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Bob Maynard’s vision of news via computer recalled as East Bay newspapers consolidate

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Brenda Payton
March 11, 2016

By Brenda Payton

I was in a meeting with Bob Maynard. It must have been in the early ’80s. When he took over as editor of the Oakland Tribune, he was the first African American to lead a mainstream daily newspaper. But that wasn’t the topic of discussion at the meeting.

“You know, one day people will not be getting their news from newspapers,” he said, holding up a Tribune. “They’ll be reading it on their computers.” 

Even 30-plus years later, I remember his words. We looked at him as if he were crazy. No newspapers? News on the computer? What was he talking about? (I thought he might have mentioned the word “Internet.” But looking back, his observation predated common references to that term, first used in 1982, according to infoplease.com.)

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I was in a meeting with Bob Maynard. It must have been in the early ’80s. When he took over as editor of the Oakland Tribune, he was the first African American to lead a mainstream daily newspaper. But that wasn’t the topic of discussion at the meeting.

“You know, one day people will not be getting their news from newspapers,” he said, holding up a Tribune. “They’ll be reading it on their computers.” 

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