Saturday, August 30, 2008

Humane Society Shelter to Support the Evacuations in New Orleans

Photo from Bill Haber
I'm sending out good thoughts to the people in New Orleans and surrounding areas. Hurricane Gustav is coming their way, and evacuations are underway. You might wanna check out Slimbolala's blog. He's left (by now) for Alabama. No doubt it'll be a slow migration but hopefully will get to his destination before Gustav makes landfall.

During Katrina, 69-year old Thomas Reed and his dachshund Weezie lived on Vienna Sausages and slept in an attic. He didn't leave because the city had told him he couldn't bring his pet on the public transport out of town. (pictured at right, from Getty Images).

This time around, the public evacuations included pets. Owners were allowed to bring pets to the evacuation centers. A bar coded tag was put both on owner and the pet, and the pet was transported on an air-conditioned trucks in a crate, and the owner on a separate bus to the same location.

If you'd like to make a donation, please do so to the Humane Society of the United States.

You can also make direct donations to the individual shelter such as the Humane Society of Louisiana, or the Louisiana Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals. Please pass these sites onto others via your blog or e-mail!

Submitted by Kanani Fong

Why Voter ID?

Jacob Soboroff of Why Tuesday? explores Monday's Supreme Court ruling which determined that requiring voters to show ID to cast a ballot is constitutional. He visited with election law expert Rick Hasen and hopped on the bus to time how long it would take to get a photo ID to vote if you don't already have one.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tell Us What You Think

Tonight was a grand occasion. Personally, I was moved in more ways than one. On the one hand, I want Obama to go to the White House. On the other hand, (if he makes it there) I won't envy him because he'll have his work cut out for him. The responsibility of trying to clean up the mess that we've dealt with in the last eight years is one I couldn't be paid to do. WON'T BE AN EASY JOB.

Can the Obama's handle it? Well, (AGAIN), could it be any worse than it is now?

Your thoughts?

Illegal Street Racing Takes the Lives of Three

Zach Behrens over at Laist ran a disturbing story this morning regarding an illegal street race in Eagle Rock last night, which resulted in the death of three young people, and two in grave condition. The pregnant woman driver was estimated to be driving at seventy miles per hour, but after viewing the remains of her car, it appears she was driving at a much faster rate, as her car rammed a tree.

I’m not sure what the answer could be to stop illegal street racing, so I attempt to show the results of races that go wrong, hoping this message reaches a young person.

Full story and video at CBS.

Just visited the CBS site and the police now report this accident was a result of road rage, not illegal street racing.

Sam Parks Leaves the Newspaper

After noting the absence of our human resources representative at Olympic for several weeks, I inquired about Sam Parks whereabouts this morning, and was informed he had resigned. If you didn’t have a chance to meet Sam, he is the easygoing type that was quick to smile and greet you with a handshake. Sam shared a bit of his personal life with me, when we had the time to chat. I will personally miss his presence at our facility, and wish him the best with his new company.

Thursday Afternoon Media News

San Francisco Peninsula Press Club: File this under "Shoot the Messenger"

You'd think Vallejo City Manager Joseph Tanner, whose city filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in May, would have more important things to do than worry about what Web sites his employees visit. But on Monday, Tanner found time to add the Vallejo Times-Herald's Web site and the Vallejo Is Burning blog to the list of Internet addresses employees cannot access from city computers, according to the Chron and Times-Herald. "We blocked these because they are political in nature," Tanner said. "We blocked them because one is an anti-bankruptcy site and the other is a rag of a newspaper." Also banned is the Vallejo Bankruptcy Update site, which is written by former city workers.

File this under "Shoot the Messenger"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Senior VP at Tribune Company

From: McKibben, Scott
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 11:44 AM
Subject: New SVP, Advertising

I'm pleased to announce that Dawn Girocco has joined our team as Senior Vice President, Advertising. Dawn brings nearly 25 years of advertising experience to the table and has managed sales for radio stations in Ohio, Texas, and here in LA at KIIS-FM/KHHT-FM.

She comes to us directly from Indie 103.1 FM (home of the popular Jonesy's Jukebox) where she's served as General Manager since its inception in 2005. In launching the station, Dawn was instrumental in developing sales and revenue strategies, including pricing, content and event marketing integration, and the acquisition of top sales talent. In short, she brought in big money and positioned the station to be named "Best Station" by Rolling Stone magazine and "One of the 64 Best Things about Los Angeles" by Los Angeles Magazine.

At KIIS and KHHT, Dawn successfully created revenue by working across both sales teams. She also sold into six other sister stations. In working to create a culture of cross selling, Dawn was able to initiate different strategies for varying customer needs, relying on sales teams at all eight stations. She took what might have been a single sale at one station and consistently found ways to grow an advertiser's commitment across all eight stations through innovative sales and event opportunities. Before coming to LA, Dawn won Gannett's Account Executive of the Year while at KKBQ in Houston, Texas. She then went on to become General Sales Manager. While there, she drove the station's advertising revenue up from number 17 in the marketplace to number 1—beating two long-time competitors. Her efforts also helped the station earn Billboard Magazine's "Major Market Station of the Year" award as well as Country Music Association's (CMA) Major Market Station of the Year award. As deregulation occurred, Dawn became one of the first directors of group sales and further cemented a culture of cross selling. Her efforts made her group of stations the fourth largest billing group in the country. Dawn is a pro at developing idea-based, customer focused sales strategies that drive revenue on all levels. The Los Angeles Times Media Group portfolio is growing and represents all platforms. As such, Dawn will be tapping into everything we do and developing the most attractive packages in the market for LA advertisers. Dawn will be reporting directly to me.

Scott McKibben

SOURCE: LAObserved

Wednesday Afternoon Linkage

Break Out the Olive Branches and Let's Move On

Love Hillary...Hate Hillary. Was she sincere? Who cares? What I witnessed during last night's speech at the DNC was a concerted effort to bring the Democratic Party together for the good of the nation. I also witnessed the comments of some right-wingers who will go to great lengths to discredit her sincerity in a quest to win the support of those Hillary backers who are bitter because she didn't win the primary.

Well, I say if 30% of Hillary supporters take their votes to the other side, then I question their loyalty to the party. This is no longer a Clinton vs Obama issue. This is now about coming together for the good of health care, economic viability, affordable housing and education, and a lucrative job market, among other things.

As Hillary Rodham Clinton exited the stage to resounding applause, I couldn't help but admire her graciousness and loyalty to the Democratic Party.

San Francisco Peninsula Press Club: SacBee offers buyouts to most employees

The Sacramento Bee reports that it is offering voluntary buyouts to 55 percent of its full-time employees — including 200 of its 240 full-time news staffers — as an advertising slump continues. The Bee has made limited buyout offers before, but this marked its first-ever broad-based buyouts. The buyouts came two months after The Bee eliminated 86 jobs as part of an across-the-board layoff ordered by its parent, The McClatchy Co. of Sacramento. A companywide wage freeze was imposed by McClatchy two weeks ago. In July, The Bee unveiled a smaller print format, another way to save money. McClatchy stock, already off 85 percent in the past year, closed Monday at $3.54, down 4 cents.

SacBee offers buyouts to most employees

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mexican Fugitive Nabbed at my Brothers Home

With news last week of the capture of mass murder suspect Jesus Ruben Mancada in East Los Angeles, thoughts of my brother Julio came to mind. Little did I know the suspect was renting a room from Julio, and I thought he was working for my brother as he was at my step-fathers after funeral gathering on March 28th, 2008, filling ice chests with beer and ice.

My daughter Janelle sent a text message yesterday regarding Julio on television, and later texted that the story involved a neighbor and not my brother. I still didn’t make the connection until Ronnie Pineda called and told me my brother’s house was on the news because the suspect in the mass execution of 19 men, women, and children was arrested and deported to Mexico.

Still unable to reach Julio by phone, as I assume his phone is ringing off the hook.

Here’s the full story as told by the Los Angeles Times.

Los Angeles Times Press Release

News Release

Contact: Nancy Sullivan

Los Angeles Times Media Group Names Scott McKibben Chief Revenue Officer

LOS ANGELES, August 26, 2008 – The Los Angeles Times Media Group (LATMG) announced today that veteran newspaper executive Scott McKibben will join the company as Chief Revenue Officer.

“Scott McKibben has a clear vision for and understanding of where this business needs to head and is charged with redefining how The Times and LATMG’s portfolio of multimedia products deliver robust advertising and marketing solutions for our partners,” said Los Angeles Times Publisher, Eddy Hartenstein. “His leadership skills and long, proven track record of aggressively and competitively growing ad revenue are key to creating new business models and ensuring our future success.”

McKibben’s career spans more than three decades with experience in all facets of newspaper publishing including serving as President and Publisher of ANG Newspapers in Oakland, CA and President and Publisher of the San Francisco Examiner and Independent Newspaper Group. He was most recently President and Publisher of The Gazette in Colorado Springs, CO and Vice President of the Central Region for Freedom Communications, overseeing The Gazette, Colorado Springs, CO; The Lima News, Lima, OH; The Telegraph, Alton, IL; Journal-Courier, Jacksonville, IL; and The Tribune, Seymour, IN.

“I believe in the news business and the Los Angeles Times Media Group’s pivotal role in the Southern California marketplace offers exciting, unique opportunities and challenges,” said Scott McKibben. “Those opportunities include building upon our relationships with valued clients and partners and creating solutions for their needs as we go forward in multi-platform media world."

Prior to his tenure with The Gazette/Freedom Communications, McKibben served as President of Western Colorprint, Publisher of The Topeka Capital-Journal and the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and Vice President and General Manager of the Dallas Times Herald. He started his career as a retail sales account executive for the Green Bay Press-Gazette, and held other sales positions at newspapers in Wisconsin, South Dakota and Iowa. McKibben holds degrees in education and business from the University of Wisconsin and has served as a member of several boards including the Newspaper Association of America, the Associated Press, the Daily Press Association and the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

# # #

About the Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times ( is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of 2.2 million and 3.2 million on Sunday, and a combined print and interactive weekly audience of 4.8 million. draws 8.75 million monthly visitors. The Los Angeles Times and its media businesses and affiliates – including The Envelope (, Metromix (, Times Community Newspapers, Hoy (, and California Community News – reach approximately 5.5 million or 42% of all adults in the Southern California marketplace. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times, has been covering Southern California for over 126 years and is part of Tribune Company, one of the country’s leading media companies with businesses in publishing, the Internet and broadcasting. Additional information is available at

Tribune Company Webcast With Lenders

Listen to the Tribune Company thirty-nine minute webcast by clicking here. The listener is warned about forward thinking, with Sam Zell beginning the webcast. There is a small registration required, with your name, email address, and company you work for. The software needed to run the webcast is offered as a download before starting the program.

Tuesday Afternoon News

Los Angeles Times Blogger Andrew Nystrom

LA Times Publisher Eddy Hartenstein's First Act

From: Hartenstein, Eddy
Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 9:33 AM
Subject: New EVP/Chief Revenue Officer

I am pleased to announce that Scott McKibben has joined the Los Angeles Times Media Group as our Executive Vice President/Chief Revenue Officer, reporting to me. Scott comes to us directly from the Community Newspapers Division of Freedom Communications (which includes more than 70 newspapers, including the Orange County Register). He’s served as publisher and president of The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colorado since 2006 and, earlier this year, he was also named vice president of Freedom’s Central Region, which includes The Gazette and also The Lima News in Lima, Ohio; The Telegraph in Alton, Illinois; the Journal-Courier in Jacksonville, Illinois; and The Tribune in Seymour, Indiana.

Scott began his newspaper career back in the 70s and he’s been involved in all facets of our industry ever since. He began as a retail sales account executive for the Green Bay Press-Gazette and went on to hold other sales positions at newspapers in South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Since then, he’s gone on to become president and publisher at the San Francisco Examiner & Independent Newspaper Group; president and publisher at ANG Newspapers in Oakland; publisher at both The Topeka Capital-Journal in Kansas and the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal in Texas; and the vice president and general manager at the Dallas Times Herald. This is just a small sampling of Scott’s impressive resume. In other words, Scott already knows all the key players in our industry and how newspapers work—no learning curve here.

As for his new role at The Times, all areas of sales will roll up under him. This includes display and classified advertising, niche, and integrated sales. Most importantly, Scott has worked in California and knows our marketplace. He’s lived and breathed newspapers all his life and understands the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. He’s been working through those same issues right along with us at his own paper—and knows where we need to go so we can succeed and prosper long into the future.

You’ll be hearing from Scott in the days to come. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming him to his new home at the Los Angeles Times Media Group.


SOURCE: Kevin Roderick

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kate Coe Back in the Blogosphere

I knew it wouldn’t be long before Kate Coe resurfaced after departing Fishbowl Los Angeles, and resurface she has as Chief Correspondent of Deep Glamour.

After a quick glance at this new glamour blog I’m certain you will be hearing much more about this fabulous blog as the weeks turn into months.

Click here to visit Deep Glamour

Tyson Hunger Relief

Just caught this worthy cause on Twitter, click on title to be re-directed to the website or click here. All you need to do is leave a comment to help feed the hungry.

No matter where you are, the statistics about hunger in your own community are just as compelling.

Find out how you can be a part of the great work of the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas and their mission of ending hunger in central Texas by visiting their site.

Here's something you can do today: For every comment this post receives indicating it has been read, Tyson Foods will donate 100 pounds of food (up to a 35K pound truckload) to the HAM-up (Tweetup), sponsored by the Food Bank, Social Media Club Austin and 501 Tech Club Austin. Help us fill the truck. Comment here (even one-word comments acceptable--BTW, since our comments are moderated, it might take a bit to get them up, but I WILL get them up).

Monday Morning Linkage

Shuttered Chatsworth Plant - Will This Trend Repeat Itself in Orange County?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

California State Budget Crisis

KTLA gets reaction to Governor Schwarzenegger's executive order to cut 10,000 state jobs and reduce 200,000 state worker's pay to $6.55/hr, the federal minimum wage. (The executive order was rejected.) KTLA also gets reaction on the governor's proposed one cent increase in sales tax.

Dana Custer a New Grandfather

Jackie and Dana Custer are the proud grandparents of a baby girl, and they are extremely excited. Dana works as an electro-tech at the Los Angeles Times Olympic Facility, and by his expressions I could tell how excited he was before his grand-daughter was born.

JoAnne and Brian are excited & proud to announce that Baby Custer was born today, 8-21-08 at 11:19 am! Pictured below are the proud new parents with baby Custer.

The Custer Family are descendants of George Armstrong Custer.

NO to Temporary Sales Tax Increase in California *

On November 5th, 1989 the California Legislature passed a TEMPORARY increase in the state’s sales tax by a quarter of one percent, which was approved by California Governor George Deukmejian, who was against raising taxes as the foundation of his administration.

This TEMPORARY sales tax increase was targeted for earthquake damage repairs and relief to victims of the San Francisco earthquake, and was intended to run from December 1st, 1989 until December 31st, 1990.

With an estimated $800 million to be generated by this TEMPORARY sales tax increase; the money was earmarked for highways and government buildings, with $200,000 going to families of victims killed by the collapse of Interstate 880 in Oakland, and a section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The majority of taxpayers did not oppose the TEMPORARY sales tax increase, as the money was going to aid those most affected by the massive earthquake, but today August 24th, 2008 we are still paying this TEMPORARY sales tax, as the tax was never repealed by the California Legislators.

California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has indicated he needs to impose another TEMPORARY sales tax increase upon California taxpayers for three years, which I oppose and believe will not be temporary at all.

A full one percent TEMPORARY sales tax increase would do additional damage to the California economy, which the Governor and Legislators seem to be oblivious to, already suffering from a recession.

The State of California needs to run itself like a business, this means downsizing and cutting costs, not imposing additional taxes on the people it’s meant to serve.


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160

*UPDATE 9:05 p.m. The Los Angeles Times just published a story regarding the sales tax increase by George Skelton

Meet Joe Biden

ABC News takes a closer look at presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Playa del Rey home burglary suspects caught on camera

David Markland sent this article over in an attempt to capture and identify two suspects committing home burglaries, drop in to MetBlogs for additional photographs.

By David Markland

This and more photos (after the jump) are from during reported home burglary that occurred around 1pm on August 17th on the 7900 block of 81st Street of Playa del Rey.

Two black males, in their teens or early 20s, and a white 4 door car are shown in the stills.

David Coffin from the community blog Westchester Parents (where the pix were originally posted) tells me he believes the shot here came from a “nanny cam.” All I know is this single home apparently has more surveillance cameras than my apartment complex. Hopefully it will pay off with an arrest.

If you recognize the above individual or his partner in the additional photos, contact the LAPD Pacific Division at 310-482-6313, referencing case #081424066.


Obama Introduces Biden, to crowd over 35,000 in this well done slide show.

Tell Zell: Bye Lines, LA Times

Another round of farewell emails. Photog Bob Carey penned one of the best goddamned exits in a while. Full text:

I am a very lucky man. I've spent the last 24 years at the Los Angeles Times as a photographer and a photo editor. I can tell you what it's like in the eye of a typhoon, in a firestorm, under an offshore oil platform or the wrong side of the green line in Mogadishu. I know what a whale feels like and I've buzzed icebergs. I've had lunch with rock stars and seen President's sweat. I've tried to get Carolyn Cole out of jail, even.

When I die, I hope I have a bag of popcorn, because if my life flashes by, it's going to be a hell of a show.

Best of all, I've had the pleasure of your company. I can't imagine a more engaging, talented and dedicated group of people anywhere. Years ago, I was cooling my heals at some news event next to a New York Times reporter who had worked here. She said, "Oh! The Los Angeles Times! The New York Times is warm on the outside but cold on the inside. The Los Angeles Times is warm on the outside and warm on the inside."

Civility. Kindness. Fairness. Intelligence. These are the qualities that pervade the Los Angeles Times. Stay here for a while, and it get's in your blood.

Those folks who pine for the demise of the gatekeeper media don't know squat. What people really want out of the news business is a fair shake. We do that here. We worry about the truth and getting it right the first time.

There were 1,200 of us, but now there are a little more than half of that. I like to think that the Los Angeles Times is not so much diminished as dispersed. All those folks who have left the building still carry the Los Angeles Times spirit around with them. It's my turn to join them.

I am a very lucky man.

Bob Carey

Tell Zell: Bye Lines, LA Times

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Former Los Angeles Times Employees

Jean and Gary Sturdivan 1988

As a direct result of my blog I’m brought back into contact with many former Los Angeles Times colleagues, which makes all my efforts worth the time I spend on my hobby.

Two weeks ago I received an email from Gary and Jean Sturdivan, wondering if I was related to former Times truck driver Edward Padgett Sr. I answered with a quick response, YES!

After exchanging many emails and answering questions about former employees I directed the two to my Flickr page, and they just loved reminiscing about their careers at the Los Angeles Times.

Jean shared a picture on their first cruise, right after their retirements from the Times in 1988, and a recent picture of their sixth cruise, taken a few months ago. They would love to hear from their former colleagues, so drop them an email at .

Just remove the NOSPAM from their email address and insert the @ sign, the NOSPAM was inserted to prevent spammers from gathering and adding them to mailing lists.

The Studivans 2008

Save Our Trade: Back on Track!

The negotiating team representing the men and women at the two remaining Los Angeles Times Production Facilities (Pressroom) are hard at work against a foe that will not bargain in good faith. I have stated this before, which prompted a Tribune Boss to ask? “So you’re saying we are breaking the law and not bargaining in good faith”, yes this is what I am saying.

On Monday our new publisher told a joke regarding two liars, here’s my joke about two liars with different players.

Tribune Boss: I don’t want to fire any employee.
Pressroom Employee: I believe every word you say.

My hats off to Ronnie Pineda and my other colleagues on the negotiating committee for standing firm against individuals that would sell the pressroom employees out, for their own personal gain.

Follow the links that also cover this story:
Save Our Trade
Tell Zell
Fishbowl Los Angeles

Save Our Trade: Back on Track!

Petition and Mac Users

Several Macintosh users have notified me the petition, at the right sidebar, is over laying the entire blog. Have sent out help messages regarding this problem, and if no solution arrives within the next few hours I will replace the petition graphic with a direct link to the petition site.

I really appreciate the messages regarding the improper displaying of the blog and will resolve as soon as possible.

Can't Get Enough of Sam Zell?

Victor, Sam, and Diane at Los Angeles Times

Bloomberg Television interviews Sam Zell regarding Fannie and Freddie Crisis, Suprime Crisis, and Real Estate.

Thursday Afternoon Links

Pressman Buddy Williams

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bill Plaschke Visits Shaq Statue in China

Dennis Dehaas Has Called in Sick

Long time Los Angeles Times pressman Dennis Dehaas will be away from work for at least two months after under going surgery for a broken ankle this morning. Seems Dennis tangled with his ladder and the ladder won. We wish Dennis a speedy recovery and hope he’s not in too much discomfort after his surgery.

Los Angeles Times Company Store Open 5 Days a Week

Last Wednesday after meeting with several of the Bloggers at, I even had the privilege of meeting with Meredith Artley for a private chat. As I headed back to my car I stopped at the Los Angeles Times Company Store, in hopes this was the day it might be open. To my surprise the Times company store is now open five days per week again, but it’s no longer run by Times employees as it had been for years, yes this task was handed over to an outside concern or outsourced.

The company store is now open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday for LA Times logo merchandise.

Tell Zell: A Dear Eddy Letter

In response to my call for suggestions for new LA Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein, I received this thoughtful missive from William Lobdell, former Times religion writer, ex-newspaper executive, author and now blogger.

Dear Eddy Hartenstein,

As a devoted Direct TV customer, I feel a little strange to offering you business advice, but here goes.

Please, please, please, concentrate your efforts on the advertising and marketing departments at The Times. Everything flows from there.

Take a look at the pitiful amount of ads sold in the Sports/Olympic sections in the past 10 days. This readership is still incredibly strong, and selling advertising -- which would get strong response -- should be a no-brainer. But the pages for basically empty of advertisements -- something is very, very wrong here.

There's plenty to tune-up in the editorial product, but don't get distracted. If your salespeople can't sell the Sports section, they can't sell ANYTHING. Also, with revitalized advertising department, you'll have direction on what advertisers and readers want -- which will help guide the editorial product.

Despite what that idiot Lee Abrams (is it within your purview to fire him?) says, The Times' problem ultimately isn't the editorial product. It's a leaderless advertising department that is demoralized and doesn't have a clue how to sell in the new competitive media age. Fix that, and you'll fix The Times.

William Lobdell
Super devoted (unfortunately) former LA Times
employee, 1990-2008

P.S. Another short-cut on the learning curve:Tribune trained/promoted executives, for the most part, totally BLOW (you'll recognize them by their MBA mumbo-jumob). Move them aside and your job will be much easier.
Tell Zell: A Dear Eddy Letter

Wednesday Night Links

The Old Paper Gang at the LA Times - To view additional photos Click Here

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tribune Press Release

Tribune Appoints Hartenstein as Publisher of Los Angeles Times

CHICAGO, August 19, 2008 -- Eddy Hartenstein, one of the media sector’s most creative and innovative minds, today assumed the post of president and publisher of the Los Angeles Times. A life-long, avid reader of the Times and a native of Southern California, Hartenstein told the paper, "I love challenges. I love complex issues and problems, and this certainly met all that."

Hartenstein is well-known for his role as the man who basically created the satellite TV industry. He served as the chairman, chief executive officer and president of DirecTV from the company’s inception in 1990 until 2004. He also served as the vice chairman of The DirecTV Group, Inc. (formerly Hughes Electronics Corporation) from 2003 to 2004. He also served in senior executive positions at Hughes Communications, Inc., a satellite-based communications provider, and Equatorial Communications Services Company, a provider of telephony and data distribution services.

Hartenstein will build on his DirecTV successes to drive both the paper’s revenue and readership. "All of the folks I know in the content business are always looking for other avenues, other venues, other combinations, other cooperative agreements," he said. "I'm open to any and all ideas that increase our viewership and increase the number and range of demographics we can pull in."

Mr. Hartenstein is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2002. He received an Emmy® Award for lifetime achievement from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2007.

He earned B.S. degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Mathematics from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, Calif., and an M.S. in Applied Mechanics from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.

Sammy Maloof on DayStar TV

Day Star TV, recently honored with 20 Telly Awards gets a visit from Hollywood Stuntman, Speaker and Author, Sammy Maloof. Watch Sammy as he tears up the DayStar parking lot!

Daystar TV is the 2nd largest Christian Television Show in the Country, recently honored with 20 Telly Awards. Watch as Sammy Maloof is interviewed by Joni Lamb. Watch the video here.

Tuesday Afternoon News

Bill Conover and Tony Dominquez

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mark Kurtich Former SVP Production in the News

Jesse Espinoza with Mark Kurtich
By Debra GruszeckiThe Desert Sun

PALM SPRINGS — Mark Kurtich, a former senior vice president executive of operations with the Los Angeles Times, has joined The Desert Sun as its production director.

Richard Ramhoff, the Sun's president and publisher, said Kurtich brings considerable experience in management and production at newspapers both large and small.

"He began his career as a compositor and worked his way up into senior management,'' Ramhoff said. “I'm confident that The Desert Sun will benefit greatly from his skills and savvy.”

Kurtich said he is thrilled to be at the production helm.

“I've been pleased with the dedication toward this newspaper, and its mission,'' he said.

“Of all the employees, particularly the people I've been getting to know in the production side, there's a real belief in this newspaper,'' Kurtich said. “And, they understand the importance of serving our readers.”

Kurtich, the son of a printer, began his newspaper career at the Hartford Courant in Connecticut when the industry began its transition from the Linotype hot-metal typecasting to the digital age.

He rose through the ranks at the Courant to become that paper's vice president of circulation, production and customer service.

Recruited in April 1997 to the Los Angeles Times by the Times Mirror Co. to manage an $80 million-plus operating budget and 1,200 employees in print and production, Kurtich selected and put into play $100 million of new capital equipment and technology.

While there, Kurtich had full responsibility for a $72 million operating budget and $120 million supply chain budget to oversee four production facilities, one being a wholly-owned subsidiary designed in 2002 to grow share in the highly competitive preprint market.

Later, the recipient of a Tribune Co. management award in 2002 for leadership and operational improvement led a $45 million upgrade as a precursor to print operation consolidation.

“Small is going to be more fun,'' he said of The Desert Sun, noting that the size of the L.A. Times made it difficult to get to know co-workers. “Here, there's camaraderie and teamwork.”

Initial goals for Kurtich include ensuring an effective and efficient operation and to capitalize on its quality.

“It's a well-produced paper that will become more effective in helping the news and advertising side of the business deliver what customers need and want in a quality package,” he said.

Further Circulation Declines at the LA Times

Last Friday Los Angeles Magazine published a story that drew very little attention in the Blogosphere, by former Los Angeles Times senior projects editor and senior editor at The Los Angeles Times Magazine (1994-2000), Kit Rachlis. Here’s one paragraph from his three-paragraph article:

"Journalists have a terrible tendency to be sentimental, so I want to be careful not to romanticize the Times. As good as the paper has been, it’s always had galling limitations (I say this as someone who worked there for six and a half
years): an opinion section that rarely generated heat; a record of ignoring wide swaths of the region; a disinterest in local politics. Still, for all its flaws (and my list, I’m sure, is different from yours), few newspapers have matched
the Times’s ambition and reach. Now that ambition has vanished. According to sources, Zell’s ultimate plan is to reduce the paper’s daily circulation to 500,000 (at its height, in 2001, it was 1.2 million) and its staff to 600 (half of what it was in 2004). To make the ratio of editorial to advertising pages equal, the paper will cut 82 pages of news each week—or to put it in starker terms, the Times will lose 4,000 editorial pages in one year".

My sentiments parallel Kit’s very closely, just didn’t feel the circulation would take such a great dive. If the Los Angeles Times circulation were to tumble to the half million target, as Kit suggests could occur, we would most likely see the LAT Orange County Facility shuttered. If the newspaper continues the trend we have all witnessed this year, shedding editorial employees and dropping sections from the hard copy of the newspaper, this may become a self-full filling prophecy.

Eddie Meets Eddy

As I drove towards Venice Beach I felt it important to hear what our new publisher had to share, and exited the 101 Freeway at Spring Street to attend Eddy’ first meeting, I can always visit Venice Beach another day.

After the standing room only one-hour meeting in Chandler Auditorium came to a close, I was pleased that I had opted to attend the meeting.

Eddy Hartenstein explained how he enjoyed lunch with Sam Zell several months ago, and was actually shocked when Sam called him personally asking if he would be interested in taking the helm of the Los Angeles Times. Remember that Eddy was retired and said “I do not need this job” but being a loyal Los Angeles Times reader the last forty-five years he agreed to take on this challenge, and step out of retirement.

The editorial folks are not a shy group and asked Eddy many questions with the main question aimed at further cuts at the Los Angeles Times. Eddy replied that Sam Zell has not given him any numbers or agenda, but did tell him he would be in charge of the newspaper, and if Sam micro managed the newspaper from Chicago Eddy said he would resign.

As Eddy posed for a picture with the Blogging Pressman, I asked if he attended Alhambra High School, and he answered yes, he was in the class of 1968. I was a freshman when he was a senior at Alhambra High School, so our paths have crossed many years ago.

My ex-wife Debi Taylor-Padgett called and told me she had worked with Eddy at Hughes/Direct TV many years ago and said her experience with him was very positive.

The Blogging Pressman will give Eddy a thumbs up for the time being, and anticipates we will see much more of him in all of the LA Times Departments throughout the newspaper.

The Blogging Pressman (Eddie) meets the new publisher (Eddy) of the Los Angeles Times.

And Kevin Roderick adds: Hartenstein's first meeting

New Los Angeles Times publisher speaks

Good day,

As an avid reader of The Times for more than 45 years, I never dreamed that I would awake one morning to find my name at the top of the masthead. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this venerable institution, humbled to be in the building where journalists ply their noble craft, and sober to the difficult economic realities of the newspaper business.

You will find that I manage by walking around, try to listen more than speak, make decisions quickly after hearing all sides, and am not afraid to reverse course if we happen to stumble into the cauldron of unintended consequences.

We need to continue to be many things to many people, with the utmost urgency, and without ever sacrificing our integrity. I took this job because I firmly believe that we, the women and men of the Los Angeles Times, can show the rest of the world how the Fourth Estate can not only survive, but thrive in the 21st century. Whether our journalism is delivered electronically, on, in the printed paper, or through some other medium, a vibrant newsroom is essential to our mission.

Please join me for an all-hands meeting this afternoon at 3 p.m. in the Chandler Auditorium.


SOURCE: Kevin Roderick

Another New Publisher at the Los Angeles Times

With the quick succession of publishers at the Los Angeles Times, the appointment of Eddy Hartenstein Saturday just wasn’t the big deal that this position deserves. As an employee of the Los Angeles Times for over thirty-six years should I be excited with the new publisher or concerned that we cannot keep executives at the Times?

I’m considering the drive to Times Mirror Square in a few minutes to meet our new publisher and grab a few photographs, or head to Venice Beach, will decide what I will do within the next forty-five minutes.

Welcome to the Los Angeles Times Eddy, hope you stick around for longer than a few months.

Monday Morning News

Ernie Hernandez and Laura Molina

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pheppings are Endangered!

Chicken Man River Phepping Many have never heard the legend of the pheppings. It is a story of a secret band of river dwellers that have been lost in the archives of human existence. Giant Fish George CostanzaSave the whales? Sure ... that's nice, but they are just fish. (OK, mammals) ya ya ya ...

Centuries ago, there were thousands of Pheppings. They were nomadic in nature, but mainly indigenous to the plains in the Midwest regions of America. Some say that they migrated from Canada during the 1700's, which seems totally plausible. Canadians like to huddle in groups of 5 or less.
What is concerning to me is the demise and loss of breeding grounds for the phepping. They have lost most of their natural habitat to urban sprawl, which also causes global warming. (so does blogging)
The phepping has resorted to pooling tribes along the Sagootchie Creek Bed in Mankato Minnesota. There, they congregate and eat chicken from the KFC dumpsters after closing. Restaurants throw away tons of food! (also causing global warming)

Here are the traits and characteristics that outline just what it is to be phepping. Please save this outline to your Google Documents for further review, then E-mail your friends. This story needs to be told .... somewhere, somehow.

