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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Neil’

LA Times Employee Lawsuit Settled

A group of former LA Times employees has settled their lawsuit with GreatBanc Trust, the trustee for Tribune Company’s employee stock ownership plan, for $32 million. The employees alleged that Sam Zell‘s leveraged buyout and subsequent bankruptcy of the Tribune Company defrauded employees, who had gained an ownership stake in the company through its employee stock ownership plan. As is par for the course when big companies commit some kind of wrongdoing these days, GreatBanc and Tribune Co. admitted no wrong doing as part of the settlement.

The suit was brought largely through the impetus of former LA Times auto columnist Dan Neil, who now works for the Wall Street Journal. “Whatever money comes to the members of the class isn’t much cash, but at least it was acknowledgment that they were wronged,” Neil told the Times. “This was a horrible deal for the employees of Tribune.”

About 13,000 current and former employees will split the settlement, minus about $8 million in attorney’s fees.

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Dan Neil Speaks to Zell in His Own Language

3830.jpgAuto columnist for LAT Dan Neil is hitting the road and taking a gig at the Wall Street Journal.

And Neil had some words, er word for Sam Zell his infamous now former potty-mouthed boss:

It was the beginning of the most wonderful professional experience of my life, the most fun, the most satisfying, the most intellectually challenging. This placed saved me. It made me.

It’s been a rough few years here, mainly because of the jackasses in Chicago who own us. To them I say, with as much gusto as I can muster in an email, fuck you.

On a happier note, there’s not a person in this building I do not like, if not love. The paper has more greatness ahead of it, and I’ll be watching from the east coast and rooting you on.

Hat tip Romenesko and LAObserved.

Pulitzer Mechanic Columnist Jumps Publications, Coasts

Dan_Neil_LA_Times.jpgLate breaking Thursday item: The Wall Street Journal has scooped up veteran Los Angeles Times writer Dan Neil to lead their new auto column.

In 2004, Neil’s weekly feature Rumble Seat won him the Pulitzer Prize; he has been working at the L.A. Times since 2003. Today, James Rainey, media columnist for the L.A. Times, called Neil “the best car writer in the biz” on his Twitter.

Memo from Mike Miller of The Wall Street Journal after the jump

Read More: LAT loses Pulitzer-winning auto writer Neil to WSJ — Romenesko

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Swati Pandey Needs a Louder Horn

We would have thought Swati Pandey at the LA Times was too young to have turned into the usual Times fogey, but we were wrong. Pandey’s as cut off from the real world as all the rest of them. Maybe Nick Goldberg has staffers hermetically sealed.

In a meant-to-be-cute signed op-ed, Pandey pleads for a louder horn for her Corolla (she calls it “rare”–it’s only the most popular car in history). Evidently, the car’s factory-issue horn is too quiet.

You’d think Dan Neil could offer advice. Or just replace it. Isn’t she supposed to be a cracker-jack researcher?

Rebellion on Two Wheels wants a horn, too.

LAT In 90 Seconds

33786854-14191202.jpgNot So Funny: Comedian Ellen Degeneres is taking heat from WGA East for breaking ranks and pushing ahead with her show. Ellen is a member of both WGA and AFTRA and is one of the few daytime talk-shows to employ guild members. The WGA said: “We find it sad that Ellen spent an entire week crying and fighting for a dog that she gave away, yet she couldn’t even stand by writers for more than one day — writers who have helped make her extremely successful.” Ellen, who risks facing breach of contract issues if her syndicated show goes dark, is between a rock and a hard place — but the guild does have a point about that dog…

33784563-14210754.jpgDone In By Grendel? It seems Crispin Glover lured reporter Chris Lee to his “gargoyle-laden Silver Lake home” under the false pretense that he was going to talk about Beowulf. Instead, Glover shut Lee in his bedroom and screened It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine, the film he co-directed, produced and edited that is about a cerebral palsy-afflicted serial killer who is irresistible to women. We’re guessing Lee made it out of there alive.

33787144-14175916.jpgEveryone’s Talking About: Lowriders. (Well, everyone who isn’t talking about the strike.) The Petersen Automotive Museum is featuring an exhibit about lowriders, and it’s got Dan Neil all happy and waxing poetic: “The Petersen drops a splendid argument in favor of openness and acceptance right in the middle of America’s immigration debate.” We don’t see political statements on Buicks, but take Dan at his word.

LAT in 90: Twists and Turns

The Los Angeles Times, distilled.

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MIT Media Lab Meta Munchies
Last week’s cheap eats feature was a big hit with readers, so Food Section editor Leslie Brenner kills that dangerous trend. Regina Schrambling writes about an AI geek with a software program and a palate of styrofoam.

Baby Video Study: Junk Science
Bruce Kluger’s op-ed on the academic study of baby videos has all the actual information on the methodology that that news story lacked. Gist: researchers never saw or listened to any children.

Santa Barbara Slug-Fest
The legal battle between Wendy McCaw and former employees of the Santa Barbara News-Press should serve as a cautionary tale for all those who wanted David Geffen to buy the LAT.
James Rainey’s reporting is even-handed.

A-1 With a (Would-be) Bullitt
Dan Neil drives Steve McQueen’s Ferrari. Terrific piece, worst video ever. Why? Car not shown in motion–fast motion. Sitdown interview is static–the car owner should have been doing something. Once again: Net video should not look like tv.

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California Journalists Write–Checks/Who Gave How Much

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MSNBC.com names names–of journalists who donated to poltiical campaigns. MSNBC.com checked the Federal Election Commission records from January 2004 through the first quarter of 2007 and attempted to contact each journalist.

Locals include

LA Times

In 2006, the Times completely overhauled its ethics policies, including a ban on political contributions by any editorial staff member.

Dan Neil, automobile critic, $250 to the DNC in July 2004.
“Yup, that’s me, all right,” Neil said in an e-mail.

“Two things: I’m a columnist, not a straight-news guy, and my political affiliations are not, I don’t think, in doubt. Goes to the question of whether my ‘activism’ by donation is indicative of some covert (and mythic) liberal bias in the press.

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