L.A. Times Editor Departing

The move comes after a dispute with parent company Tribune led to the ouster of the paper's publisher.
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Updated from 5:55 p.m. EST

The editor of the

Los Angeles Times

, who publicly rebelled against staff reductions at the newspaper ordered by its owner,

Tribune

(TRB)

, was forced out of his job on Tuesday, according to media reports.

The departure of Dean Baquet comes a month after Tribune ousted the newspaper's publisher, Jeff Johnson, and replaced him with David Hiller, the former publisher of the

Chicago Tribune

. Both Baquet and Johnson had resisted pressure from Tribune management to cut jobs at the paper.

Baquet said earlier that he had stayed on in hopes that he could work with the newspaper's new publisher, but conditions have apparently changed.

Separately, late Tuesday, the

Los Angeles Times

said that it has named newspaper veteran James O'Shea to succeed Baquet as editor, effective Nov. 13.

O'Shea, who is the managing editor of the

Chicago Tribune

, will also become executive vice president. Baquet will be leaving the paper on Friday, the

Times

said.

Hiller called O'Shea a "journalist's journalist," praised his efforts "to re-invent how the newsroom operates in the new 24/7 multi-channel environment" at the

Tribune

and said that O'Shea "will not miss a beat in leading similar efforts here at the

Times

."

Additionally, the publisher thanked Baquet for his leadership during the past six years, calling him a "great editor and journalist. But, after considerable discussion during the past several weeks, Dean and I concluded that we have significant differences on the future direction of the

Times

."

His departure is likely to fuel ill will between the

Los Angeles Times

and its parent company, which is in the midst of exploring strategic alternatives such as a sale of the company or

some of its assets.

Meanwhile, music mogul David Geffen and supermarket tycoon Ron Burkle have reportedly expressed interest in buying the

Los Angeles Times

, which is currently Tribune's marquee news gatherer. Other local business interests in L.A. have voiced concern about Tribune's personnel cuts in the newspaper's editorial staff.

O'Shea joined the

Tribune

staff in 1979 after working as a reporter, editor and Washington correspondent for the

Des Moines Register

. He has won several journalism awards and has written two books.

Shares of Tribune closed down 62 cents, or 1.9%, to $31.62.