Wednesday, April 30, 2008

No Time For Blogging Today

In case you have not noticed I have moved to the morning shift at the newspaper, which makes it rather hard to blog while the printing press churns out thousands of copies of the Los Angeles Times Sunday edition. With so many newspapers to print this morning, we ran into overtime, which completely spent my free time I assumed I would have this afternoon.

As I run out the door in an attempt to make the Los Angeles Press Club party in Hollywood, I shall return tomorrow with regular scheduled programming.

And lastly, I will make every possible attempt at removing the spyware that seems to have slipped onto my server tomorrow after work. If this is not possible, I’m considering a different program for the blog, such as Movable Type.

Have a great night everyone, I will…

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Traffic Alert for Downtown Los Angeles on May 1st

Title: Traffic Alert for Thursday, May 1
The story: Traffic Alert – Street Closures

Labor and Immigration Marches and Rally
Thursday, May 1, 2008

There are three marches taking place on Thursday, May 1, which will all come together at Broadway and 5th and continue north to a rally area on Broadway (between 1st and Temple).

The first march will assemble at 11 a.m. at Park View Street/Mac Arthur Park and is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. with an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 participants. The crowd will travel east along 7th to Figueroa, go north on Figueroa to 5th, make a right on 5th, continue east to Broadway, and make a left turn onto northbound Broadway.

The second and third marches will assemble at 11 a.m. and are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. at Olympic and Broadway. Participants will walk northbound on Broadway to the rally point between 1st and Temple.

The rally is expected to last several hours with an estimated end time of 8 p.m.

Overall Crowd Expectancy: 100,000+

Street Closures:

10:30 a.m.
Broadway between 9th and Olympic
Olympic between Main and Hill

1:30 p.m.
March route to be closed

Traffic disruptions are expected throughout the downtown area, so please plan accordingly. Additional information and maps can be found by visiting

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times Festival Of Books

Having been a volunteer at the Festival of Books several times over the last thirteen years, I tried something completely different this year; I was a golf cart driver for the celebrities. If you know me in the least you know I’m extroverted, but driving the celebrities brought a minor case of butterflies, as I wondered if I would reach my destinations without getting lost on the massive campus of UCLA.

My first assignment brought former mayor of San Francisco Willie Brown, with former Los Angeles Times bureau chief Bill Boyarsky, to my six seated golf cart. The three quarter mile trip went off well, as I drove like I knew where I was going. The hardest part was crossing the aluminum footbridge, with only inches of clearance on either side of the golf cart. As we arrived at their building, the fans were already flowing into the hall, so I was only able to shake Bill’s hand and bid them a farewell.

Upon my return to the staging area, I was told not to cross the footbridge with the golf cart, as it could collapse.

As I waited for my next assignment many famous writers checked in at the Faculty Building, Tom Hayden, Arianna Huffington, Eric Spillman, and Kevin Roderick. And of course I had to say hello to my favorite blogger, Kevin Roderick.

When I was asked if I would drive Tommy Lasorda to his event, I responded with a loud YES! Tommy’s manager requested that I pick him up at parking lot 2, which is down the hill from the faculty building, and naturally we headed over to lot 2. As we rounded the corner and approached the parking structure, we could see Tommy limping up the hill, with perspiration flowing down his face, remember we had a record heat wave last Saturday. Tommy was a bit upset with his manager, but that quickly faded and he was his jovial self once again.

As we proceeded to Tommy’s building, the fans were waving and calling out his name along the way. Before reaching his building, we passed his book signing area, where a crowd about two blocks long had already formed. Tommy Lasorda is just as popular today as when he was the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

While cooling off with a few bottles of ice cold water a familiar looking golfer strolled out of the writer area, and when I took a closer look I discovered it was none other than our publisher, David Hiller. I ran over to David, placed my head on his shoulder and had a colleague snap a picture, isn’t that just like me.

Somehow in all the excitement I failed to capture a photo of Times volunteer Nico Smedley, Nico pointed out my error regarding the lack of a pool table at the square back in March.

Several times I attempted to visit the Kevin Roderick forum, but was called away as I neared the entrance. When I finally found the spare time to get back to the hall, the forum had just ended with the crowd exiting the building. But I was able to cross paths with David Markland, and chat with him for a moment before returning to the staging area.

All of the volunteer drivers are employees of Los Angeles Times, and I highly recommend to my colleagues to volunteer for the next Festival of Books, as I found it highly rewarding and exciting.

Tribune Buys Times Mirror Square

Kevin Roderick has the story on the Tribune Company purchasing the Los Angeles Times Building , located at 1st and Spring from the Chandler Family Trust. The Tribune Company has rented the property since buying the Times Mirror Company in 2000.

David Hiller on the Festival of Books

Hi folks,

Hope you all had a great weekend. I know you did if you went to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

What I heard most from our friends and neighbors (about 150,000 of them were there) were refrains of:

“Thank you Los Angeles Times.”
“This is our favorite thing of the year.”

From Kenny Turan’s kick off of the Book Prizes program on Friday night to Steve Lopez and co-authors reading their chapters of Birds of Paradise on Sunday afternoon—with hundreds of authors, musicians, chefs, poets, and singers in between—it was an amazing coming together of our community.

Our great sponsor partners loved it too, with the Target children’s area proving to be an especially popular destination. All in all, it was a terrifically positive thing for The Times,, Hoy, Metromix, KTLA – but especially for our readers, users, and neighbors.

