Daily Journal turmoil continues

Two weeks after David Houston took over abruptly as editor of the Los Angeles Daily Journal, I'm hearing a lot of unhappiness out of the newsroom. Houston has reportedly been a stickler for attendance and shorter coffee breaks, as part of an overall push for productivity to cut costs. Associate editor Alan Mittelstaedt resigned yesterday after just four months at the Journal, breaking the news to reporters Monday night at a private off-campus session. "Its unfortunate because he's been a real motivating force among a mostly youngish staff, reminding us why we do what we do and enabling hard-hitting stories and a city-bent," one staffer emails. His departure continues an eye-opening turnover that claimed the promising Anat Rubin and Brent Kendall in July, Ryan Oliver in May, and January legal editor Troy Senik (who moved to the White House staff) in January. Remember, in April the Daily Journal also lopped off its entire copy editing desk. Now Houston, in a memo reported today by Gary Scott, has shifted some beats and eliminated the unstaffed City Hall and politics beat.

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