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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Zell-Abration


Smarty Pants and Miss Dena recently appeared on WGN's morning news broadcast here in Chicago as part of the station's "Zell-abration" to celebrate Sam Zell's purchase of the Tribune Company. For more information about Smarty Pants, see smartypantsworld.com

Sallie Hofmeister is being promoted to business editor


For the last 18 months, Sallie supervised our coverage of entertainment and technology, two of the region's most important industries, and was responsible for some of the paper's signature work in 2007: the Hollywood writers’ strike that crippled the TV industry. Sallie and her team found innovative ways to tell the story in print and online. She constantly pushed her reporters to break news on the Web, and to step back and look at the broader picture for print. That body of work is now a finalist in the breaking-news category of the Gerald Loeb Awards.

Sallie had the unenviable task of leading our coverage of the sale of Tribune Co., a hugely stressful 17-month saga that she handled with characteristic style and grace. Amid all the tumult inside the paper, and amid the usual drama of the entertainment community, Sallie still found time to handle enterprise stories, including a groundbreaking project that detailed the finances and budget breakdown of the movie "Sahara." The unusual presentation of graphics, photos, smaller chunks of text and Web features made it an instant hit both in print and online.

Sallie brings a deep knowledge of business and finance to her new assignment, and an impressive Rolodex of industry leaders. Before being promoted into the editing ranks here in early 2006, Sallie was one of the top media reporters in the country, spending the better part of a decade chronicling the biggest stories of that era — the disastrous AOL/Time Warner deal, Comcast's unsuccessful bid for Walt Disney Co. and the collapse of Adelphia Communications.

Before joining The Times, Sallie was an editor in the business section of the New York Times. She began her journalism career as a staff writer at Venture magazine. Sallie is a 1980 graduate of Kansas State University.

She will report to Managing Editor Davan Maharaj.

Russ Stanton
Editor
Los Angeles Times

Continuing to Move the Business Forward - Jack Klunder and John OLoughlin memo


As mentioned at our recent Town Hall meeting, the advertising departments across all our lines of business—print, online, and targeted—have been developing plans over the past several months to improve our “go-to-market” sales strategy. During that process, we uncovered a number of problems with our strategy and structure that are impeding our selling effectiveness—and we’re making improvements to address those issues. Among other things, we will be adding a new lead generation group; aligning our retail, national, regional, and telesales teams by category; and integrating the sales support groups with sales.

Our ultimate go-to-market strategy will allow us to solve our clients’ business problems by offering them fully integrated, multimedia marketing solutions which combine our print newspaper, targeted media products, online sites, mobile advertising options, and television. Our success depends upon a talented sales force that knows its clients’ needs, understands the competitive media landscape, and can sell advertisers all these solutions. Therefore, having the right leadership and organizational structure in place is crucial.

The news below is just one part in a series of changes yet to occur—all designed to move the business forward. That said, we are pleased to announce the following:

Retail/National Print Advertising

Steve Bentz has been promoted to the position of Vice President, Retail Advertising. He will be responsible for retail, national, and regional preprints/LCV (e.g. ShopLocal/Red Plum). Steve has done a superb job in developing and leading an improved and more focused go-to-market strategy. His experience and leadership will bring renewed focus and energy in maximizing our revenue potential. Reporting to Steve will be Brian Kokes, Shannon Hanes, and Gregg Dittoe.


Targeted Media

Scott Pompe has been promoted to Vice President, Targeted Media Revenue in addition to retaining his current role as Vice President/General Manager Tribune Direct–West. In this all-new role, Scott will be reporting to John O’Loughlin and work closely with Steve in synchronizing and championing our targeted media sales efforts by category, and create cross-platform, integrated packages for clients. Scott is a true seller, with executive experience in radio, newspaper, niche, and most recently direct response. New reports to Scott will be Jerry Symon (Hoy), Diane Stone (Metromix), Hector Cabral (TCN), Lisa Cosenza (TCN), and Eron Jacobson (Event Sponsorships).

Sales Operations and Planning

Kim McCleary La France, Vice President, Sales Operations and Planning will assume responsibility for managing the new lead generation group, telesales, and customer support teams. The telesales and lead generations areas will be managed by Michele Manzo-Lembo, Director, Sales Strategy and Operations, with support from Frank Glionna and Aaron Whitham. Michele will also be responsible for managing Salesforce.com (a key sales software program).
Sandra Carlos has been promoted to the position of Director, Advertising Sales Support. Sandra brings extensive operational experience and a high customer service focus to her new role and will be responsible for managing order entry and material handling for the display advertising sales teams. Sandra will report to Kim.

Under our new org structure, Steve and Kim will report directly to Jack, as will Lynne Segall, Vice President, Entertainment, Luxury and Fashion Advertising.

The search for a new Senior Vice President, Advertising is continuing, but that vacancy is not going to stop us from doing what needs to be done. We must make the necessary changes to improve our performance and build our business as quickly as possible.

On a related note, Ad Operations will continue to be managed by Maureen White, including edition planning, pagination, ad production and design, and e-commerce. She has been working very closely with Kim and Sandra on the transition of the sales support area and her leadership and strong operational knowledge will continue to be a critical part of the success of the transition. Maureen will continue to report to Bob Palermini.

The changes above and the implementation of a new sales structure and process clearly involve a significant number of details. Over the course of the next few weeks, the advertising leadership team will meet directly with employees in the affected areas to clarify plans and answer questions.