Thanks and bravos go to so many people. Our Events group and Editorial led the extraordinary effort, but it was truly the whole company pitching in, including hundreds of volunteers both days without whom the festival literally could not happen. So thank you to everybody who helped create this special gift to the people of Los Angeles.

Speaking of readers, newspapers across the country released circulation numbers for the six months ending in March. Our numbers were in line with the industry, down 5.1% daily (to 774,000) and down 6.1% Sunday (to 1.1 million copies). The decreases reflect the impact of home delivery price increases (to improve our revenue picture), as well as a focus on marketing to fewer, but longer-staying, subscribers. There is, of course, also the ongoing impact of competition from the internet and other media that we have been experiencing for some time.

The headline should be that the Los Angeles Times has the best media audience reach in Southern California—a net combined print and online audience of 4.8 million each week. It’s even more when you add in Hoy, Metromix, and our Times Community Newspapers (5.5 million people). More than TV stations, more than radio stations, way more than the other newspapers in the region. And even with our slight declines, we are holding our audience better than competing media.

So we are going to be telling this story, and it’s a good one. You might have seen our ad talking about it on the back page of today’s business section. If you haven’t, check it out. And view it and the other upcoming ads on my blog (Pubblog).

Have a great week.


SOURCE: Los Angeles Times

(Editors Note) The Blogging Pressman would like to thank David Hiller for making this memo accessible via electronic medium and not a hard copy posted on a bulletin board at Olympic.

Tuesday Mid-Day News

Publisher of the Los Angeles Times, David Hiller was unable to sneak by Paparazzo Edward at the Festival of Books Saturday

Take Back the Times: Tale Of Two Newspapers: WSJ and L.A. Times

I'm beginning to think more of Rupert Murdoch. He invests in his newspapers. He builds them up, rather than tears them down. The proof this week is two fold: First, there's the report that the Wall Street Journal, which Murdoch recently purchased, is one of the few American newspapers actually up in daily circulation over the last six months -- to 2,069,000, a gain of 0.4%. Second is the news that the Journal is adding four pages a day of international news.

The Journal, under Murdoch, is giving the readers more, and may be winning the competitive fight with the New York Times, which is down 3.9% in circulation to 1,077,000.

Now contrast the Journal with the Los Angeles Times. LAT circulation losses are consistent. Its situation is worsening, as the evil Tribune Co., the owners and their appointees cut the paper further and further back, losing the most able reporters and editors. They give the readers less all the time, so naturally they attract fewer readers. Circulation is down almost 40% since Tribune bought the paper in 2000. The latest figures show, it has sunk to 773,000 daily and 1,101,000 Sundays.

Continue reading Ken Reich by clicking on the link below:

Take Back the Times: Tale Of Two Newspapers: WSJ and L.A. Times

San Francisco Peninsula Press Club: Merc circ up, Chron down

The Mercury News reported a 1.7% increase in its weekday circulation, bucking the trend of most large metro dailies, according to figures released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulation for the six-month period ending March 31. On the other hand, the Chronicle lost 4.2% on weekdays and 3.0% on Sundays.

On weekdays, the Merc added 3,902 copies, increasing its circulation from
230,870 to 234,772. On Sunday, the Merc gained 190 copies, increasing its
circulation from 251,666 to 251,856.

The Chonicle's weekday circulation fell by 16,291 copies from 386,564 to
370,345. On Sunday, the Chron went from 438,006 to 424,603, a decrease of

E&P has a list of circulation figures for the top 25 papers. The big story is that The New York Times lost 9.2% of its Sunday circulation to 1,476,400. The paper's daily circulation declined 3.8% to 1,077,256.

In Orange County, the Register announced today that it was laying off between 80 and 90 employees, or 5 percent of its workforce. As many as 16 longtime reporters and editors were being fired, insiders told the LA Times.

The Register announced the cuts the same day as ABC figures showed its weekday circulation had fallen 11.9% to 250,724 and 5.3% to 311,982 on Sundays.

The move dropped the Register from California's third-largest daily newspaper to fifth. The top five are:
1. LA Times, 773,884, down 5.1%
2. SF Chronicle, 370,345, down 4.2%
3. San Diego Union-Tribune, 288,669, down 2.6%
4. Sacramento Bee, 268,755, down 3.7%
5. OC Register, 250,724, down 11.9%

Town Hall Reminder - David Hiller Memo


I look forward to seeing you at the Town Hall Meeting this Wednesday, April 30, from 10 am until noon in the Chandler Auditorium (with live broadcasts to Olympic, OC, Glendale, Westside, Inland Empire, Irwindale (CCN), Chatsworth, New York, and D.C.). We’ll cover all the recent developments across the company, including hearing from Jack Klunder, Bob Bellack and John O’Loughlin on the latest in newspaper, interactive and targeted media, and from Russ Stanton on newsroom plans for the future.

We’ll also present the Publisher’s Award for outstanding contributions to our company-wide mission. I know you’ll all want to congratulate the awardees in person.

Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Tribune's Rock & Roller Lee Abrams Sings


There is a media war out there and we need to think on that level. At my previous mission, I was privy to many meetings at Yahoo, Google (everybody wanted bandwidth) and other competing Information companies. Those guys are out to kill us....and a senior guy at Google said "The Old media companies are in the past...that's why we'll win". Well...time to fight back...and recapture the ground. I can't stress this enough. It's the spirit of engagement. We need to pull out the stops in terms of waging war. I wish there was a better way to put it, but that's really what it is.

