Retired Times writer-turned-blogger Ken Reich raps his former LAT colleagues on the virtual knuckles for not turning out last night to support a book of columns by the late Frank Del Olmo, the longtime columnist and senior editor felled in the newsroom by a heart attack in February 2004.
The poor turnout of Times editorial staff at last night's Frank del Olmo book signing and first annual del Olmo lecture series was an embarrassment.
I may have missed a new staffer or two I didn't know, but my belief is that out of scores of Times reporters and editors invited to the event at the Japanese American National Museum, only two showed up, Frank Sotomayor, who was one of the speakers, and Henry Weinstein, who has long demonstrated the authentic interest in diversity that should be the case with all Times staff members.
I know newspersons are busy. But remembering Frank del Olmo is important, and a respect by the white reporters and editors for Latino journalists in Los Angeles is very important. I hesitate to berate a staff for whom I have a great deal of respect, but last night's showing was pretty miserable.
Sounds like there wasn't even any courtesy appearance by senior editors, though the museum is only about four blocks from the paper. Reich blogs that 300 people were invited, about 100 sent RSVPs and about 50 attended.