Cox Newspapers’ founder spins in his grave as lights go out at The Palm Beach Post

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Florida’s Ministries of Disinformation got an early Christmas present from Santa in Atlanta when Cox Newspapers pulled the plug on the Tallahassee Bureau of The Palm Beach Post and laid off its lone remaining ranger, veteran newsman John Kennedy.

The Cox media empire was born in Dayton, Ohio in an era when men with political ambitions could make a fortune and make their way to the Governor’s Mansion from a basecamp in the news business.

In 1920, Gov. James M. Cox almost made his way to the White House. His running mate was fellow One Percenter Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The family blood got thinner over the years and Gov. Cox’s heirs relocated to Atlanta, where the climate was warmer and the taxes were lower. For decades, though, they honored their founder with scrappy political reporting that kept the Tallahassee bureaus of bigger, better-funded news organizations on their toes.

As a publisher and a politician, Gov. Cox crusaded for the first version of a state highway system; a no-fault system of compensation for workers injured on the job; and restrictions on child labor. Decent roads and decent treatment of children and working people are not what politicians want to talk about these days at their “avails” and they are not crying in their eggnog at the news that there will be one less reporter trying to get them off their talking points and messages-of-the-day.

Florence Snyder

Florence Beth Snyder is a Tallahassee-based lawyer and consultant.

One comment

  • Bud Newman

    December 13, 2016 at 12:37 am

    Hi Florence:
    As a former Palm Beach Post reporter (and a former Tallahassee reporter for a different news organization before joining the Post), I was saddened to learn that the Post’s Tallahassee Bureau was closing. Several years ago, Cox also closed its Washington Bureau. I understand that economics and tight times in the print news industry may force these difficult decisions but it is very disappointing nonetheless. Post readers are now likely to be deprived of important developments and actions taken by state lawmakers from the Post’s coverage area. It’s a sad day for print journalism that these kinds of decisions become necessary.
    Bud Newman in Silver Spring, MD
    Post local political reporter 1975-1978
    Post Washington correspondent 1975-1984
    Gannett Tallahassee reporter 1972-1974

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