Less than a week after CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon urged Postmedia to dump controversial American Media CEO David Pecker from its board of directors, it was announced that he was stepping down.
“Good riddance,” said O’Hanlon of Pecker, who had been linked to an illegal corporate donation to help his long-time friend, Donald Trump, and granted immunity in the federal investigation into Michael Cohen, the president’s ex-lawyer who has pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws and paying hush money to two women who allege they had affairs with Trump.
Pecker, who became a director shortly before Trump’s election in November 2016, “had no place being on the Postmedia board anymore,” said O’Hanlon. “He was not holding up the code of ethics that Postmedia is supposed to adhere to and therefore he really had no option but to resign or be forced to resign.”
Noting that a “journalism company must hold a higher standard,” O’Hanlon said the executive of the media union, which represents workers at a dozen Postmedia newspapers, had been prepared to take an official position on the matter.
Chatham Asset Management, a New Jersey vulture fund that controls Postmedia and is also an investor in AMI, publisher of the National Enquirer, had nominated Pecker for the director position, which paid $117,500 in 2017.
U.S. prosecutors claim that AMI advised Cohen throughout Trump’s presidential run and that Pecker had helped “deal with negative stories about (Trump’s) relationships with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased and their publication avoided.”