Author: Rob Holbert

The ‘shark tank’ of a ‘Daily Show’ interview

When Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” called on Jim Mather recently and wanted to do an interview about his work locally with refugees and internationals, he agreed despite his own trepidations about appearing on a show where the expectation is that those being interviewed will probably end up looking foolish. Mather is the director of Friends International, an organization working primarily with international students at the University of South Alabama and some other local schools. He said the “Daily Show” sent its “reporter,” Desi Lydic, to interview him at his home last week. That opportunity came, he says, because...

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Cowboys get tied up in controversy

The uproar over the Comic Cowboys’ parade signs was probably one of the easier things to predict in this rather unpredictable political climate. As we go to press this week, the simmering debate about offensive signs in the Mardi Gras season’s most irreverent parade reached a full Zatarain’s boil as Mobile’s City Council fielded complaints about the parade, and Mayor Sandy Stimpson declared he had resigned from the organization following this year’s run. Founded in 1884, “The Cowboys” are generally a must-see for most Mobilians on Fat Tuesday because they irreverently stick it to the rich, famous and politically...

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Radio legend Wayne Gardner retiring

By the end of the month, the Mobile airwaves will be minus perhaps their most recognizable baritone voice as FMTALK106.5’s Wayne Gardner retires. With 44 years in this market alone, calling Gardner a Mobile radio legend is hardly hyperbole. He was one of the forces behind making WKSJ-FM into a national powerhouse station in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and has also been part of the team that has helped turn FMTALK106.5 into must-hear radio. Gardner got his start behind the mic right out of college at a station in Spartanburg, South Carolina, followed by a stint in Charlotte, North...

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Support strong news coverage

The observant reader may have noticed on page 4 we’ve run a threatening letter from a local politician’s lawyer demanding a retraction of part of a story run at the beginning of last month. You might also notice an accompanying editor’s note explaining why this letter is a baseless waste of time and resources directed by an elected official who doesn’t want to answer some very simple questions and, in fact, is trying to lawyer this newspaper into not doing its job. Although I could explain in great detail why this case is legally pointless — the biggest reason...

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More edible throws and celebs pumping up Mardi Gras

It’s truly an amazing time of the year in our area — a time when even people like me take a break from our otherwise rigid and humdrum lives and take a walk on the wild side by joining in the massive littering so many Mobilians enjoy even when it’s not Mardi Gras. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to finally feel free to toss candy wrappers, beer cans and even the occasional adult diaper onto city streets after being a litter teetotaler during the rest of the year. They say true Mobilians are born under an...

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About The Author

Rob Holbert

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Rob Holbert is co-publisher and managing editor of Lagniappe, Mobile’s independent newspaper. Rob helped found the newspaper after a career that started as a police reporter and columnist at the Mississippi Press in Pascagoula. He followed that with a stint as a deputy press secretary for then-U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott in Washington, D.C. After leaving Capitol Hill, Rob worked ghost-writing opinion articles for publication in some of the nation’s largest newspapers. From 1999 through Aug. 2010 he was the faculty adviser for the University of South Alabama student newspaper, The Vanguard, and in 2002 started Lagniappe with his business partner Ashley Trice. The paper now prints 30,000 copies every two weeks and is distributed around Mobile and the Eastern Shore. According to Scarborough Research, Lagniappe now has more than 80,000 readers each week, with close to a quarter of that coming online. The paper began publishing weekly at the beginning of April 2014.

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