L.A. Times loses two stars *

Investigative reporters Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for reporting on the deaths at King-Drew Medical Center, are leaving the Los Angeles Times for ProPublica, the non-profit investigative startup that is collecting top newspaper diggers. Rumors about Ornstein and Weber's resignations swept the newsroom last week and even reached newsrooms in other cities, in part because they would be such a high-profile loss to the Times. Ornstein has now begun telling sources he is leaving at the end of the month August and will move to New York. It's another big morale blow in the newsroom, which used to be a place where journalists aspired to reach and stay to do their best work. With new deep cutbacks coming and Sam Zell's outbursts making many of the best journalists feel the Times' commitment to serious news is precarious, it's no longer surprising to see stars like Ornstein and Weber flee. In June Ornstein was honored as a journalist of the year by the Los Angeles Press Club in part for his stories reporting on privacy breaches and the treatment of Japanese mobsters at UCLA Medical Center, the incident at Cedars-Sinai with Dennis Quaid's twins and other health beat scoops.

Add Zell: Times columnist Steve Lopez got a zinger in Sunday's column about visiting Chicago (and comparing Mayor Daley to Mayor Villaraigosa.) Lopez: "Chicago is no Emerald City, despite the presence of the yammering munchkins who run the Tribune Co."

Edited for fixes


More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent LAT stories on LA Observed:
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Los Angeles more worldly since '92, LA Times 'more insular'
More recommended media coverage of the riots
Fiction does have a winner at LA Times Book Prizes
LA Times geography throws USC a curve

New at LA Observed
Follow us on Twitter

On the Media Page
Go to Media
On the Politics Page
Go to Politics

LA Biz Observed
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


Advertisement
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook