Rub the sleep out of those eyes: it’s the morning-after in L.A.!
Richard Perez-Pena at The New York Times reports that Los Angeles Times publisher David Hiller actually had Russ Stanton pegged as his pick for weeks, well before Jim O’Shea left the paper. Some staffers were so dismayed over that decision that they actually approached Hiller and pleaded that he choose someone else. In our story, two editors complained that Stanton would be perceived as a lackey to the publisher who is held "with wide contempt." Stanton responds to that by saying, "The circumstances under which Jim left, it really hindered whoever was going to get this job, almost setting them up to be the publisher’s lackey,” he said. Perez-Pena also describes Stanton as a "little quirky" since he has an extensive Dodger bobble-head doll collection.
Meanwhile, the L.A. Times itself—oddly!—doesn’t play the Stanton news off the front-page of its Web site (Stanton runs the web site—is he that modest a guy?) and you have to stumble around its business page to find the news. (Ahem: memo time!) In some pro forma grafs explaining the financial mess at the paper, it is reported that daily circulation has actually fallen to 780,000, a little less than actually has been reported. Also, the paper generates more than 90 percent of the Times‘ revenue. We find out some biographical information—he’s the son of a homemaker and an accountant—and we hear more about his love for the Dodgers. No doubt at the request of many staffers, he told his paper that coverage of Southern California would be beefed up. "I would say the atmosphere here is as bad as I have ever seen it," said Greg Krikorian, longtime reporter at the paper. "So the hope is Russ will bring some stability to what has been a long and tough ride for this paper. He’s smart, he’s engaged and he knows this place."