Gary McCormick
Gary McCormick
Gary McCormick, of the HGTV unit of Scripps Networks, resigned Oct. 4 with less than three months to go in his term on the board.

He had previously quit the 2006 board in February of that year.

Also quitting the 2006 board was Ron Owens of Kaiser Permanente, the only African-American male to elected to the Society’s board in its 64-year history.

Members interpreted the resignations of both as a protest of some sort although neither would say anything beyond “personal reasons.”

McCormick said he was resigning the 2011 board for “personal and professional reasons.”

Members said it had to be a protest of some sort because he is set to leave the board at the end of this year. They wonder if he can now serve as nominating committee chair in 2013 since he quit while in office.

Scripps is one of the most famous names in newspaper journalism. The company split into newspaper and cable operations three years ago.

The Scripps ethical code is one of the most extensive in the newspaper industry and champions the role of the press in American democracy.

McCormick could be protesting against any number of policies at the Society including the refusal of chair Rosanna Fiske to take “live” questions on teleconferences; the threat to suspend in-person Assemblies; the refusal of national leaders to supply a list of Assembly delegates that rank-and-file members can see; the refusal of COO Bill Murray and the board to divulge terms of his new three-year contract; the removal of 45 staff names from the Society website as well as the removal of the single list of 110 chapter presidents, and the banning of any O’Dwyer staff member from the 2011 Assembly and national conference in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 15-18.

Chair Rosanna Fiske said she accepted his resignation with “great personal regret” and said he served the Society with “distinction.” The Society has been “fortunate to have his counsel and leadership,” she added, wishing him “well as he continues to succeed in his personal and professional endeavors.”