Unhappy With Coverage, Wilder Jostles Press Office 

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Call it Sheila's first shake-up.

Press Secretary Linwood Norman is no longer managing staff at the city's communications office after a reorganization by Richmond's new Chief Administrative Officer Sheila Hill-Christian.

Instead, Public Information Officer Mike Wallace will oversee the office and report to Hill-Christian.

The changes are a result of Mayor L. Douglas Wilder's dissatisfaction with his news media coverage, sources familiar with the office say. Hill-Christian began work on Nov. 20 and met with the press office to assess its operations soon after.

"Technically, I report to Sheila Hill-Christian," Norman says, "but obviously my thrust is in support of the mayor." Norman says he'll continue to be the mayor's spokesman and manage media relations for the city, just not any employees.

Wallace left Comcast to join the press office earlier this year as a liaison between the city and area cable companies. He'll oversee the office's staff of eight and its day-to-day operations.

Norman started as interim press secretary in November 2005, when former press secretary Bill Farrar was reassigned. Norman became Farrar's official replacement in June 2006. Norman says that he expects no changes in salary or title for either Wallace or himself and that the change has been under consideration for the last three or four weeks.

Norman makes $96,000 a year; Wallace makes $68,000.

"It's just a rebalancing of staff functions," Norman says. S

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