We are apologize for the inconvenience but you need to download
more modern browser in order to be able to browse our page

Download Safari
Download Safari
Download Chrome
Download Chrome
Download Firefox
Download Firefox
Download IE 10+
Download IE 10+

[1987 · Akron Beacon Journal · General News Reporting]

Home

SERIES CHRONICLED ATTEMPTED GOODYEAR TAKEOVER

When Akron, Ohio’s economic stability was threatened, the staff at the Akron Beacon Journal made sure to thoroughly cover the events of the “The Goodyear War,” earning them the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for General News Reporting.
The award winning article, “The Goodyear War,” covered Sir James Michael Goldsmith’s attempts at taking over the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in Akron.
Goodyear was the source of Akron’s economic life, as it was the largest employer for the city at the time. Many feared the takeover of Goodyear would result in an economic blow to the community.

Stuart Warner, the lead writer of “The Goodyear War,” recollected the events in a 25th anniversary piece.

“It was an emotional time for Akron and Northeast Ohio, facing the prospect of a foreigner taking over the Goodyear blimp and the rest of the nation’s 34th-largest company,” Warner wrote in an article for Inside Business in 2011.

The story came about when Doug Oplinger, the business editor of the Akron Beacon Journal, was reading stories about the stock market and noticed rumors of a Goodyear takeover.

“In Akron, just about everybody had a relationship with a tire company. We were the tire capital of the world. We had four major companies here, and Goodyear, by far, was the largest employer,” he said. “It was tens of thousands of people who had some direct connection to the company.”

The staff collected five to six paragraphs of information about the takeover rumors, and Oplinger had it put on the front page of the Beacon Journal the following afternoon.

News about the potential takeover was quiet for over a week, but Goodyear’s stock activity saw prices going up. Eventually, the rumors were confirmed and the staff at the Beacon Journal began their coverage.

“We put out three editions a day, and we were changing the story and the headline from edition to edition,” Oplinger said. “Every two hours we were getting new information and changing the story dramatically.”

When the Akron Beacon Journal’s truck would pull up to Goodyear’s building in Akron, people would flock from the building to buy newspapers.

“You couldn’t report it fast enough,” said Oplinger.

by Sami Fisher
PULITZER ENTRY MATERIALS:

The cover letter accompanying the Beacon Journal Pulitzer submission.

The complete “Goodyear War” coverage included with the Pulitzer submission.

MORE INFORMATION:
1987: Pulitzer Prize for General News Reporting for

The special section reconstructed the attempt by investors, led by Sir James Goldsmith, to take over Akron’s biggest employer and loyal corporate citizen, Goodyear. It examined the potential effects on 13,000 local employees, schools, thousands of retirees, the United Way, churches and many other facets of community life.

The Beacon Journal front page from April 17, 1987, announcing the paper’s Pulitzer win.

Akron Beacon Journal reporters and editors, Doug Oplinger, business editor (seated left) Peter Geiger, business writer (seated right) and (standing in back from left) Larry Pantages, businees writer, Bob Paynter, reporter, Jim Quinn, Stark county bureau chief, Bruce Winges, executive news editor and Eric Sandstrom, reporter react to the news that the paper won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for general reporting for their coverage of the attempted take over of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. (Akron Beacon Journal file photo)

Akron Beacon Journal reporters and editors, Doug Oplinger, business editor (seated left) Peter Geiger, business writer (seated right) and (standing in back from left) Larry Pantages, businees writer, Bob Paynter, reporter, Jim Quinn, Stark county bureau chief, Bruce Winges, executive news editor and Eric Sandstrom, reporter react to the news that the paper won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for general reporting for their coverage of the attempted take over of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. (Akron Beacon Journal file photo)

More photos of newsroom personnel celebrating the Pulitzer win.