In announcing that James O'Shea was leaving the LA Times, publisher David Hiller said the paper's top editor was "unable to make the hard choices" involved in budget-cutting. But the rift may run deeper: O'Shea tells the Wall Street Journal his ideological differences over how to save a sinking paper just didn't gel with Hiller's.
"The way out of this problem is not retrenchment," says O'Shea. He says he preferred to boost revenues by investing in better journalism, rather than continuing a downward spiral of falling sales requiring cutbacks. Another area in which Hiller and O'Shea diverge: whether the editor quit or was fired. Hiller, who maintains the decision was mutual, calls the disagreement a "semantic" one.