Hillary Manning, the VP of communications at the LA Times, issued a statement from the media company denying the Oregonian story and claiming it was based on “misinformation.”
“The Los Angeles Times did not and does not have a partnership with the Pac-12. An Oregonian story published in January 2019 included an excerpt from a memo to the Pac-12 from their PR agency which stated, incorrectly, that there was a partnership. The story published today has repeated that misinformation.
“In 2018, sales representatives from The Times did have conversations with representatives from the Pac-12 about a sponsorship deal, where revenue was intended to come from brands who were sponsors of the Pac-12. That ultimately did not materialize. Following those discussions, The Times sales staff did make a proposal directly to the Pac-12 that would have included advertising to run adjacent to coverage of the Pac-12.
“However, that proposal was not approved by Times management, given the potential for a perceived conflict of interest. The Times generated no revenue, nor was any payment made to The Times by the Pac-12 or anyone else related to these conversations. It was also made clear to all parties, throughout all discussions, that only the Los Angeles Times newsroom would have control over what the editorial content would be.”
The Oregonian story indicated a young staffer was a key to the alleged manipulation.