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Monday, January 21, 2008

Did he jump or was he pushed?

Fascinating and important uproar continues at L.A. Times today, with new owner Sam Zell and publisher David Hiller continuing to claim that editor Jim O'Shea left of his own accord -- while he states flatly, in a memo to staff today, "In discussions about the current and future budgets, it became clear that Publisher David Hiller and I didn’t share a common vision for the future of the Los Angeles Times. In fact, we were far apart. So David decided he wanted a new editor. As I’ve said on numerous occasions over the past 14 months, I intended to stay here and lead this newspaper to the greatness it deserves. But David decided he wanted to terminate my employment and get another editor." Stay tuned. Here's link to O'Shea blast:
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003699465

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am an Advertising Director in the Midwest with thirty-plus years of newspaper experience. I believe our greatest asset is the news coverage our newsrooms provide our readers, that allows our advertising customers a "Captive" audience on a daily basis. Is this newsroom overstaffed? This I do not not know. How many local bylines are on each page daily to support our local-hyper content? I would like to be part of this industry for many, many years to come, but due to owners "Cash Flow" needs, I fear we will all be on the streets in the next 12 to 24 months, and this is sad!

NewspaperReader said...

Not the first stupid thing Hiller has done!!

Hopefully Sam Zell will realize quickly that Hiller and a few others in some top spots were part of the management team that Zell said didn't do very well.

I'm hoping that Sam is really as good as he sounds, but already someone is being fired for pushing his superior, so I'm wondering.

If he were to ask this pion though, I'd point out that any further cuts neccesary, must come from the business side where there is plenty of waste. If cuts continue in the newsroom or on the editorial side it can only have a negative effect on the quality of the paper, further eroding the circulation. Invest in the best you can get in the newsroom to improve the product, create more niche products to grab more of the market share, and look for more ways to generate additional revenue.

One more bit of advice to Sam Zell, putting the top man, or woman, in charge and holding them accountable is a good strategy, as long as you remember that you are the owner, and as such you should have an open door policy for those employees, or your suggestion to the employees (in your employee handbook) to stand up and question authority is surely a joke.

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