‘Policies and practices’

Alfred Wilson Lee

“In order that one may understand exactly what the Lee Syndicate is, it is necessary that certain policies and practices of the Lee Syndicate be disclosed…. They descended largely from Mr. (Alfred Wilson) Lee himself …. ¶

The first of these ideas … was to promote your own men, to delegate authority freely, and place upon authority strict responsibility…. ¶ Another policy of the Lee Syndicate has to do with the management of the several papers. From the outset the original trio, Messrs. Lee, (E.P.) Adler and (James F.) Powell, came to the conclusion that there must be no dictation from any central authority controlling the policy of the individual papers of the syndicate. They felt these papers must be of and for the cities which they sought to serve …. ¶ There is one feature of the syndicate newspapers, or most of them, that is rather exceptional. It is a thing many publishers would say could not be done.

That is an entire separation in authority and responsibility between the editor and the business manager. The editor is supreme in all matters of policy, which the business manager is a czar of the business office. The underlying thought in this was that it never could be said that editorial policy was influenced by business considerations ….” (A.M. Brayton, “Publisher Tells Facts About the Lee Syndicate,” The Wisconsin State Journal, March 21, 1926)

12-06-1910 muscatine journal

(Originally published March 21, 2020)

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