Friday, November 17, 2006

Will James O'Shea Ruin L.A. Times' Page One?

That David Hiller and James O'Shea have no business running the L.A. Times, even for a brief period, is obvious. These unqualified men came here from an inferior city to replace distinguished leaders of the paper, and already the Times' Page one is showing their gross incompetence and failure to understand the Times and what it should offer its readers.

O'Shea in the last two days must be held responsible for a severely compromised Page one. Many readers are complaining about meaningless or second-rate local stories being placed there, at a time of consequential world and national events.

The careful and restrained Kevin Roderick dealt with this issue clearly yesterday in LA Observed. He reported, "A bunch of Times readers have emailed to say how jarring they found this morning's front page. Not because the news stories above the fold were all local, but that the local news wasn't all that major..."

Then, today, the Times headline story is about a $2 billion downtown Los Angeles renovation project being in the red, even before it gets started. This would, under the enlightened Dean Baquet, have been relegated to the California Section.

As stated earlier, there is every hope that Hiller and O'Shea won't be in Los Angeles very long. Any reasonable buyer of the paper will give them their walking papers, and the only resident of this area who will be sorry will be Ken Starr, Hiller's friend when both were at the Reagan Justice Department.

It is often the mark of the most unqualified pretenders to high position that they act in remarkably silly ways. Some actually think they can contribute something to the enterprise. But I can't believe this could possibly be true of Hiller and O'Shea, who must realize how unprepared they are to cope with Los Angeles.

If this goes on much longer, even more of the bottom will drop out of Los Angeles Times circulation. The paper is being destroyed before our eyes.

Again, it must be emphasized, in every way, these characters should be admonished they are not wanted in Los Angeles. They must slink back to Chicago as soon as possible, where they can replace the cows and hogs in the stockyards adding to whatever merits that place may have.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't the Times lose hundreds of thousands of customers during the Carroll/Baquet years? Maybe people in LA don't want to read about the Middle East every day. You can pickup any paper across the country and read the same "Car Bomb in Bagdhad" story. You can't blame all of the Times' troubles on Chicago. People still watch Fox TV and "American Idol" even if they hate Rupert Murdoch and Bill O'Reilly.

11/17/2006 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Joe Zekas said...

Showcasing your ignorance about Chicago (stockyards closed many years ago) doesn't exactly lend credibility to your statements about Chicagoans being ignorant of LA.

11/17/2006 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Brian Craig said...

While I agree the Tribune Company is not the right owner for the Los Angeles Times, why is it necessary for you to put down the city of Chicago.

Chicago is a world class city with lots to offer. Except for the nasty weather, it would probably be America's best city.

11/17/2006 6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not read many blog columns on any topic that are so full of hate spewed by its creator as are yours.

Anyone from LA trashing Chicago as you do simply means you have not gotten your vile filled ass out of your glass house and jumped on a United Airlines (Chicago) Boeing made (Chicago) jet in a very long time.

I sense in you tone that your professional life over time must not have not gone all that well for you. Hey, that happens, and winners get over it. As a current country song states "Walking is easy when the road is flat". It's those hills that challenge us and makes life rewarding. Go buy some hiking boots and get over your self inflated ego.

As to your wishing for the grand old days of the LA Times, it's over buddy. Frankly, all of us now have dozens of outlets in print, on air and online to satisify our appetite for world and national news covered from different perspectives.

I totally enjoy my very own home delivered Chicago Tribune every day. It's where I learn, often on the front page, the details behind regional and local corruption, revitalization initiatives, community projects, tax issues, etc. not to be easily found elsewhere.

In short, what's wrong with mixing up those front pages a bit. Under your so called editorial hero, it does not appear that the LA Times was doing much more than losing circulation at a much higher rate than other metro papers.

So take a breath, take some time off, and come visit the true grand city that will beat out yours with a resounding win to host the Olympics. You'll find us to really be the city that works, filled with millions that actually manage to even smile at each other once in a awhile.

11/18/2006 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Hey, thanks so much for your post on the LA Times front page situation. Having been in New York for most of October, reading the New York Times every day, I came back to L.A. and the LAT with culture shock. What HAPPENED? The front page has been for a few weeks, not just since O'Shea arrived, full of FEATURE stories, not news! There are many stories inside the front section that qualify for front-page status over the non-stories that have been running. I would gladly see those bloody "Car Bomb In [fill in the blank]" stories over the drivel they're running. At least I'd feel I was being informed of what is going on in the world that is NEWS. What next for the Times' front page? Tom and Katie's gift registry? Keep up the good work, Ken.

11/19/2006 3:54 PM  

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