Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuesday Morning Media News

The Brits are Coming! - Gary Stewart
Goodbye to Newspapers? - Howard French

Wayne Beane Update

Senior vice-president of production, Russ Newton, informed me yesterday that Wayne Beane’s sudden retirement was by his choosing, and he was not forced to retire. I will believe Russ at this moment, but if anyone else leaves to spend more time with his or her families, I will question their departure.

I'm Watching Your Back

This past weekend was rather busy for myself, with my daughter Joanna and I spending Saturday at a day spa in Temecula. Joanna had her hair trimmed, and highlighted, while also having a manicure and pedicure.

As Joanna enjoyed her beauty treatment I spent two hours having every muscle in my body massaged with hot smooth rocks, which left me sore afterwards, but I slept very well Saturday and Sunday nights as a result. With all the stress at the newspaper, treat yourself to a massage once in awhile; you won’t be sorry, just a little lighter in the wallet.

And speaking about being lighter in the wallet, the Los Angeles Times Security is actively investigating the vandalism occurring at the Olympic Facility. I have contacted Wells Fargo Bank and Washington Mutual for the exact times my cards have been used at Yum Yum Donuts, so Times security can view the video from the merchant to identify the culprit in the thief’s.

I had not even bothered to see where my Visa card was used until last night, and discovered the dummy had used my credit card at Yum Yum donuts twice for charges of $4.08 and $2.98.

Last Friday before the pressroom started the swing shift Dan Lippiatt informed every one of the break-ins at a shift meeting, and urged everyone to file a report with security if they have experienced a loss. Apparently the reports filed with security are but the tip of the iceberg, as many have shared that their lockers have been opened in their absence, but have not reported the break-ins because they felt the company did not care.

One of the main reasons I have this blog is to keep my colleagues informed, so many things are presented here to stay abreast of the industry, and in this case, make all Operation Employees aware of the dangers of storing anything of value in their personal lockers.

Lets hope Times security can locate the thief before a pressman finds them, because some in the pressroom will apply vigilante justice to vent their anger.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saturday Night Links

Oly Mailroom Employees David, Jose, Linda, and Craig from Pressroom

Blogging and the Shifting Definitions of Journalism - Lamar White

Set Your Alarm: Page One Ads Are Coming - Huffington Post

Newspapers earnings: How much worse will it get? - Blogging Stocks

New Competition For 'Metro'? - Philadelphia Will Do

Blogger Luke Ford and KTLA reporter Eric Spillman debate ethics - LAT

Operations Employees at the Los Angeles Times

When the Mafia takes one of their own out, they always say “Its nothing personal, its just business”, the same holds true for management when they let a employee go, its not personal, its just business, which we witnessed first hand this week at Olympic.

As the Tribune continues on the downward spiral, especially with double digit decreases in revenue; it will only be a business decision to outsource Operations to trim costs and increase profits. I know what we’re told, that we cannot outsource Operations, but I also still vividly recall being told there would be no further buyouts, four buyouts ago.

Credibility means a lot, which leads to the meeting in which everyone working in Operations was informed their jobs were secure, and all the Times truck drivers and mechanics were let go shortly after the meeting, and outsourced to Ryder Trucking.

Many of the articles I post in the daily links are meant for my fellow workers, especially regarding outsourcing at other newspapers, don’t think for a moment we are not seen as a way of increasing profits, we all have targets on our backs, and will be eliminated when possible.

If you do not believe me take a look to our north, the San Francisco Chronicle, which has a very strong union, will be letting everyone go in May of 2009 as Transcontinental takes over the production of the newspaper.

We have heard for four years that we will be bringing in new products to produce at our printing facilities, yet no extra work has materialized, and most likely will never arrive.

My message to all of my colleagues in Operations, watch your spending habits, cut back where you can, and by all means place your credits cards in a secure place for emergencies only.

An Awesome Experience

Have you ever seen the commercial where the troops are entering the airport and waiting passengers begin to applaude?

Well, I had the opportunity to experience that very same scenario while awaiting my flight on Thursday morning at Ontario Airport. And, I must say it was an experience second to that of seeing my first-born child for the first time! It was one I will never forget.

After giving up my seat on my initial flight (and reaping the benefits for doing so), I was just sitting and waiting for departure, a group of uniformed soldiers entered my waiting section. To see them initially gave me chills, as I wasn't sure if they were there to represent Homeland Security or to report to their assigned duties. Fortunately, they were there to welcome troops returning from Iraq.

As passengers deplaned, they saw an elderly gentleman wearing a veterans hat. They greeted him with handshakes and words of respect. And his smile clearly displayed his appreciation for the recognition he received.

Then, came the troops. OMG! As they exited the walkway from the plane, the chills took over me, the applause began, camera flashes came out of nowhere and tears streamed from adults and children alike.

Afterwards, the troops gathered in a group, listened to their instructions, and were on their way. I have a couple of pictures to post after my return to SoCal.

To see this gives one a renewed appreciation for our freedom and those who make it possible.

God Bless Our Troops!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Night Media News

Pressman Guillermo Benavides with former Dodger Bill RusellOperations employees, submit your photos for posting here
Contra Costa Times Reducing News Staff - SF Peninsula Press Club
Belo 2Q Profit Declines - Associated Press

Summer Vacation

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer. I've been busy the last few weeks with my daughter's All Star Softball team. They were a 12U (12 & under) team and they played their hearts out. It was great while it lasted but now it's over.

Now I'm looking forward to spending the remainder of summer enjoying the summer concerts in the park, taking long evening walks and working on my tan on my days off from work.