The road trip continues. Visited the Orlando Sentinel. Impressive group. They are very much into Re-thinking the look to better mobilize their content in today's environment. I was especially impressed with a re-working design they did on their Editorial page. They took the EXACT content from the existing page and gave it a good re-think and re-design and it evolved from rather tedious to absolutely compelling...without changing as much as a comma of the actual content. This in my opinion is what it's all about. Modernizing the look and feel so MORE people can dive into the smart and compelling content.

One exercise we're going through is "page by page" evaluation. As I learn more about the production of a newspaper, it is amazing to me how so much is put together on a daily basis. In other media you often have time to sit back and evaluate. I get the impression that there's literally no time for that luxury. SO---there are some things that might be on autopilot, simply because there's no TIME to step back. I'm into helping with the "page by page" exercise. The idea is to discover things that can be better, but because of the breakneck pace of putting out a newspaper, they get overlooked.

I find the idea of re-thinking very exciting...not to mention critical...and I continue to see no reason that print can't GROW. Regardless of demographic target. People won't stop reading. And newspapers are one of the last bastions of smart media in an increasingly dumb era. I still believe in this Big three...incredibly basic and simple--probably SO basic and simple that they are probably subject to assumptions:

LOOK: Sure, there’s a comfort to tradition...but I'd hope we are smart enough to move forward, deliver a compelling modern look that is in sync with the navigation realities of 2008... And remain comfortable. Stimulating the eye on 2008 terms is the first step in stimulating minds.

POV: Not necessarily politics...but "something" that speaks LOUDLY to what you are. "We're the reliable local paper" isn't strong enough.

HITS: Hit stories. Hit headlines. YOUR hits. What touches nerves? That's what people need to see.

Sometimes it's that simple, but simple is avoided as it seems...too simple. Basics...with a tasteful 2x4. A 2x4 is visually arresting, tastefully screams out and is consistent done so it gets NOTICED and absorbed. It is a very bad time to be bland and generic.

Continue reading Lee Abrams at LAObserved

(Editors Msg.) Many users, that do not work for the Los Angeles Times, often question why I post Tribune and Los Angeles Times memos intended for employees from Kevin Roderick, and not post from my Los Angeles Times email account. Well, my Tribune masters are paranoid of the Pressman Blogger, and according to many at Times Mirror Square almost all LA Times employees in general are not trusted.

Three different sources have told me, management fears I will hack into the computer system, if I had an email account at the newspaper. If this didn’t sound so odd, I wouldn’t believe it. Sure seems management at the Los Angeles Times could use a class in Internet 101 with Meredith Artley, explaining I would not use an email that would identify myself so easily if I had the desire to compromise the Times computers.

Orange County Register to Cut 80 to 90 Jobs

Mark Lacter has the scoop on downsizing at the Orange County Register, and according to Mark, this is the third round of downsizing within a year at the newspaper.

The Orange County Register is not alone, the Los Angeles Times has downsized twice within the past twelve months as well, with circulation numbers down at most major newspapers, many newspapers have begun outsourcing their production to trim costs further.

Beginning in June of this year the Wall Street Journal and Barron's will be produced at the Los Angeles Times Olympic Facility, located at 8th Street and Alameda in the produce area of downtown Los Angeles. And according to reliable sources, that requested to remain anonymous, the Los Angeles Times may also produce the New York Times sometime soon.

As I scanned my San Gabriel Valley Tribune this morning, I can only ponder when the publication begins publishing four days per week for the lack of advertising, or out sources their production to an independent printer or to the Southern California version of Transcontinental, the Los Angeles Times?

2008 will prove to be a year no one in the newspaper industry will soon forget, as some newspapers fall to the wayside, and a few major publications remain and flourish as the economy regains strength.

Los Angeles Times on YouTube

What does a chocolate cake, a Bentley Continental GT Speed and a mime have in common? A short tribute to Federico Fellini.

All For A Few Perfect Waves

Amy Alkon, Kate Coe, Jill Stewart, and the L.A. Press Club invite you to:

A PARTY, sponsored by Barefoot Wine
celebrating David Rensin's long-awaited new book

The Audacious Life and Legend of Rebel Surfer Miki Dora

WHO: Miki "Da Cat" Dora is the dashing and enigmatic rebel who, for twenty years, was the king of Malibu surfers. He dominated the waves, ruled his peers' imaginations, and became what they could never be: a legend in his own time. To capture Dora's never-before-told story, David Rensin spent four years interviewing more than three hundred of Dora's formerly closed-mouthed friends, enemies, family members, lovers, and peers (on five continents) uncover the truth about surfing's most outrageous practitioner, charismatic prince, chief antihero, committed loner, and enduring mystery. The result is a riveting and living portrait of an uncommon character whose unique influence on surfing has never waned.

WHY:Vanity Fair called the book "Primo!"Los Angeles Magazine said, "David Rensin doesn't shy from documenting Dora's multitude of sins . . . even as he celebrates the man's desire to live of a life of utter, and often utterly irresponsible, freedom."Men's Vogue declared it, "Engrossing."Publishers Weekly says it's "a vivid biography." chose the book as one of April's Significant Seven/best picks.The New York Times called Dora "the most renegade spirit the sport has yet to produce." The Times (London) wrote, "A hero to a generation of beach bums. He was tanned . . . he was good-looking . . . he was trouble."

