By: Dave Astor
Tribune Media Services (TMS) will no longer syndicate Bob Greene, who resigned this past weekend from the Chicago Tribune after acknowledging having sexual contact with a girl in her late teens more than a decade ago.
“We will not be continuing with Bob Greene,” TMS Director of Marketing Steve Tippie told E&P Online. “Since he will not be writing his column, there will be no column to syndicate.”
TMS Vice President/Domestic Syndication Walter Mahoney said TMS is offering newspapers Kathleen Parker, Leonard Pitts Jr., and Ana Veciana-Suarez as replacements for Greene, who had just over 100 clients.
National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC) President Mike Leonard feels the Tribune was correct in asking for Greene’s resignation. He noted that, since reports indicate the girl approached the newspaper for help with a school project, the situation wasn’t strictly a personal matter and thus the Tribune had the right to make an ethics ruling about it. Greene, 55, who has been married since 1971, also reportedly wrote about the girl in his column.
“Eighteen may be the age of consent, but clearly a young woman coming in working on a journalism project is going to be vulnerable,” said Leonard, a columnist for The Herald-Times in Bloomington, Ind. “With a public persona comes responsibility. Unfortunately, Bob’s judgment was apparently clouded in this case.”
Leonard added that the NSNC is “saddened to see someone who has been such a good writer and done so many good things end his Tribune career this way.” And he concluded: “I do hope that the media haters will take notice that our profession takes ethics very seriously.”