L.A. Times publisher John Puerner tells the L.A. Business Journal that subscription cancellations have slowed to a trickle and that some readers who quit over the Schwarzenegger groping stories have come back. Puerner says he's not too worried about the fuss, but neither would he spill the numbers. [Earlier on L.A. Observed: 1,000...2,000+]
"Its not a material amount, Puerner said. The cancellations represent less than 1 percent of our current subscriber base."
"I knew the stories could be controversial," Puerner said, dismissing criticism that the paper unfairly targeted Schwarzenegger. "Some of the other candidates had long political records that had been reported on over time. There was virtually no reporting about (Schwarzenegger) in the way in which major political candidates are covered."
Newspaper analyst John Morton backs up the idea that the number of lost subs is relatively minor to a paper with such a large reader base -- and with as much everyday turnover or "churn" as the LAT has. The story by Darrell Satzman is in the October 20 issue. Last word in the story goes to Bryce Nelson, a former L.A. Times writer who is on the journalism faculty at USC.
"I think it enhanced the reputation of the paper to produce a hard-hitting story that others werent taking seriously...Its never a popular thing to point out defects in a popular political figure."
LABJ reporter RiShawn Biddle also has changed his blog domain. He's now here.