Did the Los Angeles Times have a tough year or what? Lots of unhappy departures, speculations about a dark future and criticism aimed at the paper. There also was much top-notch reporting, from here and abroad. The biggest Times news will be rehashed later in our Most Clicked On stories of 2006. In the meantime, here are some other Spring Street twists and turns that LA Observed reported this year.
Joel Stein: The oped columnist pissed off, oh, a few million people who had never before heard his name with Warriors and Wusses, in which he explains why he doesn't support the U.S. troops in Iraq.
Fewer readers: Circulation dropped in both counts taken during the year. To ensure it doesn't come back, the bean counters gutted TV Times, put ads on section fronts and unveiled what may be the worst ad layout ever.
Fading fast: Sports section #2 Dave Morgan jumped to Yahoo! then stole the Times' best baseball writer. Olympics writer Alan Abrahamson fled to NBC. New sports editor Randy Harvey tried muscling up and putting Times Staff Writer bylines on feeds from lesser papers, but still had to cut way back on coverage.
Investigating the UFW: Reporter Miriam Pawel spent more than a year looking at the United Farm Workers Union. She then left the paper unrelated to all the reactions and retraction demands, which the editors rejected. Upshot: AG Bill Lockyer cast serious doubt this month on many of the Times findings.
Oped spat: Historian Mike Davis and Oped editor Nick Goldberg exchange emails.
Coolest beat: Susan Carpenter rides motorcycles for a living.
For all the memos and personnel moves that didn't make the year-end cut, see the News & Chatter archive of posts about the Times.
Photo: Edward Fuentes