October 2, 2015

Former IAPE President Passes Away After Lengthy Illness

Steve Yount: 1950-2015

Steven Yount, former steward, location director, and three-term president of IAPE TNG/CWA Local 1096, passed away on September 30, 2015. He was 64.

Steve Yount

Prior to winning election in 2005 as top officer for the Local, Steve was a veteran, award-winning broadcast journalist who worked as a news reporter and news anchor at some of the premier all-news radio stations in Philadelphia, Chicago and New York City.

In September of 2000, Steve joined Wall Street Journal Radio in New York, He was transferred — along with the entire radio operation — to South Brunswick, NJ after Dow Jones offices in lower Manhattan were destroyed in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Steve began the Union-phase of his career as a member of the relocation committee which negotiated benefits for Dow Jones employees who were also permanently moved to South Brunswick after 2001. He was elected as one of the CWA Delegates for Local 1096 in 2003 and defeated incumbent Virgil Hollender to become IAPE president two years later.

Never one to mince words, Steve explained in a 2003 candidate statement it was while serving on the relocation committee that he "learned first hand what it's like to deal with an arrogant and short-sighted management."

During his tenure as president, Steve led IAPE to a significant organizing victory at the former Dow Jones "Harborside" location in Jersey City, NJ, for which Local 1096 received the 2007 President's Award from the Communications Workers of America.

At that same time, Steve was also leading IAPE efforts — with assistance from CWA and The Newspaper Guild — to find someone other than Rupert Murdoch and News Corp to purchase Dow Jones & Company from the Bancroft family.

"Our union remains hopeful that the Bancroft family will conclude that a sale of Dow Jones is not necessary. But if the Bancroft family is to be persuaded that a sale must take place, we believe that there are alternatives to Mr. Murdoch," Steve said, in a June 4, 2007 statement.

"IAPE and its advisors will continue to explore other investment relationships. We are optimistic that there are many leaders in the investment community who will be ready to come to the side of the employees of Dow Jones & Company to defend the editorial independence and unquestioned integrity of both Dow Jones and its flagship publication, The Wall Street Journal."

Steve was at the helm of the Union during two rounds of contract negotiations for our main bargaining unit — a rancorous, eleven-month effort during 2006 and 2007, and an abbreviated-by-IAPE-standards, four-month series during late 2009 and early 2010. He also negotiated IAPE contracts for the Bowling Green, OH printing plant unit in 2005 and 2012, the final contract for the old Englewood, CO plan in 2005, and the last contract for IAPE members at Factiva — while it was still a separate company — in 2006.

On leave of absence from his WSJ Radio position while serving as IAPE president, Steve and his wife Joanne Carter Yount moved from New Jersey to Albuquerque, NM in 2010 and Steve began writing western novels in his spare time. Drawing inspiration from his new, New Mexico home and recalling tales about his own great-grandfather — who "fought alongside Ulysses S. Grant in Grant's campaign through Mississippi" according to Steve's author bio page — Steve eventually released eight books about the adventures of Turner Brown, a fictional Deputy U.S. Marshal upholding the law in Wyoming and New Mexico.

Steve resigned from his position as president of IAPE effective June 1, 2013, citing concerns about his health.

"I have done my best every day to ensure that IAPE represent your interests," Steve wrote, in a statement to IAPE members. "I'm confident that the Board Members and my fellow officers share that day-in-and-day-out commitment and will make every effort to ensure that your interests are represented and that your workplace rights are defended."

"Thank you for allowing me to serve."

Steve announced his Parkinson's diagnosis in a follow-up message to IAPE members on January 21, 2014.

The Yount family will hold a memorial celebration of Steve's life on October 10, 2015, 2:00 PM at Unity of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, 4801 Montano Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM. In lieu of flowers, Steve — or "Bear" as he was known to his family — had requested contributions to Cure PSP.