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LA Times | 40 Things You Didn’t Know About the LA Times
On our “To Know Things“, we’ll be talking about the LA Times. Otherwise known as the Los Angeles Times, is a daily newspaper based in El Segundo, California, which has been published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. According to figures, it is considered to be the fifth-largest circulation among all newspapers been published in the US. This newspaper is widely known for its coverage of issues such as immigration trends and natural disasters, which has enabled it to stand on top of its game, after winning more than 40 Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage of these and other issues. Surely, you need to, first of all, know a bit history about the LA Times.
The LA Times was first published on December 4, 1881, as the Los Angeles Daily Times under the direction of Nathan Cole Jr. and Thomas Gardiner. It was first printed at the Mirror printing plant, owned by Jesse Yarnell and T.J. Caystile. In the nineteenth century, the paper was known for its opposition to unions, the latter of which led to the bombing of its headquarters in 1910. The paper’s profile grew substantially in the 1960s under publisher Otis Chandler, who adopted a more national focus.
In recent decades the paper’s readership has declined, and it has been beset by a series of ownership changes, staff reductions, and other controversies. In January 2018, the paper’s staff voted to unionized; they finalized their first union contract on October 16, 2019. Now, you need to read further and see some of the things you didn’t even have the idea about the LA Times.
Also read: 30 Things You Didn’t Know About Katie Hill
Key Facts About the LA Times
We’ll be giving you bit-by-bit tips on lots of things which you need to know about the LA Times, starting from the history of the company.
- The LA Times was first published on December 4, 1881.
- In July 1882, Harrison Gray Otis moved from Santa Barbara to become the paper’s editor and made the LA Times a financial success.
- LA Times helped to support efforts to expand the city’s water supply by acquiring rights to the water supply of the distant Owens Valley.
- The efforts of the LA Times to fight local unions led to the bombing of its headquarters on October 1, 1910, killing twenty-one people. Two union leaders, James and Joseph McNamara, were charged. The American Federation of Labor hired noted trial attorney Clarence Darrow to represent the brothers, who eventually pleaded guilty.
- Harrison Gray Otis died in 1917, paving way for his son-in-law, Harry Chandler, to take control as publisher of the LA Times.
- Harry Chandler was succeeded in 1944 by his son, Norman Chandler, who ran the paper during the rapid growth of post-war Los Angeles.
- Norman’s wife, Dorothy Buffum Chandler later became active in civic affairs and led the effort to build the Los Angeles Music Center, whose main concert hall was named the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in her honour.
- From 1967 to 1972, the LA Times produced a Sunday supplement called West magazine.
- The Magazine was recognized for its art design, which was directed by Mike Salisbury (who later went on to become art director of Rolling Stone magazine).
- The LA Times was beset in the first decade of the 21st century by a change in ownership, a bankruptcy, a rapid succession of editors, reductions in staff, decreases in paid circulation, the need to increase its Web presence, and a series of controversies.
- From 2000 to 2012, the LA Times published the Los Angeles Times Magazine, which started as a weekly and then became a monthly supplement. The magazine focused on stories and photos of people, places, style, and other cultural affairs occurring in Los Angeles and its surrounding cities and communities.
- The LA Times also embarked on a number of Investigative Journalism pieces. A series in December 2004 on the King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles led to a Pulitzer Prize and a more thorough coverage of the hospital’s troubled history.
- For two days in 2005, the LA Times experimented with Wikitorial, the first by a major news organization to allow readers to combine forces to produce their own editorial pieces. It was shut down after being besieged with inappropriate material.
- The LA Times closed its San Fernando Valley printing plant in early 2006, leaving press operations to the Olympic plant and to Orange County.
- Also that year the paper announced its circulation had fallen to 851,532, down 5.4% from 2005. This loss of circulation was the largest of the top ten newspapers in the U.S.
- On April 2, 2007, the Tribune Company announced its acceptance of real estate entrepreneur Sam Zell‘s offer to buy the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, and all other company assets.
- Zell announced that he would sell the Chicago Cubs baseball club. He put up for sale the company’s 25% interest in Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
- In December 2008, the Tribune Company filed for bankruptcy protection. The bankruptcy was a result of declining advertising revenue and a debt load of $12.9 billion, much of it incurred when the paper was taken private by Zell.
- The newspaper moved to a new headquarters building in El Segundo, near Los Angeles International Airport, in July 2018.
