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LA Times no longer has a Washington bureau (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Poynter Online ^ | November 1, 2008 | Jim Romenesko

Posted on 11/01/2008 1:33:21 PM PDT by abb

This is a memo from a Los Angeles Times staffer to eight colleagues. At the source's request, I've deleted names

Sent: Fri 10/31/2008 2:29 PM From: [Name removed] To: [Names removed] Subject: The worst yet: Tea with Doyle [McManus, LAT DC bureau chief]

Gang, Well, let’s just say it's bad in every way it can be bad. Basically, the LAT no longer has a Washington bureau and we will be under the control of the Tribune Co., much like McClatchy is run. The much-touted 3-man committee was basically used to vote the LAT down 2-1 every time. The formal announcement will be made on Nov. 7, people will be informed they will be laid off on the 18th, and the new bureau begins on the 19th. Numbers are still fudgey, but 8 LAT layoffs seems to be the working number.

At the end of the session, Doyle basically put it simply: This was a well-orchestrated corporate campaign to sever the Washington bureau from the LAT. He appeared quite sheepish, since in hindsight this was all pretty clear...as he noted, Zell's rant in Feb. has pretty much come true. "It's not the LAT that is running this process. That has become increasingly clear."

Doyle said Tom McCarthy will not be the bureau chief, and it's unclear if he's going to want to stay in the new organization, which is still being worked out. Tom was the only person who didn't join us in the conference room. Doyle doesn't know who the new bureau chief will be, though Cissy Baker's name keeps getting mentioned. Some guy (gal?) named Kerry something, the national editor of the ChiTrib, has been mentioned, but Kerry claims he's heard no such thing.

The structure is basically going to be the same as McClatchy: 19 reporters & 5 editors as a core "national staff" 10 reporters as "regional reporters", divided this way: 2 from LAT 2 from ChiTrib 2 from BaltSun 1 from other small papers

...Schmitt asked whether decisions on who is staying were really made on merit. Doyle acknowledged that they weren’t. Basically Russ/Gerry/Gremillon came up with a list of beats, then moved reporters into slots. "The names that were left over were left over." He said the people making the decision largely were making judgments about "people they don't know and who’s work they've never read." Doyle added that the decisions were "somewhat arbitrary."

Schmitt then asked why they couldn't say who was going to be laid off, and Doyle said he'd been forbidden from telling people. Asked why, Doyle said, "Basically, to be inhumane." He said corporate types don’t want to have to answer questions from people who are laid off, so announcing layoffs on the 18th was the most pain-free for them. Though he also noted that the LAT is telegraphing these, and if you want to talk in any more detail, Tom & Doyle will likely tell you what your future is. If you're not on the list, and you want to volunteer to leave, it would be good to tell Doyle by Nov. 13, so he can fill your spot with another LAT body.

I asked some questions about how the LAT leadership feels about no longer having a DC bureau, and he said they were upset. I tried to press him on whether this means we no longer have any protection from L.A., and he basically said that's the case. We’re run by Chicago, though he said if Chicago really wanted to make the DC bureau any smaller, they could have done it this time (though he also noted that the only place the LAT won anything at all in this discussion was preventing Chicago from making the bureau even smaller).

So as I said: bad, bad, bad in every way. Everyone came out shell shocked.

Enjoy your weekend!


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: dbm; lat; latimes; layoffs; newspapers; tribune
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Saturday afternoon good news.
1 posted on 11/01/2008 1:33:22 PM PDT by abb
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To: 04-Bravo; aimhigh; andyandval; Arizona Carolyn; backhoe; Bahbah; bert; bilhosty; Caipirabob; ...

ping


2 posted on 11/01/2008 1:34:12 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

3 posted on 11/01/2008 1:34:32 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

When a major paper closes their D.C. bureau they may as well just take down the entire thing.


4 posted on 11/01/2008 1:34:54 PM PDT by BlueStateBlues (Blue State for business, Red State at heart..)
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To: abb

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDy7vn7-LX4

Sam Zell says “f—k you” to one of his reporters.


