LAT Book Review in for a change *

Newsroom sources at the Times expect the Sunday Book Review will be folded into a new hybrid opinion section and delivered in Saturday papers. The new section that some staffers have seen would be tabloid-sized, with the favored format apparently using dual front pages like the New York City tabs. A reader could pick up the section and begin with the book pages, or flip to the back page — then rotate the whole section 180 degrees — to begin with the opinion pieces. Books fans and readers looking for opinion would both get a section front to draw them in, but those who like to browse through from front to back could be annoyed at having to rotate mid-way through. (I haven't seen the prototype so I can't tell if it's as bush league as it sounds.) Apparently the opinion portion would run without editorials or letters. Some believe the revamp has already received bean-counter approval to launch after the Times Festival of Books in April — it just wouldn't do to have the rookie publisher and editor jeered at the paper's biggest (by far) community event.

Separately: I spoke on a UCLA Extension panel last night with Times website VP Rob Barrett, who added to the lore of that failed wikitorial experiment from the Michael Kinsley era. I don't think it was widely known that the graphic photos used to deface the site were of child porn or that the hosting server was turned over to the FBI. BTW, Barrett and I did not speak about the Book Review. [*Note: I'm advised, not by Barrett, that no hardware was turned over but that the Times did voluntarily report the incident to the feds due to the graphic nature of the image(s).]


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