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Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times (sometimes abbreviated as LA Times or L.A. Times) is a daily newspaper which has been published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It has the fourth largest circulation among United States newspapers, and is the largest U.S. newspaper not headquartered on the East Coast.[2] The paper is known for its coverage of issues particularly salient to the U.S. West Coast, such as immigration trends and natural disasters. It has won more than 40 Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage of these and other issues. As of June 18, 2018, ownership of the paper is controlled by Patrick Soon-Shiong, and the executive editor is Norman Pearlstine.[3]

In the nineteenth century, the paper was known for its civic boosterism and opposition to unions, the latter of which led to the bombing of its headquarters in 1910. The paper's profile grew substantially in the 1960s under publisher Otis Chandler, who adopted a more national focus. In recent decades, the paper's readership has declined and it has been beset by a series of ownership changes, staff reductions, and other controversies. In January 2018, the paper's staff voted to unionize, and in July 2018 the paper moved out of its historic downtown headquarters to a facility near Los Angeles International Airport.

Los Angeles TimesTimes-Mirror Broadcasting Company
LAT 102108.jpg
Front page from October 21, 2008
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Los Angeles Times Communications LLC (Nant Capital)
PresidentDr. Patrick Soon-Shiong
EditorNorman Pearlstine
FoundedDecember 4, 1881 (1881-12-04)(as Los Angeles Daily Times)
Headquarters2300 E. Imperial Highway
El Segundo, California 90245
CountryUnited States
Circulation653,868 Daily (2013)
954,010 Sunday (2013)
105,000 Digital (2018)[1]
ISSN0458-3035 [115]  (print)
2165-1736 [116]  (web)
OCLC number3638237 [117]
Websitewww.latimes.com [118]
  • Media of the United States
  • List of newspapers
KTTV, Inc. (1947-1963)
Former type
IndustryBroadcast television
FateAcquired by Argyle Television (sold to New World Communications in 1994)
FoundedDecember 1947 (1947-12)
Los Angeles, California
Area served
Flag of the United States.svgUnited States
ProductsBroadcast and cable television
ParentThe Times-Mirror Company (1947-1963, 1970-1993)
Silent (1963-1970)
Websitewww.latimes.com/ [120]


Otis era

Rubble of the L.A. Times building after the 1910 bombing

Rubble of the L.A. Times building after the 1910 bombing

The Times was first published on December 4, 1881, as the Los Angeles Daily Times under the direction of Nathan Cole Jr. and Thomas Gardiner. It was first printed at the Mirror printing plant, owned by Jesse Yarnell and T.J. Caystile. Unable to pay the printing bill, Cole and Gardiner turned the paper over to the Mirror Company. In the meantime, S. J. Mathes had joined the firm, and it was at his insistence that the Times continued publication. In July 1882, Harrison Gray Otis moved from Santa Barbara to become the paper's editor.[4] Otis made the Times a financial success.

Historian Kevin Starr wrote that Otis was a businessman "capable of manipulating the entire apparatus of politics and public opinion for his own enrichment".[5] Otis's editorial policy was based on civic boosterism, extolling the virtues of Los Angeles and promoting its growth. Toward those ends, the paper supported efforts to expand the city's water supply by acquiring the rights to the water supply of the distant Owens Valley.[6]

The efforts of the Times to fight local unions led to the October 1, 1910 bombing of its headquarters, killing twenty-one people. Two union leaders, James and Joseph McNamara, were charged. The American Federation of Labor hired noted trial attorney Clarence Darrow to represent the brothers, who eventually pleaded guilty.

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."[7][8]

Chandler era

Times Newspaper vending machine featuring news of the 1984 Summer Olympics

Times Newspaper vending machine featuring news of the 1984 Summer Olympics

Upon Otis's death in 1917, his son-in-law, Harry Chandler, took control as publisher of the Times. Harry Chandler was succeeded in 1944 by his son, Norman Chandler, who ran the paper during the rapid growth of post-war Los Angeles. Norman's wife, Dorothy Buffum Chandler, became active in civic affairs and led the effort to build the Los Angeles Music Center, whose main concert hall was named the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in her honor. Family members are buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery near Paramount Studios. The site also includes a memorial to the Times Building bombing victims.

