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The LA Times is set to cut 250 jobs. Many from the editorial staff. According to a radio story broadcast today, 6 July 2008, the Times will begin focusing on stories it is uniquely situated to do here in LA.

Did you guess that would be Entertainment? If so you win the Dumbing-Down of America prize because that is exactly what is planned.

I looked in vain for a link to the story at KNX News Radio (1070 AM in Los Angeles). Maybe it will be up later. Here is a link to the story as told in the Chicago Tribune. The paper's new owner, the Tribune Co and the Times merged for the tidy sum of 8 Billion Dollars.

Now the Times is billions of dollars in debt and so it has to trim down. Get rid of staff. Get rid of those who might see the truth and tell it on the pages of the newspaper or website. How convenient.

And according to the KNX story, they'll concentrate on Entertainment stories.

Of course while oil speculators are driving the cost of living into the stratosphere (due to Bush's dirty little oncoming war with Iran which will close the Middle East down), what we need to know is what is Paris wearing and who last got busted for being high.

While the economy sputters into recession, all we need to know is where are all the stars eating dinner nowadays?

While the likes of Jonah Goldberg write books and give lectures spewing hatred for the working man and woman, all we need to know is why didn't Will Smith's latest movie make run-away profits? And of course the answer is NOT because we are in a recession. It's because he was competing with his daughter who also has a movie just out.

The consolidation of media and the refusal to tell the news is getting down right scary to me. The only thing I can do about it is tell you.

And tell the Tribune that I object.

But for now it looks like the News is cancelled.

Originally posted to ludlow on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 07:40 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just to be clear (6+ / 0-)

    The latest round of layoffs is due to a newer $8 billion deal by Sam Zell for the entire Tribune Co., which is still laden with huge debt. The cuts are not coming just from the LAT, but from the Tribune and other properties as well, and he's looking at selling the Cubs and Newsday to make interest payments.

  •  Thanks for that clarification (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    daulton, cville townie

    The KNX story said that the Times was in billions of dollars debt.

    Still it is all toward the news being in the hands of a few who will tell us the big business spin and nothing else.

    Only power used to empower is everlasting. Prof. Scott Bartchy

    by ludlow on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 08:27:26 PM PDT

  •  Wil Smith has a daughter.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in the movies.

    Anyway, I couldn't agree more.

  •  If your boss only cares about the bottom line... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If you are a cook or a writer or a scientist. If your boss has no clue about what you are doing and only wants to make a dollar, you are going to be in trouble.

  •  What fluff? (4+ / 0-)

    This Sunday the Los Angles Times Magazine showed me how I can have a new deck for only $150,000. Don't want a new deck? How about what to serve (cold tomato soup with bacon croutons and blue cheese) to a dinner party for 12 who'll be dining al fresco amidst the vines of your boutique winery/ranch/tax deduction on the Central Coast. Where's the problem?

    Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

    by JoesGarage on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 08:51:50 PM PDT

  •  The newspaper has been dying for years (0+ / 0-)

    sad but true.  If this merger didn't kill them something else would have.  And the people who buy US weekly either read it on top of, say, the New York Times (i.e. my wife) or don't read papers at all (my mother).

  •  Sam Zell philosophy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doinaheckuvanutjob, abrauer

    "The best protection I have is to make you (his employees) as knowledgeable as possible, as committed and involved as possible and as greedy as possible."

    (the quote comes at about 30'30" into the video)

    Only power used to empower is everlasting. Prof. Scott Bartchy

    by ludlow on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 09:13:39 PM PDT

    •  First puppies, then Iraq (0+ / 0-)

      Here's the awful American Rupert Murdoch himself, Sam Zell, expounding on his philosophy of journalism at an employee meeting of the Orlando Tribune.  The final muttered "fuck you" to the employee who dared to question him is worth its weight in Zell droppings.

      There's a little bit of all of us in each of us - Barack Obama

      by abrauer on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 09:38:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Correction (0+ / 0-)

        It's the Orlando Sentinel, not Tribune.

