Friday, August 31, 2007
Most of you have already heard that we're adding contributors to the blog (and a number of you have already volunteered posts and ideas).
I just wanted to give everyone a better idea of what the whole idea of "writing for the FC" is about. Really, for folks who already have their own blog, it's not really about writing for us at all. You can cross-post and link back to your blog on anything you do. As some have already suggested, you can give a summary of an argument you make on your own blog and keep the full story at home. Basically, we think that a rising tide raises all boats. We've been able to get some attention for the FC as a region (see the fact that LA Observed - http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2007/08/help_wanted.php) jumped on our announcement that we were inviting contributors), and we think things can only benefit from drawing more eyes to local blogs of all kinds. Due to the intermittent links we get from a variety of blogs, we know that a lot of the bloggers that can add traffic and direct eyeballs read our site regularly. Problem is, we spend a lot of time linking through to the great stuff that you write, which unfortunately detracts from the stuff that we'd love to talk about.
So, basically, we'd like to cut out the middleman in a sense. Anyone who would like can become a contributor to the blog. That greatly expands the type of content showing up on the FC Blog and gives people like Tony Pierce and Kevin Roderick and the people at Eater LA and all a much more diverse selection of things to link to. End result, in a perfect world, is that your work gets seen by the bigger eyes and since you're linking back to your own site, they can direct traffic your way.
Obviously, we benefit because it would help our blog traffic. But blogging isn't exactly lucrative and with our identities hidden we don't stand to profit much by fame. Rather, the real benefit is that it would free us up to write about the things that we love most and give you a chance to do the same on the FC Blog. So, instead of our occasional and haphazard photos received via email, you put up your sweet photo-essay (like Kelly's recent cameraphone trip along Orange Grove). The quality of the blog becomes uniformly excellent.
Happily, this isn't a zero-sum game. We think that the more contributors we get, the more eyes are going to be seeing everyone's blogs, not just the FC. Rising tide, ships rising and all that. With the FC Blog as an intermediary, there's cross-pollination of readers. Folks who come to read about Tableau's latest recipe will stay to laugh their ass off at Proctor's take on the Council or get involved in a discussion over at the Underbelly (and maybe some will stick around to argue with me over the merits of light rail).
Again, everyone has their byline and can link and cross-post (so long as it's simultaneous). You can use a real name or one of your own manufacture. All we do is hit the publish button after you've finished your draft: this serves as a screed-filter (just in case) and drinking and blogging accidents (cough cough, Havish, cough).
Thanks again to all who have already emailed. I'm setting up contributor accounts and you should be ready to go by tomorrow. If you have any questions, just drop a line.
-- -- Centinel
P.S. Feel free to forward this to anyone you think who might be interested, blogger or no. The more the merrier in this happy band of bloggers...
P.P.S. If anyone likes prodding under the hood of websites, we're retarded when it comes to this "web code language" thing, so we can always use help in that regard, as well.
P.P.P.S. And for you city council staffers who have emailed us before, we won't discriminate: even political staff can weigh in...so long as you're not just shills for the man (woman).
Of course, at my age, the obituaries are interesting, and they are in that section. But the fact is, the section is improving, with a mix of good stories, columns and beats that are working out. It's encouraging that, at last, after seven years of Tribune ownership, the paper seems to be doing something right. And it is showcasing a local staff that has always had many smarts.
For one thing, the editors have been moving state columnist George Skelton out from way inside the section, where John Carroll first stuck him when he was editor, to Page 1 of the section. Skelton's columns are a highly sophisticated look at what is happening in California politics, and recently he has had particularly excellent coverage of the state budget fight, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's fractious relations with legislative Republicans, and, yesterday, a very good column on the proposed antiwar measure that may go on the February 5 primary ballot in what Skelton views as the unlikely event that Schwarzenegger goes along with the partisan Democratic push for it in the Legislature.
If you would like to continue reading Ken Reich, click on the link below.
L.A. Times California Section Is Improving
Be sure every woman is aware of this M.O. Share it with your wife
and daughters. Know what money you are carrying...
This was the first I have heard of a scheme like this..... I wanted to pass it along. Be safe! This is something very serious to pay attention to.
Criminals are coming up with craftier, less threatening methods of
attack, so we have to be extra cautious.
Here's one woman's story...
I live in Alexandria , VA , but I often work in Lafayette, LA,
staying with friends when I'm there. As you know from America's Most
Wanted TV program, as well as the news media, there is a serial killer
in the Lafayette area. I just want to let you know about an "incident"
that happened to me a few weeks ago, and could have been deadly.
At first I didn't go to the police or anyone with it because I
didn't realize how serious this encounter was. But since I work in a
jail and I told a few people about it, it wasn't long before I was
paraded into Internal Affairs to tell them my story. It was
approximately 5:15 a.m. in Opelousas, La. I had stayed with a friend
there and was on my way to work.