We’re making smart decisions and moving quickly; but these changes are just a small piece of what’s to come. Rest assured, we will keep you informed.

Please join us in congratulating everyone on their new roles. As always, we thank you for your continued support.

Jack Klunder
President, Los Angeles Times Newspaper

John O’Loughlin
President, Targeted Media and SVP, Marketing and Planning

Friday, May 30, 2008

End of Week News


Oly Electro-Techs Dana Custer and Warren Tice

The Din at the Los Angeles Times


Teamster Letter to Advertisers

As May rolls to an end, of what was a relatively quiet month at the Los Angeles Times, the din from the Teamsters letter to advertisers is hard to ignore. No one can say for certain this tactic will deliver the desired affect at the bargaining table, but the anti-union forces within the walls of the Los Angeles Times may have gained enough ammunition to file for a decertifying of the union in June?

A friend at Times Mirror Square informed me this morning one car dealership has already contacted the Times, and has threatened to pull his advertising if anyone pickets his business.


Downsizing at the Los Angeles Times

Chatter regarding further downsizing at the Los Angeles Times has been communicated to Kevin Roderick, from Times Mirror Square:
Rumbles are strong in the Los Angeles Times newsroom about a new, unexpected wave of layoffs, possibly before the second quarter ends June 30. The rumors are that this one will go deeper than the last round, but they are only rumors at this point.

Computer to Plate Testing

The LA Times Olympic Production Facility will begin beta testing the new Kodak computer to plate system on June 9th. The LA Times Orange County Production Facility will test a plate setter from Agfa sometime in June as well.

More Production or an Error?

4,200 additional rolls of newsprint have been added to our quarterly order of paper, as we prepare to begin producing newspapers for competitors. Yet, I have been informed this was an order made in error by the Tribune Corporate office. Two others have told me the cost of the newsprint was at bargain basement prices, which was refuted by another that stated, “Compared to last year, we paid much more for the newsprint”. Stay tuned to see what transpires with all the additional newsprint.

Message from Russ Newton SVP Production


As you may know, the parties completed the 27th negotiation session on May 14. In the previous sessions 24 & 25 we achieved tentative agreements on Jury Duty, Arbitration, Funeral Leave and Cafeteria/Vending. However, no tentative agreements were reached in Sessions 26 & 27. In fact, the parties spent two days discussing workdays/hours and overtime. Generally, the Company has proposed controlling its overtime cost and to pay for time actually worked. The union expressed their strong dislike with the Company’s position and ended the day on May 14, 2008, by stating that the union would seek options to “increase their leverage at the table.”

Recently, the attached letter appearing on Teamster letterhead was sent to our advertisers. Apparently, the Union has chosen to address their displeasure at the bargaining table by communicating with LA Times advertisers. This is their right. We are, however, disappointed in the union’s decision and tactics. Nevertheless, we are committed to negotiating in good faith and to achieve the best contract for our business. Our next bargaining session is scheduled for June 16.

Russ

Save Our Trade: Advertiser Letter


The following letter was mailed to fifty local car dealerships in the southern california area, from the Bargaining Committee for the Los Angeles Times Pressmen's Union.

Dear Respected Los Angeles Times Advertiser,

We, the presspersons of the Los Angeles Times are currently in negotiations with the company to bargain a first time contract with the newspaper. We chose to be represented by the Graphic Communications Conference / International Brotherhood of Teamsters (GCC/IBT).

Negotiations began on November 1ST 2007 with no significant progress and as of this date, we arrived at the conclusion that the LA Times management bargaining committee has absolutely no desire to negotiate fairly with its workers and our union.

We understand that all newspapers are currently struggling in this economic environment, but so are its workers. This newspaper continues to generate a profit, yet we gave concessions in the range of 1.8 million dollars last month. We do care about the LA Times and our ability to produce one of the finest newspapers in the world for both our subscribers and advertisers.

This letter is to advise you, our advertiser, that the GCC/IBT and its members may exercise their right under the National Labor Relations Act which includes the right to handbill in front of your establishment and ask your customers not to buy your product because you advertise in the LA Times.

This is certainly not what we would prefer to do, but this is a decision that the company is forcing us employees to consider making. We want the LA Times to respect us as workers and more importantly, recognize our contribution in providing your business advertising the quality printing you and your customers deserve.

The new owner wants nothing more than for us to continue to give up wages and benefits in an effort to increase corporate profits.

GCC/IBTBargaining Committee

Save Our Trade: Advertiser Letter

Tell me it aint so!


Tell me the Union did not send out the letter that is now posted all over work. Tell me the Union is not shooting itself in the foot. Tell me that somehow the letter that the Union sent to the advertisers is somehow a practical joke. Why would the Union select such a method to push an issue that is really none of the advertisers business? As it stands, we don’t need help in losing revenue, the economy is doing a very fine job of addressing the issue by seeing double digit drop’s in AD revenue. I guess I must have thought that the Union had some sort of a brain. I’m sorry; I apologize to all employees on behalf of the Union. I am sorry that the union might cost our company more jobs by selecting to actively protest the hand that feeds our mouth. Way to go Union. Shows how strong your skills are when it comes to negotiating for yourselves. You need to bring the fight to the Advertisers, in order to prove a point! Your point must suck if your negotiations have gone no where and thus out of frustration you take a cheap shot below the belt. Way to go Losers! Tell me this was only a joke.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday Afternoon News


