Monday, November 21, 2005

L.A. Times Has Only 12 Pages in Section I This Morning

Determined to show how it is sinking under Tribune ownership, the Los Angeles Times has only 12 pages in its first section this morning.

And here we are in Thanksgiving week, the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, when it used to be under the Chandler family that the Times had several extra sections, known as goony bird sections, at this time of the year.

The New York Times Section I this morning is 26 pages.

I can just see the messages flowing from Dennis FitzSimmons' office in Chicago to Dean Baquet, editor of the Times: Prove to me again what a tiny paper you can put out. Here in Chicago, we like daily evidence of Los Angeles inferiority.

Some publications I read have their biggest issues of the year at this time. For instance, Time magazine runs 162 pages this week.

I was hoping, with the departure of Bob Sipchen from the Current section, the second (after Outdoors) he has mis-designed, to see immediate improvements in Current, which ought not to be difficult.

But Current this Sunday still had comics on Page 1, and little of interest. The Op-Ed Page too, under the new lineup of writers, has been very dull. Somehow, there has to be an infusion of some talent in the editorial pages, but so far we don't see it.

The New York Times' Week In Review section, distinguishes itself every Sunday. A highlight this week was Frank Rich's column, "One War Lost, Another to Go," in which he did have the good judgment to point out that if the U.S. bugs out of Iraq, as some Democrats want, it will still be at war in Afghanistan and with Osama bin Laden, who won't let us go that easily. Rich, though liberal, knows this is not parallel to Vietnam.

This is something the L.A. Times might search for -- a columnist who can see both sides of an issue and render things in suitable complexity.

The New York Times, however, does have its own one-dimensional Bob Scheer. He is columnist Paul Krugman.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's really such a shame what has happened to the LA Times.

Accuracy/bias really don't concern me as I feel it balances out over the long term. I think most reporters are dedicated to the story then to a ideological position.

But the gutting of the paper, and the lack of ingenuity behind the leadership makes me sick.

It's a real shame.

11/21/2005 1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's with the graphic overhaul of the Currents section and daily op-ed page? The paper's editors don't even find those big fat black horizontal lines inserted by the designer to be overdone?

If they can't deal with something as simple as that, then there's not much hope they'll deal with far more complex problems or miscues in the future.

11/21/2005 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't a New York Times/LA Times make a nice coast to coast alliance....

Say a prayer for the LA Times

11/21/2005 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is sad what is happening to the LA Times. It's even worse that such an important city as Los Angeles has two poor newspapers (Times/Daily News). Only 12 pages today, is why I've decided to cancel my subscript to the newspaper, and go with the NY Times.
To use the Chicago Tribune as a standard for what to acheive is also sad. Who will step up and buy the LA Times and save us from the Tribune Co.
(by former UPI Reporter/Editor)

11/22/2005 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken,

While I don't agree with about parallels to Vietnam, there are many, withdrawing from Iraq now would be a terrible mistake. And I oppossed the war from the start as a distraction from capturing bin Laden that was based on thin evidence. Horriffic as Hussein's regime was, it was not allied with al Queda.

11/22/2005 10:37 AM  

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