Posts Tagged ‘FishbowlLA’
The Times have placed the full version of a lengthy, redacted document about interrogation techniques from 2004, released by the Justice Department yesterday, in its document reader and asked readers to add comments that will help the paper “annotate and make sense of the new details revealed in the report and other supplementary materials we will also post as they are released.” More documents were released later on Monday by the CIA and the Justice Department, the Times‘s Lede blog reported.
Can Times readers shed any light on these confusing documents? The blog has already attracted several comments, and it will be interesting to se how the Grey Lady uses them in future stories about the documents.
FishbowlLA: The Grey Lady Starts Crowdsourcing
Our Fishbowl blogs have New York, DC and LA covered, but until now we have neglected that important city by the bay. But, never fear San Francisco, BayNewser joined our blog family today with bloggers E.B. Boyd and Jason Turbow promising to cover “all things media in the Bay Area.”
They’ve already gotten off to a good start with coverage about the massive layoffs at the San Francisco Chronicle, an interview with the creator of CNN’s breaking news feed and coverage of the What Comes After Newspapers? panel.
Welcome to the fold, BayNewser! We can’t wait to follow your coverage about your hometown media giants, Google and Twitter, and we’re sure to get some Facebook updates, too. Looks like you’re going to be busy.
Chances are that by this point you have a better understanding of the nations financial institutions (or at least a better understanding of the lack of understanding). However! Should you need a bit more of a run through of the fiasco than Jon Stewart was able to provide last night we bring you this handy little Credit Crisis explanation via our counterparts over at FishbowlLA.
Well looks like it wasn’t a negotiation tactic after all. The AP is reporting (and our sister-blog FishbowlLA picked up a few minutes ago) that Sam Zell‘s Tribune Co. is in fact filing for bankruptcy.
Media conglomerate Tribune Co. filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, as the owner of the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Cubs and other properties tries to deal with $13 billion in debt.
So there it is.
In a court filing, Tribune said it had nearly $13 billion in debt, compared to $7.6 billion in assets. Most of that debt was taken on when Mr. Zell acquired the company — a deal he struck using mostly borrowed money. All of the now privately held company’s equity is owned by an employee stock-ownership plan.
The top creditors listed by Tribune in its court filing include big banks like JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank. JPMorgan listed some of the firms it had syndicated its debt to as well; that list comprises private investment firms like Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’s KKR Financial, Highland Capital Management and Davidson Kempner Capital Management.
UPDATE: FishbowlDC has the letter from Sam Zell, we’ve posted the entire thing after the jump. Says Zell:
Most importantly, I want to stress that we will continue to operate our business as usual. That includes meeting payroll and covering benefits (such as healthcare, disability and others), and paying vendors for all goods and services they provide to us going forward.
So, how did we get here? It has been, to say the least, the perfect storm. A precipitous decline in revenue and a tough economy have coupled with a credit crisis, making it extremely difficult to support our debt. All of our major advertising categories have been dramatically impacted.
The news is bad from coast-to-coast. FishbowlLA is reporting that the deep cuts taking place at Tribune Co. papers have struck once again. L.A. Times EIC Russ Stanton announced via email this morning that the paper is laying off 75 people from editorial, about 10% of their total staff.
The growing economic downturn is forcing us to undergo another round of job reductions and cost cuts. I deeply regret to report that today, 75 of our friends, colleagues and capable staff members in Editorial will be told that they are losing their jobs. This is about 10% of our total staff and these cuts are comparable in scale to those made on the business side of The Times last week. The severance terms being offered to our colleagues are similar to those offered in the other reductions we’ve faced this year.
In further Tribune news FishbowlDC is reporting that Sam Zell has decided to combine the Chicago Tribune and L.A. Times Washington bureaus into one operation. The plan includes reducing the staff of 42 by 12 and eliminating duplicate beats.
Our insider says the whole campaign is focused on ‘everyday’ people using Windows in real situations. Some of the options the agency has been floating around have been a reporter on Humvee, an Obama/McCain speech writer, a DJ – a blues musician. There was a crew that traveled all over the world filming humanitarian workers.
Not to be out done by ‘real people’ there are tons of celebrities that the campaign may also feature. At the moment the names that have been put into the mix are Sarah Silverman, Willie Nelson, motorcycle rider Travis Pastrana, Matthew McConaughey and Ralph Nadar. Also in what seems like a direct answer to the Mac campaign – Rob Corddry and Stephen Colbert may also do a spot.
Most notable of the names is that of the late great Bernie Mac (insert lame pun ‘burning Mac’ here).
Via our sister blog FishbowlLA comes word that Village Voice Media is in the process of launching four national blogs. FBLA’s tip was confirmed by VVM internet head Bill Jensen who said that the blogs “won’t be under the Village Voice URL,” and that a number of them have already had a soft launch.
This includes ToplessRobot (“boy geek news” and “self-loathing”) and HeartlessDoll (“grrl geek news”) and Joystick Division (video game news…”updated daily by a Voltron-like team of Village Voice Media writers”). Not numbered amongst the new launches is Nikki Finke‘s Deadline Hollywood, which is owned by Finke but “promoted and assisted” by VVM. Also on the horizon a “rumored True Crime Blog.”
There’s a little superhero in all of us, some of us more than others. If you happen to belong to the former, but were unable to afford the sky-rocketing airfare prices in order to show off your super hero fabulousness at the annual Comic-Con, fear not! FishbowlLA is on the case (or the cape, depending) and taking in the sights for you, so don’t be afraid to don those bat ears and plug-in, it’s all just a click away.
Rumors were flying this morning that Los Angeles Times publisher and CEO David Hiller was about to be shown the door by Zell and Co. and now it’s official. Randy Michaels (he of the more words, less reporters doctrine) just announced Hiller’s departure, effective immediately. FishbowlLA has the memo. Hiller was presumably preparing to oversee the sweeping cuts that were made at LAT last month, and which are apparently being put into effect as we speak (again, FishbowlLA has details here) Perhaps a trip to India will be included in all the severance packages.
Elsewhere in Tribune land Ann Marie Lipinski, who began her tenure at the Chicago Tribune as an intern thirty years ago, and was named editor shortly before 9/11, has announced her resignation in a memo to staff today. Lipinski doesn’t directly reference the recent staff cuts at the Tribune as reason for her decision but does tells the staff that “your new owners should have their own editor, compatible with their style and goals” (also, the same line of thinking used by departing WaPo head Len Downie). Gerould W. Kern, Tribune Publishing vice president of editorial since 2003 has been named as her successor.