Chattanoogan regrets sale of family paper to Hussman | Arkansas Blog

Chattanoogan regrets sale of family paper to Hussman

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NEWSPAPER SKIRMISH: A union movement at the Chattanooga newspaper owned by Little Rock media magnate Walter Hussman prompts a blast of the papers management from a member of a family that once owned it.
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  • NEWSPAPER SKIRMISH: A union movement at the Chattanooga newspaper owned by Little Rock media magnate Walter Hussman prompts a blast of the paper's management from a member of a family that once owned it.

Just stumbled across this op-ed by Roy Exum, a member of the family that sold its Chattanooga newspaper to Walter Hussman, publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Hussman now enjoys a print newspaper monopoly in Chattanooga. Exum wrote after news developed of a possible drive to unionize employees at Hussman's Chattanooga newspaper.

Exum is no friend of unions, as you'll see from reading the article. But he nonetheless urges people to get in touch with those working to unionize employees. In describing how his family came to sell the newspaper to Hussman, Exum writes:

When the day came when we had to decide which offer to take, Walter Hussman (WEHCO) was picked because he promised to take care of our people, not just the long-time employees we loved but the Times writers and the benefits packages and the “traditions,” for lack of a better word, that we felt our community deserved. Now that not one family member works at the Times Free Press any longer, I can say that selling to Walter Hussman’s crowd was the blackest day in my family’s history.

Exum sounds as if he has a personal ax to grind. He wanted to stay on at the newspaper, but writes that he didn't last a year. Whatever his motivation, he blisters WEHCO media.

Exum writes for chattanooga.com, an on-line newspaper founed in 1999 with local news, sports, opinion, entertainment and obituaries. The publisher is a former writer for the newspaper Hussman now owns.

Speaking of Publisher Hussman: Anybody read his extensive op-ed in today's D-G editorial section on freedom? Sorry, pay wall. I applaud his warm remarks on separation of church and state and the yearning of immigrants for what the U.S. has to offer.

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