Aside from the threat of editorial staff reductions at the L.A. Times, there has already been a cutback on the business side that has a personal effect. After more than two decades, Los Angeles Times Books has been told to cancel all books it has in the works, except one (on the UCLA-USC sports rivalry) that is too far along to halt. This includes my book on Wilshire Boulevard and its significant role in the history and present-day image of Los Angeles. The book is written, edited, fact-checked and photo edited, but didn't quite get on the presses before the axe fell. Where the manuscript and the LATB backlist — including my first book, The San Fernando Valley: America's Suburb, still selling well in a second edition — will land is more than a tad unclear at this point. Publishers or agents with thoughts on that are encouraged to get in touch with me.
This also means L.A. Observed is losing L.A. Times Books as a sponsor. Potential sponsors who want to grab the prominent ad spots at the top of the page should contact me for more information. L.A. Observed is read daily by more than 2,500 journalists, writers, political types and others keenly interested in Los Angeles, media and books. The site typically receives more than 30,000 hits every weekday, sometimes twice that number. And since it's been a long time since I've mentioned this, here's a friendly reminder that the small amount of advertising I allow here does not cover the expense of updating the blog. Readers who wish to support L.A. Observed may enter a voluntary subscription through the Paypal button in the right-hand column.