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'Heavy heart' about the L.A. Times

 I have followed with a really heavy heart the machinations at the LA Times in recent months. This is a paper that I have read for 40+ years. As a young man in the 1960’s, growing up in Orange County, in Yorba Linda of all places, the birthplace of Richard Nixon, the LA Times was the only paper allowed in our home. My parents viewed the Register as something akin to bird cage lining.

Two things patently obvious from what has occurred so far:

One, it can only get worse from here. The current crop of managers at the Times is a group of individuals who simply lack any semblance of managerial integrity.

Two, the LA Times as we knew it, as we read it, will never, ever again be what it was. This paper is doomed to become a superficial, transparent ad rag that is viewed as nothing more than a cash cow by its owners.

Long diatribes and gnashing of the teeth are pointless. The only punishment that will truly be tangible and convey the point is through our wallets. I for one now buy the NY Times at Starbucks for only a dollar a day. If I had to equate or compare the content value of the two newspapers on a monetary basis, the LA Times is worth about a dime to that buck I happily kick out for the NY Times.

Writing this now, I am struck by the recent memory of an item here on LA Observed noting that one of the LAT’s principle investors out of Chicago, (please excuse me, I forget his name or firm), had stated that there is no reason for the Times to have national or international news coverage, but instead should focus on local and regional news. The actions subsequent to that item clearly show that the management of the newspaper has been duly influenced and is aggressively acting to respond to this investor’s vision of how the paper should look. The promotional campaigns and other various undertakings to promote, re-introduce and otherwise positively portray the new course that has been set for the LA Times is a sad joke and a telling example of how far a once great paper has fallen.

John Herbert
Yorba Linda

 Once again disappointed to see the LA Times gutting its staff. Though I haven't made a conscious effort to stop reading, what once was a daily must has turned into a once or twice a week read. Each time, I find myself wondering why I bothered. The paper gets thinner and thinner every day, and what IS in there lacks depth and breadth. Yesterday they even printed a photo of a fellow body boarding that had clearly been downloaded (in low resolution) off a commercial website and blown up to a fuzzy blur. They're even skimping on this stuff?

By the way, I'm 38. Am I too old for their target demo too?

Scott Reardon

May 28, 2007 11:20 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor

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