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, notably The New York Times and The Washington Post. Believing that the newsroom was "the heartbeat of the business",[9] 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.[10]

The paper's early history and subsequent transformation was chronicled in an unauthorized history Thinking Big (1977, ISBN 0-399-11766-0), and was one of four organizations profiled by David Halberstam in The Powers That Be (1979, ISBN 0-394-50381-3; 2000 reprint ISBN 0-252-06941-2). It has also been the whole or partial subject of nearly thirty dissertations in communications or social science in the past four decades.[11]


The Los Angeles Times began a decline with Los Angeles itself with the decline in military production at the end of the Cold War. It faced hiring freezes in 1991-1992.

Another major decision at the same time was to cut the range of circulation. They cut circulation in California's Central Valley, Nevada, Arizona and then the San Diego edition.

Modern era

Los Angeles Times Building, seen from the corner of 1st and Spring streets

Los Angeles Times Building, seen from the corner of 1st and Spring streets

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.

For two days in 2005, the Times experimented with Wikitorial, the first Wiki by a major news organization to allow readers to combine forces to produce their own editorial pieces. It was shut down after being besieged with inappropriate material.

The newspaper moved to a new headquarters building in El Segundo, near Los Angeles International Airport, in July 2018.[12][13][14][15]


In 2000, the Times-Mirror Company, publisher of the Times, was purchased by the Tribune Company of Chicago, Illinois, placing the paper in co-ownership with then-WB (now CW)-affiliated KTLA, which Tribune acquired in 1985.[16]

On April 2, 2007, the Tribune Company announced its acceptance of real estate entrepreneur Sam Zell's offer to buy the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and all other company assets. Zell announced that he would sell the Chicago Cubs baseball club. He put up for sale the company's 25 percent interest in Comcast SportsNet Chicago. Until shareholder approval was received, Los Angeles billionaires Ron Burkle and Eli Broad had the right to submit a higher bid, in which case Zell would have received a $25 million buyout fee.[17]

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.[18]

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.[19][20] This purchase by Soon-Shiong through his Nant Capital investment fund is for $500 million, as well as the assumption of $90 million in pension liabilities.[21][22] The sale to Soon-Shiong closed on June 16, 2018.[3]

Editorial changes and staff reductions

John Carroll, former editor of the Baltimore Sun, was brought in to restore the luster of the newspaper. During his reign at the Times he eliminated more than 200 jobs, but despite an operating profit margin of 20 percent, the Tribune executives were unsatisfied with returns, and by 2005 Carroll had left the newspaper. His successor, Dean Baquet, refused to impose the additional cutbacks mandated by the Tribune Company.

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 but The New York Times.[23] 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 was 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.[24][25] 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 increased its single-copy price from 50 to 75 cents[26] and 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.[27]

In September 2015, in an apparent struggle over localized versus corporate control,[28] Austin Beutner, the publisher and chief executive, was replaced by Timothy E. Ryan.[29]

On October 5, 2015, Poynter Institute reported that "'At least 50' editorial positions will be culled from the Los Angeles Times" through a buyout.[30] On this subject, the Los Angeles Times reported with foresight: "For the 'funemployed,' unemployment is welcome."[31] Nancy Cleeland,[32] who took O'Shea's buyout offer, did so because of "frustration with the paper's coverage of working people and organized labor"[33] (the beat that earned her Pulitzer[32]). 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.[33]

On August 21, 2017, Ross Levinsohn, then aged 54, was named publisher and CEO, replacing Davan Maharaj, who had been both publisher and editor.[34]

On June 16, 2018, the same day the sale to Patrick Soon-Shiong closed, Norman Pearlstine was named executive editor.[3]


On January 19, 2018, employees of the news department voted 248–44 in a National Labor Relations Board election to be represented by the NewsGuild-CWA.[35] The vote came despite aggressive opposition from the paper's management team, reversing more than a century of anti-union sentiment at one of the biggest newspapers in the country.


