Chronicle publisher stood for right things

News that Michigan Chronicle Publisher Sam Logan Jr. had passed away was a real shock to everybody who knew him. Sam was so energetic, so engaged, so filled with ideas and plans that no one ever thought he might leave us at such a premature time. He was a towering icon, not only to the African-American community, but to journalists all overMichigan and theUpper Midwest -- and to those who believe that our future depends totally on people of all ethnicities, ages, faiths, genders and residences working diligently together. Sam stood firmly for that, and our world is sadly diminished at his passing.

Through my newspapers, the Observer & Eccentric, I had the honor of being the printer for the Michigan Chronicle and FrontPage from the early 1970s until I sold my company in 2005. In an industry where publishers change printers like toddlers go through shoes, this 30-year association must be some kind of record for longevity. I originally called on Longworth Quinn, then the Chronicle’s publisher, just after I built my printing plant in Livonia and installed a newspaper press. I wanted to print the Chronicle because I admired what it stood for and because I wanted to show the alignment between the city and the suburbs. When San became publisher, our relationship grew and flowered. 

Sam had a good rule as a businessman. He would start on Monday morning by counting the cash in his till. He would go through the week, making sure to pay each and every one of his bills, including those of his printer. And at the end of the week, he would count his cash. That told him instantly what his profit or loss was for the week. It was a great system, and I remember he would call me occasionally, telling me to get my bill down to him right away! What other newspaper printer ever had such a relationship with his customer?

Sam knew virtually all the movers and shakers in Southeast Michigan. His word was his bond. His commitment to progress of his city and region was unshakable. He stood for all the right things for such a long time and in such a fierce way that to think of the landscape without him fills me with desolation.

My wife, Kathy, joins me in conveying our profound respects and sympathy to Sam’s family and to all those associated with the Chronicle and FrontPage.

Editor’s note: Former newspaper publisher and University of Michigan Regent Phil Power is a longtime observer of Michigan politics and economics. He is also the founder and president of The Center for Michigan, a nonprofit, bipartisan centrist think-and-do tank, designed to cure Michigan’s dysfunctional political culture. He is also on the board of the Center’s Business Leaders for Early Education. The opinions expressed here are Power’s own and do not represent the official views of The Center. He wecomes your comments at ppower@thecenterformichigan.net.

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