Saturday, August 19, 2006

Time to flush

The publisher of the Humboldt Advocate announced on his website late last night that his paper will “close and publish its last issue this September.”

We’ll just have to wait and see if that’s true. Shawn Warford doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to publishing as promised – nor does he have much regard for the truth.

He likes to write baseless conspiracy theories involving the Arkley family, especially local billionaire Robin Arkley Jr.

At one point he even suggested that my paper was funded, or even possibly owned, by Arkley. It’s not true, although I admit that I wouldn’t mind being on the Arkley payroll – especially if I got some vacation time. The most consecutive days I’ve taken off in last decade is three. Why? Because I have to be here to put out a paper EVERY week.

Warford didn't have that problem. The Advocate was a weekly newspaper, except during Warford’s multiple vacations when the paper wasn’t published at all.

I guess the news wasn’t important during those breaks. He just published willy nilly as he saw fit.

Then he promised to come out every other week. But that didn’t happen either.

He also promised that in his newspaper’s absence, news articles would be posted on his website. That didn’t happen very often. You can’t blame that on advertising dollars, just laziness.

Now he’s going to close down in September, even though he was actually closed down all of August.

So who’s to blame for Warford’s failure? Arkley, of course. Life is simple. You got a problem? Blame it on Arkley. Financial problems? It’s Arkley’s fault. Gas pains? Arkley’s fault? Flat tire? Arkley’s fault.

Warford writes on his website “Humboldt County deserves an independent, non-Arkley paper that serves the people.”

News to Warford: Humboldt County has numerous independent, non-Arkley newspapers – the Redwood Times, Independent, Ferndale Enterprise, Humboldt Beacon, Times-Standard, North Coast Journal, Arcata Eye, The Lumberjack, Eco-News, McKinleyville Press and Bigfoot News.

Humboldt County has a single Arkley paper – the Eureka Reporter.

Although Warford sees Arkley as his nemesis, he once penned a letter praising the ER under his pen name Jan Johnson. Warford encouraged the ER to cover Arcata, thinking that this would be a good way to get back at his former employer, the Arcata Eye.

When he wasn't blaming his problems on the ER or the Eye, he blamed them on another former employer – the North Coast Journal – also alleged to be a puppet of Arkley. Warford was fired from the NCJ "with cause."

While I certainly won’t miss Warford, I do feel some sympathy for his freelance reporters – Elaine Weinreb and Cameron Langford.

Cameron covered the McKinleyville Community Services District and did a competent job. When I first met him, I said “Hi. I’m Jack with the McKinleyville Press. I’m a puppet of Arkley.” He had a sense of humor about it and seemed to be a regular guy just doing his job.

I’m sure Cameron can get a job elsewhere, although he should be careful about listing the Humboldt Advocate on his resume.

Now, can Warford find a buyer for his dozens of large, plastic, teal-colored newspaper boxes? Getting rid of those may be the biggest challenge of all.


Blogger Nick Bravo said...

warford blames everything on arkley.
dave meserve blames everything on bush.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Well, he claims that the Arcata Eye and the North Coast Journal are Arkley financed.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Nick Bravo said...

No, the Eye and the NCJ are professional papers who have schedules, deadlines, reporters, advertisers, etc.

The Advocate had shawn going on vacation every other week.

5:13 AM  

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