5 posted on 11/01/2008 1:35:20 PM PDT by WilliamReading
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To: abb

Well, they COULD sell a lot of papers and get a lot of interest if thy would release that tape they are holding! I guess they’d rather be DEAD *AND* RED!


6 posted on 11/01/2008 1:35:57 PM PDT by RocketMan1
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To: abb

If you act like a real newspaper, then maybe you’ll get treated like a real newspaper.


7 posted on 11/01/2008 1:38:24 PM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: abb

Damn no Washington DC buerau damn we Freepers are good LOL!


8 posted on 11/01/2008 1:38:31 PM PDT by SevenofNine ("We are Freepers, all your media belong to us, resistence is futile")
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To: RocketMan1
Well, they COULD sell a lot of papers and get a lot of interest if thy would release that tape they are holding! I guess they’d rather be DEAD *AND* RED!

And yours is well said :-)

9 posted on 11/01/2008 1:38:45 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: abb; All

Note to reporters:

Hahahahaha!

Go out and get USEFUL jobs now, IF YOU HAVE ANY SKILLS BESIDES LYING!!!


10 posted on 11/01/2008 1:39:08 PM PDT by Mr. Jazzy (USMC- Guarding freedom around the world since 1775)
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To: RocketMan1
Exactly.

Think of the sales the LA Times would have if they released an exclusive paper about the video, and then sold the video itself to Fox News for several million.

But noooooooo!!

The LA Times people have to be good little communists, and protect their Stalinist thug Odinga Hussein Obama.

11 posted on 11/01/2008 1:39:37 PM PDT by Prole (Please pray for the families of Chris and Channon. May God always watch over them.)
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To: abb

Hey, L A Mimes before you close down, release the video.


12 posted on 11/01/2008 1:48:01 PM PDT by Know et al (Everything I know I read in the newspaper and that's the reason for my ignorance: Will Rogers)
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To: abb

Let me know when they drop their San Fernando Valley bureau.
Then I’ll start celebrating.
Close the rag and throw the liberal writers in the gutter where they belong.


13 posted on 11/01/2008 1:54:17 PM PDT by Joe Boucher (An enemy of Islam)
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To: RocketMan1
Well, they COULD sell a lot of papers and get a lot of interest if thy would release that tape they are holding!

Here's what I don't understand - the LA Times has already done one story based on the tape.

Why not two?

It's hard to believe the person who gave them the tape for the first story had the wit to realize many years later it would be relevant again.

I understand the granted request about not releasing the actual tape - and if they gave their word, they should keep it. But there's no way they can't write another story about the tape.

14 posted on 11/01/2008 1:55:09 PM PDT by GOPJ (i)
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To: abb

Why bother? They can make up all the bad news about Republicans that’s fit to print right in LA!


15 posted on 11/01/2008 1:58:40 PM PDT by Jagman (Don't tax me, bro!)
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To: abb

Well LA Times.....bye!


16 posted on 11/01/2008 1:59:14 PM PDT by FrankR (When Obama Raises TAXES, Employers will sharpen AXES. - Frank R)
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To: abb
And this answers the question why this LAT does not release the Obama tape.
Quite simple, the Trib. says no to prevent endangering Obama’s ascension.
Axelrod, Obama’s campaign manager and former Trib local editor has his say, same as during the time he plowed the terrain for Obama when publishing divorce records on Obama’s opponent Ryan while running for the Senate.
It's Chicago powerhouse politics transferred onto the national scene.
Reporters kicked off the plane... just wait, you haven't seen anything yet.
17 posted on 11/01/2008 2:04:29 PM PDT by hermgem (Will Olmr)
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To: hermgem

you nailed it...

Thank god we still have the API to help us out!!! :P


18 posted on 11/01/2008 2:12:48 PM PDT by surfer
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To: abb

Bye, now.


19 posted on 11/01/2008 2:14:31 PM PDT by Interesting Times (For the truth about "swift boating" see ToSetTheRecordStraight.com)
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To: abb

It may be that all these laid off marxists from the newspaper industry land on their feet in government job in an Obama administration.


20 posted on 11/01/2008 2:18:45 PM PDT by MovementConservative (Do everything you can in your precinct; phone bank, door to door, donate food or $... just do it.)
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