WHERE AND WHEN: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at the L.A. Press Club, 7-9pmLos Angeles Press Club 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA., 90027phone: 323.669.8081 fax: 323.669.8069 email:

RSVP (is a must!) to:

BONUS: ALL FOR A FEW PERFECT WAVES will be on sale during the event, courtesy of Book Soup, along with great (free) wine and munchies. David's got a pen, in case you want an autograph.

ABOUT THE WINE: Libations have been generously donated by Barefoot Wines. You should know that in 2007, Barefoot Wine and the Surfrider Foundation launched the Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project to make and keep America's beaches "barefoot-friendly" through cleanups and native plantings. This year, hip-hop/blues musician G. Love (front man of G. Love & Special Sauce) and singer-songwriter and guitarist Tristan Prettyman will join volunteers on the beach and perform live at special celebrations that follow each beach rescue. Since its inauguration in 2007, the Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project has donated $250,000 to the Surfrider Foundation in support of its mission to improve coastal water quality, promote free and open beach access, preserve coastal ecosystems and protect public beaches around the world.

ABOUT THE FOOD: A light repast will be prepared by bare-chested surfer boys and served by bare-chested surfer girls. And vice versa. No excuse to stay away now! If only ....

ATTIRE: Go ahead, wear those Hawaiian shirts. We dare you! Sand not included.

MORE INFO: David Rensin has written and co-written 12 books. They include "The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up;" "Where Did I Go Right" and "The Little Stuff Matters Most," with Hollywood legend Bernie Brillstein; "Devil at My Heels," with WWII hero Louis Zamperini;" "Yanni In Words," with musican/composer Yanni; as well as books with Tim Allen, Jeff Foxworth, Garry Shandling, and Chris Rock. Rensin is also co-author, with Bill Zehme, of "The Bob Book: A Celebration of the Ultimate Okay Guy," a humorous but uncannily accurate sociology of men named Bob.

Learn more about the book, and David Rensin:

Welcome Monday Morning

LA Times Employee Volunteers at the Festival of Books

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Two young boys bound in life, and death

Almost nine months ago a complete stranger from New Jersey, Jane Clawson, came into my life to offer words of comfort after my son Bryan was killed. Little did the two of us know Jane would lose her son Kevin, two months ago today. The local newspaper in New Jersey ran a very nice tribute for Kevin Clawson and Graeme Preston in their Sunday edition.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hoodburbian Revolt: Covenant of the Lost Art

The late industrialist Norton Simon with one of his Rembrandts. Photo from Guggenheim Productions, Inc.

"A few years ago, I looked into the history of a local library that was designed by a nationally renown architect. William Perriera, architect and designer of the office buildings, museums, university campuses and entire cities had designed a now-forlorn library in a decaying part of town. Why was this here? How?"

Read and then watch the sad conclusion for one city at:
Get Lost With Easy-Writer

End of Week News

LA Times Blogger, Peter Viles, Meets the Blogging Pressman

Farewell Party at the Los Angeles Times

Yesterday was a sad day at the Los Angeles Times Olympic Facility as the employees financed and held a farewell party for the men and women leaving the company through buyouts or on their own accord.

The camaraderie runs deep here at the Los Angeles Times, as many of the men and women have worked two and three decades together, so it was not surprising to see a few tears shed as we all said goodbye to the colleagues, that feel more like brothers and sisters than co-workers.

Our own David Martinez organized and collected the money to bid our friends goodbye, and had prints made of Times Mirror Square Building to present each colleague leaving.

And Alma Perez sent this out this morning:

Dear Friends and Colleagues:Today is my last day at the Los Angeles Times. It has truly been a privilege to be a part of this wonderful company. If
you are on this distribution list that means that you somehow made a difference
in my life. I have either learned something from you, listened to you or laughed with you. In some cases, it was all three. :-) Thanks for this great adventure in the Newspaper business!

We will miss our colleagues that will be leaving today and tomorrow, and wish them all success and happiness in their lives after the Los Angeles Times.

Photos of the party can be viewed here.

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

It’s really something how quickly time flows as I become older, with the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books upon us this Saturday and Sunday at UCLA. Seems like it was only last weekend when I attended the event with David Markland, yet another year is behind us, in what feels like a blink of the eye.

On Saturday I have volunteered to drive the writers and speakers to their events, which should prove to be a blast. I have my fingers crossed that my venture will take me to the Kevin Roderick forum, but if not, I will still enjoy the experience.

I highly recommend attending this festive event, which happens to be free, except for the nominal parking fee.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Buyer Beware of Counterfeit Coins

I learn many things from the experience of others, and here’s something I will now be aware of, counterfeit coins sold as real United States dollars.

My colleague, that has asked to remain anonymous, was shopping at a store on the corner of Garfield and Garvey Ave. in Monterey Park, and spotted what appeared to be silver U.S. dollars in plastic holders, for the amazingly low price of $5.00 per coin. Thinking he had found a real bargain, he purchased two coins, and rushed home to run a search of the value of each coin. He was stunned to find the coin, that was dated 1796, had a possible value of over $1,000.

Assuming he had hit upon a gold mine, he drove over to a coin dealer in Alhambra, to have the coins appraised, but his mouth dropped when the coin dealer told him they were counterfeits, and worthless. To prove his point, the coin dealer placed a magnet next to the coins and the coins were attracted to the magnet.

