The Las Vegas Review Journal has been chaotic since Sheldon Adelson took control last year and is now reportedly firing employees for disloyalty.
Columnist John L. Smith resigned last month after the paper banned him from writing about casino owners Steve Wynn and Adelson, whose family owns paper.
In the latest disruption, features editor Stephanie Grimes — who has been outspoken about the Adelson conflict — was let go from the paper Thursday.
“The newspaper is bleeding talent left and right. It’s losing it’s best reporters week in and week out, and it won’t be long until everyone in a position of power is just a yes-man for the publisher,” Grimes wrote in a blog post on Medium.
“I wouldn’t have chosen to leave like this, but I suppose it’s better this way. I have no regrets.”
At least I leave without the blood of a newspaper on my hands, which is more than all of management can say.
— Lauren Vega (@LaurenVegaNYC) May 5, 2016
Her dismissal comes after the paper’s editor J. Keith Moyer threatened to fire disloyal staffers during an editor’s meeting last week in which “the importance of company loyalty” was discussed, according to Politico.
Adelson reportedly didn’t even want news of his involvement with the paper to become public knowledge. However, Moyer defended the paper’s ban of Adelson in an interview with Mary Hausch, a journalism professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. By defending the ban, it became public knowledge.
As for former columnist Smith, Adelson once sued him for libel after Smith wrote about him in a book. Although the case was eventually dismissed, the legal fees bankrupted Smith — and Moyer considered this a conflict of interest.