In the last installment of their survey of each other, most former Los Angeles Times newsroom staffers polled say they expect their old paper to fold — just 16% expect it to survive. We'll see what the new members of the Ex club think in a week or so: newsroom talk says the next layoffs will come down on December 15. The predicted numbers of exits are still veering wildly between the teens and 40ish. Meanwhile, the Macy's ads have looked pretty healthy this season, and there's said to be some hiring in the works.
I was at the Times last night for LAPD chief Charlie Beck's conversation with editor-at-large Jim Newton, and the vibes weren't exactly upbeat. Not even 100 guests showed up, and it wasn't just due to the weather — there were only half as many chairs set up as there had been when the Times hosted a similar event with Gov. Schwarzenegger in April. No news cameras came, unlike last time. A call went out to the third-floor newsroom to come upstairs and fill seats, but only a few reporters and editors did. The biggest names in evidence were city council members Tom La Bonge and Bill Rosendahl (they clapped when Beck said he would not endorse any candidates, unlike ex-chief Bratton.) Beck didn't add much new — the councilmen left early, as did publisher Eddy Hartenstein, and as did I.