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Horns of A Rhino Dilemma 

Conflict of interest haunts Gauvreau move

From the "it's not illegal, but it sure has a fishy smell" department comes the news that CMS board member Larry Gauvreau begins a new job this week as the publisher of The Rhinoceros Times, the conservative weekly paper that carries the motto that it has "all the rumors fit to print". Although Gauvreau has no media experience, his task will be to increase circulation and drum up ad business for a paper that mixes stories about local government and schools with photos of who's out and about in uptown bars. There's no doubt the paper could use help, as recent issues have been only sparsely populated with advertising.

Since a publisher can have an influence on news content and coverage, will one have to look any farther than Gauvreau's opinions when the paper covers CMS issues? He has stated publicly that he sees no conflict of interest in his dual roles, but since he has access to confidential information and knows what goes on in closed-door meetings, will you really have to look far to find out who was the Deep Throat (or in this case, Big Mouth) if there are any "leaks" to Rhino Times?

With a third of 112,000 American high schoolers in a recent survey saying that newspapers should get government approval before they publish stories, we pause to remember Hunter S. Thompson, the original gonzo journalist, who killed himself last week.

Thompson, Tom Wolfe, and Kurt Vonnegut led the way out of the stale Daily Planet style of writing for many of us. While we lead the mainstream life, at least we knew Thompson was out there where most of us can't or won't go. Or live to tell the tale. "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone," Thompson once said, "but they've always worked for me."

Comings and goings

Former WSOC-TV anchor Rob Boisvert is joining News 14 Carolina as its weekday morning anchor. He replaces Kathleen Cochrane, who is heading to the proverbial larger market, in this case, Cleveland, Ohio. . . Jim Szoke has left WFRX-FM to look for other NFL announcing opportunities. The off-season is the season to do that, and WRFX and the Carolina Panthers have not re-upped on their radio contract. Szoke has also been mentioned as a possible replacement for Bill Rosinski, who was inexplicably fired recently.

WCNC-TV news director Keith Connors heads for a bigger market when he starts his new job at KHOU-TV in Houston next month. The station is owned by Belo, WCNC's owner.

"I hate to leave the Carolinas. But I'm going knowing I left the place a little better than I found it. Frankly, it's the best thing I've ever done," Connors says.

Being a news director, the person who hires, fires, runs, and shapes a newsroom, is not a fun job, and I speak from experience. And when you're trying to improve the perennial last-place shop, well, it's not any more "fun." The 36 newsroom has made strides and won awards under Connors. A search is underway for his replacement.

Stay tuned.

E-mail at Shannon.Reichley@cln.com

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