I stopped at the Exxon/Blimpie Pie station to get gas. I got $10 gas
and a Diet Coke. I took into the store two $5 bills and one $1 bill
(just enough to get my stuff). As I pulled away from the store, a
man approached my truck from the back side of the store (an unlit
area). He was an "approachable-looking" man (clean cut, clean shaven,
dressed well, etc.).
He walked up to my window and knocked. Since I'm very paranoid
and "always looking for the rapist or killer," I didn't open the
window. I just asked what he wanted. He raised a $5 bill to my window and
said, "You dropped this." Since I knew I had gone into the store with
a certain amount of money, I knew I didn't drop it. When I told him it wasn't mine, he began hitting the window and door, screaming at me to open my door, and insisting that I had dropped the money! At that point, I just drove away as fast as I
After talking to the Internal Affairs Department and describing the
man I saw, and the way he escalated from calm and polite to angry and
volatile...it was determined that I could have possibly encountered
the serial killer myself.
Up to this point, it had been unclear as to how he had gained access
to his victims, since there has been no evidence of forced entry into
victim's homes, cars, etc. And the fact that he has been attacking in
the daytime, when women are less likely to have their guard up, means
he is pretty BOLD.
So think about it...what gesture is nicer than returning money to
someone that dropped it?????
How many times would you have opened your window (or door) to get
your money and say thank you.... because if the person is kind enough
to return something to you, then he can't really be a threat....can
Please be cautious! This might not have been the serial killer...
but anyone that gets that angry over someone not accepting money from
them can't have honorable intentions. The most important thing to note
is that his reaction was NOT WHAT I EXPECTED! A total surprise! But
what might have happened if I had opened my door? I shudder to think!
Share this with people you know...maybe they can be as fortunate
as I was!
P.S. Ladies, really DO share this with EVERYONE you know. Even if
this man wasn't a serial killer, he looked nice, he seemed polite, he
was apparently doing an act of kindness, but HE WAS NOT A NICE
Men, send it to all the women in your life. What you do today is
important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. Make
it a good one!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
First of all, let me say if there is a doctor or nurse or physicians assistant who represents a danger to the lives of patients, then the State Medical Board of Quality Assurance investigates in order to get these guys out. It's not a perfect system. It relies heavily on peers being willing to rat on one another, patients filing complaints, hospital boards deciding to penalize an MD. If they decide an MD should have his or her license revoked they they publish the lists of doctors in the local papers and on the internet.
Second, there are for-profit watchdog groups on the internet that do this, such as Healthgrades, where anyone can write anything --justifiable or not. You get on bad mark on Healthgrades, and then you are stuck dealing with "Joe" in India trying to get the mark expunged.
So now, a consumer group has sued to get all the private data about your MD released.
And it may or may not be the complete victory they're making it out to be.
Knowing how litigious our society has become, the interpretation of some MD's records might be harder to interpret than anyone thinks.
For instance.... did you know that whether or not an MD sees a patient, if he or she is listed on the charts as even having consulted via the phone, that the patient or the family can sue? That's right, whether or not the MD was responsible with the outcome, his or her name gets listed by the personal injury attorney as a plaintiff.
But I guess it was a matter of time before this happened. We have so many lists and services that privacy isn't an option anymore. However, I'm not sure any MD wants a trial by media, or trial by picketing at their house or office. To quell any kind of controversy, patients will end up paying in many ways.
First the premiums will go up. Why? Because in order to play it safe, patients will find themselves paying for more tests than they've ever had before. But it's not that easy. Those tests might need authorization from your HMO, others might not be covered by your PPO. And you'll end up waiting, paying, or both.
And then there's the other side. Some doctors may choose to do nothing for a patient at all, rather he'll refer the patient away to another MD. Does the consumer win? Not really.
But here's the kicker: while you might be able to get your MD's records, and they might be fine (most likely will), he or she will not be able to get the same information on the odd patient who is litigation addicted. They have to treat them, even if that patient has a history of pressing needless suits.
So, I wonder... if the MD is giving information out about himself, should he get to pick and choose who he wants to serve based on prior record of litigation?
It's now official, the Tribune owned KTLA Channel 5 building in Hollywood, is for sale. Estimates vary around $175 million, which will not cover the $250 million in golden parachutes to the top forty Tribune executives at the end of the year.
Just a few days ago there were stories regarding a possible sale of the Los Angeles Times building located at 1st and Spring Street, can the Orange County Facility be far behind?
Photo from You Are Here.
Hat Tip Joz Joz Joz
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
When I returned to work Monday and spent my lunch break on the Internet, I noticed the Sam Zell video as the web manage page opened, but thought I would view the video on Tuesday. Well, seems someone felt the video was either unfit or is attempting to hide, what Sam Zell had to say as the video has vanished from Timeslink.
