Los Angeles Times
Media of the United States
The Los Angeles Times (abbreviated as LA Times) is a
In the 19th century, the paper developed a reputation for civic
The Times was first published on December 4, 1881, as the Los Angeles Daily Times, under the direction of
The efforts of the Times to fight local unions led to the
Otis fastened a bronze eagle on top of a high frieze of the new Times headquarters building designed by Gordon Kaufmann, proclaiming anew the credo written by his wife, Eliza: "Stand Fast, Stand Firm, Stand Sure, Stand True".
After Otis's death in 1917, his son-in-law,
In 1935, the newspaper moved to a new, landmark Art Deco building, the
The fourth generation of family publishers, Otis Chandler, held that position from 1960 to 1980. Otis Chandler sought legitimacy and recognition for his family's paper, often forgotten in the power centers of the Northeastern United States due to its geographic and cultural distance. He sought to remake the paper in the model of the nation's most respected newspapers, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. Believing that the newsroom was "the heartbeat of the business", Otis Chandler increased the size and pay of the reporting staff and expanded its national and international reporting. In 1962, the paper joined with The Washington Post to form the Los Angeles Times–Washington Post News Service to syndicate articles from both papers for other news organizations. He also toned down the unyielding conservatism that had characterized the paper over the years, adopting a much more centrist editorial stance.
During the 1960s, the paper won four Pulitzer Prizes, more than its previous nine decades combined.
Writing in 2013 about the pattern of newspaper ownership by founding families, Times reporter Michael Hiltzik said that:
The first generations bought or founded their local paper for profits and also social and political influence (which often brought more profits). Their children enjoyed both profits and influence, but as the families grew larger, the later generations found that only one or two branches got the power, and everyone else got a share of the money. Eventually the coupon-clipping branches realized that they could make more money investing in something other than newspapers. Under their pressure the companies went public, or split apart, or disappeared. That's the pattern followed over more than a century by the Los Angeles Times under the Chandler family.
The paper's early history and subsequent transformation was chronicled in an unauthorized history, Thinking Big (1977,
Former Times buildings
- The 1886 Times building, northeast corner 1st/Broadway
- Times 1886 building after bombing on October 1, 1910
1912 Times building, demolished in 1938
Los Angeles Times Building, corner of 1st/Spring
- The 1948 Crawford Addition (or Mirror Building), NW corner 2nd/Spring, 2020
1973 Pereira Addition, SE corner 1st/Broadway
- 1881–1886, Temple and New High streets in the Los Angeles central business district
- 1886–1910, northeast corner First and Broadway, Los Angeles central business district, destroyed in a bombing in 1910
- 1912–1935, northeast corner First and Broadway, rebuilt as a four-story building with "castle-like" clock tower, opened 1912
- 1935–2018, Times Mirror Square, the block bounded by First, Second, Spring streets and Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles
- 2018–present, El Segundo, California
The Los Angeles 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.
On April 2, 2007, the Tribune Company announced its acceptance of real estate entrepreneur
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.
On February 7, 2018, Tribune Publishing (formerly Tronc Inc.), agreed to sell the Los Angeles Times along with other southern California properties (The San Diego Union-Tribune, Hoy) to billionaire biotech investor Patrick Soon-Shiong. This purchase by Soon-Shiong through his Nant Capital investment fund was for $500 million, as well as the assumption of $90 million in pension liabilities. The sale to Soon-Shiong closed on June 16, 2018.
Editorial changes and staff reductions
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—as was publisher Jeffrey Johnson—and was replaced by James O'Shea of the Chicago Tribune. O'Shea himself left in January 2008 after a budget dispute with publisher David Hiller.
The paper's content and design style were overhauled several times in attempts to increase circulation. 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. Another major change in 2005 saw the Sunday "Opinion" section retitled the Sunday "Current" section, with a radical change in its presentation and featured columnists. There were regular cross-promotions with Tribune-owned television station KTLA to bring evening-news viewers into the Times fold.
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 percent. That included about 17 percent of the news staff, as part of the newly private media company's mandate to reduce costs. "We've tried to get ahead of all the change that's occurring in the business and get to an organization and size that will be sustainable", Hiller said. In January 2009, the Times eliminated the separate California/Metro section, folding it into the front section of the newspaper. The Times also announced seventy job cuts in news and editorial or a 10 percent cut in payroll.
In September 2015, 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 Los Angeles Times" through a buyout. On this subject, the Los Angeles Times reported with foresight: "For the 'funemployed,' unemployment is welcome." Nancy Cleeland, who took O'Shea's buyout offer, did so because of "frustration with the paper's coverage of working people and organized labor" (the beat that earned her Pulitzer). She speculated that the paper's revenue shortfall could be reversed by expanding coverage of economic justice topics, which she believed were increasingly relevant to Southern California; she cited the paper's attempted hiring of a "celebrity justice reporter" as an example of the wrong approach.
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 June 16, 2018, the same day the sale to Patrick Soon-Shiong closed, Norman Pearlstine was named executive editor.
On May 3, 2021, the newspaper announced that it had selected
The Times has suffered continued decline in distribution. Reasons offered for the circulation drop included a price increase
The Times closed its
Internet presence and free weeklies
In December 2006, a team of Times reporters delivered management with a critique of the paper's online news efforts known as the Spring Street Project. The report, which condemned the Times as a "web-stupid" organization, was followed by a shakeup in management of the paper's website, www.latimes.com, and a rebuke of print staffers who were described as treating "change as a threat."
