LA Observed Notes: Buyouts at the LA Times (again), Megyn Kelly (again)

marciano-foundation-judy-graeme.jpgInside the Marciano Art Foundation museum in the former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire Boulevard. Photo by Judy Graeme.

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Promoting Alex Jones: I'll give Megyn Kelly about a B- for her Sunday night interview. For a dickwad who is one of the most despicable people in public life in America, she let Jones off too easy. Not making him face up to his Sandy Hook or Pizzagate victims or, for instance, to his listeners on why he lies to them and and how he makes up his conspiracies. While Jones may be another America-hating huckster making money by separating fools from their senses, the real story is Donald Trump giving credence to such a societal cancer. Bad hombre.
Conservative commentator Charlie Sykes: "We already tried ignoring the freaks and bigots of the Alt Right & nut jobs of the fever swamps. It turned out to be a huge mistake."
Michael Schneider at IndieWire: "How the Alex Jones Debacle Has Exposed NBC’s $18 Million Megyn Kelly Problem"

LA Times buyouts (again): Newsroom buyouts are back at the Los Angeles Times. This time the offer goes out to staffers with 15 years of experience — they want to keep the younger, cheaper journos — and editor-publisher Davan Maharaj says it's voluntary and not certain that you will get accepted if you apply. His memo:

For the Los Angeles Times, and the news industry overall, 2017 has been challenging. We are weathering the challenges better than most, because of our dedicated staff and several initiatives that have helped our business. However, we need to address the current economic realities as we work to secure our future.

To do that, we are offering a limited voluntary buyout plan for certain Los Angeles Times employees. This plan will include severance benefits that those eligible may find appealing. Participation is entirely voluntary.

Eligibility to apply for the buyout, or Employee Voluntary Separation Plan (EVSP), will be limited to non-union employees with at least 15 years of service at the company and excludes the Manufacturing, Distribution and Operations departments. It will be at the discretion of Los Angeles Times Communications, LLC whether to accept or decline applications.

Employees who are eligible will be notified by email and will be able to pick up their severance offer directly from Human Resources. The offer will include detailed information about the plan, how to apply and the relevant dates and deadlines. Those eligible are encouraged to review the offer thoroughly and discuss it with their managers, family and personal advisors before making a decision about whether or not to apply. The Human Resources team is prepared to answer any questions you may have.

As we move forward on our digital transformation, we will continue to focus sharply on the quality journalism that Los Angeles Times readers expect of us ─ and we expect of ourselves. Despite the challenges in the industry in recent years, we have delivered award-winning journalism that serves our growing community of readers in ever-expanding ways.

Your work makes a difference and makes us proud every day. Thank you.

California leads. Its media should, too: Julie Makinen, the LA Times bureau chief in Beijing, has concluded a Knight Fellowship at Stanford working to develop a news platform, California One. It curates and aggregates news from across the state and has, like all of the previous attempts to create a pan-California media, the potential to be more but long odds against. Could be good. She introduces the site, which has a Twitter feed.

Media notes

A big payday awaits the first Trump insider to tell all in a book. Kellyanne Conway or "other top officials could expect 'high seven figures' if they publish the first 'insider' book on life inside the Trump campaign or White House," says Axios.

CNN chief Jeff Zucker Calls Politicians’ Attacks On The Media ‘Shameful’ And ‘Dangerous’

New York Times White House reporter Glenn Thrush on Twitter: "Any debate about civility in politics begins with Trump. No one has degraded discourse more, while embracing the fringe. Fact, not opinion."

Powerful Washington Post graphic: The GOP baseball shooting is the 154th mass shooting this year

Who’s funding the anti-Trump movement? We don’t know. KQED/The California Report

Univision’s Urgent Sense of Purpose: The Spanish-language network is a striking example of a news organization that is meeting the needs of a frightened and information-famished audience, says Jim Rutenberg in the NYT... Last week, La Opinión reporter Jacqueline Garcia wrote first person about being a beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA. In Spanish

Why So Many Journalists Got Laid Off at HuffPost and Vocativ, Daily Beast... The HuffPost layoffs included the reporter, David Wood, who won the original Huffington Post its only Pulitzer Prize.

The 'Intercept' is investigating its publication of the NSA document tied to Reality Winner.

Fox News finally abandoned its "Fair and balanced" motto, which had lost its usefulness, shall we say. They are now going with "Most watched, most trusted."

Bloomberg Businessweek gets a two-tiered paywall, a substantial price increase, and a new look. Nieman Lab

KCRW host Madeleine Brand tweeted last Thursday: "Today's @KCRWPressPlay did not mention or allude to Trump the entire hour. Perhaps a first in 6 mos."

LA Times columnist Robin Abcarian publicly denounced Megyn Kelly even before the Alex Jones interview aired, citing the earlier Putin interview: "This is a shameful moment in American journalism. She is an embarrassment."

Will Tronc Get Squeezed Out of a Sun-Times Acquisition? Ken Doctor for The Street

LA-area Rep. Adam Schiff, a leader of the anti-Trump House Democrats, guested on KTLA anchor Frank Buckley's podcast.

THR Comedy Actress Roundtable: Emmy Rossum, America Ferrera, Pamela Adlon, Minnie Driver, Kathryn Hahn and Issa Rae casting by bikini and more.

Dan Walters introduces himself as a new four-days-a-week politics columnist for CalMatters, the Sacramento nonprofit. Previous: Dan Walters leaving the Sacramento Bee, but not retiring.

KCRW says it has completed the capital fundraising campaign for its new studio complex in Santa Monica, raising $50.4 million... At KPCC, John Rabe broke the news to listeners on Saturday that "Off-Ramp" is ending. Our post last week... City Council President Herb Wesson tweeted about the passing of former LA Times photographer Gary Friedman... Catching up on this: Jerry Sullivan is the new editor of the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has edited the Orange County Business Journal for five years, and until 2010 was the editor (and founder) of the now-deceased Garment & Citizen downtown. The former LABJ editor, Jonathan Diamond, was named editor, magazines and conferences for the company... How Baseball Prospectus stumbled into its uncertain future Deadspin... "Trader Joe’s in hiring a national PR director. Not sure what they will do since TJ’s never talks to the press," KPCC business reporter Ben Bergman tweets... Archbishop José H. Gomez has a new book out, "Immigration and the Next America: Renewing the Soul of Our Nation." Here's a review.

Plus: A rare insider view of how cable news talking heads get their orders from Camp Trump.

Media people doing stuff

ProPublica reporter Ginger Thompson, an alumnus of both the New York Times and LA Times, reported the inside story of a cartel’s massacre in a Mexican town near the Texas border and the U.S. drug operation that sparked it... Daily News veteran Dana Bartholomew covered a homeless man's suicide by hanging: On the Valley’s Orange Line path, a young life ends amid ‘hurt,’ ‘pain’ and heroin... Jewish Journal editor Rob Eshman writes of the Israeli "Wonder Woman" star: "Gal Gadot is destined to be this generation’s Moshe Dayan. Real Israeli heroes of the military type have become far too controversial. A make-believe action hero is much safer."... Will Reeve, who did ESPN E:60's Sunday night piece on baseball pitcher Michael Lorenzen, is the 25-year-old son of the late actor Christopher Reeve. It's his first E:60 piece "after doing some SportsCenter work," Tom Hoffarth says in his Daily News media column. KLAC Dodger reporter David Vassegh is also featured... Doug Messel for Mel Magazine: What Does Father’s Day Mean When I Was Only a Dad for 19 Days? "My daughter Charlotte was born more than four months premature, and lived less than three weeks. She still changed my life."... Sam Quinones has a New York Times op-ed on his recent book topic: Addicts Need Help. Jails Could Have the Answer.... Another LA Times alum, Bill Steigerwald, has a new book “30 Days a Black Man,” which he says "tells the true story of an amazing but forgotten undercover mission into the Jim Crow South in 1948 by Pittsburgh’s greatest journalist, Ray Sprigle of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette."... Ex-Angeleno Guy McCarthy is now doing a column for the Sonora Union-Democrat on how he spends his weekends in the Sierra Nevada.

Weather scientist-climate pundit Eric Holthaus is reviving his daily weather and climate newsletter, apparently from Arizona: "Here in Tucson, one of the hottest inhabited places in this land, we're about to kickoff our longest and most intense heat wave in history. At least four days of 110°F+ are in the forecast, and Phoenix will be pushing 120°F. The urban heat island effect in both cities will be making the heat all accounts, this is about the hottest that the hottest part of the country ever gets."... For journos going to IRE's confab in Phoenix this week, it's expected to be between 115 and 120 degrees all week.

Jobs: The Hollywood Reporter has added Peter Kiefer as real estate and city editor based in Los Angeles and Jeremy Barr as a media and politics writer based in New York... THR is also looking to hire an associate editor for the website who will help curate the home page and "report multiple articles daily on tight deadlines as well as edit and publish stories from beat writers, correspondents, freelancers and wire service providers."

In the news

• Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey digs into the fear and resentment in rural America that elevated Donald Trump from a national joke to the White House. "Nearly 7 in 10 rural residents say their values differ from people who live in big cities. [The] political divide between rural and urban America is more cultural than it is economic, rooted in rural residents’ deep misgivings about the nation’s rapidly changing demographics, their sense that Christianity is under siege and their perception that the federal government caters most to the needs of people in big cities." Dunno if it's outside the pay wall.
• Surge in Latino homeless population 'a whole new phenomenon' for Los Angeles - LA Times
• Help wanted: Why Republicans won’t work for the Trump administration - Wash Post
• The man behind President Trump’s voter fraud obsession - NYT
• Bullet grazes LAPD officer's helmet in South L.A. gun battle; K-9 wounded - LA Times
• LAPD suspends cadet programs at stations where teens accused of stealing police cruisers were assigned - LA Times


Mayor Garcetti led the weekly recap of his work week with a Facebook post on lighting up the exterior of City Hall with the Batman symbol in memory of actor Adam West. Watch:

Garcetti last week also proposed a monorail over the 405 freeway in the Sepulveda Pass.

Rep. Brad Sherman from the Valley was in the media last week circulating proposed articles of impeachment targeting Donald Trump.

Lancaster mayor R. Rex Parris dropped a provocative line at the bottom of his revised online bio. "In spite of his works as a progressive community leader and highly successful attorney, Mayor Parris has been blackballed by The California Club -- an association that was established in 1887 for leaders in business, industry, government and the professions." I guess he didn't get in.

Councilman Mitchell Englander introduced a motion that would move the deadline for Los Angeles businesses to file taxes so that it aligns with state and federal filing deadlines. LA requires businesses (and freelancers) to file more than two months before state and federal taxes are due... Englander also named Nicole Bernson as his chief of staff. She replaces John S. Lee, who left City Hall for the private sector.

Steve Lopez column: Everyone loves L.A. — and that's the problem... L.A. City Council panel backs a new city holiday: Indigenous Peoples Day LA Times... LA School Report wonders: What would it cost LAUSD to fire Superintendent Michelle King?... The site of the former James Dean gas station in Sherman Oaks is destined to be a Whole Foods and there's some upset about that... As crowds gathered in City Hall for a lengthy hearing on the rules for Airbnb hotels in LA neighborhoods, the LA Times reporter Emily Alpert Reyes tweeted: "Please call my family and tell them I won't be home ... maybe ever."... Assemblyman Mike Gatto emailed the birth news for Joseph Michael "Jack" Gatto. "He came Monday, about five weeks early. (Like his father, I fear he's a little impatient.)"

An invitation from your federal courthouse

The new U.S. Courthouse on 1st Street and Broadway is going arty and inviting you to attend.
Chief Judge Virginia Phillips is pleased to announce that the United States District Court is sponsoring an exhibition of postwar photographs of jazz life by Herman Leonard. Shot in New York between 1948 and 1956, Leonard's work documented the birth of bebop. K. Heather Pinson, the author of The Jazz Image (University Press of Mississippi, 2010), a study of Leonard's work, has said, He was a master of jazz, except his instrument was a camera. His photographs are probably the single best visual representation of what jazz sounds like. The exhibition, which begins in September, is from the collection of the National Portrait Gallery and features Leonard's iconic images of jazz legends such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Quincy Jones, Thelonious Monk, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn, and Dinah Washington....

As part of the exhibition, the Court is hosting a reception to honor Leonard's life, his work, and iconic American jazz artists he captured with his camera. The UCLA Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance is scheduled to perform. The event will be free to the public and the Court is making a special effort to reach our community's secondary school students to raise their awareness of jazz and its titans. The reception is scheduled for September 21, 2017, starting at 4:00 p.m.


In his first official event in his new house, Israel Consul General Sam Grundwerg hosted a breaking of the Ramadan fast, with a Muslim call to prayer, attended by Russell Simmons, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Muhammed Khan of the King Fahd Mosque and a rabbi - Instagram

The Clippers made a couple of big splashes, naming Lakers legend Jerry West a consultant and making a tentative deal to build a new home arena in Inglewood. Who's not happy? The owners of the Forum - Daily Breeze

From roller hockey to the Lakers: How Jeanie Buss became the most powerful woman in sports - LA Times

Vin Scully will come out of retirement two times this summer to narrate "Lincoln Portrait" by Aaron Copland at the Hollywood Bowl. Gustavo Dudamel will conduct the orchestra. July 13 and 18 - NBC LA

Boyle Heights’ Jewish history celebrated with an exhibition in the neighborhood - Jewish Journal

The Proud Bird near LAX is reopening as more of a food marketplace than a restaurant. Still has the airplane theme.

Selected tweets


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