If you have a copy of the Sam Zell video, would you please share it with the rank and file employees by sending it to Edward.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The Los Angeles Times will begin the 46-inch project at the end of September at the main production facility called the Olympic Plant, in downtown Los Angeles. Each of the six printing presses will take one month to be converted to the new format, and lets hope the font size is not reduced any further for us older readers.
After the Olympic Plant is completed, the outside contractors performing the conversion, will move to the Times Orange County Facility to work on the four printing presses to our south.
The first reduced size newspapers should be published at the end of October or the first few weeks of November.
Another new feature in the Times will be the addition of post-it like notes, with advertisements, adhered to the front page of the newspaper. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune has already adopted this new form of advertising, which increases revenues, so this was a great idea by Times management.
But how can the Times ebb the flow of subscribers, which appear to be flocking to the Internet in droves?
Why not buy a copy of all the local newspapers, including USA Today, and compare how each newspaper attracts readers with their use of color and eye grabbing headlines, maybe take a little from each of our competitors newspapers for the Times.
USA Today grabs reader’s attention by using the brightest newsprint for their front-page, why isn’t the Times doing likewise?
Spending a little extra money on the quality of the newspaper would attract additional readers, which brings in more income from the advertisers.
I feel for the family of the 19 year old killed last night, and know what they are experiencing at this moment, and it's not a feeling any of you would want to feel.
"The book has been a significant economic drain for several years. On September 14, the weekly TV grids will be inserted in a new Friday tabloid section that also will be devoted to movies. ... We can expect push-back from some Contra Costa Times readers, but the alternative was to eliminate weekly TV grids altogether.
Armstrong also says the copy desks of the Coco Times and the Alameda Newspaper Group papers will be combined next year when a new electronic front end system is installed.
Coco Times cuts costs, kills TV magazine
Monday, August 27, 2007
Hearst to Bid for Rest of Hearst-Argyle - Associated Press
Tribune's July Revenue Drops 5.9 Percent - Associated Press
Interactive Shines For Tribune - Online Media Daily
CNN: Leading the pack in. . .newswriting? - Web 2.Oh
Murdoch's presence felt at Journal - Los Angeles Times
Sunday, August 26, 2007
As I drove over to Starbucks for my usual café mocha, I recalled all the Sunday’s Bryan and I would visit Venice Beach, as we did three weeks ago, and a terrible emptiness consumed me. I realized I would not be seeing Bryan again, and the tears resumed once again.
Our last day together was festive, so I’m thankful we parted in good spirits, but I miss Bryan so much right now.
Have a great day.
Aaron Proctor for Mayor – Aaron Proctor
Altadena Above it All - Debbie Swanson Patrick
Blog Waffe - Mike
Draw Matic – Gavin Doughtie
Easy Writer – Kanani Fong
eHarmony Labs - Kolby Kirk
Eye Level Pasadena – Jill Davis Doughtie
Family Oral History – Susan Kitchens
2020 Hindsight – Susan Kitchens
KChristieH - Kathy Hernandez
Lunch Time Downer - Dianne Patrizzi
Miss Havisham’s Tea Party – Dianne Patrizzi
Out on the Stoop - Gena Haskett
Pasadena's Polical Underbelly - Group Blog
Pressmen's Blog - Group Blog
Public Eye – Larry Wilson
Rattling the Kettle - Dave
Robin's Wood Fire B-B-Q & Grill - Robin
Tableau Vivante - Tableau Vivante
The Writerly Pause – Group blog --David Cossaboom & Kanani Fong
Under the Dome - Todd Ruiz
Up 2 Date Real Estate – Doug & Deena Willis
West Coast Grrlie Blather - Kelly Russell
Please report any errors in the list and anyone omitted from the list.
Nubia from this blog was also in attendance as well as Kanani and David.
Todd Ruiz, writer for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune was on hand, and had some interesting stories on his travels across the planet. Todd writes a blog titled Under the Dome, which can be accessed from our favorite links.
The Foothill Cities bloggers Centinel and Publius posed for this picture at the bottom of post, now to figure out who's Publius and who's Centinel as everyone in the group held up a sign with one of their names?
Group photo by Debbie Swanson Patrick
Friday, August 24, 2007
The ANG unit covers about 125 workers, and "almost 80 of those are dues-paying members," said Carl Hall, a Chronicle reporter who heads the Guild's local unit in a Aug. 14 Chron story. MediaNews has merged the ANG reporters with 170 non-union newsroom employees from the Contra Costa Times.
The Guild says:
Even as we fight to protect our 20-year-old unit’s negotiating rights, we have begun discussions with our Contra Costa Times colleagues to gauge interest in expanding our unit and bargaining power. We’re explaining to them that we need a strong voice to deal with Dean Singleton and his cronies. The new BANG “umbrella” means a lot of changes — and promises management may be making now won’t necessarily be remembered six months from now. Only by sticking together can we have a fair chance at meaningful raises, improved benefits, and protection against arbitrary firings. Already, we’re seeing that [Contra Costa Times] people understand why we need to find common ground — and fast!
