Friday's L.A. Times could be more interesting than most *

For two reasons I'll be opening my Los Angeles Times early tomorrow. First, as Mark mentioned at LA Biz Observed, the newsroom has been plagued all day by technology failures that some blame on the Tribune publishing system the Times is required to use. Story editing has been delayed so I'll be interested to see what the paper finally looks like. But I'll open first to the Calendar section. A movie ad on the cover is said by one staffer to rival the recent King Kong section in bad journalistic taste. "It certainly qualifies as horrendous and to say the newsroom is dismayed and appalled is an understatement," says the source. When the Times first began selling space on Calendar's front, a policy was set that no movie ad would run in that prime spot on the day the movie opened. "That policy has now been blown to smithereens," says a newsroom source. Hmm, let's see. The paper has Friday reviews scheduled on "Despicable Me" (by Kenneth Turan) and "Predators" (by the Chicago Tribune) and ran Betsy Sharkey's review of "The Kids are All Right" in today's paper.

* And regarding theater coverage: "The shrinking of theater coverage at the Los Angeles Times has reached an ominous new phase," ex-LAT critic Don Shirley writes at LA Stage Blog. "Our supposed 'paper of record' has completely ignored recent or current productions at three of the larger nonprofit theaters in L.A. County." By the way, he pronounces the Daily News "a lost cause," even for the Valley's thriving theater scene.

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