Readers sent along these form emails they are getting from the Times in response to complaints about Al Martinez being pushed out. Editor Jim O'Shea, perhaps hearing a public backlash he didn't expect, says he plans to meet with the 77-year-old columnist next week to discuss some future role. Martinez, whose papers have already been received by the Huntington Library, meanwhile, will be feted by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky at the Board of Supes on June 12.
Thank you for writing and expressing you views on Al. He and I are meeting next week to discuss what is possible in the future. These are tough times for the newspaper business and for our newspaper. I am working as hard as I can to get through these issues and emerge with the best possible blend of talent for our readers. Your input on Al helps. Thanks again for writing and for reading the LA Times.
Publisher David Hiller's email, which follows after the jump, says the editors decided it was time for a change in the columnist lineup.
Thanks for writing to me about Al Martinez. Al is a fine writer as well as a wonderful person who has won the friendship and admiration of many, many readers over more than 35 years at The Times. He, and all of us here, have been fortunate to have readers who like you are devoted to his work. At the same time, things do change and our editors concluded it was time for a change of direction in our lineup of columnists. I hear your point about how much you will miss Al, but I do hope you will give both yourself and The Times an opportunity to see if you might find the same qualities you admire in Al's work in the work of our other writers and columnists.
Thank you for being a Los Angeles Times reader.