Los Angeles Times of 1999 compared to 2015

repoters-notebook.jpgClick to view bigger.

Patricia Marroquin, a former Los Angeles Times editor now the communications director for the UC Santa Barbara graduate division, posted one of her old LAT reporter notebooks on Facebook for Throwback Thursday. She thinks it dates from about 1999, which is the year that the Tribune Company of Chicago swooped in to buy the Times away from the Chandler family (with plenty of help from people named Chandler.)

"On the inside cover are some 'fun' facts," Marroquin posts. A selection:

  • "More than 1,000 staff members -- editors, reporters and photographers -- make up the L.A. Times' editorial staff."
  • "With a daily circulation of more than 1 million, the L.A. Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the U.S. It also has the largest Sunday circulation in the country -- more than 1.3 million."
  • "The daily paper weighs about 1.5 pounds and the Sunday L.A. Times weighs about 5 pounds."
  • "The L.A. Times has more news bureaus than any other newspaper in the West -- 22 foreign and 17 in the United States."
  • "The Los Angeles Times publishes regional daily editions serving Los Angeles, Orange County, San Fernando Valley and Ventura County. The Los Angeles Times National Edition was launched in 1998."
  • "The Los Angeles Times Web site is the best source of Southern California news and information on the Internet. The free site is at"
  • "The LA Times has received 24 Pulitzer Prizes for journalistic excellence."

It has been a stressful week for the staff of the Times, even for those who weren't buying the patter that Austin Beutner was selling before his firing on Tuesday. This should not be viewed as piling on, but since the notebook went online today, and there may be some readers who don't appreciate how much has changed, let's annotate a bit with the reality of 2015.

  • The editorial staff is right around 500 — many of them younger, less experienced journalists slotted into new digital roles. A newsroom-wide buyout offer is expected any day that will further reduce the size and experience level of the staff.
  • The average daily print circulation of the Times was about 370,000 last year. The LAT long ago lost the title of "largest metropolitan daily in the U.S."
  • The page count (and paid ad count) in the daily printed Times that lands on my driveway each morning is the smallest in my lifetime. At least one paper this summer totaled just 42 pages. You would measure the printed LA Times these days in ounces, not pounds.
  • On its website tonight, the Times lists six staffed foreign bureaus and seven national bureaus. There also are reporters in Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego, Fresno and Orange County.
  • None of those regional editions exist any longer. The national edition is also long gone.
  • News runs first on the web, and while is not a very well designed website I assume that's where most Times readers first see a story these days. By one index, the LAT is the 15th most popular news site and #7 among sites connected to a newspaper.
  • The total Pulitzer Prizes won by the Times is up to 43, including two more this year.

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