Eva Knott 7:43 p.m., April 15
Platinum Equity Names New Union-Tribune Publisher with Reputation for Cuts
Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity, which took over the Union Tribune last week, has announced that Ed Moss of L.A. will become publisher effective May 18. He's most recently been president and CEO of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, owned by MediaNews Group, run by Denver's Dean Singleton, known for sharply reducing editorial budgets in the pursuit of profit.
Moss has also been publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal. He was appointed to that post in July 2006 by David Black, whose Black Press Ltd. purchased the struggling paper from McClatchy Co. for $165 million. Before Akron, Moss had been vice president of sales and marketing for Media General Inc. in Richmond, Va. Black is an advisor to Platinum and partner in the U-T deal, according to reports in the U-T.
In February, while in charge of the L. A. Newspaper Group, Moss announced that printing operations of the company's San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News and Whittier Daily News newspapers would be outsourced to the Orange County Register to save money. Closing down the U-T's printing plant and outsourcing the work to Orange County or the Riverside Press-Enterprise, as well as selling the U-T's Mission Valley property, has been a rumored option here.
As publisher of the Beacon Journal in December 2006 he insisted that draconian staff cuts there didn't effect the quality of coverage. "We still have 130 people in our news operation. One hundred and thirty people. I will tell you there are newspapers all over the country with that kind of staffing level that put out outstanding quality newspapers. .. and I believe we're doing it today."
But the U-T may have to say goodbye to the days of winning Pulitzer Prizes.
According to the Beacon Journal, Moss told the Akron press club that "he is less interested in winning state or national awards for journalism than in adding circulation, which is a more important 'win' for the Beacon because it indicates reader satisfaction."
And here's a very interesting take on the Akron Beacon Journal's experience under Moss as a predictor of possible things to come in San Diego.