Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The City of Greensboro blowing off a legitimate taxpayer inquiry concerning the Rhino Times circulation numbers and links

Communications between Roy Carroll's Rhino's John Hammer and the City of Greensboro's Donnie Turlington on the Rhino's Circulation numbers;

On Jun 3, 2015, at 2:07 PM, Turlington, Donnie wrote:

Hi John,

I have been asked to request a copy of the “audit” that was conducted regarding the Rhino’s circulation numbers.

You might imagine where this request originated.

It has long been common knowledge 
among local journalists and media outlets 
that Roy Carroll and before him, John Hammer, 
have long inflated their circulation numbers.

The City of Greensboro was unable to provide
the Rhino Times Circulation Audit, 
I'm assuming because no such audit exists.

Is the City of Greensboro paying a total of $27,000 a year 
($13,000 cash plus $14,000 in barter) 
for readers that don't exist? 

These good ol' boy arrangements are bleeding Greensboro dry.

Billy Jones

As a follow up to community budget meetings, we attempt to fulfill all requests/questions/concerns raised by residents, I am doing my official duty in following up on this request.

Donnie Turlington, APR
Communications Manager.

From: John Hammer
Sent: Monday, June 08, 2015 4:06 PM
To: Turlington, Donnie
Subject: Re: Rhino Audit


That’s really not my territory. I believe that our general manager, Catherine Kernels and publisher Roy Carroll are setting up a meeting with you and Tom Carruthers about the audit of our circulation.

If I can be of assistance. let me know.

John Hammer
Rhino Times

from: Turlington, Donnie <>
to: George Hartzman <hartz
date: Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 2:51 PM
subject: RE: So did you meet?

Per your request during a Community Budget Meeting, I initiated contact with the Rhino Times to set up a time to discuss the circulation audit. However, after some internal discussions and further consideration, I concluded that the City itself does not have a sufficient reason to warrant a review of the audit.

The City, specifically through the Coliseum, sees the Rhino as a way to reach a highly targeted audience. The circulation of printed publications is just one of multiple factors considered when determining whether or not a publication is a viable advertising medium. In this case, for a multitude of reasons, we have no reason to alter our advertising schedule with the Rhino Times. Therefore, at this time, we do not have questions or concerns about the circulation of the publication.



Donnie Turlington, APR, Communications and Marketing Director
Office of the City Manager - 336-373-3769
City of Greensboro

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Rhino Times, Yes Weekly and Triad City Beat Advertisement Efficacy Update for May 27 - June 3

After some rough math 
which both Roy Carroll and John Hammer declined comment on, 
I found it likely the Rhino has been misleading Greensboro's taxpayers,
as Matt Brown runs a weekly Coliseum ad.

Thursday, August 27, 2015
Questions submitted to Greensboro's WFMY last night for mayor Nancy Vaughan; Link to answered questions at the bottom of the post;

WFMY News 2  Verified account ‏@WFMY

You want transparency in govt... start at the local level! Ask @greensborocity mayor @VaughanNancy #AskGSOMayor

Eric Chilton Meghann Mollerus Greensboro

Abner Doon ‏12 hours ago
@WFMY @iGreensboro @greensborocity @VaughanNancy

Why didn't you look into the Rhino Times circulation claims, as the City pays Roy for ads?

If City taxpayers are paying for Rhino ads
under the impression they reach 70,000 readers weekly
and it's not true, 
taxpayers and the Rhino's advertisers are overpaying via false advertising.

Inflating circulation is a form of theft, 
as advertising rates are based largely on circulation.

Abner Doon ‏12 hours ago
@WFMY @iGreensboro @greensborocity @VaughanNancy

John Hammer, Roy Carroll and the City of Greensboro
have refused to supply the audit 
which shows the Rhino has 70,000 weekly readers, 
what the total prints per week are, 
and how many unread Rhino Times papers are picked up each week.

The City of Greensboro doesn't seem to want to know 
information concerning an advertiser of the Coliseum's effectiveness, 
which means City executives 
don't have the courage to demand the information. 

Who have been your biggest campaign contributors and how much have they made via your votes

 Abner Doon ‏12 hours ago
@WFMY @iGreensboro @greensborocity @VaughanNancy

The City of Greensboro 
and anyone else doing business with Roy Carroll 
should immediately suspend any advertising, 
payments or barter agreements with the Rhino
until this issue is cleared up.

Why are homeowners at Heritage House disenfranchised by this City Council with bogus study?

 Abner Doon ‏12 hours ago
@WFMY @iGreensboro @greensborocity @VaughanNancy

Why did you let Roy Carroll have water and sewer money hidden in a consent agenda?

 Abner Doon ‏12 hours ago
@WFMY @iGreensboro @greensborocity @VaughanNancy

Why did you let Marty Kotis lie his way into extra incentive grant money?

The Rhino Times is saying 2015's circulation
is as good or better than as before 2010's Republican takeover,
without having to cover High Point,
after Roy got bashed on multiple occasions
for backing Trudy Wade's redistricting plan
from both sides of the isle, 
while he blatantly promotes his own projects, 
after he boasted of his net worth
to mostly middle class Greensboro and Guilford County?

 Abner Doon 12 hours ago
@WFMY @iGreensboro @greensborocity @VaughanNancy

Why did you not act in City employees' best interests on the ICMA retirement plan lineup?

