Saturday, June 09, 2007

West Magazine Victim Of Slashers At Tribune Co.

After the buyouts, the layoffs, the statements by usurping L.A. Times publisher David Hiller that the paper's profit margin has slipped to the low teens, it comes as no surprise that West magazine is being downsized from a Sunday weekly to a monthly.

Even in the halcyon days of Otis Chandler and a prosperous Times, the Sunday magazine was always something of a disappointment. It was as if the editors of the paper could never quite decide what they wanted it to be, it was always something of a half-assed operation, and it underwent several different names and reincarnations.

The West magazine in recent months has been more of the same. There was not even an aspiration to compete with the impressive New York Times magazine. Rick Wartzman turned out to be a bad choice as editor, and the magazine never captured an identity for itself.

Even so, it's too bad that the Tribune Co., owners of the Times, keeps slashing away at various sections of the newspaper. The only thing His High Ineptitude, Tribune CEO Dennis FitzSimons, Hiller and editor James O'Shea know how to do is cut, cut, cut, and don't you think Los Angeles readers know it? Under the Tribune ownership, the paper produces less and less of a product.

I was just down in San Diego County visiting friends, and noticed that even the North County Times, a mere tissue of a paper, produces a weekly TV listing, which the L.A. Times abandoned when it killed TV Times.

The Times still does a good job on fast breaking stories, like the Paris Hilton affair, Iraq and Lebanon news, fires in Griffith Park and Catalina, and so on. But most people want more than this from their newspaper. They want a Sunday magazine. They want a TV Guide. They want a comprehensive sports section. They want columnists like Al Martinez. Under the present management, they're not getting them.

When will things change? Only if the new owner Sam Zell takes charge and proves he is capable of reversing the tide by giving FitzSimons, Hiller and O'Shea their walking papers, for starters.


The public is in denial about the state of the county's prison system, if it thinks misdemeanor violators like Paris Hilton should be incarcerated to the full term of sometimes unreasonable sentences. They don't realize, on the one hand, that the prison system is terribly overcrowded and mismanaged, and that early releases are the only thing that keeps it functioning.

But beyond this, we see here from the Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer, and the City Attorney, the frequently corrupt Rocky Delgadillo, a sordid desire to exploit a celebrity for their own purposes, which are publicity, career building and envy of those more successful than they are. Judge Sauer wants to be like Lance Ito in the O.J. Simpson trial without realizing this will never be as notorious a case.

The judge is a low-life thrower of tantrums. He handed out a sentence in the first place in this case which was disproportionate, and now he compounds it by brow beating Ms. Hilton to the point of collapse.

Delgadillo never sees a celebrity he is unwilling to waste the public's money on. His vendetta against Hilton reminds one of his disproportionate persecution of the actress Winona Ryder.
His political career should be brought to a rapid end.

This said, the Los Angeles County sheriff, Lee Baca, once he released Hilton for a "medical condition" at 2 a.m., certainly should have been prepared to show the court, if only in camera, what that condition was. It is unclear whether Baca, or the frequently incompetent County Counsel's office, is primarily to blame for not getting Sauer the medical records. Still, this does not justify Sauer taking it out on Hilton, rather than the county bureaucratic screw-ups. Perhaps Baca is angling for a contempt-of-court sentence, which he could serve in the same cell as Hilton.



Anonymous SomethingElseAgain said...

Drug addicted, serial shoplifter of thousands of dollars worth of luxury items-store decides it's had enough and wants to prosecute? For shame! Didn't they know it was WINONA Ryder? She's an actress! And really, really pretty, too!
The nerve.

And now Paris Hilton...forget the myriad other DUI probation breakers in LA, the "normal", great unwashed types who also got 20-40 odd days in county lockup for similar offenses.
Paris is a poor, browbeaten girl victimized by a vampiric, insane judge! What a pathetic famewhore that old judge is! I mean, what's the problem with a girl repeatedly driving with a suspended license, lights off, speeding, DUI, ignoring any of her required educational punishments...late to court? She's a famous club-goer-girl! Leave her alone, you loser DA!

Totally with you. Brilliant analysis of how wronged these poor pretty girls are. A travesty.


6/09/2007 9:52 PM  

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