Register, Press Enterprise Sale: Out of the Tribune pot and into the Digital First fire

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Another dismal chapter in the tragic farce of Southern California newspaper journalism appears nearly over, as U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Mark Wallace Monday ruled that Freedom Communications—belly up for the second time in seven years—can sell the Orange County Register and Riverside Press Enterprise to Digital First Media. Tribune Publishing, which owns the Los Angeles Times and San Diego’s UT, was the high bidder in the auction for the two papers, but it ignored the Department of Justice’s warnings that its acquisition of the Freedom titles would create an illegal monopoly in violation of federal anti-trust laws. Last week, Federal District ...

Swimming with sharks: Breitbart in the tank for Trump

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Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I first met Donald Trump’s voters while the bully boy developer still was content to feed his grotesque ego on doses of reality television. Since then, of course, he has decided that failing as a casino operator is precisely the preparation you need to occupy the position we used to call leader of the free world. What we’ll call it if Trump actually gets the job is anybody’s guess—but, right now, Il Duce seems like a good bet. I began to discern the outlines of what’s come to be Trump’s base while writing a ...

Tribune’s Editor-Publisher Merger is its Worst Idea Yet

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In difficult times, it can be hard to distinguish innovation from desperation. These days of digital disruption are about as rugged a period as the American newspaper industry ever has experienced. It still ought to be clear, though, that Tribune Publishing’s decision last week to blend the jobs of editor and publisher at its newspapers—including the Los Angeles Times—falls into something worse than the desperate category. How much worse? The analytic philosopher Saul Kripke once declined to review a colleague’s paper for an important journal and, when asked why, is said to have replied, “It’s so far off the mark, it isn’t ...