New Cutbacks At The Sick Old Chicago Tribune
This sorry bunch of losers and slackers always has one thing in mind: What can they do to give the readers less.
The Tribune's books section carried an announcement that as of Jan. 22, it will become a tabloid. This will have less space than the Tribune's old book review section, and thought was also given to moving the section to Saturday from Sunday. That would have produced 400,000 fewer copies, but it turned out it would have cost Tribune more, because of contracts with distributors requiring it to pay them extra to stuff another section into the Saturday paper.
Meanwhile, while the L.A. Times editorial pages has fuzzed up its stand on the reactionary Bush Supreme Court nominee, Samuel Alito, the Tribune, more openly lining up with Bush, is all for him.
"Plenty of critics fault Alito for his judicial philosophy," said the Tribune in an editorial endorsing him even before Senate hearings on his nomination began. "When it comes to his qualifications, though, Alito is about as good as nominees get." The Tribune lauded his intelligence, diligence, civility and intellectual honesty.
I imagine Times editorial pages editor Andres Martinez and Chicago-toadying L.A. Times publisher Jeffrey Johnson will further alter their views. They already endorsed John Roberts for the Supreme Court, and on the assisted suicide decision last week, where was Roberts? Right there with Scalia and Thomas, a new rightwing axis on the High Court.
A commentary on the Tribune by Hot Type, a Chicago press commentary, asked:
"Which story would you read? Sun-times, front page, January 4: 'Ryan to O'Malley: Expletive Deleted." Tribune, page one Metro, same day: "Ryan reply was curt, jury told."
This is par for the course. The Tribune is a stodgy paper, poorly, unexcitedly written. Had its directors been smart, they would have folded the Tribune coverage under L.A. Times supervision long ago, moved the company's headquarters to Los Angeles and tried to forget they ever published a Chicago paper.
But, no, they go on with further cutbacks in all the papers purchased in 2000 from Times-Mirror. And on Kevin Roderick's L.A. Observed blog today, there's a brief item saying that Times revenues continues to lag behind that of the Chicago Tribune, perhaps presaging further cutbacks at the Times.
I begin a round-the-world trip today, and will be filing periodically from India and New Zealand for the next month.