By Michael Schneider's figuring, the Los Angeles Times was pretty much alone in not splashing the conviction of Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky across the paper's Saturday front page. The news happened early by newspaper West Coast newspaper standards: 7 p.m. Plenty of time for the Daily News, Daily Breeze, Bakersfield Californian, Oakland Tribune, Sacramento Bee and even the Fresno friggin' Bee to go big with the nation's biggest news story. At the Los Angeles Times, the story landed on the inside LATExtra section, at least in some papers. Because, remember, the LAT decided in 2010 that its readers didn't want their biggest news on the front and a dedicated local news section inside, like when the Times had a circulation of a million-plus — they now wanted page one to display lesser news and any "late news" no matter how big shoveled into an inside section.
The suits branded the inside section as something "extra," but it hasn't turned out that way. Most days it's just the secondary news that occurred the previous day, or features, plus maybe a late-breaking story.
The other reason for the change, you may recall: the Times opted to slide its news deadline earlier than most if not all other big papers, to save money and maybe sell room on the presses to competitors, as Schneider suggests. The earlier deadlines are the reason the Times' Sunday papers routinely miss Saturday night games.
Who can forget that the paper's former longtime senior editor, Noel Greenwood, scoffed at the flackery that the LATExtra section was an innovation, or that the brand name the paper chose belonged to a British fetish magazine?
Today's print edition of the Times, by the way, was down to 40 pages — that's everything, including the bare-minimum 12-page front news section.