Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Richard Riordan: I Love L.A

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Richard Riordan: I Love L.A

Article excerpt

And a politician turns publisher

Maybe he should have bought an ad. For more than a week after announcing that he planned to start a new daily newspaper in Los Angeles, the city's former mayor, Richard Riordan, was still waiting for the Los Angeles Times to write a single word about it.

The story made national news, but L.A.'s top newspaper remained silent until Friday, giving Riordan and his compatriots more ammunition to blast away at their prospective rival.

In an interview with E&P Thursday, Riordan charged that the Times "has a death wish for the city of Los Angeles, and they seem to have a hatred of our city. They hide the good things, and they put the bad things on the front page."

Before the Times story ran Friday, Riordan had just one word for its blackout on his plans: "Amateurish." But Martha Goldstein, vice president of communications for the Times, explained, "We compete with a number of well-funded newspapers in Southern California, and the prospect of one more is part of the landscape here." The L.A. Daily News is now the paper's prime competitor in the city.

Riordan and his so-far-unpaid staff members are critics of the Times' focus on international and national news. Indeed, the Times does face special challenges in covering local issues, said Larry Pryor, professor of journalism at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School. "They've tried everything to get down to the local level, and all of those efforts have failed," he said. "I don't think that Riordan's going to be able to crack that nut if the Tribune Co. …

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