Friday, October 06, 2006


Times Publisher Ousted

Los Angeles Times, that is. The paper today (October 6, 2006) carries the story on the front page that Publisher Jeffrey Johnson has been forced to step down. His replacement is David Hiller, publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The Tribune Company bought the L.A. Times several years ago when the Chandler family decided that they didn't want to run the paper any more. There has been a conflict recently between Johnson and the parent company. The Tribune Company wanted Johnson to make some cuts in staff at the Times. It was reported that the Tribune Company wants the Times to make more profit and believes that the easiest way to do that is to reduce staff. It was reported that Johnson wants to keep the Times as one of the Nation's leading newspapers, along with the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. He believes that reducing staff would involve getting rid of some reporters who write about national and international events and would reduce the Los Angeles Times to a status similar to that of the Chicago Tribune.

The Los Angeles Times is a profitable enterprise. It was reported that the paper generates a profit of 20 percent. The Tribune Company wants more.

The new publisher, David Hiller, has not decided "whether to follow through with job cuts." From my own experience in the aerospace industry, I suspect that the Times may already have lost some of its best reporters. Whenever there is a rumor of a possible lay-off, the most qualified workers are the ones who are first to apply for good jobs with other firms and often leave the firm before the lay-off is officially announced.

Fortunately, I do not have to depend solely on the Los Angeles Times for news about events that interest me. Radio is a good source. I've noticed, however, that many news stories that I hear on the radio have already been reported in that day's issue of the Times.

I learned to despise the Chicago Daily Tribune away back in the 1930's and 1940's because of the vicious, slanted stories that the paper ran on its front pages about my father's hero, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Tribune Company's treatment of the Los Angeles Times reinforces my feeling of contempt for the Tribune.
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