[Mark Ridley-Thomas] – Saying Los Angeles County is best served when its journalists are “grounded in and committed to the communities” they serve, the Board of Supervisors unanimously resolved Tuesday to “strongly urge” the parent company of the Los Angeles Times to “restore local, established and invested leadership” in the newspaper or consider its sale to “local, established and invested business leaders.”
The board acted on a motion by Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Michael Antonovich, who expressed concern about Chicago-based Tribune Publishing Co.’s Sept. 8 decision to replace the Times’ Los Angeles-based publisher Austin Beutner with Timothy Ryan, who lives in Baltimore.
“The appointment of a publisher transferred from outside of the Los Angeles area, and the continued practice of having key decisions made by a body located approximately 1,750 miles and two time zones away, is clearly not in the best interest of operating, growing and nurturing a local newspaper,” Supervisors Ridley-Thomas and Antonovich said in their motion.
The Times, first published in 1881, is the County’s largest daily newspaper. It has won 43 Pulitzer Prizes, including six gold medals for public service – far more than any other local media organization.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
In its resolution, the Board said the Times “serves as a critical, local journalistic entity” that “chronicles the cultural life of the distinct yet connected communities within Los Angeles County and analyzes the social significance of civic, business and ecumenical developments that shape and guide daily lives.”
It added the Times’ readership is “best served when its leaders, decision makers and journalists are established and invested members of the Los Angeles County community and reflect the commitment to this community that is reminiscent of its storied tradition.”
A Poynter.org report released Tuesday said the Times’ newsroom could be decimated by cost-cutting measures to be implemented under the new regime. Citing an unnamed Tribune executive, the report said about 80 editorial positions could be eliminated through buyouts and/or layoffs.
Several days before, dozens of influential Los Angeles civic leaders signed an open letter to Tribune CEO Jack Griffin, expressing disappointment over Beutner’s dismissal.
“We strongly urge you to demonstrate to the news consumers of Southern California that the Times will continue to serve their interests,” they said. “The alternative would be to do great damage to both our community and your bottom line.”
Among the signatories are former Mayors Antonio Villaraigosa and Richard Riordan, and billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist Eli Broad.
As California’s COVID-19 case rates have fallen to among the lowest in the country and almost 19 million Californians are fully vaccinated, the state is moving 'Beyond the Blueprint' to fully reopen its economy and end many pandemic-era restrictions, announced California Department of Public Health officials. In addition, Los Angeles County Public Health noted the current guidelines vaccinated and unvaccinated County residents are to follow as restrictions relax and the economy reopens.
During the second day of testimony during the preliminary hearing for Noel Fisher, the Stevenson Ranch resident and Grammy-winning producer arrested on suspicion of 26 counts of sexual assault and/or rape, the second victim to testify alleged that he grabbed her arm and forced her face down into the cushion of a car seat.
After a state-appointed committee shared a controversial plan to realign the justice system, which would place all of L.A. County’s juvenile offenders in two local camps, local legislators shared their views on their votes for the bills that made the plan possible.
L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Santa Clarita City Council members were surprised this week by news of a state-appointed committee’s plan to move juvenile offenders to a pair of facilities in Saugus.
The city of Santa Clarita Human Relations Roundtable released a statement recognizing Juneteenth, which commemorates the freeing of enslaved African Americans in the Southern states of the United States of America.
College of the Canyons announced it will launch a first-of-its-kind Law Enforcement Technology program slated to begin in Fall 2021, that will focus on the emerging trends and potential applications for new technologies in criminal investigations and other law enforcement operations.
As part of the Old Town Newhall Specific Plan update, the city of Santa Clarita will host a walking tour and pop-up booth at the Old Town Newhall Farmers Market on Saturday, June 26, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
SCV Water’s quick and proactive response to removing per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals in its groundwater supply received top honors as the Best Environmental Project from the American Public Works Association (APWA) – High Desert Branch.