Thursday, June 05, 2008

From Our, "It Would Never Happen at the News-Press Department"

There's an intriguing interview with Russ Stanton, Editor In Chief of the L.A. Times posted over at

The Times' editorial page came out against Proposition 98, despite the fact that a company owned by Sam Zell, who owns The Times parent, Tribune Co., donated money to support the ballot initiative. When asked if Zell was informed of the editorial beforehand and how he was as a boss, Stanton said:

I haven't talked to the guy since two days before I got this job. I met him before I was named, and he told me then that he wasn't going to screw around with the editorial stance of the paper. I actually don't control the editorial pages here -- that's done by a guy named Jim Newton -- but we didn't tell him beforehand and he probably read about it like everyone else. And I think if anyone was worried about our editorial independence, I think we answered that question right there.

How many years does Stanton think it will be until there is no print edition of the L.A. Times?

One hundred twenty-six [laughs]. But, you know, somebody, somewhere soon is going to throw in the towel on print. For us, I think that for now, our core base of readers are the baby boomers, and I think that we've got at least another 35-year run in print. On the other hand, someone, somewhere is going to grow the revenue from online enough that it can support a newsroom of our size and talent. And when that happens, that's when you can start, if you so choose, to pull the plug on the paper. If you have the revenue to pay for the journalism, you can eliminate the print. I mean, the people are only half of the cost -- the stuff that costs so much are the paper and the presses you need to print the darn thing. But I don't see that happening around here in my lifetime.

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One guy who probably wishes there was no print edition of the L.A. Times these days is Rob Lowe. There was a Calendar section piece in Wednesday's L.A. Times about his nanny-gate woes.

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How bad are things in the newspaper industry these days?

There's a Google Map that keeps track of who's getting laid off where.

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Summerland resident, Lou Cannon, had an op-ed piece in Tuesday's Washington Post comparing the just concluded Obama vs. Clinton race for the Democratic nomination, to the 1976 primary race between Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.

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And is everyone getting in on the blogging act these days?

Former Dodger manager and hall of famer Tommy Lasorda has a blog.

He even takes comments. Just don't ask him what he thought of Dave Kingman's performance