The Columbus Dispatch apparently is abandoning its hard-right editorial page slant with the departure of Glenn Sheller, announced March 19. It advertised the vacancy in journalismjobs.com on March 2.
The longtime editorial page editor reflected an ultra-conservative point-of-view that was horribly out of step with the newspaper's core audience in deep blue Columbus and Franklin County, as I have pointed out more than once in this column, Sheller's head in the sand perspective may have been costing the print and web product thousands of subscribers and readers, not to mention advertisers.
In a column announcing Sheller's departure, Dispatch editor Alan Miller quoted publisher Bradley Harmon as saying that the next editorial page editor should reflect the “need for diversity to better mirror the growing, evolving region we serve.”
Harmon's statement could be interpreted to mean that Sheller's views were not congruent with the region's.
Miller wrote about what a tough job it was to be editorial page editor because of heated criticism from the public. Miller failed to balance that by pointing out the immense power Sheller had to influence public opinion and affect election outcomes.
Rumor has it that Sheller will wind up in the government/political sector like his previous boss, former Dispatch editor Ben Marrison, who is now chief spokesperson for David Yost, Ohio Auditor and candidate for Ohio Attorney General.
Sheller would be comfortable with Yost's hard-right Republican philosophy after years of espousing it at the Dispatch.
The Dispatch has two local columnists who are white males. The paper would do well to hire six new local columnists: a woman, a Black, a liberal, a conservative, a young adult and one representing the LBGTQ community. Only then would the daily newspaper begin reflecting the "diversity" of its audience.
Ohio Political Ranker: Volume 2
Welcome to Volume 2 of the ColumbusMediaInsider Ohio Political Ranker. Each month I will rank the candidates for Ohio governor in 2018. My criteria include: wealth/fund-raising capability (it will take $50 million to win the governorship), competence, integrity, charisma, name recognition and appeal to small town/rural voters.
OHIO GOVERNOR DEMOCRAT
· Former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton. Only announced Democrat with the guts to take on the Republicans. Needs financial transfusion.
· Ex-State Rep. Connie Pillich. Roll-out of her campaign was textbook, but is she ready for prime time?
· Columbus Councilwoman Elizabeth Brown. Her media savvy matches Dad's.
· Columbus City Attorney Richard Pfeiffer. Beloved public servant and former state legislator. The rest of the state would love him, too.
· State Sen. Joe Schiavoni. Minority leader knows how to grab the spotlight, but can a Youngstown kid get votes in western Ohio?
· Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. Unopposed for re-election, she could run from cover.
· Richard Cordray. Who cares what Trump does? Are you running or not?
· Mike Coleman. Man who turned Franklin County blue could do same for Ohio.
· Cuyahoga County executive Armond Budish. Former Ohio House Speaker has got to be thinking about it.
· Hamilton County commissioner Todd Portune. Should have run last time and saved us from Ed FitzGerald. What is he waiting for?
OHIO GOVERNOR REPUBLICAN
· J.D. Vance. Moving to Columbus to clean up opioid epidemic. Might as well run for governor. Hillbilly Elegy author from Middleton apparently has the millions.
· U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci. Tired of Congress already. Wants to Trump-icize Ohio. Has more millions. Who would not vote for a guy who sells Harleys?
· Mike DeWine. Looks younger. Too bad the young don't vote.
· Jon Husted. Secretary of state losing publicity race.
· Mary Taylor. Staff troubles bursting her bubble.
· Urban Meyer. Would TV ad pal Josh Mandel run for lt. gov. with Urb?
Kasich Squeezes Dayton, Akron, Toledo Universities
While Ohio State University booms and Columbus benefits, at least three other Ohio big city state universities are slumping financially and their home communities are suffering because of it.
Wright State University in Dayton is facing a $40 million annual deficit. The University of Akron is down $18 million. The University of Toledo will be $5 million short.
The Kasich Administration has put an unprecedented regulatory and financial squeeze on big-city state universities. The economies and reputations of Dayton, Akron and Toledo are suffering because of Kasich's neglect.
A reader of this column is unhappy with the elimination of Click!, the Dispatch TV magazine in February. She writes that the absence of cable/satellite channel numbers in the new daily listings makes it harder to find specific channels. It is clear that the Dispatch was not making any money on Click! because the final edition had only one ad page in a 24-page booklet. My beef about the new daily listings is that the guests on the three network talk shows at 11:35 p.m. are no longer included.
Cleveland.com's Henry Gomez is leaving as chief political reporter to cover the Republican Party for Buzzfeed.com. The latter site is known for pithy headlines like "7 things you should know about food and sex." Gomez was a hard-working reporter and pioneered the daily "Ohio Political Roundup." Yet I found him too cozy with Gov. Kasich and the Republicans and too keen to become Kasich's biographer.
He was governing
In Hillbilly Heaven
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(ColumbusMediaInsider, copyright, 2017, John K. Hartman, All Rights Reserved)