I hope everyone gets an opportunity to recharge yourself by relaxing, counting your blessings and enjoying all that summer has to offer.

Please pray for our troops...they need our support now that the desert heat is upon them. My son-in-law (currently in Iraq) has said that temperatures during the day can reach 125 degrees! I will not complain about the heat in Southern California as long as I know we have members of our military enduring much more.

God bless everyone!


LA Cowboy: Unasked Questions About Downtown, Transportation, Housing and Grand Avenue!

Brady Westwater has published a masterful story on his blog that belongs in the Los Angeles Times Opinion Section, click on the link below to see what I mean.

LA Cowboy: Unasked Questions About Downtown, Transportation, Housing and Grand Avenue!

San Francisco Peninsula Press Club: Guild fears it may be decertified

The East Bay Express's Robert Gammon, a former union official at the Alameda Newspaper Group, writes this morning that the planned merger of ANG's newsrooms with the Contra Costa Times might cause owner MediaNews to push for a decertification of the Guild at ANG. (Publisher John Armstrong described his consolidation plans in a memo posted here yesterday. Here's a link to a George Avalos story describing the consolidation.)

The merger would mix non-union employees at the Contra Costa Times with the unionized workers at the ANG papers, including the Oakland Tribune, San Mateo County Times, etc.

After the merger, if the combined news operation has more non-union than union members, the employees can circulate a petition calling for a decertification election of all employees in the bargaining unit. Gammon said Guild officials are counting heads.

Decertification means the Guild would no longer be the exclusive bargaining agent for employees, which would effectively end union representation.

San Francisco Peninsula Press Club: Guild fears it may be decertified

Thank you David Hiller

This is starting out as a very unusual day for myself, giving positive raves to two Tribune executives in the same day. Standby as I pinch myself and see if I’m dreaming? Well, it appears I am wide-awake.

I have been ever so passionate about the lack of communications given to my colleagues and myself at the Los Angeles Times Operations Departments, my regular readers are aware of this.

Yesterday the publisher of the Times, David Hiller, announced the creation of a tool on the Times Intranet that will allow the workers, without company email accounts, to communicate their ideas to committees and upper management at the newspaper.

GREAT IDEA David, and we thank you.

Where's Boi from Troy?

The server encountered an unexpected condition which prevented it from fulfilling the request.
The script had an error or it did not produce any output. If there was an error, you should be able to see it in the error log.
I noticed Boi from Troy has been displaying this message for over two days now, did Scott close his blog?

Message from David Hiller - Publisher LAT

From: Hiller, David
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 1:50 PM
To: zzAll LATimes Employees
Subject: Suggestion Box on TimesLink


My experience is that most of the best ideas on changing and improving our business come from colleagues who see opportunities in their dealings with readers, online users, advertisers, other departments, etc. — in other words, their first hand experiences. A lot of you have sent me emails and notes with your suggestions, and I know a ton of ideas get raised directly in your departments.

But to make sure we’re getting as many good ideas as we can, we are implementing a suggestion that came from several of you — creating an electronic suggestion box on TimesLink.

I hope you’ll click on it to submit your ideas, feedback, and insight. If you have a suggestion that will improve our business, save money, increase circulation or revenue, or just make the day to day operations of your department more efficient — we want to know. Also, be sure to pass along ideas and suggestions you hear from our customers, or your neighbors, or things you see competing media doing that we ought to consider.

We’ll take a good look at everything, get back to everybody who sends something in, and put the best ideas into action fast.

As “Times Change,” my guess is experience will again show that you have the best ideas about how we move ahead.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Brilliant Move Dennis FitzSimons

My confidence in the CEO of the Tribune Company, Dennis FitzSimons, ability to turn the fortunes of the media company around has been low. I would not go as far as Ken Reich, and call him a numbskull, but I have lost sleep many nights wondering when all the ado and dust will settle?

Wednesday when the Tribune Company announced historic revenues declines, I fully expected a major sell off of Tribune stock. But Dennis saved the day when he told the world the financing for the repurchase of 127 million shares of outstanding Tribune stock was secured, causing the stock to gain $1.05 for the day.

The last two hurdles for taking Tribune private will be the vote by Tribunites across the country on August 21st, and a ruling by the FCC on cross ownership of media in the same market.

Brilliant move Wednesday Dennis.

Take Back the Times: NYTimes Business Skill, Tribune Ineptitude

There's no getting away from the fact that these are difficult times in the newspaper business. But some companies are doing better at coping with their problems than others.

This is clear from two articles in the New York Times Business section that ran yesterday. One showed how the managers of the New York Times Co. are quite skillful, while the managers of the Tribune Co. are the numbskulls that we have gotten to know so well.

For additional laugh's, click on the link below.

Take Back the Times: NYTimes Business Skill, Tribune Ineptitude

The Hazards of Outsourcing at the Newspaper

I was astounded by the response from my colleagues regarding the thief’s at the Los Angeles Times Olympic Facility; I had no clue so many lockers were being vandalized and valuables taken while the workers were manning the printing presses.

Bill Conover told me his ipod was removed from his locker, John Rickett had $300.00 cash taken from him, Dennis Rios lost his change jar, and the list could go on for many more lines.

I have discovered all the lockers that have been broken into have one common denominator, the lockers were protected with a Master combination lock. Apparently the locks can be disabled with a sharp blow from a heavy object, my Master lock now opens with a strong downward tug, rendering the lock obsolete.

