Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Message from the Publisher

From: Johnson, Jeff
Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 1:24 PM
To: Internal News
Subject: Tribune Stock Repurchase Follow-up

(Managers and supervisors: Please make sure that employees who do not have e-mail receive this information, including the Employee Q&A posted online. Thanks.)


Yesterday's announcement by Tribune of a stock repurchase program is a major development that represents a solid vote of confidence in the future of this company and our industry. It sends a positive message to shareholders, many of whom are Tribune employees, that the current share price does not adequately reflect the fundamental value and long-term earnings prospects of the company's businesses. I want to make sure that you have all the information you need to understand what this program means for you and for The Times.

Tribune has posted an Employee Q&A on Triblink (http://triblink.trb/intranet/) to answer some of the questions you may have. On Friday, Dennis FitzSimons will host an employee Town Hall meeting that will be broadcast and webcast (audio only) to Tribune offices around the country. We're working on the logistics of where the satellite broadcast will be available, and will let you know the details in a separate e-mail. Tribune will also provide a live audio webcast of the meeting at

You can submit a question in advance of that meeting via e-mail to or via fax to 312-222-1573. I'd also be happy to answer your questions, which you can submit by replying to this note.

I encourage you to watch the broadcast or listen to the webcast, as well as visit Triblink to learn more about this. You will also see additional communications from us and from Tribune in the weeks ahead, including employee meetings with myself and your department head to review the announcement and answer any questions you may have. The meetings will also cover our progress in 2006 and our plans for 2007. Your engagement is vital to our goal of generating additional shareholder value through improved operating performance across the company.


Changes in Chicago

Tuesday's announcement by the Tribune Company of the repurchase of seventy-five million shares of outstanding stock was seen as a move in the right direction by many of us in the Tribune workforce. But this repurchase of stock will come with a price tag many employees fear, lost jobs.

Today's article in the Los Angeles Times (Page C-2) states on paragraph two, that $200 million in annual operating costs would be cut, partly through layoffs. Many employees that barely made the cut in December, 2005, wonder if they will be employed by the Tribune much longer.

I would post a link to the article, but you must be a subscriber to the Los Angeles Times to access certain stories online. Here's the link anyway. Article

Even as our supervisors try and calm the workforce regarding possible layoffs, the uneasy feelings of last years downsizing are in the air once again. The next few weeks may be a bit more intense with the uncertainty of additional changes at the newspaper.

Rumors have it, layoffs will occur in Advertising, Editorial, and the IT Departments.

Operations is running very slim, as we have taken many hits with previous buyouts and downsizing, and the closing of the Chatsworth Facility.

The price of Tribune stock will no doubt rise as millions of shares trade hands, lets hope this isn't a temporary price increase.

Keep your heads up and hope for the best outcome everyone working for the Tribune across the country.


Busy Day at Home

I have not had a chance today to air my views on all the positive news from the Tribune the last two days. After work tonight I may have the time, if I don't visit the El Ray to listen to the Steven Seagal Blues Band.

I'm off to work.


Prudential Raises Tribune Rating

By E&P Staff

Published: May 30, 2006 12:50 PM ET

NEW YORK Prudential Equity Research upgraded its rating on Tribune Co. this morning to "overweight" from "neutral" on news of the company's stock buy back of 25% of outstanding shares.

The note addressed Tribune's announcement that the company hopes to achieve $500 million in asset sales. The research firm gives the sale of the Chicago Cubs a 10% chance -- analysts think the sale of Tribune Tower is much more likely.

Prudential has a price target of $37 derived from an 8.5 times multiple on 2006 EBITDA estimate of $1,423 million a multiple roughly in line where the publishing group is trading.

"We think an 8.5 times multiple for Tribune makes sense for several reasons," wrote analysts. "We still do not believe the premium multiple valuation is appropriate given the challenges to the company's top line, the ongoing circulation fallout, and its potential longer-term impact on advertising growth."

2ND UPDATE: Tribune To Buy Back Shares, Pursue Asset Sales

05-30-06 06:38 PM EST

CHICAGO (Dow Jones) -- Tribune Co. shares rose more than 7% Tuesday after the company said that it would buy back up to 75 million shares of its common stock, and announced that it expects to sell at least $500 million in certain noncore broadcasting and publishing assets outside of its top three markets.

Separately, the company said that the Securities and Exchange Commission has closed its two-year inquiry into circulation overstatements at Newsday and Hoy newspapers, and that Tribune will not have to pay any fines or face any sanctions as a result of the investigation.

Shares of Chicago-based Tribune (TRB) -- publisher of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, and owner of Superstation WGN - rose $2.01 to close at $ 29.90 on heavy volume of 9.7 million shares.

Tribune said that up to 53 million shares could be repurchased on a Dutch- auction tender offer, under which shareholders can tender some or all of their shares at a price in the range of $28 and $32.50 each. The tender begins Tuesday and is expected to expire June 26.

After the offer is completed, the company's principal shareholders, McCormick Tribune Foundation and Cantigny Foundation, have agreed to sell 10 million shares to Tribune. That sale is subject to adjustment depending on how many shares are tendered, and is contingent on Tribune buying back at least 30 million shares in the tender.

McCormick Tribune and Cantigny, nonprofit charitable organizations, own a combined 13.6% of Tribune's outstanding shares.

In an order filed Tuesday, the SEC said that from January 2002 to March 2004, regulators said Tribune submitted inflated circulation figures at New York-based Newsday and Hoy in documents filed with the commission and in other places.

Tribune did this, according to the SEC, "because it did not have sufficient internal controls to detect the schemes used by the circulation personnel."

The SEC also said that it accepted Tribune's offer to settle the case after it considered "remedial acts promptly undertaken by Tribune and the cooperation that Tribune afforded the commission's staff."

The company admitted to no wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

In 2004, Tribune recognized $90 million in pretax charges to settle advertisers' anticipated claims related to the inflated figures. Ad rates are set by circulation numbers, so when circulation figures are inflated, advertisers pay more for ads than they otherwise would.

On Tuesday, nine former employees and contractors of Newsday and Hoy pleaded guilty in federal court to participating in the circulation fraud at the newspapers. Among those executives were Louis Sito, former publisher of Hoy and vice president of Newsday; Robert Brennan, former circulation director at Newsday; and Ed Smith, who formerly served as liaison to the Audit Bureau of Circulations for both papers.

Tribune Chief Executive Dennis FitzSimons told analysts during a conference call Tuesday that they should not read anything into McCormick Tribune's decision to sell some shares at a time when the stock is near its lowest levels this decade.

McCormick Tribune has grants that have to be paid annually, among other expenses, and needs to maintain "a certain amount of liquidity," FitzSimons said.

Tribune Co. also announced plans to pursue the divestment of $500 million in noncore broadcasting and publishing assets, as well as real estate and securities held for investment.
Don Grenesko, Tribune's senior vice president of finance and administration, said on the call that investors should expect the asset sales to be done within six to 12 months.

FitzSimons said that the Chicago Cubs baseball team is not for sale, and that the company is not considering the divestiture of any assets in its top three markets -- Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, where it publishes Newsday and owns television station WPIX.

Dow Jones Newswires

Tribune Takes the Lead

By Sandy Brown Staff Reporter

5/31/2006 7:14 AM EDT

Tribune's (TRB:NYSE - news - research - Cramer's Take) restructuring could pressure other old-media names to follow suit.

