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Baquet out at L.A. Times

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by LazyReporter, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    I love that Taubman will now cover national security issues from Cali.

    After all, if you watch 24, you know that's where all the action is. :D
  2. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    Interesting that the NYT was recruiting him almost from the time he left for L.A. At that level, people don't apply for jobs.
  3. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    As I said earlier, St. Dean would land on his feet, so all the weeping and teeth gnashing (yes, I'm talking to you, E&P) was superfluous. No garment-rending was needed or necessary, especially by people on this board.

    I've talked to several people in the sports department at the LA Times, none of whom have a good thing to say about St. Dean. So the fawning is grossly misplaced. ::)

    Now, we should turn all those wasted sentiments on the regular, hard-working, talented folks banging their craniums against a cement ceiling trying to make a living wage and move up in this industry (yes, I'm talking about many of you folks on this board).
  4. Basil Exposition

    Basil Exposition New Member

    Geez, Birdy, save that eyeroll for your own posting.

    If the Van thread has proved nothing else, it's that we regular, hard-working, talented folks are starving for motivational leadership from our bosses and, if we're lucky enough to get it, we remain inspired by it for years to come.

    Segue to Baquet -- you know some LAT folks who're glad to see the back of him. Great. Can't blame them: They lost Dave Morgan AND Bill Dwyre on his watch. Still, I know a half-dozen folks there who say as good an editor as John Carroll was, this guy was better. Stealing somebody from the NYT did wonders for the LAT's confidence, maybe for the first time since the Mark Willes/Staples Center debacle, and he made the paper into a player again in the news world, where great journalism and amazing stories mattered.

    And talk about an inspiring leader: This was a black man who made it to the top jobs in journalism. Think about how difficult it is for a black man to make it to sports editor in Palm Springs. Now multiply those long odds by about 1,000. Or more.

    Like you, Birdy, I feel bad for the people who're out or on their way out of a job because of Tribune/Wall Street, but I feel worse for Los Angeles and for our industry, because when you can't hang onto a Dean Baquet, your paper is on the way down, not up. And we all need an LA Times to be on the upswing.
  5. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    Let's look at the Sports Department at the LA Times. There were cutbacks before St. Dean decided to make himself a martyr. In the real world, he wasn't going to have to go to the unemployment office every two weeks.

    I've said it before, I'll say it again - the LA Times sports section would be no better than the third-best daily section if it were in New York. I have lived in southern California for almost 15 years and I keep hearing how the LA Times is now on the upswing, that the past is over. I don't see it. The print media means a lot less in southern California than New York and Chicago, and probably Boston and Philadelphia. Do you see the equivalent of a Bob Ryan in LA? More writers at Philadelphia papers are bigger factors than LA Times writers.

    OK, so Dean Baquet overcame race to become a high-level suit in the newspaper business.

    But he still is a suit.
  6. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I'm not a big Baquet fan. And his martyrdom troubles me.
    But, he not only overcame race, he overcame education. He was an Editor of a pretty respected institution without a college degree.
    And, this idea that the L.A. Times is below the hemorrhaging going on in Philadelphia and Boston, is a bit off base. The LAT, alone, turned a quarter-of-a-BILLION dollar profit for the Tribune last year. Seems like a viable entity...at least for the time being...
    I'm not here to say the paper is on the UPSWING -- name me one that is? -- but, be careful of downgrading too quickly.
    Just a thought.
  7. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    Great point, Fish. Barring Paleolithic incompetence that even Forrest Gump couldn't display, there is no way this paper in this market can avoid making money by the truckload.

    I'm not a Baquet fan at all. And after hearing from folks in sports who dealt with his neglect and apathy toward their department -- witness his insane yanking of Lance Pugmire from the sports department (where he had just broken the Bison Dele escapades) and 2 1/2-year exile to the Inland Valley bureau to cover cops, etc -- I'm even less of one now.

    Basil, the eye-rolling wasn't directed to you per-se'. Like you, I want a dynamic, vibrant, ass-kicking LA Times, the paper akin to the one I grew up reading. No matter what St. Dean did, I don't see that paper anymore. And his neglect toward sports and snobbery toward the bureaus (yes, I know Tribune played a part in the centralization) was an integral reason for that.

    Gold, had you read the LA Times in the 80s and early 90s, you'd of seen a section that would have held its own with ANY of the New York papers. Period.
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