Never needs changing. Like a fluorescent bulb! ... 5:48 P.M.
Resigned editorial page editor Andres Martinez says the paper's newly-arrived editor and publisher
caved to a disgruntled newsroom that is annoyed at [the paper's owners in] Chicago, annoyed at them and annoyed at the autonomy of the opinion pages.
The newsroom unrest, Martinez says, is partly "ideological" (the news pages presumably being more conventionally liberal than his editorial page), partly "a matter of bureaucratic culture," and
some of it a personnel matter (there are some embittered former editorial board members that Kinsley and Carroll sent off to the newsroom). "
Michael Kinsley, former LAT opinon czar who hired Martinez, also blasts "newsroom busybodies," but simulataneously chides Martinez for making a fuss about whether "a news editor once asked him to consider running an editorial in connection with some news-side series ..."
This Week's L.A.T. editor** Jim O'Shea disagrees with all of the above, saying the accusers who made a fuss about Martinez's alleged conflict-of-interest are "people with a passion for the news and this newspaper."
In steps the L.A.T.'s own Tim Cavanaughon the paper's opinion blog to .. side against editor O'Shea! Cavanaugh says
Mystery #1: Who are these "holier-than-thou" newsroom twits? We don't have to take that wild a guess--Martinez actually names two LAT veterans:
I'm guessing the Henry Weinsteins and Tim Ruttens of the world will continue to conjure up the magical words "Staples Center" to wail against any innovation at the paper ...
Mystery #2: Why anyone good would be lured into coming to work for this paper now. Want to be Mayor of Ramadi? ...
The big winner: David Geffen and Ron Burkle, who didn't buy the Times and don't have to deal with these people. ...
Conclusion that's now clearer than ever: Blogger John Gabree notes that you need a strong local paper to have a strong local political culture. Los Angeles has neither. The Times was making progress under Dean Baquet. But the best thing it could do for the city now is to simply disappear, instantaneously if possible, and open up space for decent alternatives to operate without the legacy cost of 900 tantrum-prone staffers of variable abilities. ...
** P.S.: It's not clear why the Times would need to recruit "guest editors"--they already more or less have them! In a relatively short period they've run through John Carroll and Dean Baquet and wound up with O'Shea, who in turn doesn't look like a promising candidate for extended editorial tenure after helping co-produce this week's humiliating events. ..
Saturday, March 24, 2007
"Truly hideous": That's how a teaser mass email from Business Week's Jon Fine describes the New York Times' February revenue report. Details here. ... Fine notes mounting "evidence that rising Web revenues do not cancel out falling print revenues." [E.A.] He points out that if we believe the Times ' own press release, then TimesSelect--the "fee-based product on NYTimes.com"--only has about 220,000 paying subscribers:
Assuming all of these people are paying full freight yearly subscriptions-- not guaranteed, that--that's $10.9 million in revenue.
Is it worth $10.9 million to the Times for it to wall off its columnists? You tell me.
Nikki has long been dismissive of the blogosphere. She also, at least until fairly recently, has been ignorant of basic blogospheric knowledge that the IP addresses of commenters are easily checked. So for instance if you post once here under the name Nikki Finke, and then again pretending to be a lawyer threatening me with libel for insulting Nikki Finke, it might be better to post that second comment from someone else's computer. I guess that's inconvenient, though, if you rarely leave the house. I haven't seen Nikki in years, probably because these days she looks like Jabba the Hut, if you can imagine Jabba after he's said to hell with the diets already.
Gosh, I'm bitchy today ...