The Chicago-based company, one of the oldest media empires in the U.S., announced plans Tuesday to buy back 25% of its outstanding common shares, shed $500 million in noncore assets and cut expenses by $200 million.

Tribune said it wants to expand existing interactive businesses and invest in building national interactive networks. The company adds that it will not shed assets in its top three markets, though divestitures "could include certain noncore broadcasting and publishing assets, as well as real estate and securities held for investment," Tribune said.

The refocusing at Tribune could serve as a call to action at big newspaper and local TV station owners like Gannett (GCI:NYSE - news - research - Cramer's Take), Belo (BLC:NYSE - news - research - Cramer's Take) and New York Times Co. (NYT:NYSE - news - research - Cramer's Take). All have failed to impress Wall Street of late, with shares losing 20% to 30% of their value during the last 12 months.

The Tribune move comes as investors have criticized management at many media firms for their failure to capitalize on the growth of Internet advertising and on their perceived unaccountability to shareholders.

"You have to give [Chairman] Dennis FitzSimons a thumbs-up on this one," Benchmark's Ed Atorino says. He commends Tribune for making a "pre-emptive strike" rather than waiting, as did Knight Ridder (KRI:NYSE - news - research - Cramer's Take), for an activist shareholder to get the upper hand.

Knight Ridder, owner of the Miami Herald and other large publications, was recently sold to McClatchy (MNI:NYSE - news - research - Cramer's Take) for $6.5 billion. The Sacramento Bee publisher is, in turn, selling several newspapers related to that transaction.

Knight Ridder isn't the only media firm in investors' crosshairs of late. Family-controlled New York Times Co. recently faced down shareholder ire in the form of Morgan Stanley's (MWD:NYSE - news - research - Cramer's Take) investment group, which wanted to see better results and a reconfiguration of its assets to remedy poor performance.

Barry Lucas, senior vice president for research at Gabelli & Co., says Tribune's openness to shedding its 31% stake in E.W. Scripps' (SSP:NYSE - news - research - Cramer's Take) Food Network could present an "interesting negotiation" between the two sides. Gabelli affiliates beneficially own Tribune shares on behalf of their investment clients. Lucas has a buy rating on the stock.

Even if Tribune has shown the way, though, it's not clear which media companies will follow its lead.

Lucas says that media companies can be divided into "two buckets." Where companies with a single class of stock are concerned, he says, it "behooves them to be more proactive" in helping shareholders realize value. In these cases, he says, private-capital management can "make some noise and have some effect."

But when it comes to two-tiered stocks, such as is the case with the New York Times, where the Sulzberger family owns a controlling share, activism amounts to a big "so what" because investors bought the stock knowing the name of the game.

Atorino disagrees, though, adding that Tribune's action might provide some food for thought at companies like Gannett, New York Times and Belo. "You've got to wonder if other management are reading the headlines," he says.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

SEC Settlement of Newsday/Hoy Circulation Issues

-----Original Message-----

From: FitzSimons, Dennis J. [Notes]
Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 9:39 AM
Subject: SEC Settlement of Newsday/Hoy Circulation Issues

Dear Fellow Employee,

I want to make you aware of two announcements today related to the 2004 circulation issues at Newsday and Hoy. First, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced closure of its two year investigation regarding the newspapers. As you know, we have been cooperating with the SEC and U.S. Attorney's office since we uncovered and reported circulation issues at Newsday and Hoy in 2004. Today, the SEC issued a "cease and desist" order requiring accurate circulation reporting and continuation of our improved internal controls. No fines or other sanctions were levied against the company. We are pleased that the SEC's investigation confirmed all of the conclusions of the company's 2004 investigation and that the commission has closed its inquiry.

Second, the U.S. Attorney's office in New York has announced that nine former employees and contractors of Newsday and Hoy have pleaded guilty to charges connected to the circulation fraud. All of these individuals were identified in the company's investigation in 2004; the employees were severed from the company and the contractors were terminated as a result of the information we uncovered. We will continue cooperating with the U.S. Attorney's office until their investigation concludes.

Following the SEC's announcement, Tribune Company issued a press release which is now posted on TribLink and We're pleased to have the SEC investigation behind us and are looking forward to a future at Newsday and Hoy with a renewed focus on readership and service to the community.



Dennis FitzSimons Update to Employees

-----Original Message-----

From: FitzSimons, Dennis J. [Notes]
Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 4:33 AM
Subject: Today's stock repurchase announcement

Dear Fellow Employee:

This morning we announced a major initiative in which the company will repurchase up to 75 million shares of Tribune common stock. The transaction is outlined in the press release now posted on TribLink and

To view a short presentation about today's announcement, please click here: http://tco-chi-sql1/lists/Media/dispform.aspx?id=71

You' ll be hearing much more about the stock repurchase in the coming days and weeks. This Friday, please plan on tuning in to a live "Town Hall" meeting at 11:00 a.m. Central. The meeting will be broadcast via satellite to all Tribune business units. Viewing locations will be communicated locally.

If you' d like to pre-submit a question for the Friday meeting, please send it to our Corporate Relations department - e-mail <> or fax 312-222-1573.


Technical notes about video e-mail:

If asked for a user name and password, instructions for determining yours can be found on TribLink at <http://triblink.trb/intranet/site/wsslogin>.

Further troubleshooting information can be found here: <http://triblink.trb/intranet/site/wsshelp>

Former Los Angeles Times Employee Denied Access

Former pressman Randy Kantor wrote;

I came to visit the plant and was told that i couldn't come in. What the f*** is going on Ed?
I tried to come, and it cost me $35 dollars.


After 911, security has been beefed up at all Tribune properties. Many former pressroom employees found this out, as you did, the hard way. Your still welcome to visit your co-workers at the Olympic Facility, but you must make an appointment with an employee first. The employee must notify security of your visit, with an extension number they can be contacted at.
Next time you plan to visit, call me, and I'll arrange to escort you in for a visit. 1.800.LA.TIMES extension 75624 (pressroom office).

See you soon Randy,

Spoof Websites

Over the weekend I reported on a website that was collecting usernames and passwords for Paypal. After contacting the webmaster, the website posted a disclaimer. But on Monday May 29th, 2006 the website was at it again, attempting to lure users into entering their username and password. Upon entering this information, the user would be redirected to another page that asked for your credit card and banking data.

This morning another fake image was displayed, claiming the web site was disabled. Just ten minutes ago, the website is showing a message to visitors that they had been hacked, and they do not phish for private information.

I have gone through their home page, and it appears to be a front for phishing, as the site offers no real information on advertising.

Will keep everyone updated regarding this site.

Give no data via email to anyone, always log onto websites directly.


U.S. ruling in Apple case bolsters Web reporters

By Laurie J. Flynn The New York Times
SUNDAY, MAY 28, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO A California appeals court has ruled that online reporters are protected by the same confidentiality laws that protect traditional journalists, striking a blow against efforts by Apple Computer to identify people who leaked confidential company data.

On Friday, the three-judge panel in San Jose overturned a trial court's ruling last year that to protect its trade secrets, Apple was entitled to know the source of leaked data published online. The appeals court also ruled that a subpoena issued by Apple to obtain electronic communications and materials from an Internet service provider was unenforceable.