Abandoned Los Angeles Times vending machine in Covina, California, in 2011

Abandoned Los Angeles Times vending machine in Covina, California, in 2011

The Times's reported daily circulation in October 2010 was 600,449,[36] down from a peak of 1,225,189 daily and 1,514,096 Sunday in April 1990.[37][38]

Some observers believed that the drop was due to the retirement of circulation director Bert Tiffany. Still others thought the decline was a side effect of a succession of short-lived editors who were appointed by publisher Mark Willes after publisher Otis Chandler relinquished day-to-day control in 1995.[9] Willes, the former president of General Mills, was criticized for his lack of understanding of the newspaper business, and was derisively referred to by reporters and editors as The Cereal Killer.[39]

Other reasons offered for the circulation drop included an increase in the single-copy price from 25 cents to 50 cents[40] and a rise in the proportion of readers preferring to read the online version instead of the print version.[41] Editor Jim O'Shea, in an internal memo announcing a May 2007, mostly voluntary, reduction in force, characterized the decrease in circulation as an "industry-wide problem" which the paper had to counter by "growing rapidly on-line," "break[ing] news on the Web and explain[ing] and analyz[ing] it in our newspaper."[42]

In early 2006, the Times closed its San Fernando Valley printing plant, leaving press operations to the Olympic plant and to Orange County. Also in 2006, the Times announced its circulation had fallen to 851,532, down 5.4 percent from 2005. The Times's loss of circulation was the largest of the top ten newspapers in the U.S.[43]

Despite the circulation decline, many in the media industry lauded the newspaper's effort to decrease its reliance on "other-paid" circulation in favor of building its "individually paid" circulation base—which showed a marginal increase in a circulation audit. This distinction reflected the difference between, for example, copies distributed to hotel guests free of charge (other-paid) versus subscriptions and single-copy sales (individually paid).

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.[44] The report, which condemned the Times as a "web-stupid" organization,"[44] was followed by a shakeup in management of the paper's website,[45]www.latimes.com [119] , and a rebuke of print staffers who had assertedly "treated change as a threat."[46]

On July 10, 2007, Times launched a local Metromix site targeting live entertainment for young adults.[47] A free weekly tabloid print edition of Metromix Los Angeles followed in February 2008; the publication was the newspaper's first stand-alone print weekly.[48] In 2009, the Times shut down Metromix and replaced it with Brand X, a blog site and free weekly tabloid targeting young, social networking readers.[49] Brand X launched in March 2009; the Brand X tabloid ceased publication in June 2011 and the website was shut down the following month.[50]

In May 2018, the Times blocked access to its online edition from most of Europe because of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation.[51][52]

Other controversies

The Los Angeles Times building

The Los Angeles Times building

It was revealed in 1999 that a revenue-sharing arrangement was in place between the Times and Staples Center in the preparation of a 168-page magazine about the opening of the sports arena. The magazine's editors and writers were not informed of the agreement, which breached the Chinese wall that traditionally has separated advertising from journalistic functions at American newspapers. Publisher Mark Willes also had not prevented advertisers from pressuring reporters in other sections of the newspaper to write stories favorable to their point of view.[53]

Michael Kinsley was hired as the Opinion and Editorial (Op-Ed) Editor in April 2004 to help improve the quality of the opinion pieces. His role was controversial, as he forced writers to take a more decisive stance on issues. In 2005, he created a Wikitorial, the first Wiki by a major news organization. Although it failed, readers could combine forces to produce their own editorial pieces. He resigned later that year.

