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Rutgers AD Julie Hermann: 'Would be great' if local newspaper folded

Julie Hermann (Rich Schultz/Getty Images) Julie Hermann said coverage since her arrival at Rutgers has been "incredibly painful." (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann is not a fan of the media, and she wouldn't mind seeing a New Jersey newspaper fold.

The Star-Ledger announced layoffs last week of 167 workers, including advertising executives, business writers, clerks and copy editors.

Speaking to a class of journalism students a few weeks ago, Hermann said it would be "great" if the newspaper ceased to exist.

“If they’re not writing headlines that are getting our attention, they’re not selling ads — and they die,” Hermann told the Media Ethics and Law class, according to the website Muckgers.com, which provided a copy to NJ.com, a website that works in conjunction with The Star-Ledger. “And the Ledger almost died in June, right?”

“They might die again next month,” a student said.

“That would be great,” she replied. “I’m going to do all I can to not give them a headline to keep them alive.”

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When Hermann was hired last year, the newspaper reported allegations that she was verbally abusive to players when she was a volleyball coach at the University of Tennessee in the late 1990s.

She told the journalism class that coverage of her when she got the Rutgers job was "incredibly painful," and that the allegations were false.

Said Hermann: “I’ve got one guy over at the Ledger — he has one mission. That’s to get any [athletic director] at Rutgers fired. That’s his hobby."

Still, Hermann sympathized with the struggling business.

“I try to be compassionate with the media, believe it or not, because I recognize what their job is … [and it] is getting just more and more challenging,” she said.

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