Black Monday at the Los Angeles Times: Publisher David Hiller is Out, Mass Layoffs Begin

The L.A. Times’ publisher David Hiller is out.

Here’s the memo from Randy Michaels:

I want to let you know that David Hiller has decided to step down as publisher of The Los Angeles Times, effective immediately. David took over as publisher in October 2006, during a difficult period for the newspaper and has performed with distinction since that time. During the last six months, he has helped The Times begin making the transition to new ownership, facing new realities. Part of that transition must now include a new publisher.
We are already in the process of identifying the right person to lead The Times going forward. We expect to name a new publisher by the end of the summer. In the meantime, executive vice president and chief administrative officer Gerry Spector and I will oversee all operations at The Times. Russ Stanton and his team are well underway with their work on the redesign of the paper and that work will, of course, continue at a quick pace.
The Los Angeles Times is a great newspaper with a talented and dedicated staff. Let’s do everything we can to keep it focused on future success.

Today is also pink-slip day at the L.A. Times. Most of the 150 newsroom staffers who are being let go will learn their fate today. The rest will learn in the weeks to come, and all of them will be gone by the end of August. Here’s Russ Stanton’s memo (he’s getting used to this):

Earlier this month, I promised to give you details of the job cuts when I had them. Here they are:

Today, editors will begin notifying most of the 150 people who will be leaving us, and we hope to complete that process within a matter of days. Some of our co-workers will be leaving today, many at the end of this week, others in the weeks to come. Those leaving will be given detailed information about the severance package they will receive, which includes one week of pay for every six months of service, up to one year. All of those directly affected by this cutback will have departed by Friday, Aug. 29.

The days and weeks ahead will be difficult ones, filled with pain, anger and sadness. All of us need to respect the feelings of those who are leaving us, and the editors who are being asked to handle duties they did not seek. As I’ve said before, I deeply regret that these cost-saving moves will result in the loss of work for the many people who have served this company well. The best way we can honor them, and to show our readers and our peers that the Los Angeles Times will continue to produce first-rate journalism, is to stay focused on our work.

Russ Stanton
Los Angeles Times


Black Monday at the Los Angeles Times: Publisher David Hiller is Out, Mass Layoffs Begin