At the top of his well-attended speech today on reform of Proposition 13 — skeptically received by Mark Lacter at LA Biz Observed — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa commiserated with the media members on the state of the business. His host was the Sacramento Press Club, after all. He had nice words for fired Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten, whose departure leaves the Times bench thin in a lot of fields.
I certainly understand what you're up against as reporters and editors...if these are challenging times to be a mayor, it's an equally tough time in the journalism business. In many ways, local government and our cherished local media institutions have fallen victim to the same crimes.
In LA, while we were being forced to cut thousands of positions from City service, across the street we witnessed massive layoffs at our major daily newspapers. And, believe me, we are only beginning to realize the impact of these convulsions on our civic life. At the LA Times, we recently took another hit with the termination of Tim Rutten, a veteran local columnist with a deep understanding of our City's complex history and who possesses an even keener sensitivity for what I'd call LA's soul.
I have no doubt Tim will soon be reincarnated...as a BLOGGER!
Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronicle has the entire speech.
Photo: Adam Gottlieb, Sacramento Press Club