Canter's at night. Yes I know there is no apostrophe on the sign, but Canter's uses one. Most of the time.
A semi-regular bite at the day's news and observations. Follow LA Observed on Twitter between posts.
Update: KPCC will air and post an investigation on Wednesday reporting on $31.9 million in large donations to favored causes of Mayor Eric Garcetti, some by interests that "have won sizable contracts and crucial approvals from the city in recent years." KPCC was teasing the story on the air Tuesday. "Most of the donations Garcetti raised went to a charity he helped create after his election, the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles."
1. Behind the LA Times editor massacre
By last Friday, it became clear that the HR investigation posed a serious threat to the top editors. That morning, several editors wrote to Tronc CEO Justin Dearborn and chairman Michael Ferro, requesting an immediate meeting.
“We ask you to meet with us today, as a group, to discuss a Human Resources investigation that has disrupted our workplace for more than a month,” the editors wrote. “We are concerned about the repercussions for the news organization.”
On Monday, those repercussions became clear. Maharaj and [managing editor Marc] Duvoisin were out, along with investigations editor Matt Doig, and digital editor Megan Garvey. Jill Leovy, the founder of “The Homicide Report” blog and author of “Ghettoside,” was also fired. She is Duvoisin’s wife. Ana Mata, Maharaj’s administrative assistant, was also let go.
Tronc concluded there were no improprieties in the handling of the USC story, according to a published report by the Los Angeles Times. The four were not let go for cause, and Tronc referred to the personnel moves as a “restructuring.”
News industry analyst Ken Doctor followed with a deeper dive that confirms the Metro-led revolt against Maharaj, quiet overtures by the Newspaper Guild, and push back by Maharaj against pressure for more budget cuts from Tronc, which releases uglier financials every quarter.
Writes Doctor: "While there’s much to plumb in the who, what, when, and where of those firings, even this unprecedented canning is but a sideshow to the larger drama here: What is the future of the once nationally powerful Los Angeles Times?"
That answer remains very unclear, as we wait to see if the new publisher has any brilliant answers that have eluded others, and if Tronc can find a great editor willing to come to the LA Times, and indeed whether Tronc's Michael Ferro decides to sell. For now the new team will be assessing the staff of the Times, and Doctor writes: "Even those who complained about the Maharaj reign may reconsider what they wished for as that assessment moves forward."
It's been so frustrating as an Angeleno, and as a former Times editor and reporter, to watch the LAT fall farther behind even as it shifts more to digital. And to see Maharaj and his top team stay smug even as his staff lost confidence in him as an editor and he sputtered as a novice publisher. The website still isn't very good, the newsroom loses more good people each year, and the future of the Times as a business looks as shaky as it ever has.
At our Native Intelligence blog, former LAT staffer Ellen Alperstein says what she would like to see as a reader of the Times.
Finally: New LAT publisher Ross Levinsohn tweets here.
2. Canter's earns a C grade