Ed Santos, Bill Conover, and Craig Steer have shown me how their Master locks open with a little tug, as mine does, making our locks nothing more than adornments hanging from our lockers.

The Los Angeles Times Grapevine tells me management is considering outsourcing our security guards again. I say again, because we tried this four or five years ago, and employees lost car stereos, their lunches, and anything that was not bolted down. I’m not implying it was the outside contractor’s, but the thief’s stopped when Los Angeles Times security was brought back to Olympic.

Aaron Proctor for Pasadena Mayor

Aaron Proctor is returning to Pasadena and running for mayor in this world famous foothill city in mid-August, I’m personally not familiar with Mr. Proctor, but I think this is about to change very soon.

As a child I could not stand the taste of beets, but as I have aged, they now taste extremely good in my old age. The same goes for politics, I never paid much attention to what politicians said, but now that I’m in my fifties I have developed a taste for what is being said.

Allow me to introduce Aaron Proctor in this short video.

For further information on Aaron Proctor, visit Pasadena's Political Underbelly Blog.


"Half of the American people have never read a newspaper.
Half have never voted for President.
One hopes it is the same half."

--Gore Vidal, author.

from Dan Poynter's Parapublishing site.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Book Is On Clearance

Get Lost With Easy-Writer
You know you're "out there" once the anthology you're in goes on sale. Experimental Travel is on sale through Lonely Planet, the travel guide company. Yup, it's gone down to $9.99, which means that once this stash is gone, it'll only be found in used bookstores, trashbins, and the homes of travelers who have about forty travelguides all lined up.....

read the rest on my blog! Leave me a note!

Comedy at Biaccis Pizza in Upland

With my sister and her family in town for the next few days I find my time limited, and will blog as I can the next few days.

We are headed to Biaccis for pizza, sodas, and comedy, the comedy is free, so join us at 9:00 p.m. tonight. The title will take you to their MySpace page. Tonight's show is hosted by the famous Bruce Jingles, sidekick of Jeff Garcia.

Biaccis Pizza
775 N. Central Ave.
Upland, CA 91786

Traffic Alert - Downtown Demonstration

Traffic Alert

Date: August 4th, 2007, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Demonstration: Victory Outreach - Stop the Violence
Location: Figueroa & Pico

March Route:
Northbound Figueroa to 11th Street
Eastbound 11th Street to Main Street
Northbound on Main Street to City Hall South

Event is expected to draw 10,000 people. There are no official street closures at this time, however rolling closures are expected.

Wanted, Old Photographs of Bob Bagwell

Calling all pressmen, if you have any photographs of Bob Bagwell would you please share them with melinda.marquez@latimes.com for Bob's upcoming anniversary party. And for you current employees, can you see Mike Gibson in this old picture? Mike is second from the right, and enters press impositions into the computer system now days.

Thursday Morning Media News

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wayne Beane Retiring this Friday from Olympic

Former plant manager of the shuttered Chatsworth Facility, Wayne Beane, is said to be leaving the company this Friday. I'm sure to spend more time with his family. Wayne will be missed at Oly.

Mr. Beane's primary purpose was orchestrating the the forty-eight inch project, cutting down the width of the Los Angeles Times, at Oly then Orange County.

Has this project been stopped for some reason?

Goldstein's Article Dropped for Being Innovative

Just incase you would like to read Patrick Goldstein’s killed article, Kevin Roderick has it posted on LAObserved.

And Nikki Finke has a great follow up which is a must read.

Take Back the Times: Patrick Goldstein's Column Should Run In LAT

It was with considerable astonishment that I read that Patrick Goldstein's column suggesting a way the L.Å. Times might earn enough money selling music on its Web site to compensate for not putting ads on Page 1, had been killed by management.


It is obvious Tribune thinks Page 1 ads are great. Anything to stem the revenue losses caused by its own downsizing and denigration of the newspaper. These Chicago idiots have screwed around with the newspaper for seven years, and now they are fixing to disgrace it with yet another cheap, sleazy, classless innovation, the Page 1 ads.

Continue reading Ken Reich by clicking on link below.

Take Back the Times: Patrick Goldstein's Column Should Run In LAT

Tribune Company News

Tribune Shares up this Morning

Tribune Company announced an $.17 per deluted share earnings for the second quater, much better than what was predicted for today. Click on the title for the full report.
Portion of the report.
CHICAGO, July 25, 2007 -- Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) today reported second quarter 2007 diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of $.17 compared with $.53 in the second quarter of 2006.

Second quarter 2007 results from continuing operations included the following:

  • A charge of $.08 per diluted share for the elimination of approximately 450 positions at publishing and corporate.
  • A charge of $.07 per diluted share for the write-off of Los Angeles Times plant equipment related to the previously closed San Fernando Valley facility.
  • A net non-operating loss of $.15 per diluted share.

Second quarter 2006 results from continuing operations included the following:

  • A gain of $.01 per diluted share related to the Company’s share of a one-time favorable income tax adjustment recorded at CareerBuilder.
  • A net non-operating loss of $.03 per diluted share.

Tribune presents earnings per share amounts on a generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") basis only. This differs from the pro forma earnings per share amounts supplied by broker analysts to databases such as First Call.

"Our second quarter results reflect the difficult advertising environment, although strongcost controls partially offset revenue declines," said Dennis FitzSimons, Tribune chairman,president and chief executive officer. "Publishing was impacted by soft print advertising and comparisons to record real estate spending, particularly in Florida, in 2006. However, second quarter interactive revenues increased 17 percent over the same period last year. In television, the telecom and entertainment categories showed growth. Demand was softacross other categories and there was little political spending versus last year. As we look to Tribune’s second half, year-over-year comparisons will ease and new revenue initiatives are expected to contribute to publishing results. The launch of new CW and syndicated shows will positively impact our television group."

