- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 7, 2006

LOS ANGELES (AP) Los Angeles Times Editor Dean Baquet resigned yesterday, just weeks after the paper’s publisher, Jeff Johnson, was forced to leave after a dispute with the paper’s parent, Tribune Co., over cost cuts.

Mr. Baquet will be replaced Monday by James O’Shea, the managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, the Times reported on its Web site. Mr. O’Shea will be reunited with David Hiller, who took over for Mr. Johnson a month ago after serving as publisher at the Tribune. The Times is owned by the Tribune Co.

Mr. Baquet and Mr. Johnson had publicly rebuffed the parent company over possible job cuts. When Mr. Johnson was replaced, Mr. Baquet said he would stay on and try to persuade the Tribune Co. to increase its investment in the paper.

The Times said in a story posted on its Web site that Mr. Hiller made it clear to Mr. Baquet last week that cuts were coming. Mr. Baquet said that he would not oversee more job reductions, the Times article said.

A spokesman for the Times did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Tribune Co. spokesman Gary Weitman declined to comment.

Mr. Baquet confirmed his departure in an e-mail to his staff minutes after the news broke on the Wall Street Journal’s Web site.

“By now you’ve seen the Wall Street Journal story on L.A. Observed that I’ll be leaving the paper,” Mr. Baquet wrote. “Believe me, I didn’t want it to come out this way.”

Mr. Baquet said he would address his staff later in the afternoon.

“And do me an even bigger favor. Let’s do a [great] job on the election tonight,” he wrote.

Tribune Co. put itself on the auction block in late September, under pressure from institutional shareholders including the Chandler family of Los Angeles — former owners of the Times — who are unhappy about the company’s languishing share price.

The company has said that three investor groups have submitted preliminary, nonbinding bids to buy the entire company. But several published reports last week said the Tribune Co. was considering selling itself off in parts because the bids were too low.

The company last week declined to comment on the reports.

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