This week’s Cleveland Scene carries a wraparound ad for mayoral candidate Ken Lanci. The four-page ad goes over the Scene’s actual cover and includes an endorsement of Lanci — who has said he’d consider buying the Scene — from “The Lanci Tribune.”
In Cleveland Magazine, Erick Trickey wonders “shouldn’t a rebellious alt-weekly avoid a sleight-of-hand that suggests a millionaire political candidate can buy its endorsement?“
What sort of political coverage of the mayor’s race will Scene offer up now? “Premiere edition,” declares the “Lanci Tribune.” Will the paper bite the hand that feeds in the next issue? Or keep quiet about the mayor’s race?
Trickey’s criticism is “pretty boring,” Scene Editor Vince Grzegorek says in an email to Poynter. “Personally, I don’t like anything on our cover — stickers, wraps, etc. — besides our actual cover, but we’re a business and we all understand that as an editorial department.”
The Scene doesn’t endorse candidates or do much political coverage, he writes, saying that he understands that other campaigns have inquired about the same advertising package. “Cleveland might see one or more of them before the election,” Grzegorek writes.
Poynter asked Lanci what sort of response he’d received to the ad. He replied, via email, in a cursive typeface with two exclamation points: “Excellent!!”