"Our going-private transaction is on track and the financing for it is fully committed,"FitzSimons added. "We anticipate closing the transaction in the fourth quarter, following FCC approval, and expect to be in full compliance with our credit agreements."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Another Fifty-Two Week Low for Tribune

Tribune stock set another fifty-two week low this afternoon, losing one dollar per share and closing at $27.17. Let's hope the morning finanicial reports for the company aren't as bad as predicted, or we could see the stock dropping like a rock in morning trading.

For Kanani...One Is Never Too Old

Hey Kanani,

Life never ceases to amaze!


Bob Bagwell to Celebrate 60 Years with the Los Angeles Times

On August 4th, 2007 Robert Bagwell will mark sixty years working at the Los Angeles Times.

And I would like to add, Bob started his Times career in the pressroom.

I snapped this picture of Bob with LA Times publisher David Hiller at the celebration for the Times 125th year in business party last year.

Bob Bagwell’s 60th anniversary with the Los Angeles Times celebration is Monday, August 6 from 2:00pm to 6:00pm in the 5th floor salon in the Times Building.

For more information contact Melinda Marquez 213-237-6370

A video crew will be on hand at Olympic this Thursday for comments in celebration of this unheard of event, and group photographs will also be taken.

I hope my boss allows me to attend?

Fiction: Memory Of A Friend

Get Lost With Easy-Writer

She was fun. We could talk for hours. Horses, dogs, Irish verse. Myths, memoirs and novels. We would exchange cookies at Christmas. She had a laugh, loud, straight from the belly, almost a guffaw.

Tina Kim Live this Thursday

The Pressroom’s favorite comedian, Tina Kim, will be on stage this Thursday at the J Restaurant and Lounge in downtown Los Angeles.1119 S. Olive Street ------ Los Angeles, CA 90015t

Tickets are $15.00 in advance at www.tinakim.com or $20.00 at the door.

NO DRINK MINIMUMS -- there will be a DJ etc, so you can hang out after the show or before the show.

Doors open at 7:00 PM for my show and my show starts at 8:30 PM. I will have a few opening acts. You can eat at the restaurant if you are hungry or you can order bar food at my show in the lounge. They have great food and cocktails here.

There is free parking on the street, a parking garage across the street from the lounge or valet parking at the lounge, and the prices vary on their valet parking for some reason, anywhere fromfive dollars to ten dollars. Not sure what they are going tocharge for my show but my instinct says ten dollars. I know how you Asians always want to know the price down to the last penny :)

Log onto J Lounge Los Angeles for more information.

I will have a few opening comics and then I will close the show. The whole show with my opening comics will be one and a half hours long.Afterwards you are welcome to stay and hang out with me.

Tickets are $15.00 in advance through my website only in advance orit is $20.00 cash only at the door. Please log onto Tina Kim Shows to get your advance tickets.

Tuesday Morning Media News

Los Angeles Times Olympic PressroomPhoto by Lorie Conover
Video: Bernstein and Soboroff - Native Intelligence

Los Angeles Times Explosion 1910

Did union activist bomb the Los Angeles Times or was it the natural gas leak many employees complained about for weeks prior to the explosion?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tribune Sets New Fifty-two Week Low

Thank God for the weekend, not much happens financially on Saturday and Sunday, but come Monday and the news isn’t good for Tribune employees. Tribune Company stock closed at a record fifty-two week low today on fears of what Tribune will announce on Wednesday, possible historic declines in profits.

Tribune stock closed at $28.17

Monday Media Links

Save Our Trade: Teamsters Shop Steward Training

The Teamsters will be holding a Training Class for Shop Stewards on Saturday September 15th 2007 in Monrovia. Anyone who is interested in becoming a Shop Steward should not miss this class. There is no cost to attend or for training materials you will receive in this course.

This training is open to anyone who is interested in the information it will provide. It will give an understanding of what a shop steward's duties, rights and responsibility's are to the members, and how to enforce our contract, as well as cover the Grievence Process.

If you're interested in attending this training class, contact Ronnie at admin@saveourtrade.com or you can RSVP directly by calling (626) 357-6476

Save Our Trade: Teamsters Shop Steward Training

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Understand the HealthCare Crisis

without Michael Moore.
But enjoy Dr. Hui and Pinky on pinkyshow

And here's more on pinkyshow, which is on YOUTUBE.

Los Angeles Blogosphere Today

Sean Bonner from Blogging L.A. is on vacation and blogging from Japan today.
David Markland is in love with a fellow blogger, and I don't blame him, she's a ten!
Brady Westwater is in love with the new Ralph's Market that opened Friday in downtown Los Angeles.
Kevin Roderick comments on the comments regarding the passing of Theresa Duncun.
Ken Reich revisits his 1958 trip to Italy today.
Nikki Finke has a well deserved day off.
Matt Welch is busy writing his new book and entertains us with videos from the past.
Militant Angeleno blogs about little Armenia and the festival yesterday.
Zuma Dogg is being Zuma Dogg.
Brian Humphrey blogs about a man killed on the subway tracks yesterday.
Kanani Fong reviews a new book, The Penderwicks.
Boi from Troy would like you to buy him a birthday present.
Kate Coe is also enjoying a restful day.
Centinel from Foothill Cities didn't take my advice and got married.
I'm off to Apple Valley for a small family reunion in a few minutes.

