Ex-LA Times Columnist Tim Rutten Hired by LA Daily News

Tim Rutten was laid off in August 2011 for what he implied was ageism but what others said involved errors in his stories

Last Updated: December 14, 2012 @ 12:32 PM

Tim Rutten, the Los Angeles Times Op-Ed columnist laid off last year, has been hired by the Los Angeles Daily News to opine on Southern California current affairs.

Los Angeles Daily NewsThe Daily News, part of the Los Angeles News Group, announced the addition of Rutten on Friday. 

He will write a regular Sunday opinion column, beginning this weekend. The  column also will appear on the websites for the news group's other eight newspapers.

Rutten spent nearly 40 year as a reporter and editor at the Times. He was laid off in August 2011.

Also read: Tim Rutten: Did Errors, Not Ageism, Contribute to His L.A. Times Pink Slip?

“Whatever the merits of your work, to be older and to be collecting a relatively large paycheck was to have a kind of target on your back,” Rutten said on KPCC’s now-defunct “The Madeleine Brand Show" after his layoff.

That explanation rankled some in the Times newsroom, who say that careless factual errors contributed to his ouster.

An op-ed piece about the political novel "O: A Presidential Novel" in February 2011 was apparently the worst transgression: His citing of two passages that did not appear in the book but appeared in a parody story on the Guardian's website reportedly prompted a disciplinary review and Rutten's removal from writing book reviews even though the piece was not part of the book coverage.

The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg uncovered the error.

At the time, Rutten told TheWrap that the "O" mistake was not among the reasons cited for why he was let go from the paper.

"No mention of that correction or of anything connected to it was made to me when I was laid off," Rutten said. "I was simply told that I was being laid off because they were asked to make serious cuts in the department, and that’s the only explanation that I was given.”

Over his long career, Rutten collected a series of awards including the Anti-Defamation League's Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize, the American Civil Liberties Union's Defender of the First Amendment Prize, and the Los Angeles County Criminal Courts Bar Association's Journalism Excellence Award.