Ron Kaye stepped down as editor of MediaNews Group’s Los Angeles Daily News yesterday after 23 years at the 155,000-circulation San Fernando Valley paper. While Kaye, 66, did not give a reason for his departure, the LA Times quoted sources as saying he had been battling with MediaNews for several months over cutbacks in staffing. MediaNews also owns 13 dailies in the Bay Area including the Mercury News. The LA Times ran this story on his departure. Here’s two paragraphs:
- Reporters agreed that Kaye took his employees’ interests to heart during the recent downturn in the newspaper industry, which has been hit hard by a drop in advertising, the crash in the housing market and rise of free information online. Staffers say he was sensitive about delivering news of cutbacks, laying staff members off personally and timing bad news so it wouldn’t interfere with things like weddings.
“For the last few months I saw him there, he took everything incredibly personally, incredibly hard. He looked like a mess,” recalled [Brent] Hopkins, who was a union steward for six of his seven years at the paper. “He didn’t sleep; he went back to smoking very heavily. We weren’t just numbers to him; we were people to him, and then we were employees.”
(Photo credit: CNPA Web site, 2006)