The story never published about the liberal millionaire who ruined the LA Times and Times-Mirror empire – Otis Chandler

Today the newspaper industry bible–Editor & Publisher was shut down.

The 12-page 8×10 inch magazine was a joke inside the industry it covered. Not always, of course, or the trade mag covering mini-monopolies wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did. The past five years, E&P’s circulation was mainly online and didn’t earn the money to pay for postage or the paper it was printed on. Many blogs earn more in advertising revenue in one day than E&P did the past five years.

The same week with the earliest snowfall on record for Houston — the first wave of elite liberals fly to Denmark for the Global Warming Summit to drink Champagne.

Now another wave of layoffs begin at newspapers large newspapers. With more copy editor and page design jobs going to India at about 60 percent less, in the age of Web-based publishing.

Imagine if newspapers had been more balanced in their coverage and actually had moderate and conservative content? Would readers and advertisers be dropping off like they are? Or is it just the medium that is the problem?

Liberals at the Los Angeles Times and the vast Times-Mirror media holdings have long praised the legacy of an eccentric, big game hunter, millionaire, car collector and liberal Democrat,  publisher Otis Chandler, the surfing heir to an empire that he knew nothing about. Otis set the liberal sharp turn left at the  LA Times, which was immediately followed by the media giant’s other holdings: The Dallas-Times Herald, Denver Post, Houston Post, Baltimore Sun and New York’s Newsday, soon after the title was granted to him by his father.

Otis like many spoiled trust fund kids turned on dear old dad and granddad and imitated the New York Times leftist, socialist dogma. It started in the late ’60s and kept up the pace until the mid-’80s when the Times-Mirror board finally fired him.  The board remained out of the public eye and sat on their hands watching the largest, most profitable media company attack the  advertisers in Dallas, Denver and Houston who had a choice, they easily moved all their advertising and public event support to the  more dominant papers in the markets: then the Dallas Morning News, Denver Post and Houston Chronicle. Liberals hate business and economics with a passion. 

The Chandler’s board got rid of the brat and some 15 years later sold out to Sam Zell of Chicago. They unloaded well before the death spiral of the industry. 

Sam Zell is playing out a Clint Eastwood spaghetti Western on the bloated staff at the once glorious flagship, the LA Times.

“Sudden Sam” Zell fired more than 400 employees since assuming ownership of the paper a few years ago. You know there are some hearty laughs over fine cigars and California merlot in the the rolling ranch lands of Southern Cal.

Unlike Otis Chandler, Zell has no regard for the Pulitzer Prize committee, the supreme soviets of mainstream journalism, who only bestow honors on the most progressive and liberal newspapers left in the land. Zell made it clear right off the bat,  that he found the paper’s New-York-Times-of-the-West pretensions, worthless and boring. He has said openly that he doesn’t even bother to read the paper unless he happens to be passing through L.A.

In a New Yorker Magazine profile, Zell described himself as an “economic conservative” and confessed that he likes the columns of Charles Krauthammer and David Brooks but thought the “rest of the New York Times’s columnists are preposterous.” He had no use for Hillary Clinton either, according to the piece: “At a recent dinner party, the mention of Hillary Clinton’s name prompted him to use a four-letter obscenity to describe her.”

Times staffers must have shivered when they read in the New Yorker profile that Zell once sent a music box as a gift to friends and colleagues that played a song deriding the Sarbanes-Oxley Act: “Sarbanes-Oxley/ They’ve got moxie/ But for businesses/ Their act is toxic/ It’s not rocket science/ We’re killing profits with compliance.”

Addressing a University of Hawaii business class a few years back, Zell said: “The idea that somehow or other the business community is full of all these greedy characters — you should see the greed in teachers’ unions! You should see the greed in any political organization!”

Chandler’s era was  “hyperpartisan,” biased and “parochial” in support of Jimmy Carter and on constant attack mode against California Republicans Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. That was the final straw for Otis.

Otis went on to killing real elephants and lions on extravagant safaris. Did you know that? Google it, there may be some bits and pieces on the web. 

Chandler and his liberal successor, Tom Johnson, (who was publisher at the Dallas Times-Herald) focused on winning the approval of East Coast socialites/socialists, had endlessly commissioned left-wing articles, boring local readers who dropped their papers in droves for the more moderate Orange County Register and in Dallas, the more conservative Dallas Morning News. In Houston, the readers left the Post and went with the Houston Chronicle. (The Post is long gone and the Houston Chronicle is among the most profitable major newspapers in America). 

