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Posts Tagged ‘Ken Reich’

Ken Reich Dies In His Sleep

FBLA was saddened to learn (via LA Observed) about the passing of Ken Reich. We hadn’t known the former LAT reporter well, but he was definitely one of the nicer long-time staffers at the paper while we were there. And we were fans of his blog. He’ll be missed.

More details as the come in.

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Ken Reich: L.A. Times Becoming A “Lauging Stock”

laughisssng.gifFormer L.A. Times editor Ken Reich has some harsh words for new head ed Russ Stanton and his policies — particularly the “cracking down” on using anonymous sources.

Reich notes that former LAT reporter Barry Bearak had a terrifically interesting account in the Sunday NYT of his imprisonment for publishing reports about the Zimbabwean election — stories dependent upon anonymous sources.

Reich gives Stanton credit for naming Davan Maharaj as managing editor, but otherwise dismisses everything the guy has done: “He continues to show his lack of intellect and sophistication. Under him, and his patron, David Hiller, the paper is slowly becoming a laughing stock.”

Slowly? As Kevin Roderick notes today, LAT has posted the biggest percentage drop of the top 10 U.S. papers. At least we’re lead in something.

Al Martinez Not Going Quietly, Supporters Muster

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Al Martinez is getting more attention for being forced to take the Trib’s buyout than for writing his columns. Rallying to the veteran writer’s defense are Kenani, Bill Boyarski, Joan Leonard (on the same page, Marsha Armstrong of Dr. Phil, Gia Gittleson of Los Angeles magazine (who could hire him) and assorted others. Ken Reich weighs in, as well.

Martinez will be on Patt Morrison’s show today.

We’re guessing that one thing Martinez won’t be doing in forced retirement is

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Piranhas in the Fishbowl: Grazer-Gate Continues

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Andres Martinez, for such a pleasant guy, seemed to have made some LA Times enemies in his very short tenure there. All weekend, FBLA has been hearing various little snippets of rumors that Martinez was perceived as “too pro-business” or “not in touch with the rest of the paper”. LAObserved is ground zero for those who went on the record.

LATimes watcher, the late Cathy Seipp, wrote about Martinez in 2005 in the National Review Online. Then, Martinez was full of bright and shiny plans for a fresher Op-ed section with freelancers and outside experts writing editorials, readers contributing to online wikitorials, and other innovations planned under Michael Kinsley. Kinsley thinks it’s all ridiculous, but his literal-minded readers wonder why he’s posting about it.

First to crash and burn was that wikitorial.

But Martinez perked up the section, transferring some staff to news, hiring Matt Welch and Tim Cavanaugh from Reason, Rob Greene from the Weekly. Not everyone agrees that the changes were helpful.

One of those named by Martinez in his online tirade, Tim Rutten wraps himself in a few hundred words of sanctimony and loftily observes:

Like most of my colleagues at The Times, I’m fundamentally uninterested in other people’s personal lives

Which might explain why circulation has dropped so drastically in the last years. Remember when reporters were daring, risk-takers? Now they’re as prim as frontier schoolmarms, and as dull as civil servants.

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Luke Thompson Reports on the LA Times Reporter Reporting On the LA Times

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In the LA Weekly, freelancer Luke Thompson takes a hard look at the LA Times’ Jim Rainey’s reporting on the Tribune Co. various woes with the LA Times. Thompson surveyed a number of local media watchers, most of whom didn’t envy Rainey’s position.

Ken Reich, permanent thorn in the paw of the Times, thinks Rainey is underplaying the drop in circulation. Rainey thinks he’s being picked on, more or less. But here’s our favorite part:

Rainey was equally feisty when the Weekly called to arrange a photograph, declaring, “Why don’t you ask Nikki Finke to draw my stick figure?” then refusing to be photographed.

Journalists writing about journalism. It’s a koan.
(And is “draw my stick figure” a euphemism for some sex act?)