'L.A. Times' chief hits critics

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Times Mirror Co. CEO Mark Willes went on the offensive in a speech to the Newspaper Association of America convention today in Dallas, chiding journalists who have questioned his efforts at the Los Angeles Times to foster closer links between the paper's editorial and business operations. Mr. Willes, who also is publisher of the Los Angeles paper, read quotes from former New York Times Executive Editor Max Frankel, former Los Angeles Times Editor Noel Greenwood and former Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee denigrating Mr. Willes' reorganization plan at the Times-Mirror flagship paper. He said none of them had ever talked to him directly. "I find these statements surprising in that they were made by people...[who] never tried to find out directly about what I really believe about newspapers or what we are doing at the Times. I find this lack of reporting disappointing." He added the reorganization, which aligned business operations with specific editorial sections of the newspaper, was conducted so publicly "we've added pressure on ourselves to maintain the editorial independence and excellence for which we are so well known."

Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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