LA's incredible shrinking Sunday newspaper *

lat-front-71413.jpgAn LA Observed reader who has been watching the Los Angeles Times for decades — some of that time from sensitive perches inside the building — began this morning by bringing in the two Sunday papers he gets: the LA Times and the New York Times. He stripped out the advertising supplements that are stuffed into the wrappers and sorted the papers into piles, to begin his reading. He was surprised to see how little actual editorial product the LAT delivered on its share of dead trees: "I was struck this morning that the pile was the thinnest in my memory." He did some math:

Including full page ads in the sections, today's LAT gave readers just 60 pages of editorial content. Two of the sections — Travel and Image — were at the 8-page minimum for a press run. By contrast, the Sunday NYT, which anybody in the LAT circulation area can have home delivered, had 110 pages of broad sheet editorial, plus a 58-page magazine and a 28-page book review. In other words, they gave readers 196 pages of total editorial content — or 136 more than the LAT.

The gap is growing bigger, not smaller.

Meanwhile, the LA Times lost one of its Pulitzer Prize-winning writers last week. Ken Weiss, who won the Pulitzer in explanatory reporting in 2007 as the lead reporter on the Altered Oceans series, sent a note around the newsroom on Friday:

From: Weiss, Ken
Sent: Friday, July 12, 2013 7:23 PM
Subject: Paddling out


Today is my last day at the LA Times, my dear, beloved hometown newspaper. It’s been a helluva ride over the past 23 years. Many great adventures and a few lulls, too. Mostly it’s been tremendous fun. The best part is the camaraderie in the lineup. Our newsroom has long attracted the cleverest, the most agile, most resilient people in the business. I’ll be hooting for your continued success from just up the coast.


* Added: Weiss tweeted Monday that he will still write for the Times but will be focused on turning his last big project for the paper, Beyond 7 Billion, into a book.

Also this programming note: Friday on KCRW I chatted with host Steve Chiotakis and Gustavo Arellano of the OC Weekly about the somewhat differing paths of the Times the OC Register. Listen

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