Sources at the Daily News and outsiders close to Ron Kaye say he will be replaced by an editor from Northern California. Nothing official yet, but the announcement could be made as soon as Thursday. Kaye reportedly got the word Monday from Dave Butler, his predecessor as editor of the Daily News, now the overall editor for Dean Singleton's papers in California. The terms of Kaye's departure have apparently been in negotiation since. He declined today to confirm the change to LA Observed.
Kaye, who is 66 or so, presided reluctantly over last month's buyouts and layoffs that stripped out 20% of the Daily News newsroom. At the time, he vowed to solider on. But it appears the budget battle took a toll on his relationships with Butler and Ed Moss, the paper's third publisher in 18 months. Kaye was the main architect behind the Daily News' tone as the self-proclaimed voice for San Fernando Valley suburbanites he says feel screwed by City Hall and estranged from Los Angeles. As managing editor he pushed the paper's championing of secession, voted down citywide — and rejected by half of Valley voters — in 2002. "This is about truth, justice and the American way. I have found a way to give expression to my failed idealism...this [the Valley] is the dream of mankind," he told Los Angeles magazine then. After becoming editor in August 2005, Kaye said, "The challenge as a newspaper is to define the issues, keep the feet of city hall on the fire and to stand for change...We stand up for them [the Valley] and speak their language." I've never been convinced that sensibility fits today's Valley of immigrants, but it helped make Kaye a force in local affairs and cemented his position as mentor to a young staff.