Reactions to 'Times' news

There's been a lot of email, blog and Facebook traffic reacting to my report this morning that the publisher of the Los Angeles Times overruled his editors and killed the local news section. The decision really seemed to kick up some outrage — and not a little sadness and resignation — among local news consumers. Believe me, it's as bad or worse for most of the journalists at the Times, who also got more layoff news. Here's a sampling of reaction:

  • City Council president Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Jan Perry sent letters to the Times, and Garcetti tonight started a Facebook group called Save the L.A. Times California Section that quickly attracted more than 100 members, among them people active in civic affairs.
    We need a dedicated section that focuses on the news of the Southland and the state of California. Cutting the section is the latest blow in cutting the coverage of our community.
  • Journalist and USC Annenberg teacher Celeste Fremon at Witness LA:

    I’ve subscribed faithfully to the LA Times for over 30 years and, with great regret, I just this minute cancelled my subscription....Like most break-ups, it hurts. But, while painful—as is always the case—finally doing the honest thing is a relief. And now I can respect myself in the morning.
  • Former planning commission chair Jane Usher, in an open letter:

    I write as a dumbstruck messenger. I don't have a game plan. No call to action. No strategy. But from my perch, the news must be spread and it is not good...I wonder who will remain to write the story. I don't like the sensation of utter impotence at the dismantling of the city's once premiere first amendment voice.
  • Veronique de Turenne at Native Intelligence:

    The frustrating thing is there's a better answer, an innovative answer, a choice that tweaks the traditional newspaper model and helps tell the real story of what's happening to us right now -- merge business and local news....A free-standing business section at this point in time is a head-in-the-sand luxury.
  • William Campbell at Metblogs: "I couldn’t call the paper’s customer service department and put an end to my 23 years as a subscriber fast enough."
  • Steve Mikulan at L.A. Daily: "L.A. Times to California: Drop Dead."
  • Patterico: "Pay more, get less. How can you pass up that deal?"
  • Romenesko commenter Jeff Prescott: "What a sad day for this (former) world champion newspaper."
  • Commenter at Times website: "So let me get this straight: here you have a newspaper that has no book review, has no opinion section, no real estate section, and soon to have no local/regional section, but for whatever reason, gives us the Image section?"

11:14 PM Friday, January 30 2009 • Link
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