The company line, and what the Los Angeles Times reported as confirmed news on its website, is that David Hiller resigned as publisher. Now here's what he says:
From: Hiller, David
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2008 3:42 PM
When I told my mother that Sam wanted to see me this morning, she said ďdo you think he wants to make you CEO of the whole company?Ē You see where a lot of my optimism comes from. By now you have also heard that Sam had other ideas and I will be leaving The Times. Samís the boss and he gets to pick his own quarterback.
Being the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, and before that the Chicago Tribune, has been the greatest privilege I could ever have imagined. This is one very special place, and made so by all of you, and those of you gone before who dedicated themselves to bringing the news of the day to the city The Times helped build. I want to thank all of you for what you do every day; itís an incredibly important mission.
We are also engaged in the struggle to make sure our mission is also a viable business. I believe we are on the right track, and am proud of what you have accomplished. Thereís a lot more work to do. Iím sorry I wonít be here to pitch in, but Iíll be rooting for you.
I wonder if, like his predecessors, Hiller got to Los Angeles and realized a newspaper doesn't get better through large-scale cutting.
* Mark Lacter: Hiller's exit was probably set in motion last year when Sam Zell said he would be held accountable for the LAT's financial performance. LA Biz Observed