SEX AND THE CITY LOOK A LIKE CONTEST


TGW Media
Contact 516.312.6573 Randy Smith

MEDIA ADVISORY:
May 30, 2008 at 11:30am

SEX AND THE CITY LOOK A LIKE CONTEST
Winners to be announced at Long Island at Press Conference

One of the hottest TV shows in history to open, brings millions to box office
with Fab Four LOOK A LIKES

Port Washington, NY Town of North Hempstead officials and a local radio station will join with LOOK A LIKES of the popular of Sex and the City television program. The LOOK A LIKES that recently won a contest in which 4 local Long Island women were chosen from thousands of residents from the tri-state area. The LOOK A LIKES winners will be announced in a ceremony and a press conference on Friday May 30th, 2008 at 11:30am at Harbor Links club at 1 Fairway Drive off West Shore Road in Port Washington.

The 4 women that resemble Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda will be treated like royalty with free designer shoes, manicures, cosmos etc. The blockbuster opens the same day and is expected to be one of the most popular movie openings in recent history. These women have gotten instant fame and now because of the movie are becoming rockstars.


To set up interview with the ''Sex and the City'' Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda LOOK A LIKES call 516-312-6573

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Videos of the Los Angeles Times Olympic Facility


Los Angeles Times Olympic Printing Press printing Image Section.



Los Angeles Times Olympic Printing Press Robot moving paper rolls for printing

Wednesday Night News


Happy Birthday Darleene Powells

Twitter Over Capacity



Two weeks ago, as I read Paul Gillins blog regarding Twitter and the integration of the program by newspapers, I thought I should give this program a try for myself. Apparently Mr. Gillin has a large following not only to his blog, but also on Twitter, as the program has experienced problem after problem the past two weeks.

Naturally I’m following Mr. Gillin, but I’m also following several users from the Los Angeles Times, with constant news updates that I assume are posted on Twitter before reaching the online edition of the newspaper.

With the message from Twitter a few minutes ago “Twitter over capacity” it might be time they add some additional servers to their overloaded system, or sell out to Google or Yahoo.

If you have not tried Twitter yet, you may want to wait a few days for the tech’s to solve their problems first.

Let's Make a Change

Yesterday I was moved by a conversation I listen to during one of our breaks. The topic was Performance Appraisals. The subject was related to the inability of certain operators not being able to produce the numbers that management has set. This made me think a little of how closely tied moral and the level of frustration our Operators have been subjected to the last 8 years. I say 8 years because we have seen a great deal of deterioration and negligence in the equipment during that time. Normally I stay neutral in many of these discussions, but this time, I some how related the frustration that these operators have with a race car driver that is asked to win races, but is given an inferior car to perform the task. Can you imagine being in a race with a car that is consistently breaking down as a result of poor maintenance, or being blamed for losing the race after your car broke down four times during the race. John Force would be mad for all the right reasons.
The solution to this agonizing problem is very simple, yet upper management will never pull the trigger in making this happen. The reason is very simple, money. Any competitive team will tell you, that in order for anyone to remain competitive you must have an edge that the other team does not have. And that edge takes money. Unfortunately somewhere along the line someone decided that the best option for our future was to simply cut spending on the maintenance of our equipment, not realizing the detrimental effect that would have in the future. By ignoring the fact that we needed to keep our PM’s up to date we saved a few dollars in exchange for poor running equipment. We took shortcuts that other fortune 500 company’s would frown at. Any good executive worth his weight in GAS, would have seen this coming, and would have made an executive decision to upgrade the Olympics facility equipment to brand new Presses, packaging equipment, and other relevant tools to make the Operators jobs easy and pulled the trigger and do away with SFV and OC at the same time. This would have been the correct path for long term relevance. This would have also ensured that with reduced press capacity we would at least be depending on brand new equipment and not wonder if that 25 year old car will make it Vegas and back on a short notice.
I for one, give our operators a tip of the hat for doing what they have done with what they have to work with. Let’s follow in the footprints of the New York Times and upgrade our equipment so we can run 60k+ per hour, and not worry about packaging not being able to sustain that speed for the entire run. We are too big, and too important to Southern California to not have the ability to meet the needs of our customers. This includes a quality paper, on time, and not some rag that has color registration issues all over the map. Let’s call it what it is. We have a race car that is old and not being maintained in a manner that is indicative of the demands that many of our advertisers demand in today’s competitive market. Let’s take the bull by the horns and call it what it really is, we need new equipment. If we a going to have any relevance in the paper industry for the next 10 years then we need to make that change. Let’s stop lying to ourselves and put our money where our mouth is. Let’s take the nick and dime approach away from our practice and make real fundamental changes that can be sustained with new equipment. This way there is no one to blame but our own performance. If not, let’s do the noble thing and pack our trailer and stop racing with the big boy’s. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong, but it sure sounds right.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tuesday Afternoon News


Machinist George Lamonte with John Martin

The world of no-cost news grows larger



The Bay Area is becoming saturated with free daily newspapers. San Mateo County Times columnist John Horgan observes:

