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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Editor resigns over killed opinion section

By James Rainey

Los Angeles Times Editorial Page Editor Andres Martinez resigned this morning over the paper's decision to cancel a special edition of its Sunday Current section.

Martinez made the decision after Publisher David D. Hiller announced this morning that The Times would not publish this Sunday's Current section in order to avoid the appearance that a conflict of interest led to the selection of Hollywood producer Brian Grazer as a guest editor.

In the Times' Opinion blog, Martinez said that "David Hiller's decision to kill the Brian Grazer section this Sunday makes my continued tenure as Los Angeles Times editorial page editor untenable. The person in this job needs to have an unimpeachable integrity, and Hiller's decision amounts to a vote of no confidence in my continued leadership."

Continue reading the Los Angeles Times by clicking on title.

8 comments:

Kanani said...

Well, I suppose what's next will be a statement from David Hiller.

Though it's pretty tough to follow the words of the late Otis Chandler.

Anonymous said...

Can't they ( tribune ) do anything right !!!!!!!

Kanani said...

Well, they just did something right. Hiller killed a story. I think he's correct: the perception of wrongdoing is enough to make people think that the LA Times has an umbilical cord to Hollywood, where the shots called by them are all going to be overwhelmingly liberal and ultimately, through press coverage, will benefit the film industry's pocketbooks.

And when I say "Hollywood," I mean the very few who control an industry which is very influential on our society.

However, I wanted to point out that in thinking out the idea of 'jobbing out' the Op-Ed section, their thinking was flawed. There wasn't a selection process that we know of, there was only the one name, the one interview, the decision to go with him.

And that's not to say Brian Grazer wouldn't have made the cut. But this wasn't the way to do it.

And besides, I think the 'outsourcing' pointed to a bigger problem. Perhaps they wouldn't have considered giving away these 'vanityships' had the Times been happy with the tenor of the Op-ed page in the first place.

Martinez will get some sort of severance package. He'll go on. It's just a bummer that he's had so much happen to him personally in such a short time.

Anonymous said...

No, Kanani this "situation" should not have been done in the First place.....that's what I meant

MR.OC said...

It seems to me most of our print readership decline is due to the arrogance and leftist leanings of MOST writers at the Times. What makes Grazer qualified to be in charge of this section? Most people do not care what Hollywood has to say anyways I certainly dont. Heres a thought, how about having a fair and balanced paper? If they want to give others the chance to be apart of this section , than be loyal to your own employees and give them the chance to lead this section.

Mr. Hiller you finally earned a little respect from me in cancelling the Current this weekend.

Mr. Martinez I have NO RESPECT for you REAL MEN dont CHEAT on there wives.

MR.OC

Kanani said...

Their outsourcing points to a larger problem: the Times is behaving like Paris Hilton at a dog show. This month it's a shih tzu, next month it's a chihuahua. Look again and the following it'll be a labradoodle. They think they know what "LA Readers" want, and it's supposed to 'quirky' and 'cool.'

But Mr. OC is 100% correct in what readers want (and had at one time).
I think we had that when I first moved to L.A.

Guest editorship? It's not that far-fetched. I mean, none of us could foresee 'blogging' as a mainstream part of news, three years ago. But here we are. And according to Bill Boyarsky, the new journalists at USC are being trained to shoot live feed, upload onto a blog, report new stories 24/7 and write a deeper and longer story for the paper for print.

So yeah, I'm unsure about the issue of guest editorship, but now that it's on the table, I agree with Mr. OC.

When Martinez wrote that producing TV shows qualified Grazer to do the job, this was a slap to every credible journalist at The Times.
Bring on the Ken Reich and the Old Farts! Let someone in-house have a shot. Shit, let The Pressmen do a stint.

But the way they did it was flawed, especially given the weariness many of us here already have about "the Hollywoods."

Kanani said...

A few years ago, The Times did a big interview on Grazer and his wife, who live a very expensive lifestyle out in The Palisades. I remembered there was something different about him. This was found on The Gawker.

"I'm an autodidact," he says. "I can't really read, but I can ask interesting questions." Grazer even has what he calls a "cultural attaché" on the payroll who reels in the great thinkers.

Note: Please find editors who can read.

Anonymous said...

Management really scored a 10, in getting rid of key assets of the newspaper. The competition is loving it because they hiring the best in the industry. Way to go Mr. Hiller