Friday, July 13, 2007

Front Page Ads Coming to L.A. Times

Some weeks back it dawned on me that there was occasionally something unusual about the front of the L.A. Times Sports and Calendar sections -- roughly 2-and-a-half-inch ads running across the bottom of the page.

Now comes word that the L.A. Times will also be selling inch-and-a-half ad space across the bottom of Page One.

The publisher, David Hiller, acknowledges that "readers are turned off by ads in inconvenient places" but is forging ahead nonetheless, as the second quarter of this year saw revenue down another 10% and cash flow down 27%.

But does Hiller really want to do something that turns off increasingly scarce readers?

Hiller assures his staff that such ads are "common at reputable papers across the U.S. and in Europe."

It's pathetic to see how far the L.A. Times is falling, but considering how biased their news coverage has become and how resolutely they refuse to address that issue, they certainly deserve it.

I continue to subscribe as I have a low-low rate, and a lifetime of reading the Times sports section at breakfast is a hard habit to break. :)

The paper has become amazingly thin over the past year. At the rate they keep shrinking the sports section, as well as moving sports coverage online, there may not be a sports section left to subscribe to in another year.


Blogger Dana said...

I'm not clear on why Hiller, et al, will not consider the very real possibility that the reason readership is down (and revenue) is that they put out a crappy paper. Patterico, as well as all of us who read it (online), have seen the glaring errors, inaccuracies, biases, etc.

One would think that the LATs doesn't think too highly of its readers' intelligence...

7:42 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I attribute it to institutional arrogance and the "echo chamber" effect -- since so many in the media, including at the Times, are liberal, they are blind to their own biases and poor reporting, even when meticulously pointed out over and over again by someone like Patterico.

I think looking down at the reader and wanting to "educate" the readers on how to think, rather than providing news, is another reason for their persistence in the status quo, which is leading to the paper's rapid downfall.

Best wishes,

7:50 PM  
Blogger UGN said...

I have a friend with whom I used to work at the Long Beach Press-Telegram, and he is still in the biz with the OC Register. I saw him last weekend and he is hoping that newspapers can last at least another 20 years until he retires. It is the only job he has known, so I can understand his hope that print media survives. He isn't feeling too confident though, because he tells me that more and more the internet version is taking priority over the print version. It would be a shame to see the daily newspaper go the way of the typewriter, but I only read online versions myself.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Very interesting insight from someone on the newspaper "front lines," thanks for sharing that.

Best wishes,

4:13 PM  

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