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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Eagle Has Landed!

From: McClearyLaFrance, Kim
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 1:27 PM
To: zzAll LATimes Employees
Subject: The Eagle Has Landed


The Eagle Has Landed!

Where's the Times beloved eagle?

Has it headed south to Long Beach for the L.A. Times Travel and Adventure Show?

Or, has it departed for warmer, more exotic destinations on the Mexican Riviera?

For the first time since 1935, this Times icon has temporarily left the Globe Lobby and is perched at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Gardens in San Marino. The eagle and selected Times artifacts are on loan to The Huntington and will be part of a new exhibit entitled "First Freedoms: The Los Angeles Times and the Right to a Free Press: 1881-2006" which will be open to the public from February 10 - June 3, 2007.

Times employees may see the exhibit with a special 2-for-1 adult admission offered by The Huntington during regular business hours. Just show your identification badge at the ticket window and enjoy.


Kim McCleary La France
Public Affairs


For general information and driving instructions, please visit www.huntington.org.

Chandler Buyout Offer Expires Today UPDATE

The Chandler Trusts, which own a 20% stake in Tribune, are still in “ongoing talks” with the special committee reviewing offers for Tribune, a person familiar with the Chandlers’ thinking said. No new deadline has been set, this person said.

Chicago Business

National Labor Relations Board Hearing

January 31, 2007

NLRB Hearing Update


The NLRB hearing to determine if a rerun election is necessary will be held starting Thursday, February 15. This date was mutually agreed upon between the union, company and NLRB.

As always, we will keep you fully informed of all developments.
Mark

Chandler Buyout Offer Expires Today

The Chandler family buyout offer for the Tribune Company is set to expire today at 5:00 p.m., with acceptance unlikely. The Chandler family is interested in purchasing the Tribune’s eleven newspapers, and taking them private. The twenty-three television stations would be spun off, under the family deal.

News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch has joined the Chandler family, so office functions of the New York Post could be merged with Newsday, but the offer appears to be doomed, as 80 percent of shareholder votes are needed to complete the sale. The number two investor, McCormick Tribune Foundation isn’t likely to approve the Chandler offer.

Los Angeles Times Blogs Today

Here's a sampling of the blogs from the Los Angeles Times, take the jump and see what the online edition has to offer. And leave a comment or two with your reactions.



Items of local interest Opinion LA

Rootkits Be Gone Bit Player

Talking With: Ned Colletti, Part II Blue Notes

Learning more about the Expo Line Bottleneck Blog

Ears Wide Open: Sky Parade and the Minor Canon Buzz Bands

One less rose on KTLA's parade float Channel Island

Midterm grades are in Cliptomaniac

Finally! Grab Oscar by the throat! (You know you want to) Gold Derby

"Pan" Dolce The Kinseygram

KCAL Feed Game Thread - Lakers vs. Knicks Lakers Blog

A Gambling Budget for Mr. Celine Dion The Moveable Buffet

shopping in a small world Notes from the Front Line

All-Star Weekend Groupie Contest Overtime

Beware The Flying Men Political Muscle

Let them eat ... bread! Postcards From Paris

They came...to vent. School Me

Andre Leon Talley: Big Man on Carpet Styles and Scenes

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Quote from a CEO

"I've not seen an effective manager or leader who can't spend some fraction of time down in the trenches. If they don't do that, they get out of touch with reality, and their whole thought and management process becomes abstract and disconnected."

--Jess Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com

ONLINE NEWSPAPER BLOG TRAFFIC GROWS 210 PERCENT

According to Nielsen NetRatings, online newspaper blog traffic has increased 210% from a year ago. So it comes as no surprise most online newspapers are devoting more resources to blogs, the readers love the interaction with the writers. Not sure the writers really want to hear from the readers, but reader comments can be left for everyone to read.

Peninsula Press Club: Chron's sfgate.com losing ground

Peninsula Press Club: Chron's sfgate.com losing ground

www.latimespressmen.com

Don't let the name fool you, this site was created for and is open to everyone. Drop by for a visit, help us make this site a success.

LATimes Travel and Adventure Show

Find life-altering vacation ideas at the Los Angeles Times Travel & Adventure Show, February 10th and 11th at the Long Beach Convention Center. From exotic safaris to scuba diving to exploring America, this one-of-a-kind event is where you’ll find thousands of amazing destinations and resorts.

Attend expert travel seminars featuring Rick Steves and Huell Howser, win trip giveaways, enjoy cultural entertainment…





Source LA Times Web Manage

Tuesday Chuckle

The only cow in a small town in Arkansas stopped giving milk. The people did some research and found they could buy a cow up in Antigo, Wisconsin, for $200.00.

They bought the cow from Wisconsin and the cow was wonderful. It produced lots of milk all of the time, and the people were pleased and very happy.

They decided to acquire a bull to mate with the cow and produce more cows like it. They would never have to worry about their milk supply again.

They bought a bull and put it in the pasture with their beloved cow. However, whenever the bull came close to the cow, the cow would move away. No matter what approach the bull tried, the cow would move away from the bull and he could not succeed in his quest.

The people were very upset and decided to ask the Vet, who was very wise, what to do. They told the Vet what was happening.

"Whenever the bull approaches our cow, she moves away. If he approaches from the back, she moves forward. When he approaches her from the front, she backs off.
An approach from the side and she walks away to the other side."

The Vet thinks about this for a minute and asked, "Did you buy this cow in Wisconsin ?"

The people were dumbfounded, since they had never mentioned where they bought the cow.

"You are truly a wise Vet," they said.

"How did you know we got the cow in Wisconsin ?"

The vet replied with a distant look in his eyes.

"My wife is from Wisconsin!"

LAT answers with a memo of its own

Doyle McManus, Washington bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, bucks up the troops with a go-get-em memo.

Read the memo at LAObserved

Los Angeles Times Blogs

Eight additional Los Angeles Times blogs have been added to our list of Times Blogs, I’m certain one if not most of the blogs will have something of interest for everyone.

The blogs links can be viewed by clicking here, or scroll down and you can access all the Times blogs from here.

Dean Baquet Hired by New York Times

Former Los Angeles Times editor, Dean Baquet, is returning to the New York Times as chief of its Washington bureau. He was forced out after clashing with the newspaper's parent company, Tribune Co., over job cuts.

Message From Robertson Barrett

Folks,

As David discussed in his note earlier today, we have a number of new online products coming down the pike over the next several months as part of The Times’ new multimedia push. The first of these, My LATimes, is available today.

My LATimes (MyLATimes) is a new section of latimes.com designed to offer a faster, easier and more flexible way to view LA Times stories and content from a select group of online news sites recommended by Times editors -- all on one Web page, using a fast-growing technology called Really Simple Syndication (RSS).

The idea for My LATimes came from a gap we saw in the RSS reader market. While companies like Yahoo, AOL and Google have offered RSS readers for some time, we felt that these products were designed for the tech crowd. There isn’t much out there to let the larger audience -- including Times readers -- pick and choose their sources to create their own news Web page. Other major newspapers have recently developed RSS readers, but these tend to offer a poor user experience (e.g., slow to load, confusing to use, etc.). We also felt that other newspapers were too hesitant to suggest other sources on the Web in addition to their own content. But we think our editors have great knowledge of additional sources of information that complement our own content, so why not also be guides to our readers?

To support the launch of My LATimes, we’ll let online users subscribe to The Times content from any article page on latimes.com, and we’ll be implementing an improved site registration process to make it easier to sign up. Going forward, we’ll incorporate suggestions from Web users and the newsroom to improve and streamline My LATimes. At least as important, we’ll showcase the more frequent story feeds coming from the newsroom as we beef up our breaking news operation across the paper.

Please join me in congratulating the team that built My LATimes on a job well done: Inger Lund, Steven Lee, Dari Yerushalmi, Clint Stephenson, Mike Castelvecchi, Mike Niedermeier, Rey Castillo, Mae Tuck, Tim Bruesehoff, Joel Sappell and Jason Oberfest. They put together the coolest news feed service on the Web and have taken us one step further toward our goal of making The Times a multimedia company for the current and next generations of news and information consumers.

