A disgruntled Times reader sent new publisher David Hiller a heated email yesterday afternoon after the Baquet news broke. She got back a personal (perhaps defensive?) response pointing out that he can't be blamed for the front page redesign. First the email:
Subject: Chicago Rules
Hello Mr. Hiller,
That is what you wanted to prove, right? Chicago in the form of Tribune Corporation rules now. Well, having worked in journalism in Chicago and knowing the furious jealousy of Los Angeles that prevails there--I want to say that you have lost a subscriber to the Los Angeles Times. The Chicago Tribune is not what it was when I grew up in Chicago and now you want to bring the shoddiness of what the Tribune has been turned into all the way to L.A. The ridiculous front page font mess is your doing. The firing of Dean Baquet and the cuts in staff you will bring are your doing. You are the messenger. You are a puppet. You are not a publisher.
You are following instructions from people who have no business being in journalism. Any improvements in the local news coverage and the Latino community can be accomplished without gutting the reputation of a great paper and the jobs of people who work hard to produce it. A newspaper with the profit of the Los Angeles Times doesn't need to feel that its purpose is to make even more money. Therefore you will not get my money to support the corporate quest. It all boils down to greed. You must be ashamed. I will wait to hear of the Pulitzers you win.
Hiller answered within minutes:
I do wish you would give us a chance. On one item, you do know of course that the re-design was planned well before I arrived, or did you figure I did that in my first week. In all events, I hope you reconsider and keep reading.