Washington Post columnist George Will
Washington Post columnist George Will

As of June 1, before newspapers across the land published George Will’s controversial column on campus sexual assault, George Will tallied 476 syndicated clients, according to Alan Shearer, CEO and editorial director of Washington Post News Media Services, the paper’s syndication group.

After the St. Louis Post-Dispatch cancelled Will’s column, that number stands at 475.

Shearer tells the Erik Wemple Blog that he polled his salespeople to see if clients had expressed displeasure/threats to cancel over the column. “And the answer is no,” says Shearer.

Shearer and two of his colleagues, plus Will’s staff, edited the column. “Let’s say we had a lot of discussion about it with George and he knew what he wanted to say,” says Shearer, noting that there were some “changes of nuance as we always to in the editing process.” The back-and-forth, says Shearer, is common with syndicated columnists, though the group knew that this particular piece “would be more controversial and we tried to be very careful with it,” says Shearer. “These days a lot of people are going to read into something what they want to read into it.”

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.