All best,

Rob Barrett


Robertson Barrett
VP/GM, Interactive

Left in the Dark at Work

If your wondering why I post messages from the movers and shakers at the Los Angeles Times and Tribune Company, its for the benefit of my fellow employees that do not have access to company emails.

Last week I reported a concern for the safety of the Olympic Facility, the plant could have been taken offline by a disgruntled person, and the lapse in security was closed almost immediately by Greg Malcolm, yet I’m not trusted with company email.

What is so secret with the company email system that long term employees, like myself, can not be trusted having access to important messages?

When the Times had a contest for Dodgers tickets, the majority of Operations Employees had no way of entering their names for the free tickets, how does this make the employees feel, left out.

The Spring Street Project requested input from Los Angeles Times Employees, yet, if you did not have an internal email address, you could not submit your ideas. We were given an email address to submit our ideas three days before the project ended, but by that time, the workers in the pressroom knew our input was not wanted.

If you run a search of the Tribune directory for myself (Edward Padgett) you will note I have no email address. I have attempted to edit using my personal email address without success.

Many of my co-workers have no clue whom David Hiller, James O’Shea, or Dennis FitzSimons could be, and I’m not mad at them. I have no clue whom the quarterbacks are for this Sunday’s Football game.

Navigating the Times Online Edition

Last week I was grumbling about how difficult I found navigating the Los Angeles Times homepage was, an alert reader pointed out the Times site map, and was I pleased to find everything I needed in one location.

Odd how things right in front of me are so hard to see.

James O'Shea's address to Times staff

Following is the text of prepared remarks by Los Angeles Editor James E. O'Shea to Times staff

Link to address on latimes.com
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-ex-textoshea24jan25,1,7397635.story

With our industry in turmoil, our company for sale and our futures uncertain, it's easy to forget that journalism is a great calling. Sure we all face daunting challenges but we still have interesting jobs.

We meet fascinating people and publish a newspaper every day that tells people stories, informs, entertains and enlightens.

We anger people, make them laugh and keep a watchful eye on the institutions created to serve them. Could it get any better? Yes. And it is about to.

Today I am going to outline how the Los Angeles Times is going to transform itself from being a great newspaper to becoming an awesome, relentless, powerful story-telling machine online and in print.

The genesis for this, of course, is the Spring Street project launched by my predecessor and friend, Dean Baquet.

Over the last several months, a group of your colleagues, editors and reporters from this newsroom, fanned out across the country and the world to interview some of the world's best minds and organizations trying to figure out how newspapers should adapt to thrive in this brave new universe.

The project's initial goal was to assess how we can build readership both online and in the newspaper.

But the group soon decided that the Los Angeles Times needed to focus urgently on our online efforts and then deal with newspaper issues by building on the substantial body of information we already possess on newspaper readership.

The Spring Street group's conclusion about our progress online is brutally honest and it doesn't paint a pretty picture. We're woefully behind.

I know that our natural inclination as journalists is to ask why. Who is responsible, whose fault is it, who is to blame?

And the answer to that question is: It's everyone's fault.

Every editor, reporter, photographer, artist, everyone who works here everyone who is in this room and everyone who is not here.

Everyone who has ever come up with an excuse as to why we can't do something new and different, it is your fault just as much as anyone's.

I am new to this newsroom.

As I said in my initial remarks last November, I came here because I thought I could help. And the best way for me to help is to tell you the truth.

This is an excellent newsroom teeming with talent, integrity and ambition. It is a paragon of journalistic excellence. We have good strong ethics and solid standards.

But the newsroom can also be a cold, defensive, insular and conservative place, plagued by a bunker mentality that hides behind tradition and treats change as a threat.

I know there are reasons for this caution. The Willes era; the Staples Center; a determination to maintain the legacy of Otis Chandler. But we can't -- and I won't -- let those motives become roadblocks to overcoming our problems, and we have some.

We've all heard about our readership troubles and the dangers they pose to our future so I won't belabor that. But let me take a few moments to share some alarming data on our finances.

As an organization and a business, we are in a fight to recoup threatened revenue that finances our newsgathering.

Ad revenue across the board is under challenge but let me share just one category to demonstrate how fast our world is changing and the dimensions of this changing financial dynamic.

In 2004, automotive print advertising at the Los Angeles Times totaled $102 million. And what will it be this year? $55 million.

That is $47 million gone, unavailable to pay salaries and expenses. We made some of that up online. Online auto classified in 2004 totaled only $7 million. But by 2007, it climbed to $31 million, or $24 million up. But notice what is happening here – we lost $47 million in print and only recovered $24 million online. For every $2 we lost, we are recouping only about $1.

The story is similar in other areas. Some categories, such as real estate, are doing well but it is just a matter of time that it too will go south unless we can build online readership faster while keeping print readers. We have to get better.

At this rate, those double-digit profit margins everyone cites will be single digits and then be gone.

Now the truth is there are all kinds of reasons for that decline. Delving into them would be a great MBA thesis at the Harvard Business School.

But we can't hide from the fact that smart competitors such as Google and Craigslist are stealing readers and advertisers from us through innovative strategies that are undermining the business model we've relied on for decades.

As many in this room have painfully discovered in their 401K statements, these developments are threatening the value of our stock portfolios. Equally significant, they are threatening the durability of crucial circulation and advertising revenues that enable us to effectively provide the news to a large and diverse audience.

Thanks to those revenues, we provide to citizens of this city, state, nation and world a vibrant great newspaper at a cost almost anyone can afford, 50 cents. Name me anything you can buy today for 50 cents.

If we don't help reverse these revenue trends, we will not be able to cost-effectively provide the news -- the daily bread of democracy. The stakes are high.

So what are we going to do about it?

Number One: By working with our online colleagues, we are going to integrate our online and print newsrooms to become the best news gathering organization in the world, giving readers who live in Southern California the best source of locally-edited news they can get anywhere.

During my initial weeks as editor, I had lunch with all of my direct reports and asked them about their futures and their aspirations.

One of them, Joel Sappell, a great editor who has done path-breaking work at latimes.com during a period of immense challenge, told me he would like to return to the editing of projects.

We all know that Joel is hands-down one of the best projects editors in the country. He built the substantial body of work that is now the foundation for latimes.com upon which we can build a journalistic fortress.

He is going to return to a projects role in the newsroom where he can capitalize on his expertise to create and edit projects for the paper and enhance them for the web, a job he is uniquely positioned to do.

Since you really can't replace a talent like Joel, I am creating a new job, one, by the way, that was recommended by the Spring Street Group, the Special Editor for Innovation and I am naming Russ Stanton to that job.

As we all know, Russ, who currently runs our business coverage, is an extremely talented editor and leader, a journalist of impeccable standards and consummate skill.

He will report directly to the editor of the newspaper and he will create and lead the integrated newsroom into the brave new world we want to chart.

Russ has my complete and total support. Helping him is helping me; helping Russ is helping yourself.

I can guarantee you that Russ is not going to ask you to do anything that will diminish the integrity of this newspaper or this newsroom.

Our values, our dedication to high-quality, locally edited journalism is our greatest asset. It is the thing that distinguishes us from the prattle and rabble on the Internet and Russ will protect our integrity zealously.

But he will also challenge you. By virtue of its lightning speed and undisciplined nature, the Internet poses unique challenges to the way we practice journalism. Change is coming; it has to.

One of Russ's first assignments is to set up a training regimen for everyone in the newsroom to develop an expertise on the Internet and become savvy multi-media journalists.

A whole new world in out there -- video, photo galleries, chat rooms, landing pages. And to disprove the adage that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, I am going to be one of his first students. This training is mandatory for everyone.

Currently we have a newspaper staff and an latimes.com staff. No more. From now on, there are no two staffs, there is just one. And we will function as one. One of Russ's first jobs will be to help set up that newsroom. Leo Wolinsky is already working on a plan and details will be coming soon.

Latimes.com will become our primary vehicle for breaking news 24 hours a day. Reporters now enter the newsroom and tell editors what kind of a story they will write for the newspaper the next day.

Then -- we tend to think what can we do for the Internet, as if it were some kind of journalistic orphan.

