[UPDATED] Friday drama at Baltimore City Paper

City Paper staff writer’s tweet:

What was censored: “The missing Mr. Wrong and other indiscretions,” by editor Evan Serpick. (The outgoing owner – not the Baltimore Sun – “was concerned that ‘dirty laundry’ was being aired. And that we had lost our objectivity,” reports Ericson.)


“Times Shamrock [the company that’s selling City Paper to the Sun] now demanding CP Twitter and Facebook passwords,” tweets Ericson. “Presumably so they can fuck with editorial postings there.”

* Follow @EdwardEricsonJr for the latest developments.

* Under pressure from advertisers, City Paper spikes a review (baltimorebrew.com)
* Eight fulltime employees laid off from City Paper this week (citypaper.com)

Update: As predicted, a post headlined “Times-Shamrock CEO discusses decision to control City Paper social media” was taken down. Read the piece after the jump.

Times-Shamrock CEO discusses decision to control City Paper social media
Scott Lynett, the CEO of Times-Shamrock, the company which sold City Paper to the Baltimore Sun, effective March 5, removed a blog about removing blogs and shut down our access to Twitter, Facebook, and our news blogs. The arts blog is at a separate location and we have not lost access.
We called Scott Lynett to ask about what happened. the entire conversation is transcribed below. Lynett hung up on me at the end of the conversation. I called back in case it was a bad connection. It was not. He would speak no longer on the record.

CP: Hi Scott, this is Baynard Woods with the City Paper.

Scott Lynett: Hi Baynard, how are you?

CP: Not so well. I find that I’m unable to work, that our web access has been shuit down and thus our ability to write on news stories and this is a news story I’m trying to write on, so I’m trying to figure out what’s happening. And if you don’t mind if I record this.

SL“We have found that Evan today posted an unauthorized blogpost revealing inside information and so we stopped access.”

CP: Inside information, but we are a news organization that’s supposed to report on news, or am I mistaken about that?

SL: I’m sorry, Baynard?

CP: Since we’re a news organization and that’s something that happened. We need to maintain our credibility after the sale and part of doing that is making sure that we are transparent with our readers. Don’t you think that’s something we should be doing?

SL: No, frankly Baynard, I don’t think it is.

CP: So we shouldn’t have reported on . . .

SL: Internal editorial discussions are not subject to reporting.

CP: As far as I knew, no one said it was off the record. We have to maintain our credibility as a newspaper.

SL: Baynard I disagree with you. Is there another question here or is this a speech?

CP: No it’s not a speech at all. I’m wondering what your strategy behind cutting off our internet access and our ability to blog and actually do our jobs, why you think that’s warranted?

At this point Scott Lynett hung up.