The Times drew fire for a last-minute story before the 2003 California recall election alleging that gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger groped scores of women during his movie career. Columnist Jill Stewart wrote on the American Reporter website that the Times did not do a story on allegations that former Governor Gray Davis had verbally and physically abused women in his office and that the Schwarzenegger story relied on a number of anonymous sources. Further, she said, four of the six alleged victims were not named. She also said that in the case of the Davis allegations, the Times decided against printing the Davis story because of its reliance on anonymous sources.[54][55] The American Society of Newspaper Editors said that the Times lost more than 10,000 subscribers because of the negative publicity surrounding the Schwarzenegger article.[56]

On November 12, 2005, new Op-Ed Editor Andrés Martinez announced the dismissal of liberal op-ed columnist Robert Scheer and conservative editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez.[57]

The Times has also come 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 the Sunday edition. Garfield was dropped altogether shortly thereafter.[58]

Following the Republican Party's defeat in the 2006 mid-term elections, an Opinion piece published on November 19, 2006, by Joshua Muravchik, a leading neoconservative and a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, was titled BOMB IRAN. The article shocked some readers, with its hawkish comments in support of more unilateral action by the United States, this time against Iran.[59]

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.[60] 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.[61]

In November 2017, Walt Disney Studios blacklisted the Times from attending press screenings of its films, in retaliation for September 2017 reportage by the paper on Disney's political influence in the Anaheim area. The company considered the coverage to be "biased and inaccurate". As a sign of condemnation and solidarity, a number of major publications and writers, including The New York Times, Boston Globe critic Ty Burr, Washington Post blogger Alyssa Rosenberg, and the websites The A.V. Club and Flavorwire, announced that they would boycott press screenings of future Disney films. The National Society of Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Circle, and Boston Society of Film Critics jointly announced that Disney's films would be ineligible for their respective year-end awards unless the decision was reversed, condemning the decision as being "antithetical to the principles of a free press and [setting] a dangerous precedent in a time of already heightened hostility towards journalists". On November 7, 2017, Disney reversed its decision, stating that the company "had productive discussions with the newly installed leadership at the Los Angeles Times regarding our specific concerns".[62][63][64]

Pulitzer Prizes

Partial front page of the Los Angeles Times for Monday, April 24, 1922, displaying coverage of a Ku Klux Klan raid in an L.A. suburb

Partial front page of the Los Angeles Times for Monday, April 24, 1922, displaying coverage of a Ku Klux Klan raid in an L.A. suburb

Through 2014, the Times had won 41 Pulitzers, including four in editorial cartooning, and one each in spot news reporting for the 1965 Watts Riots and the 1992 Los Angeles riots.[65]

  • The Los Angeles Times received the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for the newspaper series "Latinos".[66]

  • Times sportswriter Jim Murray won a Pulitzer in 1990.

  • Times investigative reporters Chuck Philips and Michael Hiltzik won the Pulitzer in 1999[67] for a year-long series that exposed corruption in the music business.[68]

  • 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."[69] 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."[70]

  • 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."[71]

  • In 2016, the Times won the breaking news Pulitzer prize for its coverage of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.[72]

  • In 2019, three Los Angeles Times reporters - Harriet Ryan, Matt Hamilton and Paul Pringle - have won a Pulitzer Prize for their investigation into a gynecologist accused of abusing hundreds of students at the University of Southern California.[73]

Competition and rivalry

In the 19th century, the chief competition to the Times was the Los Angeles Herald, followed by the smaller Los Angeles Tribune. In December 1903, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst began publishing the Los Angeles Examiner as a direct morning competitor to the Times.[74] In the 20th century, the Los Angeles Express was an afternoon competitor, as was Manchester Boddy's Los Angeles Daily News, a Democratic newspaper.[75]

By the mid-1940s, the Times was the leading newspaper in terms of circulation in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. In 1948, it launched the Los Angeles Mirror, an afternoon tabloid, to compete with both the Daily News and the merged Herald-Express. In 1954, the Mirror absorbed the Daily News. The combined paper, the Mirror-News, ceased publication in 1962, when the Hearst afternoon Herald-Express and the morning Los Angeles Examiner merged to become the Herald-Examiner.[76] The Herald-Examiner published its last number in 1989. In 2014, the Los Angeles Register, published by Freedom Communications, then-parent company of the Orange County Register was launched as a daily newspaper to compete with the Times. By late September of the same year, the Los Angeles Register was folded.

