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Kayfabe Memories:  How did you get the job to work for the magazines?  Prior to obtaining your position, were you a fan of pro wrestling?

Stu Saks:  I was a big time fan growing up, though this had very little to do with my getting a job here. A little background: Back in 1970, when I was 14, a friend, Mitchel Brown, and I were so into wrestling that we decided we were going to try to start our own newsletter together. Then Mitchel's dad was transferred to Hong Kong and I was on my own. I decided to go ahead with the plan and I put together the prototype for a newsletter called-and you could see my creative roots here-"Wrestling Results." It was not like the newsletters of today. It was straightforward coverage of wrestling focusing, as the title implies, on results and match descriptions. That first issue contained my report of Ivan Koloff beating Bruno Sammartino at Madison Square Garden on January 18, 1971. Nobody saw the issue, except the fan club editors of the national wrestling magazines, who I was hoping would give me a mention. One of those editors was Bill Apter.

I didn't do another issue until months later, after my address was printed in the magazines. From there, I gathered correspondents around the country and even had Mitchel report on the TV matches from Australia that were broadcast in Hong Kong. My Bay Area correspondent was Dave Meltzer.

I gave up the newsletter when I started college at State University of New York at Stony Brook-Mick Foley country. At Stony Brook, I joined the college newspaper, Statesman, and quickly became sports editor. The managing editor was Michael B. Kape. The news editor was Jonathan D. Salant, who is now an international reporter for the AP. Jonathan, along with a couple of other Statesman editors, was a part-time sports writer for Newsday, which is one of the 10 largest newspapers in the country. Through Jonathan I was able to get an interview with Newsday and landed a part-time position, primarily covering high school sports. One of the other Newsday part-timers was Gary Morgenstein.

By the time I was a junior in college I had become editor-in-chief of Statesman. By then, Kape and Morgenstein, purely coincidentally, had become editors at London Publishing. I believe it was 1978 when Michael decided to leave and Morgy arranged for me to be interviewed by Peter King, the editor-in-chief. I took a writing and editing test and was offered the position.

Now I had to make a huge decision. Do I take the job and try to figure out a way to graduate from college or do I decline and hope that I would land a job in journalism after I graduated? I turned down the job. Another opening occurred less than a year later, and again they called, but by that time I was closer to graduation and it was easier to say no. I graduated in June of  '79, right at the time Randy Gordon had decided to go to our boxing rival at the time, The Ring. They called me again and I started that July.

KM:  What was the deal with the Apartment Wrestling pieces in Sports Review Wrestling? Was there really an audience for those articles? Why was the decision to finally (thankfully) do away with them made?

SS:  I recently wrote an editorial in PWI in which I finally revealed to the world that the beautiful apartment wrestlers weren't actually wrestling and that the stories behind their rivalries were figments of Dan Shocket's imagination. Was there an audience for apartment wrestling? Perhaps, at first. But like I said in my column, the people who bought the magazines to see pictures of gorgeous women in combat were not our primary audience, and in fact Sports Review has turned off a lot of hardcore wrestling fans. The magazine eventually dumped the feature, but there is no doubt we did some p.r. damage to ourselves with fans and within the industry for the years we ran it. As my column said, there's a lesson in there for the whole industry.

KM:  Why did the magazines routinely, at least in the early- to mid-'80s, ignore certain territories? It was rare to see an article dealing with the Portland or Alabama scene.

SS:  I believe we made an effort to cover the whole country, but we stressed the areas we believed were the strongest and where the potential for sales was greatest.  More...

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