Augustus "Gus" Haynes is the city desk editor for The Baltimore Sun.
Haynes often smokes on the loading dock of the building with fellow veterans Roger Twigg, William Zorzi, and Timothy Phelps. Haynes reports to Metro desk editor Steven Luxenberg and is required to manage a team of journalists including city hall reporter Jeffrey Price, general assignment reporters Scott Templeton and Michael Fletcher, police reporters Twigg and Alma Gutierrez, courthouse reporter William Zorzi, and rewrite man Jay Spry. Haynes is responsible for editing the stories his reporters submit, keeping them on deadline and in organizing the submissions for daily budget meeting with managing editor Thomas Klebanow. The budget meeting determines how much space each story is allocated and Haynes often calls for budget lines (short summaries of stories) from his staff so he can present them in the meeting. Haynes is also working with executive editor James Whiting on a prospective series of articles about the city school system.
Haynes is upset at continuing cutbacks at the paper causing the closure of foreign bureaus and the loss of veteran reporters and their institutional memory. He is outspoken about the loss of their transportation reporter when The Sun is beaten to a story by The Daily Record. He clashes with Whiting when the executive editor suppresses a story about University of Maryland failing to meet its desegregation goals. Whiting refuses to run the story because he is friends with the Dean of Journalism, who assures him that the University's reputation is improving amongst black faculty and students.
Haynes helps to identify and generate stories including dispatching Twigg to report on a row house fire and noticing a zoning issue in a set of city council minutes that indicates a political scandal. While checking the minutes from a meeting Price has attended Haynes notices the name of a known drug dealer Ricardo "Fat-Face Rick" Hendrix who owns a strip club that is being relocated by the council. Haynes discerns that the council are making a loss and that the deal is of benefit to the drug dealer. He has reporters investigate and links the property exchange to campaign contributions from Hendrix to city council president Nerese Campbell. Haynes is even able to manipulate Campbell into revealing that there are further campaign donations that he has not recognized. When Klebanow congratulates Haynes on the story he gives full credit to Price. Haynes rewards his team by taking them out for drinks. ("More with Less")
Haynes is a dedicated, principled and experienced reporter who now serves as City desk editor at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked at the paper for many years; he claims to have dropped out of journalism school and worked his way up from the police beat and labour beat to his current position. He maintains several contacts within the Baltimore Police Department. Haynes is profane and unrefined and chafes with the management of The Sun. He is a reporter's editor and is quick to both compliment and criticise his team where deserved and likes to keep his reporters motivated.
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