Let’s Go Own the Times

The headline sounds facetious, but the past two times it has been brought up it makes quite a bit of sense.

Harry Chandler writes in the Sunday L.A. Times:

If 20% of Times readers invest $1,000, it could work. I’ll write the first check for the Los Angeles Times Community Owners LLC.

Chandler is the son of Otis — the man who MADE the Times. The Chandler Family Trust owns about 15% of Tribune Company — the largest single stake.

Calvin Naito opined in August, “If you, my fellow 10 million residents of Los Angeles County, each chip in $300, we can cough up the $3 billion needed to buy and collectively own the most powerful local institution — the Los Angeles Times.”

Steve Lopez has been begging the likes of Eli Broad to up and buy the paper for months. (Oddly, this column can no longer be found in the Times online despite being found in two alternate versions — “Free the Press From Corporate Profiteers” and “Finding a Benefactor Could Be Tall Order” in Lexis).

In Saturday’s paper, Tim Rutten made turning the Times back around sound like an impossible task: “the only way to reinvigorate local coverage and to establish the kind of strong online presence that will guarantee the paper’s future is to stop doing something we now do for readers or to do it less thoroughly and less well, hoping that those readers just won’t mind.”

But Chandler, whose two cents really count for something, has a more hopeful outlook — and I think I like it: “Publish only columnists with original, even provocative, perspectives. Pursue more investigative pieces and assign fewer reporters to a story that 75% of readers already saw on ESPN or CNN or Yahoo.”

Hope for a happy ending soon. Expect to hear about it first at LAObserved.

Author: Andy Sternberg

Andy Sternberg is a digital strategist and marketing specialist with a focus on enhancing interactive and user experience through content and social media. He's been tweaking content and music-related websites since the '90s and has a Master's in Online Journalism. Find him on Google and Twitter @andysternberg.