Monday, January 02, 2006

L.A. Times Sports Constricts Bowl Coverage, A Sign of Tribune Co.

Written from San Carlos, California --

The Los Angeles Times on Jan. 1 had a special sports section on the bowl games, but it was almost entirely restricted to the Rose Bowl, running article upon article on USC v. Texas, as if no other bowl game really counted.

But as a Notre Dame fan, I was bitterly disappointed that there was no article by a Times writer on the Fiesta Bowl, only the fifth time in the history of college football that Notre Dame has played Ohio State. (An article did appear in the Jan. 2 issue, however).

The series is tied two games to two. The 1935 game was one of the greatest games in history, when the Irish scored three times in the fourth quarter to come from behind and beat Ohio State 18-13.

But the main point I want to make is that, undoubtedly to save money, the LAT has kept most of its sportwriters at home this year, and provided precious little coverage of the other bowl games.

Always until this year, there was fairly extensive coverage of all Notre Dame games in the L.A. Times. This year, with coverage more and more constricted, sometimes there was only a single paragraph. And the Times doesn't write any more about Ivy League football at all.

This is a shame and a disgrace, and it is not the only way we notice, day by day, that the Times has cut back, also providing less coverage of the San Francisco Bay Area, the rest of California. etc.

It's not only the editorial pages that have been dumbed down.

The Times' consumer coverage has been poor for a long time, and now the Times doesn't even print the names of companies that are miscreants on many occasions.

We saw that yesterday when Steve Lopez told how $2,000 had been stolen out of his bank account, and how the bank wouldn't restore the money. But he wouldn't name the bank. He said it was because he didn't want to put unfair pressure on the bank as a columnist.

This is horseshit. A bank who refuses to reimburse a customer when $2,000 is stolen out of his account deserves to have public pressure put on it through bad publicity. The customers of that bank ought to withdraw their money and close their accounts and do what Lopez vows to do, move to another bank that is honest with its customers.

When Lopez won't name corporations that don't play fair with their customers, he is shortchanging the readers of the Times and it raises the question whether this was his choice, or the choice of cowardly editors afraid of losing their jobs if they offend the pro-business Tribune owners, which are quite simply a disgrace to the news business.

In the sports special bowl section, we don't see Notre Dame. And we don't find out the name of the bank who stole Lopez's money. It is indeed a dosgrace. amd mew signs, as 2006 begins, that the Times isn't the paper it once was.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, you mean 9-3 Notre Dame. The team that just got spanked by Ohio State. The team from Indiana, not California? Why would anyone want to read about ND? The bigger issue is why the Times ignored the blatant NCAA violations that USC is trying to sweep under the rug (recruiting dinners at a booster's restaurant). This story made the ESPN and CNN websites, among others, but was totally ignored in today's LA Times.

1/02/2006 6:03 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

Maybe because Sunday's L.A. Times already covered the USC story.

I'm from a Stanford and UCLA family, but this is a minor story.

Meanwhile, the Times did run a Notre Dame-Ohio State preview in the Jan. 1 special section - admittedly, by an AP writer.

1/02/2006 8:20 PM  
Blogger shelly sloan said...

Even more surprising, since Bill Dwyre, the Editor of the Sports Page is also a Domer.

In the old days, he would never even go to the Coliseum, even if the Touchdown Jesus' Boys were playing. Maybe all thse layoffs have scared some sense into his coconut.

1/03/2006 4:16 PM  

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