Newspaper Vet Moves On from Patch Conference Call Layoff

From August 2011 until August 2013, former Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter Ralph Ellis was the editor of Decatur/Avondale Estates Patch. Looking back this week on a tumultuous journalism-year-that-was, he still finds room on his list of “My Top Five Journalism Jobs of 2013” for the AOL hyper-local network. Even though he was rudely dumped via conference call and still to this day doesn’t understand how his bosses determined who got to stay and who had to go.

Intriguingly, Ellis’ list can be found on, a Patch competitor launched in the spring by Dan Whisenhunt that counts Ellis as a contributor. So what else does a grizzled newspaper guy who still loves to write do, post-Patch? In Ellis’ case, he has been freelancing for the New York Times, and anyone else who will have him:

I write newsletters for WebMD on dogs, cats, gastrointestinal disorders and cold & flu, thus allowing me to pen headlines such as “Myths, Facts About Snot,” “Why Dogs Hump, Mount” and “The Scoop on Poop.”

Ellis’ wife, Susan Puckett, is also a former Journal Constitution staffer. She was the paper’s food editor for 19 years before leaving in 2008 to pursue various independent projects.

Her husband is a true veteran of the newspaper world. Prior to his time at the Atlanta paper from 1990-2011 working as everything from a Page One editor to a bureau chief, Ellis was employed by newspapers in Florida, South Carolina, D.C., Virginia and North Carolina, starting there with the Thomasville Times in 1974.

[Photo courtesy:]

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.
Publish date: December 26, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT