Heading for L.A.
| American Journalism Review
| From AJR, May 2000|
Heading for L.A.
The editor of the Baltimore Sun and the publisher of the Orlando
Sentinel move to the Los Angeles Times to replace Michael Parks and
By AJR Staff
The Tribune Co. puts its leadership team in place at the Los Angeles Times , the flagship of Tribune's newly acquired Times Mirror. John Carroll , editor of Times Mirror's Baltimore Sun , and John Puerner , publisher of Tribune's Orlando Sentinel , replace Editor Michael Parks and Publisher Kathryn Downing at 2nd and Spring. The selection of Carroll, 58, a highly regarded editor closely identified with ambitious enterprise and investigative reporting, sends a positive message about what Tribune has in mind for the 1,078,186-circulation Times. "I've known John Carroll for many years, and he's a great editor and he's a great human being," says Jack Nelson , the Times' chief Washington correspondent and former Washington bureau chief. Puerner, 48, the Sentinel's publisher since 1993, seems a complementary choice, given the remarks of Sentinel Managing Editor Jane Healy . "He seems to love and really appreciate the newsroom," she says, "taking a particular interest in the investigative projects. But at the same time...he doesn't try to intrude into the editorial process." Meanwhile, Baltimore will be a lonelier place for Carroll's successor, Sun Managing Editor William K. Marimow , who has worked there with Carroll for the past seven years; the two were also colleagues at the Philadelphia Inquirer . "Not only will the paper miss him, but I'm going to miss him," Marimow says, calling Carroll "the kind of editor who sees the forest long before most people see trees." The shakeup at the top in L.A. didn't come as much of a surprise, considering the less-than-smooth reigns of Parks, editor since 1997, and Downing, publisher since last June. Particularly damaging: the fallout from last year's Staples Center deal, in which the paper shared advertising revenue with the new sports arena from a Sunday magazine issue dedicated to its opening. "We've obviously had a bumpy, more than a bumpy, experience for a couple years here," says legal affairs writer Henry Weinstein , citing the constant tumult during the leadership of outgoing Times Mirror CEO and former Times Publisher Mark H. Willes , the slashing of staff and, of course, the Staples Center fiasco. "The paper needs...to get some stability.... And I'm hoping that we'll have better times." ###
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