By paulgillin | January 23, 2008 - 7:43 am - Posted in Fake News, Paywalls

No Quiet on Western Front: Latest on ‘L.A. Times’ Uproar – Editor & Publisher, Jan. 22, 2008
[E&P tries to figure out what really happened at the
Los Angeles Times, where editor James O’Shea abruptly resigned this week. Publisher David Hiller called O’Shea’s exit after only 14 months a mutual decision, but reports of O’Shea’s speech to the newsroom indicates it was anything but. The EIC was reportedly asked to cut $7 million from his budget, which sparked a confrontation that led to his firing. Media-watchers are wondering what this says about new owner Sam Zell’s commitment to editorial quality. -Ed.]

Times editor to leave paper – Los Angeles Times, Jan. 21, 2008
[The LA Times plays it straight in covering the story, revealing little of what was said in the newsroom. – Ed.]

Text of James O’Shea’s Remarks on

O’Shea, Hutton Thrown From Speeding Rollercoaster – Content Bridge, Jan. 22, 2008

Veteran journalist Ken Doctor notes the departure of the fourth LA Times top editor in three years and laments the sorry state of the once-great Mercury News. There are 200,000 students in journalism programs in the US, he notes. What are they all going to do? Big metro dailies are plummeting like a speeding roller coaster, but the new media entities that may someday replace them are still too small to offer refuge. – Ed.]

Newspaper Editor’s Departure Is Troubling – U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 22, 2008

[A U.S. News columnist worries about what O’Shea’s firing means, but believes newspapers can weather their current crises. -Ed.]

Recovering Journalist: Another One Bites the Dust
[Mark Potts makes some good points about what’s wrong with traditional newspaper-think and why the industry needs to look outside for leadership. -Ed.]

Quoting: “The coverage of his firing says O’Shea wanted more money because he was concerned about tight resources in a Presidential/Olympics year, but it’s not too hard to challenge that assumption. Does the Los Angeles Times need a full cadre of reporters covering the Presidential primaries? Does it need to send a boatload of people to the two conventions? Does it need to send its own Olympic team to the Beijing Olympics? No, no, and no. (That may save $4 million right there.) What the Times does need to do is provide better coverage of its local area for its readers, who can damn well read about the primaries, the conventions and the Olympics in thousands of other places…
“Publishers need to look outside the traditional lists of editor candidates to find true innovators who can lead the industry out of its precipitous slide. The ranks of newspaper editors (and sub-editors) these days is too full of people who came up through the old system, played by the old rules, and succeeded, frankly, because they didn’t take chances. Those days are over.”



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