There has been a range of reaction to the coming shrinkage of the Los Angeles Times, from horror and sadness to something close to glee from conservative haters of the paper. But even the bashers get that this won't be like retooling an aging baseball team — this is all about doing less, with less, and hoping the reputation doesn't suffer too much. Variety's Brian Lowry writes: "The cutbacks will almost certainly require the Times...to make tough choices about coverage priorities....Thus far, Zell's team has possessed few answers to Tribune's problems other than to continue slashing away at them, while seeking to maximize the value of the company's real estate."
Around some blogs:
Marc Cooper, MarcCooper.com: "There's plenty to criticize about the Times. But spend a few days trying to read just about any other newspaper -- apart from the NYTimes, WaPo, WSJ and one or two others -- and you soon realize what an impressive institution the L.A. paper
is has been."
'InkStainedRetch," TellZell.com: "I don't know how we survive this round looking anything like the LA Times of the past: a full-throated, aggressive, local, national and international newspaper."
Patrick Frey, Patterico: "As always, I see these changes as resulting primarily from the challenge posed by the Internet, and not from a loss of readership due to bias. I ask commenters not to gloat.."
Jon Weisman, Dodger Thoughts blogger and editor at Variety: "I can't believe [the Los Angeles Times] is simply dissolving like the Wicked Witch....You will never convince me that there isn't a market, even in the New Media age, for quality journalism. If the Times was inconsistent, it was also capable of greatness each and every day. But it is dying, really dying, and in desperate need of an intervention. The slide of the Times is like watching a druggie's descent into hell...It's absolutely unbelievable."
Rafat Ali, PaidContent.org: "The most troubled big newspaper in U.S....This is among the biggest such cuts announced by any major market U.S. newspaper in recent history."
Hugh Hewitt, TownHall.com: "The Los Angeles Times fades to black....Once you drive a paper so far to the left that its news is no longer trusted, you can't rebuild the brand, period."
Edward Champion, Reluctant Habits: "This is terrible."
John C Abell, Wired.com Epicenter: "The good news, if there is any, is that as part of the shrinking process the LATimes will finally merge the print and online staffs."
Rick Moore, HolyCoast.com: "I'm guessing the first to go will be their very few conservative columnists."
Bill Quick, Daily Pundit: "The ever more rapid and obvious circling of the drain on the part of the LAT fills me with glee and mounting anticipation of its inevitable demise."
XWL, Immodest Proposals: "For every 'good' person losing their job in this cutback, there will be a dozen people who probably should never have been in the news or opinion business in the first place."
Also: The email to LA Observed includes a news junkie's lament — City Hall and public affairs hand Emma Schafer has dropped her long-time subscription. Author John Shannon isn't happy either.