Monday, February 11, 2008

Newspapers Like L.A. Times Serve Greater Good

Former Publisher, Ventura County Star

Freddie Mercury of the musical group Queen may have been the prophet of journalism when he sang, “Another one bites the dust.”

Indeed, James O’Shea left as editor of the Los Angeles Times last month over a dispute about the budget for the newsroom – the newsroom that produces journalism in the giant newspaper 365 days a year. Editors drop regularly at the Los Angeles Times these days. Publishers disappear, too. Managing editors. Vice presidents of advertising. Spring Street has become the stopping point for forwarded mail.

It is not that the Times is so different from any newspaper these days. I left as publisher of the largest newspaper in Ventura County last year. Same thing happened to the publisher at the Orange County Register. And I have lost track of the revolving door publishers at the L.A. Daily News. Advertising dollars formerly spent in newspapers, especially the classified advertising “Big Three” (employment, automobile and real estate), have been cascading to Internet competitors. Newspaper corporate leaders were reluctant to embrace the Internet when they should have in the 1990s and now cannot catch up. They are asking advertisers to pay more for a smaller audience.

Hence, the need for expense cuts. [Click for MORE]

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