Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jackson, Miss. | Post-Agnew, diversity challenged

Following the news that The Clarion-Ledger's top editor is leaving to lead Mississippi Public Broadcasting, a reader told me in an e-mail:

"Ronnie Agnew's departure trims again the number of top newspaper editors of color in Gannett. Jackson, Miss., as you may recall, was a standout for having both a black managing editor and executive editor. The ME, Don Hudson, was downsized last year, and Ronnie's departure is a loss for the company. Ronnie was one of the good guys, and he's one of those people you really didn’t hear a lot about negatively. His staff, I think, knew he was trying to do the right thing amid turmoil."

Corporate is sensitive to the issue of minorities leaving Gannett, given the company's reputation for making diversity a top goal. Just last month, amid the layoff of 700 employees, Corporate's chief publicist, Robin Pence, told minority affairs correspondent Richard Prince:

"As you know, Gannett is tremendously committed to diversity. We have maintained our percentage of female and minority employees over the last few years despite reductions and we work very hard to make sure it's a fair process for all employees."

Agnew's departure was presented as a no-pressure exit, based on the generally glowing remarks Publisher Leslie Hurst made in announcing the move: "I know Ronnie will be deeply missed. Please join me in wishing Ronnie well as he embarks on his new adventure as executive director of MPB. Our loss is their gain. He will be with us through the August election."

Still, it's not uncommon for new publishers to choose their own operating committee members, and Hurst was given the top job in December.


  1. I just want to second what your reader stated, Ronnie was a very accomplished journalist and manager, and operated in the most professional and supportive manner, even though his duties on the OC required him to constantly be under fire. He will sorely be missed from the C-L

  2. I can only imagine how this played out. This woman will never cease to amaze me. The fact that corporate keeps her around baffles me. How many valuable employees have been let go or left under her management?

  3. So much for corporates "Leslie, play nice" lecture.

  4. Our loss is MPB's Fresh Air?

  5. So who will be put in Ronnie's place? Three guesses................

  6. 5:26 PM said ...

    So who will be put in Ronnie's place? Three guesses................


    What say you, 5:26? Do you have a good idea who it could be?

  7. Please post it so we know if you're right.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.



Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.