A staff already stunned that their newspaper had been secretly purchased by the family of billionaire GOP donor Sheldon Adelson was thrown another loop Tuesday evening: Its top editor is stepping down, CNNMoney reports. "I think my resignation probably comes as a relief to the new owners, and it is in my best interest and those of my family," Mike Hengel said during a Las Vegas Review-Journal meeting, per a tweet from reporter Neal Morton. The Review-Journal notes that Hengel said he was accepting a buyout, that his decision to leave was "mutual," and that he didn't think it was a forced exit. CNN adds that Hengel told employees he didn't ask for the buyout but was offered one soon after the sale, and that he figured his relationship with the Adelson clan would be "adversarial."
Hengel's announcement came as a shock to a staff that had to break the story that the Adelson family had purchased their paper, per CNN. And many of those employees are now nervous their jobs may be in danger, including two of the reporters who bylined that story. Review-Journal reporters and other media outlets note that management has "removed or changed passages from stories relating to the sale" on "several occasions," per CNN. Despite the new management's pledge to publish a newspaper that's "fair, unbiased, and accurate," some staffers are making clear how they feel about the sale—one longtime columnist wrote a column on Sunday that said "Adelson is precisely the wrong person to own this or any newspaper"—and editors promised in a weekend editorial that they'll "fight for your trust. Every. Single. Day. Even if our former owners and current operators don't want us to."