Feb 22, 2008

Sam Zell has ideas

LA Observed's Kevin Roderick listened to Sam Zell speak about newspapers and gives his thoughts here.

In short, the new owner of the LA Times seems disinterested both in words and journalists.

Here's a snippet from Roderick's report: Zell clearly is not the kind of publisher who aspires to greatness and invests in hard, expensive kinds of journalism — risky investigative digging, complex issues that may take weeks or months to research, perhaps even coverage of poor people or less popular sports. It sounds as if the main criteria will be what brings in the most readers. We know what gets high ratings on the Times website — basketball and celebrity photos, with a smattering of hot stories of the moment. "It seems like an awful lot of journalism that's being written is not being read," he said.

Zell got his "start" in business reselling a Playboy he bought for fifty cents for $3. Indeed, he knows what people want. I'm afraid he doesn't much care about what they need.

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