Email from Michael Kinsley to friends and colleagues at the Los Angeles Times today:
From: Michael Kinsley
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Subject: local news
Hi. In case you haven’t heard already, the Publisher is announcing this morning that I’m leaving the Los Angeles Times. The news stories a few weeks ago saying that I would be giving up managerial duties but staying with the paper were not wrong. That is what I wanted and what John Carroll wanted too. But Jeff wants a “clean break.” He did offer to discuss at some future date the possibility of my continuing to write a column as a non-employee. And he raised the possibility of some consulting on web matters down the road.
This did not seem overly welcoming, and further inquiries by me and others have made clear that it wasn’t intended to. For whatever reason, Jeff isn’t merely uninterested in any future contribution I might make, but actively wants me gone. So I’m off, with some regret and some excitement, to the Washington Post, duties TBD but including the column. I hope it will continue to appear in the LA Times as well, but that is beyond my control.
I’m sorry this has ended on a bitter note. I’ve loved my brief time at the Los Angeles Times. I’ve learned a l lot, and made (I hope) some friends for life. Even the frustrations have been fascinating frustrations. And I think I’ve done some good for the paper, though others may not agree. The LA Times has some of the nicest people and finest journalists I’ve ever worked with, starting at the top with Dean. And even Jeff will have to give me credit for bringing in Andres. I expect great things from him, and from you.
Reading last Sunday’s excellent Current section, put out while Bob was on vacation, it struck me that one test of an editor is how could his or per product is when he or she is not around. That is one way to measure the strength of an editor’s vision and the quality of the people he or she has chosen to work with. Sipchen passes the test with flying colors. I’m counting on all of you to help me pass it too, starting now.