Word at the Los Angeles Times is that retired reporter Ken Reich, 70, died in his sleep. He was found this morning. Friend and former Tom Bradley deputy mayor Anton Calleia got the word to the Times. This note was sent to other retired LAT staffers who belong to an informal group that calls itself the Old Farts Society:
Dear OFS Members:
Sad news. Anton Calleia, a close friend of Ken Reich and a fellow OFS member, sent me an e-mail this morning saying that Ken died in his sleep last night. Ken was a retired staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. In his three-plus decades with the newspaper, Ken covered City Hall, wrote a column and was a lead reporter on the 1984 L.A. Olympics coverage.
Those of you who attended last Wednesday's OFS luncheon noticed that Ken arrived and left in a wheelchair, the result of a defibrillator episode he experienced on the last two days of his recent weeks-long cruise around Africa.
The Los Angeles Times obituary desk has been notified of Ken's passing. Funeral details will be sent to OFS members when they become available.
Reich had been a Times political writer in the 1970s and '80s. He has been blogging at Take Back the Times and posted his final entry at 12:20 this morning — asking whether the Times will survive the Sam Zell regime. (He also emailed a fellow anti-Zell blogger even later, see below.) Reich's last blog line:
This is a bad time in the newspaper business, as it is, economically for the country in so many ways. But, I fully believe, brighter days will come, and we must do what we can to insure that they do."
Since he didn't get the chance, here's for Ken Reich:
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Last night on LAO:
'Book of Tribune damnation'
Blogs weigh in:
Jesus Sanchez, L.A. Now
Mayrav Saar, Fishbowl LA
Rick Orlov, The Sausage Factory: "One of those characters who, once you met him, you never forgot."
Ed Padgett at LAT Pressmen's blog: "Just when I thought my mood could ebb no lower I read that my friend Ken Reich has passed."
Tell Zell, which heard from Reich at 2:16 am about a Times-related blog post: "Folks, Ken literally went down fighting."