St. Petersburg Times journalist John Fleming claims that CL theater critic Mark E. Leib faces a conflict of interest working as both a critic and a playwright in the Tampa Bay area, and that objectively reviewing plays at a theater that also happens to be staging one of Leib's works should be frowned upon. "I've been theater critic for Creative Loafing for more than ten years, and this is the first time that anyone has suggested that my opinions have been influenced by any sort of favoritism for any sort of reason," Leib writes. "I don't like it and I'm not going to sit back quietly while it happens." MORE: Village Voice critic Michael Feingold, who is also a playwright, offers his take.

Continue ReadingCreative Loafing Critic Finds Himself in Conflict-of-Interest Controversy

John Citrone had been appearing each Wednesday on WJXT-TV to preview weekly entertainment options in Jacksonville, Fla., but his segment on the show was canceled yesterday after he made comments on-air that were "very inappropriate and insensitive," according to the station. "Do we really care if Georgia burns?" Citrone asked jokingly about recent brush fires that have afflicted that state. Reached by AAN News, Citrone explains that the question was asked "in a Groucho Marx-y" way, and was in keeping with his on-air shtick as "the crazy alt-weekly guy." Folio Weekly's managing editor admits he was unaware of the severity of the fires, and says his only intention was to have a little fun with an interstate rivalry. He offered to apologize on-air later in the broadcast but WJXT declined, although they included his written apology in a story about the incident posted on their website. Citrone tells AAN News that when he has had an opportunity to apologize to individuals who were upset by his comment, most have been understanding and supportive.

Continue ReadingFolio Weekly Editor Booted from Regular Spot on Morning News Show