For the third time in less than two years, a Sanford Herald editor has stepped down.
G. Chambers Williams III, officially named editor in early June, left the paper this week after less than four months on the job, sources close to The Rant said today. His marks the shortest tenure for the paper’s top editorial spot since Walter H. Paramore lasted less than a year in 1951.
Williams’ predecessor, Shawn Stinson, ran the paper from January 2016 through May of this year (17 months) before leaving for an editor position in West Virginia. And before that, Tom Jensen was editor from October 2014 through November 2015 (14 months) before returning to Iowa to work in higher education.
During his four months, Williams butted heads a few times with local Democrats who voiced displeasure over The Herald’s perceived right-wing slant, particularly on its editorial page, which recently published editorials from other sources calling NFL anthem protesters “stuck on stupid” and Democrats “un-Christian” and allowed regular column space for local GOP leader Jim Womack (despite Womack’s refusal to speak to reporters for the paper). Stinson faced similar complaints for controversial social media posts about then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and an editorial defending Donald Trump’s “grab her by the p—” remarks by calling them “locker room talk.”
The Herald has not publicly announced Williams’ departure and has yet to go public with a job posting for a new editor.
This is interesting. Back in the days of the Lee Dispatch, the Sanford Herald editor wrote a not so flattering column regarding my blog and that was followed later with an editorial. The results were to increased the readers of the Lee Dispatch. I wish that I thought the reverse would be true in the case of the Rant reporting on the Sanford Herald. No doubt the Herald needs readers. I remember when the paper stopped the independent auditing of circulation. There needs to be a means communication within a community for news of government, political, organizational communications, gossip. The RANT fills some of that void and local advertisers who use it to get their message out. The absentee owners of the Herald are using it as a cash cow, continuing to cut service while maintaining and increasing ad prices. In some communities, locals are buying the paper. Not like to happen here. This leaves other opportunities for entrepreneurs in social media.
Disclosure: During his term as editor, I he certainly had my respect in his role and his reporters.