Writer-producer Stu Kreisman has taken the Los Angeles Times for three decades, and he knows the paper still has some top writers. But management decisions to dilute the paper got to him — after leafing through Sunday's edition he dropped the LAT and signed up for the New York Times. He writes at the Huffington Post:
It was pathetic. The Sunday Los Angeles Times, which used to take a minimum of two hours to read, took me nineteen minutes today....
Did I feel guilty canceling the local paper? Sure. I'm cutting off a once vital link to my city. But did the Tribune Company feel guilty when they slashed the budgets and destroyed a grand and powerful cornerstone of the city? I doubt it. I simply cannot justify paying the money they charge for such an inferior product.
It's a huge reality facing newspapers and especially the LAT: how to hold on to your customers, let alone attract new ones, when they feel your product is inferior and growing moreso with every cost-cutting maneuver. Unfortunately. There are probably five editors and a publisher over there right now thinking to themselves, huffily, "what about this story and this story and..." Doesn't work anymore. Unfortunately.
The HuffPost comments are fairly brutal too, though this was a favorite: "Cheer up. I'm stuck with the Daily Oklahoman."