Another free daily tabloid newspaper is scheduled for launch very soon, perhaps as early as this week.
The Daily Post will give the Peninsula no fewer than four such publications.
The brains behind the latest freebie entry are Dave Price and Jim Pavelich, who started the Palo Alto Daily News in 1995, sold it (it's now owned by the company that produces The Times) and are now back for another local run.
Is there any doubt that this is the liveliest, most competitive suburban area in the U.S. when it comes to the no-cost perusal of printed news and ads?
Can the market accommodate all four, not to mention their paid-circulation peers? The jury is out on that one, folks. But there's never a shortage of stuff to read.
For the record, Price is on the Press Club board and serves as webmaster, posting many of the article seen on this site. Shown here are copies of his San Francisco paper, which recently changed its name from the San Francisco Daily to the Daily Post.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

Get Lost With Easy-Writer: Female Problems


To the extent that I have many problems, I feel lucky to have the resources to address them all. I write this after reading something on Min's blog about women who bitch about their lives when in fact, they fail to recognize how fortunate they are.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

News From The Writerly Pause

William Lobdell, Photo, LA Times
Heads up (or about friggen time): Long time LA Times journalist and closet novelist William Lobdell has a book coming via Harper Collins. It's a memoir, "Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith While Reporting on Religion in America." William covered religion for six years for the LA Times. His research and writing during this time profoundly changed his life. I took a novel class with William at UCLA, and his writing always stood out. I'm pleased he's having this success.

Read the rest on The Writerly Pause.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Freak Storm Strikes Los Angeles


As I quickly removed my work uniform for my street clothing after completing my shift in the pressroom, thoughts of dropping the top in my car and cruising the thirty-one miles home with the air flowing over my head made me hurry a bit more. As I opened the fire doors to exit the building my mouth dropped open as I was stunned to see how quickly the weather had changed in a mere thirty minutes.

The old saying that the sky had opened was an under statement this afternoon, as it was coming down so quickly my colleagues and I remained in the dry corner of the exit, waiting for the rain to subside long enough to reach our cars without becoming drenched.

After waiting an eternity of five minutes or so we said “Too hell with this” and took off as if we were running in the Olympics’, in a mad dash to reach our cars without having our clothes soaked.

I shot a one minute video of the downpour, but was unable to connect to the Internet all day, due too the storm I assume?




Wednesday, May 21, 2008

For Thursday: A Heavy Heart

Get Lost With Easy-Writer: For Thursday

Memo to Tribune employees from CIO Lee Abrams


May 19, 2008
THINK PIECE: BUSTING DENIALS AND ASSUMPTIONS

We are getting closer to the re-imaging of WGN Superstation. Sooner than later, it will evolve into a leader in their world, something that they haven't quite accomplished. The look and sound of the Network will be like nothing else out there. Some may think it's a little weird. It is. Their problem has been being too average....too "TV". Actually a TV guy said "Hey, what's wrong with being too TV...after all we ARE TV". To me--that's a big problem. You aren't TV. You are part of this complicated media pie and you need to think outside of where you "are"
or else you define yourself by what everyone else is doing. A recipe for mediocrity.

My biggest challenge in helping with the re-imaging has been WORDING.
De-hyping. Things like:

*Asking questions as if a viewer can reply. "Tired of the same old movies"? Very 1955as in "Hey, Mom, Kids wearing you out? Try Geritol".

*Over sell: The Greatest...The Best...the Most...Your favorites... "Great Movies"---I say let viewers decide what's great. It wouldn't be so bad but EVERYBODY is the greatest most and best...so it just doesn't mean anything. Dumbs it down. Slogans often do more to promote mindlessness than just about anything. Oversaturation of marketing hooks...that rarely deliver. Sometimes it's best to just DO it.

Words are powerful. Media throws them away expecting people to buy into them. They wont. Maybe that's why Apple and Nike don't use every many of them in their sales message. Can you imagine if Apple worded I-Pod ads like a TV station (or radio or Newspaper) worded their ads: "Tired of the same old music? Hey,Try the great new I-Pod...the Best sound...the most songs"--aint gonna happen.

As my road trips continue, I ran into an interesting 20-something who unlike a lot of 20-something's, LOVES print...more than the Internet, an excerpt from an email she wrote me:

you're the first person I've heard to offer even a tiny bit of hope to the possibility of the survival of newspapers. And, if their survival is contingent on renovation or even revolution, that makes it that much more exciting.

I think I mentioned that I just moved back the USA after about 10 years in Europe. There, I had the opportunity to work in several very competitive markets and so have seen firsthand the results when the newsroom is also a waroom. I especially enjoy the British market, where I've worked at The Guardian and have just completed work on the Daily Mirror's recent redesign. Not only are they producing excellent
journalism, but they are aware that every day they must engage and surprise their readers to survive. Compare that to the American markets where most places have one sleepy newspaper that's been there forever and has no intention of changing. I believe that American newspapers have to stop copying the mediocrity being produced in the next town over and see what is being done right outside the US and learn from that.

...As part of the exercise to park denial at the door, maybe she's right. Another person showed me some stats that show newspaper circulation GROWING in many overseas markets, in tandem with the Internet. While Beijing may be a long way away, maybe there are some ideas we can look to from the Overseas markets. As patriotic as I am...there's some good stuff coming out over there. It wasn't that long agow when "Made in Japan" meant cheap...now many of us LOOK for products (like cars and electronics) made over there as a stamp of quality.

Continue reading at Poynter Online Forums

Wednesday Afternoon Linkage


Orange County Pressroom Supervisor Jose Gomez

loveride_2007


A Good Day

It was an early day for myself and crew, but well worth the early rising.

