There seems to be two different versions of former Reidsville Review publisher Mike DeLapp's history in the news business.
First is an article from the Triad Business News. Author Bill Cresenzo reports DeLapp was fired and DeLapp is "angry about it". DeLapp should be angry. He served the paper for a very long time.
Cresenzo then reports David Clevenger was appointed to replace DeLapp. Cresenzo did not know it at the time, but Clevenger was let go in very short order and he was replaced by a long string of publishers and reporters. Media General refused to comment on DeLapp's termination. It apparently was not pleasant.
Here's the original story from 1999:
The following article is reprinted with the kind permission of the High Point-based Triad Business News which frequently seems a lot more interested in Rockingham County news than our own local rags.
Ousted Reidsville publisher `did everything they requested'
BY BILL CRESENZO
TRIAD BUSINESS NEWS
REIDSVILLE -- After a 30-year career at The Reidsville Review, now owned by Media General, the paper's publisher was fired last week and replaced by the publisher of the Review's two Rockingham County sister papers.
"I'm angry about it," said Mike DeLapp, who had been publisher of The Reidsville Review since 1986. "I did everything I felt was in my power to do what they requested of me, and it became very obvious to me that whatever I did, it wouldn't be enough."
DeLapp first worked at the Review as a paper boy and made his way through the newspaper ranks, working in the mailroom and later as an ad representative and ad manager before becoming publisher in 1986.
Media General named David Clevenger, publisher of The Daily News of Eden and The Messenger of Madison, as DeLapp's replacement. Clevenger will continue as publisher of The Messenger. He will be replaced as publisher at The Daily News but will oversee all three of Media General's Rockingham County papers.
Bob Childress, who is publisher of the Danville Register & Bee and Clevenger's boss, refused to comment on DeLapp's termination.
Media General first entered the Rockingham County market in 1996 when it bought The Daily News from Park Communications. The company then bought the Review and The Messenger from Southern Newspapers of Texas.
In 1998, Media General and Eddie Dettmar, publisher of The Daily News, terminated their relationship. Media General brought in Clevenger to replace Dettmar.
DeLapp said it was then that he began to suspect that he would lose his job.
I began to see the writing on the wall at that time, I think," DeLapp said. "When you've worked for a company for a long time and somebody new takes over, long-term employees often do not fit into the plans of the new organization .... I am the third publisher that has left Media General this year."
The Review, like the other Rockingham County papers, has seen declining circulation recently, but DeLapp said that was not a factor in his termination.
During his tenure as publisher, DeLapp oversaw the Review's switch from an afternoon to morning publication schedule and the construction of a new 17,000-square-foot office.
DeLapp, 49, said he does not have any concrete plans for his future.
"I have already talked to three different companies, and I'll just be pursuing another career," he said.
"I'm still a young man and in good health. I'm a high-energy person and I have a lot to offer."
Skip forward 17 years and now the Review feels more inclined to discuss Mike DeLapp. Notice there is no mention of Delapp being fired from the Reidsville Review. It is doubtful any of the Review staff had ever heard of Mike DeLapp until the Herald-Citizen story was written. Hell, most of the Review staff was wearing diapers when DeLapp was last publisher.
The old Mike DeLapp was let go from the Herald-Citizen in 2016
Click here to read the Reidsville Review's new polished version of Mike DeLapp.