Tom Johnson, publisher of the Newport Beach Independent, said Wednesday that he was resigning because he had qualms about the way the weekly newspaper treated its advertising customers.
"There was some questionable handling of ad rates, offering one company a low rate and another a high rate," Johnson said. "I have a problem with that ethically. If it blows up, it's my reputation."
Johnson later clarified that the ad rates were for a sister publication.
Johnson, a former longtime publisher of the Daily Pilot, has been publisher of the Independent since its first issue came out in June. Johnson also served as publisher of the Independent's sister publication, the Laguna Beach Independent.