LAT Publisher Eddy Hartenstein is not exactly known for public comments, but his decision to run an L-shaped NBC ad on the front page is causing a firestorm in the newsroom. There's talk he might even address the troops. Meantime, a petition is making its way around the paper that protests the ad, which is in the form of a fake news story (different type and an "Advertisement" notation at the top). As Kevin noted at LAO, the original ad was going to be a reverse-L that ran the entire sixth column, the spot traditionally reserved for the lead story. Seniors editors complained, and for a while it appeared as if Hartenstein would relent. From what I understand, the truncated ad - changed to an L-shape and moved to the bottom half of the page - was inserted late last night, so lots of folks were surprised when they picked up the paper this morning. All this is bound to be compared with the Staples scandal 10 years ago, but keep in mind that in 1999 the paper wasn't desperate for cash. Apparently, year-to-date ad revenues are even worse than last year - and that was pretty bad.
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