Riordan’s L.A. Paper Shelved Til 2004

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(AP) A weekly newspaper backed by former Mayor Richard Riordan that was supposed to launch this year has been shelved until 2004, the paper’s creative director said Tuesday.

The release date of the Los Angeles Examiner has been pushed back several times as the paper’s staff and Riordan searched for investors and created a prototype.

Riordan also was preoccupied with the state’s recall election, in which he supported Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger, who recently tapped Riordan as the state’s new education secretary.

“He obviously still wants to move forward with this as he has the time and resources to do this,” said Eric Almendral, the paper’s creative director and a Riordan aide. “But it won’t be early 2004, I can tell you that much.”

Riordan did not immediately return a call for comment Tuesday.

Riordan wants to start a newspaper that would offer an alternative voice to the Los Angeles Times. In addition to the Times, the area is served by the Daily Newsof Woodland Hills and an alternative paper, the L.A. Weekly, plus dozens of ethnic papers and niche publications.

More than 30 people were hired part-time to build the Examiner but nearly all of them have taken other jobs, Almendral said.

He wouldn’t say whether Riordan’s new job would further delay the release date, but said Riordan would likely be an owner and contributor instead of following through on previous plans to be the paper’s editor-in-chief.

“We still need to hire a staff and secure all of the capital,” Almendral said. “The [release] date on our Web site has changed a few times.”

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