Conroe, November 19 – Kelli Cook, Publisher of The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, announced on Monday, November 18, 2019, that this publication has severed all ties, with one minor exception, with Founder and former Publisher Eric Yollick. “I terminated Mr. Yollick as a part-time reporter for the newspaper this afternoon. He had helped us during the transition to new management. We appreciated his help but his services are no longer necessary,” Cook explained in a brief statement.
The Golden Hammer began publication on January 14, 2017, and quickly rose to become this community’s leading newspaper through serious investigative journalism focusing on wasteful spending in the Montgomery County government and other local governmental entities. Yollick had developed an enormous network of insiders within the County government, the local school districts, and other taxing entities, which such network has provided this publication with information which would not otherwise be publicly available.
“Mr. Yollick’s original network has remained loyal to the newspaper, even after he left as Publisher. We have continued to honor their contributions and protect their confidentiality, when requested,” Cook said. “Eric did a great service to this community, but every business organization needs to adjust to survive market growth. For a newspaper, in particular, we have a great responsibility to the citizens of Montgomery County and of Texas to provide them with the hard-hitting information to which they’re accustomed.”
Cook terminated Yollick as Publisher and as President of the holding company on September 12, 2019. Yollick is not a shareholder, director, or officer of the holding company nor is he involved any longer in any manner with publication of the newspaper, with one minor exception.
The exception where Yollick will continue to have a minor role is with certain news sources who are loyal to him and his protection of their confidentiality. Yollick has agreed to receive information from them and channel it – in full confidence – to the appropriate individual within The Golden Hammer‘s staff.
It is unclear what Yollick’s future holds. Neither he nor Cook would discuss his next career move. Cook explained that she is “not privy to Yollick’s plans.” Yollick declined all comment.
Yollick did say, however, “I love The Golden Hammer. It’s a great newspaper and provides an important service to our community. I have no doubt that Cook will continue her excellent management and wish her, the shareholders, and the Board of Directors the best.”