LOS ANGELES: The dispute between Los Angeles Times journalists and the newspaper's owners, Tribune Group, over swingeing job cuts has escalated after a 300-signature petition was delivered to the company's directors yesterday (Thursday).

The petition backs editor Dean Baquet and publisher Jeffrey Johnson, who are refusing to lay off more staff for fear of damaging editorial quality.

Tribune has been approached by several wealthy Los Angelenos interested in acquiring the title, in the belief it would fare better under local ownership.

The company, however, is adamant that the Times' best interests lie with its management.

Comments former editor John Carroll: "It's obviously a very tense situation." He believes the newsroom protest "may put more pressure on them to sell, or it may put pressure on them to crack down".

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff