Saturday, August 17, 2013

Coming around again: Matters of principle at LEO.

I think it is highly instructive that LEO's Sarah Kelley has chosen to "take a bullet" rather than acquiesce to a directive she cannot abide. Good for her. I recall a similar story back in 2010.

It had to do with my column for LEO, and Sarah Kelley's protectionist view of Budweiser's place therein,as documented at the time in A Tale of Two Columns, followed shortly thereafter by This round goes to the Liteweights, as Mr. Mug Shot is no more.

Recently I was approached by a pleasant LEO advertising sales person and her boss. They pitched the idea of an ongoing, half-page ad/column to be sponsored by NABC, on the topic of cooking with beer and food-beer pairings.

The rate? Reasonable by the standards of the genre.

I asked who'd be providing the actual content, and clarified that it would be NABC (read: me) and not a LEO staffer. After all, isn't the fact that I once wrote a column for LEO sufficient proof that I'm a writer?

Having established that as a writing ad buyer, I'd have control over the content, I told them the story about my experience as a LEO columnist, the tiff over ever-sensitive megabuck monoliths like AB-InBev not abiding insults, and the fact that I encouraged the door to hit me in the ass while exiting.

So, as advertising purchaser, would I still be censored as to anti-Budweiser polemics in the same way as before?

They said they'd get back to me. It's been a few weeks now, and I've heard nothing.

Now it strikes me as ironic. Sarah Kelley's principled departure from LEO, and the uncertainty surrounding the alt weekly's future, perhaps offer an even better reason to be wary of advertising there ... but it wasn't clear that truth-telling would have been allowed even if I paid to place it.

Matters of principle. Funny damned things, indeed.

WFPL: LEO Editor Sarah Kelley leaves rather than cut staffers, by Staff (Insider Louisville)

In late July we told you SouthComm CEO Chris Ferrell was in Louisville to meet with LEO Weekly staffers.

At that time, we asked Ferrell both in phone conversations and in emails about information we had from LEO insiders about pending cuts. He declined to discuss the changes on the record, and, as we say, off the record is off the record.

We also contacted LEO staffers about the cuts, but no one would go on the record.

Today, WFPL’s Gabe Bullard reported LEO Editor Sarah Kelley has chosen to take a bullet rather than to layoff colleagues.

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