In its ruling, the appeals court said that online and off-line journalists were equally protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

"We can think of no workable test or principle that would distinguish 'legitimate' from 'illegitimate' news," the opinion states. "Any attempt by courts to draw such a distinction would imperil a fundamental purpose of the First Amendment," which guarantees freedom of the press. The ruling states that Web sites are covered by California's shield law protecting the confidentiality of journalists' sources.

Apple had argued that Web sites publishing reports about Apple were not engaged in legitimate news gathering but were misappropriating trade secrets and violating copyrights. But the appellate panel disagreed.

"Beyond casting aspersions on the legitimacy of petitioners' enterprise, Apple offers no cogent reason to conclude that they fall outside the shield law's protection," the ruling states.

If upheld, the ruling could have a far- reaching impact in California courts on other writers who publish electronically, including bloggers who regularly post news and opinion online without the backing of a mainstream news operation.

"This ruling will probably prove instructive to other online writers," said Kurt Opsahl, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties organization, who argued the case in front of the appeals court last month. "It says that what makes a journalist is not the format but the function."

Apple declined to comment on the ruling or the possibility of an appeal.

Tribune to Repurchase up to 75 Million Common Shares

Represents 25% of Shares Outstanding; Value of More Than $2 Billion; Modified 'Dutch Auction' Tender Offer Commences Today; Company Targets $500 Million in Asset Sales, $200 Million in Cost Savings; Will Continue to Invest and Innovate for Top-Line Growth.

CHICAGO, May 30, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Tribune Company (TRB) today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to 53 million shares of its common stock in a modified "Dutch Auction" tender offer, an additional 10 million shares from its principal shareholder following completion of the tender offer and up to an additional 12 million shares through open market repurchases after the tender. In the tender offer, shareholders will have the opportunity to tender some or all of their shares at a price that is not greater than $32.50 and not less than $28.00. The tender offer will commence today and is expected to expire on June 26, 2006, unless extended.

The repurchase of up to 75 million shares of common stock through these transactions represents about 25 percent of the common shares outstanding with a total value of more than $2 billion.

The stock repurchases will be funded through a combination of bank debt and publicly issued bonds. This incremental debt will be repaid from the significant free cash flow generated by Tribune's media businesses and proceeds from at least $500 million in asset sales, which could include certain non-core broadcasting and publishing assets as well as real estate and securities held for investment. The company expects that its current credit ratings will be lowered as a result of the increased debt. The company will maintain its current dividend and continue to fund additional investments.

"These stock repurchases demonstrate our confidence in the company and its future and represent a very meaningful step in our commitment to enhance value for shareholders," said Dennis FitzSimons, Tribune chairman, president and chief executive officer. "They also reflect our strong belief that Tribune's current share price does not adequately reflect the fundamental value and long-term earnings prospects of the company's businesses."

"The repurchase transactions are expected to be accretive to earnings per share and will lower Tribune's cost of capital," added FitzSimons. "They also allow us to optimize our capital structure while maintaining financial flexibility. We intend to achieve our goal of generating additional shareholder value through improved operating performance, asset dispositions and the disciplined repayment of debt over the next several years."

Strategic Initiatives

Tribune management reiterated its growth plans for the company's major market media businesses.

The publishing and interactive strategy calls for a combination of revenue growth -- primarily driven by interactive -- and structural cost savings over the next two years. Specific growth strategies include: * Expand existing interactive businesses and invest in building national
interactive networks.

* Sustain the broad reach and revenue of Tribune's market-leading
metropolitan newspapers through editorial, sales and marketing

* Grow targeted print and direct mail businesses.

* Aggressively manage costs to best serve customer needs and take full
advantage of scale.

The broadcasting strategy calls for utilizing the scale of our television group to maximize audience share and cash flow through the following initiatives: * Acquire quality off-network programming to generate large audiences for
advertisers in our local markets.

* Complement our stations' strong broadcast network affiliations (The CW,
FOX, MyNetworkTV and ABC) with a focus on local news and sports.

* Align with major program suppliers to co-develop quality first-run
programming for key audience dayparts.

* Create additional value via cable/satellite television
(Superstation WGN) and through the use of our digital spectrum.

* Continue to use technology to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Across the company, $200 million in additional cost savings from existing operations are planned over the next two years to offset expense inflation. Investments in common systems for advertising, circulation, content and interactive capabilities will improve efficiency, as will greater collaboration across business units, outsourcing and local initiatives. Overall, resources will be redeployed to support key growth opportunities, particularly in interactive businesses.

"Tribune Company remains committed to delivering long-term shareholder value by improving the operating performance of our major market media businesses," said FitzSimons. "We have an outstanding group of major market media assets capable of producing top-line growth by providing excellent service to our customers and communities."

Tender Offer and Other Share Repurchases

In the tender offer, shareholders will have the opportunity to tender some or all of their shares at a price that is not greater than $32.50 and not less than $28.00. Based on the number of shares tendered and the prices specified by the tendering shareholders, Tribune will determine the lowest per share price within the range that will enable it to buy 53 million shares, or such lesser number of shares as are properly tendered. If fewer shares are properly tendered, the company will purchase all shares that are properly tendered and not properly withdrawn. If more than 53 million shares are tendered, the company will purchase all shares tendered at or below the purchase price selected in the tender offer on a pro rata basis, except for "odd lots" (lots held by owners of less than 100 shares), which will not be prorated. All shares acquired in the tender offer will be acquired at the same price, including shares that were tendered at a lower price. Shareholders whose shares are purchased in the offer will be paid the purchase price in cash, without interest, promptly after the expiration of the offer period.

McCormick Tribune Foundation and Cantigny Foundation, affiliated nonprofit organizations which together hold 13.6% of Tribune's outstanding shares, have agreed to sell to the company a total of 10 million shares, subject to adjustment depending on the number of shares tendered, and contingent on the company purchasing at least 30 million shares in the tender offer. Purchases from these foundations will be made on the 11th business day following the expiration of the offer period at a price equal to the per share price the company pays for shares purchased in the tender offer.

Following the completion of the tender offer, the company may also purchase up to an additional 12 million shares through open market purchases. These open market purchases may not begin until the 11th business day following the expiration of the offer period.

The tender offer is not contingent upon any minimum number of shares being tendered. The tender offer is subject, however, to certain conditions as specified in the Offer to Purchase, including obtaining the necessary financing for the tender offer from credit facilities arranged by Merrill Lynch Capital Corporation and Citigroup Global Markets Inc., the lead financial advisors on the transaction. The credit facilities will be used to fund the tender offer, the principal shareholder stock purchases and the post-tender offer open market stock purchases, to refinance outstanding commercial paper and other near-term debt maturities and to replace Tribune's existing revolving bank credit agreements.

Merrill Lynch & Co. and Citigroup will serve as Co-Dealer Managers for the tender offer. Georgeson Shareholder Communications Inc. will serve as Information Agent and Computershare Trust Company, N.A. will serve as the Depositary. The Offer to Purchase, Letter of Transmittal and related documents will be mailed to shareholders of record and will also be made available for distribution to beneficial owners of Tribune common stock.


Today at 8 a.m. CT, management will host a conference call to discuss this announcement. To access the call, dial 800/510-9691 (domestic) or 617/614-3453 (international) at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled 8 a.m. start. The participant access code is 45686894. Replays of the conference call will be available May 30 through June 30. To hear the replay, dial 888/286-8010 (domestic) or 617/801-6888 (international) and use access code 10182055. A live webcast will be accessible through and An archive of the webcast will be available May 30 through June 30.

