Oct 20, 2011

No food, no features at Daily News*

The Daily News of Los Angeles has cut features editor Sharyn Betz and food editor Natalie Haughton, according to LA Observed. A source inside the paper say they expect more cuts in the days ahead and possible further editorial consolidation between the Daily News, Daily Breeze and Press-Telegram.

*Updated, 10/21: LA Observed's headline says it all: "LANG papers begin the inevitable consolidation." The inevitable consolidation begins with the naming of Carolina Garcia as editor of the Daily News, Daily Breeze, and Press-Telegram, under three-paper publisher Jack Klunder. Toni Sciacqua will become managing editor - digital; a designation that says a lot about the future direction of the news cluster.

People who work at the three papers think this step will lead to more layoffs, as the papers eliminate redundancy. It's possible this is also a first step toward consolidation of all nine LANG papers, as happened with BANG in Northern California.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, Gary. Sorry to hear about the LADN cuts. John Paton truly has no clue what he is doing other that cutting quarter-by-quarter. Some innovator.

Anonymous said...

would of happened paton or not. it has to. no advertising and expenses need to be cut. sad part is even with web stealing share big time, there is still a way to make a buck in print adv if you know how to do it. shame these folks don't. come onguys, look at your rates, incentives, structure, accountability. sholudn't be that hard.

Anonymous said...

Right, only MediaNews is struggling. Most newspapers are making plenty of money. Bozo.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Gary gets tired of people like @7:11 who insists on name-calling even when the most mild comments are made. I'm pretty sure it's the same poor soul who has been spreading his certain brand of sunshine for a few years now. He was or is a LANG staffer who still behaves like that smart-alecky 6th grader in the back of the class. I'm sure LANG was the peak of his journalism career.

Anonymous said...

I too would like to see a little more maturity in the discourse. Criticism and disagreement is one thing, but the nasty tone and personal attacks on posters is too much. In answer to an earlier post, there is so much LANG/Belo/Register stuff her because LAObserved and FishbowlLA focus almost exclusively on LAT and trade mags. It's a place to go for info and debate.

Anonymous said...

Does 10:38 consider their own comments as mature or like "that smart-alecky 6th grader in the back of the class?" You LANG haters are too much.

Anonymous said...

Hey pot (7:38). Meet kettle. Shheeez, you guys are incredible. You spew some of the most vile comments imaginable toward LANG, then try and take the high road when someone counters you. As 7:11 so aptly puts it, you truly are a Bozo.

Anonymous said...

Natalie and Sharyn were hard-working journalists who gave their lives to the paper. They never embraced the current leadership's standard of "good enough," and instead worked to connect with readers and produce interesting and well-written sections. They -- and the others who will be losing their jobs in the days to come -- should be recognized for their dedication and professionalism.

Anonymous said...

i have to agree with 9:07 completely. they were both extremely hard workers and were great at their jobs. sharyn betz was a class act. they will be sorely missed. i wish them the best.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

More cuts: http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2011/10/lang_papers_begin_the_ine.php

Expect more cuts next week.

Anonymous said...

folks, why do you keep posting about cuts? duh. it's inevitable. no surprise there. they have to in order to survive. and any person working for lang who still doesn't get it has issues. lang is doing what it can to survive. if you don't like it, get out. plain and simple. stop all the negativity and whining on here.

Anonymous said...

folks, why do you keep posting about cuts? duh. it's inevitable. no surprise there. they have to in order to survive. and any person working for lang who still doesn't get it has issues. lang is doing what it can to survive. if you don't like it, get out. plain and simple. stop all the negativity and whining on here.

Anonymous said...

Let's ignore the vindictive and unwarranted comment about sharon betz, posted by some anonymous coward, until Gary removes it.

Anonymous said...

3:49 i agree. it's uncalled for and the coward who posted it should be shamed. it was totally out of line and uncalled for. the person is too much of a coward to reveal their identity and has to do this anonymously at that.

Anonymous said...

gary -- don't let yourself be manipulated by these ex-daily news trolls into removing anything posted here. that so-called features section was godawful and it was mostly the fault of betz and her midget friends.

Anonymous said...

For those of us who remain, I wonder what the leadership will be like? A good leader needs to help her staff strive, to motivate them through the bad times.

A good leader should listen, not ask a question then walk away as the answer is being given. A good leader needs to be in the trenches with her staff, not leave the office for fancy lunches when things get tough. We work hard. She should too. And a good leader should single out those bosses/managers/editors who gossip or bad mouth workers behind their backs. This is very demoralizing.
I have yet to have this leader at LANG. So the question is, will these promotions strengthen, oh you know, something called JOURNALISM, or just spread the pain even further until "the product" is as good as bad toilet paper? Dave Butler, et al, are you listening?

Anonymous said...

5:21 what are you saying???? get off of butler's back.

Anonymous said...

5:21 if you don't like it, get out. move one. why are you still there? you lang folks need to stop al this complaining and whining. would you like some more cheese to go with your whine???!!!

Anonymous said...

