Upon my return to the pressroom yesterday, after a much needed vacation, my colleagues were abuzz with the possibility of David Geffen buying the Los Angeles Times from Sam Zell. Its true Mr. Geffen was interested in purchasing the Times last year, with a price tag of $2.1 billion, with stories of the new Tribune Company defaulting on the billions of dollars of loans next year, this possible sale makes sense.
Many Tribune Employees thought the grass would be greener under the ownership of Sam Zell, but this has proven to be the same old song and dance, cut and slash through buyouts and layoffs.
Would this trend to downsize payrolls change with David Geffen as owner of the Los Angeles Times, I think not.
Last year set a record for downsizing at newspapers across the country, and 2008 will certainly surpass last year’s exodus of employees, with the bottom of this economic downturn yet to be reached.
According to the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, David Hiller:
"What Sam has said is that he’d like to keep it together with the rest of the company, I believe that and it will be a good thing. We are focused on doing a better job everyday. Because the paper is so big and prominent it naturally draws more than its share of public attention....I think we are staying part of Tribune and that is a good thing."