Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Tony Ridder Looks Past Bottom Line

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Tony Ridder Looks Past Bottom Line

Article excerpt

CEO allows a top aide with cancer-stricken son to telecommute

When Kip Cassino, research director of Knight Ridder, learned that his 20-year-old son Daniel had Hodgkin's lymphoma, he prepared to give up his job so he could be with his son as he started chemotherapy.

Leaving San Jose, Calif., where he works at Knight Ridder headquarters, Cassino joined his son, who lives in Tucson, Ariz., with Cassino's ex- wife. Doctors said Daniel's disease, a cancer with an unknown cause, had advanced to stage four, the most severe category, and put his chances of survival at 60%.

But just as Cassino contemplated the uncertainty of joblessness, his boss, Virginia Dodge Fielder, vice president of research, rounded up support from top executives for Cassino to telecommute. Chairman and CEO Tony Ridder quickly gave his approval and has asked Cassino several times about Daniel's progress.

"It's a blessing," Cassino said. "It allows me to be with my son and yet not worry about how I'm going to earn a living. ... You don't hear about this side of the industry enough."

Every two weeks, Daniel receives chemotherapy -- an injection with "a cocktail of about four poisons," Cassino said. …

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