Word swept through the Los Angeles Times newsroom today that managers were directed to prepare lists ranking staffers by level of talent then turn in the lists by tonight, a day early — amid talk that the number of layoffs may grow beyond the 150 in the newsroom (250 overall) announced last week. There's also talk that the Thursday Guide section will become a web-only publication, the auto section Highway One will merge into Business, and other sections could fold. Unconfirmed, but widely believed in the newsroom, like with the reported move of Books into Calendar and of Sunday Opinion into the front section.
Tonight on "Which Way, L.A.?" on KCRW: Under the provocative title Does Los Angeles need the Times?, Warren Olney talks about the coming cuts and the paper's condition with Emma Schafer, whose email complaint to LA Observed about the Times caught the show's attention, with LAT editor Russ Stanton, and with Marc Cooper and Patrick Frey, the two critics of the LAT who are debating the paper on its own website's Dust Up feature this week. Airs at 7 pm at 89.9 FM.
* Redux: Stanton was also on Warren Olney's national show To The Point, talking about the fate of newspapers with former LAT editor John Carroll, media reporter Richard Perez-Pena of the New York Times, analyst-blogger Ken Doctor and Internet culture critic Lee Siegel.