Thanks to Barry Paschal for mentioning me and my company in his May 24 column ("Paper's history opens intrigue), but I do have one comment to make about what could be misunderstood by readers.
The other owners of The Columbia News and The Martinez-Evans Times at that time did ask me to publish a letter disavowing any connection they might be perceived as having to my alcohol "crusade." But they did so because they wanted to cover their collective rear ends, not because they were displeased with me.
The reason I left my job at The Columbia News, and my 10 percent ownership, behind was because I was recruited for a job in television at WRDW-TV-12, and eventually served as news director for the next four years. I saw the television job as an opportunity and I took it.
My relationships with the other directors, including School Superintendent John Pierce Blanchard, banker Patrick Blanchard, Realtor M.T. "Buddy" Grey, school Principal Paul Davis, County Commission Chairman Jim Blanchard Sr. and attorney Jim Blanchard Jr., as well as others, continued to be excellent and warm and I believe we always held each other in high regard.
I might add that at no time did I ever give up, nor was I ever asked to compromise, my editorial freedom at The Columbia News despite the fact that it was an uncomfortable time for the other owners. The owners were a highly principled group of gentlemen and I thank them, and the people of Columbia County, for making my career in Columbia County one of the high points of my life.
It was during my tenure that we totally redesigned the newspaper, bought The Martinez-Evans Times and converted our letterpress-printed newspaper into a modern offset printed newspaper. All of those changes resulted in our winning the Georgia Press Association's General Excellence award in 1971, and I have since learned that the paper is still winning those awards. I still have my award plaque hanging in a place of honor in my office and, although I have won many awards and honors in my life, it is the single most important event in my professional life.
Jay M. Jaffe, Avon, Colo
(Jay M. Jaffe, who was editor and publisher of The Columbia News in 1970-71, is president and CEO of Jaffe Associates, Inc.)
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