That kind of thinking must change if we want to remain competitive.

We need to enter the newsroom and think about how we are going to break news on the Internet.

And then what we are going to do that will be different for the newspaper, which will become an even stronger vehicle for tightly-written context, analysis, interpretation and expertise. There is no better example of that than this morning front page story by John Horn and Gina Piccalo's piece on the Oscar's, a sohpisticaed analysis of the international forces driving the decisions of the judges.

By its inclusive nature, the Internet is massive. Through latimes.com, we can give readers our story, our databases, access to our sources -- when appropriate, access to our reporters, our editors, our thinking. It is our journalistic reservoir.

The newspaper is the edited medium, the place where we make choices about what is crucial to a story and what is not, where we use our sources and expertise to make editorial decisions that save our readers time, that capitalize on our journalistic experience and expertise to help people negotiate a tricky and confusing world, where we focus on the personalities behind the news and where we exercise literary and journalistic discipline to tell people what we think they need to know and not necessarily everything that we as journalists know about a subject.

Just as a blog is not a God-given right to inflict ignorance on an unsuspecting public, there's no journalistic birthright for print reporters to write an 80 inch story when 30 inches will do.

The newspaper is the medium in which we must use editing and journalistic discipline to channel that online reservoir and funnel it into a pipeline that leads to our reader's doorsteps.

Although I have the highest confidence in Russ, I am not going to overburden him with the task of doing all of this alone. Online journalism poses huge issues for the newsroom.

The standards for online news are different from the newspaper; the placement of ads is different, too. What is unacceptable in one medium is standard practice in another.

The newsroom must weigh in on these issues. To help Russ I am going to set up a working group of journalists from the newsroom to grapple with these issues and recommend ways to move forward without compromising our journalistic integrity but also in ways that recognize the brave new world we face.

We need new standards for what we will publish online that preserves our greatest asset – the integrity of our newspaper.

I am going to establish a second working group from the newsroom to help me with another major challenge we face, redesigning the print newspaper to make it an effective backbone for latimes.com.

Sometime this fall, the Los Angeles Times, like every other major paper including the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and others, will adapt a 48-inch press web that will create a newspaper that will be slightly narrower than the one we currently publish.

There is no stopping this conversion. The entire industry is moving that way. Even if we were not going to make any newsroom changes, the new press web width would probably require a redesign.

This time, though, we are going to do a real redesign, one that questions and challenges every section of the newspaper, a redesign that relates individual sections to the newspaper as a whole.

This effort will come from within the newsroom. We will lead it, but we will also include in our working group some thoughtful colleagues from outside the newsroom, people who have expertise and experience in areas unfamiliar to journalists.

Ideally I would like to take a year to rethink everything we do. But we don't have the luxury of that much time. Innovation is something we have to do in the newspaper every day. It is an ongoing process.

So we probably will do a phased redesign that will play out over the next year. The redesign working group will work this out.

I know this all sounds pretty scary. We have to think about doing things differently and in ways that involve some journalistic risk that should make us all a little uncomfortable.

But there's nothing wrong with facing challenges that make us uncomfortable. That's healthy. Being uncomfortable but being in the game is a lot better than sitting on the sidelines, comfortable but out of the game.

So I urge everyone to venture outside our comfort zones but also to think about the opportunities the online world presents for new and powerful means of storytelling.

Some of the techniques we must perfect already are available on latimes.com. Look at the intriguing storytelling Joel did with the Altered Oceans and Lifeline series.

In the features area, we are about to unveil a new Travel section that was developed in conjunction with the travel site on latimes.com. The new Travel package focuses on familiar destinations that are popular with readers in Southern California, such as London, but it also places more emphasis on destinations closer to home, such as San Diego or Las Vegas.

It takes advantage of the superior writing, editing, photography and graphics we have in the print newspaper.

But it also features many of the strengths available from the Internet, such as the ability to interact with readers, helping them book trips to the places they are reading about.

This mixture of print, online and commerce has never been done here.

There's also the new interactive web feature MyLAtimes, a free, custom news feed service that gives readers a faster, easier more flexible way to get content that is important to them.

And we've just hired Mary Kay Schilling to be the editor of both a print and online CalanderLive designed to become the go to destination for local personal entertainment.

Those steps are tiny compared to where we can go, though.

We've all heard the armchair editors on Wall Street talk about how foreign news is a commodity. Well the foreign reporting in the Los Angeles Times is not a commodity.

It is locally edited enterprise news that goes AS far beyond what editors can get from wires AS Beijing is from Beirut. We in the newsroom have just done a poor job of tooting our horn.

So I asked members of the Spring Street project to go to work on this and come up with something that shows the unique nature of our foreign report.

The result was a foreign Landing Page for latimes.com where a reader can go to learn about the world we cover and the amazing, brave and dedicated people who bring the news to our readers.

I've always felt if we could include readers in the incredible efforts we undertake to get the news, they would be so much more responsive to us. Now the Internet provides us with an opportunity to bring readers into the process as never before.

I emphasize that the page I just put up is a rough draft; we will do a lot better. But just look at the possibilities here.

We can take readers to the scene of our stories in ways we simply can't do in print.

Dispatches from Times correspondents can vividly answer questions about what its like to walk through the Green Zone in Baghdad or negotiate your way through an Israeli checkpoint, things that correspondents do every day to bring the news to Southern California.

Live chats can let readers communicate directly with our people in the field. Pictures, video, graphics and words all enhance a readers experience and help build interest in the edited stories in the newspaper each day.

We've all heard about the importance of local news, and this is an area where we must excel. But just look at this prototype of community news landing page.

Again, rough drafts, not finished pages. But look at all of the things we can do by providing local resources without flooding the zone with reporters. We will need to divert some resources to this effort at a time when no one is going to give us any more resources. If anything we might be looking at less.

But changing fortunes can't be an excuse to do nothing. Our mission is to cover the news in compelling ways that drives traffic to the web and by extension to the newspaper, giving us a plausible argument for more resources, not less.

The potential becomes really mind-boggling when you look at what we can do with our expertise, our columnists, our beat reporters, our experts, our investigative reporting.

Here's a prototype of a landing page for autos, which would capitalize our car coverage in this the wheels capital of the world. And we didn't even get into what we could do with a talent like Dan Neil.

As anyone can see, the road on which we are going to embark is rough. This will not be easy and we are all going to work harder than we've probably ever had to work in our lives.

In my limited time here, I've heard a lot of talk about why we can't do things, the lack of resources, the lack of people, so-and-so used to do that but he took a buy out. Many of these observations are valid.

But focusing on past wrongs won't make anything right. We must focus on the future, for the future is ours. Our fight is journalism's fight. We all know this is a great newspaper, capable of even greater things. The future is in our hands as great storytellers, the one constant in our ever-changing universe.

We have a good story to tell so let's start telling it and telling it well. Let's make our great journalism available to an even wider audience; let's show the world that newspapers and the journalists that create them are not dead. We are alive, well and fighting back.

Thank you, and now I will take some questions.

Monday, January 29, 2007

A Simple, Yet Powerful Thought

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, or even touched. They must be felt with the heart."

--Helen Keller

Consider the source! STAY POSITIVE!!

Quote of the Week

The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy; neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

- John W. Gardner.

The Ice House Gang

On Saturday night last weekend a group of us attended the Ice House show with Jeff Garcia and Bruce Jingles.

The group party was the idea of Jimmy Hathaway, and everyone had a great time.

Below is a short video of Bruce Jingles, a very funny man indeed.





Sunday, January 28, 2007

Beauty is Soul Deep

Abraham Lincoln loved to tell stories on himself. One of his favorites concerned itself with physical appearance.

In the days when Lincoln used to be on the circuit (traveling on horseback from one county court to another), he was once approached by a stranger who said, "Excuse me, sir, but I have an article which belongs to you."

"How is that?" Lincoln asked in astonishment.

The stranger took a jack-knife from his pocket. "This knife," he said "was placed in my hand some years ago, with the injunction that I was to keep it until I found a man homelier-looking than I am myself. I have carried that knife for many years. Now I pass it on to you."

Lincoln added wryly, "I've carried that knife ever since."

