I'm heartsick. I am watching the painful demise of my home paper, the L.A. Times, the paper I've subscribed to for decades, the paper I insist on holding in my hands the old fashioned way as I read it daily, blurry-eyed, as I emerge from my early-morning comatose state, the paper I rely on to bring you stories that I can't find anywhere else, the paper from which I share excellent letters to the editor to post on this blog, the paper that, for the most part, provides thorough and fairly even-handed news coverage.
And now, as my stomach sinks to the floor, as my mouth goes dry and tears start forming in my still-blurry eyes, I'm reading in my morning L.A. Times that Peter Liguori, a former top executive at News Corp. is expected to be named chief executive of Tribune Co... and that Tribune's new owners could very well sell the Times and the Chicago Tribune.
And who wants to buy them? None other than the media's sleaziest right wing hackmeister, Rupert Murdoch. He's been dying to buy both papers for some time now. And despite occasionally reading about his greedy, nasty little desire, I never thought it would really happen.
As for Liguori, he's an adviser to the private equity firm Carlyle Group (remember them?) and held senior programming positions at News Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting, among other networks. Of course, News Corp. also has its conservative grip on the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.
Welcome to my nightmare.
Liguori is in advanced conversations with incoming owners, according to people who requested anonymity. An official announcement is expected after Tribune emerges from bankruptcy and names a new board of directors, which could occur as early as next month. [...]
The FCC's staff issued the waivers of its so-called cross-ownership rules, which restrict newspapers from combining with television and radio stations in the same market.
The waivers cover Tribune newspaper and broadcasting units in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, South Florida and Hartford, Conn. [...]
Tribune, which has been in bankruptcy for almost four years, owns the Los Angeles Times and KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles, along with the Chicago Tribune, WGN radio and television stations and other newspapers and television stations throughout the country. The 23 TV stations are considered the most valuable part of the company.
Needless to say, should this go through, I will no longer be a subscriber.
Feel free to contact the L.A. Times with a letter to the editor or their "convenient comment form." For questions about journalistic standards, practices and accuracy, contact the Readers' Representative Office by e-mail, phone (877) 554-4000 or fax (213) 237-3535.
To make matters worse, here's what John Dean tweeted earlier:
Hope we're not on a dying planet called Twitter: http://daltoncaldwell.com/twitter-is-pivoting