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

Advertisements