CL fires Editor Ken Edelstein

Editor helped craft paper’s voice and led staff to more than 30 regional and national awards.

In a move that stunned staffers, Creative Loafing Atlanta Publisher Luann Labedz announced this morning  that Editor Ken Edelstein was fired. A tearful editorial staff followed him out of the building to say goodbye.

Labedz said Edelstein’s firing was a “confidential personnel matter” and that she could not elaborate. A call to Edelstein reached his voicemail.

“This was an involuntary termination,” Edelstein told the AJC. “I feel very comfortable that I did the right thing, and I love my staff.”

Atlanta Magazine senior editor — and former CL staffer — Steve Fennessy has been covering CL’s ongoing Chapter 11 filing and has more details on Edelstein’s firing, including comments from John Sugg, a former CL editor.

Edelstein joined CL’s staff as a senior writer and became managing editor in 1998. Two years later, he was named editor of the paper. Prior to joining CL Edelstein worked 10 years for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer and was a freelance journalist in Washington, D.C., Australia and Mexico.

During his decade leading the editorial staff, the paper has won more than 30 regional and national awards for investigative reporting, news writing, columnists, criticism, food writing and other categories. While at the helm, Edelstein helped shift the paper’s focus on listings to more hard news and investigative journalism. Recently, Edelstein has led a dedicated effort to increase CL’s online presence despite budget restraints and cuts to his team.

No word yet on Edelstein’s replacement.