1. They have a language based on Norwegian / Swedish slang, mixed with English and Spanish terms. An example sentence structure might look like this ...

"Peeka Seeka kikin hungree ... Verganz me cole oww har! Me's gettin em sem gravy. (grunt ~ grunt) Gettim outa me riva mothee effie?"

2. They crouch down and protect their food. Many Speedy River Fallspheppings are compulsive criminals.

3.Pheppings routinely wash their hands in the river, but rarely bathe. They have an odor reminiscent of dead carp doused with arm-pit sweat. You will probably smell a phepping long before catching a rare glimpse of one.

4. Many have families, but spend little time socializing. They are far to schizophrenic to ever become close to one another, nor any human.

5. Pheppings LOVE sticks, and whittle them into spoons and other beach tools.

6. They hunt and gather .... all of the time. One report from the "Underground Culture Blog" proved that pheppings will bury thousands of items gathered up from backyards of nearby neighborhoods. They return in the spring (like squirrels) to re-organize and trade treasured belongings.

7. Pheppings are endangered, and need our help.


To donate old toys, canned food with easy-open tops, and sticks, go to the Phepping Phoundation

For more information on this incredible and heartbreaking story, send questions and comments to: Phepping WIKI

Pheppings in Hollydale

Friday, August 15, 2008

Summer Yard Sale on Saturday

This is a repost from MetBlogs by Sean Bonner

Some of you might remember last years Yard Sale which was super fun and the biggest success in yard sale history (we missed the Garage Sale record by $18.20). So we’re doing it again. This Saturday, August 16th, we’ll be pulling out all the stuff from our closets and storage spaces that we no longer want, putting little price tage stickers on them, stacking them up and keeping our fingers crossed that you feel our prices are fair and decde to purchase them and take them home to love them all on your own. What kind of things will we have? Clothes for sure, a bunch of furniture, CDs and DVDs, electronics, some kitchen stuff (some which was probably a wedding gift that’s never even been used), toys, art, posters, bike crap, tools, and I’m guessing lots of other stuff. Several bloggers on this site (and their friends) are aiming to bring a few boxes of stuff to sell, Markland is threatening to bring a BBQ, and I’ll be bringing the ruckus. I guess there will also be some food and drinks and stuff, and probably some of it will be vegan friendly. So, you should come buy our stuff. I promise you won’t have buyers remorse till at least the next day.

Sale is at 1724 Golden Gate Ave [map] in Silver Lake, will start at 10am* and finish up around 3pm or when ever every single thing is gone, which ever comes earlier. Or later. See you there!

*And just to reiterate 10am means 10am, it doesn’t mean 9am or 8:45am or 7am or 9:20am it means 10am. Everytime I’ve ever had a yardsale some smartalic thinks he/she is going to show up an hour early and clean the place out, and everytime said smartalic ends up standing around grumpy for an hour because we weren’t ready until the time we said we’d be. So, we’ll be selling stuff from 10am on, not before. Got it?

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

Collaboration of DC Comics and Marvel Comics

Last weekend I ran into producer Brian Quintana at a private party in Walnut, CA. and he shared some exciting news, which just missed Comic-Con two weeks ago. Brian brought Marvel man Stan Lee together with DC Comics producer Jon Peters at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills for lunch on August 7th, 2008.

This meeting could mean a possible Hollywood movie combining the superheroes of DC Comics and Marvel Comics, which is something comic fans have craved for years.

It has been twelve years since DC Comics and Marvel created a four-issue series that pitted each comic’s superheroes against one another. The creation of a movie would not only be a first, but would certainly be a blockbuster.

Stay tuned as additional information will be revealed as soon as it arrives.

Be a Wannabe Wicked Judge

It has come to my attention that Lorelei Suarez Conover has reached the finals in the WANNABE WICKED contest at Universal CityWalk Hollywood. You can view a video of each of the fifteen finalist by clicking here, and I'm certain you will leave a vote for Lorelei as I have.

Ms. Conover is not just another pretty face, she happens to be connected to the employees of the Los Angeles Times. My right hand man, Bill Conover, is her father-in-law, and her father, Ogee Suarez, is a truck driver for Ryder, the trucking company that delivered the Los Angeles Times up till August 4th, 2008.

You can vote once per day up till August 20th, so show Lorelei some love and give her your vote.

End of Week Links

Los Angeles Times Bloggers Visit Olympic Facility This Morning