Publishing shake-up stirs southern California newspapers

Three newspapers and their sister publications in the Los Angeles area are set to change publishing hands in the next two weeks, ending months of leadership shuffling for southern California papers.

The Los Angeles Daily News, based in the San Fernando Valley, announced today they had named Jack Klunder as publisher, two days after Linda Lindus was named publisher of the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the Torrance Daily Breeze and their weekly sister publications. All three papers and the sister publications are part of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, which is a unit of Denver-based MediaNews Group.

Both Klunder and Lindus said they planned to focus on providing local news for their communities, though Lindus also stressed her intention to find opportunities for generating online revenue.

The previous publishers — Mark Ficarra for the Press-Telegram and the Daily Breeze and Edward Moss for the Daily News — both left for positions at the San Diego Union-Tribune, which is not owned by MediaNews, earlier this year.

But this may not be so unusual: MediaNews, which owns 54 daily newspapers across the country, often initiates cost-cutting measures immediately after buying a paper, as they did when they purchased the Press-Telegram in 1997. According to a 2006 Los Angeles Times article, the conglomerate cut pay and benefits for the paper’s staff, forcing many reporters to leave despite increased yearly profits.

And though both Klunder and Lindus expressed optimism after the twin announcements, the Union-Tribune is already anticipating their arrival.

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