Today's Times Op-Ed column by Erin Aubry Kaplan will be one of her last. She has been told that her services will no longer be required come April, along with two other columnists whose identities she doesn't know. "I have 4 more columns to go and that's it. Rather sudden. I'm disappointed but not very surprised, given the state of the Trib," she tells LA Observed. "They said they were cutting 2 others, but not sure who." Kaplan began in 2005 as part of the last Op-Ed shuffle, the one that accompanied the exit of Robert Scheer.
Some juggling of columnists could accompany the likely move of Sunday's Current section to Saturday and switch to a tabloid format (and merger with the Book Review.) It looks now like that format switch will lock both Current and the Book Review into eight weekly pages each — eight tabloid-sized pages, meaning a reduction in content for both sections. And of course, a smaller print audience due to inclusion in the Saturday paper.
Noted: Last night's "Frontline," which pitted Times publisher David Hiller against ex-editor Dean Baquet, is online at PBS.org. Everyone I've heard from declares Baquet the winner in a knockout.
Further noted: The Los Angeles magazine story on the Times that I posted about last week is now online, along with an editor's note from Kit Rachlis, himself a former LAT senior editor: "I worked at the Los Angeles Times from 1994 to 2000, and watching what’s occurred there in the past few years—massive job cuts, a severe decline in circulation, distant owners (the Tribune Company) insistent on obscenely high profit margins—has filled me with sadness."