N.C. Newspaper CEO Takes It Outside

From the Lake Norman Citizen out of Huntersville, North Carolina comes a gleeful item about the Citizen’s competition: “Herald Weekly owner banned from post office.” Apparently Alain Roger Lillie, CEO of The [Huntersville, N.C.] Herald Weekly was upset at the employees of the local post office, and chose an unfortunate way to express his anger.

Lillie complained about the way the post office handles the distribution of the Lake Norman Citizen, USPS officials say. Postal officials would not elaborate on the specifics of Lillie’s complaint, but added that the Citizen and USPS have followed proper procedure.

The Lake Norman Citizen utilizes the USPS for primary distribution of the weekly publication, augmenting its distribution with limited carrier delivery and about a dozen rack locations, while the Herald Weekly relies on independent contractors and newspaper racks for distribution, per its media kit available on its Web site.

According to a report filed by Huntersville police officer A.R. Burnette, “Mr. Mayne told Mr. Lillie (that) ‘effective immediately, you are banned from this property. That includes the entrance, parking lot, post office and surrounding areas. Do you understand?’”

Lillie did depart, but not without a parting shot.

“As Mr. Lillie was leaving the gated area, he called Mr. Mayne (an expletive) and told (Mayne) to ‘meet him in the parking lot,’” Burnette’s report says.

Lillie later tried (unsuccessfully) to bribe the cops who were called to the scene—by telling them he would use his influence to get them named “Officer of the Month” in the Herald Weekly.

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Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner