Not surprisingly, the Times' James Rainey has the longest story on the paper's new 45-year-old publisher. The news didn't break until after 2 p.m. here, too late in the day for media reporters in the East to learn much about Jeff Johnson. The Wall Street Journal covered it with a boilerplate three grafs at the end of a story on the Tribune Co. being told to sell a Connecticut TV station. The NYT has a perfunctory staff story. Rainey goes a bit beyond the press release, interviewing Johnson and saying he "marks the ascension of a publisher whose primary training was in business, rather than one who began with an interest in journalism." Johnson lives in La Caņada Flintridge. The piece suggests a link to the Tribune Company's recent change at the top, with a new executive put over the chain's newspapers. Rainey mentions the eleven Pulitzer Prizes won during Puerner's tenure, and goes easy on the editorial cutbacks and circulation losses, but does note that Tribune stock closed yesterday—before the announcement—at a yearly low $39. Editor John Carroll, meanwhile, says he can't predict what it all means for him:
"Editors live from publisher to publisher, and we have a new publisher who I know and like," Carroll said. "And I hope he knows and likes me. But, you know, nothing is guaranteed in life."
Previously: LAT publisher out