Monday, January 21, 2008

Why Los Angeles Times Can't Keep an Editor

James O'Shea found out two weeks ago at lunch in Union Station that he'd be the second editor in 14 months to part with Los Angeles Times Publisher David Hiller in a fight over budget cuts.

Mr. Hiller had asked for what would amount to $7 million in reductions: $3 million in newsprint costs and about $4 million from other parts of the budget, so that the paper would be able to devote news coverage to this year's political elections and the Olympics. In a memo sent to Mr. Hiller the previous week, Mr. O'Shea protested, not just against the cuts but the underlying strategy.

At the lunch at Traxx restaurant not far from the paper's squat moderne headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, Mr. Hiller said, "This paper just has to get smaller and smaller," Mr. O'Shea recalled in an interview. "I said, 'If that is the kind of paper you want, if that is the future that you see for the paper, then maybe you need an editor who believes in that, because I don't.'" [Click for MORE]

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> To Lose One Editor Decrying Budget Cuts Is Understandable; To Lose Two Is Sloppy, But To Lose Three Such Editors In Three Years Is Just Plain Tragic – Welcome To The Los Angeles Times

> Tribune chairman backs Times' publisher

> The Vision Thing in L.A.

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