Our day began with a 5:45 a.m. trip to Northridge to beat the traffic. It worked, with time to spare before the 7:15 deadline for line-up. With Mom being mobility-challenged and adamant on being in attendance for the ceremony, we pulled it off without a hitch! I think she was even more excited than I.

We were early enough to get the "pick of the litter" as far as seating was concerned. Mom was thrilled.

I commenced to getting my regalia in order while waiting for my fellow Cohorts to arrive. There was actually no "method to the madness" because there were thousands of graduates (both undergrads and postgrads), and names would not be called in alpha order, so my Cohorts and I gathered in our area and just walked in when it was our turn.

My son was late arriving (because he didn't listen to me when I told him he should leave home when I did). So I was on the phone with him when I was actually marching to 'Pomp and Circumstance' making my way to my seat. GO FIGURE! Damn kids!

By the time I was on my way to my chair, the place was packed! Couldn't see my Mom when I looked back, so my Sister called! We started to wave and blow kisses and I was tickled to see my Mom with her chest stuck out:-) Lucky for us, the Masters' candidates were called first and, after walking across stage, I returned to my chair, then commenced to leave.

Afterwards, Mom had an emotional moment where she couldn't stop saying how proud she was that I finally accomplished the goal that I had SO wanted for SO many years. And my Son got a birds' eye view of what a REALLY proud moment feels like. His chest was out as well ("That's My Mom!"). And that's O.K. as long as it offers some incentive to him to succeed.

We ended the event with breakfast. DAMN, I was hungry (as was everyone else)! Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles (Pasedena)it was. Left stuffed!

Time to call it a day. But not without sending love, kudos, accolades, praise, hugs, thanks, etc. to the special folks in my life!

I am NUBIA, and I approve this post:-)

Be Blessed!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's Been A Journey

Tomorrow, I get to do something that I haven't done in 29 years. Walk across a university stage to accept a college degree. This time...it's an MPA!

Since I received my BS in 1979, it has been my dream to move forward with my education and go beyond. But with marriage, raising a family, and plain old life, things tended to get put on the back burner.

It comes a time in life that one has to take that leap of faith and just GO FOR IT! I finally decided to take that leap and before I knew it, I was there.

It didn't come easy. I found myself sacrificing things that I once thought were important. I could no longer hang out with friends, take weekend getaways, or even sit and listen to music or watch tv. I was on a mission and determined that I would accomplish this feat...even if it were my last.

There were those who promised to be my support...didn't happen! Instead, they criticized me for not spending more time doing FUN THINGS. But that gave me a clue of who my true friends were. Fortunately, I had other friends and family who knew the real meaning of SACRIFICE. Thank goodness for them. They continually offered the encouragement I needed to pursue my goal. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. And I appreciate and adore you! I would not be here had it not been for your support.

Tomorrow I will dress in my regalia and feel proud of what I've accomplished. But not without knowing from whence I came. Not without knowing where my strength comes from.

Thank you one and all!

The Saga Of Ernie


or why Al Martinez won't let his cat out...

"There was a fistfight. Sheriff’s deputies were called. Meanwhile, a man who claimed he was once abducted by occupants of a UFO saw the dog drop from the sky and thought it was an extraterrestrial."

Read the rest on Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Al Martinez's blog and be sure to say hello!

Does the Media Determine Who You Vote For?


I stumbled on a stunning disconnect between the major media version of election coverage and candidate appearance trends on the internet. The Mainstream Media seems to have largely ignored something major on the web.


Hat tip: Charles Laird

Tribune To Hold Conference Call With Lenders On June 5


TRIBUNE COMPANY PRESS RELEASE
May 20, 2008

Tribune To Hold Conference Call With Lenders On June 5

CHICAGO, May 20, 2008 – Tribune Company today announced that it will hold a conference call on June 5 at 2 p.m. CT (3 p.m. ET, Noon PT) to discuss first quarter 2008 financial results. The call date has been revised from the previously
announced date of May 29 due to scheduling conflicts. The call will be hosted by Tribune’s Chairman and CEO, Sam Zell, who will be joined by other members of the company’s senior management team.

To access the call, dial 866/203-2528 (domestic) or 617/213-8847 (international) at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled 2 p.m. start. The participant access code is
76254243. Replays of the conference call will be available June 5 through June 29. To hear the replay, dial 888/286-8010 (domestic) or 617/801-6888 (international) and
use access code 50498759.

A live webcast will be accessible through www.tribune.com and through www.earnings.com. An archive of the webcast will be available June 5 through June 29.

Tuesday Afternoon News


1

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Monday Chuckle

Top Ten Country Classics!

10. I Hate Every Bone In Her Body But Mine

9. I Ain't Never Gone To Bed With an Ugly Woman But I Woke Up With a Few

8. If The Phone Don't Ring, You'll Know It's Me

7. I've Missed You, But My Aim's Improvin

6. Wouldn't Take Her To A Dogfight 'Cause I'm Scared She'd Win

5. I'm So Miserable Without You It's Like You're Still Here

4. My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend And I Miss Him

3. She Took My Ring and Gave Me the Finger

2. She's Lookin' Better with Every Beer

And the Number One Country & Western song is...

