Friday, October 06, 2006

Dean Baquet

I wanted to give you a different take on Nikki Finke's idea that Dean Baquet is "gutless" for not following Jeff Johnson out the door. Dean is staying and continuing the good fight on behalf of the Los Angeles Times and its readers. There is no guarantee that he won't eventually leave, if he and the new publisher don't see eye-to-eye. But he will do his best to help the publisher understand Los Angeles, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of this newspaper. His obligation is to the paper, to the readers and to the staff he leads. I am one of those staff members, and I cannot overstate the damage that would be done if Dean had chosen differently. I applaud him for his courage and leadership in staying.

Susan Denley

Denley is Director of Editorial Hiring and Development at the Times


1 comment:

Kanani said...

I don't understand the name-calling either.
There was enough high drama, and it wouldn't have made a difference to the Trib had he had a snit and left. I can't see anything gutless about deciding to ride through what will be tumultuous days ahead. Any fight in business isn't a pleasure, and it might make a difference if he stays and fights it out. Nor is it a guarantee that the other guys who say they'll leave if Baquet goes, will follow through. Are those who chose to stay all going to be washed with Finke's gutless wonder brush?

As it is, I agree with a colleague of mine who called today and said that whether or not Baquet stays or leaves, the needs of the corporation will prevail. Cuts are going to be made. It's the way of business these days, governed by the wants of shareholders (which include everything from individuals to pension funds).

But the refusal to acquiesce to the initial demands was the culmination of years and years of chipping away at the bedrock of this paper. Once again, it's renewed the focus on the need for quality journalism, and also the problems facing a market where so many factions now compete for our time and money.