Friday, May 30, 2008

What The Zell Is Going On Here?!

Those of us watching the soap opera that has become The Tribune Companies since it was acquired by Sam Zell probably knew something like this was coming. We collectively held our breath as Zell punched and squeezed his media empire like a hand full of Nutty Putty. We suspect he will eventually begin breaking it up, selling off the pieces to pare down some of the mountain of debt he incurred for the purchase.

I'm referring, of course, to Daily Pilot Publisher Tom Johnson's column today, HERE, in which he announced dramatic changes at the Daily Pilot. I have to tell you that reading Johnson's announcement was like being punched in the gut.

First, he told us that 14 staff members of the seven newspapers that make up the Times Community Newspapers, including the Daily Pilot, were laid off last week. That explains the absence of some familiar bylines recently.

That was bad enough, but he followed that up by announcing that the Daily Pilot - the newspaper of record for the Newport-Mesa area for the best part of a century - will no longer be a daily newspaper! Nope, henceforth the Daily Pilot will be published Tuesday through Sunday, with Monday being a "dark" day.

It's not so much that we'll be losing "our" news on Mondays, but it's a statement about the condition of newspapers in general - they are living on the brink.


I'm disappointed with this turn of events. The Daily Pilot has been a big part of my life since we moved here thirty-five years ago. It's been even more so for me since I began writing letters and commentaries that appeared on its pages in 2001.


The Daily Pilot has provided a forum for discussion of important issues in our community, almost always covering issues accurately and without bias. It's given those of us with opinions a place to present them to our neighbors for their consideration. The editors have tolerated and presented views from their readers that others felt were repugnant. They have published opinions by writers who, with their next breath, offered scathing criticism of the editors and the Daily Pilot itself. The editors have accepted submissions from those of us with only the most marginal writing skills and made them better.


I hope these moves announced by Johnson are the last we will hear as Sam Zell goes about maximizing his investment. The Daily Pilot and it's sister publications have been the information anchor in their communities. For us to lose them would be to extinguish the bright light of public awareness on important issues being considered by our elected leaders.


I wish all the good folks at the Daily Pilot the very best of luck and hope these changes are enough to keep the wolf from the door.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


I hope the changes are enough for now, but I am confident that 10 years from now (maybe a whole lot sooner) the Pilot will be nothing like it was last week. My hope is that the Pilot continues to be relevant regardless of the format, frequency or delivery model.

On a side note, have you noticed the guy at CM Press is admonishing people for anonymous blogs? "Hello, is this Mr. Kettle?, Mr. Pot calling!" And speaking of mentally ill... oh never mind!

5/31/2008 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Bruce, I'm with you. We, the community, need the Daily Pilot, even if it is no longer "daily".

Yes, I noticed that the Mensa maniac over at the CM Press is almost apoplectic about the entries on CMTRUTH. You're right - his hypocritical comments about anonymous blogs makes one chuckle. This, from a guy who posted under numerous pen names on the DP blog until the editors decided to require registration. Now he just sits in the corner and pouts and spews his venom on his blog. He's truly a sad, sick man. If you read his last entry it leaves with you the mental image of a sad guy, dressed in black, hunkered down in his little room listening to the police scanner so he can jump into his "CM Pressmobile" and get the scoop. This is clearly an attempt to offset an unfulfilled time in his life - probably one of many - when he played a reporter in a terrible "B" movie - and not very well, at that. Now the focus of his life seems to be to act as the savior of the Aryan Race - whatever it takes.

He's obviously a gutless guy, unwilling to engage in debate of his views with others, since he prohibits comments on his blog and won't dare step into those that do provide the opportunity - like here and the CMTRUTH. His fixation with "mental illness" is a symptom in itself. We certainly hope he has good health care. He purports to be a former Marine, so I suspect he can avail himself of the services of the Veteran's Administration hospitals. He should do so promptly. Of course, he purports to be a lot of things... most of which are unsubstantiated.

5/31/2008 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger CMTRUTH said...

ok, i tried to refrain but CMBABBLE today was comedy. I then come here to see whats new and see mr. krochman's
"Hello, is this Mr. Kettle?, Mr. Pot calling!" I spit out my coffee, i titled my post prior to reading that, POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK PT2, glad too see another notices the blatant & rampant hypocrisy. I thought his calling me a liar & then posting facts that backed up my stance was amusing, but him dedicating a thread to me being a name caller & threat giver while in the same breath calling names & dropping threats. Not once have i threatened anyone or anything, unless he's talking about making sure he is exposed for what he is, but that is not a threat, that is a promise. It's hard not to counter this guy he makes it to easy day in & day out, i really wish he would stick to things he knows about, i have stated many times i do not engage in topics i know nothing about & when it comes to gangs & graffiti he should do the same.
As i stated on my bog it will be interesting to see if the pilot will cave into his legal threat re: their linking of my blog, sounds like somebody is worried about the truth being told & people being able to find it.
Mr. Caspa was exactly right when he stated that CMTRUTH is a voice for those with out a voice. We present actual facts & scenarios re: the topics we choose to address which is obviously mostly related to gangs & graffiti, a problem CM indeed has but is nowhere near the scale some would like to convince the public of. We will cont. to challenge false rhetoric & propaganda. The propaganda spreaders would like one to believe that any stance that somehow alludes to the fact that not all latinos are gangsters or illegals must be pro-crime, it reminds me of how if one is anti then they must be anti-american. Maybe he would be better suited for a job as a Fox news contributor they seem to employ the same tactics & would be a perfect fit.

have a good day fellas

5/31/2008 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hold on, wasn't the prolific anonymous poster, with dozens of pseudonyms all writing in the same exact style (who I strongly suspect is the man behind the CM Press) the most strident defender of anonymity on the Pilot blogs? Posting under those numerous pseudonyms, he responded to every attack on his refusal to use his name with blather about the ideas being the only important part of the post, not the identity of the poster. He constantly accused those posting under their own names of seeking attention.

Pretty damn pathethic, if you ask me.

I also don't buy his nonsense about allowing CMTruth to post on CM Press - how exactly would that work?

Before he starts calling me a dimwit, or part of the "bestiary" or any of his other ridiculous taunts, let's be clear - I am 99.9% positive that he WAS the one posting under those many pseudonyms. How do I know? because his writing style is distinct, and the entire crowd (Ron, et al) disappeared once the Pilot required registration.

So, CM Press, why don't you allow comments on your blog? You sure do raise a stink about CMTruth when I strongly suspect that you did the same damn thing for a long time. I know that I bore the brunt of many of "your" anonymous insults. Instead of whining about legal action, I countered "your" assertions with fact and truth. Perhaps you should try doing the same.

If you want to have the Pilot yank CMTruth's blog because he is anonymous, I will ask the Pilot to yank your blog because you do not allow comments. Not allowing comments prevents the subjects of your frequent insults from responding. As you think it is wrong for the the Pilot to give CMTruth a link because he posts anonymously, I think giving CM Press a link is wrong. CM Press occasionally makes assertions that demand rebuttal, and providing a link and the related publicity without an opportunity to rebut those assertions is equally wrong, in my opinion.

CM Press has every right to not allow comments and to post whatever it wants - whether opinion, fact, speculation or theory. CM Press is 100% entitled to its opinion. So is CMTruth.

Deal with it.

5/31/2008 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Yeah, it looks like panic time at the CM Press. His criticism of anonymous bloggers is very interesting. Most of the most widely read and most highly respected local blogs, including the Red County/OC Blog and the Orange Juice Blog, permit their permanent cadre to publish using pen names if they choose. Here at the old Cauldron I permit pen names, but not the use of the name "Anonymous" - purely because of the inability to follow a train of thought if multiple posters use "anonymous".

I don't blame CMTRUTH for choosing to remain anonymous, particularly in his jousts with the fanatic at the CM Press. There have been many times I wish I'd remained anonymous in my dealings with him, but that's water under the bridge. With practically every post he further demonstrates what a bully he is. As both Rob and CMTRUTH have pointed out frequently, when challenged he reverts to threats instead of facts. It's hard not to feel sorry for the poor man.

5/31/2008 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Humberto said...

Geoff and friend:

If you didn't realize, Millard is writing almost everyday. That only tells me one thing. He’s feeling the pressure of CMTruth, the Pot Stirrer, myself, and other people who got so tired of his lies and portraying himself as a conservative man. This is what I say about him in my book, “Terror in the Latino Barrio: The Rise of the New Right in Local Government”: “Millard knows how to act behind the political scene. He uses his local Blog, Costa Mesa Press, to present himself as a tender conservative lamb-like resident of Costa Mesa. Nonetheless, deep inside him is found an old nativist wolf. The New Nation News, the National Vanguard, The American Patrol and other right-wing extremist web pages give a more precise image of the real Millard.” Unfortunately for Millard, writing everyday won’t work anymore. The people of Costa Mesa, especially those who care about our community, already know about his intolerant philosophy. I’ve extended an invitation to him to debate in public (a university setting would be best) on political, philosophical and topics of existence. I haven’t heard anything yet. I would find the right forum for that.

5/31/2008 08:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree on every level with you guys. The beauty of this whole platform is discussion, i mean hell mr. dickson & myself have had many heated conversations if you will but at the end of the day i still respect him & i'm sure he respects me (at least i hope) :)
And somewhere in all the difference of opinions there is common ground & have been some breakthrough revelations on both sides, thats what it's about, too bad more are not on the same page. But im not mad about it, i welcome any all that people have to serve up on a plate.

5/31/2008 09:20:00 PM  

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