs at The Herald-Mail that I know I couldn't do. Most of those are on the business side of the building.

Take John League's job, for instance (not literally). John is editor and publisher - the head man. He is da man.

I was on the planning committee for the True Grit Banquet this year and when I was introduced at the event, they called me the head man at The Herald-Mail. I got a chuckle out of that one.

I came in the next day and told John I had gotten a promotion. I told him I would need his office when he got a chance. He told me, in a good way, he would call me in October during budget season. I got the picture.

I'm a word guy, not a numbers man. The paper would be in big trouble if I had to plan the budget.

There are some other jobs at the paper I would not do well.

Don't make me the tech guy who has to work on computers, or the person who has to put the paper in that intricate "web" on the press so all the color hits on the right pages, and above all, don't ask me to be the individual who has to answer the phone in circulation when the paper is late.

We have the right people in those jobs, trust me.

I think I'll just be Tony this week.

That is, of course, unless someone calls in sick.

Tony Mulieri is managing editor of The Daily Mail. He may be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 7647, or by e-mail at

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