Guild cuts dues to $12/month for ANG unit
Thank you Aaron.
I will meet face to face with Aaron Proctor tomorrow at the bloggers picnic in Pasadena.
Many feel blogs are un-important and no one pays attention to what we have to say; most bloggers in the foothill areas have embraced Aaron Proctor, so lets see how much hype we can generate for this young man in his quest to become mayor of Pasadena in the next election.
August 24, 2007
Tribune Revenues Down 5.9% in July
Publishing Advertising Revenues Decline 10.3%; Television RevenuesDown 3.7%
CHICAGO, Aug. 24, 2007 – Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) today reported its summary of revenues and newspaper advertising volume for period 7, ended Aug. 5, 2007. Consolidated revenues for the period were $467million, down 5.9 percent from last year’s $496 million.
Publishing revenues in July were $319 million compared with $349 million last year, down 8.6 percent. Advertising revenues decreased10.3 percent to $247 million, compared with $275 million in July 2006.
• Retail advertising revenues decreased 6.0 percent with the largest declines in the department stores and home furnishings categories, partially offset by improvements in the health care and restaurant categories. Preprint revenues, which are principally included in retail, were up 3 percent for the period.
• National advertising revenues fell 3.7 percent, with declines in auto, financial and resorts, partially offset by an improvement in the movie category.
• Classified advertising revenues decreased 18.2 percent. Real estate fell 24 percent with the most significant declines in the Florida markets, Los Angeles and Chicago due to difficult year-over-year comparisons. Help wanted declined 19 percent and automotive decreased 14 percent. Interactive revenues, which are primarily included in classified, were $22 million, up 11 percent, due to growth in most categories.
Circulation revenues were down 5.4 percent due to single-copy declines and continued selective discounting in home delivery.
Broadcasting and entertainment group revenues in July were flat at $147 million as a decrease in television revenues was offset by increased revenues at the Chicago Cubs and Tribune Entertainment.Television revenues fell 3.7 percent, with lower automotive, movie and political advertising, partially offset by strength in the telecom/wireless and health care categories.
Click here for complete Tribune Statement
I have to say that the front page photograph of the grieving women is gorgeous. A great printing job by all, to bring out Pier Paolo Cito's photography.
Here it is online... but because of the coloration, it has far more drama in print.
When I was a kid, I read National Geographic. It brought the world to me. As you know, I grew up in an area of farms and rivers. The newspaper, books and magazines were important ...more so than TV. Stuff like this photo tells an important story. Something like this makes me slow down, pay attention and read.
Thank you. Everyone from the writers, editors and the pressmen did a great job.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
The experience of having a close family member deployed opened my eyes to a lot of things that I'd never given a second thought to. I had never realized the extent of the sacrifice the military families endure and how difficult it is to hold their lives together in the face of long deployments. I also never thought of the physical discomfort the troops face because of climate and distance from home. Listening to my daughter talk about her experiences as a military wife was a real eye-opener for me. I had no words of wisdom to give her because it was something I had never experienced. Instead, I tried to be supportive of her and Thomas, and I also put a yellow ribbon around the tree in front of my house.
I've made it a point to thank every member of the military I meet now. Thanks never seems like enough, but they are always so happy to hear it. When Thomas deployed I promised myself that I would attend mass every chance I got and pray for his safety and it's a promise I have not yet broken. However, instead of letting my promise fall to the wayside when Thomas is home, I will continue to pray for the safe return of my cousin, Jan, who deployed August 1. The day Jan deployed, I put another yellow ribbon around my tree.
P.S. Thomas' ribbon will come down when he arrives home, Jan's will stay until she does the same.
The photobucket server isn't working. Last night it was, this morning it isn't. I'll try to locate the problem --it's not generating thumbnails. It might be that the free version server just can't keep up with demand. So do I go "pro" and give them the $25?
Anyone here have photobucket pro?
Update: 11:35 PST
Ok. I have had chocolate with nuts. I have done errands. I have gone to pick up my hive medication (I get hives in the summer). Photobucket is working now. I blame the Mommybloggers, tweens, teens and lunchtime execs on the east coast for using up the bandwidth in the morning our time. So if this doesn't load, wait until they are all on the train going home, or if you have insomnia.
And before I forget, Hello Mr. Hiller and Mr. Zell. We hope you enjoy the new look of our blog.
Guild will attempt to organize Coco Times - San Francisco Peninsula Press Club
Let's rename the Los Angeles Times - Native Intelligence
Portland Press Herald lays off eight - Morning Sentinal
Times-Union lays off 60; ad revenues cited - Jacksonville.com
Journal to trim sections, staff to reduce costs - Winston-Salem Journal
Orange County Register Publisher Anderson Leaving - Orange County Business
FitzSimons claims Teamsters Misrepresent the Facts - Los Angeles Times
MediaNews did not hire union workers at the Trib - East Bay Express
Why don't we put this blog on a new template? It's a lot easier to add new links on the sidebar and change the color on links and such.
