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Times Mirror Company with Norman Chandler as Chairman - Los Angeles, California 1967  

Times Mirror Company with Norman Chandler as Chairman - Los Angeles, California 1967

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Beautiful certificate from the Times Mirror Company issued in 1967. This historic document was printed by Jeffries Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical man next to the company's logo. This item has the printed signature of the Company's Chairman, Norman Chandler and is over 40 years old.

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Norman Chandler (September 14, 1899 - October 20, 1973, both Los Angeles, California) was the publisher of the Los Angeles Times from 1945 to 1960, and largely responsible for the success of the newspaper.

Chandler attended Stanford, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. After graduation, Chandler started working at the newspaper as a secretary to his father, Harry Chandler, who had been its publisher since 1917. Norman Chandler became general manager in 1936, president in 1941 and at his father’s death in 1944, the third editor of the newspaper.

The Times prospered under Chandler, and gained national, as well as regional, prominence. In 1947 it became the largest-circulation newspaper in Los Angeles, and in 1961 the Sunday paper had a circulation of more than one million. Chandler retired as publisher in 1960, leaving the job to his son Otis Chandler, but remained as chairman of the board from 1961-1968.

His wife, Dorothy Buffum Chandler, led Los Angeles' cultural revitalization in the 50's and 60's , first with the restoration of the Hollywood Bowl, then with the construction of the downtown Music Center (the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, The Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson Theater).




The Los Angeles Times (also known as the LA Times) is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California and distributed throughout the Western United States. With a circulation of 843,432 readers per day as of September 2005, it is the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in the United States (after The New York Times). It was formerly the owner of the KTTV television station.

The Times has won 37 Pulitzer Prizes through 2004; this includes four in editorial cartooning, and one each in spot news reporting for the 1965 Watts riots and the 1992 Los Angeles riots. In 2004, the paper won five prizes, which was the second-most by any paper in one year (the first was The New York Times in 2002).

According to the 2007 World Almanac, the Los Angeles Times is the third-most widely distributed newspaper in the United States

The paper was first published as the Los Angeles Daily Times on December 4, 1881, but soon went bankrupt. The paper's printer, the Mirror Company, took over the newspaper and installed former Union Army lieutenant colonel Harrison Gray Otis as an editor. Otis made the paper a financial success. In 1884, he bought out the newspaper and printing company to form the Times-Mirror Company.

Historian Andrew Rolle calls Otis "the single most important force in Los Angeles aside from government itself." Otis's editorial policy was based on civic boosterism, extolling the virtues of Los Angeles and promoting its growth. Towards those ends, the paper supported efforts to expand the city's water supply by acquiring the watershed of the Owens Valley, an effort (slightly) fictionalized in the Roman Polanski movie Chinatown which is also covered in California Water Wars. Otis also was staunchly Republican, which was reflected in the paper's editorial and news content.

Rubble of the Times building after the bombingThe efforts of the Times to fight local unions led to the October 1, 1910 bombing of its headquarters and the home of Otis, killing 21 people. Two union leaders, James and Joseph McNamara, were charged with the murders. The American Federation of Labor hired noted trial attorney Clarence Darrow to represent the brothers, who eventually pleaded guilty, although supporters then (and since) believed the two men were framed. The paper soon relocated to the Times Building, a Los Angeles landmark.

On Otis's death in 1917, his son-in-law Harry Chandler took over the reins as publisher of the Times. Harry Chandler was succeeded in 1944 by his son, Norman Chandler, who ran the paper during the rapid growth of post-war Los Angeles. Norman's wife, heiress and fellow Stanford alum Dorothy Buffum Chandler, became active in civic affairs and led the effort to build the Los Angeles Music Center, whose main concert hall was named the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in her honor. Family members are buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery near Paramount Studios. The site also includes a memorial to the Times building bombing victims.

The fourth generation of family publishers, Otis Chandler, held that position from 1960 to 1980. Otis Chandler sought legitimacy and recognition for his family's paper, often forgotten in the power centers of the Northeastern United States due to its geographic and cultural distance. He sought to remake the paper in the model of the nation's most respected newspapers, notably The New York Times and Washington Post. Believing that the newsroom was "the heartbeat of the business" (according to McDougal's biography), Otis Chandler increased the size and pay of the reporting staff and expanded its national and international reporting. In 1962, the paper joined with the Washington Post to form the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service to syndicate articles from both papers for other news organizations.

During the 1960s, the paper won four Pulitzer Prizes, more than its previous nine decades combined.

The paper's early history and subsequent transformation was chronicled in a (decidedly) unauthorized history Thinking Big (1977), and was one of four organizations profiled in The Powers That Be. It has also been the subject of at least eight dissertations by social science Ph.D. students in the University of California system.

Modern era

LA Times building, May 2006, featuring green "125 Years" banners, at 1st and Spring, downtown Los AngelesThe Los Angeles Times paid circulation figures have decreased since the mid-1990s. It has recently been unable to pass the 1 million mark that was easily achieved in earlier decades. Part of the reason for the circulation drop may be from the actions of a succession of short-lived editors. They were appointed by publisher Mark Willes, who took the paper in controversial directions after Otis Chandler relinquished day-to-day control in 1995 (McDougal, Privileged Son). Willes, the former president of General Mills, was criticized for his lack of understanding of the newspaper business, and was derisively referred to by reporters and editors as Captain Crunch. The credibility of the Times suffered greatly when it was revealed in 1999 that a revenue-sharing arrangement was in place between the Times and Staples Center in the preparation of a 168-page magazine about the opening of the sports arena. The magazine's editors and writers were not informed of the agreement, which breached the "Chinese wall" that traditionally has separated advertising from journalistic functions at American newspapers. Willes also had not prevented advertisers from pressuring reporters in other sections of the newspaper to write stories favorable to their point of view. [1]

Other possible reasons for the circulation drop include an increase in the single copy price from 25 cents to 50 cents, the rise in readers preferring to read the online version instead of the hard copy, and a perception by some readers that the Times is either too liberal or too conservative for their tastes.

In 2000, the Times-Mirror Company was purchased by the Tribune Company of Chicago, Illinois, ending one of the final examples of a family-controlled metropolitan daily newspaper in the U.S. (The New York Times, The Seattle Times, and others remain). John Carroll, former editor of the Baltimore Sun, was brought in to restore the luster of the newspaper.

However, as online readership rises and circulation numbers decline, parent company Tribune has been putting pressure to cut costs. Dean Baquet replaced John Carroll, who refused to impose the cutbacks mandated by Tribune. Subsequently, Baquet was himself ousted - as was publisher Jeffrey Johnson - and replaced by James O'Shea of the Chicago Tribune.

The paper's content and design style has been overhauled several times in recent years in attempts to help increase circulation. In 2000, a major change more closely organized the news sections (related news was put closer together) and changed the "Local" section to the "California" section with more extensive coverage. Another major change in 2005 saw the Sunday "Opinion" section retitled the Sunday "Current" section, with a radical change in its presentation and columnists featured. There are regular cross-promotions with co-owned KTLA to bring evening news viewers into the Times fold.

Michael Kinsley was hired as the Opinion and Editorial (Op-Ed) Editor in April 2004 to help improve the quality of the opinion pieces. His role was controversial, as he forced writers to take a more decisive stance on issues. In 2005, he created a Wikitorial, the first Wiki by a major news organization. Although it failed, readers could combine forces to produce their own editorial pieces. He resigned later that year.

On November 12, 2005, new Op-Ed Editor Andre Martinez shook things up by announcing the firing of leftist op-ed columnist Robert Scheer and conservative editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez, replacing the two with a more diversified lineup of regular columnists. The change was not well-received by liberal readers, many of whom accused the newspaper of trying to silence liberal voices and remove controversial writers.

The Times has also come under controversy for its decision to drop the weekday edition of the Garfield comic strip in 2005, in favor of a hipper comic strip Brevity, while retaining the Sunday edition. Garfield was dropped altogether shortly thereafter. [4]

In early 2006, The Times closed its San Fernando Valley printing plant, leaving press operations at the Olympic Plant and Orange County. Also in 2006, the Times announced its circulation at 851,532, down 5.4% from 2005. The Times's loss of circulation is the highest out of the top ten newspapers in the U.S. [5]. Despite this recent circulation decline, many in the media industry have lauded the newspaper's effort to decrease its reliance on 'other-paid' circulation in favor of building its 'individually-paid' circulation base - which showed a marginal increase in the most recent circulation audit. This distinction reflects the difference between, for example, copies distributed to hotel guests free of charge (other-paid) versus subscriptions and single-copy sales (individually-paid).

Despite GOP's defeat in the 06 mid-term Elections, an Opinion piece published on November 19, 2006 by Joshua Muravchick, a leading Neoconservative and a resident scholar at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, titled BOMB IRAN shocked the readers, including over a million Iranian Americans of California, with its hawkish overtures in support of more unilateral action by the United States, this time against Iran. [6]

After leaving the BBC and moving back to California, Danny Sullivan started working in the graphics department of The Orange County Register, and the Los Angeles Times. Danny Sullivan is now the chief content officer and partner of Third Door Media, a search related company.

