An alert LA Observed reader noticed a discrepancy between the Times' online version of yesterday's web shake-up and today's print version. The James Rainey story that ran on the web yesterday included this pretty juicy tidbit about internal politics:
Baquet left the paper under pressure from Tribune Co. on Nov. 10, about a month after Publisher Jeffrey M. Johnson was forced out. Johnson had complained that staff cuts were excessive and that he had been stalled from opening new websites to increase revenue and forestall further cutbacks....The Travel and Calendar features had been long advocated by former publisher Johnson and the website's [Rob] Barrett. But they had been stalled because executives in Chicago wanted to fit any innovations into Tribune Co.'s larger web strategy.
Mention that the Tribune's ham-handed centralization of web decisions had been an obstacle was gone from the print story in today's papers. Writes my citizen-observer:
Maybe there just wasn't enough space to put the information in the paper. Maybe Jim Rainey just dropped the detail as he polished his story. And, admittedly, the print version contained plenty of criticism of the Times from the Spring Street Project. But maybe someone didn't like the inconvenient fact that what the paper and web site ballyhooed as Hiller and O'Shea's brilliant idea (and I think everyone would agree that it is a smart idea) was snuffed out by Chicago only last year, and that it was a major reason behind the top management shakeup at the Times.
The shake-up he refers to is the dumping of Johnson as publisher, the appointment of David Hiller and the later change of editors from Dean Baquet to loyal Tribune hand Jim O'Shea. Personally, I'll default to the space issue until there is evidence to the contrary. Today's print story ran in the incredible shrinking Business section and was 300 words shorter than the earlier online story. That's not Rainey's call.
Meanwhile: Jamie Court of the Foundation For Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, writing at the Huffington Post, says it's time for the Times newsroom to unionize.