FROM Russ Stanton
Cuts at The Los Angeles Times 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.
Is the Newspaper Industry Stumbling? Crumbling? Newspapers are shedding staff and reducing services, just like other industries, but even if the economy picks up, they may not bounce back. Tumbling ad revenues and stockholders hungry for profit are creating a familiar scenario, but the Internet is what's making things different. Major papers in New York, Washington and Los Angeles give readers national and international perspective. Local papers keep watch on business interests and City Hall. Will technology lead to the erosion of institutional memory and professional standards?
New Leadership at the LA Times Past editors of the LA Times have boasted national and international experience. They’ve won prizes and served on other major papers, including the New York Times. Reporting that Russ Stanton will be next in change, the Times said, “He takes the editor’s desk without the same range of experience of his predecessors.”
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.