As you can see, I added GeoFinder and put it in the wrong place.
We'd have to input all the links on the sidebar, but then maybe some of them should be culled anyway.
"We don’t take this change lightly. We know some of you would prefer to have the paper delivered to your home every day. But it’s a new world in the newspaper business, and we’re embracing it as quickly as we can, with the resources we have. Economic necessity is driving this decision as much as the changing realities and challenges of the business we’re in. If we could deliver the printed newspaper every day, we would. But it no longer makes economic sense for us to do so."
They emphasized that the paper's Web site, www.tracypress.com, would be updated seven days a week.
The 109-year-old, family-owned paper evolved over the years from a weekly to a twice a week paper, and then, in 1986, to a five-day daily, according to the Tracy Press Web site. In 1995, it added a Saturday edition. Last year, the Tracy Press dropped its Monday edition and returned to a five-day publishing schedule (Tuesday-Saturday). The Record competes with Dean Singleton's Tri-Valley Herald and Dow Jones' Stockton Record. In June 2006, it switched from paid circulation to free delivery to local homes.
Tracy Press cuts Tuesday, Thursday editions
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
A Montana cowboy was overseeing his herd in a remote
mountainous pasture when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him.
The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the cowboy, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?"
The cowboy looks at the man, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, "Sure, Why not?"
The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3 cell phone and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite navigation system to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo. The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany. Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored.
He then accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.
Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP Laser Jet printer.
"You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves," he says.
"That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves," says the cowboy.
He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.
Then the cowboy says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?"
The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why not?"
"You're a Congressman for the U.S. Government", says the cowboy.
"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"
"No guessing required," answered the cowboy. "You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You tried to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don't know a thing about cows... this is a herd of sheep. Now give me back my dog."
As most of you have heard, our managers had a visit from Sam Zell here last week and we have now put the video of his remarks and Q&A session up on TimesLink. Any recap by me could not begin to do justice to Sam, so you will want to check out the video, but here are my headlines:
--High energy straight-talking business owner looking for same in us
--Committed and confident in the deal getting done (don’t focus too much on current stock price)
--He doesn’t associate with mediocrity, so wants to “go for greatness”
--Believes Los Angeles Times is very important and “has a great future”
--“I promise you I did not come here to be captain of the Titanic”
--“My head and neck only look forward;” “I don’t really give a [ ] about the past”
--So don’t talk about the excuses of the past (Chandlers, LA v. Chicago, etc.)
--Our success is about “relevance and revenue and respect”
--Focus, focus on our customers; find out what they want; readers are customers not some theoretical thing
--Without revenue we can’t print the paper
--Online is growing well – but latimes.com can be great only because the LA Times is great and stays relevant
--Need more sense of urgency to change and get things done; “Not next week – now”
--He’s a contrarian – looks to find value by looking at things differently
--Believes in giving people authority and local decision-making, and then holding them accountable
--“I can’t do it” has to be eliminated from our vocabulary
--The future is up to us; Sam wants our plans not his plans; wants open, candor from us (doesn’t kill the messenger)
So check it out, and I’d love to hear from you about what you take away from it.
Please also be aware that this session with Sam was off the record, and this material should not be disclosed outside the company.
Also, good news on shareholder approval of our transaction yesterday. Now need FCC approval, which is expected, and then deal should be completed before end of year.
Meanwhile, what can we do? Keep driving revenue to show improvement in the remainder of the year, and push ahead with our Times Change efforts with the urgency Sam displays.
SOURCE : Mark Lacter of LA Biz Observed
Editors note, if this information is not to be seen outside of the Los Angeles Times, how did Mark Lacter get a copy?
Click on the images to make them larger.
I call this one, "Sam Zell tries to keep his remarks off the record."
Washington Mutual tacked on a $39.00 late fee, and I only owe them $400, so this was almost a ten percent late charge. I wrote to Wamu explaining why I was late with my payment, and to my delight Washington Mutual reversed the $39.00 late fee.
Thank you Washington Mutual.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
When asked about the advertising and revenue fall that have ensued since he made the offer, Zell declared, according to someone who was there, that the Tribune papers have really not had an owner now for months, and that when he takes over, he will roll up his sleeves and go to work. He indicated his first steps would resound through the company.
As the L.A. Times, the New York Times and even an AP business writer have said this week, there are still obstacles to be overcome, if the Zell purchase is to be consummated. First, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must approve the deal, agreeing to waive the prohibition against a company owning major newspaper and television outlets in the same city, as the Tribune does presently with the Times and Channel Five in Los Angeles. Second, as the New York Times reported Monday, there must be an independent solvency analysis of Tribune before the deal can be finalized.
To continue reading entire column click on link below.
