Kinsley Move Marks Real End Of Carroll Era
The announcement, in the New York Times no less, that Michael Kinsley will be stepping down as L.A. Times editorial pages editor marks the real end of the Carroll editorship at the paper and. despite the fact that Kinsley was not supposed to be reporting to him, an auspicious beginning for Dean Baquet as editor.
The appointment of Kinsley by Carroll last year, on the basis that he would live half time in Seattle, where he continued to vote, was quite simply a mistake, and it was quickly compounded by Kinsley's inconsistencies of view and many changes on the editorial page. including his purge of half the staff.
Normally, I try to be gracious, but, what the hell, I'm glad to see Kinsley go, even if he does go to a column or some such. The last straw was his failure to back Judy Miller and the New York Times on the importance of the confidentiality of sources.
This is fortunate, too, for the new publisher, Jeffrey Johnson. His next choice for editorial page editor probably should be a Californian, although Andres Martinez is a legitimate candidate.
Baquet has a challenging time ahead. First, he must convince Chicago it is crazy to keep cutting back the paper. Getting rid of Kinsley may help in this, since Kinsley had alienated many subscribers and there is now more hope of arresting the circulation decline. Perhaps Baquet can persuade Chicago to hold back on cost cutting and wait to see whether circulation rises
For once, Chicago should recognize that Los Angeles Times success is important to that company, if only to help set a good sales price for the Times. Perhaps, in the meantime, Tribune CEO Dennis FitzSimons can be farmed out to the Aruba police force to help in the search for the missing Holloway girl. Norman Pearlstine, chief editor of Time, Inc., could go with him.
With the War on Terror expanding in scope, more attention is being paid on a daily basis to the news. This may enhance circulation.
I presume the Tribune Co. won't give Kinsley the severance that Mark Willes got. So, today, let's smile and say good riddance. Hopefully, better times (Times) are ahead.