Thursday, February 16, 2012

Media moves in LA

As reported by my friend Kevin at LAObserved, there is a new president of the LA Newspaper Group - which runs all LA-area papers owned by MediaNews Group (of the Dean Singleton fame).

Since Jack Klunder was raised from the circulation side of the newspaper business, don't expect any major changes in how the news side operates. Which, in this case, doesn't resemble the previous glory days when Jack Kent Cooke owned the LA Daily News and before newspapers began losing massive amounts of money as the free news on the internet caused circulation declines.

Many newspapers are still struggling financially, which in turn means the quality of journalism has suffered because there are fewer journalist and many of the good ones have left for other work (like public relations!)

It's easy to focus on the ownership blues of the LA Times, but no one should forget that MediaNews is no longer run by Singleton, but by a hedge fund. And a hedge fund is not about to spend dollars without any short-term return.

So, it will be interesting to see if Mr. Klunder is here merely to maintain cost-controls, or if he has any specific marching orders. Cost cutting at the Daily News has left it with a skeleton news crew, including forcing some veteran editors to go back into reporting duties. Similar downsizing has left other newspapers in the group with very small newsrooms.

And with AOL rumored to cut staff at money-losing Patch, it will be a few more turbulent years in the greater LA news media market.

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