On Thursday, Alabama Media Group announced it was naming Hollis R. Towns to fill the vice president of content and editor in chief vacancy left by Kelly Ann Scott, who departed for the Houston Chronicle in October.

Towns comes from Gannett, where he served as vice president for local news and regional editor, according to the AL(dot)com announcement.

Towns' tenure at Gannett was not without controversy.

According to an April 2023 report from the Rochester Business Journal, Towns was named in a discrimination lawsuit against Gannett and the Gannett-owned newspaper, the Utica (N.Y.) Observer-Dispatch.

Steven Bradley, the former sports editor for the Rochester, N.Y. Democrat and Chronicle, alleged Towns had banned hiring "straight white males."

"The Gannett employee tasked with overseeing talent recruitment and retention, Hollis Towns, informed Gannett managers that no more straight white males should be hired going forward," the suit alleged, according to the Business Journal.

Jeff Poor is the editor in chief of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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