I’ve been waiting a long time to read James O’Shea’s take on the 2000 merger of the companies that owned the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. At the time O’Shea was deputy managing editor of the Tribune; in 2006 he’d become editor of the Times; 14 months later he’d quit over budget cuts. And 11 months after that, the company filed for bankruptcy.
So the insider’s tale O’Shea tells is that of an epic business disaster, placed in the context of the whole industry driving itself off a cliff. Hence the subtitle: “How moguls and Wall Street plundered great American newspapers.”