Friday, August 25, 2006

A Dream About The Future of the L.A. Times, If Tribune Stays In Control

Unlike most dreams, I remember the one I had last night. It was about the future of the L.A. Times in the next two years, if the Tribune Co. stays in control.

Oct. 1, 2006 -- Ads go on Page 1.

Oct. 15, 2006 -- In anger at Bush Administration, Editorial pages editor Andres Martinez announces all references to Republicans will be excised from those pages.

Nov. 7, 2006 -- Sports box scores are dropped. Readers advised to find them on-line.

Nov. 15, 2006 -- Movie listings dropped in TV Times

Dec. 25, 2006 -- Movie listings dropped in Calendar.

March 1, 2007 -- Circulation dips to 600,000, half what it was when Tribune took over.

March 13, 2007 -- Half the editorial staff is laid off.

March 18, 2007 -- Food section dropped.

May 1, 2007 -- Health section dropped.

May 7, 2007 -- Business section dropped. Notice in the Times says those subscribers still interested in business can find it on-line in the Chicago Tribune.

May 15, 2007 -- Sports section folded into California section.

May 23, 2007 -- Editorials dropped. Those two pages devoted to ads.

May 25, 2007 -- Obituaries dropped, since, notice says, "Deaths in California are no longer viewed by the editors as consequential."

May 27, 2007 -- Pension system for employees dropped as unaffordable. Two employees say they would commit suicide, but without obituaries, it would not be noticed.

June 1, 2007 -- Ads take over entire California section. Local news and sports moved to Section 1.

June 8, 2007 -- Steve Lopez and Tim Rutten fired for insubordination. They go to work for Wendy McCaw in Santa Barbara, proclaiming she is better than Tribune management.

June 10, 2007 -- Nick Goldberg quits as Op-Ed Page editor, takes job with Los Angeles Muslim Public Affairs Center.

June 15, 2007 -- Subscribers class-Action lawsuit seeks injunction against further cut-backs at the Times. Tribune lawyers get suit transferred to Chicago on grounds the Times no longer has a substantial interest in Los Angeles, where the suit is quickly dismissed.

July 15, 2007 -- Calendar section is dropped. Without the movie listings, Tribune says there is no longer any advertising support for it. John Nontorio quits, joins Lopez and Rutten at the Santa Barbara News-Press.

Aug. 1, 2007 -- Section A drops back to six pages, but summary pages are kept. Headlines transferred to bottom of Page 1, and ads lead the paper.

Sept. 15, 2007 -- Circulation drops to 100,000 in new report. Tribune stock price declines to $1.75. Some Chandler family members, their stock dividends having vanished, are revealed to be living homeless in skid row in a Lopez column in the Santa Barbara paper.

Dec. 25, 2007 -- FitzSimons closes the paper, announces Times building will be converted to condominiums. Rest of staff dismissed without severance. Only editor Dean Baquet to stay on in a sales office at one-quarter his previous salary.

Jan. 15, 2008 -- Tribune announces decision to blow up Times-Mirror building, since condo sales lag.

Feb. 1, 2008 -- Vacant Times property sold to Wendy McCaw. Presses from Olympic printing plant are moved to Chicago, and that plant becomes a SUV assembly line. Initial sales are low, since gas prices in L.A. have hit $10 a gallon.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alas, hard times ahead for the Times! Perhaps that's divine reTRIBution for writing sniggering, snotty obits "just like they have in London" (as explained by the blowsy bimbos who write 'em)

8/30/2006 5:02 AM  

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