Orla Healy Fired from NY Daily News, Schadenfreude Runs Wild

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Features editor Orla Hearly -- who a source just called to tell us was "one of the most evil editors to ever work at the New York Daily News" and a "window into facism around the world" who was part of a "gangster regime that took root" and a "sadist" -- has been fired from the New York Daily News. There is, from what we hear, a quiet (but palpable) celebration happening in the New York Daily News newsroom right now. It looks like Gawker also heard what we did, but not quite in the same way....

Healy had a storied history with the News. After having worked at the paper for a number of years, she left for magazine work, and on the day Martin Dunn confirmed his position as editor-in-chief at the NYDN in December of 2005, Dunn announced to the newsroom that he was "delighted to announce that Orla Healy will be returning to the newspaper as Managing Editor Features" the same week she'd been bylined on a story in rival tabloid the New York Post. Two months later, Jessica Coen at Gawker wrote of Healy's "shock and awe" campaign:

Since Healy took over, two features editors -- Graham Fuller and Michelle Leifer -- have quit, allegedly in such a fit that they had yet to line up their next gigs. A third editor under Healy's umbrella is rumored to be doing exactly the same today.

Reportedly, Healy was the reason behind the departure of original Gatecrasher writer, NY Daily News gossip Ben Widdecombe. She was also rumored to be the reason behind revered NY Daily News features and one-half of the Rush & Molloy gossip duo George Rush taking a buyout this last year, and it's well-known that Healy is the godmother of Rush' child.

One source tells us: "For all the heartache [Healy] caused, she never brought anything but a lackluster creation in the 'Now' section, and at the end of the day, that's why she was fired. She was just destroying too many people for what was produced."

"[Newly installed NYDN executive editor] Kevin Convey has no reason to have her stick around. I think everybody told him and quickly apprised him of what a nightmare she'd created in features, and one of his first orders of business that they hadn't been able to do for years was kick her out. She had such a thick folder in human resources about people complaining regarding her tactics of persecuting her...violating all sorts of company rules in how you treat personnel..."

One of the suggested reasons for her ouster now was she was protected by Martin Dunn due in no small part to the close nature of their relationship.

A call to Convey was directed to the Daily News' publicist, who didn't respond to a request for immediate comment. Know any more? Hit us up.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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