- October 16, 2019, LA Times finalized their first union contract which was initially voted by their staffs.
More About the Newspaper Company’s Set Up
- John Carroll, a former editor of the Baltimore Sun, was brought in to restore the luster of the newspaper. During his reign at the LA Times, he eliminated more than 200 jobs, but despite an operating profit margin of 20%, the Tribune executives were unsatisfied with returns, and by 2005 Carroll had left the newspaper.
- His successor, Dean Baquet, refused to impose the additional cutbacks mandated by the Tribune Company. Baquet was the first African-American to hold this type of editorial position at a top-tier daily. During Baquet and Carroll’s time at the paper, it won 13 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other paper, except The New York Times. However, Baquet was removed from the editorship for not meeting the demands of the Tribune Group.
- The paper’s content and design style were overhauled several times in attempts to increase circulation. And in 2000, a major change reorganized the news sections (related news was put closer together) and changed the “Local” section to the “California” section with more extensive coverage.
- On July 10, 2007, Times launched a local Metromix site targeting live entertainment for young adults.
- A free weekly tabloid print edition of Metromix Los Angeles followed in February 2008; the publication was the newspaper’s first stand-alone print weekly.
- The paper reported on July 3, 2008, that it planned to cut 250 jobs by Labor Day and reduce the number of published pages by 15%. That included about 17% of the news staff, as part of the newly private media company’s mandate to reduce costs.
- In January 2009, the LA Times eliminated the separate California/Metro section, folding it into the front section of the newspaper. The LA Times also announced seventy job cuts in news and editorial or a 10% cut in payroll.
- LA Times shut down Metromix and replaced it with Brand X, a blog site and free weekly tabloid targeting young, social networking readers. Brand X launched in March 2009.
- The Brand X tabloid ceased publication in June 2011 and the website was shut down the following month.
- In September 2015, in an apparent struggle over localized versus corporate control, Austin Beutner, the publisher and chief executive, was replaced by Timothy E. Ryan.
- On October 5, 2015, the Poynter Institute reported that “‘At least 50’ editorial positions will be culled from the LA Times” through a buyout. This enabled the LA Times to report with foresight.
- On August 21, 2017, Ross Levinsohn, then aged 54, was named publisher and CEO, replacing Davan Maharaj, who had been both publisher and editor.
- On January 19, 2018, employees of the news department voted 248–44 in a National Labor Relations Board election to be represented by the NewsGuild-CWA. The vote came despite aggressive opposition from the paper’s management team, reversing more than a century of anti-union sentiment at one of the biggest newspapers in the country.
- In May 2018, LA Times blocked access to its online edition from most of Europe because of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.
- On June 16, 2018, the same day the sale to Patrick Soon-Shiong closed; Norman Pearlstine was named executive editor.
Background of its Book Publishing
The company also entered the field of cable television, servicing the Phoenix and San Diego areas, amongst others. They were originally titled Times-Mirror Cable and were later renamed to Dimension Cable Television. Similarly, they also attempted to enter the pay-TV market, with the Spotlight movie network; it wasn’t successful and was quickly shut down.
Now let’s take a look at the detailed history of LA Times Publications:
- In 1960, Times Mirror of Los Angeles bought the book publisher New American Library, known for publishing affordable paperback reprints of classics and other scholarly works. The NAL continued to operate autonomously from New York and within the Mirror Company.
- In 1967, Times Mirror acquired CV Mosby Company, a professional publisher and merged it over the years with several other professional publishers including Resource Application, Inc., Year Book Medical Publishers, Wolfe Publishing Ltd., PSG Publishing Company, B.C. Decker, Inc., among others.
- Times-Mirror Broadcasting later acquired KTBC-TV in Austin, Texas in 1973; and in 1980 purchased a group of stations owned by Newhouse Newspapers: WAPI-TV (now WVTM-TV) in Birmingham, Alabama; KTVI in St. Louis; WSYR-TV (now WSTM-TV) in Syracuse, New York, and its satellite station WSYE-TV (now WETM-TV) in Elmira, New York; and WTPA-TV (now WHTM-TV) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
- In 1983, Odyssey Partners and Ira J. Hechler bought NAL from the Times Mirror Company for over $50 million.
- Eventually, in 1998, Mosby was sold to Harcourt Brace & Company to form the Elsevier Health Sciences group.