If you look at the coins closely, you can see they have a slight worn appearance, to further the scam and trick the buyer. My friend asked if I would spread the word so others will not be taken as he was.

If something appears to be too good to be true, it most likely is.

Lee Abrams Explains His Vision For Tribune Co.

Our new innovation Chief for the Tribune Company, Lee Abrams, explains through this video what our newspapers, radio stations, and television stations can become in the future. I happen to like his style, and feel additional people with dreams are needed throughout the company.

Here's the Tribune email urging employees to give it a listen:

[STAGE DIRECTION: INVOKE BEST ANNOUNCER VOICE] What does an innovation officer do? What is our chief innovation officer like? Tribune never had one before. Why does it need one now? How is news & information the new rock & roll, really? Coming up next, shocking new video from Tribune Chief Innovation Officer, Lee Abrams.

Hat Tip: Kevin Roderick

Sam Sells Stamford, Greenwich Buildings And Land

Sam Zell has sold the properties at Stamford and Greenwich for $30 million, which brings the company within $40 million of the first payment, which happens to come due at the end of this year.

Thursday Morning Links

Edward with Blogger Fraz Go

Pasadena Bloggers Picnic

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Los Angeles Times Operations Buyouts

Downsizing at the Los Angeles Times Operations Departments has reared its ugly head once again, but you will not see the names of those individuals affected anywhere but here.

If you spot any omissions, please notify me as soon as possible.

Los Angeles Times Olympic Production Facility

Mike Bassett
Guy Blanchard
Ruben Cano
Marvin Crayon
Alfredo Eslava
Ernie Gardner
Roy Gonzales
Monica Hayes
Sid Lopez
Nelson Matsukawa
Joseph Plazola

Los Angeles Times Orange County Production Facility

Gideon Brown
Philip Chandler
Timothy Dodd
Paul Ethridge
Andrew Higgins - Transferred from pressroom to service shops
Doug Howard
Mark Jacobs
Kevin Kuylen
Lawrence Lyon
Scott MacDonald
Raymond Mecinas
Arthur Mojica
Sandy Ochoa
Fred Raniag
Mark Snyder
Kim Tonneson
Ralph Van Dyke
Michael Walsh

Four pressroom employees will be transferring from the Times Olympic Facility to the Orange County Facility

Sal Guerrero
Otis Miller
Myron Mitchell
Blanca Ortiz

Special Needs: Operating Instructions Not Included

"My friend Melanie just wrote about letting go of her adult son who refuses to take medication for his bipolar disorder and a borderline personality disorder."

Read the rest on:
Get Lost With Easy-Writer

This year's I.O. Award winners

Newsprint Technology

By Karen Doss Bowman

Machinist Noel Trevino and Roller Crew Specialist Ron Williams couldn’t help noticing the large number of newsprint butt roll ends that were collecting in their workspace at the Los Angeles Times’ Olympic plant. While taking a break on the building’s terrace last summer, the two discussed how to combine the smaller end rolls into one large roll using equipment the company already owned.

“When you’re in the pressroom and see a problem, if you have an idea [to solve it], then try it,” Williams says. “[Noel and I] put our minds together. Within a half hour, we had a solution.”

Eliminating end rolls in the pressroom feels like a full-time job, says Russ Newton, the Times’ senior vice president of operations, who nominated Trevino and Williams for the I.O. Award.

Before the two developed their plan for combining smaller end rolls, it was not unusual to find more than 50 end rolls, each containing less than 12 inches of newsprint, in the Times pressroom. At this size, they are too small for the paper’s Goss Colorliner presses to paste onto a new roll automatically, Newton explains, so they often are left sitting until they become too damaged to use.

Williams and Trevino created a splicer using two reelstands—without spending a dime. First they loaded a small end roll in the normal running position on the Colorliner’s Reel-Tension-Paster unit and ran the web over to a second RTP unit. Next, they spliced that end roll to a second end roll, which was loaded in the reverse position in the second unit.

Putting the second unit’s drive belts in reverse, they wound the roll from the first unit onto the roll in the second unit, creating a single, large roll. The process has been fine-tuned and, Trevino says, they now can consolidate about 25 end rolls into one larger roll of about 45 to 50 inches in diameter.

Though Newton hasn’t collected hard data on actual savings, he says it’s reasonable to assume significant savings in newsprint. Instead of ending up as recycled waste, the leftover newsprint—which, according to Newton, costs about $600 per metric ton—will be used to print the daily paper.

Robert Kotwasinski, vice president of production at The Arizona Republic in Phoenix and chairman of NAA’s Packaging and Distribution Committee, which helped to judge the I.O. Awards, says he was most intrigued by the creative thinking of Williams and Trevino, and their resourceful use of the existing equipment.

“It goes back to paying attention to the folks working in the pressrooms to come up with great ideas,” Kotwasinski says. “[It’s about] just listening to your employees who use the equipment all the time. They might come up with ways to make the job easier or to save you money.”

San Francisco Peninsula Press Club: New Chron printer moves ahead with plant

The Canadian company that will take over the printing of the Chronicle next year is moving ahead with construction of its new plant in Fremont, and the union currently representing the paper's printers wants to get its foot in the door at the new plant.

"It depends how much pressure we can put, to have them hire our folks and get them to unionize," Chuck Davis, business agent for Teamsters Local 853, told Brad Kava, writing for the SF Weekly.