5:21 - where the hell have YOU been? that arrogant ass butler knows nothing about how to run a paper. you're defending HIM? have you ever had to deal with that creep? he's a horse's ass who thinks he knows it all.

Anonymous said...

I read this chain and got confused: To 5:34...all I have to say is: YIKES.

To 5:45, it was 5:34 who defended Butler. 5:21 said the product looked like bad toilet paper. That doesn't seem to be defending Butler.

And 5:36, wow..anger issues galore. Some people like what they do, and they're really good at it. They just don't like who they do their work for. In case you didn't hear, there are employees who were laid off and struggled to find jobs. And those who skipped off...well, the world doesn't need anymore dime a dozen flaks.

Anonymous said...

is that you Fred Shuster?

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Jack Klunder is doing tonight? No Sports event to attend... Perhaps he and Carolina are having a fine meal together????

Anonymous said...

9:32: just another bitter lang employee. feel sorry for you. why are you still there????

Anonymous said...

6:40 no, YOU are the bitter one. you are afraid to move on and hide behind the veil of liking it. you people are just comfy. comfy comfy. why don't you go out and find a real job instead of just playing the victim role. if not, then shut your pie hole and deal with whatever your future at lang may be. it's not going to get any better. it will only get worse. take charge of your life. be active and not so passive. you are afraid to step out of your comfort zone. and stop bashing the powers the be at lang. the place is losing money and they are just doing what they are told to do. deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Stop fighting everyone. Journalism is dead.

Anonymous said...

We've all written stories about the problem of social promotion in the public schools, yet nowhere is it more prevalent than in LANG. Friday's announcement says it all: An editor is a dismal failure at one paper. But instead of being shown the door, she's given two more to destroy.

Anonymous said...

how terribly sad......this blog has turned into an absolute whine session combined with riffing on people. from posts like 12:06 to one's like 8:49, it's shameful. shame shame shame on you. you all supposedly work or have worked at lang which means you are so called journalists, college graduates etc. yet you sound about as smart as a 3rd grader. you continue to rag on people including the one's just shown the door. cruelty at its finest. i pray for all of you.

Anonymous said...

I agree, 9:51, that the name calling is shameful. But the people are frustrated with the leadership and management. The comments on this blog wouldn't be so harsh if managers and bosses and editors listened, or held meetings every now and then, even to gather some ideas of how to improve the paper, its coverage, etc.

Unfortunately, those who hold the higher positions are unqualified to do their jobs, and would have been fired long ago on a better managed company. But these folks manage to thrive in mismanagement. These, I'm sure, are the people who go on this blog and tell others to go look for other jobs. That's the kind of response given by someone who reeks with insecurity.

Anonymous said...

No fan of Butler. Just look at the what's left of the once powerful Mercury News. Pathetic journalism, pathetic leadership. It's cut, cut, cut to the point of no return.

Anonymous said...

Talked with some colleagues up at BANG today and the word there is new CEO is very unhappy with decision on nameplates just before he took over. But hard to reverse without looking even more panicked. Killing off the Oakland Tribune nameplate (est. 1874) was just dumb. You can do whatever you want behind the scenes, but about the only reason for taking that paper is tradition. You just woke up several thousands of people and told them their habit of taking the paper is folly. It's like Netflix and "Quikster" - all it does is get people to think for a moment and say "hey, I should cancel this thing." Mistake will not happen again in SoCal. P-T may have no staff and be run out of Torrance - while Torrance is ever more run out of Van Nuys, but there's still going to be a P-T and a Breeze.

Anonymous said...

I'm very happy to hear that the new CEO is unhappy with the lame-brained decisions of his predecessors. A glimmer of hope.

RE: "bitter" posts, etc. The more inept of the managers and their shills really need to give it up and go lick their wounds elsewhere. I can see some identifying footprints in their writing. Not enough that I want to call out names. But it is pathetic all the same.

A lot of younger "managers" I notice are posting here because they are more involved in modern online communications. They take this blog more seriously than the older "managers." New social media nerds are beginning to dominate the scene.

(So, welcome, kiddies! Too bad that your immature decisions will turn our online product into a lot of inane tweets from the bottom scrapers of the Internet barrel.)

Real journalism is not dead. Its course will be righted and adapt over time. Certainly the Old Journalism is dead, but everything changes. Don't assume the awful decisions that have put BANG, LANG and the rest of MNG into a tailspin is the final word.

But, people, there have been some bad, bad decisions made in all the MNG California "Partnership" newspapers in the past two years. More to come I'm sure if what I hear about some of the new LANG "managers" is true.

History student said...

Is journalism dead, old or otherwise? I'm certain a lot of crooked politicians, con men and unethical businessmen would love to think so? And maybe for a while, they'll be right.

So maybe Nixon gets away with Watergate, Ken Lay gets away with Enron and nobody ever learns about My Lai, Abu Ghraib or a dozen other scandals.

Sorry, but iPads, cellphones and other "new journalism" just can't provide the in-depth investigation needed to serve as a watchdog.

Are we turning into the Eloi and Morlocks of H.G. Wells' distant future?

We can go there or not. It's up to us.

