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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Tribune Co. ousts LA Times publisher

CHICAGO - Tribune Co. ousted Jeffrey M. Johnson, the publisher of its largest newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, on Thursday after Johnson had refused to make what he considered potentially damaging staff cuts ordered by the media conglomerate.

The parent company named David D. Hiller, who has been publisher of the Chicago Tribune, to succeed Johnson.

The move follows a highly publicized show of defiance last month by Johnson and Times Editor Dean Baquet against the latest proposed Tribune cuts, which drew the ire of not only Times staffers but those at some of Tribune's 10 other daily newspapers.

Scott Smith, president of the Tribune Publishing division in charge of the newspapers, said in a statement that he and Johnson had agreed on the change "because Tribune and Times executives need to be aligned on how to shape our future."

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