The Chron's plan (see previous posts) is to let its contract with the 237 Teamster printers expire next year, and then turn the printing over to Transcon, which presumably would be a non-union operation. Previous reports have said that Transcon plans to spend $200 million to build the $338,000-square-foot plant on Kato Road, near the Dixon Landing-880 interchange. Transcon is looking for workers (see Monster ad).

Kava says the new press will lead to a redesign of the Chron and could also mean better advertising, with ads that might fold out like maps and lead buyers to a store.

New Chron printer moves ahead with plant

The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class

Distinguished law scholar Elizabeth Warren teaches contract law, bankruptcy, and commercial law at Harvard Law School. She is an outspoken critic of America's credit economy, which she has linked to the continuing rise in bankruptcy among the middle-class. Series: "UC Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures"

Smoking Fee Lifted at Tribune Company

I was a bit shocked to read today’s Chicago Tribune’s article regarding the rescinding of the tobacco use fee by Sam Zell this morning. According to the story only 600 of us Tribune Employees, out of 16,000 employees, actually claimed to be smokers.

The 600 employees that told the truth will receive $400 at the end of May, after taxes naturally, to reimburse us for the fees collected so far this year.

Mid-Week News

Los Angeles Times Chatsworth Roller Crew

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Departures at the Los Angeles Times

Monica Hayes, Edward, and Alma Perez
Just when we thought we had reached the bottom at the Los Angeles Times Olympic Facility, we’re hit with a bombshell as we arrived to work earlier this afternoon. Seems our human resources representatives, Alma Perez and Monica Hayes, will work their last day this Friday.

According to one of our Tribune Boss’, they both decided to leave the company on their own. And the moon is made of cheese, is my response.

When you have the option of getting laid off verses taking the current buyout, do you really have a choice in the matter?

Everyone they touched will sorely miss Alma and Monica at the newspaper, and we wish them the best.

Colleagues Departing This Week

Robert Rios and Al Eslava
This week many of our colleagues in the Los Angeles Times Pressrooms will be ending their careers through buyouts, one such colleague is Al Eslava. We gathered after work at another former Times Pressman, Robert Rios’ restaurant, to bid Al farewell tonight.

Al Eslava has been employed at the Times for almost twenty-three years, but felt it was time to throw in the towel and retire. Al will be missed by his colleagues, but will be attending our Pressmen’s Dinners we have twice per year.

We all did our best at keeping the mood festive, but nonetheless, deep inside everyone was feeling a sense of sadness by his departure this Saturday.

I will attempt to compile a list of everyone leaving the Times Olympic and Orange County Facilities by the end of the week.

Sam Zell's Cigarette's

I was asked an interesting question regarding Sam Zell’s brand of cigarette’s, that I was unable to find the answer to. Not wanting to bother Sam with such a question through an email message, does anyone in the Blogosphere know what brand of cigarette’s Sam uses?

Dogs with Internet

Tribune Tobacco Use Fee Rescinded

From: Tribune Communications
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 1:32 PM
Subject: Message from Gerry Spector/Tobacco Use Fee Rescinded

Since the closing of the going-private transaction last December, we’ve been reviewing policies and practices across the company, including Tribune’s healthcare benefits. While well-intentioned, we think the tobacco-use fee implemented by the previous management team is inconsistent with the new culture we’re developing---we’d rather you use your own judgment when it comes to tobacco use, not impose ours upon you.

This policy was a part of open enrollment last fall and took effect January 1, 2008. I’m pleased to tell you that we’re eliminating this fee effective April 28th.

If you successfully participated in the smoking cessation program, have quit and been reimbursed for all fees, then congratulations are in order. Quitting is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.

If you’re still being charged the fee, it will stop and Tribune will reimburse you 100 percent for the fees you have paid. This reimbursement will occur in late May.

Tribune will continue to offer the smoking cessation program free of charge to all employees and their covered dependents age 18 and older.

The spousal medical fee, implemented at the same time, will remain in place. We believe that if an employee’s spouse has access to coverage through his/her employer, that employer has the primary responsibility to bear the cost of coverage. Our obligation is to take care of our own employees, first and foremost.

If you have questions about the tobacco use fee, contact the Tribune Benefits Service Center at 800/872-2222.



Newsday Sold as is...

Appears Rupert Murdoch will take control of Newsday very soon, with a price tag of $580 million, which will almost cover the $650 million note due at the end of the year by the Tribune Company to it’s creditors.

Under the agreement, the Tribune Company will retain fewer than 5% of the Newsday newspaper ownership.

With $950 million coming due in 2009 will the Los Angeles Times be sold off to satisfy the creditors next?

Tuesday Morning News

Wally Gatrix and Billy Deuel, on Oct. 25th, 1986

Photo By Don Stevens

Monday, April 21, 2008

Save Our Trade: Recent Negotiations

By Ronnie Pineda

I apologize for having not posted any information from the recent negotiations. I have spent the last few days restoring my computer once again. I apparently picked up a virus while at the negotiations location. Their server must have been spreading this virus without their knowledge.

We met on Wednesday April 16Th and 17Th for negotiations and they, in my opinion, went well. International Representative Sonny Shannon re-joined the team and did an excellent job at the table representing our interests. Attorney Dave Meyers was also present representing the Union and also did an exemplary job presenting our proposals to the company.