Video Blogging at the Los Angeles Times

Several months ago Jacob Soboroff brought his crew to the Times Olympic Plant for his video blog, incase you missed it on Native Intelligence, here’s the footage staring senior vice-president of production, Russ Newton.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Thanks for returning my Debit Card

My colleague Ed Santos and I share the same locker room and identical combination locks for our lockers. I have been having a very hard time lately opening my lock, and noted Ed was also experiencing the same difficulty.

Last Tuesday before leaving for Los Angeles I made a quick pit stop at Valero for gasoline, a Monster drink, and a pack of Marlboro's, using my Wells Fargo debit card.

On Thursday afternoon I attempted to make a purchase at Albertson's but could not locate my debit card, so I charged my fried chicken and cookies with my Visa Card, before driving to work.

When I returned home from work on Thursday night I looked high and far for my debit card, and somehow became distracted, and forgot about it. Last night I stopped at Walmarts to buy my daughter some shampoo and conditioner, and when I reached the cashier I recalled I did not have my debit card, so I would have to charge the purchase.

Odd thing, my debit card reappeared, so I was able to make my purchase my normal way, and I thought no more of this. Actually chalked it up to my old age.

As I scanned my checking account online I see I'm not senile yet! Someone had indeed taken my debit card from my locker between Tuesday and Friday, how do I know this? There was a purchase of $5.87 at a Yum Yum Donut in East Los Angeles on Wednesday, and I have not visited a Yum Yum or any other donut shop in months.

I guess I should feel lucky I only had to buy donuts for them. Don't leave anything of value in the locker rooms at work, or you may get taken.

UPDATE 10:45 p.m.

Folks, I discovered someone had used my debit card thirty minutes before departing for dinner, across the street from our former production facility in Chatsworth, at the Stone Fire Grill. Saul Daniels, former Los Angeles Times writer, invited the pressmen to a free dinner tonight, and it was great.

As I told my colleagues about my debit card problem, I pulled my small wallet from my pocket and showed everyone where I store my debit card. I then proceeded to show them where I keep my credit card, and discovered it was missing in action.

Seems when our friendly thief returned my debit card; he lifted my Washington Mutual Visa card from my wallet. I had an extremely hard time enjoying my company and the great tasting food at that point, and wondered how much damage could be done?

I had planned to stop by Jesse’s after dinner, but thought I better get home and take care of this matter as soon as possible.

As I logged onto the credit card web site, I held my breath wondering how much of my eleven thousand dollars in credit was spent? To my relief, only $7.06 was applied to my credit card, which was then blocked from any further use.

Last year we had a major problem with thefts at the Times Olympic Plant, several computers vanished, as well as cash from employee lockers, taken while everyone was working. The thief was apprehended, then escorted to the front gate and banned from company property, he could not be terminated because he was an outside contractor.

I would like to know why the Los Angeles Police Department were not called when the thief was caught? Just because someone is in this country without a visa or passport, is no reason to allow them to walk away free. If I catch someone in my locker, I promised they will not be walked to the front gate, they will be carried out.

All Doubt Removed

Mark Twain was quoted as saying
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt"
If you know me well, my lips are generally moving up and down regarding something I find important, so when I have no audiance in my presence I blog.

Saturday Morning Media Links

Al Clark pressman at Olympic Facility

New Chicagotribune.com Offers Fresh Look - PR Newswire

Samuel Zell to the Board of Directors - Edgar online

FCC Holding Public Hearing on Media Ownership - Stop Big Media

Questions about Tribune's ability to Complete its Buyout - Old Oregonion

Tribune’s No-Confidence Vote From Bond Investors - WSJ

Times Goes North for Consumer Columnist - Kevin Roderick

Daily Herald delivers pay cuts to staff - Chicago Tribune

It's not the Blogs I Hate, it's their fans - The Globe & Mail

Friday, July 20, 2007

Heard Any Good News About Tribune Lately?

The bad news regarding the poor performance in every area the Tribune Company controls was once a weekly news item. The frequency this week has become a daily occurrence, which causes many at the newspaper to close their eyes to any news about our company, for fear of the outcome.

Sam Zell’s Tribune Co. fire sale was originally traded at 99 cents on the dollar in May. On Monday the deal was trading at 95 cents on the dollar, and most likely will edge a bit lower this Monday.

Investor confidence is ebbing, especially this week, after decreases in advertising sales across the board, which were larger than anticipated.

In May, Tribune's publishing ad revenues were down almost 12% on continuing weakness in classifieds and a nearly 18% decline in national ads. Meanwhile, circulation revenue fell 6.2% and broadcasting revenue slumped 11%.

The two-part Sam Zell Tribune Co. sale is very unlikely to succeed as the cash flow continues to tumble in the direction that cannot be slowed.

Tribune Stock price $28.91 down .65 cents or 2.20% today.

There could be a silver lining to all of this, once the current deal collapses, the company will most likely be sold off in parts to satisfy the creditors. Which leads to the question of possible buyers of the Los Angeles Times, the flagship of the Tribune Company, and largest moneymaker of all the newspapers the Tribune owns

Eli Broad and Ron Burkle made an offer, which was rejected by the Tribune, to purchase just the LAT, and also the entire Tribune Company at the last minute.

David Geffen’s offer of two billion dollars for the Times is certainly looking like the outcome of this current Tribune mess.

The Writerly Pause: former journalist Dave Cunningham guestblogs

Critique Groups: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Who could be worse at taking criticism than a writer? We’re such thin-skinned animals – so easily bruised, so slow to heal, so protective of our babies.....

