The first casualty of the new editorial army recruited last year to revitalize Rolling Stone magazine’s music coverage came this week with the firing of senior editor Jim DeRogatis after only eight months on the job.

The move came Monday, after the weekly New York Observer ran a story saying that Rolling Stone founder-editor Jann Wenner had killed DeRogatis’ negative review of the new Hootie & the Blowfish album and replaced it with a more positive one. The Observer story included quotes from DeRogatis implying that Wenner routinely pulls copy that he disagrees with and suggesting that Wenner’s motive for the Hootie change was not to alienate the massively popular band.

“As far as why they fired me, you have to ask them,” DeRogatis told Pop Eye. “What they told me is that I’m a bad apple and don’t know anything about music.”

A Rolling Stone spokeswoman would only confirm that DeRogatis, who formerly covered pop music at the Chicago Sun-Times, had been fired.