1. It's Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chewed My Ass All Day

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Los Angeles Times Press Release


Los Angeles Times Brings Readers onto the “Hollywood Backlot”

Debut of Award-Winning Photographer David Strick’s
Exclusive Gallery of On-set Portraits


LOS ANGELES – May 15, 2008 – The Los Angeles Times (http://latimes.com) is set to unveil “Hollywood Backlot” (http://latimes.com/hollywoodbacklot) on Thursday, May 15th, with exclusive, on-set photography from veteran Hollywood lensman, David Strick. Strick has enjoyed unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access for over thirty years and his photos offer a rare glimpse of luminaries and bit-players in candid and sometimes outrageous settings, appealing to both casual moviegoers and filmmaking intimates alike.

“David Strick’s Hollywood Backlot” is the debut feature of what promises to become The Times new “Hollywood Backlot” franchise and the celebration of the visual medium will cover a wide range of films, television, music videos and commercials. New shots from Strick’s current set visits will be featured online each week, alongside his full photo gallery and keyword searchable archive of 500+ images and a layout featuring the best of that weeks’ gallery will also appear each Thursday in Calendar.

“When the men in ape suits need to break to make cell phone calls or stars spend a day dangling from a tree by invisible cables, Hollywood Backlot will be on the scene,” said The Times online entertainment editor, Richard Rushfield. “David Strick will be a fly on the wall wherever Hollywood is at work and will bring our readers that experience.”

Strick’s family has worked in Hollywood for three generations and includes both Oscar winners and blacklistees. For eleven and a half years, he produced a monthly photo column for Premiere Magazine called "David Strick's Hollywood" and prior to that a book entitled "Our Hollywood." David’s editorial work has also appeared in Time, Life, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Fortune, Sports Illustrated and The New York Times Magazine. His photographs have been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, the Cincinnati Art Museum among others, and he was featured at the "Visa pour l'image" photo festival and Bibliothèque Nationale collection in France.

“The Los Angeles Times and the entertainment business have in a sense grown up together and I’m excited my photos will now be part of this new view inside Hollywood,” said David Strick.

“Hollywood Backlot” is designed for everyone interested in the industry’s magic and is the latest addition to latimes.com’s Entertainment News section (http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/).

Saturday, May 17, 2008

San Francisco Peninsula Press Club: More about the East Bay union vote


Two follow-ups to yesterday's item about the National Labor Relations Board's decision to schedule a union vote at the Contra Costa Times and ANG newspapers on Friday, June 13.

First, the union claims management at the newspapers has met with an "anti-union consultant." "It’s our understanding that the company’s approach will be to portray the union as historically ineffective and unable to provide employees the kind of benefits they could reap without a union," said an item on the Guild's "One Big Bang" Web site.

Second, Contra Costa Times business writer George Avalos, who opposes unionization, has answered the questions that readers of the Press Club Web site have posted below a May 2 item on the union campaign. Avalos posted his responses in the "comments" portion of that May 2 item, but since that's now back in the archives, we've pasted it below. (And of course if the Guild people want to respond, we will post that too.)

Anon: George, no question the Guild is totally screwed up.
George:
I completely agree

Anon: The fact that your fellow employees would feel it is necessary to join such a messed up organization should tell you how desperate they are! They feel that they have no choice.
George: There is a choice. People can choose to remain union free.

To read the entire question and answer click on the link below.

San Francisco Peninsula Press Club: More about the East Bay union vote

Friday, May 16, 2008

New Dept. in Editorial - Russ Stanton Memo


Colleagues:

We continue the steady march toward aligning our print and Web news operations, this month physically merging the Continuous News Desk, the AM Copy Desk and making space for Web editors at the main news desk in Metro, and arranging for print editors to rotate through the online newsroom.

Today, we are also creating a fully integrated department in editorial that will serve our site and our newspaper, combining our print photo, Web photo and video operations into one new department: Visual Journalism.

It will be headed by Colin Crawford, assistant managing editor for photography, whom I am promoting to deputy managing editor to reflect his new and expanded duties. Colin will be responsible for our multimedia, video and online photojournalism, as well as continue to supervise our award-winning photography staff.

Joining Colin in this new department is Multimedia Director Barbara Morrow and her team of shooters and editors, and Jerome Adamstein, senior online photo editor. Barbara and her crew will remain in their space on the second floor until we do the third-floor remodel (likely next year) and Jerome will remain in his tastefully appointed office on the fifth floor.

Colin was one of the first editors at the paper to embrace the promise of the Web. Last year, without prompting, he converted 10% of his staff to shooting exclusively video, producing, among other things, engaging segments for Dan Neil's Rumble Seat and Sue Carpenter's Throttle Jockey columns. Today, three photo staffers and five editors work full time to produce photos, photo galleries and videos for the Web, and almost all others in the department have been cross-trained and contribute to both mediums.

Combining these three departments under the umbrella of visual journalism will improve our ability to present multimedia storytelling in an even more engaging way, and take greater advantage of our outstanding photo staff. Under Colin’s leadership, the department has been awarded two Pulitzer Prizes in Feature Photography, in 2003 and 2004, and was part of the Public Service Award in 2005 and Explanatory Reporting in 2007. This year the staff was a Pulitzer finalist for its coverage of the California firestorms, marking the 10th time since 2003 the department has been a Pulitzer finalist.

Colin joined The Times in 1983 as a photographer in the Orange County Edition, where he became an assignment editor, deputy director of photography, then director of photography. He took the helm of the Los Angeles photo operation in 2001, and in 2004 was appointed assistant managing editor. That same year, Colin won the Jim Gordon Editor of the Year Award from the National Press Photographer's Assn.

Colin holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA.

