Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Review-Journal Warns Staffers Disloyalty Could Get Them Fired

Newspaper continues to make news with its treatment of employees

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The Las Vegas Review-Journal has warned employees that they could be fired if they tweet information that “adversely affects” Sheldon Adelson’s newspaper.

The new policy lends further credence to claims that the paper’s billionaire owner has implemented rules to ensure that his reputation isn’t damaged by the paper he owns or by its employees.

The paper’s new social media policy, which was reported by Politico, also prohibits employees from sharing internal information. This type of policy is common in corporate America, but it is relevant here because of ongoing rumors that the Review-Journal will fire employees for “disloyalty.”

“Employees should remember that any conduct, online or otherwise, that negatively or adversely impacts the employee’s job performance or conduct, the job performance or conduct of other co-workers or adversely affects clients, customers, colleagues or associates of the Las Vegas Review-Journal or the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s legitimate business interests may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination,” the new policy states.

The headline for the policy is a not-so-subtle message in all caps: “THINK BEFORE POSTING.”

The Review-Journal has been clouded with controversy since Adelson secretly purchased it last year. Dozens of reporters have left the company or threatened to do so. The billionaire has also been accused of meddling around the paper’s decision-making when it comes to news judgement, but he has denied those claims.

“I have never spoken to anybody in the newsroom, nor have we called them to establish news-gathering policies,” Adelson said last month in written answers to questions from The New York Times.

There have been allegations that Adelson and his representatives have vetoed particular stories and instructed editors to shape articles to make them more favorable to Adelson and his business partners.

Business reporter Jennifer Robison recently left the paper to become a communications principal for PG&E in San Francisco. She had been on the business news desk of the Review-Journal for more than 11 years.

She was one of three journalists at the paper who revealed that Adelson bought the publication last December, a fact that the new owner had attempted to keep secret. Fellow whistle-blower James DeHaven left shortly after the news broke, and Howard Stutz departed in February to take a job at a law firm.

Columnist John L. Smith resigned in April after the paper banned him from writing about casino owners Steve Wynn and Adelson. Features editor Stephanie Grimes — who has been outspoken about the Adelson conflict — was let go from the paper in May.