Lowry to Goldstein: who you calling soft?

Variety columnist and blogger Brian Lowry wasn't impressed by L.A. Times columnist-blogger Patrick Goldstein's recent critique of the trade paper and Peter Bart. Lowry's open letter to Goldstein gets a bit defensive and personal.

I know our paths seldom crossed during my days at the Los Angeles Times, but then again, whose path have you crossed over there? As I recall, from the moment former managing editor John Lindsay hired you, you couldn't be bothered to produce more than one feature-like column a week and made a point of never coming into the office. Now you have this blog, "The Big Picture," so I'm thrilled to see a newspaper that has laid off more than half its staff since I left in 2003 has finally dictated that you squeeze out more than 800 words a week.

Anyway, I hope this new workload isn't over-taxing you, but it does seem to have made you increasingly petulant....

Separately, Lowry also tackles Sam Zell's admission that the Tribune takeover backfired:

The question is, now what? Zell and his band of former radio folk clearly have no feel for the TV and newspaper industries, and certainly no regard for the latter's larger mission that goes beyond just trying to make a profit. Yet as he stated, there's limited opportunity for him to shed these assets in the current climate. This raises the rather unappetizing prospect of Zell trying to "fix" his mistake -- and possibly throwing out the baby with the bath water. That should also send a shudder up the spines of the major studios that Tribune -- which declared bankruptcy -- still owes money from various programming deals.

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