Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Two Editors Now out of Office

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Two Editors Now out of Office

Article excerpt

Politics and newsroom politics

The election season has barely begun and already allegations that publishers have succumbed to political candidates seeking favorable treatment have led at least two editors to abruptly leave their jobs.

The first departure occurred June 19 when the Brown Publishing Co., owner of the weekly Vandalia (Ohio) Drummer News, fired Editor Kevin O'Boyle. The termination came nearly two months after Brown Publishing CEO and President Roy Brown lost a Republican congressional primary to former Dayton Mayor Mike Turner.

During Brown's campaign, O'Boyle had spoken out against some of the campaign's tactics, which O'Boyle said included forcing the Brown papers to run campaign press releases and sending campaign flyers to editors for distribution. "It wasn't ethical," O'Boyle, who spent seven years at the paper, told E&P. "It bothered me as a Christian and a newsperson."

Brown Publishing executives have denied any illegal campaign practices.

The Turner campaign claimed the Brown coverage went beyond regular news reporting and should have been treated as a campaign contribution. Complaints by Turner to the Federal Election Commission sparked an ongoing FEC investigation.

Joel Dempsey, Brown Publishing's general counsel, would not discuss details of O'Boyle's firing, but said it had nothing to do with his criticism of the Brown campaign. "A personnel decision was made concerning the quality of the newspaper and his ability to work for his publisher," he said. …

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