Sarasota M.E. Resigns After Offering Opinion

By: Joe Strupp

Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune Managing Editor Rosemary Armao resigned Thursday after newspaper executives objected to her response to a reader complaint in which Armao offered her opinion of a congressional candidate.

In the response, sent via e-mail, Armao defended a recent profile of congressional candidate Katherine Harris and mentioned that she would not be voting for Harris.

“I thought I was doing the right thing,” said Armao, a two-year Herald-Tribune employee who says she was forced to resign. “You talk to readers the way editors always used to talk to readers.”

Executive Editor Janet Weaver said she discussed the e-mail message with Publisher Diane McFarlin and told Armao that her actions were not acceptable. “I felt that, as journalists, we don’t offer our opinions,” said Weaver, who added that Armao was not fired or asked to quit. “We had a philosophical difference over the response, and she resigned.”

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