He will report jointly to Executive Editor John Arthur and Meredith Artley, editor of latimes.com, working with them to prioritize needs for visual journalism in print and online.

Russ Stanton
Editor
Los Angeles Times

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times

Friday Afternoon Links


Amalia Martinez with Eddie

Innovation at the Los Angeles Times


Seeking methods of alternative income, someone at Times Mirror Square has come up with the brilliant idea of selling executive parking, as an innovative way of generating and increasing the newspapers cash flow.

Be the first in your department to register for the exclusive parking, which will only cost you $35.00 per month, yet think of what your colleagues will say about you as you stroll from the executive parking garage into the Times building everyday.

I am told you must meet a certain criteria before being admitted to this exclusive parking club, contact Clete Paige for further information.

San Francisco Peninsula Press Club: Union vote set for Friday, June 13th


Unafraid of triskaidekaphobia, the National Labor Relations Board has scheduled an election on Friday, June 13th, on the Guild's petition to become the exclusive bargaining agent for nonsupervisory news employees of Bay Area News Group-East Bay (Contra Costa Times, ANG papers). That's according to an e-mail from President and Publisher John Armstrong which was confirmed by union leader Sara Steffens. The election will be by secret ballot. Those eligible to cast a ballot: All full-time and regular part-time nonsupervisory news division employees at BANG's Alameda, Antioch, Hayward, Fremont, Tracy, Pleasanton, Oakland, Richmond, San Mateo and Walnut Creek locations. [May 2: Majority sign union cards at CC Times]

Union vote set for Friday, June 13th

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thursday Afternoon News


Redondo_Beach

Save Our Trade: Postcard from The Negotiation Table


By Ronnie Pineda

We all knew that the negotiations were going to be especially difficult during the economic downturn that newspapers are facing these days, but the reality is, we are also facing the same economic challenges.
[SNIP]

These past two days of negotiations have revealed to the negotiation committee as well as our Representatives that, the Company, by their actions, have no intention of negotiating a "FAIR" collective bargaining agreement with the pressmen and presswomen who print the Los Angeles Times.

To be transported to to entire article, click on the link below or on the title.

Postcard from The Negotiation Table

New Tribune Pay Card Option


Please Note: The following information is specifically targeted at those who receive physical payroll checks and hard copy pay stubs. However, everyone is welcome to participate in the new Tribune Pay Card program.

As of our May 23, 2008 payday, employees who receive hard copy payroll checks at work will now receive them at their homes instead. Printed checks will be mailed from Chicago on the Wednesday prior to payday, and should arrive at your homes by Friday. This also applies to those who have printed pay stubs sent to them in lieu of printing payroll information from ePay.

Employees are welcome, at any time, to enroll in direct deposit. However, we know that there are many people who do not have a bank account. As an alternative to hard copy checks or direct deposit, we are pleased to offer you a third option—the Tribune Pay Card. This new Visa debit card will be loaded with your pay each payday and can be used to pay bills and access cash. This new electronic option will also help protect against the possible loss, theft, or fraud that is intrinsic with paper checks.

If you think the Tribune Pay Card might be right for you, please click on this link to learn more about the program: http://webmanage.latimes.trb/timeslink/Tribune%20Pay%20Card%20Program/Forms/AllItems.htm . If you’d like to enroll, please fill out the election form and submit it to the payroll department.

If you have questions, please call x74920 or email latpayroll@latimes.com (for those at CCN, please contact your supervisor directly).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wednesday Afternoon Linkage


img_1669

Russ Newton SVP Production LA Times


Every month Newspapers and Technology publishes a short question and answer with managers from newspapers throughout the industry, so I was pleased when I ran across our very own senior vice president of production at the Los Angeles Times, Russ Newton.

Russ Newton Sr. VP Production

Computer To Plate at Times Olympic Facility


Here’s a short video from the Los Angeles Times Olympic Facility Plate Making Department, displaying how we currently produce our printing plates transmitted from Times Mirror Square to our three satellite production plants. Each plate burning machine at Olympic can produce 140 plates per hour.



On June 9th, 2008 the Los Angeles Times Olympic Plant will begin beta-testing the revolutionary Kodak high-speed thermal platesetter, the Generation News. This new machine can produce 300 plates per hour, compared with 240 PPH produced by most newspapers employing CTP systems today. Several steps of producing printing plates have been consolidated into this computer to plate system, which I’m told will not cause any staff reductions.

_old 220

Mayhem at the Times Orange County Facility


The action never stops at the Los Angeles Times, the night side production employees at our Costa Mesa Production Facility will attest to this by the fistfight they witnessed between two men Friday morning.

One version of the story claims a pimp and his hooker were chasing a john in their car, and the car race ended at the Los Angeles Times Orange County Plant’s South gate, which is not manned by anything other than a security camera.

As the men proceeded to fistfight, the one man losing the fight retreated to what he thought would be the safety of the Times parking lot, but was soon caught by the other man who commenced to beat the other man over a disagreement with the hooker.

A pressroom shift supervisor attempted to intervene, and was punched and knocked to the ground for his efforts, which prompted two additional employees to jump into the fray and subdue the men, till the Costa Mesa Police arrived and placed the two men and the women into custody.