On July 10, 2007, Times launched a local
It was revealed in 1999 that a revenue-sharing arrangement was in place between the Times and
The Times drew fire for a last-minute story before the
The Times also came under controversy for its decision to drop the weekday edition of the Garfield comic strip in 2005, in favor of a hipper comic strip Brevity, while retaining it in the Sunday edition. Garfield was dropped altogether shortly thereafter.
On March 22, 2007, editorial page editor Andrés Martinez resigned following an alleged scandal centering on his girlfriend's professional relationship with a Hollywood producer who had been asked to guest-edit a section in the newspaper. In an open letter written upon leaving the paper, Martinez criticized the publication for allowing the Chinese wall between the news and editorial departments to be weakened, accusing news staffers of lobbying the opinion desk.
In November 2017,
Through 2014 the Times had won 41 Pulitzer Prizes, including four in editorial cartooning, and one each in spot news reporting for the 1965
- The Los Angeles Times received the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for the newspaper series "Latinos".
- Times sportswriter Jim Murray won a Pulitzer in 1990.
- Times investigative reporters Chuck Philips and Michael Hiltzik won the Pulitzer in 1999 for a year-long series that exposed corruption in the music business.
- Times journalist David Willman won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting; the organization cited "his pioneering expose of seven unsafe prescription drugs that had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and an analysis of the policy reforms that had reduced the agency's effectiveness." In 2004, the paper won five prizes, which is the third-most by any paper in one year (behind The New York Times in 2002 (7) and The Washington Post in 2008 (6)).
- Times reporters Bettina Boxall and Julie Cart won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2009 "for their fresh and painstaking exploration into the cost and effectiveness of attempts to combat the growing menace of wildfires across the western United States."
- In 2011, Barbara Davidson was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography "for her intimate story of innocent victims trapped in the city's crossfire of deadly gang violence."
- In 2016, the Times won the breaking news Pulitzer prize for its coverage of the San Bernardino, California.
- In 2019, three Los Angeles Times reporters – Harriet Ryan, Matt Hamilton and Paul Pringle – won a Pulitzer Prize for their investigation into a gynecologist accused of abusing hundreds of students at the University of Southern California.
Competition and rivalry
In the 19th century, the chief competition to the Times was the
By the mid-1940s, the Times was the leading newspaper in terms of circulation in the
Midwinter and midsummer
For 69 years, from 1885 until 1954, the Times issued on New Year's Day a special annual Midwinter Number or Midwinter Edition that extolled the virtues of Southern California. At first, it was called the "Trade Number", and in 1886 it featured a special press run of "extra scope and proportions"; that is, "a twenty-four-page paper, and we hope to make it the finest exponent of this [Southern California] country that ever existed." Two years later, the edition had grown to "forty-eight handsome pages (9×15 inches), [which] stitched for convenience and better preservation", was "equivalent to a 150-page book." The last use of the phrase Trade Number was in 1895, when the edition had grown to thirty-six pages split among three separate sections.
The Midwinter Number drew acclamations from other newspapers, including this one from The Kansas City Star in 1923:
It is made up of five magazines with a total of 240 pages – the maximum size possible under the postal regulations. It goes into every detail of information about Los Angeles and Southern California that the heart could desire. It is virtually a cyclopedia on the subject. It drips official statistics. In addition, it verifies the statistics with a profusion of illustration. . . . it is a remarkable combination of guidebook and travel magazine.
In 1948 the Midwinter Edition, as it was then called, had grown to "7 big picture magazines in beautiful rotogravure reproduction." The last mention of the Midwinter Edition was in a Times advertisement on January 10, 1954.
Between 1891 and 1895, the Times also issued a similar Midsummer Number, the first one with the theme "The Land and Its Fruits". Because of its issue date in September, the edition was in 1891 called the Midsummer Harvest Number.
Zoned editions and subsidiaries
In 1903, the Pacific Wireless Telegraph Company established a radiotelegraph link between the California mainland and
In the 1990s, the Times published various editions catering to far-flung areas. Editions included those from the San Fernando Valley,
A subsidiary, Times Community Newspapers, publishes the Daily Pilot of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. From 2011 to 2013, the Times had published the Pasadena Sun. It also had published the Glendale News-Press and Burbank Leader from 1993 to 2020, and the La Cañada Valley Sun from 2005 to 2020.
On April 30, 2020, Charlie Plowman, publisher of Outlook Newspapers, announced he would acquire the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and La Cañada Valley Sun from Times Community Newspapers. Plowman acquired the South Pasadena Review and San Marino Tribune in late January 2020 from the Salter family, who owned and operated these two community weeklies.
One of the Times' features was "Column One", a feature that appeared daily on the front page to the left-hand side. Established in September 1968, it was a place for the weird and the interesting; in the How Far Can a Piano Fly? (a compilation of Column One stories) introduction, Patt Morrison wrote that the column's purpose was to elicit a "Gee, that's interesting, I didn't know that" type of reaction.
The Times also embarked on a number of
From 1967 to 1972, the Times produced a Sunday supplement called West magazine. West was recognized for its art design, which was directed by Mike Salisbury (who later became art director of Rolling Stone magazine). From 2000 to 2012, the 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. Since 2014, The California Sunday Magazine has been included in the Sunday L.A. Times edition.