Zell Vowed To Times Managers, Deal Remains On
What happens if the company is unable to secure financing for the 2nd half of the deal We're already carrying $7 billion in debt and our company is in a downward spiral. Selling the Chicago Cubs won't cover it, so what is the company's plan?
The company and its handpicked ESOP trustee agreed to extraordinary terms to secure the financing for the first half of the deal--which may not be able to be paid. It has been widely reported that the banks will be reluctant to loan Tribune the money it needs to close the deal, and if so at what new cost?. What protections (other than going to court) are in place for ESOP participants to avoid billion of dollars in further debt?
Is the Board seeking a plan B? Are other scenarios being considered to protect the long-term interests of the company, the employees or the communities we serve?
The real question is will management face its employees and shareholders and answer these important questions?
Tribune Employees Financial Protection Committee Newsletter
Monday, August 20, 2007
My take on all the deaths is a bit different, I’m looking at the families left behind, and what they are feeling after losing a loved one, which I’m certain have parallels with the death of my son Bryan. Are you aware there have been 537 homicides in Los Angeles County this year, how many people have been affected, 20,000, 30,000, or more?
How about the war in Iraq, or Afghanistan, how many people have lost loved ones as we have? We have all witnessed grieving Iraq parents carrying their dead children as tears streamed down their faces, do these people care less about their loved ones than us, I think not. Death is all around us; we just feel the grime reaper will not come knocking at our doors any time soon.
I have heard from many parents that have lost children, and the loss stays with you the remainder of your years, according to their letters. This Wednesday my daughter Lauren will celebrate her twenty-second birthday, but Bryan will not be attending the party, so his entire family will feel the sorrow of his absence.
Allow me to express the feelings of losing a child, PURE HELL.
Fifteen days ago I sent a text message to all of my children, and it read, “Kids, I will be at the Venice Beach Bistro at 3:00 p.m.”, Bryan and Nathan came down for the food and music. Little did I know that this would be the last time I would see my son alive.
The reason I bring this up, I have continued my old habit of starting a text message to invite Bryan to places we would frequent, only to catch myself and stop cold, forgetting he’s no longer with us. Many parents go through the same thing, but maybe in different ways, forgetting their child isn’t here as I do.
In closing tonight, I will be answering all of your emails starting tomorrow, it has been too difficult reading and replying when my eyes are filled with tears.
Everytime anyone would stop for a moment and look towards our group, we asked one another "Could that be Militant Angeleno".
Joseph Mailander of Martini Republic, and now a blogger at Mayor Sam’s was on hand, to the delight of all the bloggers present.
And luckily Ed Fuentes was there or I would have been the lone smoker of the group. It was great getting out of the house for a few hours of fun, thanks everyone for attending.
It was extremely hot and sticky, but the iced drinks and ice cream from Piccomola Italian Ice Cream saved the day.
5th and Spring
View from a Loft
Mayor Sam's Sister City
Sha in L.A.
In terms of homicides this year, the toll in the black and brown communities is dramatically greater than it is in the white ones. There is three times more danger of getting killed in the Hispanic areas as the white, and nine times greater chance in the black ones compared to the white ones.
The Leovy articles were accompanied by a map showing where the homicides have been taking place. Even though the overall number throughout the city has been going down, from 2,113 in 1992 to 1,085 in 2006, still the varying rates among racial groups are depressing. According to the statistics gathered by the Times for 2007 thus far, 34 of every 100,000 blacks have been the victims of homicides this year, compared to 11 for Latinos, just 3.2 for whites and 2.7 for Asians.
Continue reading Ken Reich by clicking on link below.
Shocking Statistics in LAT Sunday From Jill Leovy
Over on Easy-Writer
"This is the house that people have coveted. It's the "Leave It To Beaver" house, the "Hazel" house, the one that everyone who was raised in the 50's and 60's dreamed of owning. Well I do. And let me tell you, it has been more akin to "Mr. Blanding's Dream House."
How Solid Is the Deal for Tribune Company? - New York Times
What's Happening with the Tribune Deal? - Gawker
Tomorrow's Tribune Deal on Shaky Footing - New York Observer
Will Tribune Deal Fall Apart? - Editor and Publisher
Speculators not betting on Tribune buyout - Los Angeles Times
Wall Street skeptical on Tribune buyout plan - Baltimore Sun
Investor Doubts Put Deals in Jeopardy - Wall Street Journal
Friday, August 17, 2007
...."She tells him that she likes things from Tiffany. He goes to the store and picks out a key fob --the least expensive thing you can buy from the store. Steven goes to her house --a very nice home in Beverly Hills. He hands her the little blue box. She looks at it, doesn't open it, and literally tosses it across the room where it lands on the mantle atop a pile of other blue boxes.
I won't tell you the whole story, just in case you want to rent the movie, but it brings up the question: Do you have a muse?"
Thursday, August 16, 2007
A neighbor mentioned donating Bryan’s car to police agencies for displaying at high schools, if anyone knows whom I can contact it would be appreciated.
