The nature of the business

by Brian Clarey

YES! Weekly News Editor Jordan Green got a little bit of ribbing from fellow journalists at last week’s Greensboro City Council meeting when, during a controversial discussion about various projects and concerns at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Director Matt Brown mentioned that this very newspaper had held a discussion about naming rights for the new — and again, controversial — amphitheater.

But then, everything involving the coliseum and its environs elicits controversy because it is owned by the city. Thus, it is all fair game, from Brown’s status at the very top of the city’s payroll list, at $212,332, more than $30,000 higher than City Manager Rashad Young’s salary; the swim center, which was fast-tracked through a parks & rec bond referendum and then picked up by the War Memorial folks; the amphitheater, which city council members learned of after ground had already been broken; and even the events themselves, like ACC Basketball Tournaments, massive conventions and that most notorious of throwdowns, the SuperJam.

And we’re fair game too, we guess, because we do business with the coliseum, just like every other print publication and most other media in town. Just like we also do business with the Lawrence Joel in Winston-Salem, the High Point Theatre, the Carolina Theatre, Triad Stage, SECCA and every other arts and entertainment venue that wants access to the smartest and best-informed readers in the Triad. That’s how it works.

On this One, Matt BrOwn gOt it right. and we’re nOt saying that Because he paid us tO dO sO.

None of that has anything to do with our editorial content, which is based on gathering important and interesting information. Editorial departments operate independently from advertising, though in a place like the Triad — in any place, actually — there is some overlap.

So yes, we cover Triad Stage, not because they buy advertising, but because it is one of the best theaters in the country. And we cover the Greensboro Coliseum from every angle: as an entertainment venue, as a city-owned facility and, sometimes, as a political football.

Currently at issue is an ACC VIP lounge, approved by council last week, to be funded by a grant from Ovations as part of a deal for securing concession rights in the arena. Some seem to feel that the money should have been used against the $1.8 million or so subsidy afforded the venue by the city.

But we see nothing wrong with using this grant to improve this city-owned facility. For one, it will prevent us from losing the ACC Tournaments which might otherwise move to better appointed accommodations. For another, these improvements are contractually linked to the grant.

On this one, Matt Brown got it right, particularly since he was shrewd enough to allay much of the construction costs using tickets as trade. And we’re not saying that because he paid us to do so.

YES! Weekly chooses to exercise its right to express editorial opinion in our publication. In fact we cherish it, considering opinion to be a vital component of any publication. The viewpoints expressed represent a consensus of the YES! Weekly editorial staff, achieved through much deliberation and consideration