Ever since real-estate mogul Sam Zell gained control of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Baltimore Sun, these newspapers have seen one staff cutback and executive shakeup after another. Yesterday was no exception, as David Hiller, publisher of the Times, and Ann Marie Lipinski, editor-in-chief of the Tribune, announced their departures.
Hiller had held his position for the last two years, during the Zell regime, and had forced out two top editors in succession during disputes over budget and staff cutbacks. However, Hiller’s statement yesterday made clear that differences of opinion between himself and Zell over the paper’s future were the cause of his departure. Lipinski had edited the Tribune since 2001, during which time the paper won a half-dozen Pulitzers and seen a substantial increase in the hiring of female and minority staffers.
Remarkably, among the many articles about Lipinski’s departure to appear online in the last 24 hours, only one made reference to her 2002 firing of the Tribune’s longtime columnist Bob Greene – an event which, at the time, was widely covered in newspapers, magazines, and CNN and Fox News.
In 1983 Greene interviewed President Nixon over several hours; the resulting article, one of the most interesting post-Presidential profiles of Nixon, can be found in the journalist’s collection Cheeseburgers and, with further commentary from Greene from the vantage point of 2004, in his book about former Presidents, Fraternity.