Tribune Sinking - Will the Captain go down with the Ship?

Just when we thought the news about the Tribune Company could get no worse, they may now miss an interest payment. Click on the title for the full story from Bloomberg, and also visit Mark Lacter on LA Biz Observed.

I'm running short of time this morning, but will supply as much information as possible tonight.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tina Kim on Comics Unleashed

At our last Pressmen’s dinner we had a special guest, comic Tina Kim, she entertained the standing only room of current and retired Los Angeles Times workers. And for the men and women that missed the last dinner, here’s something from Tina.

Tina Kim on Comics Unleashed. This aired July 2007. Here are some clips of me on the show. I am sharing it with all the people who wanted to see it. It was a great time and Byron Allen knows how to hook up the food at his studio. Thank you everyone at Entertainment Studios.

Thursday Chuckle

When Bob found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, he decided he needed a woman to enjoy it with.

So, one evening he went to a singles bar where he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away. "I may look like just an ordinary man," he said as he walked up to her, "but in just a week or two, my father will die, and I'll inherit 20 million dollars."

Impressed, the woman went home with him that evening and, three days later she became his stepmother.


Media Links for Thursday Afternoon

Dan Lippiatt 39 Year Los Angeles Times Employee

McClatchy prefers to stay in Careerbuilder - Reuters
Press Club adds 'San Francisco' to its name - SF Peninsula Press Club
Media General's 2Q Profit Dips 75% - Associated Press
Page One ads for Newsday - Newsday
Sun to share content with WMAR, MPT - Baltimore Sun
Private Capital Management Dumps Publishers - Newsosaur
NY Post on WWD/Bernstein/Finke - Kate Coe
Murdoch’s Arrival Worries Journal Employees - NYT

Take Back the Times: Will Tribune Become Another Carter-Hawley-Hale?

To put it mildly, things do not look good.

I wonder, in fact, if the district attorneys of Cook, Los Angeles and other counties where the Tribune papers and television stations operate should not initiate an inquiry to determine whether there have been illegalities in recent Tribune downsizing moves, and whether it would be appropriate to seek court injunctions to halt them.

There's no question that, if they fall flat on their faces, FitzSimons, Hiller, O'Shea, the whole Tribune executive, will get huge severance payments.

But, in case of failure, the employees will be left with nothing.

Read Ken's entire story by clicking on link below.

Take Back the Times: Will Tribune Become Another Carter-Hawley-Hale?

What if the Tribune Deal Fails?

With all the ado about the Tribune deal not running to completion, I have yet to find a story on which direction the company will take if the Sam Zell deal falls through.

David Hiller, publisher of the Los Angeles Times, is very optimistic the deal will go through, so maybe I should get into the mindset there will be a happy ending for everyone?

But lets say for a moment the transaction fails for one reason or another, the creditors will still want to be repaid, and with a debt of $11.5 billion and assets of $8 billion, who will make up the $3.5 billion difference if the company is broken up piece by piece?

Jim Cramer said it best,

“Why doesn't anyone care about this? Why are we letting these employees put their eggs in one basket? Why are we setting them up as people who will no doubt lose everything? Why isn't someone stopping this ludicrous deal?

My hope is that it can't get financing so it will fail. Then at least these good people, probably incredibly unsophisticated in the ways of rapacious capitalism, would not be wiped out”.

I am incredibly unsophisticated in the ways of rapacious capitalism, which leaves me with more questions than answers on how this deal will work in my best interests?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Don't Gamble with my ESOP

Many Tribune Employees across the country are concerned they could lose their ESOP retirement money, if not their jobs in the next few months. But I’m here to tell you we will lose nothing. How can I make such a statement you ask? My Tribune Boss’ told me our retirement funds are in a separate account, and reassured me we stand to lose nothing.

Never mind what the Blogosphere spews out regarding Tribune Employees losing their retirements, my Tribune Boss’ would never mislead us, would they?

On Tuesday, August 21st, 2007 the Tribune will hold a special meeting for shareholders of record at close of business on July 12, 2007, to vote on the proposed merger, which way will you be voting?

Wednesday Morning Media Links

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tribune Deal Faltering

Last Tuesday the marriage of Sam Zell and the Tribune Company was pegged at fifty-fifty, at best, of being consummated to completion. With the cash flow decline, announced last Friday, the odds have changed to the negative even further.

The FCC uncertainty on granting waivers to the Tribune on cross ownership of television, radio, and newspapers in the same market, could cause this transaction to fizzled as well. The Tribune creditors are now asking to be repaid in eighteen months instead of the seven years as in the original agreement, making the cash flow decline much more severe to this deal.

Today Jim Cramer dropped a bombshell on Tribune Employees, and I really dislike reading Jim Cramer’s articles, because he speaks the truth. In this case, the truth hurts very deeply.

Here are a few of the lines from Jim Cramer story on The Street

“You have to feel terrible about what's about to happen to the Tribune employees. I think they're about to lose everything. This whole $34 bid to take the company private depends on them, in their Aug. 21 vote. Sam Zell has very little skin in the game, given his war chest, and these employees have everything in the game.

The hysterical thing about this particular employee stock ownership plan is that 25 years ago at Harvard Law School we studied the disgrace of the Carter Hawley Hale deal. That was another ESOP takeover, this time with a retailer, done as a defense to takeover -- and everybody got wiped out. The winner was Sam Zell, who bought the retailer's property after the wipeout”.


