I couldn’t believe the Los Angeles Times printed an article today quoting Hollywood honorary mayor Johnny Grant about Lindsay Lohan. At first I thought the two reporters were goofing on the geezer by using him as the lead sage on popular culture. Nope, they were just being clueless. As is the paper overall. I get sent so much email about troubles at the Los Angeles Times, including internal memos, that I’d do nothing but write about that sad sack paper every day. And I don’t have the stomach for that. (LAObserved.com usually has the latest twist and turn, including who’s taking the buyouts.) But an excerpt from today’s missive from publisher David Hiller to the staff was positively ulcer-inducing. “First, evidence mounts every day of the big, pressing need to change our business. The old model is broken, and it’s showing in our financial performance. Revenue in April was down nearly 9%, and May will be down about the same. Cash flow is down even more, with April 34% below last year – leaving us with a cash flow margin in the low teens,” the Tribune Co toadie writes. “The urgency of our situation is heightened by the Zell/ESOP transaction. The future value of the company – and the ESOP – depends upon our cash flow results to pay down the debt and invest for growth. If anybody has any doubt about the need to change our business to stay successful, please let me know.” How much more evidence does anyone need to prove the point, made over and over by me, that LAT employees are about to get really screwed by this ESOP/Zell deal?
Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.