Chicago Tribune, LA Times form international cooperative

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Posted by on March 24, 2009 at 19:44:13:

Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times form international cooperative

The Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times are consolidating their international reporting operations into a single unit, serving all Tribune Co. newspapers in the fashion of the companyís recently unified Washington bureau.

Both newspapers "have rich traditions in foreign reporting reaching back more than a century," Chicago Tribune Editor Gerould W. Kern said Tuesday in a memo to staff about the new arrangement, which he developed with Los Angeles Times Editor Russ Stanton. "This new association will uphold that legacy."

The precise scope of the cooperative, to be run from Los Angeles, was not specified in terms of personnel and locales.

Kern's note said correspondents, including some from the Chicago Tribune, would be "placed strategically around the globe," and those from the Tribune currently abroad but not included in the new set-up would be offered positions back in Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune will continue to send reporters around the world for special projects that "connect our readers with the world at large and explore subjects of special relevance to Chicago," Kern wrote.

"Our chief mission is to provide the most comprehensive and relevant news report about the Chicago region, in print and online," he wrote. "At a time when there is more competition than ever for local audiences, we must bring people news and information that is unique and valuable. The new foreign operation will help us use our resources more effectively to succeed in the future."

Tribune Co. in November consolidated the Washington newsgathering resources of its various newspapers into a single operation in a bid to coordinate news coverage and content sharing in the nationís capital, as well as to rein in costs. The Chicago Tribune's Kerry Luft was placed in charge of the bureau in February.

Since February, the Chicago Tribune also has provided other Tribune Co. papers with a daily package of global and national news. Kern's note said, "The new foreign report will be part of the mix."

The international coverage also will continue to be distributed by the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service, Stanton said in a memo to Times staff.

"The current global turmoil demands that we continue to provide lively journalism that explains, enlightens and entertains existing readers and new audiences alike," Stanton wrote. "The new Tribune foreign operation will meet that challenge."

(Phil Rosenthal, Chicago Tribune)

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