Does Los Angeles Need the Los Angeles Times?
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Since the Chandler family sold out to the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times newsroom has become smaller and smaller. So has the coverage. Now the new owner, Sam Zell, needs to service big debt and 150 more editorial employees will be on the chopping block. Tonight, can the Times survive? Can LA survive without it?
After the Chandler family sold the LA Times to the Chicago Tribune, a stream of editors left rather than making draconian cuts in staff and coverage. The cuts happened anyway. Then came Sam Zell, who said he didn’t plan any more cuts, but who has to service the massive debt he ran up to buy all the Tribune properties. And there’s the Internet. The current editor, Russ Stanton, says it’s a “paradox” that the Internet has provided more readers than ever before, but that advertising rates leave the paper with less money. Now another round of cuts is in store, including 150 in the newsroom, which has dropped from 1300 employees down to about 700. And these won’t be buyouts, but layoffs.
- Emma Schafer: Public affairs consultant who runs Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum
- Russ Stanton: Publisher, Editor of the Los Angeles Times
- Patrick Frey: Blogger, Patterico.com
- Marc Cooper: Visiting Professor of Journalism at USC Annenberg School for Communication, @marc_cooper
Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, which supports study and research into policy issues of the Los Angeles region.
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