James O’Shea, the editor of the L.A. Times, has been fired for refusing to make budget cuts — much like former editor Dean Baquet.
I don’t have strong feelings about this.
When I met Jan Crawford Greenburg, she told me she likes O’Shea, and she urged me to give him a chance. (She worked for him at the Chicago Tribune.)
But the local rap on O’Shea has always been that he is an unimpressive person who was unlikely to shake things up much.
That didn’t bother me much; a lot of people seem unimpressive in person but have some depth to them. (In my more egomaniacal moments I place myself in this category; in more realistic moments I classify myself as strictly unimpressive in all respects. Either way, I’m unlikely to “wow” you when we first meet.)
But the fact is that there is so much wrong with the L.A. Times that it can’t be fixed by any one person — except possibly a historic figure with a clear-eyed view of what’s wrong, and a forceful agenda designed to fix it.
James O’Shea was not that man.
But who is?
Bradley J. Fikes, unlike me, has no sympathy whatsoever for O’Shea.