The Gantt Report
Holiday Love for Media Icons
By Lucius Gantt
It’s December 2017, holiday season and around the time of year when I thank all of the readers and supporters of The Gantt Report, one of America’s most informative, provocative and controversial independent opinion columns.
But this year I think it’s important for me to recognize, remember and thank several of the founders, mentors and icons of modern day Black media and how they helped get The Gantt Report started.
When The Gantt Report came on the scene in Florida 37 years ago, Lucius Gantt was immediately welcomed and supported by the Sunshine State’s legendary Black media owners. My boys, and girls, Ike, Marilyn, Levi, Cleve, Les, Eric, Beasley, Stucks, Lee, Gwen and others gave me a platform to share my opinions that started in Florida and went worldwide!
I want TGR readers to know when The Gantt Report started it was modeled after The Kiplinger Report and was a four-page newsletter.
Nearly 40 years ago, that four-page newsletter about African American economics and politics had a cost of $50.00 for only 12 issues a year.
My friend, Garth Reeves, of The Miami Times, was the very first person to purchase a subscription. In a way, Garth Reeves started something that can’t be stopped.
I love you Garth. The honors and recognitions you are getting these days are well deserved.
Garth started something but the Collins family, publishers of The Orlando Times, and the Cherry family, publishers of The Florida Courier and The Daytona Times, are the reason why The Gantt Report is available in some newspapers and on several internet sites around the world today.
You see, it takes a lot of time, it tales study and it takes a lot of research to write The Gantt Report. Others try to imitate TGR but they can never duplicate the opinion column that once broke the record for internet hits, the column that is the #1 column read in prisons and correctional facilities and the #1column written by a Black man read in the halls of local and state government and the only column that has been endorsed by members of the “Bush family” and members of The Nation of Islam”.
The Collins family and The Orlando Times has supported TGR pretty much from day one. Even more important than that, Dr. Collins probably saved my life, years ago after a media meeting in Orlando. I had breathing issues and Collins demanded that I be rushed to a hospital. There he treated me for severe hypertension and got my pressure down so I could live on to write more. Thank you Dr. Collins, your wife, son and staff at the Times.
Mama Julia Cherry and her late husband Charles said when they laid out their newspapers in the old days, The Gantt Report was always the first thing to go into the newspapers.
Over the last three or four decades, I have threatened to quit writing The Gantt Report for a variety of reasons. I don’t think many of the children and family members that inherited the media companies from their iconic parents value strong, talented writers, hard hitting editorials or responsible, dependable columnists that they and their readers can depend on to give them the truth about every subject or issue.
Well, if you like TGR, call Julia Cherry and thank her. Every time I’m ready to quit, Mrs. Cherry would ring my phone and say, “Lucius, you can’t quit!” Charles Cherry, also known as “The Boss”, bailed me out more times than not in a lot of ways and I helped him whenever I could. I’ll never forget when Cherry nominated me to become President of The Southeast Black Publishers Association.
Finally, TGR doesn’t get distributed every week to every media company anymore because it primarily goes to newspapers and internet sites that feel The Gantt Report has value. If editors and publishers don’t think readers read the column or that it’s not worth a tiny amount of money, they don’t get it on a regular basis.
I guarantee, however, as long as TGR is written, it will always appear in the Florida Courier and the Orlando Times. We look out for each other in every way!
Thanks to my readers and supporters and thanks to all of the publishers that value writers and columnists that can deliver, generate advertising, lobby government about your concerns and inform your readers about topics they enjoy and are concerned about!
Have the happy holiday of your choice!