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Full-Page Ad Protests Departure Of Atlanta Newspapers’ Editor

November 10, 1988

ATLANTA (AP) _ The Washington political correspondent of Atlanta’s two major newspapers has quit over the resignation of editor Bill Kovach.

John Mashek said he sent his two-weeks’ notice by express mail Tuesday. Glenn McCutchen, managing editor, confirmed today that Mashek had resigned.

Kovach was named editor of The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution in 1986 in what was seen as an attempt to enhance the papers’ national stature. But the former Washington bureau chief of The New York Times resigned last week in a dispute with the newspapers’ management.

Mashek told USA Today that he was leaving because of Kovach’s departure.

″We were on the way to building something great,″ he said. ″Now that dream has been shattered.″

More than 150 authors, community activists and journalists deplored Kovach’s departure in a full-page advertisement in today’s editions of the newspapers.

″We greatly appreciate the kind of excellence Mr. Kovach strove for and helped to produce, and we are concerned that the ready acceptance of his resignation signals a compromise of the high journalistic standards we have come to expect,″ the statement said.

Among those whose names appeared in the advertisement were novelist Pat Conroy, author of ″The Water is Wide,″ ″Conrack″ and ″Lords of Discipline,″ and Bill Emerson, former editor of The Saturday Evening Post.

Also included was John Lewis, the city’s congressman.

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