We did exchange several proposals and counter proposals regarding Seniority, and another proposal regarding Arbitration. We did get alot closer to language we can both agree to. We will resume negotiations on April 30Th and May 1st with several more days in May.

Patience is our greatest asset at this point. We have to keep our eye on the prize, which is a Collective Bargaining Agreement" We all have to understand that this can and will take time. The company is obiously in no hurry to give us one and hopes that we will abandon the fight. That will not happen as long as we remain diligent in our efforts and build solidarity.

Save Our Trade: Recent Negotiations

San Francisco Peninsula Press Club: MediaNews papers want more help from AP

MediaNews Group, which has been cutting newsroom jobs at its 13 dailies in the Bay Area, is asking the AP for more help covering regional and state stories. That's according to an article in the Spring edition of the Associated Press Managing Editor (APME) newsletter by Martin G. Reynolds, editor of the MediaNews-owned Oakland Tribune. Reynolds' article is about complaints newspaper editors across the country have about the AP, including this from the Bay Area:

"I have concerns how AP fills in the gap for regional and state coverage," says Kevin G. Keane, Contra Costa Times executive editor and vice president of news for the Bay Area News Group [a unit of MediaNews].

"It doesn't pay attention to its regional audience."

As an example, Keane points to AP's coverage of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who he says AP writes about for Japan or New York, ignoring how the governor's policies impact the Bay Area.

The city of San Francisco is one area where the Bay Area News Group does
not deploy reporters and could use AP's support. "I don't believe we get it,"
Keane says.

Keane understands that AP is attempting to expand its brand,but in doing so neglects its roots.

"AP is supposed to be a collection of all of us," he says. "When it puts on national and international hats, do they lose sight of their original mission?"

Coincidentally, the chairman of the AP's board of directors is Dean Singleton, the CEO of MediaNews.

MediaNews papers want more help from AP

Saturday's Bloggers Picnic

Pasadena Bloggers PicnicPhoto Courtesy, Pasadena Daily Photo.
Last Saturday's Blogger's picnic was another great time for all, the weather was perfect and the assortment of food was good for the palate. For the complete story, visit Arron Proctor's page here.

Monday Morning News

Bill Sperry Sr.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sorta Dunno Nuthin' Song

This is from Australia, and it's interesting to see the similarities between our teens and theirs!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Fanatic Printer Speaks Out

Pazazz presents one Print Fanatic and his team who love printing! This film was based on Steve Delahoyde's film "Regrets: Boxes" which can be seen here Steve is a filmmaker with Coudal Partners in Chicago (

Foothill Cities Blog iTunes Give Away

The Foothills Cities Blog is randomly giving away a $100 iTunes Gift Card to thank everyone who left a comment in the past year. To be entered, all you have to do is head over and leave a comment. Good luck and pass the word along to all your friends.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Our Flickr Uploads

Twenty additional photographs have been uploaded to our Flickr account, with many hundreds of older pictures to be uploaded as time permits. Each photograph must be scanned before uploading, which eats up my free time, so I’m attempting to upload as often as possible so I can return the collections to their owners.

Our entire collection of pictures is free for the taking, but we would appreciate a trackback to the blog or our Flickr account.

Many thanks to Bill Delgado for the 1970 collection of old pictures he discovered, and Jerry Leavenworth for his father’s collection, which contains hundreds of pictures from the pressroom.

Paul Glenhill (pictured), was a former pressman at the Los Angeles Times, picture taken by retired pressman Don Stevens on October 25, 1986, at one of the many dinners the Times Pressmen have twice per year.

As a reminder, you can subscribe to our Flickr feed, which will inform you when additional photographs are uploaded. Also, any of the pictures can be printed at a Target Store near your home, and they are ready in one hour.

End of the Week News

Norman Chandler at Pressmen's dinner Oct.,1986

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Why Obama Girl Didn’t Vote

Philadelphia, PA — Before the ABC News Democratic debate here, Jacob Soboroff talked with internet celebrity Amber Lee Ettinger (a.k.a. Obama Girl) about why she didn’t vote. Was it logistical difficulty or something else? Check out the video.


Message From Sam Zell

Lender Call Recap

As you probably know, Randy, Chandler and I held a call today with our company’s lenders. We were not obligated to hold the call, but since we aren’t reporting first quarter results until May, we wanted to assure our debt holders that we are committed to open and clear communication, even if we don’t always have all the immediate answers. Sound familiar?

In summary, we reiterated that Tribune is operating in a difficult environment, and that revenue trends this year to date are significantly worse than expected. Most notably, the weakness in the economy is impacting our classified advertising. The decline in real estate and employment ads has driven classifieds down to levels well below publishing ad trends as a whole. These results underscore the sense of urgency you’ve heard me refer to so often.

Due to this environment, we may not have the optionality we originally anticipated. My plan when we closed the sale of Tribune was to keep all of our assets together, but this may no longer be possible. We’ll know more in the months ahead.

On the disposition front, we continue to work with the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago on the sale of Wrigley Field. But, we are also pursuing an alternative path to put the ballpark in front of private buyers who have been approved by MLB. We’ve also received specific inquiries regarding Newsday.

We also reported to our lenders that, in our first 90 days, we’ve made significant progress in transforming the culture of our company. The talktoSam emails now total well over 3,000 and are overwhelmingly filled with enthusiasm, optimism and an eagerness to drive the company into its rightful place as an industry leader. In fact, more frequently now, I’m getting emails from employees who are taking the initiative, putting their ideas into play, and enlisting their colleagues to change the way we operate. (These are my favorite type of emails to get.) Likewise, our Idea Bank is thriving. It has logged well over 2,000 entries, and this is facilitating the exchange of innovation across the company.

