The New York Times, that bastion of journalistic integrity and civil liberties, is facing PR fallout from a direct order it gave on-air personalities at a Times-owned radio station: 'shut up, or else.'
On January 1, the Times will begin leasing WQEW-AM to ABC/Disney, which will switch the station's format from old standbys to kid-oriented Radio Disney. You wouldn't know this from listening to the station, however, as the paper has threatened to fire any disc jockey who mentions it.
Times spokesperson Lisa Carparelli said the DJs have been directed to 'continue on, business as usual with the normal programming.' She refused to comment on reports that Times higher-ups are responsible for the silence.
Since disclosure of the deal, the Times hasn't had much to say about it. Unlike the other New York papers, the Times did not cover the rally held outside the Times' offices by irate listeners - who, ostensibly, are not looking forward to Goofy replacing Sinatra.
When asked for his opinion on the format change, DJ Jonathan Schwartz just shook his head and rolled his eyes.