Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Modest Proposal Of Alternatives To The L.A. Times Layoffs

Rather than forcing useful L.A. Times personnel into taking buyouts or pursuing 85 or more layoffs, please let me outline some desirable alternatives.

1. Legal action to seize excessive golden parachutes paid past inept executives, such as the minimum $64 million in severance that went to Mark Willes in 2000, the money that went to Thomas Unterman for his Judas-like underhanded sale of the company to the Tribune Co. of Chicago, otherwise known as "The Losers," in 2000, and so forth.

Conservators could be named by California judges to be sure that these retirees were supervised in any expenses or investments still allowed them under bankruptcy. All proceeds to be returned to the Times.

2. Layoffs of unneeded Tribune executives who have sold the company's interests down the river in the last five years, including Dennis FitzSimmons, Scott Smith, Jack Fuller and 150 John Does who have occupied executive offices in Chicago and worked with astonishing ineptitude. They seem to merit the title of "Losers," but determination of the exact facts to be made by jurors appointed by the Times buyout victims going back to the Otis Chandler publishership.

Severance to these gentlemen limited to $25 per year of service, as long as they can prove in a court of law that they need the money.

3. Sale of the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Cubs, the present Losers, to California interests, with the headquarters and all decisions moved to Los Angeles to unoccupied parts of the Times-Mirror complex. Proceeds could be used to protect other former Times-Mirror papers, such as the Baltimore Sun and Newsday, which have been gutted by Chicago executives.

4. Any remaining layoffs needed at the Times to satisfy dollar goals, would be reduced by the amount of money lost in failing to hold circulation, with that money to come out of amounts now currently paid editors at the paper who have complied with Chicago directives in excess of salaries paid similar positions annually as of Jan. 1, 1932. One standard of judgment will be the similarity of statements issued yesterday by publisher Jeff Johnson and editor Dean Baquet with statements issued at Chicago direction at other papers of the company. There is a dreary sameness to these statements, which must have actually been written by lawyers.

5. All reporters and support personnel held in their present salaries pending results of legal actions to be undertaken as outlined above. except for cost of living increases pegged to the CPI over the next 20 years.

6. Further ideas welcomed in comments to this blog.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the laughs, humor is most welcome today. The newsroom is not the only department trimming the workforce, Operations will announce layoffs and buyouts on December 5th, 2005. After spending thirty-three years at the Los Angeles Times, it feels like I'm about to lose an old friend sometime soon. I have always looked forward to retirement, didn't plan on leaving at fifty-two years of age.

I have posted employee memo's on my blog, because many of us do not have email accounts at the newspaper.

Wish the blue collar workers like myself had a golden egg to rely on. I would be happy to have 1% of Mark Willis' retirement.

Keep us smiling Ken,
Eddie Padgett

11/17/2005 9:32 AM  

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