LA Times names Paris Hilton to run editorial desk

Well, no, but it’s only a matter of time. They’re so feckin’ desperate for money that they hopped into bed with Brian Grazer, the old newshound who … uhhh, no, that’s not right, either, is it?

Seriously, can anybody here tell me what the hell is going on out there? From what I can see it’s sort of a Hollywood-scale replication of the same thing that’s happening everywhere else:

  • Numbers are down…
  • …because you’re not providing anything of value.
  • So you slash staff to save costs…
  • …and then spend money whoring the op to any marketing pimp in sight.
  • Which provides the public with more of what it’s already not interested in and less of the only thing it might actually pay you for.
  • Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Am I close?

Bob Lefsetz, who spends most of his time heaping well-deserved abuse on the music industry, goes after the Times in a mailer that hit this morning.

What kind of crazy fucked up world do we live in where a vile sycophantic punk like Brian Grazer, based on success in the entertainment business, mostly appealing to a lowbrow audience, is given reign over the L.A. “Times” editorial section?

Last time I checked, newspapers were supposed to be a cut above the “Mike Douglas Show”. Yup, let’s get a co-host so we can gain eyeballs/readers, fuck the news, fuck the truth, whatever it takes to move the product.

Grazer is a tireless self-promoter who was not only the beneficiary of a “New Yorker” profile, but his position high on the entertainment totem pole delivered his wife a book deal. This nepotism/elitism is what the Internet is AGAINST! Yet the L.A. “Times” sinks ever lower into oblivion.

In case you missed the memo, the L.A. “Times” has been in turmoil ever since the wall between advertising and editorial was torn down in the name of profits. Yes, way back in ’99 the paper shared the revenue of a special section on the Staples Center WITH the Staples Center. That’s what Philip Anschutz needs, breaks, like he doesn’t have enough money.

Bob goes on an extended nard-stomping rant, as is his wont, and it’s well worth the read.

Anyhow, now that I’m back in Colorado where I belong, I’ve been touching some bases with folks at the CU School of Journalism & Mass Communication and the U’s Continuing Ed department, which is being run by Dr. Geoff Rubinstein, an old friend and colleague from my doc program. The SJMC dean has some genuinely innovative ideas about the future of journalism and J education, and I’m working on a project with Continuing Ed that’s exploring some interesting “open source” journalism angles. I’m glad to be involved, and hope we can find ways of giving it life.

Whatever hope we have for news in this country is going to have to emerge from these kinds of initiatives, because the “real” news industry gets deader by the day.



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