I want to thank Metro Pulse for publishing the Dickens-esque saga "Businessman Looks to Buy Paper Empire" by Charles Maldonado in its Feb. 19 issue ["Paper Sale," Citybeat]. In particular, I want to commend the author for exposing the nefarious ruse behind Brian Conley's stated intention to not unduly influence the daily operations of the editorial departments in question.
Citing such empirical sources as "To many in Knoxville," "Among many longtime readers," and "Among some circles in town," Mr. Maldonado slyly, and courageously, contrasts the journalistic standards of the recently liberated editorial regime with Conley's despotic insistence that writers properly source their material, not libel anyone, and especially (capitalist pig that he is), not the paper's largest advertiser.
From start to finish, Mr. Maldonado sheds light on Conley's evil plan to purchase newspapers (gasp!), revealing that the one he currently holds a major interest in is a vulgar tabloid compared to the wholesome, life affirming alt-weeklies he so greedily covets.
And thank you, Mr. Maldonado, for not allowing Conley's legendary "antics" as publisher—that so diminished the reputation of Metro Pulse—to go unpunished.
Sure, Conley, no doubt with the help of various lackeys, toadies, and henchmen, may have made the paper profitable, securing its viability as an on-going concern and raising everyone's salaries in the process. He may have nearly doubled its circulation and readership. And he may have even substantially increased the editorial budget, introducing articles and columns from such talented journalists and writers as Frank Cagle, Leslie Wylie, Chloe White, Molly Kincaid, Gay Lyons, Rikki Hall, and Steve Dupree along the way. But that's just spin. The real story is the time he sent a mean e-mail to an anonymous blogger. And, of course, how lame Metro Pulse was before Charles Maldonado graced its door.
Brian Conley, Knoxville