LA Times, Chicago Tribune merge foreign operations
With their parent company in bankruptcy, the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune have announced plans to combine their foreign reporting operations.
The editors of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, which are owned by the Chicago-based Tribune Co, made the announcement in separate memos to their staffs on Tuesday.
"The Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times are unifying their foreign reporting operations into a single organization to serve all Tribune newspapers," Chicago Tribune editor Gerould Kern wrote.
Kern said the joint operation will be "run from Los Angeles, where most of the foreign reporting and editing staff is based."
"The Chicago Tribune will work with the Times on a daily basis to shape coverage priorities," he added.
The editors did not provide details about the reorganisation but Kern said "the foreign operation will consist of correspondents placed strategically around the globe, including some from the Chicago Tribune."
The Chicago Tribune currently has reporters in five cities abroad -- Beirut, Islamabad, London, Mexico City and Moscow -- while the Los Angeles Times has 15 -- circling the globe from Baghdad to London to Seoul.
Foreign editor Bruce Wallace stressed that the Los Angeles Times would remain committed to providing foreign coverage.
"You need a critical mass of people to do it and we'll have that, which is important," he told AFP. "The commitment to doing it is strong.
"That commitment's important because many papers have simply gotten out of the business of doing (foreign reporting)," he said. "We still believe it's a pillar of the place."
Faced with a steep drop in print advertising revenue and steadily declining circulation, US newspapers have been cutting back on their foreign reporting, closing bureaus and focusing more on local coverage and the Web.