The following pictures were taken by George Ogden and sent to me via email of the aftermath of Bryan’s accident.
Some people have absolutely no regard for others feelings, especially after losing a loved one.
On a happy note, many of Bryan’s personal items were returned tonight. The children and I are elated to have Bryan’s clothing, watches, colognes, jewelry, and personal papers returned to our possession.
We all want to hold onto something that Bryan owned for personal memories.
Tribune shares fall farther below takeover price - Marketwatch
Zell remains committed to Tribune buyout-source - Reuters
MediaNews cuts ties to Guild at ANG papers - San Francisco Peninsula PC
N.Y. Times July Ad Sales Dip 3.5 Percent - Associated Press
A world of media conflicts - Santa Barbara News-Press
Trial dissects roles at newspaper - Los Angeles Times
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Save Our Trade: Los Angeles Times Pressmens 20 Year Club: One Door Closes, and Another Door Opens
Take Back the Times: Sam Zell To Speak At LAT In Period Of Crisis
Before leaving for my son Bryan’s viewing on Monday I took a phone call from a colleague, asking many questions? He started by asking if my mother’s name was Molly, was my brother Julio Barajas, and was I called Sluggo as child, all with an answer of YES from me.
For a moment I was puzzled and wondered how he knew so many personal facts I have never aired online, then he told me we are cousins. I was floored and laughing out loud with my tears flowing down my cheeks at the same time, could this be true I asked myself?
My cousin and I have been at odds with one another over union organizing at the Los Angeles Times, but have always retained respect for one another even with our differences. We have spoke on the phone for hours on end before this tragedy, and embraced one another yesterday at Bryan’s funeral.
Los Angeles Times Pressmen, meet my cousin, Ronnie Pineda from Save Our Trade Blog. I have heard for years things like this happen for a reason, I’m sure the reason will be revealed to us.
My cousin Ronnie with Pete and Bill
Easy-Writer: A Trip To Outdoor World Out there amid the frillery of newly built homes in Rancho Cucamonga is a new store called Outdoor World. In a way, it reminded me of when Chevy Chase takes his family to the vacation grail called WALLY WORLD.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Nubia, Jade, Deb, David Markland, Cody Baby, Jess, Ronnie, and so many others (whose names I never got), came through with chicken, sandwiches, drinks, plates, cups, napkins, salads, fruit and desserts in a show of support for our friend, Ed.
So many people thanked us. I explained to them that it was a pleasure to be able to do this for the family. There was never any question for any of us of stepping up, that's what this group does.
Onward, with a sadder heart, but going forward with more love and friendship.
To all you street racers out in the Blogosphere, think of your families the next time someone at a stop light challenges you to a race, is gambling with your life worth the risk of a stranger driving faster than you? When you stop and think about it rationally, the ten to fifteen second adrenaline rushes certainly is not worth losing your life over.
This morning I luckily caught an email from Peter Wilgoren, senior producer of KCBS/KCAL Los Angeles, wondering if I would agree to be interviewed regarding the dangers of street racing. Without hesitation, I replied in the positive, and sent off my home and cell numbers. And shortly afterwards Linda Alvarez called, but I was unable to set an exact time for filming due too a physical this morning. After taking the physical I called Ms. Alvarez and gave her the green light to come to my home. As the news crew arrived in their highly marked van, my ex-wife and Bryan’s mother Susan pulled up, she had no clue what was about to happen.
It was extremely difficult to face the camera without shedding tears, but Susan and I held up rather well, and thanks to Ms. Alvarez we felt at ease in her presence. If you know me, you know I would have snapped several photos of Ms. Alvarez and myself for Face Book, but this was not on my agenda today.
Susan and I sent out a message today with the help of KCBS, Peter Wilgoren, Linda Alvarez, Brian Humphrey, and Darleene Powells, which we hope makes a difference. We are not seeking publicity or additional hits for our blog, just a message to young men and women on what can happen if you take chances street racing.
Today we gathered at the mortuary for the viewing of my son’s body, and the mortician worked magic in making Bryan look like we remember him. My children covered Bryan’s head with flowers attempting to mask all the stitches along the side of his head. I left the room many times to shed my tears; it’s just so awful to see my son in this state.
I have worked at the Los Angeles Times for over thirty-five years, and the Los Angeles Times had a policy of sending representatives from the company for employees and their families in a show of respect after a death. I’m sorry too say, this policy was changed some years ago, so when the senior vice-president of production, Russ Newton, appeared at my son’s viewing I was so pleased with his presence.
After receiving a big bear hug from Mr. Newton, he gave me condolences from David Hiller, publisher of the Los Angeles Times, and that really brightened my sad day.
Before closing tonight, I have a bombshell I will be dropping on the Orange County and Olympic Pressrooms after my son’s burial. As a direct result of my son’s death, I have been informed I have a cousin I did not know of till today, as my cousin and I screamed and laughed in elation on the phone we have decided to wait till after Bryan’s funeral to reveal this fact. This newfound cousin will be changing the dynamics’ of my blog, because he’s now family.
Peace be with you all,
Click on title for video. HAT TIP to JozJozJoz
Monday, August 13, 2007
The story will air at 3:00 pm on channel 9 and 5:00 pm on channel 2 today, in hopes of preventing another accident from street racing.
It was not easy as our tears flow rather easily, but I hope we can make a difference for other families, and my son’s death was not in vain.
I spent some time this morning thinking of all of you and was lead to read a small book called "Healing Grief". Would you please take some time to read some thoughts that have been helpful reminders for me. All of you have been through the pain of shock and disbelief. You have found out that we all are so different. We need to accept the differences of each other. Be patient with each other and how we respond to Bryan's death. Do what seems right for you. There are no rules. Don't try to get around grief. Have the courage to go into it and through it. Let your heart break. That will bring healing. You will have the strength to do what needs to be done, to rebuild your life.
This is normal. There is no one to blame for his death, you may want to find someone or something. Anger should be expressed and admitted, then let go of. Be careful, physical vent may be dangerous. Anger often fades, the sooner you will heal.
Accept your mistakes. Writing a letter to Bryan may help you. You can say everything you wish you had said. Guilt and regret are normal. God's forgiveness is real. His Mercy is huge. If you need help call Auntie's or get help from a counselor at Church.
Tears are a helpful form of release. The lack of tears can be understood and allowed for.
Time will not heal grief. You have to deal with it, to work through it. You can become something more than you were.
Traumatic death, like Bryan's car accident does prolong grieving. A legal battle will keep wounds open. You may need extra time. Don't be hard on yourself for taking that extra time.
Talk about your loss
Be with friends that you can talk about your pain and loss. If a friend wants you to "snap out of it" or "stop talking about what happened to you", find another friend.
My heart goes out to all of you. Do not be afraid of this journey. You are never alone. God is always with you. He wept too. When his best friend Lazarus died, he wept. Bryan is home with God, who gave him life from the very begining. I am so consoled that his Nana is helping him enter paradise. I imagine she was with him at the moment his soul left his body.
We love you all dearly, you are cherished, Love your Aunties (Genine and Christine)
Saturday, August 11, 2007
We are handling the food, drink and cutlery for the reception which will be at Queen of Heaven Cemetery after the burial. Even though some of us didn't know Bryan, we're helping out because we love Ed and have gotten to know his family over his years of blogging about them.
The mass and cemetery are at TWO different locations. The reception will follow the burial. Update: Ed's sister says the family is huge. Plan for food for 100+. For location and time info go here.
What we need:
Hands on deck: --after the mass to bring the flowers over to the cemetery (Update: The funeral home is going to do this).
Hands on deck before --people who don't mind skipping the funeral and coming to help set up at 9:45 am.
Hands on deck after --people who will tear down and clean up.
Music --some soft music for after would be nice. (Update: Ed's kids will take care of this)
Nametag Guardian --a sociable person who will give out nametags. I think there will be a fair number of bloggers there and it'd be nice to know who they (we!) are.
Plates -(update: Ed's sister will bring all the plates, napkins, cutlery, cups, etc.)
Cutlery --forks, spoons, knives
Drinks --no alcohol as per requested by the funeral home.
Bottled water (remember --it's going to be hot)
Punch --if someone has a large container they use at soccer practices for the masses
Food --preferably finger foods. Should be brought already laid out on platters. Please put your name on the bottom of your platter.
Sandwiches made on buns --(100) --need two people to do fifty each, or 4 people to do 25 each. These are easy to make.
Fried Chicken --please put on platter prior to leaving your house
Whatever else is your specialty
Salads --please provide serving spoons. Please have things put into a bowl already.
Potato or macaroni salads
Cookies --please put on platter prior to coming
Cakes --please provide something to cut it with
Flowers for the reception are being provided by a family member.
If you are going to the funeral, you can drop off the food at 10:00, then proceed to the funeral. There is very limited refrigerator space, so if you have something that needs to be cold, then drop it off in a cooler. If you don't want to drop off the food, please make sure you have the food in an ice cooler, since it will be a few hours before the reception takes place. If you are a family member attending the viewing, you can drop off your food the night before. Make sure your name is on any platters and serving implements. We won't be there, but Ed's sister Jeanine will.
Please let us know on this blog
1. What you will be bringing --how many it will serve
2. If you can be a Hands On Deck and which shift.
Thank you for helping.
I will be out of town Saturday until Monday. I hope that Jade, Jesse, Wolf and Nubia will be able to keep track of everything and answer questions Deb is also helping and will be there at the cemetery to set up. I will check back when I return --no internet access where I am going. But the three of you have my cellphone. The phones work fine over there.