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Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Old Gray Hag She Ain't What She Used to Be

Kevin Roderick posts up a super-long screed lamenting the terminal nature of THE OLD GRAY HAG ON SPRING STREET (also known as LA ANTONIA TIMES, The Former Fishwrap of Record and The Los Angeles Times).

For the Westside White Guy for sure it's all traceable to poor decision making and foul language by Sam Zell owner of parent company Tribune Media. I guess it all started when Zell dropped an F-bomb on a staffer.

Yet the Times is having the same problems the dinosaur media is having all over the country and is in worse shape because 1) For years being embedded as part of the kleptocratic old guard that runs LA and never having the balls to take on those who have been destroying the City, 2) Focusing on the fru-fru tastes of a small handful of enclaves in sections of Council Districts 4, 5, 11 and 13 while ignoring everything from South Central to the San Fernando Valley and 3) Simply never ever getting it when it comes to how the new media works and being completely unable to conquer the Internet as some newspapers have.

For years The Times has been embedded as part of the kleptocratic old guard that runs LA and never had the balls to take on those who have been destroying the City.

It's time for the handwringing over the Times to come to an end. The horse and buggy had it's day and so did the Times. Unlike papers in other cities the Times never challenged Los Angeles and now it's paying the piper in it's seeming irrelevance. New technologies, blogs and other publications will get the word out, probably more directly and without the Spring Street filter, and we'll be the better for it.

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Nobody's helped the Times down the path of perdition more than gossip-monger KR.

January 04, 2009 6:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What little world are you living in? Give up the Times to rely on BLOGGERS for news and analysis? There are a handful of bloggers who handle it well, but trust me, this blog isn't in the game.

What's next? Give up reading in favor of the ouija board?

January 04, 2009 10:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You guys described it perfectly. The long, slow decline of the LA Times could've been seen a mile away.

Since Otis Chandler's ascension to publisher, LAT has steadily drifted leftward (with a brief stop to endorse Pete Wilson's reelection). This has turned away millions of subscribers and casual readers. The 2003 last-minute hatchet job on Arnold didn't help.

When it tried and failed to be a west coast equivalent of the NY Times and Wall Street Journal, it refused to go back to agressive local reporting. This was mostly due to liberal bias (since most LA officials were/are lib democrats) but also out of laziness and snobbery. LAT editors and reporters thought local politics and corruption were beneath their status.

Then came the internet, and with it left most of the classified ads that subsidized the liberal reporting. These include auto ads (autobytel.com; cars.com; autotrader.com), home ads (online MLS), garage sales (ebay) and "personal services" (Craig's List, etc.).

The first sign of the end was when Tribune Co. put itself up for sale and got a price much less than it wanted, and only thru the debt-laden employee stock plan buyout.

Now Trib Co is in bankruptcy, and will have to sell LAT for a fire-sale price to David Geffen, Eli Broad, et al.

But does anyone think these guys can run a paper? Any one of them will drive the LAT into the ground just like Philip Anschutz did with the San Francisco Examiner (WR Hearst's old paper).


The "Moldy Green Sheet" will fail within 5 years. The LA Times won't be far behind.

January 04, 2009 10:39 PM  

Anonymous Phil Jennerjahn said:

Here is a funny story to shine some light on how pathetic the LA Times has become.

On December 3rd, I walked into the lobby of the LA Times and talked to someone on the house phone and explained to them that I was one of only a few men on the ballot to be the next Mayor of Los Angeles. I asked them to interview me.

They said "We don't have anyone here who can do that."

And this is at the biggest newspaper in the second largest city in America.

I walked out of there feeling only pity for them.

I said to myself.."This place will be out of business in ten years."

January 05, 2009 1:34 AM  

Blogger Heather said:

Its about time the Old Gray Hag got what is coming. They spin stories so badly its more of a soap opera then "real news." They never reported facts about the Mayor during his campaign and continue to write stories without both sides of the issue. The Times has become more of a tabloid with NO credibility. The only reporter decent and credible is David Z.

January 05, 2009 6:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I follow just a couple of local issues.

Literally everything I have read in the Times about these two subjects has been either modestly or substantially wrong in its reporting.

Despite regularly sending corrections to the reporters who cover the subjects, the continue to get it wrong.

The arrogance of the Times forcing its agenda, and protecting local governments, is why I think it's on life-support.

Good riddance to the coming death of the LA Times.

January 05, 2009 8:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil, with all due respect, I've never even heard of any of the candidates other than Walter Moore and Zuma Dog. And David Hernandez. Each of them has been involved in a variety of local issues.

Can you state here what causes you have led in the local area? On that note, how much have you raised for your campaign? If you're going to be interviewed, you should be able to show that you've got a measure of support in the community.

January 05, 2009 8:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

10:23 I'd rather read Zuma Dogg even than the LA Times.

The Times never gets local government stories right if they cover them at all. At least the bloggers cover them and enough people in the know are reading who can comment and contribute/correct.

Give it up man, the old world is history.

January 05, 2009 10:45 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil, do you really think walking into "the lobby of the Times" with the tourists from Idaho or Pacoima and calling up on the house phone to say "Here I am, important candidate for Mayor, someone interview me," is how a really important person would behave? You really are SO clueless.

January 05, 2009 7:18 PM  

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