“The astonishing decline in cash flow -- 27% down -- at the Los Angeles Times just tells you this deal will be a huge catastrophe for a lot of people who can't afford it. This Tribune deal is like a slow-motion train wreck that can't be avoided. When the deal was being done the numbers were bad, but not this bad. They are getting worse by the day. The notion that a front-page ad will make a difference is an affront to common sense.

Why doesn't anyone care about this? Why are we letting these employees put their eggs in one basket? Why are we setting them up as people who will no doubt lose everything? Why isn't someone stopping this ludicrous deal?”

Not all Tribune Employees will be losers, a select few sitting in Tribune Towers, will be set for life.

A co-worker put this Tribune mess in perspective, so a simple person like myself could understand, he said “This is a great big shit sandwich, and all Tribune Employees will have to take a bite”.

Tuesday Morning Media News

Reunion of former Los Angeles Times Chatsworth workers
Dow Jones, News Corp. Set Deal - Wall Street Jounal

Monday, July 16, 2007

Newspapers Accepting Ad's on Front Pages

Last Friday David Hiller (Publisher Los Angeles Times) announced, in a company wide message, that the second quarter of this year was the worst experienced by the Los Angeles Times. As a subscriber and thirty-five year pressroom employee at the newspaper, it was rather apparent advertising was off the mark by the smaller products we produce.

My feelings are mixed with the addition of advertisements on the front-page of the Los Angeles Times. A part of me does not want to see this happen, until I look at the twenty-seven percent drop in cash flow, which makes me agreed completely with this new way of generating revenue.

The San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, and The Contra Costa Times have already begun inserting advertisements on their front pages, and the Tribune President of Publishing (Scott Smith) has announced that the Chicago Tribune will start accepting front page ad’s on three different sections this week. This will hold true at all Tribune Company newspapers, with the advertisements to be in full color at 1-½ inches deep across the bottom of the front page.

Funny how history repeats itself, newspapers in years gone by, always carried advertisements on their front pages, so this is really nothing new to the newspaper industry.

Gotta Love Al Martinez...


I found this article by Al Martinez quite entertaining...not to mention TRUE:-)

Message from Scott Smith - Trb Pub President

From: [Tribune Publishing president] Scott C Smith
Sent: Mon 7/16/2007 2:24 PM
Subject: Revenue Growth Initiatives


As you know, we are taking action on many fronts to reverse revenue declines that are impacting us and the entire newspaper industry. Revenue for Chicago Tribune Media Group was down 7% in the second quarter. June declines were less and we are committed to further improving trends in the second half of the year. Growth initiatives range from reorganizing ad sales to better match local and national client opportunities to aggressive product development, including the launch this week of the next generation of chicagotribune.com. We also need to add other new offerings to better serve changing consumer and advertiser interests.

In this light, we will soon add section front advertising on the Main News, Sports and Tempo sections of the Chicago Tribune. We will begin selling these premium positions at premium prices for brand and image advertising to key clients this week. These color ads will be 1 1/2 inches deep across the bottom of these section fronts. This is a common ad size across the industry and will be common across Tribune newspapers to attract more business from national advertisers. They will also be sold locally, generating millions of dollars of new ad revenue in total.

I made the decision to expand section front advertising, including on the front page, weighing the interests of both readers and advertisers in the context of our overall goals. Readers highly value display advertising in their newspapers. Based on the rigorous guidelines we have established, I'm confident that the kind of high quality advertising content you see on the front of the Wall Street Journal can be a net plus for readers, as well as the advertisers seeking to reach them in engaging ways.

Please keep in mind that section front ads are not a new concept. TheTribune for many years carried multiple ads on page one and the recent section front ads on other sections are going well. We haven't sold them every day yet as we're holding to the premium prices these ads should command to generate revenue commensurate with their value. Importantly, everyone can continue to count on high-quality journalism throughout the Chicago Tribune, and be confident that the news, including on sections fronts, will be edited and presented entirely independent of the advertising.

If you have any questions or comments on this growth initiative, please share them with managers in your department or me. We also welcome your suggestions on other growth opportunities and I look forward to seeing many of you at the Transform Tomorrow Town Hall meetings over the next 10 days.

Best, Scott

SOURCES: LAObserved and Romenesko

Take Back the Times: Conversation Between Hiller And O'Shea, (Satire)

Here is a possibly not-so-imaginary conversation between the Chicago toadies -- L.A. Times publisher David Hiller and editor James O'Shea, in wake of Hiller's announcement of plans to put ads on Page 1 of all Tribune newspapers, including the Times.

Hiller: James, that was great. The old carrot and stick. I announce the ads, and you denounce them. That will certainly fool the newsroom.

O'Shea: I don't know. I think they may be catching on to us.

Continue reading Ken Reich by clicking on link below.

Take Back the Times: Conversation Between Hiller And O'Shea, (Satire)

Save Our Trade: Negotiation Committee Members meet with GCC/IBT International Representative Mike Huggins

The Elected Negotiation Committee Members met for the first time with our GCC/IBT International Representative Mike Huggins. Mike has been in the Union for over 30 years and brings a vast history of experience as a President of his Local, an Organizer and currently as an International Representative. Mike has organized numerous shops and negotiated numerous contracts. I am confident that with Mike's leadership and a very committed Negotiation Committee, we will persevere in creating and negotiating a fair and long overdue collective bargaining agreement.

Mike provided The Committee Members with literature to review so that we can prepare ourselves for, and to understand what to expect in negotiations.

Continue reading by following the link below.

