Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shakeup at the AJC

Down near the bottom of this Creative Loafing article on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's latest shakeup, you'll find this quite-interesting tidbit about the AJC's editorial board:

Finally, ears perked up last week when Wallace announced that Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Cynthia Tucker would move to Washington, D.C., to write about national politics from an Atlanta-centric perspective.

What Wallace didn’t announce is that AJC executives have quietly taken direct control of the paper’s editorial board, bumping Tucker, columnist Jay Bookman and staff editorial writer Maureen Downey, who’s been shifted to an education beat. The board, which is responsible for the paper’s institutional voice, now consists of Wallace; publisher Doug Franklin; James Mallory, a senior VP; and Andre Jackson, Tucker’s replacement as editorial page editor, whose column has yet to appear.

One obvious conclusion to be drawn is that Wallace, who’s publicly acknowledged reader complaints that the editorial page is too liberal, aims to swing the pendulum in the other direction.

The article goes on to quote Lyle Harris, a former AJC editorial board member (and needless to say, not the board's token conservative) verbally wringing his hands over such a change with the classic paternalist comment, "Just giving people what they want isn’t doing them any favors."

One can't help but chuckle at that one; it's always a delight to see spoiled brats losing their toys. Harris and Tucker and their cronies contributed mightily to the AJC's downfall by continually insulting and alienating the vast majority of the paper's potential readership. The only shame here is that it took losing $1 million a week for the paper's publishers to realize it was time to kick the old, self-indulgent board to the curb.

H/T: Jay at Wiz Of Odds.

UPDATE: The NY Times noticed the shakeup on Monday, and is not amused. That's all the validation you need that the AJC's leadership could finally be growing a clue.

No comments:

Post a Comment