Blog Post

Industry Moves: Publisher Forced Out At LA Times; Hiller Replaces Him

Some news making quite a buzz here at ONA/ASNE … The turmoil at Tribune Publishing continued today with the forced resignation of Jeffrey M. Johnson as publisher of the Los Angeles Times. Johnson made news recently with LAT editor Dean Baquet by standing up to corporate over staff cuts. The LAT reported that he is expected to be replaced by David Hiller, publisher of the Chicago Tribune and the former head of Tribune Interactive. In turn, Hiller is expected to ask Baquet to stay.
Update: Hiller’s appointment as president, publisher and CEO is official. He had held those titles for the Tribune since November 2004 (Release.) Scott Smith president of Tribune Publishing, takes on Hiller’s Chicago responsibilities temporarily. Do you want the over or the under on Baquet staying?
— The Tribune is in the midst of evaluating its prospects and possibly a partial break-up or sale, recently taking on Merrill Lynch and Citigroup as advisors. Last month, on the eve of a crucial board meeting, the company made an effort to look as though the situation had been smoothed out between corporate and the LAT. Several interested parties have asked about buying the LAT but have been told it’s not for sale.
LA Observed (via Romenesko) has Hiller’s staff email. An excerpt: “I believe in the future of newspapers as the most trusted source of news and information in the communities we serve. To achieve that future we have to continue to change, because our readers, online users and advertising customers continue to change.”
Related: Tribune Board Appoints “ValueCreation” Committee; LAT Not For Sale