More information about Tribune is available at or by calling 800/757-1694.

TRIBUNE (TRB) is one of the country's top media companies, operating businesses in publishing and broadcasting. It reaches more than 80 percent of U.S. households and is the only media organization with newspapers, television stations and websites in the nation's top three markets. In publishing, Tribune operates 11 leading daily newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Newsday, plus a wide range of targeted publications. The company's broadcasting group operates 26 television stations, Superstation WGN on national cable, Chicago's WGN-AM and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites complement Tribune's print and broadcast properties and extend the company's nationwide audience.

This press release contains certain comments or forward-looking statements that are based largely on the Company's current expectations and are subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties. Such comments and statements should be understood in the context of Tribune's publicly available reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most current annual 10-K report and quarterly 10-Q report, which contain a discussion of various factors that may affect the Company's business or financial results. These factors, including the ability to complete the tender offer and the ability to achieve cost savings, could cause actual future performance to differ materially from current expectations. Tribune is not responsible for updating the information contained in this press release beyond the published date, or for changes made to this document by wire services or Internet service providers. The Company's next 10-Q report to be filed with the Commission may contain updates to the information included in this release.

This press release is for informational purpose only and is not an offer to buy or the solicitation of an offer to sell any shares of the Company's common stock. The solicitation of offers to buy Tribune Company's common stock will only be made pursuant to the Offer to Purchase and related materials that the Company is sending to its shareholders. Shareholders should read those materials carefully because they will contain important information, including the various terms and conditions of the offer. Shareholders will be able to obtain copies of the Offer to Purchase, related materials filed by the Company as part of the statement on Schedule TO and other documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission through the Commission's internet address at without charge. Shareholders will also be able to obtain copies of the Offer to Purchase and related materials, as filed with the Commission (excluding exhibits), without charge from the Company or by written or oral request directed to the Information Agent, Georgeson Shareholder Communications Inc., 17 State Street, 10th Floor, New York, New York 10004, telephone number 1 (866) 767-8963 (banker and brokerage firms call collect (212) 440-9800).

SOURCE Tribune Company

Monday, May 29, 2006

Fighting Online Crooks

One of the best ways to fight crime is the same offline or online. What to do? Report it! IC3, or The Internet Crime Complaint Center, is a partnership between the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Nation White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). It is considered a centralized source for reporting Internet crime. There are different agencies to report different crimes - everything from child pornography to computer hacking to Internet bomb threats. The Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) breaks down the different agencies responsible for each different type of crime.

Thank you Veterans

Happy Memorial Day to all the vets and young people in the military. National Day of remembrance.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Response from Paypal

Dear Edward D. Padgett,

Thank you for contacting PayPal about a fraudulent (spoof) email or Web site. We appreciate you bringing this suspicious email to our attention.

We can confirm that the email you received was not sent by PayPal. Any website which may be linked to this email is not authorized or used by PayPal.

Our fraud prevention team is working to disable any website linked to this email. In the meantime, please do not enter any information into this website. If you have already done so, you should immediately log into your PayPal account and change your password, as well as your security questions and answers. We also recommend that you contact your bank and credit card company immediately.

If you notice any unauthorized activity on your PayPal account, please report it to us by following the instructions below:

1. Go to the PayPal site and log in to your account only from the PayPalwebsite.

2. Click on the Security Center link at the bottom of the page.

3. Click on the 'Unauthorized Transaction' link under the Report a Problem column.

4. Follow the instructions on this page in order to access the appropriate form.

Lastly, we recommend taking a few steps to protect yourself from identity theft:

1. Download the SafetyBar, a toolbar for Outlook and Outlook Express, which identifies known spoof emails.

2. Get eBay Toolbar with Account Guard which warns you when you're on a potentially fraudulent (spoof) Web site.

3. Sign up for Equifax Credit Alerts for PayPal Users, a program that provides an early warning detection system in the event of identity theft. Find out more by visiting the PayPal Identity Protection Center at

4. Frequently monitor your PayPal account for suspicious activity.

For additional tips please visit the PayPal Security Center at

Thank you again for sending us your report.

We appreciate your efforts to keep PayPal safe. Sincerely,

Important: PayPal and its representatives will NEVER ask you to reveal your password. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this policy. If anyone claiming to work for PayPal asks for your password under any circumstances, by email or by phone, please refuse and immediately contact us via our secure webform online. ************************************************************************
This email is sent to you by the contracting entity to your User Agreement, either PayPal Inc or PayPal (Europe) Limited. PayPal(Europe) Limited is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the UK as an electronic money institution.*************************************************************

Online Scams, User Beware

Below is an example of a scam in my e-mail. I sent an e-mail asking why they were attempting to gain my user name and password for my PayPal account. Their response is at the bottom of this message.
======================SCAM E-MAIL===========

Dear PayPal Member,

PayPal is committed to maintaining a safe environment for its community of buyers and sellers. To protect the security of your account, we employ the most advanced security systems in the world and regularly screen our system for unusual activity.

Recently, our Account Review Team identified some unusual activity in your account. Per PayPal's user agreement, we have limited access to your account until this issue has been resolved. This is a fraud prevention measure meant to ensure that your account is not compromised.In order to secure your account and quickly restore full access, we require some specific information from you.Login follow our secure site and update all necessary informations to your account.

Click here to restore your account access

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Please understand that this is a security measure meant to help protect you and your account. We apologize for any inconvenience. Sincerely, PayPal Account Review Department.

Please do not reply to this e-mail. Mail sent to this address cannot be answered. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and choose the "Help" link in the footer of any page.

PayPal Email ID PP2359
Copyright© 2006, PayPal Inc., All rights reserved.
Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.

Protect Your Account Info
Make sure you never provide your password to fraudulent websites.To safely and securely access the PayPal website or your account, open a new web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Netscape) and type in the PayPal login page ( to be sure you are on the real PayPal site.

PayPal will never ask you to enter your password in an email.For more information on protecting yourself from fraud, please review our Security Tips at
Protect Your Password
You should never give your PayPal password to anyone.

==============SCAM E-MAIL==============

Here's the reply I found in my mailbox this morning.


We are doing nothing of the like. Please do not jump to conclusions before you accuse us of anything because we are not crooks. Someone hacked into our website and we are taking care of it right now.

Good day. Regards, Zane

End of Message.

What tipped me off that this was nothing more than a scam? The TO: field was blank, and when I moved my cursor over the sign-in area of the message it was not PayPal but a site address of ADDRESS. <--Click on address and tell me if this is really Paypal? And just for fun, enter a fake username and fake password, and see where you are taken next. Maybe their server was hacked, and maybe it wasn't?

After completing this post I will give the site address and a copy of the email to PayPal and Earthlink just to be on the safe side.

Be very careful folks,


UPDATE: 9:21am PST I have forwarded the phoney Paypal message to Paypal and Earthlink's fraud department. Check out Arin Whois and you will see where this message originated, by searching for

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I'm Getting Old

Back when I was younger my buddies and I would run the streets all night, and go to work at the newspaper with two or three hours sleep. We would always tell one another "I'm never doing that again", but for some reason we would do it night after night and recover from the lack of rest quickly.

