Genocide controversy leads Los Angeles Times Managing Editor to resign

Genocide controversy leads Los Angeles Times Managing Editor to resign

Douglas FrantzAfter escalating criticism from the Armenian American community for his role in obstructing an article on the Armenian Genocide this April and his discriminatory behavior against Armenian American reporters, Los Angeles Times Managing Editor Douglas Frantz has resigned effective July 6th and will be returning to Istanbul, reported the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR).


This past April Frantz ?killed? a story on the Armenian Genocide that was written by Armenian American Los Angeles Times reporter Mark Arax. Frantz had erroneously accused Arax (who recently left the paper) of having a ?conflict of interest? regarding reporting on the Armenian Genocide and had also circumvented the standard editorial process for reviewing articles. A subsequent internal investigation by the Times deemed Frantz?s accusations to be completely baseless.


This past April, the ANCA led a grassroots campaign to raise awareness regarding Frantz?s actions. Over 5,000 activists responded to an ANCA action alert and sent emails and letters calling for Frantz?s resignation. In addition, the ANCA-WR, California Courier Publisher Harut Sassounian and other community representatives met with the publisher and senior Los Angeles Times management on multiple occasions during the last several months to convey the community?s outrage regarding Frantz?s discriminatory actions.


?Doug Frantz?s resignation from the Los Angeles Times is an appropriate answer to his unprofessional behavior and anti-Armenian posture in the newsroom,? remarked ANCA-WR Board member Zanku Armenian. ?The Los Angeles Times is a fine newspaper and deserves better than to have a genocide denier as a member of its senior staff. The fact that Frantz is returning to Istanbul tells the full story of where he stands.? he added.


Frantz?s activities and pro-Turkish positions have been monitored over the course of his many assignments at different newspapers and most recently in May when he moderated a panel in Istanbul that featured a well-known genocide denier. The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) worked with a coalition of individuals to bring to light the situation that had developed at the Los Angeles Times after Frantz more overtly revealed his anti-Armenian position with his actions against Mark Arax. Sassounian had highlighted the Frantz controversy in several columns that appeared in the California Courier and a host of other news websites. Sassounian was also instrumental in bringing to light Frantz?s involvement in the May conference held in Istanbul.


Source: Website of the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region, 30 June 2007



“Los Angeles Times” staff writer Roger Vincent writes about the same subject from the viewpoint of his publication


Managing Editor to leave The Times


Douglas Frantz will lead the Wall Street Journal's Middle East bureau.


Managing Editor Douglas Frantz will leave The Times to become Middle East bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal, he announced Thursday.


The former foreign correspondent served nearly two years as one of the paper's top editors. “I felt like I had done as much as I could in this job. My true love is reporting and writing,” said Frantz, who in his new position will be based in Istanbul, Turkey, his home for many years before moving to Los Angeles.


His last day will be July 6.


Frantz, 57, worked for The Times from 1987 to 1993 as a business reporter and investigative reporter in the Washington bureau. After a stint at the New York Times, he returned in 2003 as an investigative reporter based in Istanbul. He became managing editor in October 2005.


“This is a great newspaper filled with great people,” he said. “I'm sure it will continue to pursue excellence in journalism. I'm sorry I won't be around.”


Times Editor James E. O'Shea called Frantz “a solid leader, guiding the editorial department through some troubled and rugged days. He is an extraordinary journalist and a dedicated editor who cares deeply about the newspaper and the staff.”


The Times has been roiled by management turmoil in recent years.


O'Shea is the paper's fourth editor since 2000, when Tribune Co. bought it as part of its acquisition of Times Mirror Co. The paper has struggled along with the entire industry as advertising revenue and readership have declined.


Tribune has agreed to be taken private in a pending deal led by investor Sam Zell.


Frantz's replacement will be named shortly, O'Shea said. “I'll be focusing my attention on existing staff. We have plenty of good candidates.”


Frantz recently was embroiled in an emotionally charged personnel issue. A group of Armenian Americans called for Frantz's ouster after he blocked the publication of an article on the Armenian genocide of the early 20th century. Frantz said the story's author, Times reporter Mark Arax, who is of Armenian descent, could not be objective about the topic. Arax objected and resigned this month.


Frantz said he wasn't leaving because of the controversy.


Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Marcus Brauchli said Frantz was offered the job after top executives reviewed his handling of the Armenian story. He called Frantz “a journalist of great distinction and talent.”


Frantz is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. He was recognized for a Los Angeles Times series chronicling the arming of Iraq before the 1991 Persian Gulf War and for a New York Times series on the Church of Scientology.