Book Review merger a done deal

An L.A. Times press release announces several reductions in the value of what the paper give its dwindling readership — oops, I mean "editorial changes designed to meet the evolving needs of readers, users and advertisers." First up is the April 15 merging of two Los Angeles institutions, the standalone Book Review section and Current, which will revert to its old name of Opinion. Smarter minds did prevail on one point and the section will run on Sundays instead of Saturdays. Since the most important thing about book reviews is big pictures, the release emphasizes that "the redesigned BOOK REVIEW will be more visual, featuring portraiture and enhanced photography." Also, many book reviews will now appear daily in Calendar and other sections.

Other changes:

* will have stronger presence and become a valuable one-stop resource incorporating book store-search ability, book-related event and lecture listings, as well as easy to find book news and reviews by The Times writers and contributors.

* Interactive Editorial Pages content will be available online at, including web-only columns, online debates about the week's news, chats with Times columnists and others, and a lively blog updated throughout the day by The Times editorial board

* The SUNDAY BUSINESS Section will take on a "Your Money" focus beginning April 15, part of Business' ongoing day-of-the-week themed strategy that includes Small Business on Wednesday and International Trade on Saturday.

* Sunday CALENDAR's comprehensive TV coverage expands with the addition of a new "TV This Week" page, which will include a "Critic's Pick" as well as Monday-Sunday recommendations and discoveries to help readers plan their viewing.

Buried in the release is the news that the weekly TV book will stop appearing after April 8. The release characterizes the changes as proactive improvements "to remain relevant and vital to our readers." Do any readers feel better served by any of these? (A two-page house ad in the A section Sunday showed the new Book/Opinion tabloid and seemed to picked a curious pair of LAT 'names" to promote: Publisher David Hiller and Editor Jim O'Shea.)

Trib has downsized books before
Merged 'Book Review' could be unpopular
LAT Book Review in for a change

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