Special editions

Midwinter and midsummer


For 69 years, from 1885[77] 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."[78] Two years later, the edition had grown to "forty-eight handsome pages (9x15 inches), [which] stitched for convenience and better preservation," was "equivalent to a 150-page book."[79] 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.[80]

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.[81]

In 1948 the Midwinter Edition, as it was then called, had grown to "7 big picture magazines in beautiful rotogravure reproduction."[82] The last mention of the Midwinter Edition was in a Times advertisement on January 10, 1954.[83]


Between 1891 and 1895, the Times also issued a similar Midsummer Number, the first one with the theme "The Land and Its Fruits".[84] Because of its issue date in September, the edition was in 1891 called the Midsummer Harvest Number.[85]

Zoned editions and subsidiaries

Front page of the debut (March 25, 1903) issue of the short-lived The Wireless, published in Avalon.

Front page of the debut (March 25, 1903) issue of the short-lived The Wireless, published in Avalon.[86]

In 1903, the Pacific Wireless Telegraph Company established a radiotelegraph link between the California mainland and Santa Catalina Island. In the summer of that year, the Times made use of this link to establish a local daily paper, based in Avalon, called The Wireless, which featured local news plus excerpts which had been transmitted via Morse code from the parent paper.[87] However, this effort apparently survived for only a little more than one year.[88]

In the 1990s, the Times published various editions catering to far-flung areas. Editions included those from the San Fernando Valley, Ventura County, Inland Empire, Orange County, San Diego County & a "National Edition" that was distributed to Washington, D.C. and the San Francisco Bay Area. The National Edition was closed in December 2004.

Some of these editions were folded into Our Times, a group of community supplements included in editions of the regular Los Angeles Metro newspaper.

A subsidiary, Times Community Newspapers, publishes the Burbank Leader, Coastline Pilot of Laguna Beach, Daily Pilot of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, Glendale News-Press, Huntington Beach Independent and La Cañada Valley Sun.[89][90] From 2011 to 2013, the Times had also published the Pasadena Sun.[91]


Among the Times' staff are columnists Steve Lopez and Patt Morrison, television critic Mary McNamara and film critic Kenneth Turan. Sports columnists include Bill Plaschke, who is also a panelist on ESPN's Around the Horn, and Helene Elliott, the first female sportswriter to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

One of the Times' features is "Column One", a feature that appears daily on the front page to the left-hand side. Established in September 1968, it is 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 writes that the column's purpose is to elicit a "Gee, that's interesting, I didn't know that" type of reaction.

The Times also embarked on a number of investigative journalism pieces. A series in December 2004 on the King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles led to a Pulitzer Prize and a more thorough coverage of the hospital's troubled history. Lopez wrote a five-part series on the civic and humanitarian disgrace of Los Angeles' Skid Row, which became the focus of a 2009 motion picture, The Soloist. It also won 62 awards at the SND awards.

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 went on to become art director of Rolling Stone magazine).[92] 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.


