Tough Times At The L.A. Times

IN THE TIME IT TAKES OTHERS to find the corporate cafeteria, Mark Willes has engineered wholesale pandemonium at Times Mirror. On July 14, after just six weeks as CEO of the troubled media giant, Willes announced the closing of respected but money-losing New York Newsday. And the company's flagship Los Angeles Times, battered by Southern California's anemic economy and several strategic missteps, will cut as many as 700 positions by the end of the year, according to a July 19 internal memo. "The word is that every department will be hit," says one staffer. "People here see a real bottom-line attitude taking over." No wonder: Times Mirror reported a 19% drop in second-quarter earning, to $26 million.

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