Thursday, March 1, 2007

Politics, Favors at MLGW Preceded Lee

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Politics and special attention at MLGW preceded current CEO Joseph Lee and were extended to, among others, the former editor of The Commercial Appeal, according to e-mails obtained by the Flyer.

On March 29, 2002, then-MLGW CEO Herman Morris wrote an e-mail to communications manager Mark Heuberger and vice president Curtis Dillihunt about the "CA Editor Problem."

Morris wrote that he received a handwritten note "from the editor of the CA with a letter of complaint from his wife" requesting Morris' help in a billing matter.

"This could set editorial policy toward MLGW for years and must be handled with touch," Morris' e-mail says. "I tried to call him Thursday but he was not in. I will be out of town 4/1/02 but will call him when I return on Tuesday. I would like you to get involved and make sure that we handle this matter with sensitivity."

The e-mail has not previously been reported by The Commercial Appeal in its coverage of politics and special treatment at MLGW. The CA editor at the time of the e-mail was Angus McEachran.

The e-mail was obtained by the Flyer from MLGW communications manager Gale Jones Carson on Tuesday, shortly before our deadlines. It continues:

"Finally, I need to develop a list of customers that require my personal awareness, attention, or staff intervention when they have problems. Generally, customers who can call me or the mayor at home should be on the list. The mayor(s); city councilmen; county commissioners; state legislators; congressmen; any city director; editor of the CA; news or station director of TV stations; hospitals; jails; airports; FedEx; other big plants or customers; Fred Smith, Jack Belz, Mike Rose, Ira Lipman, Maxine Smith, Carol Miller (my sister), Lori Miller (my niece), Haymond Turner (my inlaws), Tom Garrott, Ron Terry, Marc Jordan, Pat Tigrett, Dean Jernigan, Herman Ewing, Pitt Hyde, Ben Hooks, Jesse Turner, Russell Sugarmon, Bill Crawford, and Pete Aviotti."

For more on this breaking story and Morris' list, go to www.memphisflyer.com.

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