Festival of Books

2009 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the UCLA campus

2009 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the UCLA campus

In 1996, the Times started the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, in association with the University of California, Los Angeles. It has panel discussions, exhibits, and stages during two days at the end of April each year.[93] In 2011, the Festival of Books was moved to the University of Southern California.[94]

Book prizes

Since 1980, the Times has awarded annual book prizes. The categories are now biography, current interest, fiction, first fiction, history, mystery/thriller, poetry, science and technology, and young adult fiction. In addition, the Robert Kirsch Award is presented annually to a living author with a substantial connection to the American West whose contribution to American letters deserves special recognition".[95]

Book publishing

The Times Mirror Corporation has also owned a number of book publishers over the years including New American Library, C.V. Mosby, as well as Harry N. Abrams, Matthew Bender, and Jeppesen.[96]

In 1960, Times Mirror of Los Angeles bought the book publisher New American Library known for publishing affordable paperback reprints of classics and other scholarly works.[97] The NAL continued to operate autonomously from New York and within the Mirror Company. And in 1983 Odyssey Partners and Ira J. Hechler bought NAL from the Times Mirror Company for over $50 million.[96]

In 1967, Times Mirror acquired C.V. Mosby Company, a professional publisher and merged it over the years with several other professional publishers including Resource Application, Inc., Year Book Medical Publishers, Wolfe Publishing Ltd., PSG Publishing Company, B.C. Decker, Inc., among others. Eventually in 1998 Mosby was sold to Harcourt Brace & Company to form the Elsevier Health Sciences group.[98]

Broadcasting activities

The Times-Mirror Company was a founding owner of television station KTTV in Los Angeles, which opened in January 1949. It became that station's sole owner in 1951, after re-acquiring the minority shares it had sold to CBS in 1948. Times-Mirror also purchased a former motion picture studio, Nassour Studios, in Hollywood in 1950, which was then used to consolidate KTTV's operations. Later to be known as Metromedia Square, the studio was sold along with KTTV to Metromedia in 1963.

After a seven-year hiatus from the medium, the firm reactivated Times-Mirror Broadcasting Company with its 1970 purchase of the Dallas Times Herald and its radio and television stations, KRLD-AM-FM-TV in Dallas.[99] The Federal Communications Commission granted an exemption of its cross-ownership policy and allowed Times-Mirror to retain the newspaper and the television outlet, which was renamed KDFW-TV.

Times-Mirror Broadcasting later acquired KTBC-TV in Austin, Texas in 1973;[100] and in 1980 purchased a group of stations owned by Newhouse Newspapers: WAPI-TV (now WVTM-TV) in Birmingham, Alabama; KTVI in St. Louis; WSYR-TV (now WSTM-TV) in Syracuse, New York and its satellite station WSYE-TV (now WETM-TV) in Elmira, New York; and WTPA-TV (now WHTM-TV) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.[101] The company also entered the field of cable television, servicing the Phoenix and San Diego areas, amongst others. They were originally titled Times-Mirror Cable, and were later renamed to Dimension Cable Television. Similarly, they also attempted to enter the pay-TV market, with the Spotlight movie network; it wasn't successful and was quickly shut down. The cable systems were sold in the mid-1990s to Cox Communications.

Times-Mirror also pared its station group down, selling off the Syracuse, Elmira and Harrisburg properties in 1986.[102] The remaining four outlets were packaged to a new upstart holding company, Argyle Television, in 1993.[103] These stations were acquired by New World Communications shortly thereafter and became key components in a sweeping shift of network-station affiliations which occurred between 1994–1995.


City of license / marketStationChannel
TV / (RF)
Years ownedCurrent ownership status
BirminghamWVTM-TV13 (13)1980–1993NBC affiliate owned by Hearst Television
Los AngelesKTTV111 (11)1949–1963Fox owned-and-operated (O&O)
St. LouisKTVI2 (43)1980–1993Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Elmira, New YorkWETM-TV18 (18)1980–1986NBC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Syracuse, New YorkWSTM-TV3 (24)1980–1986NBC affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group
Harrisburg - Lancaster -
Lebanon - York
WHTM-TV27 (10)1980–1986ABC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Austin, TexasKTBC-TV7 (7)1973–1993Fox owned-and-operated (O&O)
Dallas - Fort WorthKDFW-TV24 (35)1970–1993Fox owned-and-operated (O&O)


  • 1 Co-owned with CBS until 1951 in a joint venture (51% owned by Times-Mirror, 49% owned by CBS);

  • 2 Purchased along with KRLD-AM-FM as part of Times-Mirror's acquisition of the Dallas Times Herald. Times-Mirror sold the radio stations to comply with FCC cross-ownership restrictions.

