Friday, October 26, 2007

Tribune Continues To Slide In Los Angeles

Written from Vancouver, B.C.--

My train trip across Canada is over, and I notice that just in the four days since leaving Montreal, the dollar has gone down again against the Canadian dollar. I got $94 Canadian for $100 Sunday night in Montreal and this morning I got only $90 Canadian for $100 American. Since prices in Canada are higher than the U.S. (for food, etc.), the decline of the U.S.dollar is glaringly apparent here. So, in addition to the credit crisis, we also have a monetary problem, and it is not negligible. The price of the war, and mismanagement of the finance system by the Federal Reserve Board and other government institutions are clearly most to blame.

It is sad to turn on the Internet after only a few days and find that there is fresh proof that the Tribune Co., a sad institution in the best of times, is turning even sadder.

First, there is the news that Channel Five, the Tribune-owned KTLA, doesn't cover the news any more. Hal Fishman's body is barely cold in his grave, before KTLA marches downhill, giving poor coverage to the fires in Los Angeles, running trash TV rather than fire coverage.

How sad it is that Tribune falls down at every opportunity. I see that on the way down, the inept jackass who is the Tribune CEO, Dennis FitzSimons, is selling the Greenwich Time newspaper. Ultimately, if he stays in charge, FitzSimons might unravel the whole company. But what he should be doing immediately is calling it quits in Los Angeles.

To put it charitably, FitzSimons, David Hiller, Scott Smith, James O'Shea, the whole motley crew, ought to get out of the newspaper business and do something they might be good at, like driving taxis. I had a good taxi driver to my hotel in Vancouver this morning, very friendly and fast. Maybe, he could train the Tribune people.

Also, from what Bill Boyarsky writes, the discussion on Times Latino coverage that recently took place established clearly the obvious: Times Latino coverage has sunk badly.

And Hiller has said repeatedly that he would work to improve Latino coverage. Bushwa! Like his assurances that the Times Web site would improve, these assurances have not proved to be not worth toilet tissue.

Tribune is simply a bad company. And it is time that Los Angeles business leaders rev up their efforts to find a better owner.

How should we force Tribune to sell? Wait awhile. This sorry company is disintegrating and all these bumpkins will be able to accomplish is to vote themselves large severances, like Mark Willes got, when they scram out the door.

--

The New York Times reports that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger replied testily when asked why more planes were not available to fight the Southern California wildfires.

The governor is a phony, who caters to the big lobbies but does not do his job. Maybe he too should be RECALLED. He has proved no better than Grey Davis, maybe worse.

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