Online UpdateJeff Johnson Resigns as Publisher of the Los Angeles Times

The Tribune Co. asked Los Angeles Times Publisher Jeffrey M. Johnson to resign Thursday, a month after he defied the conglomerate’s demands for what he considered potentially damaging staff cuts, the newspaper reported on its Web site.

In its story, the newspaper reported that Tribune Publishing President Scott C. Smith was expected to announce that David Hiller, publisher of the Chicago Tribune, would immediately replace Johnson as chief executive at the 125-year-old newspaper.

Hiller was expected to ask Times Editor Dean Baquet to stay, despite the editor’s own protests against further job cuts by the newspaper’s Chicago-based parent corporation, the newspaper said.

Late last month, Tribune announced it would study the possible sale or breakup of the corporation, which owns the Chicago Tribune, KTLA-TV Channel 5, baseball’s Chicago Cubs and other TV stations and newspapers. Tribune bought the Los Angeles-based Times-Mirror Co. in 2000.