Notable employees

Writers and editors

  • Dean Baquet, editor 2000–07

  • Martin Baron, assistant managing editor 1979-96

  • James Bassett, reporter, editor 1934-71

  • Skip Bayless, sportswriter 1976–78

  • Barry Bearak, reporter 1982–97

  • Jim Bellows (1922–2005), editor 1967–74

  • Sheila Benson, film critic 1981–91

  • Martin Bernheimer, music critic, 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism

  • Bettina Boxall, reporter, 2009 Pulitzer Prize

  • Jeff Brazil, reporter 1993–2000

  • Harry Carr (1877–1936), reporter, columnist, editor

  • John Carroll, editor 2000–05

  • Julie Cart, reporter, 2009 Pulitzer Prize

  • Charles Champlin (1926–2014), film critic 1965–80

  • Michael Cieply, entertainment writer

  • Shelby Coffey III, editor 1989–97

  • K.C. Cole, science writer

  • Michael Connelly, crime reporter, novelist

  • Borzou Daragahi, Beirut bureau chief

  • Manohla Dargis, film critic

  • Meghan Daum, columnist

  • Anthony Day (1933–2007), op-ed writer, editor 1969–89

  • Frank del Olmo (1948–2004), reporter, editor 1970–2004

  • Al Delugach (1925–2015), reporter 1970–89

  • Barbara Demick, Beijing bureau chief, author

  • Robert J. Donovan (1912–2003), Washington bureau chief

  • Mike Downey, columnist 1985–2001

  • Bob Drogin, national political reporter

  • Roscoe Drummond (1902–1983), syndicated columnist

  • E.V. Durling (1893–1957), columnist 1936–39

  • Bill Dwyre, sports editor and columnist 1981–2015

  • William J. Eaton (1930–2005), correspondent 1984–1994

  • Richard Eder (1932–2014), book critic, 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism

  • Gordon Edes, sportswriter 1980–89

  • Helene Elliott, sports columnist

  • Leonard Feather (1914–1994), jazz critic

  • Dexter Filkins, foreign correspondent 1996–99

  • Nikki Finke, entertainment reporter

  • Thomas Francis Ford (1873–1958), member of U.S. Congress, literary and rotogravure editor, only person sent to L.A. City Council by write-in

  • Douglas Frantz, managing editor 2005–07

  • Jeffrey Gettleman, Atlanta bureau chief 1999–2002

  • Jonathan Gold, food writer, 2007 Pulitzer Prize

  • Patrick Goldstein, film columnist 2000–12

  • Carl Greenberg (1908–1984), political writer

  • Joyce Haber, gossip columnist 1966–75

  • Bill Henry (1890–1970), columnist 1939–70

  • Robert Hilburn, music writer, 1970–2005

  • Michael Hiltzik, investigative reporter, 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting

  • Hedda Hopper (1885-1966), Hollywood columnist 1938-66

  • L. D. Hotchkiss (1893–1964), editor 1922–58

  • Pete Johnson, rock critic 1960s

  • David Cay Johnston, reporter 1976–88

  • Philip P. Kerby, 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism

  • Ann Killion, sportswriter 1987-88

  • Grace Kingsley (1874-1962), film columnist 1914-33

  • Michael Kinsley, op-ed page editor 2004-05

  • William Knoedelseder, business writer

  • David Lamb (1940-2016), correspondent 1970–2004

  • David Laventhol (1933–2015), publisher 1989–94

  • David Lazarus, business columnist

  • Rick Loomis, photojournalist, 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting

