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Another Media Meltdown: LA TIMES Lays Off 250 Workers

Original post made by Mike, College Terrace, on Jul 2, 2008

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I remember Sam Zell's promise to restore the LA Times tradition as a great paper. So here, we have another lying takeover artist, Zell, doing everything he can to gut a great newspaper.

Currently, the LAT is not even a shadow of its former self, yet continues to make handsome profits. Zell's projections for growth are not being met, so he's using that as an excuse to gut the paper and "save money".

Sam Zell is *exactly* the kind of entrepreneur that should get written up as dangerous to America; American's meed for good communications; and, the American economy.

Comments (13)

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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2008 at 11:15 pm


Closer to home, the PA daily just dropped it's Monday edition and laid off staff, yet the new PA Daily Post seems to be doing well and doesn't even have a web presence.

Any comments?

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 2, 2008 at 11:56 pm

The PA Daily's owned by the Merc. which is now owned by Singleton. The Merc. has been losing advertising like crazy. Newspapers all over are in bad shape--they've lost huge amounts of classified advertising to Craigslist and eBay. Google's gobbling up another huge chunk with its targed word searches.

At the same time, newspapers aren't drawing younger readers. Younger readers get their news online.

So, it's really not the case of one bad guy wrecking the LA Times--it's a case of a really grim situation for newspapers and a slightly less, but still grim situation for magazines.

As for the Daily Post--it's been around for what? A month? Who's to say how it's doing.

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Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 3, 2008 at 3:04 am

Perhaps there are others like me who refuse to buy the rope to hang us. The honeymoon was over for me when Kay Boyle, journalist instructor at Frisco State, informed her class that it was not enough to cover a riot, sometimes the reporter had to throw his own stone. Not one media rep challenged that assertion, and as activism controlled "news" coverage, when an actress whose IQ was lower than her chest size was quoted on nuclear power but engineers were not, I walked away. Now that the butcher's bill on energy has come due, there is no place for libLudd media to hide. It couldn't happen to a more deserving pack.

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Posted by I am delighted
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 3, 2008 at 7:15 am

Walter, I am with you 100%. I am delighted that the print media is going down the tubes. They don't report news anymore, they peg propoganda. Busy and unaware people trust the headlines and the first paragraph, think they know the story, then form opinions which affect their voting. Opinion pages are filled with absurd editorials written by propogandists intent on promoting the far left agenda. The 70s, 80s and 90s saw nothing but "journalists" ( and teachers and attorneys et al) being indoctrinated into the belief that somehow their job was to change minds, not simply report.

Slowly destroying the country through the media.

I literally cheer every time I see print go down some more. Newspapers, Time magazine, any of them.

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Posted by Baron Parker
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 3, 2008 at 12:06 pm

And so your source of news will become what? Some blogger?? Something email forwarded you by a friend?? What ever website agrees with your narrow point of view??


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 3, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Baron Parker,

Actually, I think a free-wheeling, democratic "press", on the Internet, would be much preferable to the priesthood of "news" that we have had to swallow for so long.

Among other beneficial things, the new free press allows rural America to have its say in this country. Prior to this revolution, "flyover" country was competely ignored by the liberal elite press, unless food prices were high.

You take a fearful view of such freedom. Is see it as a liberation.

Go figure!

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Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 3, 2008 at 5:23 pm

If Wikipedia disagrees with a major network or paper, my bet is on Wiki. If Drudge disagrees with my governator, I go with Drudge.

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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 3, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Outside Observer " the PA daily just dropped it's Monday edition and laid off staff, yet the new PA Daily Post seems to be doing well and doesn't even have a web presence."

The Post is owned by Dave Price, a smart guy, who made a bundle when he sold the Daily News Group a few years ago.

The Daily News is constrained by the loser mentality of its new owner.

Price is using his old contacts to underbid the Daily's ad rates. The Daily has been breaking (as in broken) ever since Price sold it.

So now, we have another ad rag in town, owned by someone who is well capitalized, can afford to make his daily competition kneel, and bring back even more irresponsible journalism.

I guess this means that a lot of the old blowhards that used to publish their headline mongering crap in the Daily (before it was sold) are going to have a voice again. delightful. NOT!

It's too bad, really, because the Daily News almost instantly gained a new level of respect and measured fairness as soon as Price left, and Diana Diamond was riffed.

So, we're living in what is supposed to be one of the most educated regions in the US, without a single quality, serious newspaper. There aren't many of them left, and those that are have begun to shill for certain sides of the political spectrum in far more overt ways than they used to. The NYT is a good example. It's still a good newspaper, but its bias toward reporting favorably on liberal issues compared to moderate and conservative issues has become quite obvious. On political issues, I can't think of a single newspaper that I can trust, outside the Christian Science Monitor.

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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 3, 2008 at 5:41 pm

btw, Zell is a rapacious liar. He promised on thing to the LAT, and delivered exactly the opposite. Most people aren't aware that the LAT returns a handsome profit; it just hasn't met Zell's outsized greed. Zell is a pox on American communications.

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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2008 at 7:47 pm


Thanks for the comments re: PA papers.

As I've said before, 25% of the time I agree with you, and this is one of those times.

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Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 4, 2008 at 3:53 am

Let's see - an editorial opposing drilling, then an editorial opposing the death penalty. The same Murky Turkey mentality that changed me from someone who subscribed to three or four dailies to someone who subscribes to none. Great business plan!

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Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 4, 2008 at 6:24 am

I actually worked for Sam Zell. I ran a business that consisted of railroad box cars for Sam. I was recruited to work for Sam, it was not at all clear to me at the time that I was brought in to pretty the business up for sale, but that is what I did, Sam made a ton of money, I got compensated well for the whole thing. And I was laid off.

Sam is an SOB (and I say that with affection, he treated me well) and he makes no effort to disguise that. He is at his best with hard, tangible assets, and I think he is getting over his head with investments where intellectual property are part of the investment.

What is occurring in the newspaper industry is a sea change of monumental proportions, not merely a dip due to the economy or poor management strategies. Sam is able to ride out cyclical downturns and knows how to hire capable people, but his background and experience provide him no special insight into what is occurring at the Tribune Company, and I question that he will lead the newspaper industry to its new role in the information business. Another SOB, Rupert Murdoch, is likely to do that, given his background and experience.

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Posted by free press is now really alive
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 4, 2008 at 6:58 am

Well said, Gary. Give me a truly free press anytime and let ME decide what is reliable and what isn't, not some editor cherry picking the news, and printing it verbatim from some AP wire, carefully written from a "perspective".

I always search the sources out for my real news. That is the beauty of the internet.

The real Free Press we have now, via internet, scares me a lot less than what we have had for most of my life.

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