Former 'Tribune' Managing Editor James O'Shea on Randy Michaels, cost-cutting and more from 'The Deal From Hell'

August 22, 2011

"The Internet and declining circulations didn’t kill newspapers, any more than long stories, skimpy attention spans or arrogant journalists did. What is killing a system that brings reliably edited news and information to readers’ doorsteps every morning for less than a cup of coffee is the way the people who have run the industry have reacted to those forces."

That's the central thesis of James O'Shea's The Deal From Hell: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers

O'Shea is a former managing editor of the Chicago Tribune and a former editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times, so, no surprise, the "Great American Newspapers" he spends most time discussing all belong to the Tribune Co. It's a mixture of solid reportage, personal reflection and opinion, and, well, he doesn't hold anything back.

Have a look at O'Shea discuss the book — including the Tribune-Times Mirror "merger," Randy Michaels and how newspapers can still succeed — on this month's Interview Show.

(Please note: There is some material not fit for family newspapers in this interview — mostly involving Michaels.)

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