Iraq hoax story

In the September 17, 1990 a front-page story in the Los Angeles Times gave a harrowing report of the atrocities being committed by the Iraqi troops occupying Kuwait: "In one case, refugees reported that incubators for premature babies were confiscated by Iraqi troops and the babies inside were piled on the floor and left to die."

On October 10 a 15-year-old girl calling herself "Nayirah" told a U.S. congressional caucus: "I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the children to die on the cold floor." Excerpts of Nayirah's address ended up on Larry King Live.

President George H.W. Bush cited the incubator claim at least 10 times in his successful attempt to rally Americans and prospective allies to war against Iraq.

The incubator story was proved later to be clearly a hoax. ABC reporter John Martin and The Nation columnist Alexander Cockburn showed in February 1991 that the incubator stories were fabricated, and Nayirah al-Sabah, in truth the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador, was working with public relations giant Hill & Knowlton to agitate for a U.S. war against Iraq.

By the mid-1940s, the Los Angeles Times was the leading newspaper in terms of sales in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. After World War II, it launched The Mirror an afternoon tabloid to compete with Hearst's Herald-Express. The Mirror absorbed The Los Angeles Daily News in 1954 and ceased publication in 1962, when The Herald-Express was merged with the morning Los Angeles Examiner.

In 1989, its last rival for the Los Angeles daily newspaper market, The Los Angeles Herald Examiner, went out of business, making Los Angeles nominally a one-newspaper city. However, in the suburban neighborhoods of the San Fernando Valley, The Times still competed with The Valley News and Greensheet, which later renamed itself The Daily News of Los Angeles to compete with the Times. The L.A. Times has an Orange County edition (with its own printing presses and editorial staff) that competes with the Santa Ana based The Orange County Register. La Opinión, a Spanish language daily newspaper previously owned by The Times for several years in the 1990s, also sells many papers.

Outside of the city of Los Angeles proper, The Times also competes against several smaller daily papers in nearby Southern California cities. Examples include The Long Beach Press-Telegram, The Daily Breeze (South Bay), The Ventura County Star, The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, and The Pasadena Star-News.

In the 1990s, the Los Angeles Times attempted to publish various editions catering to far flung areas. Editions included a Ventura County edition, an Inland Empire edition, a San Diego County edition, and a "National Edition" that was distributed to Washington, D.C. and the San Francisco Bay Area. The National Edition was closed in December 2004. Of these, only the Inland Empire and Ventura County editions remains, although nearby areas such as Bakersfield, Las Vegas, Barstow and Needles still sell the Times in selected newsstands.

Some of these editions were folded in to Our Times, a group of community newspapers included in home delivery and newsstand editions of the regular Los Angeles Metro newspaper. Our Times was also founded in Santa Monica, due to the closure of the long time Outlook newspaper.

Today, remnants of Our Times are the Times Community Newspapers that are inserted on a regular basis in some areas of the Los Angeles Times. Times Community Newspapers are primarily independent local newspapers that were purchased by the Los Angeles Times during its expansion phase, but have a large enough readership and advertiser base to be continued. These include the News Press in Glendale, the Leader in Burbank (and surrounding areas), the Sun in La Crescenta and surrounding regions, the Daily Pilot in Newport Beach and surrounding cities, and the Independent in Huntington Beach.

Among its current staff are sports columnists Bill Plaschke and J. A. Adande, who are also panelists on ESPN's Around the Horn. T.J. Simers also writes for the Times and used to appear on the show. The Times also has Helene Elliott, the first female sportswriter to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and Robert Hillburn and Randy Lewis, two of the best-known pop music critics in America.

One of the Times' best-known columns is "Column One," a feature that appears daily on the front page to the left-hand side. Established in September 1968, it is a place for the weird and the interesting; in the How Far Can a Piano Fly? (a compilation of Column One stories) introduction, Patt Morrison writes that the column's purpose is to elicit a "Gee, that's interesting, I didn't know that" type of reaction.

The Times also embarks on a number of investigative journalism pieces, researching and dissecting a certain scandal or unfavored part of society. A series in December 2004 on the King-Drew Medical Center led to a Pulitzer Prize and a more thorough coverage of the hospital's troubled history. Most recently, journalist Steve Lopez wrote a five-part series on the civic and humanitarian disgrace of Los Angeles' Skid Row.

History from Wikipedia and OldCompanyResearch.com.

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