Last night I made it home at 10:30pm from work, washed and dried my uniform, and jumped into bed as quickly as possible for the 5:00 am shift today. Iplaced my uniform out onto the floor like a fireman would, for a quick exit. My alarm went off at 3:50am, and I was out the door at 4:00am. After work I came home and napped for two hours, but I'm still feeling rather tired, just can't recover from the lack of sleep as I once did when I was a young person.

One of our supervisors keeps preaching about feeling the web from our Man-Rowland units, and all of us experienced operators simply look at the web from the quietroom, not the catwalk. That's the beauty of experience, we can look for wrinkles in the web and judge if were pulling too hard or too loosely. I won't mention the supervisors name to protect his privacy, but here's what happened yesterday.

My favorite operator went up on the catwalk to feel his web from unit twelve while the press was running, and his hand went through the web. I really felt bad for him, and gave him a new nickname, Dave Walker.

Enjoy your weekend,
Eddie the Zookeeper

Friday, May 26, 2006

That Thursday Thang

Last night my daughter Lauren, her girlfriend, and myself returned to the Pasadena Ice House for That Thursday Thang. This was suppose to be a two week run, but it has now been extended because it is becoming very popular.

The MC (D'Militant) is a very funny comic himself, and he runs the program very well.

We sat in the front row last night, and this means we were the blunt of many of the different comic's jokes. Naturally I was the oldest in the crowd, and when the jokes centered around something like black and white television, they pointed out that I would know what they were talking about.

I even won a free drink by answering who was buried in Grant's tomb, thanks D'Militant.

I'm pictured with Skillz, who was co-host the past two Thursday's. He gave us six free passes for next Thursday show, and we plan to be there.

At the moment I still have three free passes for the June 1st show, if you would like to attend the show drop me an email.

Hi Frankie

Former Los Angeles Times pressman Frank Cordola stopped by this morning afer working a night shift at his new job this morning.

Frankie asked that I say hello to all his old friends at the newspaper, and said he misses everyone.

Frank said at his new job (San Bernadino Sun) that he works much harder than he worked at the Times. He has to bar the plate cylinders around by hand, removes the protective wraps from the newsprint, makes $16.50 per hour, and works forty plus hours per week.

Several other former Times employees work at the newspaper as well. Susan Marquez, Danny Valasquez, John Kerns, and David Zutz.

Frank is planning to attend our October dinner, to say hello to all of his friends.


It's Raining in San Dimas

Someone forgot to check the weather report this morning, it's raining lightly in San Dimas today. My San Gabriel Valley Tribune was wrapped in plastic, but my Los Angeles Times was not.

Have you tried to open a wet newspaper, the pages are fused together and the newspaper reverts to pulp, that's been dipped into ink, rather hard to read also.

A dry Los Angeles Times is on it's way to my home, and I'm sure many other homes in San Dimas have wet newspapers this morning.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Just Another Fun Filled Day

The e-mail notification service is running smoothly, every morning about 3:00am everything posted for the previous day is e-mailed to users that subscribe to the service. If you sign up for the service, it takes several days before your first message will arrive, and then a few additional days before it's actually running correctly.

I'm not one to do things in a timely manner, I filed my tax returns two days ago, (do not file late if you owe the government money) and thought I would have my cash deposited into my checking account soon after. Well, my federal taxes were rejected, with the error message "check the social security numbers of dependents" and "dependents can not be claimed on more than one tax return".

I double checked the children's social security numbers, and dates of birth, and everything checked out fine. I thought to myself "my ex-wife could not of written the children off" but that's what has happened. I called my ex and asked her if she wrote the children off on her taxes? And she said YES! She went on to say that H and R Block had no problem with her returns.

I have written off my children as long as they have been alive, and the children also live with me full time. This is a case of fraud, and wastes my time. I will call the IRS and find out what information they need to correct this, in the mean time, I will be out several thousand dollars while this mess is cleared up.

Don't be a procrastinator as I am, and situations like this won't happen to you.


Update 10:50 am After calling the IRS (1.800.829.1040) several times, I went through a series of press one for English, and two for tax refunds, until I finally reached a real person, I was told to mail in hard copies of my federal tax return. After reviewing my past years returns, I was assured my refund would be in my hands within four months or sooner.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Take Back the Times: Tribune CEO FitzSimons Caught In Conflict of Interest

Take Back the Times: Tribune CEO FitzSimons Caught In Conflict of Interest

Hump Day is Here

Here we are another week is halfway over, and payday is two days away, what more could I ask for? It would be nice to have another week in Cozumel right about now, but I will be there before I know it in August.

As a Tribune employee my paycheck is viewable on Tuesday afternoon, as I scanned my paycheck I noted I was charged with one day of vacation, damn if I can recall taking a day off the last two weeks? Some things are very hard to remember, but taking a day off is one of the few things I don't forget.

Next Monday is a holiday for the Tribune company, and they always place a notice regarding non-essential employees, taking the day off. I will be working on Monday, will you? Most of us essential employees do not have three day weekends, so we must make them, sometimes by calling in sick or using a floating vacation day.

Sick days and the usage of sick days is always debatable with management, some of us have always used up all of our five sick days, while others never used a sick day. The Tribune Company started a new policy regarding sick days this year, use them or lose them.

Many of my co-workers that took the sick day pay every year are now using their sick days, management frowns upon this, but the employees see it in a completely different light than our managers see it.

Working for a company that never closes, means the blue collar workers are at work while most of their friends and family are off work. Management has no clue how hard it is to come to work on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day, because their at home with family and friends.

I see my sick days as a mental health day off, a day to re-charge my mind, and upon my return to work, I perform much better. Using sick days will actually save the company money with fewer mistakes and higher performance on my part.

If sick days cost the company so much in overtime, why not take them away from the employees?

Stay healthy,


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Moody's downgrades Tribune long-term debt rating

05-23-06 05:01 PM EST

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Moody's Investors Service late Tuesday downgraded Tribune Co.'s (TRB) senior unsecured long-term debt ratings to Baa1. The outlook is negative. The agency said the downgrade results from the company's ongoing share repurchase activity, increased debt balances, and weaker-than-expected operating performance. Moody's said the negative outlook recognizes ongoing event and execution risks facing the Chicago-based media company and the media sector in general.

Beauty & Light: Marta Becket

It's here on my blog: The Story Of Marta Becket and the Amargosa Opera House.

The City of Hope

Just a quick shout out to Dorie Garcia and all her co-workers at the City of Hope.

Thanks for visiting and don't be afraid to say hello now and then.


Making a Printer's Hat

Long ago at a newspaper near you the pressmen would create paper hats to keep the ink mist from their heads by folding a newspaper into a hat. The picture above (modeled by Woody J. from L.A.) shows what the hats looked like.

With the printers now behind glass barriers the hats are no longer needed, but many long for days gone past and we are starting to see the paper hats reappearing once again.

Just click on the picture below for a larger version, and you too can wear a printer's hat.

Step #1. Lay a four-page section of your Los Angeles Times down with the fold at the top. Fold the top left corner down to the center line. Do the same with the right top corner.

Step #2. Fold up the edge of the top sheet to the base of the triangle and crease.

Step #3. Fold the entire flap as far as it will go and crease.

Step #4. Turn the hat over and fold the right edge to the center line for an average head size. For a smaller size, overlap the center line by 1/4 inch. Fold the left side in the same manner toward the right edge.

Step #5. Fold the lower right and left corners to the bottom of your hat band.

Step #6. Fold the entire lower flap above the hat band.

