Staffers are having a hard time adjusting to new marching orders from the Tribune Co.
This column appeared Jan. 25, 2001, in the Online Journalism Review. Here’s the version on the OJR site.
What a difference a merger makes.
A year ago the 100-person online staff at the Los Angeles Times was riding high in the digital saddle. New media director Leah Gentry, widely admired in online news circles, called her team “the hardest working band in show business.” On one occasion, she brought in bottles of champagne and toasted her staff when the site blasted through another traffic milestone.
The partying stopped on March 13, when the Tribune Co. acquired Times Mirror Co. for $8 billion. The takeover became official in June.
At first, the Times’ online staffers, like their print counterparts, gave the benefit of the doubt to their new corporate stepparents after being assured that the takeover would result in no job cuts.