'Marine Corps Times' Banished to the Back of the Store

Monday, 10 Feb 2014 08:06 AM

By Elliot Jager

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A newspaper that primarily covers the U.S. Marine Corps will no longer be available near checkout counters in base exchange shops around the world, the Marine Corps Times reported.

Over the past year, the paper has published articles examining claims Marine Commandant Gen. Jim Amos exploited his authority to guarantee Marines were punished for a war-zone scandal that embarrassed the service.

The paper also criticized the Marine Corps for how it handled the case of Maj. Jason Brezler, a decorated officer accused of mishandling secret information. The Times editorialized that "Brezler's treatment sends the messages that in the Marine Corps there's no room for honest mistakes. He's the sort of officer the Corps needs more of."

Cindy Whitman Lacy, business director of the Marine Corps' Semper Fit and Exchange Services Division, told the Times the newspaper is not consistent with the Marine Corps "brand."

A spokeswoman for the Manpower and Reserve Affairs unit of the Marines, which oversees the exchange stores, said the newspaper was shifted from its prominent location as part of a plan to "professionalize" the front of the stores.

The paper said it was concerned that the shift in locations would impact its sales. Commanders had earlier been ordered not to use Corps funds to purchase the paper, along with several other periodicals.

"For any retailer to hide one of its best-selling products is just bad business. It obviously will hurt our newsstand sales, but it also hurts revenues to the Exchange," said Peter Lundquist, the paper's general manager.  "I'm told this isn't about business."

The Marine Corps Times, owned by Gannett Co., describes itself as providing "comprehensive coverage of the Corps, focusing on everything from career tracks, to pay and benefits, family and spouse issues, and employment after leaving the military."

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