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Wednesday, February 27, 2008


'The Rollercoaster Continues'

*UPDATE: "Editor Ron Kaye gathered everybody around this afternoon, said he was sorry, and confirmed that 22 editorial staffers will be gone, taking the newsroom to an even 100."

The future doesn't look good for yet another Los Angeles daily newspaper.

LA Observed updates the situation at the Daily News of Los Angeles, where cuts appear imminent.

The Daily News is an unusual newspaper in many ways. The largest of Dean Singleton's LA publications, it's part of an ink-stained ring that nearly surrounds the center of Los Angeles, albeit with gaps here and there, the biggest being the Ventura County Star, which is owned by E.W. Scripps (though I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a Singleton purchase someday, especially since Scripps pared its newspapers into a separate corporation from HGTV and the rest of the company's cable television empire). Perhaps most curious from a journalistic perspective is the Daily News' dedication to only half of Los Angeles — The Valley. Most Westsiders don't even know the Daily News exists, despite the fact that DN's circulation department continues to stock paper boxes along Pico Boulevard (west of Robertson), as well as newsstands throughout town. The DN identified its niche long ago, the Valley, which was considered largely ignored by the Los Angeles Times. When big stories have come to light in the Valley, it has often been due to the hard work of a single DN reporter, achievements often eclipsed by second-day flocks of staffers from the LA Times.

The DN also has a reputation among journalists for being notoriously cheap, from compensation on down to such essential equipment as cell phones and supplies like notebooks and pens. Yet, it could easily boast of the many major publications and wire services that currently employ its former staffers. Some of what made the late Buzz Magazine so great was the talent of staffers who'd previously worked for the DN.

Now comes this message to staff from the DN union steward:
We expect there will probably be a staff meeting called Wednesday [02/27/2008] afternoon and that they will offer buyouts, but this is not certain. I wish I had some news to offer, because I hate this confusion and darkness as much as everyone, but all I can say is that as soon as we hear anything, we'll let you know.

— TJ Sullivan in LA
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