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Mixed reception

August 23, 2008

Re "DirecTV pioneer to take Times reins," Aug.16

Bravo! The Times hits it out of the ballpark by naming Eddy Hartenstein as publisher. I worked with Eddy for years at Hughes Electronics, and he is a rare leader.

Just as The Times faces a paradigm shift because of the Internet and digital media, Hughes, as an aerospace company, faced a paradigm shift with the end of the Cold War. Eddy constantly reminded us that we could not cost-cut our way to prosperity. Rather, it would take development and expenditures into new ventures, such as DirecTV, to guarantee our continued success.

I am a 45-year subscriber, and with Eddy at the helm, I now predict a bright future to go along with the proud past of The Times.

James B. Woods

Huntington Beach

So Tribune hires its fourth publisher for the Los Angeles Times in just eight years, this time a former satellite-TV executive with absolutely zero experience in journalism or newspapers.

Sounds sensible to me. I think that the next time I need a skilled electrician, I'll call a plumber. And when my house is going up in flames, forget the fire department. I'll call an interior decorator instead.

This hire is another indicator of where The Times is headed: downward. Our once-great newspaper is evidently viewed by its owners as nothing more than a business and an investment.

Funny that I and others in Southern California thought we were reading a "news-paper." How do you install a top guy who has no experience in an organization's type of work? Because he's a nice guy and a capable bean counter? I'm sure that kind of logic works every day, in all kinds of hiring decisions, at companies everywhere.

Yeah, right.

Dennis Hall

Cypress

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