One of Lincoln's greatest assets was his ability to laugh at himself. And he frequently laughed at his physical appearance. But history does not remember him as an "ugly" individual -- in fact, often just the opposite. His outer appearance was clothed in magnificently beautiful garments: character, honesty, humor and courage. But there are other clothes he wore equally well -- such as humility and forgiveness.

We say that beauty is skin deep. But it isn't really. It has very little to do with the skin. True beauty is soul deep. It is a fabric that is woven in the soul and worn in plain view.

The Bible speaks of something similar. It teaches us to clothe ourselves with "compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Then "over all of these put on love, which binds them in perfect unity." Regardless of how good looking we may otherwise be, it is these clothes that will determine our actual beauty.

This was taught to me by a woman who used to think that if she were granted only one wish, it would be to be beautiful. She saw her wheel-chair dependent body as unsightly and, therefore, she missed her more attractive assets. But when she was finally convinced of some of her beautiful personality traits by her friends, she came to a different point of view. Today she says, "Now I know I AM beautiful. Very beautiful."

Beauty is soul deep. Learn that and you may realize that you are far more attractive than you ever imagined!

~ Steve Goodier ~

Tribune working on a deal with private-equity firms

Tribune management is talking with private-equity companies about crafting a new deal to restructure the company, reports Michael Oneal. He hears that the committee overseeing Tribune's auction has decided that the Chandler and Broad-Burkle offers don't value Tribune's assets highly enough and that's opened the door for a management-led solution.

Chicago Tribune Must register to read entire article

Peninsula Press Club: Group tells ABC to leave Spocko alone

Peninsula Press Club: Group tells ABC to leave Spocko alone

Our Lineage in Photos

We receive many links to pages users feel we may enjoy and share with all of our visitors to the blog, some of the links grab our attention and some are ignored. My good friend Lowell, from MySpace, sent us Our Lineage in Photos, and it is worthy of posting for everyone to view.

Lance Scurvin put the photographs together and it is worth the two to three minutes the page takes to load. The background music, A Change is Gonna Come by the late Sam Cooke, plays in a loop, but is mellow enough not to distract the viewer.

vBulletin Created for our Blog



Jesse has been spending many hours working on our newest feature, a message board. It will be a nice addition to the blog, but the topic's will not disappear as the posts on the blog do.

Take a look by following the link here.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Anti-War Rally in Los Angeles Today

I’m giving you fair warning, if you plan to visit downtown Los Angeles today, there will be many closed streets, and plenty of traffic. Starting at noon this afternoon an anti-war march will begin at 9th and Figueroa Streets, and there will be thousands in attendance.

The march will head east on 9th Street, then proceed north on Main Street to 1st Street, where the marchers will then walk east to the Federal Building at 300 north Los Angeles Street.

Information regarding parking, transportation, and other details can be found here.

Union Election Challenged

January 25, 2007


We were advised today that a hearing will be conducted on four of the five objections the Company filed with respect to the Union election. If any of the objections are sustained a second (“re-run”) election will be held. The hearing is likely to be held the week of February 5 and we cannot estimate how soon thereafter the Regional Director will issue her opinion. Either party may appeal the Regional Director’s decision to the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.

As always, we will keep you fully informed of all developments.

Mark

LAFD News & Information: What type of Smoke Alarm is in your Home?

LAFD News & Information: What type of Smoke Alarm is in your Home?

Whats Wrong with our Cigarettes?

I had planned to sleep in till noon this morning, but here I sit blogging instead, oh to sleep in as my grandchildren can.

Thursday I sat with the other printers smoking our cigarettes, Don Reese asked, "Are you having trouble keeping your cigarette burning?". And we all answered yes.

Wondering what is happening to our cigarettes, I sent a message to Philip Morris this morning, and will post their answer, when it arrives.

As I scanned the cigarette makers web page, I see they have links to giving smoking up, something I have been considering for months now.

Friday, January 26, 2007

D'Militant at the Pasadena Ice House

After work last night Larry Washington and myself dropped by the Pasadena Ice House for That Thursday Thang. The show is hosted by D'Militant (Darryl Littleton) and he eases the stress of everyday life, through comedy. His new book is avaible now, and D'Militant will sign your book in two weeks when he returns to the Ice House. Below is a piece I taped last night, hope you enjoy it.









MyLATimes Has the Net Buzzing

This morning as I starting my morning routine, waking the children for school, brewing a pot of coffee, feeding my furry friends (we have two cats), and booting up my computer, I just didn’t have the time to sit down at my desk till after nine this morning.

I work the swing shift at the newspaper, so this means I need to take care of personal business in the morning, before heading to the Los Angeles Times at noon.

Seems the overall reaction from the blogosphere is positive, regarding the new feature at LA Times online, MyLATimes. The only person unhappy is Ken Reich, but he dislikes anything David Hiller (publisher) or Jim O’Shea (editor) have implemented at the newspaper, and that’s Ken’s right to voice his own opinion. Ken and I can agree to disagree on this matter.

David Hiller and Jim O’Shea may or may not stay with the Los Angeles Times, if the newspaper is sold in the near future, but they will leave their legacy with us, through the changes underway with the online edition of the newspaper for years to come.

Additional comments can be read by following the links listed below.

A Spring Street in their steps Opinion LA

LATimes.com is 'Web-stupid' LA Biz Observed

A Load Of Crap From James O'Shea Take Back the Times

Times retools on web — again LAObserved

LAFD Bloggers Applaud New LA Times Website LA Fire Department Blog

A Matter of Trust: LATimes.com Replates - Again LA Voice

Just a few moments ago I logged onto MyLATimes using a DSL connection, the LA Times uses a T-1 connection (extremely fast) and it took over ninety seconds before I was connected. Tells me MyLATimes is attracting a very large audience of users. I would be interested in seeing how many users (hits) the page received today, I'm sure its in the hundred thousand range.

Raquel Alvarez Cendejas Passing

Our friend and co-worker Raquel Cendejas has left us, and the pressroom employees will miss her. The information regarding her funeral arrived yesterday, but I did not log onto the Internet till now.

Services


Friday, January 26, 2007 at 9:30 AM
(Please plan to arrive a few minutes early.)
Service: Funeral Mass
Location: St. Dominic Savio
9720 Foster Road
Bellflower 90706

Concludes:
Concludes At Interment Site
Interment : Sycamore Lake
Shoreline Lawn
Lot : 1754
Grave: 1

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Super Bowl Laughs

A man had box seat tickets for the Super Bowl. As he sits down, a man comes down and asks if anyone is sitting in the seat next to him."No," he says. "The seat is empty."

"This is incredible," said the man. "Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event in the world, and not use it?

"The first man says, 'Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first Super Bowl we haven't been to together since we got married."

"Oh .. I'm sorry to hear that. That's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else, like a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?

"The man shakes his head. "No. They're all at the funeral.

Submitted by Dana Smith

Morning Media News

Rupert Murdoch not convinced the Chandlers can do it
Chicago Tribune

Murdoch's company has talked with the Chandlers about contributing more than $200 million in equity to the family's $31.70-a-share bid for the Chicago media conglomerate, which owns the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, WGN-Ch. 9 and other media and entertainment properties. But the Murdoch camp suspects the offer by Tribune Co.'s top shareholder may face too many hurdles to succeed. As of Wednesday, News Corp. had yet to finalize its commitment in writing.

LAT to Meld online edition with printed edition
Los Angeles Times

O'Shea employed dire statistics on declining print advertising revenue to urge The Times' 940 journalists to throw off a "bunker mentality" and view latimes.com as the paper's primary vehicle for delivering news.In his first significant action since becoming editor in mid-November, O'Shea said he would create the position of editor for innovation and launch a crash course for journalists to push ahead the melding of the newspaper and its website.

Chandlers' 20% stake in Tribune is more than enough
The Wall Street Journal

In a sign that Tribune Co. isn't enthusiastic about the three proposals it received last week, the company's advisers have gone back to firms that did due diligence but didn't bid, to see if they would be willing to make an offer, according to people familiar with the matter. Among the groups approached again was a consortium including private-equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners, long considered a favorite in the process. But the consortium -- which also comprises Providence Equity Partners Inc. and Apollo Advisors LP -- still isn't interested in bidding, these people said.

Inquirer layoffs sparking dispute
The Philadelphia Tribune

The president of the Newspapers Guild of Greater Philadelphia told The Philadelphia Tribune yesterday he is outraged at Philadelphia Inquirer President and CEO Brian Tierney for putting the blame on the Guild in regards to the seniority system surrounding the recent layoffs at the paper – specifically the significant cuts made to Black reporters working there.

MySpace, Oops I Mean MyLATimes

Last night as I struggled to find the Bottleneck Blog, I noted something new on the Los Angeles Times homepage, MyLATimes, but didn’t have the time or energy to look any further last night.

After taking the children to school this morning, having myself pampered at the local barbershop, and consuming three cups of coffee, I decided to have a look at this new feature the Times has created. And I was pleased to see an uncluttered page, with no popup advertising.

My Internet provider, Earthlink, allows users to setup their homepage on Earthlink to display what content is important to each user. The local news can be placed at the top or the bottom of each page, and things like sports, stock tables, etc., can be expanded or completely removed by the user.

The new MyLATimes page is very similar; the user can modify their page to suit the users wants and needs and disregard the rest, great move in my opinion. Users have many options on the new page from Generalist , SoCal , Entertainment , Lifestyle , Business , and Sports .

Take a look and see what you think?

MyLATimes

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

How Do Users Find the Times Blogs?

I read with great interest David Hiller’s letter regarding the changes occurring at the newspapers online edition, its about time, is all I can say about the much needed changes about to take place.

The Times blogs were brought to my attention by Matt Welch, and I’m elated I was able to see the blogs before the changes were made. And as a direct result of the Times blogs, I made a $250 purchase from one of the advertisers, that’s really the bottom-line, generating sales though the blogs.

I’m far from an expert when it comes to navigating the Internet, but when I cannot locate the Bottleneck Blog, written by Steve Lopez, how many others are missing this blog as well. The only blog listed on the Times homepage is Opinion LA, and I’m sure most if not all the Times blogs are listed here.

One indicator of the popularity of a blog post are the trackbacks to other blogs, yet the blog post “Have you finally had it?” has no trackbacks whatsoever. But there are 525 comments, this tells me this was a very popular subject to the readers, and some online users have been able to locate Steve’s blog through all the information overkill on the homepage.

I have linked as many Los Angeles Times Blogs as I could locate, and I’m certain some have been missed. If you know of any Times Blogs missing from here, drop me a line and I will add it to the LA Times Blog links.

Let’s hope the online version of the Los Angeles Times becomes much more user friendly in the near future.

'Philosophical clash' at LATimes.com

By Kevin Roderick

James Rainey's staff story on today's shakeup at the Times website reveals some behind-the-scenes details on the internal tension over how best to move the LAT toward a higher and smarter web presence. He quotes from the report of last year's so-called Spring Street Project — first known, mostly sneeringly, as the Manhattan Project — and discloses a disagreement between the website's top two executives. Editor James O'Shea also has harsh words for the Times' work on the web and announces a crash training effort to get reporters and editors attuned to the faster news cycles of online journalism.

Continue reading more from James Rainey and remarks by Los Angeles Times Editor James E. O'Shea to Times staff here.

David Hiller Taking the Times Where it Belongs

From: Hiller, David
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 11:13 AM
Subject: New Integrated Approach to Content and News Gathering

Folks,

We're announcing organizational changes today that will help move us toward our vision of a true multimedia enterprise - delivering news and information across channels, all through the day, to meet the evolving needs of readers, users, and advertisers. We report on the changing media world everyday, and we need to change what and how we do what we do accordingly, and dramatically. Our colleagues on the Spring Street Project have underscored many of these needs, and their recommendations, together with the work of our colleagues at latimes.com, are the foundation of the moves we are making today.
Key points:

  • Accelerate our growth on the Web by allocating more resources, and speeding product development, to improve the site and grow our online audience.
  • Re-orient/re-tool the whole company to think and operate across multiple media.
  • Develop online, but also change the print newspaper to better meet the changing needs of print users.
  • In all media - focus, focus, focus on growing local audience.

To help drive these changes, we're making the following organizational moves:

Russ Stanton, Business Editor, has been named to the newly created position of Innovation Editor, reporting directly to Jim O'Shea. Russ's mission, working with editors and reporters across news and features, is nothing less than the transformation of our newsroom into a 24/7 operation that breaks news all the time online (and mobile, etc.) and publishes in print with the analysis, personality, and utility that only great writers and editors can provide.

Joel Sappell, Assistant Managing Editor for Multimedia and Editor of latimes.com, is going to return to editing some of our very important project work. Joel has been a pioneer in our online editorial efforts and contributed much to the growth we have seen at latimes.com in the last two years. We will now split Joel's responsibilities between Russ, as Innovation Editor, and a separate position of Editor of latimes.com. A search to fill this position is currently underway.

Rob Barrett, General Manager of latimes.com, has also been named a Vice President of the Los Angeles Times Media Group. Rob has been a key leader in the development of latimes.com and our related web businesses, and his new position reflects the importance of his company-wide role in transforming our business for the next generation of users and readers.

Russ and Rob will work closely together in guiding and integrating our efforts across print and online. The two will also lead a company-wide team to assess and recommend changes across all departments to ensure that we are, in fact, re-tooling our whole enterprise for the web and print.

Over the next several months, we will debut several new products under this new multimedia approach to content development, beginning this week with the launch of MyLatimes.com, and followed by the launch of new, integrated print and online products for Travel in February, Image/Fashion in March, and CalendarLive/CalendarWeekend in late spring.

We will be sharing more developments in the coming weeks, but at the core, we will need everyone's commitment to aggressively help shape the Los Angeles Times Media Group to become a truly multimedia company for the next generation. Please join me in congratulating and supporting Russ and Rob in their new roles.

David

Hat Tip to Tony Specht

For Grandparents

I'm a grandparent, and to all the grandparents out there, here are a few instructions, a bit of advice and a little wisdom:

1. Real love means letting your grandchild(ren) choose the pizza toppings.

2. A grandparent is a living history lesson.

3. Grandparenting isn't for sissies.

4. Don't just give your grandchildren good advice; give them good memories.

5. Grandma and Grandpa's house: Where the great are small and the small are great!

6. An ounce of leading by example is worth a pound of pressure.

7. Having grandchildren doubles joy and divides grief in half.

8. As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled.

9. Grandma-hood: when you start turning off the lights for economical reasons rather than romantic ones.

10. A grandpa is a man who carries pictures in his wallet, where money used to be.

If you don't fit the mold...PRACTICE. Trust me, if you have kids, the grandkids will come!

BTW: #9 is my personal favorite:-)

STAY POSITIVE!

So You Want to be a Blogger

Mack Reed is looking for someone to takeover his blog, LA VOICE, established four years ago. Mr. Reed just doesn't have the time to run his blog any longer. Click on the link to read his statement and whom he would like to see take over the helm.

Your Thought of the Day

There is a big difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.

STAY POSITIVE!

Tribune Sale Pending

Let me see if I have this straight, the Eli Broad-Ron Burkle bid for a portion of the Tribune Company assets expires today.

Rupert Murdoch has joined the Chandler Family in their quest to purchase the Tribune Company, with the Carlyle Group taking control of all the television stations, and Rupert Murdoch owning a minority stake in the newspaper group, and taking control over Newsday.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has thrown in with the Chandlers, agreeing to take a minority stake in their deal, according to a News Corp. insider who spoke on condition of anonymity because he had not been authorized to discuss the situation. Under the deal, News Corp. — owner of the Fox TV network, cable's Fox News channel and the 20th Century Fox studio — would get an operating agreement allowing it to cut costs by combining certain noneditorial operations of Newsday with those of its own New York Post.

If Rupert Murdoch takes control of Newsday, does this mean operations at Newsday will be outsourced to the New York Post?

The Chandler Family bid expires next Wednesday, January 31st, 2007.

