Greensboro News and Record's Allen Johnson on Roy Carroll and the Rhino Times

"Shortly after he had announced that he was reviving the Rhino Times, Roy Carroll brushed off any notions that his role as a developer who does business with local government would create any conflicts of interest with his role as a publisher -- whose newspaper covers local government.

Of course it would, I told him then.

No it would not, he insisted.

Maybe he still does.

But the latest headlines say something else.

In a Sept. 23, 2013, column following an interview with Carroll, I posed this question: How will a publication that always reveled in tweaking the establishment operate now that it’s part of that establishment?  How independent will it be now that the man who signs the checks is one of the most powerful businessmen in the city — and a frequent newsmaker in his own right?

I added: As for the tangle of ethical conflicts that seems inevitable when a real estate magnate owns a publication that covers zoning, planning and incentives deliberations, Carroll dismisses it.

...Carroll has weighed in personally on local politics, included sharp criticism of the economic development efforts in the city, which are funded largely by taxpayers.  And now Carroll is involved in a “business dealing” that is very much inside of Greensboro.

Carroll has sought approval to close part of West Lindsay Street to make way for the new, 106-room Hyatt Place hotel and apartment development he plans to build in downtown.  He himself made a pitch at Wednesday’s Planning Board meeting.

...As for more details about Carroll’s development, we all get to read all about it ... in the cover story of today’s Rhino.  Which quotes only Roy Carroll...

...there is a little bit of a “robber baron” flavor to all of this.

Carroll had told me in 2013 that he planned very limited involvement in the Rhino’s news content but he has written several editorial commentaries.

It is inevitable that this scenario will repeat itself."


No comments: