Well, he signed off on shuttering the storied City News wire service last December, part of a 27-person reduction at the paper. Not to be confused with Socal's City News Service, the Chicago wire had been around for 115 years and was a training ground for the likes of Mike Royko, Seymour Hersh and many others. Its famous motto: "If your mother says she loves you, check it out." At the time of closing, O'Shea warned that there might be more cutting at the paper.
O'Shea was named managing editor in early 2001, succeeding Ann Marie Lipinski, who became senior vice president and editor. "Jim is an exquisite journalist and an editor of near-impeccable judgement (sic)," Lipinski said in announcing the selection. "He is a connoisseur of the toughest reporting and the finest writing, a journalist who can produce both and knows how to encourage it in others."
O'Shea has been at the paper since 1979. He's covered local, business, national and foreign news. Obviously, he has the support of Times Publisher David Hiller who, not incidentally, had been publisher of the Tribune until just a month ago. The Hiller/O'Shea combo creates all kinds of intriguing possibilities, what with the chance that Tribune might not even own the LAT in another few months. For what it's worth, Tribune stock closed today at $31.62, down 1.92 percent for the day. It's been sliding in the last few weeks, ever since Tribune got lukewarm initial offers among several private-equity firms.