The LA Times  acquired a reputation as the “velvet coffin,” a place where liberal reporters could leisurely cover topics of interest to them, (smear energy companies, HMOs, etc.)  and paint beautiful portraits of their elite friends, but of little interest to the paper’s readers and local businesses.

I know plenty of stories abut the velvet coffin. I was young bastard who worked tirelessly for the honor of being in the inner court of the Times-Mirror estate. I stood shoulder to shoulder with the powers that were. They were a smug group, flying off to Davos every year with Pinchy of the NY Times and George Soros. 

I admire the intelligent courage of the Chandlers for giving Otis the boot and later dumping the media mess he left behind. They could see that the entire industry was following the liberal lead of Otis. There are better investments to be made such as in Apple, HP, or any number of consumer products.

http://newsosaur.blogspot.com/2009/12/next-for-outsource-news-production-jobs.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1004052655

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It’s time to stop the global warming propaganda machine while we still have freedom of speech

A few years ago was when Freeman Dyson, one of the world’s leading physicists, began publicly stating his doubts about global warming and backing them up. Tip: The socialists have changed the term from global warming to “climate change.” Watch the tea parties around the counrty for political climate change.

Speaking at a summit on the future at Boston University, Dyson said that “all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated.” Since then he has only heated up his misgivings, declaring in a 2007 interview with Salon.com that “the fact that the climate is getting warmer doesn’t scare me at all” and writing in an essay for The New York Review of Books, the left-leaning publication, that climate change has become an “obsession” — the primary article of faith for “a worldwide secular religion” known as environmentalism.
Among those he considers to have been drinking the KoolAid, Dyson has been particularly dismissive of Al Gore, whom Dyson calls climate change’s “chief propagandist,” and James Hansen, a government (tax-payer funded) employee of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and an adviser to Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Dyson accuses them of relying too heavily on computer-generated climate models that foresee a Grand Guignol of imminent world devastation as icecaps melt, oceans rise and storms and plagues sweep the earth, and he blames the pair’s “lousy science” for “distracting public attention” from “more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet.”
William Gray, hurricane expert and head of the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University, in a 2005 interview with Discover magazine:
“I’m not disputing that there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and ’40s, and then there was a slight global cooling from the middle ’40s to the early ’70s. And there has been warming since the middle ’70s, especially in the last 10 years. But this is natural, due to ocean circulation changes and other factors. It is not human induced.
“Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical as hell about this whole global-warming thing. But no one asks us. If you don’t know anything about how the atmosphere functions, you will of course say, ‘Look, greenhouse gases are going up, the globe is warming, they must be related.’ Well, just because there are two associations, changing with the same sign, doesn’t mean that one is causing the other.”
Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in an editorial last April for The Wall Street Journal:
“To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science and the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the complex underlying scientific issues. First, let’s start where there is agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been repeatedly told that three claims have widespread scientific support: Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 [carbon dioxide] in the atmosphere have increased by about 30 percent over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming.
“These claims are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man’s responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn’t just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn’t happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.”

Citizen Journalism gains status at the Washington Times, meanwhile more big cuts at the big publishers

The Washington Times promotes the  return of citizen journalism. 

 

Now this is what is called freedom of speech. Is this freedom the result of reality shows and especially America Idol? After all, rank amateurs turn out to be very good singers. 

At the same time, the cuts and shutdowns continue.

The Chicago Tribune plans to cut another 20% of its newsroom staff in yet another bid to reduce expenses amid continuing advertising declines.

Staffers were told of the impending layoffs last week, according to three people who attended a meeting on the topic. The cuts will take place over the next several weeks, the sources said.

The expected cuts are the latest attempt to reduce expenses at the paper, whose parent Tribune Co. filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors in December.

The Washington Times’ news gathering is about to become a whole lot bigger as the newspaper launches one full print page per day of news stories reported and written by average citizens in local communities. The citizen journalism project, set to debut Monday,(today) is a new take on a traditional idea.