Bad Day at Oly Yesterday

As I entered the pressroom office yesterday I was greeted with the news that we lost a co-worker to a long illness. Just a few hours later another co-worker lost a spouse. And before leaving work for home yet another worker lost a sibling. It was not a good day for the pressroom personnel.


I will post details as they become available.

Our Newest Member

Please welcome our newest contribitor, Nubia, to the blog. She has plenty to offer and will add another viewpoint to this blog. I hope you enjoy her.

I would like to add ten or more writers to this blog, they can write once a month, once per week, or everyday. If this might be something you have considered, feel free to let one of us know.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Something A Little Different

Hello to you LA Times Twenty-Year Club Blog Junkies!

I'm Nubia, and I've been invited to join the other writers to provide a lighter side to this sometimes "intense" blog. Let me say that I'm not a writer, but will do my best to give you a bit of intellect, inspiration, humor and, at times, sarcasm. Everything I offer will not necessarily be from me and I'll acknowledge that. However, it will be something to ponder if read closely, and may even provide a bit of therapy for you in any struggles you may have.

It is what it is and I welcome your comments. Good, bad or indifferent.

With that said...Wouldn't it be nice if whenever we messed up our life we could simply press "Ctrl Alt Delete" and start all over?

STAY POSITIVE!

Online News or Hard Copy News

Last year I did not renew my subscription to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, and this year I will end my delivery of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, I have opted to subscribe to an online news source instead.

My subscription to the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly will continue, with no plans of stopping delivery this year.

The online service I have chosen to support was an easy decision to make, I read the blog of LAObserved several times per day, and the $39.00 subscription is well worth this minor expense. And since my co-workers and myself in the pressroom at the Times do not have access to most of the emails from the CEO of the company or the publisher of the newspaper, I can always stay on top of breaking news at the newspaper from this blog.

I wonder if the Los Angeles Times, and other newspapers, have thought of offering online subscriptions only, might be something to consider in the near future.

Anyone Care to Take a Walk

Will Campbell over at Metro-Blogging is putting together a walk, not around the corner, but a twenty-four mile walk on Saturday February 10th starting at 6:00 a.m. I enjoy walking, but this seemed a bit far for this old person.

As I read the comments I came across a message from Shannon, she is also getting the online community together for a walk, but her walk is just over seven miles, so I told myself, let’s do it Ed.

Shannon’s walk will start at noon on Sunday February 11th at San Vicente and 6th Street, and end at The Daily Grill, 612 Flower Street. This is much more to my liking, and capability.

If you would be interested in either walk, follow the links and leave a message. I will be walking with Shannon's group on Sunday.

Monday, January 22, 2007

What is the Message?

Two or three years ago I noted this message on the side of this large building, and I’m taking it for granted the owner wants to legalize undocumented workers. What is the sign saying to you?

The building is located West of Alameda between 6th Street and 8th Street.

The TV Cafe

Two or three times per month I tire of the food at Café Oly and drive across the street to the TV Café for some spicy Mexican fare. From tacos to burritos and menudo, cocido, and posole soups, everything pleases the palete.

If Mexican food is not to your liking, they also offer hamburgers, pastrami’s, fries, and malts. And the display of cakes and pies are very tempting






Located at Olympic and Alameda, the clientele includes the homeless, produce workers, businessmen, truckers, and workers from the Los Angeles Times. Security guards are usually in place, just incase someone starts trouble.

Prior to being called the TV Cafe the restaurant was called Sambo's, and many of the Los Angeles Times truck drivers would stop in for breakfast or coffee after dropping their loads of newspapers.





The staff is always cheerful and seem to smile easily. To read some additional reviews click here.
TV Cafe
1777 E Olympic Blvd
(213) 624-1332

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Nothing Decided in Chicago Today

CHICAGO, Jan 20, 2007 -- Tribune Company (TRB) said today that the independent special committee of its board of directors is continuing its strategic review following the submission of proposals from prospective investors.

"The committee is actively engaged in the review process," said William A. Osborn, Tribune's lead independent director and chairman of the special committee. "Assisted by our outside legal and financial advisors, we are carefully considering all alternatives for creating additional shareholder value. These alternatives include potential transactions involving third parties as well as actions the company may take alone."

In September, the company announced the formation of the independent special committee to oversee management's exploration of strategic alternatives for creating additional shareholder value. The committee will make a recommendation to the full board of directors. The board has said it expects to announce a decision during the first quarter of 2007.

TRIBUNE (TRB) is one of the country's top media companies, operating businesses in publishing, interactive and broadcasting. It reaches more than 80 percent of U.S. households and is the only media organization with newspapers, television stations and websites in the nation's top three markets. In publishing, Tribune's leading daily newspapers include the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.), The Sun (Baltimore), South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel and Hartford Courant. The company's broadcasting group operates 23 television stations, Superstation WGN on national cable, Chicago's WGN-AM and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites complement Tribune's print and broadcast properties and extend the company's nationwide audience.

SOURCE Tribune Company

Media News

Baquet Welcome to Return to 'New York Times'
Almost from the moment that Dean Baquet lost his job at the Los Angeles Times last fall after challenging the paper's plans to cut staff, speculation arose that he would return to The New York Times, where he spent nearly a decade in the 1990s, rising to national editor before leaving in 2000.

Newspaper Blog Traffic Triples
The number of people reading Internet blogs on the top 10 U.S. newspaper sites more than tripled in December from a year ago and accounted for a larger percentage of overall traffic to those sites, according to data released on Wednesday.

Broad and Burkle Would Bring Back Baquet
Wow, was the Tribune Co. punked, or what? That was some lousy auction since none of the bidders offered to pay a premium to swallow the company whole.

Chandlers, moguls in battle for Tribune
The Chandler family, which owned the Los Angeles Times for more than a century, and a partnership of local billionaires Eli Broad and Ron Burkle made competing offers Wednesday for Chicago-based media giant Tribune Co.

Tribune auction ends in silence
The deadline for Tribune Co.'s four-month effort to find a buyer came and went Wednesday, producing few clear options and leaving the fate of the venerable Chicago media conglomerate still up for grabs.As recently as Monday, potential suitors had been expected to produce offers pricing the company at or above the market price of about $30 a share.

Time Inc. Lays Off Nearly 300
Time Inc. said today it will cut nearly 300 jobs at its top magazines, including its most profitable title, People, which is shutting down its bureaus in Washington, Miami, Chicago and Austin, Texas.

No perfect bid for Tribune
None of the offers in the four-month auction process is what the company's directors were looking for—a straight-ahead bid for the entire company at a price above the market value. And, observers said, the disappointing results might raise the odds that Tribune would embark on what Wall Street calls a "self-help strategy," loading up the company with debt to pay out a large, one-time dividend, while spinning off its broadcast assets in a tax-free transaction.

Big checks for execs who lose jobs at Tribune
Tribune Co.'s senior executives and key employees could be in for a handsome payday if they lose their jobs in a sale of the company that owns the Los Angeles Times, KTLA-TV Channel 5 and the Chicago Cubs baseball team, documents show.According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Thursday by the Chandler family trusts, which is among the bidders for the Chicago-based media company, "change of control payments" to Tribune executives could total $269 million.

No Clear-Cut Path for Tribune’s Board
The company received at least two firm bids by Wednesday’s deadline, one from the Los Angeles team of Eli Broad and Ronald W. Burkle, and another from the Chandler family, the company’s largest shareholder. A third potential bidder, the Carlyle Group, has expressed interest but only in Tribune’s television group. The company also owns 11 papers, including The Los Angeles Times.

Two groups bid for media titan
The Chandler family, which controls about 20% of Tribune, offered other stockholders $19.30 a share for Tribune's newspapers and publishing assets, it said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday. The unit includes the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Newsday and The Hartford Courant. Current shareholders also would get stock in a new entity valued at $12.40 a share holding Tribune's broadcast assets. The company has 23 TV stations, as well as Superstation WGN, 31.3% of the Food Network and the Chicago Cubs. The offer, in effect, values Tribune at about $7.6 billion.

Why No Local Bids for the 'Trib'?
Yet the Chicago Tribune of Col. McCormick and Mike Royko is up for sale -- and the city's reaction is a collective shrug of those Big Shoulders.

