Majestic Tries to Intimidate The Advocate: Theater Harasses Advertisers

Drama visited Corvallis Advocate advertisers this week as the paper sent notices that The Majestic Theatre may contact them concerning its displeasure with their support of the paper. This, after Advocate staff learned that multiple advertisers had already received such a contact, and that another advertiser—a vendor for The Majestic—pulled their ad.

The newspaper lost only the one account. Some advertisers expressed sympathy and committed that they would not be influenced. A prior advertiser came back stating that he wished to show support for the paper.

This is not the first time that The Majestic and its Executive Director, Corey Pearlstein, have attempted to influence The Advocate’s reporting. Some months ago, Pearlstein threatened that if the paper did not publicly apologize for a story suggesting that the ticket-buying public would be served by The Majestic and Whiteside working together, that they would end business partnerships with the paper.

The Advocate stood by its writer and refused, and The Majestic pulled its advertising. At the time, The Advocate invited The Majestic and Pearlstein to submit a responsive letter or story, but they declined.

Following these events, the paper suggested many times that its management could meet with Pearlstein, but he continually declined. Pearlstein also attempted on several occasions to block the publication’s normal media access to performance information. Ultimately, Advocate management contacted the Majestic Board of Directors—a new press contact was assigned only after more than one month’s continual inquiry.

The Advocate’s publisher, Steven Schultz, commented, “Attempts to intimidate news organizations this way are nothing new, but I am especially surprised and disappointed with the business practices we’re seeing here.”

The two stories to which The Majestic has apparently objected had nothing to do with performances at the venue—which The Advocate covers regularly—or even the theater individually. Links for the stories are below.

Contacted for comment on this story were The Majestic Board and Pearlstein. The Advocate was told that no single individual would be making a response.

The Corvallis Advocate respects the performers that appear at The Majestic and will not to allow these current events to influence coverage of talented and compelling artists for our readers.  Our entertainment writers would not be associated with anything less.

The two stories objected to by The Majestic:

http://www.corvallisadvocate.com/2012/0913-two-shows-one-night/

http://www.corvallisadvocate.com/2013/0131-corvallis-community-theater/

by Genevieve Weber

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