Times Publisher David Hiller uses his in-house blog to refute Joe Scott's blind item that reported the LAT building is for sale. I guess most Times editors don't keep up with the boss's blog, so Managing Editor John Arthur cc'd the item around the newsroom. In his post, Hiller points out that the Times doesn't even own the building — and offers the news that they might buy it:
Home Sweet Home
Some local site posted a rumor that the Los Angeles Times building might be for sale (no link since the rumor is bogus).
For the record, our plan is to continue to occupy and operate out of our building here at the Square. As I understand the history, the Times has considered moving to other locations from time to time in the past. We've reviewed all sorts of options over the last year, and again recently with Sam Zell's real estate people, and we've stayed with the conclusion that the best course is to remain here. Anyway, after a year here I am just now finding my way around the building and seems a shame to waste that knowledge.
Incidentally, we don't own our building at the present time. It's owned by one of the Chandler Family Trusts and we lease it from them. We have an option to buy the building early next year, which it is likely we will do.
[* Update to the update: Scott says Hiller's reply "makes my point about an eventual sale by the Tribune Co. to a major developer."]
Time on his hands?: Hiller adds at the end: "Speaking of rumor-mongering LA websites, I still have not heard from Kevin Roderick about my offer to contribute $1,000 to United Way to take him to lunch, if he does the same. Would somebody please leak THAT to Kevin?" Well, they did. I emailed Hiller back a couple of weeks ago, but perhaps wasn't clear enough: Yes I'm available for lunch, but it doesn't cost anything. No, I don't do odd attention-seeking gimmicks with publishers of big newspapers, even for charity. If I were inclined, wouldn't the right challenge have been to match the same percentage of our vastly differing incomes? Anyway, as always I'm gratified that the top guy at the LAT follows LA Observed so closely.