Muhammed El-Hasan said...

Sorry that Toni no longer heads the Daily Breeze newsroom. She's a great editor and boss. Good thing she'll at least stay in the newsroom in a different position.

Muhammed El-Hasan
Daily Breeze

Anonymous said...

9:18, vacuous, backward facing cliches. Of course, new technology can and does support new journalism. New generation of journalists is practicing the craft, and well, before your closed eyes. Let it go, catch up or get put of the way.

Anonymous said...

5:02, this is why I think reading this blog is so darn high-larious. You actually believe that you are being profound and leading-edge when you recite a cliche like "Let it go, catch up or get put of the way."

Real craft.

Anonymous said...

No, I mean every word. Your choice is clear: let it go, catch up or whatever I wrote about getting out of the way, or turn into an Eloi or Morlorch of H.G. Wells' distant future. We can go there or not. It's up to us.
Think about it, and get back real soon. Say hello to L. Ron if you pass him in the time portal.

Anonymous said...

"No, I mean every word."

I'm happy that you have isolated the problem.

"or turn into an Eloi or Morlorch of H.G. Wells' distant future."

Neat. An H.G. Wells reference. It must be from a movie. I couldn't imagine anyone here has actually read the H.G. Wells novella.

"Say hello to L. Ron if you pass him ..."

Another stunning historical reference. Well done! Well done!

Bravo!

Anonymous said...

of course it will lead to more layoffs. just like the la times in years past. zoning was the future, but, you had redundency throughout the system. when things got tough, good bye. same as lang, one paper to cover all the areas is cheaper to produce and there isn't much content different in each newspaper. not a surprise to me other than why it took so long to get there.

Anonymous said...

Why are people surprised when the news breaks that LANG/MNG are letting people go?
I'm surprised that it didn't happen before.

The Titanic has been sinking for a while now. Hope those of you left find that last lifeboat and get the heck out.

Anonymous said...

so if your business is dying and you own tons of small newspapers why would you not consolidate? it seems to me from a business standpoint it would make a lot of sense. Cut down your greatest liability..employees, then consolidate your areas into one "valley" type newspaper. Priority would be online service. The bigger picture is that your subscribers now are dying off and you need to project 10-20 yrs down the road, which means your subscriber base is aprrox 20-30 yr olds who don't pick up a newspaper now. So what would make you think they will go backwards, when technology keeps forging ahead.

Anonymous said...

7:01 PM hit the nail on the head they are dependent on the dying old-time newspaper lover and need to put the meat hooks in the young iPad / iphone user generation.

Not to say you can teach the old dogs new tricks but the hip cool people don't think a newspaper is cool and hip anymore. Newspapers need to tap into the young's interests and get them hooked.

The only problem is it needs to be COOL and cool is code for different and interesting.

Not the same story on seven newspaper sites. They will figure that out. And killing off your features is a big mistake.

Good Luck

Anonymous said...

Ted Turner was right except 20 years early.

Anonymous said...

The Successful Aging Expo should get those readers hooked ?

Genius !

LANG Banger said...

Hey, 7:01. You've got it completely backward. If newspapers are to have a future, it's hyper-local, not the opposite. Give people news of their local community, the type they'll never get on CNN or Fox.

Anonymous said...

946. that song has played out years ago...hyper local never worked and never will in print.

Anonymous said...

It's not about content, local or otherwise. It's about preference for format and media. Format preference adjusts to content, and shapes preference. "The medium (still) is the message." But today more than ever. The media solution is technological, as Jobs understood.

Anonymous said...

it is also about what the reader wants to read. newspapers cafeteria approach hasn't worked for years. and, newspapers cannot deliver a print or online product that can compete on all levels.

Anonymous said...

How about this bit of revelation for all of you trying to think of the next sliced bread-type product in journalism.

Give people honest, hard-hitting stories and they gonna lap em up like my ol' Bingo does to his Alpo, no matter what medium. My dog don't care what bowl he gets his food in, as long as he likes it.

Write it down all you administrating geniuses.

Give me my burger how I like it and I don't give a rat's ass how you deliver it. Period!

Now pay me $1Million for rescuing all of you good for nothings out of the Titanic.

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Anonymous said...

The problem with LANG is the same with the Daily News. Leadership isn't respected because leadership shows no respect to the team doing the heavy lifting. You have a Publisher that can't stand his Executive Editor and feels he needs to go to lunches with her. Then, the Executive Editor plays golf with an Ad Director that bad mouths her Publisher and shares negative gossip with the Publisher that thinks everyone loves him. It's the newspaper version of Melrose Place. Then, you have several other execs that nobody can figure out what they do. Take for instance a Marketing Director that struts around like he's 2nd in line to the throne and doesn't even want that job but milks the perks like a lame duck occupant of the White House. You have "trainers" in human resources....why? Editorial gets chopped first every time and hates ad sales and ad sales is getting paid with food stamps. Distinction is the function of the day. The only way to save it is to shut it down for a year and relaunch with new capital in a 100% digital manner in which the journalism is respected and paid well and the product is trend setting and brag worthy.