Save Our Trade: Negotiation Committee Members meet with GCC/IBT International Representative Mike Huggins

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday Night Links

Edward with Los Angeles Councilwoman Jan Perry

Effective Newspaper Websites - Newspaper Printing & New Media

Spanish Speakers Overlooked in Los Angeles

The flagship of the Tribune Company, the Los Angeles Times, has experienced advertising declines in the double digits the past three months, from a year ago, yet the Times generates the largest profit for the Tribune Company.

I need look no further than down my street every morning and notice the absence of the Los Angeles Times on my neighbor’s driveways, to see people are simply not subscribing to our product as they once did in years gone by. When I questioned my next-door neighbor, Rueben, on why he stopped subscribing to the Times he said “Ed, my wife and I compared the Los Angeles Times to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and noticed many of the same stories in both papers. And my wife Gladys enjoys the inserted advertisements, which happen to be identical in both newspapers. We decided to drop the Times and keep the local paper for the news regarding our community, not the news about the Westside of Los Angeles”.

As the Tribune Company moves to cut costs at the end of this year, and share stories across their network of editorial staff from the different media companies they control, the Times will look more like the local community newspapers than a brand of newspaper with unique articles of their own.

The Internet is often blamed for the decline in newspaper readership, and advertising declines, which is true to a certain degree. But one fact cannot be ignored; the demographics of Los Angeles are changing rapidly, from an English-speaking metropolis to Spanish speaking.

Why the Latino market is not even considered by media companies puzzles me, especially in Los Angeles, with the Mexican border but just over one hundred miles to our South.

When I have suggested publishing a Spanish edition of the Los Angeles Times, I have been told the Spanish readers have Hoy to read or the costs would be too high to experiment with a new edition in Spanish.

Adding four or five Spanish only blogs to the online edition of the Los Angeles Times would not cost as much as publishing a hard copy newspaper in Spanish. Marketing and promoting Spanish only blogs would not be too expensive, if we used our own newspapers such as Hoy or KTLA television, which the Tribune owns, in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Times needs to step outside the box and tap into the Spanish speaking community for additional revenue, in an ever changing environment.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Our First iChat --here with Patricia Wood

My friends and I from The Writerly Pause spoke to her today via an ichat.
Her debut new novel is due out on August 2, 2007!
It's called "Lottery."
It's about a man who has a limited IQ who wins the lottery.
It's a wonderful read and I think you'll love it.
Read about it on Pat's new site! She also has a nifty blog.
You can also read my review right here: Easy-Writer Reviews the novel "Lottery"

La cucharada interior en el alimento en Los Ángeles

¿Falté el mensaje en la elevación de la moratoria en la adición de nuevos blogs en los tiempos de Los Ángeles? Ha deslizado al parecer el paso mis ojos como la edición en línea de las épocas ha creado un nuevo blog llamado plato diario, con ocho escritores que contribuían. Éste debe demostrar ser un blog popular que satisfará cada uno los brotes del gusto.
Mientras que la edición en línea procura dibujar a un público más mucho, agregue algunos blogs totalmente en español, y vea qué tipo de tráfico genera. ¿Con un populacho cada vez mayor de altavoces españoles en Los Ángeles, por qué no está cualquier persona que golpea ligeramente en este mercado en la edición en línea?

The Inside Scoop on Food in Los Angeles

Did I miss the message on the lifting of the moratorium on adding new blogs at the Los Angeles Times? Apparently it has slipped pass my eyes as the Times online edition has created a new blog called Daily Dish, with eight contributing writers. This should prove to be a popular blog that will satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

While the online edition attempts to draw a larger audience, add a few blogs completely in Spanish, and see what type of traffic it generates. With an ever-growing populace of Spanish speakers in Los Angeles, why isn’t anyone tapping into this market at the online edition?

Some Things DO Pay Off In the End

I recall a day in January, 2006, that I was speaking to a coworker about him having registered in an MPA Program. He was one that I would’ve never imagined going back to school.

After asking many questions, I wondered if I could get into the program. I weighed my circumstances. With me having only work, no children in the nest and no romantic involvement, I decided to inquire. It was “last minute” but, remarkably, I was able to get in just before the first class.

I clearly remember reviewing my first syllabus and wondering: “WTF have I gotten myself into?” Then, after attending about four weeks of classes, decided to hang in there and make this a mission that I’ve wanted to accomplish since graduating undergrad. It was tough (most times); the projects, the papers, no free weekends, taking books on vacations, the Writing Proficiency Exam, the GRE, etc., but always keeping in mind “The Mission.”

So…here I am on the last leg of the mission. Last class of the curriculum! Seven more Tuesday nights. August 28th and classes are done! December 1st & 2nd …COMPS! May, 2008, I get the COLLAR I’ve wanted forever and a sense of accomplishment equal to that of raising my children as a single parent!!!!

I’d like to share the most recent email received from the college. I LOVE IT!

Some Things DO Pay Off In the End!

“Attached is the form that you will need to fill out in order to graduate with you MPA degree. Please do so soon, and send it back to me with your graduation fee. You should be very proud of your accomplishments thus far, and I know your graduation will be a time of great celebration. Comps are just around the corner so best of luck to all of you!”


Patti Burleson
Roland Tseng College of Extended Learning
California State University at Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, Calif. 91330-8362


Saturday Morning Links

James Terry in New Business

Former pressman, James Terry, is now in business for himself for all of your real estate needs, give him a call and tell him we sent you.

UPDATE: Jame's new Toll Free number is (888) 256-7313 thank you Ronnie.