I pitched a story to an editor of an online newspaper in a small town. He said no. So I pitched the same story to an editor of a group of small town newspapers (that go to everyone in their mailbox) and he said yes. He has a print newspaper in the same small town as the online newspaper guy.
Small Town Newspaper in Print editor printed the story in his latest issue. He then also posted it on his website. Online Editor expressed concern that I wrote that article for Newspaper Editor since they are “direct competitors.”
Question: If Online Newspaper editor says no, is it wrong to pitch it to others who may or may not overlap in coverage area?
If the online editor rejected it, he, of course, never owned any rights to the article…and certainly not the idea. It’s ludicrous that he would then complain that you sold it elsewhere, even to a competitor. Sounds to me like he may have stolen your idea and had the article in the works when it appeared in his competitor’s pub. Otherwise, why would he get even remotely upset?
I’d send him a big, fat “too bad, buddy!” email and I wouldn’t pitch to him again in the future.