The Press: Chandler's Change of Heart

When Los Angeles Times Publisher Otis Chandler summoned his Washington bureau chief to the home office last summer and installed him as an associate editor, nobody doubted that highly regarded Robert J. Donovan was being groomed to become the paper's editor. But last week Donovan was preparing to return to Washington as a Times columnist. Metropolitan Editor William F. Thomas, 47, had been unexpectedly tapped for the top job.

Chandler insisted that Thomas had been in the running for the job all along. But some Times staffers said Donovan, 58, had simply not proved tough enough to take on the administrative headaches...

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