Tom Allon’s campaign for mayor is creating some obstacles for employees of the newspapers he runs, which he and the company’s chairman acknowledge in a pair of memos to employees, passed along by a reader.
Allon wrote: “This potential candidacy does not mean that I will be any less focused on Manhattan Media,” but “I will no longer be involved in the day-to-day editorial process of City Hall or any mayoral political coverage.”
Chairman Richard Burns wrote: “We have asked an attorney to lay out the set of regulations that respect the distinction between Tom the employee and Tom the candidate.”
The memos are after the jump.
Dear Manhattan Media Colleagues:
Today, there is a story in Crain’s Insider that I am planning to run for citywide office in Sept. 2013. Right now, I am putting together a campaign for Mayor, for a variety of reasons. I am concerned about our city’s future, particularly our public education system and our economy and job creation, and I have some ideas and positions that I hope to inject into the public debate, and if I am very fortunate, implement in office starting in 2014.
This potential candidacy does not mean that I will be any less focused on Manhattan Media; in fact, with our 10th Anniversary coming up on August 1st, I am more committed than ever to growing our business and helping each of you realize your goals and our collective goal of growth and success, both financially and editorially.
But I also recognize that the news of my candidacy will put some of our hard-working and stellar journalists in an awkward position; they cover politics, particularly at City Hall, that will be directly relevant to my own ambitions, and we have formulated policies to ensure that they — and all of us — maintain the credibility and excellence that has allowed us to thrive as a local media company.
Henceforth, I will no longer be involved in the day-to-day editorial process of City Hall or any mayoral political coverage in our weekly newspapers. As I did two years ago when our company did media placement for the Bloomberg and Vance campaigns, I will recuse myself in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 local endorsement process. I encourage our journalists to cover the Mayoral race, as well as politics in general, with neither fear nor favor; I am a journalist first, and would have it no other way.
If anyone has any questions about any of this, as always, my door is open to chat.
All the best.
Dear Colleagues at Manhattan Media:
Tom Allon has briefed us on his plans to explore a bid for citywide office and has assured us that these will in no way impinge upon his abilities to run Manhattan Media as its president & CEO. Knowing his and this company’s commitment to community involvement, we salute and support his desire to play an active role in New York’s political sphere.
We will want, however, to be careful that we continue to respect a number of important delineations. We have asked an attorney to lay out the set of regulations that respect the distinction between Tom the employee and Tom the candidate. As Tom has already mentioned in his note to you, we will not allow any appearance of interference of Tom in the editorial process that might favor his candidacy or positions above another candidate’s. As we did the last time there were citywide races, Tom will recuse himself from those final editorial or endorsement decisions, and I will step in again as chairman and owner.
While we wish Tom luck — and as his friend I expect to be supporting him individually in his exploration of his candidacy — we are totally focused on the task of keeping Manhattan Media in growth mode.
As Manhattan Media approaches its 10th anniversary on August 1, I know that Tom and we at Isis Ventures are as committed as we have ever been to making this business one that’s profitable and compelling to its readers, clients and all of you who work in it.
Chairman, Manhattan Media
General Partner, Isis Venture Partners
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