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Posts Tagged ‘L.A. Times’

Should the NYT Shutter the Style Section to Save Costs?

NYTsmall.gifLA Observed is reporting that the already beleaguered L.A. Times, amidst rumors of further layoffs, has decided to fold its local section into the front section, “which will be reconfigured to downplay national and foreign news — despite…unanimous and vocal objections of senior editors.”

Eliminating stand-alone local coverage was a decision, you may recall, that the New York Times made last October and considering this week’s dire news on the Times front one wonders what section may next be considered extraneous. The Style Section? Sunday Times devotees everywhere may shudder at the thought but Jack Shafer tells the (newly launched) The Wrap why not?

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MTV Hit Hard By Viacom Layoffs

673px-MTV-Logo.svg.pngMore information about the bloodbath that took place over at Viacom yesterday — to the tune of 850 layoffs — is beginning to trickle down. We heard a rumor from an insider yesterday who said that most of the MTV News department had been let go, which appears to concur with an L.A. Times report that the “deepest cuts” came from MTV Newtworks.

MTV Networks, which includes cable channels MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, and Comedy Central. Viacom’s Hollywood movie studio, Paramount Pictures, let go 140 employees — 100 in the U.S. and the remainder in its international operations. Cable channel BET is cutting about 50 jobs.

According to the New York Post the “The sheer size of the bloodletting that went down at Viacom yesterday has current and now-former employees referring to CEO Philippe Dauman alternately as ‘the undertaker’ and ‘the mortician’ around the company’s water coolers.” Have any further info you want to share? Drop it in the tip box or shoot us an email.

Los Angeles Times Undergoes Another Round of Layoffs

lgga_times.jpgThe 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.

Nicita Out At CAA for Morgan Creek…Go figure!

RickNicita.jpgCreative Artists Agency top-rung earner Rick Nicita seems to be waving bye-bye to the agency to take a job as Chairman and Chief Operating Officer for Morgan Creek Pictures, according to a company release.

While that may well be possible, it’s an awkward fit at best. Nicita has been a top agent at CAA for years with clients like Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. He’s also married to Cruise’s partner at United Artists, Paula Wagner.

While the Morgan Creek position is in fact a job, it seems a bit unlikely because Morgan Creek is by no means a major production entity and Nicita is very much a top agent. The company has had a deal with Universal since 2004, but the best money-makers of their movies were with Warner Bros., with “Robin
Hood: Prince of Thieves
,” “Major League” and “Major League 2.”

As well, the company has long been run by Jim Robinson, who doesn’t play well with others. When former Hollywood Reporter Editor Alex Ben Block left the Reporter to become head of marketing for Morgan Creek and Robinson, it ended quickly because Robinson demanded that Block be in by 9 a.m.

Who knows whether Nicita’s schedule will be all that amenable to Robiinson and Morgan Creek. For L.A. Times story read on…

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L.A. Times Eager for New Magazine

LA_7.29.bmpThe L.A. Times may be struggling with its new owner (Sam Zell) and its apparent infighting (with a disconcerted staff), but one thing is certain: They’re loving their magazine. Or at least they think they are.

The mag, slated to emerge on Sept. 7 is already pre-selling ads in the millions of bucks and is expecting a circulation (akin to the Times’ Sunday edition) of 1.2 million, which translates with a pass-around rate to 3.4 million readers.

Editor Annie Gilbar, a veteran of editor of InStyle, is proudest of the fact that it dwarfs any potential competition in the glossy mag world. She says the combined circulations of the competition is less than half a million.

Gilbar and publisher Valarie Anderson, former west coast director for W Magazine, are raring to go with this first 144-page edition of arts, politics, fashion and other entities indigenous to Los Angeles. This is a long way from the 18-to-36-page mags that Times has churned out in the past.

“We want this to be about Los Angeles and about topics in Los Angeles,” says Gilbar. “And we want to use writers. There are so many great writers for books, screenplays, articles and everything in Los Angeles.”

She adds that the first cover will either be about fashion or an undisclosed personality profile, but she won’t tell.

Gilbar is hopeful that if the magazine has a stellar start, it could be a the savior for the actual paper, which has faced difficulties of late with circulation and advertising lost to the Internet. “Right now, I’m more worried about having to cut down great stories and editing them to fit into 144 pages,” Gilbar says.

L.A. Times Bans Bloggers from Edwards Dirt

The L.A. Times, be it ever so humble, has decided to dictate what constitutes news in them thar parts. The Left Coast Grey Lady, uninterested in what the National Enquirer might break, announced that no one — not even bloggers, for gosh sakes — will be allowed to write anything about John Edwards and his philandering.

The news was unleashed late last week and Jim Romenesko, bless his muckraking heart, was able to locate the memo from Times editor Tony Pierce. The Times might take some lessons from the Enquirer, at least on breaking stories.

Click continued to see the email…

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Tales of the Tribune Co.: Hiller and Lipinski Out

lattrib.pngRumors 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.

FBLA 20 Questions: Emmanuelle Richard

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Foreign correspondent, Emmanuelle Richard contributes to French daily Liberation,Swiss public radio and French Vogue. She blogs, she’s clever, and has that effortless French chic but a wicked sense of humor about the world, show biz and Los Angeles. We’re overjoyed she answered our questions.(And a word to all future 20 Questioners–she sent us all the URLs, saving us hours of valuable time.)

1. What newspapers do you read?

The New York Post, first thing in the morning since they started delivering in L.A. a few years ago. I wish I could say the L.A. Times (where her husband works) but I love too much starting the day laughing out loud or shouting: “Good Lord!” You have a sense that the people there have a blast hunting for stories, producing the pages and coming up with insane headlines. And you grow so fond of the gallery of characters, apart from the many unpleasant anti-European columnists. Then I grab the L.A. Times, starting with the Opinion section. I also check the website of the national daily paper I work for in France, the left-leaning Liberation.

2. Which ones do you move your lips to while reading? You mean, when you silently mutter WTF? More often than not, the LAT, especially when they feel the need to rephrase a paragraph three times in one story that could easily be 30% shorter. To be fair, my hometown paper also induces a lot of silent “WOW”s, and I often end up defending it in conversations in L.A. where trashing the LAT seems like a requisite sport. Coming from France where investigative journalism is as foreign as tofu, I feel very lucky to have the LAT.

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