Kyle Veazey, The Commercial Appeal’s
lead political reporter, has left the paper for a job in the administration of Memphis Mayor-Elect Jim Strickland.
The paper broke the news Monday morning with a brief story noting that Veazey’s resignation was effective immediately and that his popular politics column, “First Word,” was suspended.
Veazey will join former WMC-TV anchor Ursula Madden in Strickland’s communication office.
Strickland defeated incumbent Mayor A C Wharton in this year’s election, in which Veazey covered for the paper.
Strickland’s transition team is set to give their recommendations to him during a public meeting Wednesday.
Strickland’s team is also set to announce a “significant staff announcement” today at 1 p.m. At Christian Brothers University. His team said the announcement is not about Veazey.
Strickland was asked to comment on the perception that hiring Veazey raised questions about Veazey's objectivity during the mayoral election.
Here's what Strickland said:
"The only thing I could comment is…my wife, last night when I told her about this hire, she said, ‘Well I didn’t really like what (Veazey) wrote about you.'
"So, you know, I’ll let anybody come to their own conclusions about what they see. I thought all the media - print and TV - was fair during the campaign."