Fired & Forced Out: LA Times Editor, Jim O'Shea
Twenty-four months, three LA Times editors gone, one reason: budget cuts. Jim O' Shea, editor of the LA Times was fired by Times Publisher David Hiller for failing to carry out $4 million in budget cuts at the paper. Apparently, Hiller wanted the money cut during the presidential campaign, a time when newspapers' budgets usually spike. This is the third editor to be fired over two years over the same budgetary issue. Do we sense a pattern here?
"O'Shea got the job in late 2006 as an unofficial caretaker after Dean Baquet declined to impose budget reductions he thought ill-advised," Kevin Roderick reports at LA Observed. "For the past few weeks, there has been a lot of internal Times gossip about O'Shea's seeming distance from the newsroom operation. Basically, some people thought he wasn't there even when he was there. Now this." More from the New York Times:
The removal of the editor, James O’Shea, by the publisher, David Hiller, mirrors the odd spectacle of a little more than a year ago, when Mr. Hiller’s predecessor, Jeffrey M. Johnson, was fired for refusing to make layoffs. Both of the dismissed men were longtime employees of the Times’ owner, The Tribune Company, which was taken over last month by Samuel Zell, the Chicago-based real estate magnate. Both were expected to rein in the fractious Los Angeles paper but instead sided with the newsroom and lost their jobs for it. The departure of Mr. O’Shea appears to contradict statements by Mr. Zell, who is now chairman and chief executive of the financially troubled Tribune Company. He has repeatedly criticized the previous regime of the financially troubled company for trying to improve the bottom line by cutting, and has said that he believes the path to profit lies in finding new revenues, not paring back existing revenue sources. [New York Times]
Additional reporting by Jeremy Oberstein. Photo by Mr. Littlehand via Flickr