Mayors turn out for Times wake *

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and ex-mayor Richard Riordan attended tonight's reception in the L.A. Times building for departing editor of the editorial pages Jim Newton. He quit June 3, reportedly after being told to lay off a bunch of opinion page staffers. Those layoffs still loom, but nobody knows who will get the axe since Newton has not yet been replaced, and the guy he resigned to, Publisher David Hiller, has been ousted and not yet replaced either. Newton was City-County bureau chief in the first part of Villaraigosa's term and covered City Hall when Riordan was mayor. (Villaraigosa personally called at least a few of the L.A. Times reporters and editors who left in the last buyout-layoff.) Sheriff Lee Baca and Eli Broad, who lost to Sam Zell in his bid to buy the Tribune Company, also attended. Think the future in Los Angeles (and the current fixation of LA Observed) would look different if Broad had triumphed? Former Times legal affairs writer Henry Weinstein, now on the faculty at UC Irvine School of Law, emceed the remarks. Many of the 100+ Times staffers who were laid off or bought out this time attended, some with their spouses, and I'm told there was a lot of emotion in the air. Not there was the guy who fired them: Times Editor Russ Stanton was reportedly at a conference in Chicago, and we'll just leave it at that. [* Update: I'm told that Stanton is at Unity 2008, the journalists of color conference.]

Zell: Mark Lacter has a first take on Zell's conference call this afternoon with his own reporters. LA Biz Observed

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