April 5-7, 2024
Return to Paradise: The Mai-Kai Rises Again
Presentations hosted by Jim "Hurricane" Hayward with "Typhoon Tommy" Allsmiller and other special guests
EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE OF THE MAI-KAI
Okole Maluna Society: The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide
Jim Hayward, The Palm Beach Post (1979-82, 1986-2022)
In December 1979, there were no computers in the newsroom at 2751 S. Dixie Highway when I started working as a "copyperson" at my hometown newspaper, The Palm Beach Post, during my freshman year in college. My duties included filling glue pots, stripping the wire machines, running copy, and pulling photos from the library — Essentially ensuring that the newsroom ran like the well-oiled machine it was.
In 2022, I work (usually from home) on a laptop computer as part of Gannett's statewide planning team. I orchestrate the daily production of both the print and online editions of The Post — creating budgets, scheduling digital news alerts, overseeing the front page design, among other duties. It seems light years away, yet eerily reminiscent of, my first newspaper job 43 years ago: Greasing the wheels so an exceptional staff of journalists can shine.
During those 43 years, I graduated from the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications, where I studied and participated in early experiments in "online journalism." In 1983–86, I worked at the Miami Herald and helped launch Viewtron, the first commercial "videotext" service in the United States, a decade before the commercial internet.
Returning to The Post in December 1986 as a copyeditor, I've ridden every technological wave on the newspaper industry rollercoaster for the past 36 years. I was the newspaper's first Web producer, helping develop and run fledgling online products, including the long-running "Storm" sites that were dedicated to hurricane coverage and tracking.
Over the years, I worked with nearly every department in the newsroom in one way or another, keeping my hand in writing and a presence in news meetings. I'm proud to have known and collaborated with so many talented professionals, way too numerous to mention here. But you know who you are.
As the industry changed and evolved, I ended up back in the trenches of daily production (both print and digital), combining all of my past experience into my current role as The Post's lead planner. Having come full-circle in the only industry I've ever really known, the time seems right to bid adieu to the newspaper that has been my fulltime workplace for parts of the past six decades.
In retirement, I plan to indulge many interests and hobbies, but I'll always remain a journalist at heart and in mind. And for that, I thank The Post and all of those who helped make it the outstanding newspaper that it remains.
"My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?" - Dr. Seuss
LinkedIn: Jim's full professtional history and experience