Apr 26 2008

Seems that the pages and news space aren't the only things disappearing from The Daily Times. Heard this morning that they let a number of their employees go yesterday (although unlike the Newel Rubbermaid layoff, it didn't make the front page). Among them, Business Editor Rick Laney, some people in their ad department, people that run their presses and others.

With the smaller pages, less news, very little advertising, idiotic editorial decisions (think retractions of articles that didn't need retracting and putting in ads from realtors that disputed previously reported facts to kiss up to those who would shoot the messenger), it shouldn't be long before we have The News Sentinel Blount or Blount Today Daily.

I'll bet the GOB are buying each other drinks all over town in celebration of the loss of the closest thing to an investigative reporter this community had in Rick Laney.

Wonder if we'll read about this in the DT, or will they bury it like they do everything that looks remotely negative toward The Machine?

Talent won't suppressed long

Sorry for sitting on my hands regarding this post, I've been waiting for the DT account. Nothing, not a peep. They were at Rubbermaid taking pics of people being laid off, but I suppose that poor taste only begins once you clear the threshold of the DT doors.

It appears the DT management has found carrying water for the machine is still fruitful, even though all evidence is to the contrary. Cutting back on paper size, losing advertisements, no investigative reporting, all BCSO stories come from the sheriffs spokesperson, repeating old stories as new, skewing stories with one sided accounts, using the same legal counsel as our mayor, not standing up for their employees when attacked, on and on. The reason they are suffering, is because of the aforementioned. They have exposed themselves to the average Blount reader, and the readers have decided many of their "stories" don't add up. What many in the public don't know, is there are stories that would help folks here in Blount add things up, but certain "variables" get plucked by late night editing that leaves the whole equation without pieces that would explain the stories in "total". This is a decision Daily Times management has made, not their reporting staff.

For those of you who didn't know, Rick Laney is not "from here". Like Jim Folts, he didn't know all the "unspoken rules" about how to handle a certain clique here in Blount. Apparently, not knowing these rules is an executable offense in Blount. Look how both have presented facts, only to be personally attacked. Rest assured, if they could be attacked on the facts, they would be. But that attack, one that could be debated, can not be an avenue for the machine - as the facts are not on their side.

Rick Laney is talented. Rick will be fine. I can't say the same for the "paper I grew up with".

Mr. Bus Driver, kindly move that bus.......

We need to remove a reporter out from under that bus. Extremely MadeOver in The Maryville Daily Times style.

The MDT has let go of the reporter who wrote the articles that brought the most attention to both the MDT and The Blount County Political Machine. Since we are all on moderate I can say out loud it was the Calixto case.

Then somehow ( snicker, snicker, snort!) Rick's story ended up in the hands of every group or organization who would be even remotely interested. The world was looking at Blount County and this appears to have made some folks very unhappy. It might have sold additional newspapers but displeased the Political Machine who places ads. Hey! It is an election year folks.

We have watched in shucks and awe goshes as the Local Political Machine would 'break' stories between the DT and BT. We could even see clearly who was in and who was out of favor any given week by which news outlet broke the story. Or which reporter was on the patio, whatever.

I think one of Rick's last articles in the MDT was noted here (link...) and on the same day this other article appeared in the DT's website with no mention from the BV readers. That article was all about the DT's attempt to set up their own version of an online community.

Personally, I feel like the DT is saying we don't need RL and we don't need the BV bloggers but we do need the local Political Machine / Advertisers.

I get it. I do. The MDT is a business and is there to make money for the family who owns it. They don't make money selling papers but do make money selling ads. Times are tough all over. We get it! We know first hand just how hard the times are! We also know that most working folks don't have the time to read page two. They are too busy trying to put food on the table and fit enough hours into a work day to spend time with their kids. They are thinking twice about the new car dream and reconsidering the family vacation because they are worried about feeding the kids and filling the gas tank to get to the job they hope like hell will still be there next week because the kids' need health insurance.

Prom photos and happy idiot reporting sell ads! Don't dare to report on items which make the public think. A thinking public does not sell ads because a public which thinks is thinking twice how they spend their money.

Now here we are. The MDT has 'let go' of the only MDT reporter I respected and I fully expect to see more happy idiot, prom stories and press releases from Lamar! in the pages of the DT.

So here's to you Rick for putting up with those dolts as long as you did. Bravo! Well done! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Can we all expect to hear that the Editor who allowed your stories to run was also terminated / out sourced / replaced or whatever the term of choice was?

I doubt it.

Rick Laney


I was not surprised in reading Andy's post today when he said the Daily Times management relieved Rick Laney of his reporting duties. Also, I totally agree with this assessment:

I'll bet the GOB are buying each other drinks all over town in celebration of the loss of the closest thing to an investigative reporter this community had in Rick Laney.

Rick was the author of the article that initiated my comments in this forum. (link...)
Though Andy has stated a disdain for this term, Rick Laney was one writer who epitomizes "testicular fortitude." Rick would not back down to the management of the Daily Times when editor Max Crotser capitulated to partisanship pressure and an obvious conflict of interest that lead directly to the "retraction and apology" issued to a Knoxville lawyer who is inextricably intertwined- personally and professionally-with the executive and judicial branches of Blount County government.*

Nary a word of the Kathy Wright article was inaccurately reported.

That being said, I'm going to put on my lawyer pants and walk down the path that I believe shamefully and ultimately led to Mr. Laney's demise.

