First, let me say that I want West magazine to flourish. I think it should be, and on some Sundays is, an important home for California-oriented journalism. Just today the magazine ran two quality pieces on the complex currents underlying a murder-suicide that left four members of an L.A. Korean family dead and the survivor a changed girl. I also admire Jill Greenberg, a photographer who I expect to share pages with next month, and political writer Jim Newton.
But come on. Long after the bean counters finally come for the money-losing magazine, readers will still be shaking their head about Sunday's layout — perhaps the oddest feature ever to run in the Los Angeles Times, and not in the good way. Yes, six pages devoted to studio portraits of
grizzly bears. In Calgary. That supposedly look, on each page, like a different governor of California. With serious mini-capsules of the men by poor Newton. "Politics Laid Bear," they call it (here's the note from editor from Rick Wartzman.) "Worst ever," my wife said. "Even worse than the fashion layouts."
Left to right, that's Earl Warren, Ronald Reagan, Jerry Brown, Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But then you probably knew that. Online gallery.
Meanwhile: The Times rolled out its new Sunday Calendar regime, and the Daily News responded to the Times' moving the TV book to Saturday by switching its own book to a tabloid and doing away with most movie listings.