New L.A. Times publisher says he'll be more independent
The Los Angeles Times' new publisher, Eddy Hartenstein, said Monday that the newspaper would operate with greater autonomy from its corporate parent in Chicago as it tried to reverse steep declines in circulation and revenue while overcoming the trauma of recent staff cuts.
"To be publisher here in L.A., you need a local, and I am a local," he told an overflow crowd of Times employees at an afternoon meeting. "I'm a 213 kind of guy, not a 312 kind of guy," he declared, referring to the area codes for downtown Los Angeles and Chicago.
He noted that Zell, knowing his experience and independent streak, approached him to come out of retirement to run The Times. "If he's hired me to do this, he's not going to come in here and micromanage me."
"I don't need this job," he added. If Zell were to renege on his word, he said, "I'm gone."
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--Veronique de Turenne
Photo: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times