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Los Angeles Times Resists Cost-cutting Measures

The board of directors of the Tribune Co., the corporate parent of the Los Angeles Times, met Thursday to discuss cuts at the newspaper. But the editorial staff is fighting back. Media experts discuss the standoff.

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  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    These are tense times at the Los Angeles Times, one of the nation's leading newspapers, winner of 13 Pulitzer Prizes in just the last five years. The paper's top editor and its publisher have resisted the latest demands of its corporate parent, the Tribune Company, to make further significant cuts from the newsroom, which now numbers 940.

    Over the last six years, the Times has lost 200 editorial jobs, all in service of one goal: maximizing the paper's profitability.

    Dean Baquet, the editor, in a story last week in his own paper, said, "I am not averse to making cuts, but you can go too far, and I don't plan to do that. I just have a difference of opinion with the owners of Tribune about what the size of the staff should be. To make substantial reductions would significantly damage the quality of the paper."

    The Tribune Company has owned the L.A. Times for six years. Among its other marquee newspapers are the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, and the Hartford Courant. In addition, the company owns television stations, Internet properties, like CareerBuilder.com, and baseball's Chicago Cubs.

    Despite the breadth and quality of its holdings, Tribune's stock price has been in a five-year slump, and its board of directors met today in Chicago to discuss the company's situation.

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