Peninsula Press Club: Union sues over release of records to Ch. 7

Peninsula Press Club: Union sues over release of records to Ch. 7

Information for Pressroom Employees at the LAT

Several readers have inquired if this blog is where information regarding the GCC/Teamsters Union at the Los Angeles Times will be the online source for answers to their questions.

This blog is not the place for questions and answers on the union.

Save Our Trade is the blog where pressroom employees can visit for the information and answers they are seeking.

We will keep you updated on important issues that occur as a contract is worked out at both production facilities.

Unionized Brothel

A dedicated Teamsters union worker was attending a convention in Las Vegas and decided to check out the local brothels. When he got to the first one, he asked the Ma dam, "Is this a union house?"

"No," she replied, "I'm sorry it isn't."

"Well, if I pay you $100, what cut do the girls get?"

"The house gets $80 and the girls get $20," she answered.

Offended at such unfair dealings, the union man stomped off down the street in search of a more equitable, hopefully unionized shop. His search continued until finally he reached a brothel where the Madam responded, "Why yes sir, this is a union house. We observe all union rules.

"The man asked, "And if I pay you $100, what cut do the girls get?"

"The girls get $80 and the house gets $20."

"That's more like it!" the union man said.

He handed the Madam $100, looked around the room, and pointed to a stunningly attractive blonde.

"I'm sure you would, sir," said the Madam. Then she gestured to a 92-year old woman in the corner, "but Ethel here has 67 years seniority and according to union rules, she's next."

Friday, January 19, 2007

Woman jumped from Times garage

From: Hiller, David
Sent: Friday, January 19, 2007 10:08 AM
Subject:

Folks,

As you may have heard, yesterday around 9 a.m., a homeless woman gained access to our 213 parking structure, and jumped from the 4th floor. The woman was taken to LA County/USC Medical Center, and I am sorry to report she passed away late yesterday. No additional information is available to us. It is very sad, and we should keep this person and others who need help in our thoughts. I felt it was important to share what happened.

David

Source LAObserved

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Opinion Pages: Read This Gripe

Getting By On Gift Cards

Boy, where do we start with this gloating yet self-pitying LA Times Opinion Page tripe?

Her husband gets $775.00 in gift cards from well meaning parents of his students at Christmas. Now they can buy a $5.00 cup of coffee at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (via gift cards) and a $50 book from Barnes and Noble for a grandmother (also with a gift card). She says she can now buy birthday gifts at nice stores, and how thrilled she is with her little "bundle of bar codes."

Yet her self pitying whinging starts when she says they had to use the American Express gift cards to buy groceries at Ralphs. She writes that they don't have enough money to pay their mortgage, that they scrape together change from their car to pay for milk, and that she had to tell her son's preschool to hold her check because they couldn't make ends meet. She wishes the mortgage company made gift cards.

Excuse me, but what's the real problem here? It seems to me that what she's asking for is that the students parents help pay her bills --from her mortage, her utilities and her preschool fees. But isn't the real issue that she and her husband, both college-educated persons, chose jobs that don't pay the kind of money they need to cover their expenses. Seems to me that her husband chose a lower paying job at a private school than going with a public school. She choose to be a writer --hey, believe me, there are no guarantees with that. She's living the life of a freelancer, and that's job to job.

We all have good months and bad months, we all have to try to budget, and sometimes we all fall short. I'm not entirely unsympathetic over financial woes, after all, I've had more than I care to think about.

But few of us have $775 in free rides to buy little luxuries. A lot of us will go home for coffee, bring lunch from home, will stave our growling stomaches until we get home. If I were her, I'd divide that $775 into twelve months. Each month I'd buy something special, and I'd figure out what I want my financial picture to look like over the next five years. Maybe she should use some of those gift cards to purchase Quicken or Quick Books and start planning, instead of just spending.

Phew What's going on with the Times?

Is the Cold Spell Over Yet?


With unseasonally cold weather hitting California the past week we can all expect higher costs for produce, and very inflated gas bills next month.
There will be a domino effect on restaurants as many cut back on expenses to compensate for the extra cash leaving their pocketbooks.

Free Passes for the Pasadena Ice House


Don't forget to join Comedy Time Urban Showcase at The Ice House Comedy Club Annex in Pasadena TONIGHT, JANUARY 18, at 9 p.m. for THAT THURSDAY THANG, Urban Comedy’s Newest and Hottest Show, featuring eight of the best urban comics doing their best 10 minute sets, with a different lineup every week! Some of these comics have even been featured on BET’s Comic View, HBO's Def Jam, Jaime Foxx's Laffapalooza and HBO's Bad Boys of Comedy! Plus, the show will be part of a live TV taping for Comedy Time Network! For reservations and directions, please go to the Ice House.
Sixteen free passes are yours for the asking, with each pass allowing two free admissions with no expiration date.
Send an email to Ed Padgett for the passes.

Tribune gets buyout offer from Chandlers

Tribune Company has received a buyout offer from it's largest shareholder, the Chandler Trusts, for $31.70 per share. The families plan is to spin off Tribune's broadcast and entertainment businesses, according to filings with the securities and exchange commission.

Tribune shares are up 51 cents with active trading of over one million shares this morning.

LAFD News & Information: LAFD Encourages Cold Weather Protection for Pets

LAFD News & Information: LAFD Encourages Cold Weather Protection for Pets

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Three Bids for Tribune Company

According to the Wall Street Journal, three groups have submitted bids for the Tribune Company by Wednesday night's deadline, they include the Chandler Family and billionaires Ron Burkle and Eli Broad.

If your a subscriber to the Wall Street Journal you can read the complete story online, if not, the story will be covered in tomorrow's local media.

According to The Journal:

The Chandlers would buy Tribune newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, which they formerly owned, and Tribune would sell its television stations. The Chandlers would hold 51% of the newspapers.

Burkle and Broad proposed a leveraged recapitalization under which they would borrow $10.5 billion, contribute $500 million in cash and take 34% equity control of the company. The proposal would avoid tax issues arising from the sale of individual assets. Burkle and Broad would be co-chairmen.

An unidentified private equity firm expressed interest in the company's television station.

Tribune spokesman Gary Weitman said a special committee of Tribune's board intends to examine the bids and make a recommendation to the full board. The board is then expected to announce its decision at some point during the year's first quarter.

Union Election Challenged at LAT

The following message was posted in the pressroom this afternoon.

January 17, 2007

Please be aware that based on information that has come to our attention about the union election on January 4th and 5th, we believe the union or its supporters may have improperly and unlawfully influenced the outcome of the vote in the Pressroom. Following extensive investigation, we decided to file objections with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) late yesterday afternoon.

Given the importance of this issue, we feel an obligation to all of our employees to ensure that the election was lawfully and fairly conducted, that no employee rights were violated, and that the election results were valid.

Over the next several days we will provide evidence supporting the objections and the NLRB will determine what the next steps are. We will let you know what their decision is as soon as it is made known.

Mark

The Passing of Our Friend Jose Calzadilla

The following message arrived from Emmett Jaime;

Today I received a phone call from Jose's daughter, Maggie, informing me that Jose passed away today from a massive heart attack. He had been sick during the holidays with pneumonia and was in the hospital. After going home he wasn't feeling good so went back to the hospital where he suffered a heart attack and was in a coma.

The following will be when and where the services will be held and the address of the family to send condolences.

All Souls Memorial
4400 Cherry Ave.
Long Beach, CA. 90807

Monday Jan. 22, 2007
Viewing-10:00am
Services-1:00pm

Condolences to: Jose Calzadilla Family
1517 West Cris Place
Anaheim, CA. 92802
714-991-3212

For the people that do not have a computer please make sure to call them so if they wish to attend the services, thank you.

Editors Message; Jose Calzadilla was a former Times man in the Pressroom, he retired as a pressroom supervisor and was an active member of our twenty year club. Jose will be missed by all.

"Venus" Movie Review

from the LA Times Pressmen site was mentioned on the Unofficial Peter O'Toole site. The actor doesn't have one, so this one pretty much serves as the main site for all of the actor's work.

That's pretty coooooollll......