An anonymous Times Orange County Employee sent this over:

pretty wild action at oc plant friday morning 3 am 5/9/08
- car pulls up to south coast gate at oc
- mexican guy runs into plant parking lot
- black guy chases mexican guy
- hot asian girl with long legs in short dress chases black guy
- black guy catches mexican guy near waste compactors
- crowd of drivers and production people security gather
- pressroom shifty tries to break up fight
- pressroom shifty takes blow to head and goes down
- big strong mailer and pressman (both black) tackle black guy and take him down HARD
- cops arrive while production guys sit on top of black guy
- all drunks handcuffed- need to figure out if security need at least pepper spray and taser they were helpless
- no names from me call your buds at oc to get them

Los Angeles Times Security may need to re-evaluate leaving the South gate open all night at the Times Orange County Facility, appears anyone can walk right onto the property.

Monday, May 12, 2008

For Nubia & The Gals

Fashion: The Paper Catwalk, & A Visit From SweetP

"A visit from SweetP Vaughn of Project Runway closed the day. Petite and every bit as nice as her name, Sweet P is enjoying many opportunities made possible by appearing on the reality TV show."
Read the rest and watch the short remix on:
Get Lost With Easy-Writer

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Special Occasions



I had to tell somebody, so I figured I'd share my week with whomever reads this blog.

I spent some time in Vegas this week to celebrate my Sister/Cousin's birthday. She and her daughter flew in from Birmingham and cousins flew in from New York. It all started Wednesday, May 7th, which was her 52nd birthday.

My niece hasn't seen my girls in 13 years and made it a glorious reunion among themselves. In the meantime, my grandkids had never met their 3rd cousin, and did their thing together as well. My mother joined us and all was good. At 82, she had the time of her life. Not being a gambler, she just enjoyed playing pennies to her hearts content.

There were buffets, dinners, breakfasts, etc. and all enjoyed. Took the grandkids to play in the arcade for an hour and they were in kid heaven! Something I'll not do again in the near future!!!!!!

My cousins and I took in a comedy show featuring George Wallace and I'll not soon forget how my back hurt after all the laughter. He was outstanding, and extremely gracious after the show.


Saturday morning, after some well-deserved adult fun (slots/tables), we departed to the airport to see the family off and return to SoCal. Upon arrival home, I was rushed to prepare to attend the Latin Jazz Festival, which proved to be a fabulous event! Great show!!! It was my first, but by no means will be my last. The artists were AB-FAB and I was thrilled that Andy Garcia made an appearance to play with the orchestra. Even more thrilling was that I got to actually meet him!

Afterwards, we stopped for Mexican food, came home and called it a day. Then today, it was a celebration of Mother's day. Brother-in-law Fred took us to brunch at Almansor Court. It was nice. Mom loves good food and truly enjoyed the variety.


It has truly been a busy week and well worth it!

Happy Mothers Day


The Mom Song Sung to William Tell Overture with Lyrics

"The Mom" song, sung to the William Tell Overture, by Anita Renfroe.What a mom says in 24 hours, condensed into 2 minutes and 55 seconds! Hilarious and talented!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Blogosphere Meets Daisy Romwall



As a direct result of blogging I meet many interesting individuals from different walks of life, some famous in the Blogosphere and many like myself, not so famous or well known.

When I ran an image search for my daughter’s twenty first birthday in February of this year, I happened across the perfect picture by a young lady in northern California named Daisy Romwall.

Daisy granted permission to use her photo in my blog post to my daughter Janelle, and made no requests for anything in return, so it seems fitting to thank her with a link back to her Flickr collection.

According to Daisy “I’m just a photographer” which I will disagree with, after viewing her many sets of photographs. She is a film major at her local college, and would enjoy feedback from photojournalists, as she moves from amateur to professional photographer.

Thank you Daisy

Murdoch Pulling His Bid For Newsday


Rupert Murdoch's $580 million bid for Tribune Co's Newsday newspaper has been withdrawn, which will leave cable television operator Cablevision as the most likely winner of the Long Island daily.

News Corp. Withdraws Its Bid for Newsday - New York Times

Message from David Hiller - Publisher LA Times


Folks,

I want to share the exciting news that Scott Sullivan has been named Chief Technology Officer for Tribune Interactive, overseeing the TI engineering group across all of Tribune. Scott will be traveling back and forth between LA and Chicago, but will maintain his role here at The Times—and specifically latimes.com. Kamran Izadpanah, the head of engineering for our interactive group, will be filling in for Scott as needed, but Scott will continue to be an integral part of our team here. Scott’s knowledge has been crucial to the growth we’ve seen on our Web site over the last year and his new role is a testament to the fantastic team Scott has built and the great work they are doing.

Please join me in congratulating Scott.

David

------ Forwarded Message
From: Tribune Communications
Date: Wed, 7 May 2008 07:21:51 -0700
Subject: Message from Marc Chase/Scott Sullivan Named CTO for TI

Scott Sullivan has been named Chief Technology Officer of Tribune Interactive. Scott will head up the TI engineering group across all of Tribune, which develops and integrates software to power our sites and also helps us build new products.

For the past year, Scott has devoted significant effort towards transforming technology operations and has acted as a senior technology advocate for LATimes.com. In that time, Scott’s efforts helped LATimes.com re-launch on a new content management platform, the re-launch of Travel as well as the launches of The Guide and Topics A to Z.

Prior to joining LATimes.com, he acted as CIO for Edmunds.com and served in executive roles at Yahoo/Overture Services, and Homestore.com.
We are very excited to have Scott lead our joint technology efforts across all of Tribune Interactive.

Please congratulate Scott!

Marc