McManus of ‘LAT’ After ‘NYT’ Hires Baquet: ‘We’ll Just Go Out and Kick Their Ass’

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By: E&P Staff

It was tough enough for many staffers at the Los Angeles Times to see their editor, Dean Baquet, shoved out last year. Now they face having to compete against him, with the announcement today that he will soon be the new Washington chief for The New York Times.

Here is a memo sent to staff today by the L.A. Times’ bureau chief in D.C. Doyle McManus, first posted on Romenesko. He not only strongly criticizes the Times as an “often unpleasant place to work,” he also promises to “kick their ass.” Woo-hoo.

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I am sorry to say we have lost Dean Baquet to the New York Times — right here in Washington. Dean told people it was becoming clear that settling the ownership vacuum at the LA Times is likely to take several months or more; while his first choice was to return, he just didn’t think he had the time and patience to wait around.

How will we compete against a NY Times bureau led by someone as formidable as Dean? To be high-minded about it, a good, competitive NY Times bureau is good for journalism as a whole. To be low-minded about it, well, it will still be the NY Times, still encumbered by that paper’s institutional weaknesses and still, even with Dean on the premises, an often unpleasant place to work.

To be more concise about it — and to quote one of our most incisive newsroom philosophers — we’ll just go out and kick their ass. We’ve done it before; we can do it again. In fact, it should be fun.

Bests,
Doyle

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