It's Hard Out There for an Editor: LAT Axes O'Shae
GELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Times fired its top editor after he rejected a management order to cut $4 million from the newsroom budget, 14 months after his predecessor was also ousted in a budget dispute, the newspaper said Sunday.
James O'Shea was fired following a confrontation with Publisher David D. Hiller, the Times reported on its Web site. The story didn't say when the confrontation took place.
"The Los Angeles Times, like all newspaper companies, is facing major challenges in charting a course that will be successful for the future. The path ahead is going to be difficult and requires that our people and our organization be aligned behind what we need to do," Hiller said in a statement. "As a result of these changes, Jim O'Shea will be leaving the Times."
O'Shea's departure comes just a month after the Times' parent, Chicago-based Tribune Co., was taken private in an $8.2 billion buyout by real estate magnate Sam Zell.
The departure also follows that of his predecessor, Dean Baquet, who was forced to resign after he opposed further cuts to the newsroom budget in 2006.
O'Shea, then the Chicago Tribune's managing editor, was brought in to replace him.
At the time, he asked the news staff not to see him as "the hatchet man from Chicago" and promised to fight to ensure the Times would "remain a major force in American journalism."
"If I think there is too much staff I will say so," O'Shea told the paper's editors and reporters in 2006. "And if I think there is not enough I will say that, too."
O'Shea is the third Times editor to leave the newspaper since 2005, all of them departing in disputes with management over how much to cut the news budget.
When Editor John Carroll left in 2005 he was replaced by Baquet, who was then the Times managing editor. Hiller, former publisher of the Tribune who had worked with O'Shea in Chicago, then brought him out to replace Baquet.
Hiller had joined the Times in 2006 after former Publisher Jeffrey M. Johnson was ousted for refusing to carry out budget cuts ordered by corporate headquarters in Chicago.
A month later, Hiller dismissed Baquet and brought in O'Shea to replace him.
I have little sypmathy for most execs and well-paid suits, and I think this guy is the guy who got Doughy Pantload a paying gig, so of course I'm playing the world's tiniest violin right now. But man! I really wouldn't want to be an operations manager in the Olde Media right now. I don't think there's any "winning" there these days.
You poor fucks brought it on yourselves, of course. I can't say exactly when all pretense of Journalism was finally lost in this country, but it sure has been gone for seven, no, fifteen years or so now. I suppose some of the blame must be placed in the laps of the investor-class types who bought papers and merged and closed news departments high and low. But some of it has to go to guys like O'Shea. I bet he was getting a pretty good paycheck, and promises that he could move up the ranks of our Corporate Masters if he behaved. Feh, I'm sure he'll get a nice job somewhere, that's usually what happens to 'disgraced' wingut managers.
But eventually, even Ghengis Khan wouldn't be able to make a paper profitable. Because "news" editors and managers have gone along with the VRWC project of driving people away from the information they need, and towards distraction they don't. Well, guess what, guys? I'm a better distraction than you are, no matter how much Freedumb and Pretzel material you find to fill your "news" pages. And I'm free. Heh.
The formal death of news in this country will go unmourned by me; I cried that jag a while back. By the time the last "news" department is closed, it's likely that our Government Infotainment Service (a permanent stream of surveilling video we can never turn off) will explain why only treasonous atheistislamofascists want or need "a free press." Then we'll go back to the burning issue of the missing white woman of the day and enjoy our chocolate rations.