Youâ€™ve got to wonder about morale at the Los Angeles Times after it was revealed this week that publisher David Hiller (left, with pressman Ed Padgett) hatched a plan to move the paperâ€™s monthly magazine completely under the control of the advertising department without telling the newspaperâ€™s editor. Citing anonymous sources, The New York Times reports that Hiller planned to replace the magazineâ€™s entire nine-person editorial staff and that a new editor has already been hired.
That editorâ€™s credentials donâ€™t indicate that a lot of hard-hitting investigative journalism was in the plan. In a droll resume rundown, the Timesâ€™ Richard Perez-Pena writes: â€œThe new editorâ€¦is Annie Gilbar, who has been the host of a program on the Home Shopping Network. She is a former editor of InStyle magazine and has written or co-written a number of advice books, like â€˜Wedding Sanity Savers.â€™â€
The astounding thing is that Hiller apparently didnâ€™t tell LA Times editor Russ Stanton about any of these plans. The publication currently named Los Angeles Times Magazine was going to hit the street in late summer or early fall with no oversight from the paperâ€™s editorial staff, despite carrying the weight of the paperâ€™s reputation and credibility.
Equally amazing is that the plans had moved along this far without
This puts Russ Stanton in a tough position, of course. The New York Times story, if true, is a public humiliation, the kind of revelation that could prompt
We wonâ€™t even speculate about what Hiller was thinking.
Washington Post columnist Harold Myerson has a withering piece about Sam Zell, likening the Tribune Co. CEO to the union activist who tried to blow up the LA Times offices nearly a century ago. â€œAt the rate he’s going, [Zell is] on his way to accomplishing a feat that [the bomber] didn’t even contemplate: destroying the L.A. Times,â€ he writes. Describing Zell as â€œa visiting Visigoth, whose civic influence is about as positive as that of the Crips, the Bloods and the Mexican mafia,â€ Myerson trashes Zellâ€™s pronouncements last week that journalists would increasingly be measured on the volume of their output, noting that under those metrics, the Postâ€™s Pulitzer-winner reporters would find their heads on the chopping block.
This entry was posted on Thursday, June 12th, 2008 at 7:10 am and is filed under Advertising, Business News, Journalism, NewMedia, Newspapers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.