Jeff Light, who started as The San Diego Union-Tribune’s editor March 8, steps into a newsroom that’s roughly half the size it was four years ago.
Plummeting revenues forced cuts and more cuts, starting in 2006 and continuing through last year. Still more cuts are possible: A reorganization is scheduled this summer, though Light says no mass layoff is planned.
Light, a 49-year-old former Orange County Register vice president, continues the newspaper’s sharp break with tradition. Since early 2009, it has a new owner, a new publisher, and now, a new editor.
We sat down to talk with him about the Union-Tribune’s future, the planned newsroom reorganization, his not-so-interesting personal politics and his view of the famous editorial page.
There have been three personalities here that have had their own universe: David Copley as publisher, Karin Winner as editor and Bob Kittle as editorial page editor. Bob ended up as the face of the paper. Is that something you consciously work to shift?
I’d say no. There’s a lot of history here, and clearly that’s important. I don’t want to diminish the significance of any of that history. But I’m not a particular student of it. I want to be respectful of it, but that’s not the thing that’s shaping what I’m doing.