After hearing complaints from readers about last week's tweaking of the paper, Los Angeles Times editors have stopped printing the crossword puzzle on a fold, returned the British pound to the foreign currencies list, and resumed listing daytime TV movies. Apparently the readers also asked that the Times stop covering the Clippers. Saturday night's home game — start time 7:30, as usual — was missing from Sunday's Sports section. A story did get onto the web, meaning that paying customers got no story on the home team playing at Staples Center, but freeloaders did. "Not very promising for extra-innings Dodger games," a Times writer emailed. Well, it's worse than that. Even nine inning games tend to end later than the Clippers game did.
Until hearing otherwise, we'll assume the issue was the deadline crunch created when the Times moved most cutoff times earlier to economize on press runs. The LATExtra section was created to catch late stuff in among the local news stories, but it doesn't print on Sundays. There was worry in Sports from the get-go about Saturday night games, and it appears warranted. Meanwhile, Times news boxes now exclaim "Later deadlines," apparently a disingenuous reference to LATExtra. The Times' new readers' representative, the title given to an editor assigned to defuse complaints, contends the new section "has been received mostly well by readers, although there was some confusion over its content."
Begs to differ: Ron Olsen, who as a Channel 5 reporter was often stationed at the Times building to get an early look at the night's stories, is upset enough about the latest changes that he blogs:
Somewhere out there, there has to be someone sitting on a pile of money big enough to rescue this paper. Someone who can buy it, lock, stock and presses, and then give it back to journalism and Southern California.
Clippers photo from ESPN / Kevin Reece - Icon SMI