Deep Thought For The Day

I was going to go to yoga
But I ate potato chips instead.
Oooohhhhmmmmmmmmmmmm....

LAT Computer Help Desk Outsourced

Our electronic operator reporting system was down at 1:00 p.m. today, and calls to the help desk went un-answered, after reading on LAObserved that the help desk employees were informed their jobs would be out-sourced to India, I now understand why my call went un-answered. We did finally get through after many repeated calls. Will this be the case after June?

Here's the memo from LAObserved;

I wanted you all to be aware that beginning in June 2007, The Times first-level Help Desk call center will be managed by IBM, a market leader in help-desk services for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Calls will be handled primarily by IBM's call center in India and employees will benefit from best practices and expertise in help desk customer service as well as 24/7 availability.

As with shifts in telemarketing and ad production operations, The Times has chosen to outsource this function to streamline processes and reduce overall expense while participating in the improvement plan Tribune began last year. As announced, those efforts include investments in common systems to improve efficiency, greater collaboration across business units and the undertaking of local initiatives.

We are confident that IBM will maintain our current service and security levels and there will be no significant change in how assistance is obtained. When an employee calls, the representative will assess the situation and assist with problem solving. If the issue cannot be solved during the call, a "ticket" will be created and if in-person desktop support service is needed, IBM will coordinate with The Times level two desktop support service.

More information will be communicated in the coming weeks and we ask that you share this with your managers and employees as appropriate. Please know we appreciate your support.

Thank you,
Bob Palermini

Interest From Bidders Low For Tribune Co.

Interest in buying the Tribune Company appears to be very low among the potenial buyers, with very few bids submitted as of yesterday. The end of the bidding process ends at 5:00 p.m. central time today.

Sources close to the situation have said the private-equity group -- Chicago's Madison Dearborn Partners, New York's Apollo Management and Rhode Island's Providence Equity Partners--might not follow through on a bid.

What a non-sale could mean to stock holders and employees of the Tribune is anyones guess, from a tax-free spinoff of assets, buying back additional shares, and or paying out a big dividend.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Will the Tribune Sale be a Bust

With tomorrow’s deadline for submitting bids on the Tribune Company, the media makes it sound like the possibility of no sale a big possibility. Here are a few examples of what’s being said in the blogosphere and newspapers.

New York Times
They seem an unlikely pair: Eli Broad, the straight-talking billionaire whose art collection and philanthropic efforts to revitalize downtown Los Angeles have put him happily in the public eye, and Ronald W. Burkle, the supermarket mogul, Democratic fund-raiser and F.O.B. (friend of Bill Clinton) who tries — usually unsuccessfully — to avoid publicity.

Take Back the Times
In this context, I hear from someone who is probably a good source that William Steinhart, Jr., a Chandler family representative on the Tribune board, is telling associates that the Chandler family, which controls 20% of Tribune stock, will join one of the billionaire bidders in purchasing the Times, although the family will not directly participate in running the newspaper itself.

LA Biz Observed
“Nobody wants to bid now because everyone thinks the price will be lower next week.”

LAObserved
Merrill Lynch analyst Lauren Rich Fine thinks the most likely outcome of the Tribune Company's dance with potential buyers is no outcome -- that no sale will take place.

Tribune to Announce Fourth Quarter 2006 Earnings on February 8

Tribune Company will announce fourth quarter 2006 earnings on Thursday, Feb. 8, before the market opens. The full text of the earnings announcement and accompanying financial tables will be available on Tribune's website, tribune.com .

A live webcast will be accessible through tribune.com and earnings.com at 6:00 a.m. PT.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Easy Writer: Movie Review: Acting Sans Botox

Easy Writer: Movie Review: Acting Sans Botox

Please, Would Someone Find The Dictionary?


I just love it when a freelance writer falls short on words, is overwhelmed by her personal feelings of revulsion and uses terms like "ick factor" as a substitute for conciseness and clear thinking.
Especially in the much-venerated NY Times.
Just shows us, LA does not have the market on airheads.

-----
Also, am I the only one that finds the LA Times blogs impossible to find, or even remember the url?
I think it's a problem with the name: Opinion LA is too much like La Opinion. My hint: just change it to Matt Welch Says. Everyone will remember that.

_____

Ed, all this YouTube stuff is making the page slower to load. Perhaps we need to add a page just for the videos and you tube and such.
Just wondering, kiddo.

______

The Golden Globs

I was at the Beverly Hills Hilton on Saturday, a hubub of activity for the Golden Goats... erghhh Globes. Sets being built for all of the major TV shows, press lining up to get their credentials, security guards flown in from around the world and a bar waitress telling us that many of the "looky loos" will no doubt skip out without paying their bartabs tonite. I asked the bartender about the guests who stay there this weekend. "The media, mostly workers." In other words, the workerbees of the "television/movie/studio industry," but not the stars, who stay far away in even more posh surroundings. So I looked around and saw that none of the workerbees were under the age of 35. Most had either blonde or that red color that one doesn't find in nature. They all spoke conspicuously loud, as if by doing so they could grossly inflate their own importance. But most of all, they looked desperate, knowing it's a dog-eat-dog world: at any moment someone will come around and work for less, be faster, younger, more technologically skilled and will take their job. So really, they're no different from you or I, the only difference is that once in awhile they'll get a bit of swag driblets from some star feeling a bit self conscious about taking it all.

I also saw a room where all the newspaper people sit, (no swag, dearies, but you do get water). They're put in rooms with two little TV's and a bank of tables. I saw the seats for the LA Daily News, the LA Times, and thought how easy it would be to have Ed and Jess go over and replace it with the LA Times Pressmen. But knowing Ed, he'd schmooze on the red carpet with Halle Berry, and the rest of us would be stuck in the bar with all the young 'uns who talk too loud.
And that's my report from the Golden Oats.

Martin Luther King "I Have a Dream"

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Movie Review: Acting Sans Botox

"Venus"



Sadly, we have reached a point in our society where an altered physical reality has been deemed as normal. Women without lines on their forehead, men without jowls, and young women with boob implants that make them appear as moving mastheads on old clipper ships. Ahoy, matey, watch out for those wooden knockers, but don't expect her to laugh... her face is paralyzed from the botox!

"Venus," starring Peter O'Toole, newcomer Jodie Whitaker, veterans Leslie Phillips, Vanessa Redgrave and Richard Griffths is one of those movies that grows on you once the credits are done. Quickly paced, sharply written and deftly acted, "Venus” unfolds so quickly that one is immersed in the action from the very start.

See the rest on Easy Writer.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tribune VP of Editorial Speaks Out

In a move I find rather refreshing Tribune’s Publishing vice president/editorial Gerould W. Kern sets the record straight regarding an article in the Columbia Journal Review titled “Time to Go, Why Tribune is like Rumsfeld”.


Mr. Michael Hoyt
Executive Editor
Columbia Journalism Review
Journalism Building
2950 Broadway
Columbia University
New York, NY 10027

Dear Mr. Hoyt:

We at Tribune strongly disagree with the conclusions reached in the Columbia Journalism Review's recent editorial, "Time to Go, Why Tribune is like Rumsfeld." Your editorial is misinformed, misguided and a disservice to your readers, our company and our communities.

Most egregious is the assertion that "Tribune has great resources, but those resources aren't doing much public good." Nothing could be further from the truth.

Journalism is Tribune's foundation
Public service through great journalism is at the heart of Tribune'smission, as it has been since the first copies of the Chicago Tribune wereprinted on a hand press in 1847. Our investment in journalism is huge and the evidence is clear for all to see.

In each of our markets, Tribune puts more journalists on the streets toreport on public affairs than anyone else by a wide margin. We spend $400 million annually on our newspaper newsrooms and employ 3,700 journalists, both figures ranking near the top of the industry.

This extraordinary investment delivers public service in the form ofgroundbreaking investigative journalism, comprehensive local news coverage, distinguished world and national reporting and a vast range of other information that is illuminating and useful in the daily lives of ourreaders in print and online. In response, 8 million readers each weekday and nearly 12 million on Sunday turn to Tribune newspapers because they find great value and meaning in them.

The remainder of this message can be read at Romenesko