Los Angeles Times: The Family Feud Behind a Media Fight
The move to break up Times owner Tribune Co. has roots in discord in the Chandler clan.
In 1995, Jeffrey Chandler decided to break with tradition and expose a family schism. A member of the large, extended and very private family that owned the Los Angeles Times, he had come to believe that the newspaper had become far too liberal under the control of his cousin, Otis Chandler.
It was time for The Times to return to its conservative roots, Chandler and his sister, Corinne Werdel, told Forbes magazine. “We have the inmates running the asylum,” Werdel said. “They’re so far out in left field.”
The siblings were especially upset with the paper’s coverage of gay rights and AIDS. “This is a mainstream paper, and the homosexual population is 1% to 1.5%,” Jeffrey Chandler said. “When you start featuring these kinds of stories the way The Times does â€¦ my God, you’ve got a campaign going on here.”
Not much came of the complaints, or of a study the two reportedly commissioned around the same time. Never made public, the study, by a consulting firm, is said to have argued that the paper should adopt a more conservative stance, modeling itself after publications such as the National Review, the Weekly Standard and the Wall Street Journal. Werdel and her brother had limited power then to influence the paper or its parent company, Times Mirror Co.
Today, Jeffrey Chandler, 64, is at the center of power within the Chandler family, which sold Times Mirror six years ago to Tribune Co. of Chicago. As one of three family representatives on the Tribune board, he is a key player in the Chandlers’ fight to force the sale or breakup of the giant media company and could ultimately help determine the future of the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, Newsday, KTLA-TV and other Tribune properties.
The piece goes onto to portray the Chandler family as greedy, uncooperative, Christian Right Wing, manipulative financiers who do not give a damn about the Los Angeles Times, journalism or anything slse but their own financial wealth.
First, the Los Angeles Times editors go after Tribune Chairman and CEO Dennis FitzSimons.
Next, they “HIT” the Chandler family and their Trusts – the long time owners of the Los Angeles Times that are in a business war over the financial transactions through which the Los Angeles Times was sold to the Tribune Company.
Even more interesting is that Michael Hiltzik, Lefty and disgraced former sock puppet blogger contributed to this piece. Hiltzik wouldn’t have an axe to grind now would he? Or be amenable to write whatever his editors desire due to his tenuous employment situation at the Times and the likelyhood that other newspapers or journalistic enterprises would ever hire him.
This is an interesting piece indeed from the editors of the Los Angeles Times.
If the Tribune Company does not clean house (FIRE the Los Angeles Times Senior Editors and Publisher) then Flap is sure the Chandler family will.
Dean Baquet (Editor) – say good night Gracie and don’t let the door hit you in the ASS as you leave.
Los Angeles Times Editor John S. Carroll, left, announces his retirement to news staff. Managing Editor Dean P. Baquet, center, will succeed him on Aug. 15. Publisher Jeffrey M. Johnson, right, praised Carrollâ€™s leadership, saying, â€œWe are indebted to him for his extraordinary legacy of journalistic excellence and wish him every happiness in the future.â€
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