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Reall, a 1980 Ohio State University journalism graduate, was one of Plastics News' original reporters. She became a copy editor in 1990, was promoted to senior copy editor in 1996 and was named assistant managing editor in 1997. She joined Crain in January 1989 from the Vindicator daily newspaper in Youngstown, Ohio, where she had been a general assignment reporter. Prior to that, she served as United Press International's Akron, Ohio, bureau manager, and also had covered the West Virginia Statehouse for the State Journal weekly newspaper in Charleston.