Community-driven news has been a long mainstay in American newspapers. The Times’ version ramps up the intensity and the outreach, focusing on six communities within the larger Washington area: academia on Monday, the Maryland and Virginia suburbs on Tuesday, the District on Wednesday, local military bases on Thursday, faith communities on Friday and the charitable and the public service community on Sunday. The citizen journalists’ work will be showcased in the A-section as an additional page of Metro coverage and will provide a natural complement to the work of the newspaper’s reporters and editors. “We know there are many issues and communities we have not been able to fully cover within the confines of a newsroom budget, and we are excited to empower citizens within those communities to provide us news that will interest all our readers, ” Executive Editor John Solomon said. “While we are expanding our reach through this project, we will not be diminishing our editorial quality. Citizen stories must meet the same rigorous standards for accuracy, precision, fairness, balance and ethics as those written by our newsroom staff,” Mr. Solomon said. Each citizen journalist is provided a set of rules for their reporting and newswriting, as well as copies of The Times’ policies governing ethics, anonymous sources and other journalistic standards. While the project calls for some first-rate news wranglers, The Times also is tapping into some of its own editorial talent known for its savvy – and heart. Former Editorial Page Editor Deborah Simmons, a veteran newswoman with close ties to the local community, is supervising the coverage for the District, the suburbs, academia, faith and the charitable communities. Longtime Times columnist Adrienne Washington, a staple on local TV and radio, also will be a part of the outreach and the editing. “Deb and Adrienne are pillars within the Washington community and their journalistic prowess, community ties and passion for news are perfectly suited for this project,” Mr. Solomon said. “This is a groundbreaking project, and I’m excited to be on the launching pad. Readers know our bylines. Now we’re flipping the script.” Grace Vuoto, editor of The Times’ new Web property BaseNews.com, will edit the Thursday citizen journalism page on military base news. “Grace is leading the way in providing citizen reports from every military base in the world through BaseNews.com, and the Thursday page is an ideal extension,” Mr. Solomon said. The idea of community journalism in a print format is actually a new take on an old tradition, said Al Tomkins, a media analyst with the Poynter Institute. “Rural and county newspapers, community weeklies – they always had space devoted to the community news, written by someone local. That kind of coverage was and still is incredibly popular,” Mr. Tomkins said. “It takes its inspiration from a simpler time. But it remains an effective way to give a voice to the voiceless.” The new citizen journalism page is one of several changes launched in the past few weeks in The Times’ print edition. By Jennifer Harper | Monday, April 13, 2009

Will the rabble be able to follow the AP stylebook? (I know that is going through many of the “professionals’ minds.”

Chronicle to purge 150 starting April 1 — A cruel April fools joke?

The SF Chronicle’s carbon footprint is getting smaller, about 150 people smaller.  Some may feel a little foolish now about turning off their lights for Earth Hour, especially when they learn that Al Gore kept the lights on in his 9,000 sq ft mansion. California’s power use didn’t budge. It was a dim idea. 

Back to the lights out on newspapers top heavy with executive editors: 

“Until the current newspaper crisis, you rarely heard politicians or activists bleating about how important newspapers were to self-government. They mostly bitched about what awful failures newspapers were at uncovering vital data. The only group that holds a consistently high opinion of newspapers is newspaper people,” Jack Shafer.

He cites a recent Pew study that shows most people don’t care if their local newspaper folds, and he says they have a point — few of the stories printed every day “are likely to supercharge the democratic impulse,” and even the ones that do, generally fail to spur voters to do anything.

 

Slate‘s Shafer laughs at the high-minded talk of the critical role newspapers play in a democracy, declaring, “I can imagine citizens acquiring sufficient information to vote or poke their legislators with pitchforks even if all the newspapers in the country fell into a bottomless recycling bin tomorrow.”

Shafer shows that some of the people arguing for the importance of newspapers — academics and liberal activists — have shown little love for them in the past.

CHRONICLE UNIT BULLETIN — It’s official!

More than 80 Chronicle staff members took the severance deal on March 31, 2009. The overall number will be 150 in the next two weeks. Is anyone keeping a talley? Has it been 500 cuts the last four years? That’s my estimate.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because of the large number of employees volunteering for termination during The SF Chronicle’s voluntary termination period, the WARN Act provisions requiring 60 days advance notice of involuntary layoffs is not valid. That means that after April 1, another 80 will be given their walking papers.

The company would have no legal need to give the 60-day notice provided for under the WARN Act.

