Julianne Hastings, 71, former journalist, TV Guide PR exec

Julianne Hastings, 71, a former journalist and public relations executive at TV Guide, died Saturday, Dec. 2, of cancer at Saunders House in Wynnewood.

A longtime resident of Center City, Ms. Hastings was born on Oct. 23, 1946, in Detroit to Charles Michalski,  a traffic engineer, and Anna Hanko Michalski, a homemaker.

She grew up in Homewood, Ill., and her first summer job was as a demonstrator at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, where she specialized in presentations of the U-505, a captured World War II German submarine, and the Fairy House, an intricately designed doll house created for Colleen Moore, an early Hollywood star, said Ms. Hastings’ sister, Joanne Michalski.

She majored in English at Michigan State University, spending one semester abroad at the University of Tubingen in Germany before graduating in 1968.

After graduation, Ms. Hastings landed her first job in journalism with a Chicago building-trades publication before joining the Oak Park – Huntington Woods News in the Detroit suburbs.

Camera icon Courtesy of the Family
Julianne Hastings in United Press International’s New York newsroom in the late 1970s.

From there, she went to the Newburyport Daily News in Massachusetts, and in 1973 married Dan Hastings, a lawyer.

That year, the couple, who divorced in 1978, moved to New York, where Ms. Hastings joined United Press International, following in the heels of such reporters as Aline Mosby, Helen Thomas, and Kate Webb in a growing wave of female journalists covering news instead of features at the wire service.

At UPI, Ms. Hastings first worked on the New York metropolitan desk and was involved in coverage of the Son of Sam serial killer case, the 1977 blackout and the emergence of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church in the city.

She later worked for the general news desk before becoming a television writer, interviewing the stars of the era, including, most memorably for her, Jimmy Cagney.

She left UPI in the mid-1980s and worked for the N.W. Ayer & Sons advertising agency before joining the public relations department at Radnor-based TV Guide in 1987. She remained with the magazine until 1991, three years after Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. bought the publication for $3 billion.

Ms. Hastings was an active member of the Friends of Lewis Kahn Park, which was next to her Pine Street residence, serving on its board, arranging concerts, and acting as a publicist for the group.

Michalski said her sister enjoyed classical music, playing the piano, gardening, writing and keeping active by walking or running, finishing two half-marathons in her 50s. She also spoke German and Latin.

Besides her sister, Ms. Hastings is survived by a brother, Charles Michalski, and her longtime companion, Jay Krush.

A celebration of her life is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, 2125 Chestnut St.

Donations may be made to Friends of Lewis Kahn Park, Box 1820, Philadelphia 19105-1830 or online here.