Local Media Manipulation. Radio Host Ousted from Newspaper Column.

Control the mainstream media, and control what people think or know. Not sure if that’s entirely true anymore, especially in the age of social media and digital publishing. Nonetheless, The Press of Atlantic City might still think that way. One of their editors just dumped a long time columnist, one that was highly-rated and never paid a dime.

Why did Atlantic City radio host, Harry Hurley, have his weekly Newspaper column cut?

Hurley of WPG Talk 1450am Radio, was unceremoniously told goodbye via email (see below) from his long running column in 2 of the Press of Atlantic City’s weekly publications. Press of AC editor, Kim Worrell, said it was based on editorial shifts and reader preferences. Really. It certainly wasn’t about pay, since Hurley contributed his column gratis.

Lot’s of speculation out there. Was Hurley  whacked because he loudly disagreed and questioned Stockton University’s oddly-timed decision to remove a bust of it’s founder that may have owned slaves? Hurley noted some potentially embarrassing moves made by the university hierarchy in his recent and last column.

Maybe the progressive-leaning Press of AC was fed up with Hurley’s conservative views? Harry is pro-Trump. Broadcast pioneer Hurley is also a big defender of NJ Governor Christie. Not many of those left.

Maybe it was an economic decision. Not about compensation, but advertising. The Press of AC and Hurley/WPG 1450 Radio, fight over the same AD dollars. The Hurley/Press of AC partnership may no longer be viable as some local advertisers migrate from  newspaper & broadcast…to digital. Watch for the Press and WOND Radio to unravel as well…eventually.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The easiest and “safest” thing for me to do would be to say nothing. After thinking about it for the past few days, I’ve decided that this wouldn’t be the right thing to do.

I want to let you know that my long-running weekly column will no longer appear in The Current and Gazette Newspapers.

Here’s how I found out about this news:

On Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 6:11 p.m., I received an email from Kris Worrell, Executive Editor and Vice President, News Director of Catamaran Media & The Press of Atlantic City.

I was officially notified by email that my weekly column would no longer appear in The Current & Gazette Newspapers.

If this email had been misdirected to my spam file, I still wouldn’t know about the news.

Yes, the news was delivered by email. As someone who has hired and fired hundreds of employees, I find this approach to be incredulous.

It’s certainly their prerogative to terminate my weekly column. However, after volunteering my valuable professional services for no compensation whatsoever, and, doing so in a collegial manner for more than a decade … anyone (including me) deserves a better send-off than a cold email addressed to: “Hello.”

Also not lost on me is the timing of this news.

1. We just won The Best of The Press Gold Award for “Best Columnist.,” a few weeks ago. We beat all of their daily columnists and everyone else in the market.

Even after knowing that we had won The Gold Award, because I wanted to support The Press of Atlantic City; I personally paid a handsome price for an advertisement to support their annual Best of The Best project.

2. This sudden termination email arrived just a few days after my hard-hitting, but, fair column about Harvey Kesselman’s ridiculous decision to expel Stockton University namesake Richard Stockton.

The Press of Atlantic City has taken a highly supportive public position regarding Kesselman and Stockton University regarding this controversial matter.

I’m sure it is a principled decision on their part and has nothing at all to do with any economics between Stockton University and The Press of Atlantic City.

I simply could not support the Kesselman decision because it’s indefensible.

3. The rationale provided to me appears to center around the need for more local content. There is no more qualified local news content source in our market place than me. We have consistently provided the most comprehensive and accurate political analysis in our market for more than 25 years.

4. Why would a newspaper want to discontinue relevant election content during the key 2 months before a pivotal General Election?

In conclusion, I can accept “bad” news. We all face it many times during our lifetime.

However, I don’t believe the reason given to me is credible and honest. Again, it is their absolute unconditional right to discontinue my column. That’s not the point.

It is also my right to share with you the truth, as I know it.

I have enjoyed writing my weekly column for The Press of Atlantic City. I did so faithfully, never missing a deadline. I will continue to do so at www.WPGTalkRadio.com

I will also be entertaining other opportunities in terms of a new home for our weekly political column.

Make no mistake about it, we are living in very dangerous times. The liberal establishment is employing various tactics to attempt to shut down conservative opinions.

Please check back regarding this post, as I may add more content in the near future.

My sincere thanks and appreciation to my former long-time Editor, James FitzPatrick. James is a phenomenal news person. It was an honor and privilege to write for him. He is honest and possesses a high degree of professional integrity.

A special thanks to Emily Lingo, who managed my column after James’ departure.