Finally, I covered how we are building a new business model for Tribune – a revenue focused, creative, faster, leaner organization that thrives on interaction between product types and across business units.

Let’s make it happen.


SOURCE: Anonymous User

Tribune Announces Executive Appointments

April 17, 2008

Tribune Announces Executive Appointments and, Amazingly,Only One Is Connected to Clear Channel Communications!

Company Names Jerry Kersting Executive Vice President;
Promotes Several Others From Within

CHICAGO, April 17, 2008 -- Tribune Company today announced several executive appointments to its management team, filling a newly created position of executive vice president with an experienced media veteran, naming a new treasurer and controller from within the company, and promoting two other individuals in its finance department.

Jerry Kersting has been named executive vice president, responsible for helping to identify opportunities and efficiencies for the company’s businesses. Surprisingly, Kersting was the only appointment announced today with a former connection to Clear Channel Communications, having served most recently as chief financial officer for the company’s radio division.

“Jerry is respected across the media industry for his strategic vision, depth of knowledge, and ability to see opportunities and potential where others don’t,” said Gerry Spector, Tribune’s chief administrative officer. “He’s the perfect fit for this role, even though he spells his first name incorrectly.”

The company also announced the promotion of several people from within the company:

  • Jack Rodden, who joined Tribune in 2000 and has served as assistant treasurer since 2007, was named vice president/treasurer for the company. He will be responsible for financing activities, cash management, short-term investments and risk-management programs. Rodden succeeds Chandler Bigelow, who became Tribune’s CFO last month.
  • Brian Litman becomes vice president/corporate controller effective immediately; he has served as assistant controller since 2005. Litman joined the company in 1997. He will succeed Mark Mallory, who has decided to leave Tribune in early May after assisting with transition issues. Litman will be responsible for corporate financial reporting, planning and analysis.
  • Naomi Sachs, who has served as director of investments in Tribune’s finance department since 2005, has been named vice president/strategy. She has expanded her duties to include the evaluation of revenue and expense opportunities across the company.
  • Harry Amsden, who has been vice president/finance for the publishing group since 2006, will become senior vice president/financial operations for Tribune Corporate and be responsible for budgeting, planning and service center activities. Amsden joined Tribune in 1986.

“These are extraordinarily intelligent and energetic people and they are ready to move to the next level,” said Spector. “We recognize their ability and it is a reflection of the depth of management talent within the company—not everyone has to come from Clear Channel or EGI. Our goal is to promote more people like Jack, Brian, Naomi and Harry whenever possible.”

Thursday Morning Links

Orange County Pressman Joe Gordon

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Star-Ledger to Shutter Production Facility

On May 2nd, 2008 or shortly after this date Advance Publications, owner of the Star-Ledger, will determine which of the two production facilities will be shuttered as a cost cutting measure to counter falling advertising revenue.

The Montville and Piscataway production facilities in New Jersey have over six hundred full and part-time employees between each plant. Notification of the shuttering of one of the production plants went out to 365 employees in the pressroom, mailroom, transportation, machinists and plate makers.

Publisher of the Star-Ledger in Newark, George Arwady, notified the 365 craft workers at the newspaper on March 3rd, 2008 that some of the employees would lose their jobs sometime after May 2nd, 2008 when the newspaper consolidates from its current two printing plants to one.

Arwady said in a message to employees.
"As you know from my prior communications, the Star-Ledger cannot continue to operate as it has in the past. We are losing money and we must operate within our means."

One of the affected pressmen wrote.
”Long time since we exchanged emails. I thought I would throw you a bit of news about the Star-Ledger here in New Jersey. It is a paper I work for, that is going through tough times, as are most papers. They are offering buyouts to union pressman. I am a union pressman and will probably take the buyout or be forced to in a few weeks.”

Earlier this afternoon I questioned a person in the know regarding the article by Kate Coe on April 7th, 2008, about the closure of the Los Angeles Times Orange County production facility next January. I was told this was a fabricated story, and that we need both printing plants in order to become the Transcontinental of Southern California, by producing our competitor’s hard copy.

Lets hope this is true, but all the indicators claim the economy will fall further behind, before any relief is seen sometime in September of this year.

San Francisco Peninsula Press Club: MediaNews outsources subscriber services

Calls to MediaNews papers in the Bay Area to start or stop subscriptions will soon be answered by APAC Customer Services, which has call centers in the U.S. and the Philippines. APAC said in a press release that MediaNews Group's Bay Area News Group has signed a multi-year deal with APAC to provide customer service for subscribers. APAC provides the same service to McClatchy. According to APAC's Web site, its three facilities in Manila, "with over 4,000 seats," offer "accent neutral employees" from a "culture committed to service."

Mid-Week News Links

Pressmen Roger, Chris, David and Jesus

Blogger’s Picnic & Softball Snark

Bloggers and Users will be gathering again for another picnic in Pasadena, and everyone’s welcome to attend. Below is a group photo from last years picnic, and as you can see it is a diverse group of people. A very special thanks to Dianne for getting the ball rolling on this year’s picnic.

When: This Saturday April, 19, 2008 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Where: Sunnyslope Park, Pasadena, CA.

Photography by permission only.

Additional information here.