When Jack Klunder returned to the Los Angeles Times in 2005 to run circulation, the crowing from Spring Street was that he was a brilliant choice to turn around the paper's flailing print sales. Klunder had been there during the high-growth times, and he had done well at the MediaNews chain. Well, publisher Eddy Hartenstein just conceded defeat on that score. His email to the staff:
From: Hartenstein, Eddy
To: zzTrbAllHandsLAT; zzMediaGroups Cc: Michaels, Randy; Spector, Gerry; Weitman, Gary
Sent: Mon Jul 27 11:42:32 2009
Subject: Employee Announcement
We are announcing today a change of leadership in The Times’ circulation department. Effective immediately, Jack Klunder, EVP Circulation & Distribution, will be leaving The Times after working for the company from 1976 to 1996 and then returning in 2005.
During his tenure, Jack’s extensive newspaper circulation management experience has been instrumental to our subscriber and customer service efforts. I hope you will all join me in thanking Jack for his contributions and in wishing him the best in his new endeavors.
Klunder was still being hailed as the answer in a 2008 memo from then-publisher David Hiller. In 2007, you might remember, Klunder memoed the Times staff in dismay that so few of them subscribed to the newspaper.