Step #7. Now fold the top of the flap down and tuck into the hat band.

Step #8. Fold the peak down to the bottom of the hat band and tuck it under the band.

Step #9. Position the hat upright with the brim up. Pull the sides open and flatten into a diamond shape. Crease all edges.

Step #10. Tuck the corners into the brim.

Step #11. Open the hat and crease the corners square on all four sides.

Pictured in diagram, the late Keith Pratt.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Tribune buys

By David B. Wilkerson, MarketWatch
Last Update: 6:22 PM ET May 22, 2006

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Newspaper publisher and broadcaster Tribune Co. on Monday said that its Tribune Interactive subsidiary has acquired, a national real-estate Web site, for an undisclosed amount., which connects home buyers and sellers through private-party residential property listings, had more than 1.6 million average monthly unique visitors last year, according to data from comScore Media Metrix.

Tim Landon, president of Tribune Interactive, emphasized that the company remains "strongly committed to Realtors, to whom a majority of consumers turn for real-estate transactions."

Tribune always has allowed sellers to list properties for sale independently, according to Tom Finke, vice president of development.

"The marketplace that we have created over the last 150 years has very much benefited the broker and agent community," Finke said in an interview. "Private-party listings have been a part of that community forever. So while a broker at first blush might be concerned about this, I think if they step back and think about the value that they derive from the marketplace, I think they'd realize in the long run that this will be beneficial to them."

Advertising services provided by range in price from about $90 to $900, depending on the seller's needs.

At a time when newspaper industry is trying to cope with a choppy advertising environment, real-estate advertising, particularly online, has shown robust growth across the industry for several quarters.

In the first quarter, classified real-estate ad revenue jumped 35% from a year earlier. In the fourth quarter of 2005, real-estate revenue climbed 19% from the prior year.

Tribune (TRB) shares fell 21 cents to close at $27.81.

Showers Have Blown Away

My drive to Los Angeles this afternoon was a fun one, and I had a feeling I should leave home early, so I started out at 11:30am. The 210 Freeway was a parking lot, all the way from Glendora to the 605 Freeway this afternoon. I took the surface streets to the 605 and Live Oak, before the freeway was clear. My thirty minute drive took almost an hour today. Californian's just can not slow down when it rains, resulting in accidents.

Today we had one less crew to produce the Calendar and Classified sections of Tuesday's newspaper, but we did ship 155,000 to the Orange County Facility. Sergio Lopez and his crew have had their days off changed from Tuesday and Wednesday, to Monday and Tuesday off. They will be coming in at 6:00am on Wednesday's to produce the Spanish edition of the Recycler.

Any additional publications are welcomed, it's seen as job security, by most of the workers.

Johnny Walker held a brief one hour meeting with the operators and service shops, seeking answers to why we have so many web breaks with half rolls. I like the direction he's taking with this problem, no one likes running half rolls.

I took this picture as I left the Olympic Facility at 6:30 PM tonight.

Stay dry,

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A Night out with Friends

Last night a group of us from the Los Angeles Times got together at the Pasadena Ice House for a night of laughter and friendship. The tickets were provided free by the Ice House, we only had to cover the costs of the drinks. Below are a few of the many pictures that were taken at the show.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

When the News is Not News

Propaganda, masquerading as "news"- Michelle Malkin helps expose the LA Times' use of another insipid "man on the street" story, this time on the subject of immigration:

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times ran a piece of open-borders propaganda masquerading as journalism, which featured a Riverside, Calif., landscaper named Cyndi Smallwood who claims she can't find workers to dig ditches even at $34 an hour.

The claim seems preposterous, but the Times assures us that Smallwood has no ideological ax to grind. She is "ambivalent on immigration reform," the Times reports. Just an ordinary landscaper, you know.

But it turns out there's a tiny bit more to the story that the LA Times isn't telling you. Reader Christopher L. wrote this morning to point out that a simple Google search shows that Cyndi Smallwood is president of the Orange County chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Association, and is a member of the association's "Immigration Task Force." The activist group opposes the "Punitive Immigration Reform Bill Proposed by Rep. Sensenbrenner."

TGI Saturday

Well I'm off to find some hidden treasures at yard sales throughout the city this morning, what I need and what I want may differ slightly, but I always find something I can not live without.

Friday, May 19, 2006

New Features Here

The e-mail notification is running, but it takes three days before your first message will arrive, to let you know what's been posted. This morning my notification contained everything posted for Wednesday. All of us take in far too many email messages, and the way this appears to run, you will get one email per day.

Posted messages will be visible for fourteen days now, instead of seven. After that time frame, messages are placed into the archives. You can search all the messages for a certain topic by running a search at the left side of the blog page.

On the home front. I'm in heaven tonight! Joanna is spending the night with her girlfriend down the street, my grandson David is staying with his mother, and Nathan is playing with his band. That means I have an empty house. YEAH. This is a very rare occurrence here at my home, and I could get used to this very quickly.

Tribune Stock. After nine trading days of declines, the Tribune stock finally had a positive day.


Publisher Visit

Jeff Johnson was our guest yesterday at Oly, and it was nice to see him face to face, and he had no bad news to share with the employees.

He did mention he also didn't like seeing the stock so low, and placed part of the blame on wall street.

From the information he shared, sounds as if the Los Angeles Times is doing everything possible to increase advertising sales on all fronts.

It was a very positive meeting for most in attendance.

Running the Streets of Pasadena

Last night after work I didn't feel like running straight home and stopped at the Pasadena Ice House for the 8:30 show.

Having no reservations, and a line from the frontdoor through the alley, getting into the building wasn't looking very good.

The show last night featured comic's that had won their contests in the Annex next door. It looked as if everyone's relatives had come out for the show, as people were filing in well past the 8:30 show time start.

When it was announced that the show had sold out I still had another option, the Comedy Annex, and the cost was only $5.00 compaired to $20.00 for the main showroom. In my thirty years of visiting the Ice House, I have never stepped foot in the Annex, that changed last night.

The show was called "That Thursday Thang", and I was on the floor for most of the acts. The M.C. for the show was a funny man himself, D'Militante. I don't remember all the names but Melanie Comarcho and Eve Dionne Lamb come to mind. This particular show was being taped for downloading onto cell phones, not sure how this works, but I'm sure my children could probably show me.

While waiting for the doors to open I ran into Tina Kim, she was filming a pilot commerial after the main showroom cleared. She invited me to watch the taping, but I had to get home, maybe next time?


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Uploading Images Working Again

Yes, I was finally able to upload a picture today, this is a picture of Jeff Johnson, publisher of the Los Angeles Times. Hopefully I will be able to capture some better photographs at the townhall meeting being held at Oly today. I was informed by a co-worker that pictures can not be taken during the meeting, I was not aware of this rule, so my camera will be working during the meeting.

It's funny how we all see things differently. I was chatting with my crew members yesterday about how I felt Wednesday's are the hardest day of the week for me. Pulling in the tabloid section, with a four page balloon (a balloon is a section of a newspaper), finding the right amount of pull to keep the tabloid section from running shortheads, and not breaking out the four page balloon is a real balancing act.

But my second colorman (called an inker now) felt Thursday's were the hardest day for him. My tensionman had a completely different outlook, he said Friday's were his hardest day at the newspaper.

Appears things are different for each person at the newspaper.

