Over at Los Angeles Magazine, L.A. Observed‘s Kevin Roderick tells the tale of Baquet and Carroll. Everyone pretty much knows the basic contours of this story by now, but like ‘King Kong’ or ‘On Top of Old Smokey’ there’s always room for another rendition, and the article does include some detail about the level of budget-cutting the Tribune Co. is looking for at the LAT:
[Publisher Jeffrey Johnson] wonâ€™t divulge the corporation’s financial targets, but Gene Roberts, Carroll’s mentor, says of the threatened cuts, “The conversations have all been in the five-to-ten-million-dollar range.” If true, that would carve a significant slice out of an annual news-gathering budget that totals about $110 million. Baquet says that the inevitable wounds will sting but won’t threaten vital organs. To minimize the damage, he has commissioned an “end-to-end” study of how the news-gathering staff spends time and money, everything from how many copy editors are needed to the best ways to operate bureaus. If it’s cheaper and smarter for national and foreign correspondents to work in home offices, Baquet says he may consider the idea. “I don’t think we’re looking at massive cuts,” he says, “but first I want to know what can be cut without hurting the newsroom.”
So. Five to ten million dollars. Could be worse, I guess. But it doesn’t sound pretty.