 Abner Doon ‏12 hours ago
@WFMY @iGreensboro @greensborocity @VaughanNancy

Does Skip Alston stand to take income from the museum if all the debts are paid off?

 Abner Doon 12 hours ago
@WFMY @iGreensboro @greensborocity @VaughanNancy

What is Don Vaughan's connection to Costa Rican brothels?

 Abner Doon ‏12 hours ago
@WFMY @iGreensboro @greensborocity @VaughanNancy

Why are the Nancy's okay with Mike Barber's taxpayer funded income from First Tee?

 Abner Doon ‏12 hours ago
@WFMY @iGreensboro @greensborocity @VaughanNancy

How was voting for Zack to get taxpayer money for the DGI job not a conflict?

 Abner Doon ‏12 hours ago
@WFMY @iGreensboro @greensborocity @VaughanNancy

Has Nancy ever paid an employee at Don's law firm under the table?

 Abner Doon ‏12 hours ago
@WFMY @iGreensboro @greensborocity @VaughanNancy

How many times/how much has Nancy voted for taxpayer monies for Roy Carroll and Marty Kotis?
Has anyone seen the Rhino Times' circulation audit? About 16% of the Rhino's ads are taxpayer funded.

Roy Carroll's Rhino Times questionable circulation subsidized by Greensboro's taxpayers

The Rhino had about 6.625 pages of paid advertising
in May 14, 2015's 40 page edition
while Greensboro's taxpayers are paying $250 per week
for a full page ad, not including the "free" tickets 
for Carroll and Hammer, compliments of Matt Brown.

How can the Rhino claim to have 70,000 weekly readers if Roy is only distributing about 17,500 issues per week, many of which don't get read?

Either Roy doesn't print 30,000 per week, 
the Rhino doesn't have 750 locations, 
or Roy is taking a bath in a money pit.

City of Greensboro Rhino Times Circulation Audit Information Request

Rhino Times Greensboro Coliseum Advertising

Rhino Times; N.C. Gen. Stat § 75-1.1: Unfair & Deceptive Trade Practices Under North Carolina Law

City Council and staff don't give a shit 
as long as they reap the benefits, 
as Greensboro's taxpayers pick up Roy and John's advertising bills
on top of the public notice money the News & Record takes in.

George Hartzman on the Rhino Times, John Hammer, Roy Carroll and Journalism Ethics

Hartzman's prepared statement on John Hammer, Roy Carroll and the Rhino Times, from last night's City Council meeting

Democracy and a free press no longer exists in Greensboro, North Carolina

An act of Cowardice by John Hammer for Roy Carroll: "Breaking The Government Monopoly On Inspections"

Any company looking to do business here, 
who has done any research, 
will find Greensboro inhospitable 
unless Rhino Times advertisements are purchased
and payments are made to the campaign funds
of the local Oligarch's pawns playing politics
including Mayor Nancy Vaughan, Zack Matheny, 
Mike Barber, Tony Wilkins, Nancy Hoffmann etc...

From an EZ Greensboro Fan on the Rhino Times Circulation/Reader Inflation Issue

Greensboro's population has been captured by crony interests
on both sides of the political divide.

A great example is Wilbur Ross' 
International Textile Group's years of free methane 
from the White Street Landfill, 
hoisted on taxpayers by former council member Don Vaughan, 
who profited from the deal 
with the governmental/regulatory defense of Mayor Nancy Vaughan 
as a city council member on the Solid Waste Task-force
which has been written about on blogs over and over
without rebuttal from the Vaughan's or City Staff
or our local compromised press.

The City's mayor and key council members 
are assigned talking points from Roy, John, Jim Melvin and others
who aim to extract economic rents from taxpayers
via City management.

"The Rhino Times is a free weekly conservative news and opinion newspaper published in Greensboro, North Carolina, originally founded in 1991 as the Rhinoceros Times. A Charlotte, North Carolina print edition was founded in 2002 and discontinued in 2008.[1] Its circulation in 2010 was 30,000.[2]

The Rhinoceros Times '​ last publication was the April 25, 2013 edition. John Hammer cited financial reasons for closing the doors after 21 years. A web presence was said to be continued as long as possible. It was acquired by local developer Roy Carroll and reopened in October 2013.[3]"
Inflating circulation is viewed as a form of theft from advertisers, since advertising rates are based largely on circulation. Indeed, the district attorney for Nassau County has initiated a criminal investigation into Newsday's circulation inflation. Some advertisers have filed a lawsuit against Newsday, and more such actions are likely.
from: George Hartzman
to: Roy Carroll,
Jim Westmoreland <>,
"Healy, Sarah" John Hammer <>, Brian Clarey Eric Ginsburg Thomas.Carruthers "Brown, Matt (Coliseum)" bcc: "abuzuaiter "ajohnson, Sharon Hightower Jamal Fox  Jeff Gauger <>, Mike Barber, Nancy Vaughan
scott@rhino "Doyle, Steven">, Yvonne Johnson>,
Zack Matheny>, Zack Matheny>, joutling caroline.blair
"Paul B. Johnson"
date: Wed, Nov 11, 2015 at 9:45 AM
subject: Considering Triad City Beat's circulation article today, looks like the City now has cause to ask for the Rhino's circulation audit

The City of Greensboro blowing off a legitimate taxpayer inquiry concerning the Rhino Times circulation numbers and links
Please let the public know what the Rhino's actual printed circulation numbers are.