Enjoy your day,

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wednesday Night Closing

Looks as if I may have a new broadband server? I was identified as a Covad Communications user, but now I have noted I am a Verizon user. My service has been running very poorly the past few days, and I still can not upload pictures?

I mentioned to a few co-workers (from the closed Chatsworth Facility) that Jeff Johnson would be at our plant on Thursday, and many sounded as if they feared his visit. I can understand their feelings, the last time they saw the publisher he closed their plant. One co-worker said "What the hell is he coming here for?", and another said "I wonder if he's going to announce another buyout?".

No matter what his agenda might be, we'll know for sure tomorrow.

The Olympic Pressroom was treated to pizza today from John Baldridge of SP Newsprint,
Thank you John. Kal and I were planning to start a diet today, we'll start it tomorrow instead.

Billy Roundtree, roving operator, head trainer, and motorcycle rider is collecting used children's shoes for the children of Tia Juana, Mexico. Billy and his motorcycle club will be riding down south on Sunday, May 27th with their donations. Contact Billy if you would be interested in donating something.

Jesse has suggested placing popular posts back at the top of the page. I will be forced to read the online manual, on how this procedure is done, or maybe just copy and paste it as a new post?


Wednesday Morning Tidbits

For some reason I'm unable to upload pictures to my blog, thought it was just corrupt photographs, but I take it the blog service is having problems with too much traffic?

It was reported that the Los Angeles Times web page set a new record last month with 7.7 million unique visitors. Shows the trend is moving to online news rather than the hard copy version of the newspaper.

My article on embracing changes is generating many comments, I may need to find additional positive information regarding management at the newspaper, as this seems to stir many of you up.

I have added a new feature to the blog that will email you when changes are made or updates posted, saving you a trip to the blog. Just enter your email address, and when a confirmation email arrives, click on the link and your done.

Messages are currently set to appear for seven days before going into the archives, should the messages be set to fourteen days?

Writers are needed for this blog, if your interested, contact Ed or Jesse.

Keep smiling,

Tribune Revenues Down 3% In April

Publishing Advertising Revenues Down 2%; Television Revenues Down 2%

CHICAGO, May 17, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Tribune Company (TRB) today reported its summary of revenues and newspaper advertising volume for period 4, ended Apr. 23, 2006. Consolidated revenues for the period were $424 million, down 3.0 percent from last year's $437 million.

Publishing revenues in April were $309 million compared to last year's $317 million, down 2.7 percent. Advertising revenues decreased 2.0 percent to $245 million, compared with $250 million in April 2005. Advertising revenues in April were negatively impacted by the timing of the Easter holiday. Combined advertising revenues for March and April were flat compared to 2005; excluding Newsday, combined advertising revenues for March and April increased 2 percent.

-- Retail advertising revenues were down slightly with weakness in the department stores, furniture/home furnishings and several other retail categories offset by gains in specialty merchandise, personal services and amusements. Preprint revenues, which are principally included in retail, were flat. Excluding Newsday, preprint revenues increased 6 percent.

-- National advertising revenues declined 11.8 percent principally due to lower movies, resorts and automotive advertising.

-- Classified advertising revenues rose 2.0 percent. Real estate rose 24 percent, while help wanted and automotive classified fell 5 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Interactive revenues, which are primarily included in classified, were $18 million, up 23 percent, due to strength in all categories.

Circulation revenues were down 5.3 percent. Selective discounting continued as part of the company's strategy to stabilize individually paid circulation.

Broadcasting and entertainment group revenues in April decreased 3.9 percent to $116 million, compared with $120 million last year. Television revenues declined 2.0 percent; weakness in restaurant/fast foods and movies was partially offset by strength in telecom and education. Radio/entertainment revenues decreased 13.3 percent due to fewer Cubs home games (six in April 2006 compared with seven home games last year) and lower syndication revenues at Tribune Entertainment.

This press release contains certain comments or forward-looking statements that are based largely on the Company's current expectations and are subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties. Such comments and statements should be understood in the context of Tribune's publicly available reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including the most current annual 10-K report and quarterly 10-Q report, which contain a discussion of various factors that may affect the company's business or financial results. These factors could cause actual future performance to differ materially from current expectations. Tribune Company is not responsible for updating the information contained in this press release beyond the published date, or for changes made to this document by wire services or Internet service providers. The Company's next 10-Q report to be filed with the SEC may contain updates to the information included in this release.

TRIBUNE (TRB) is one of the country's top media companies, operating businesses in publishing and broadcasting. It reaches more than 80 percent of U.S. households and is the only media organization with newspapers, television stations and websites in the nation's top three markets. In publishing, Tribune operates 11 leading daily newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Newsday, plus a wide range of targeted publications such as Spanish-language Hoy. The company's broadcasting group operates 26 television stations, Superstation WGN on national cable, Chicago's WGN-AM and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites complement Tribune's print and broadcast properties and extend the company's nationwide audience.

SOURCE Tribune Company

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

VIP Visitor this Thursday

This Thursday the Los Angeles Times Publisher, Jeff Johnson, will visit the Olympic Facility for a townhall meeting. The last time Mr. Johnson was at Oly my camera ran out of film, and started rewinding the film, and he commented "That's the first time I did that to a camera". Needless to say, I was red faced.

This time I will have my digital camera handy, and it makes very little noise. I will do my best to have a picture taken with the publisher by keeping Jesse at my side to snap a few pictures to post here Thursday night.

Lets hope for some good news this Thursday?


Blogging 101

So you want to be a Blogger you say, then follow this link for becoming a Blogger.

Good Obituary

Hats off to Elaine Woo who wrote a gorgeous and heartfelt obituary in the LA Times today on poet Stanley Kunitz. Her writing brings back the Times. If you haven't read poetry (and I swear if you read my blog, eventually I'll get you to do so), his poems are a wonderful place to start.
Here's an excerpt from his poem,
"Touch Me"
What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.

American Academy of Poets

Monday, May 15, 2006

Something Going Around the Pressroom

Thanks for the get well messages everyone, just be careful whom you associate with at work, so you don't get sick as well.

Was it last week I was moaning about email's not arriving in a timely manner to the rank and file employees? At my age I sometimes lose track of days and weeks, even forget why I'm downstairs at home often.

My mailbox at work was filled with many emails, but one of the emails has to be shared with my fellow employees, here it is.

From: name removed
Sent: May 7, 2006 7:24 PM
To: name removed

Probably more than most, I just hate people who forward too many warnings, but this one is important! Send this warning to everyone on your e-mail list!

If someone comes to your front door saying they are conducting a survey on ticks and asks you to take your clothes off and dance around to shake off the ticks, do NOT do it!
IT IS A SCAM; they only want to see you dance naked!

I only wish I'd gotten this yesterday.
I feel so stupid now.

End of message.

Ok folks, I have shared this anonymous message with you, so be careful.

A Little Under the Weather

Now isn't that something, no posts from me yesterday and just a minor post this afternoon. Feeling poorly yesterday and today, but I'll be back in action tonight after work.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Downtown Los Angeles Central City East Blogger: More news on woman stomped to death on skid row#links

Downtown Los Angeles Central City East Blogger: More news on woman stomped to death on skid row#links

LAPD Online

LAPD Chief William Bratton becomes a blogger, with a wide variety of information, such as missing person's, Los Angeles most wanted, and crime maps.

