Otis Chandler: Man of the Times
Newspapers are facing significant challenges as readers and advertisers shift to the Internet. As circulation declines and media company stock prices plunge, management, publishers and stockholders face critical decisions. In 2007 the Tribune Company, parent of the Los Angeles Times, offered its 11 newspapers and 25 TV stations for sale. Three billionaires and certain members of the Chandler family expressed an interest in acquiring the the Los Angeles Times, one of the nation's premier papers. However, on April 2nd the Tribune Company announced its acceptance of an offer by Samuel Zell, a Chicago mogul, to buy the Los Angeles paper and other assets. Zell subsequently converted the the Los Angeles Times into a private company. The Washington Post rued the Zell acquisition, calling him the â€œHuman Wrecking Ballâ€? of the Los Angeles Times. One wonders if this would have come to pass had Otis Chandler remained in control of the paper, or had passed the publisher's crown to his sons with the same conviction his own father, Norman Chandler, had when he pressed 32-year-old Otis into service 50 years earlier.