        There's a little bit of all of us in each of us - Barack Obama

        by abrauer on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 09:40:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We get what we want not what we need (0+ / 0-)

        Americans would rather see something titillating like big boobs or sweet like puppies, than see the blood and guts and desolation we are causing in Iraq or the horrors we are perpetuating with extraordinary rendition.

        Do we deserve what we get?

        I say no. We need people who will tell us, "And that's the way it is."

        We have Amy Goodman. Would that she were on the Nightly News. But Democracy Now is not an organization flush with money. They can't take their message to every nook and cranny in America like Brian Williams can.

        I am proud to be an American, but I am not liking this 21st Century version.

        Only power used to empower is everlasting. Prof. Scott Bartchy

        by ludlow on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 09:51:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Times is tqast and LA is almost there too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Around the time there is a new President-elect, the Times will be a tabloid, with a big color photo on the front.  It's currently in redesign.

    But the Times is not leading, it is simply following a trend in Los Angeles; as a local voice, it's been irrelevant now for almost a decade.  Other wire services in town began using LA for entertainment-only news long ago.  As a consequence, a lot of foreign consulates withdrew senior personnel, and we don't get the tourist dollars we used to, nor the Euro-commerce. Our own State Department's Foreign Press Office closed here in the spring, making things much worse.

    LA has become an absentee-owner town.  Look at the buildings downtown: they're all owned by corporations headquartered elsewhere.  Only entertainment is local.  A lot of this is the local government's fault: they have ushered businesses out of town and sold out to out-of-town interests.

    Unfortunately, the fake Demo Mayor is the biggest culprit.  He doesn't support unions unless they're Latino or City worker unions; he failed to support writers, dockworkers, teachers.  He doesn't support housing unless it has potential political contributor housing; if so, any zone-change is welcome.  He doesn't support real home-ownership measures at all.  He's a complete political fraud; he didn't even try to intercede in the writer's strike, which was a crippling labor action that cost the local economy about $200 million.

    We've been watching it unfold for three years now, and it's reached such problem proportions that most former stakeholders don't want to live here anymore.

    The biggest underlying problem is: there aren't enough homeowners to renters, and current pols in town are only making things worse rather than better.  LA ranks dead last in this ratio among the nation's top twenty cities.  There's no middle rungs in the housing ladder; you're either a have or a have not, and for most, there's no way to live the American dream short of scoring the equivalent of a hit record.  It's really a sad place these days.

    I've lived her fifty-one years.  I've endured riots, fires, earthquakes, but for the first time, I'm sincerely looking to leave.  Lobbyists run the town and Antonio is their sockpuppet.

    "Hibernate between 45 and 65 if you can."--VS Pritchett

    by joseph on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 09:33:12 PM PDT

    •  That is so disheartening to hear (0+ / 0-)

      about Villaraigosa. I'm a nurse. He helped push our ratios law through back in the late 90s. I worked for his election.

      Makes me sad about him and about LA.

      Only power used to empower is everlasting. Prof. Scott Bartchy

      by ludlow on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 09:40:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Villaingosa is a disgrace (0+ / 0-)

      You nailed it dead on. When Villaingosa's not busy screwing Univision anchorwomen, he's busy screwing the citizens of LA, finding more and more idiotic methods to part us from our hard earned money. He's only a few years into his term and he's already in lame-duck mode...He idly sat by while the payroll system for the teachers crashed and burned, he simply puckered up for the the news cams while the writers strike dragged on, and he managed to fill a single pothole and plant a tree while businesses rushed outta town. Kinda reminds me of Bush Jr. if you ask me...I can't believe that this sorry piece of crap is actually thinking that the Senate is in his future. I think it's about time to take another hard look at the possibility of districts seceding from the municipality of Los Angeles.

      You used to be able to sum up LA as a cesspool filled to the brim with the all best and worst things in life...but unfortunately, that was before Villaingosa's limp-wristed reign as mayor.

  •  im a central coast californian (0+ / 0-)

    and it is sad to see this happening to one of the few papers i read.  usually its the la times and the ny times.  

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