  • Stuart Loory (1937–2015), White House correspondent 1967–71

  • Steve Lopez, columnist

  • Charles Fletcher Lummis (1859–1928), city editor 1884–88

  • Al Martinez (1929–2015), columnist 1984–2009

  • Andres Martinez, op-ed page editor 2004–07

  • Dennis McDougal, reporter 1982–92

  • Usha Lee McFarling, reporter, 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting

  • Kristine McKenna, music journalist 1977–98

  • Mary McNamara, TV critic, 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism

  • Doyle McManus, Washington bureau chief

  • Charles McNulty, theater critic

  • Alan Miller, 2003 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting

  • T. Christian Miller, investigative journalist 1999–2008

  • Kay Mills, editorial writer 1978–91

  • Carolina Miranda, arts and culture critic 2014–present

  • J.R. Moehringer, feature writing, 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing

  • Patt Morrison, columnist

  • Suzanne Muchnic, art critic 1978–2009

  • Kim Murphy, assistant managing editor for foreign and national news, 2005 Pulitzer Prize

  • Jim Murray (1919–1998), sports columnist, 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary

  • Sonia Nazario, feature writing, 2003 Pulitzer Prize

  • Dan Neil, columnist, 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism

  • Chuck Neubauer, investigative journalist

  • Ross Newhan, baseball writer 1967–2004

  • Jack Nelson (1929–2009), political reporter, 1960 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting in 1960[104]

  • Anne-Marie O'Connor, reporter

  • Nicolai Ouroussoff, architectural critic

  • Scot J. Paltrow, financial journalist 1988–97

  • Olive Percival, columnist

  • Bill Plaschke, sports columnist

  • Michael Parks, foreign correspondent, editor, 1987 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting

  • Russ Parsons, food writer

  • Mike Penner (1957–2009) (Christine Daniels), sportswriter

  • Chuck Philips, investigative reporter, 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting

  • Michael Phillips, film critic

  • George Ramos (1947–2011), reporter 1978–2003

  • Ruth Reichl, restaurant and food writer 1984–93

  • Rick Reilly, sportswriter 1983–85

  • James Risen, investigative journalist 1984–98

  • Howard Rosenberg, TV critic, 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism

  • Tim Rutten, columnist 1971–2011

  • Ruth Ryon (1944–2014), real-estate writer 1977–2008

  • Morrie Ryskind, feature writer 1960–71

  • Kevin Sack, Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2003

  • Ruben Salazar (1928–1970), reporter, correspondent 1959–70

  • Robert Scheer, national correspondent 1976–93

  • Lee Shippey (1884–1969), columnist 1927–49

  • David Shaw (1943–2005), 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism

  • Gaylord Shaw, reporter, 1978 Pulitzer Prize

  • Gene Sherman (1915–1969), reporter, 1960 Pulitzer Prize

  • Barry Siegel, feature writing, 2002 Pulitzer Prize

  • T. J. Simers, sports columnist 1990–2013

  • Jack Smith (1916–1996), columnist 1953–96

  • Bob Sipchen, editorial writing, 2002 Pulitzer Prize

  • Frank Sotomayor, reporter, editor

  • Bill Stall (1937–2008), editorial writing, 2004 Pulitzer Prize

  • Joel Stein, columnist

  • Jill Stewart, reporter 1984–91

  • Rone Tempest, investigative reporter 1976–2007

  • Kevin Thomas, film critic 1962–2005

  • William F. Thomas (1924–2014), editor 1971–89

  • Hector Tobar, columnist, book critic

  • William Tuohy (1926-2009), foreign correspondent, 1969 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting

  • Kenneth Turan, film critic

  • Peter Wallsten, national political reporter

  • Matt Weinstock (1903–1970), columnist

  • Kenneth R. Weiss, 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting

  • Nick Williams (1906–1992), editor 1958–71

  • David Willman, 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting

  • Michael Wines, correspondent 1984–88

  • Jules Witcover, Washington correspondent 1970–72

  • Gene Wojciechowski, sportswriter 1986–96

  • Willard Huntington Wright (1888–1939), literary editor




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