Joseph Menn leaves Times; editor memo

Los Angeles-based tech writer Joseph Menn has been on book leave. In a note to the Times newsroom that I've heard described as "droll," Menn announces that he's moving back to San Francisco to join the Financial Times.

From: Menn, Joseph
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 1:33 PM
To: yyeditall
Subject: Obit for inside: LA Times Career Expires Peacefully at Age 10

The Los Angeles Times career of journalist Joseph Menn, 10, expired peacefully Wednesday during a book leave.

Menn’s meteoric arc at the distinguished paper saw him rise from his first posting as a technology business staff writer in San Francisco all the way to his final position as a technology business staff writer in Los Angeles.

Menn said he was leaving of his own volition to take a job covering tech for the London-based Financial Times back in San Francisco, where freaks feel more welcome.

In a rambling interview, he sought to portray the patently lateral move as an act of courage and faith in an obviously doomed medium. Knowledgeable observers, however, said it exemplified the appalling lack of imagination typical of that afflicting newspapers as a whole.

At the Times, Menn said he was most proud of reporting in 2000 that destroyed the pioneering Web company and pederasty front Digital Entertainment Network, as well as his searingly competent work on computer security, Microsoft, and the Hollywood writers’ strike.

He also claimed to have been the first to uncover mass domestic phone surveillance by the National Security Agency. When it was pointed out to him that the program was first written about in the New York Times, Menn replied feebly: “Yeah, well, at least I nailed that bastard Mickey Mouse.”

Menn’s career leaves behind some of the finest and hardest-working journalists the world has ever known.

In lieu of flowers, its survivors request that occasional personal updates and half-hearted promises to buy his forthcoming cyber-crime book be sent to xxxxxx.


Editor Russ Stanton announced to the newsroom that 14 staffers got laid off today and that the rest will be delayed until the end of March. The total number of position cuts this wave remains at 70, he says:

From: Stanton, Russ
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 9:59 AM
To: yyeditall
Subject: Newsroom staffing update


This will be another difficult day in our newsroom as we'll be saying good-bye to 14 of our co-workers and friends. Those affected will be notified before noon.

I regret that these cost-saving moves will result in the loss of work for people who have served this company well, and for many years.

The total number of jobs being eliminated in Editorial remains at 70. For a variety of reasons, the remaining departures will occur toward the end of March.

Thank you for your patience and for your continued good work during these challenging times.

Russ Stanton

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