I Can Say What I Want, But Not You

I couldn't have said it better, or as well, myself. I applaud the professor and pray that all Americans do, too. Now, let's hope Michigan State U. doesn't cave in to the cries of a handful of anti Americans who have the audacity to protect Professor Wichman's remarks.

Well. what do we have here. Looks like a small case of some people being able to dish it out, but not take it. Let's start at the top. The story begins at Michigan State University with a mechanical engineering professor named Indrek Wichman.

Wichman sent an e-mail to the Muslim Student's Association. The e-mail was in response to the students' protest of the Danish cartoons that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist. The group had complained the cartoons were "hate speech." Enter Professor Wichman. In his e-mail, he said the following

"Dear Moslem Association: As a professor of Mechanical Engineering here at MSU I intend to protest your protest.

I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders, murders of Catholic priests (the latest in Turkey!), burnings of Christian churches, the continued persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt, the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims, the rapes of Scandinavian girls and women (called "whores" in your culture), the murder of film directors in Holland, and the rioting and looting in Paris France.

This is what offends me, a soft-spoken person and academic, and many, many, many of my colleagues. I counsel you dissatisfied, aggressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile "protests."

If you do not like the values of the West -- see the 1st Amendment -- you are free to leave. I hope for God's sake that most of you choose that option. Please return to your ancestral homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans.

Cordially, I. S. Wichman, Professor of Mechanical Engineering"

Well! As you can imagine, the Muslim group at the university didn't like this too well. They're demanding Wichman be reprimanded and mandatory diversity training for faculty and a seminar on hate and discrimination for freshman. How nice. But now the Michigan chapter of CAIR has jumped into the fray. CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, apparently doesn't believe that the good professor had the right to express his opinion.

For its part, the university is standing its ground. They say the e-mail was private, and they don't intend to publicly condemn his remarks. That will probably change. Wichman says he never intended the e-mail to be made public, and wouldn't have used the same strong language if he'd known it was going to get out.

How's the left going to handle this one? If you're in favor of the freedom of speech, as in the case of Ward Churchill, will the same protections be demanded for Indrek Wichman? I doubt it. Hey guys send this to everybody and ask them to do the same and tell them to keep passing it around till the whole country gets it. We are in a war to the bitter end.

Submitted by Jesse DeGeytere

Friday, May 12, 2006

Stamp out Hunger on Saturday May 13th

Changes Can be Embraced

I have been known to focus on what I see as negative at my work place, and seldom write about what is positive.

Our senior vice-president of production, Mark Kurdich, has made many changes at the Olympic Facility that are very positive for the workforce.

With the promotion of our new vice-president of production, Russ Newton (AKA Wayne), tensions have eased and it is actually rather fun coming to work again.

Our new plant manager, Greg Malcolm(AKA The Cowboy), is also a people person and the supervisors no longer need a heads-up when the Director of Operations is in the pressroom, as we have done in the past.

Returning pressroom manager, Johnny Walker, has even changed his attitude, and takes our ribbing very well. And gives it back as well.

As a direct result of management changes, production figures are soaring to new heights every week. Rolls per break are at seventy rolls per break, papers per hour are slowly increasing as the press speeds have risen, and newsprint waste is dropping as the printing presses are getting the attention they so dearly need.

A few of my co-workers are never pleased with any changes, and continue to bitch and moan, and mis-direct their anger at the wrong people. Major changes at the Los Angeles Times are made from Chicago, not from Los Angeles.

We all have options, we can remain un-happy, or we can embrace change and smile, what will your choice be?


It's up

A review of Ashes and Snow, a photography show at the Santa Monica Pier....
puff..puff.... just click on my site
Comments welcome under the article. Sorry it's long. Oh well...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Media shares mixed after Fed's rate hike

By David B. Wilkerson, MarketWatch
Last Update: 2:56 PM ET May 10, 2006

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) - Most media and entertainment stocks, down for most of the sesson, showed a few signs of life Wednesday afternoon after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter percentage point to 5%.

Despite improvements in the economy over the past year or so, the advertising environment remains choppy. A cut in rates, or even a pause in the Fed's rate-rise cycle, would have been perceived as a possible catalyst for economic expansion and improved ad revenue in the second half.

Nonetheless, some stocks that had been down, including Gannett (GCI), New York Times Co. (NYT), and Dow Jones & Co. (DJ), the parent of MarketWatch, turned modestly higher.

Newspaper stocks remained generally lower, including Hollinger International. (HLR), Hollinger lost nearly 4% to $7.69 following its report of first-quarter results, which were hampered by advertising weakness at its flagship Chicago Sun-Times.

Media General (MEG), McClatchy Co. (MNI), Journal Register Co. (JRC) and Tribune Co. (TRB) were among newspaper decliners.

Disney (DIS) was up 1.7% at $30.08. The company said fiscal second-quarter net income rose to $733 million, or 37 cents a share, from $657 million, or 31 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales were $8.03 billion vs. last year's $7.83 billion, bolstered by a strong performance at Disney's broadcast and cable television networks.

Analysts said Disney should be on track to meet its goals of double-digit earnings growth for the fiscal year, which ends in September.

Most diversified entertainment stocks were lower on the session, including Sony (SNE)(6758), Viacom (VIA.B) and CBS Corp. (CBS). Time Warner (TWX) edged 1.1% higher to $17.24.

In the radio sector, Cumulus Media (CMLS) was up 6.7% at $12.33 after it said it would buy back 11.5 million shares at $11 to $12.50 each.

Other radio stocks, some of which were down earlier, were up slighlty, including Radio One (ROIAK) and Saga Communications (SGA).

Our Internet World is Changing

Almost everyday we hear about a new technology breakthrough, or about a new virus threat on the Internet. We live in an ever-changing world that shows no signs of slowing this constant move. Is it any wonder media companies are struggling to keep their audience.

When I was looking for my current home the realtor took me here and there walking through homes, and wasting time for him and myself. So I took matters into my own hands and started searching for homes on the Internet. It was rather easy, I enter my search criteria, four to six bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and the zip code of the city I was interested in living, and the price range I could afford.

After hitting the search button I was presented with a listing of all the homes that fit my search. Not only could I see the exterior of the home, but all the bedrooms and other important information regarding the home. This saved the realtor time as well as my time, when I found a home I wanted to see, a simple email to Century 21 made this possible. After spending many weeks looking at homes, the Internet helped me locate my current home within one week, the website I used was called home seekers, not sure if they even still exist?

I purchased my current car on eBay, and paid for it using Pay Pal, many people have told me they would never buy an automobile in this manner, but I’m not like most people, and have had only minor problems with my car. I was able to run a search of the car’s VIN number, before bidding and winning the bidding process.

All my music comes from the Internet, yes some is downloaded from Kazaa and Lime wire, but most is purchased through BMG Music.

I have dated many women from Match, and it runs hot and cold, some fudge their data and others simply live too far away from San Dimas.

My children's computer was purchased online at Dell, my anti-virus software was purchased and downloaded from Norton. And my tax returns are uploaded via the Internet, and refund direct deposited directly to my checking account.

I may be the exception not the rule, but I’m sure many others are turning away from tradition means of gathering information, and turning to the Internet for news and purchases, as I am.

If newspapers want to stay competitive, they must offer their subscribers something extra on the Internet, give them a reason to log onto their web sites, and listen to what the subscribers are saying.

Is it Friday yet?