Times reinvents the index — again

Remember this spring when the Los Angeles Times announced with some fanfare that it was devoting three staffers, two front-section pages and some design energy to giving readers a brighter and zippier index to inside stories on A2 and A3? At the time, the editors called it a "major readership initiative." Well, scratch one major initiative. They're calling it off due to space considerations. The newsroom memo from managing editors Doug Frantz and Leo Wolinsky and page-one editor John Arthur follows.

We are changing pages A2 and A3 this week.

A2 will revert to a more conventional look at the day's news in all sections. Joe Hutchinson has come up with an inviting new design for this page, which will continue to carry the corrections and the super index of features throughout the paper.

A3 will become a display page for Foreign news, as it was before, although the ads will stay on the page. This change is good for Foreign and allows us to make the most of the news hole in the A Section.

The A2-A3 briefing package enjoyed a short but well-done run. Credit the designers, plus Mike Young, the editor, and writers Andy Malcolm, Brian Hanrahan and freelancer Ellen Alperstein -- and a cast of helpful visiting writers -- for giving people a very readable guide to some of the best material in the paper every day. Features stories in particular got a great ride on A3. Unfortunately, space considerations have forced a second look at the concept. We are talking with Mike, Andy and Brian about how best to use their talents at the paper.


Doug, Leo and John A

Actually I'm pretty sure that Alperstein is not a freelancer but a part-time staffer of many years.

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