Some members have said that they would not apply for the voluntary termination package and would, instead, wait for the layoff in order to get 60 days notice and the additional pay involved. Given the current situation, however, the Guild advises against taking this course of action because it appears there is a good possibility that the 60 days additional notice with pay won’t materialize. Remember that after April 3, 2009 no member regardless of age can receive the Supplemental Pension Benefit as a lump sum and all will have to take it as a monthly annuity. So if the Supplemental Pension Benefit as a lump sum from the Guild Pension Plan is important to you, and if the 60 days notice you were counting on is no longer a solid possibility, and you are certain you want to leave The Chronicle, we suggest that you should strongly consider volunteering to terminate your employment by the 5 p.m. March 31 deadline.

So, if another 50 or more rush to get your modest buyouts. The remainder who wait very well could end up with an extra 60 days pay.  Not a bad bet. And there are still 60 days of skiing at Heavenly and Squaw Valley.

 “Until the current newspaper crisis, you rarely heard politicians or activists bleating about how important newspapers were to self-government. They mostly bitched about what awful failures newspapers were at uncovering vital data. The only group that holds a consistently high opinion of newspapers is newspaper people,” Jack Shafer.

 Names of Chronicle staff taking the buyouts are piling up like winos in front of the Salvation Army food kitchen.   

Some of the paper’s veteran reporters and biggest names are leaving. It looks like music, books and arts coverage will be hit hard, as well as the photo department.

 Here are the names so far:

 Joel Selvin, who has covered the rock and roll scene for 30 years or so.

 Carl Hall, a longtime science reporter currently on leave.

 Tom Meyer, editorial cartoonist.

 Zachary Coile, a long-time reporter in the Washington D.C. bureau.

 Nancy Gay, who covers 49ers football and other major league teams. 

Three of the papers top culture writers are departing, including:

 Jesse Hamlin, Edward Guthmann, and Heidi Benson. They frequently profile authors, actors, and musicians.

Sabin Russell, who has covered science for decades.

Alison Biggar, the long-time editor of the Chronicle Magazine.

Sylvia Rubin, who covers fashion.

Bernadette Tansey, a biotech reporter. (She has been writing a new feature each Sunday that I love, a round-up of books on a particular business topic, but done in a very clever way.)

The photography department will take a big hit as six photographers, including Pulitzer-Prize winner Kim Komenich, are departing. The others include Michael Maloney, Craig Lee, Eric Luse, Mark Costatini and Kurt Rogers, a sports photographer

Other departures include:

Kevin Albert, editorial assistant

Greg Ambrose, copy editor

Charles Burress (who has covered Berkeley for years.)

Peter Cafone, sports copy editor

Ken Costa, graphic designer

Elizabeth Hughes, copy editor
Leslie Innes, Datebook editor
Timothy Innes, foreign news wire editor
Rod Jones, copy editor, news
Eric Jungerman, designer
Kathy Kerrihard, library researcher
Simar Khanna, editor of Home and Garden section

Even lower level employees are taking the bum’s rush:

Bonnie Lemons, copy editor, news
Glenn Mayeda, editorial assistant, sports
Johnny Miller, library researcher
Dan Giesin, sports night copy editor
Janice Greene, editorial assistant on the op-ed page
Shirley-Anne Owden, copy editor, features
Courtenay Peddle, copy editor, news
Lee Sims, copy editor, news
Michelle Smith, a sports reporter who covers women’s basketball
Patricia Yollin, metro reporter

There are many, many more. Please post what you know on comments.

 So the list will grow longer. Hearst wanted to lay off as many as 225 workers, (and threatened to shutter the paper) but backed off after the Newspaper Guild agreed to cuts in vacation time and seniority rules.

I wonder how these soon to be retired professionals feel now about their liberal politics, the kind that use their taxes to pay for the Mayor Gavin Newsom to fly off to Davos, Paris and London to mingle with the rich and powerful world leaders, while the “good people” work 50-hour weeks and pay nearly 50 percent of their wages in tax?

This is a profile of journalists in Gawker:

“While journalists might continue to forge forward despite workload, deadlines and salary issues, they will not stand by as the foundation of journalism crumbles beneath them. At that point, they will quit,” the study concludes. Hey! Anyone want to start a rock band or a truffle farm with me? Clips not required.