1. Mayor Cunningham's disgust with opinions contrary to his own as epitomized by the very means of communication I use today:


2. The Mayor's "Let's All Co-Exist" moment with the DT:

3. Rick Laney's recent DT article about the effectiveness and pervasiveness of bloggers:

Does this path lead to the end of investigative journalism in BC? Or, to coin a phrase, are the DT management 'cavemen' by clubbing the messenger to death because the message is disliked?

I've seen these "Co-Exist" bumper stickers on cars from Asheville to Knoxville to Maryville. My question always is: "Co-Exist on Whose Terms?" Apparently, the DT cannot co-exist on terms with individuals who believe in and act upon the precepts of the First Amendment.

Rick Laney will be sadly missed.


* I was quoted extensively in Rick's "Kathy Wright" story but no one from the Daily Times contacted me or my office to obtain an accurate explanation of the documents that Rick provided the DT management prior to the "retraction and apology." So much for fair and balanced reporting.

Thomas F. Mabry
P. O. Box 52385
Knoxville, TN 37950

Fax 1-888-215-3119
Phone 1-865-671-0598

Ironically, today's MDT

Ironically, today's MDT front page has an article by Rick Laney:


Rick- Start working on your book!!!

Because as I see it, you are now free to say what you want, when you want, to whomever you want. My only hope is that you find a BETTER income (we know the DT doesn't pay), and professionally fulfilling ways to continue using your considerable journalistic talent. We need you here. You're one of the best things to come along to Blount County in decades.

And I mean decades. (By the way, were any other reporters laid off??? ANY?)

As far as the DT goes, anyone interested in buying a paper? I suspect bargain sale prices will be available soon....

And don't worry, there's no possibility that a Pulitzer will ever be coming from this so-call Press- so prices are sure to stay low.

I must say that Rick Laney

I must say that Rick Laney was a reporter who looked at all sides of the issues. I have had quite a few conversations with Rick after the Calixto story was published, about her situation and other issues. I know that he did not, or was not allowed to report all the information he had on many issues.
He also protected someone who had first hand knowledge about what happened in the courtroom in the Calixto case, and got little thanks for that.
Rick was a good reporter and I am sure he will be successful wherever he goes from here.
Thank you Rick, for trying to bring to light the truth in Blount County.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Maybe tyme for a Progressive Paper

Didn't Knoxville have 2 newspapers, at one time, "The Knoxville New Sentinel" & "The Knoxville Journal"? Lord knows I miss the "Monroe County Democrat." Maybe it's time for Blount County to have their own Progressive Newspaper, and if he's not busy, maybe Rick could be the Dan Hicks of our county. A newspaper that would contain articles of news interest, and maybe not cover the latest Blount County Republican Party get-togethers, nor Blount County Chamber of Commerce swill trough parties.

viva Evo Morales

Yes, time for a new newspaper

A newspaper that would contain articles of news interest, and maybe not cover the latest Blount County Republican Party get-togethers, nor Blount County Chamber of Commerce swill trough parties.

I don't mind if they cover all that stuff as long as they cover the Democrat get-togethers, too. And all sides of the stories, not just the side that benefits the old guard.

"Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference." --Voltaire

Not the first to be laid off

Not the first to be laid off from DT newsroom.
Guess you don't follow the DT?
Not the only one to be laid off this round.
Sorry you don't know what goes on there.

Not the first

Not the first to be laid off from the newsroom,
Do you keep up with the DT?
Do you know what really happens there?
I think not.

Is you is?

Dear Dr. OnTheInside:

Are you on the inside, of the Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times? Or did you used to be from the inside? It would be nice to have a Progressive rag in Blount County--something to serve the tree huggers here. Air quality, Rain updates, Automobile Traffic data, Electrical Power data, etc. It even feels good to be a left-wing, tree-huggin, socialist, liberal. And I bet there's more than just one of us. A Progressive paper is needed in Blount County.

viva Evo Morales

Everyone keeps up with the DT - The DT doesn't keep up

Do you know what really happens there?

No, is it where the Federalist meet?
Or does just one Federalist go there late at night;
to do the work of the "Society"?
I think so.

Really I don't know, but this mysterious way of writing sure is fun.

In working to achieve these goals, the Society has created a conservative and libertarian intellectual network that extends to all levels of the legal community.


Would you be able to tell us if the Daily Times is part of this extended, networked community?

You should ask the


Now that's a creepy post

Noone here is claiming to know what goes "ontheinside" of the DT. We simply judge by results.

I believe it was mentioned that "some people in their ad department, people that run their presses and others" were also laid off. Who knows who was laid off first and why does it matter?

You got the inside scoop? Feel free to enlighten us. I would like to know if any other reporters were let go.

"Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference." --Voltaire


I would like to know if any other reporters were let go.

"I'm stuck here on the

"I'm stuck here on the inside, I'm looking out...."
Alice Cooper, album From the Inside, 1978

I know what I know.

Is it a secret? I know what

Is it a secret? I know what I know too, and ain't afraid to speak out about what I know unless someone could be hurt by what I know.....

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

For Sale Sign Posted?


Word on the street is the Daily Times is feeling the squeeze of poor readership, poor leadership and is bleeding substantial revenue losses monthly. Look for a buyer to come callin', or more job cuts to come. The DT may have to go back to being a Mon-Fri publication. Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh MY!

It must be a huge downer to be ontheinside right now. Pass the word to the remaining few, make sure your resumes are updated and posted on every reputable jobs websites. Good luck on finding something better, brighter.

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