Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Hard Times at the Times
The L.A. Times appears to be struggling to maintain readership. In the past week the board made a decision to fire editorialist Bob Scheer, known for his strongly liberal views; L.A. Observed reviews some of the fallout here. They've also fired their (conservative) editorial cartoonist, Michael Ramirez - though he will continue to publish in the Times till the end of the year. There was a protest at the Times offices yesterday over the Scheer decision. Scheer himself, at last report, appears to have flounced off to the San Francisco Chronicle.
I quit reading the Times years ago, myself, so I have no real opinion on these decisions, though I am sad to see a once-great paper headed down the tubes. It shifted to "soft news" years ago and simply isn't readable any more. I'm also stunned to see that there will no longer be an editorial cartoonist on staff at a paper that has won several Pulitzers for its cartoons (first Conrad, then Ramirez). I'm not sure what the administration of the Times is thinking, but I think they need to stop worrying about the editorial page and start focusing on their news reporting.