O'Shea knew for two weeks he was gone

Now we know how Jim O'Shea could find time to write a 1,700-word farewell speech. He got the message at lunch at Traxx in Union Station that the gulf between him and publisher David Hiller was too wide for O'Shea to stay as editor of the L.A. Times, Emily Steel reports in the Wall Street Journal. Immediate fight over the budget aside, Hiller didn't see O'Shea as the long-term editor who would guide the paper through more rounds of reinvention and getting smaller. "The fact is we didn't see eye-to-eye," Hiller told the WSJ.

Mr. Hiller said even before their disagreements he had expected Mr. O'Shea to be a transitional editor at the paper, serving only a year or two. "It was a question of whether we do it now or six months from now," he said, adding that he expects to soon make additional changes at the paper.


"We've got to pick up the pace of change," Mr. Hiller said. " We need to rapidly complete the transition to a multimedia-integrated newsroom. We also need to continue to make significant changes to the print paper to make it relevant, interesting and, even, fun."

Similar coverage in Tuesday's L.A. Times, which includes an email from Sam Zell saying "David Hiller has my full support." Staff writer Robin Abcarian says in the LAT story that "I think we're all very worried now. This [O'Shea's exit] is the first big thing that's happened since Zell bought the paper, and it's not a good sign." Hiller confirms that John Arthur and Russ Stanton are on the short list to move up. Another name being mentioned in the newsroom — yet again — is Boston Globe editor Martin Baron. O'Shea, meanwhile, says he will return to Chicago, where his wife continued to live while he was here.

More on the WSJ story: Mark Lacter

Times editor O'Shea fired
Some backstory on O'Shea dismissal
Audio of LA Observed on "Which Way, L.A.?"

Edited with new material

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