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David Hiller, Fall Guy

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David Hiller may be the most pessimistic man in the newspaper business.

The Tribune Company exec who took over as publisher of the Times when Jeff Johnson was forced out for refusing to roll heads down Spring Street, appears neither ambitious, nor comfortable. His rambling rhetoric (listen below) largely expressed that he "just doesn't get it" and that even he can't wait to get his butt kicked back to Chi-town after the TribCo pinches itself and sells the Times to a Broad, Burkle, and/or Geffen.

Until then, it's all but certain that the LA Times and latimes.com will amble on like it's 1999, sloughing off added-value multimedia components (despite having sister station KTLA at their disposal, and a "great deal" of correspondents armed with cameras and video capabilities, according to Hiller).

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A Times internal investigation produced the recently-leaked Spring Street Project Report, which concluded, among other things that latimes.com is not just well behind the curve in online news -- "If anything, we are web-stupid."

We couldn't find fault, however, with Hiller's Super Bowl prediction: Bears by 7.

Listen to David Hiller, Jan 30, 2007, USC Annenberg School (59:44) | download .mp3 (27MB)