In fact, you have to wonder where the folks in Los Angeles have been for the past few years. O'Shea's the new guy, so he can't be faulted for the Times' Web site's ongoing failure to take a significant position in delivering news online. Some of the examples given in the story about the announcement—chronic failure to use the site to break news, comically meager staffing, "creaky" technology—really speak to a situation that's badly needed fixing for years.
Tribune Co.'s rocky stewardship over the paper and the site probably deserve some blame for the problems, but the Chicago Tribune site itself is very good, so it's not as if Tribune had no idea what it was doing. Some very good people have come and gone at latimes.com over the years, leading me to wonder if there was just some huge institutional/cultural problem, or simple lack of appreciation for the online medium, that has retarded latimes.com's development.
Whatever the reason, O'Shea is taking the right steps. I was skeptical when he was appointed that he'd sufficiently appreciate the need for radical change, but as the first major step in his tenure as editor, this is exactly the right move.
LA Times staffers will probably mock the Internet 101 classes that O'Shea is proposing, but they need to get with the program (and dragging them there may be O'Shea's biggest challenge). The future is on the Web and in other forms of electronic distribution. Countless newspapers have realized that in recent years and stepped up their online efforts accordingly. It's nice to see the the LA Times finally coming into the modern age.