Magazine article Editor & Publisher

L.A.: It Isn't Best of 'Our Times'

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

L.A.: It Isn't Best of 'Our Times'

Article excerpt

170 blue over pink slips at 'L.A. Times'

Citing their failure to make money, the Los Angeles Times last week stopped publishing 14 "Our Times" community news sections. The decision, plus a restructuring of the advertising staff, will cut 170 jobs.

"Our Times" is the latest initiative that the Tribune Co. has scrapped since it completed its purchase of L.A. Times parent Times Mirror Co. for $8 billion in June. Earlier this year, Tribune revised downward the L.A. Times' latest circulation figures in applying the same measuring standards for all its newspapers.

In a research note, PaineWebber analyst Leland Westerfield predicted a decline in the L.A. Times' circulation in September that curiously could boost profitability by improving the marginal revenue productivity of its core readership and reducing promotional costs.

The community sections were part of former Publisher Mark H. Willes' answer to the challenge of building circulation in a geographically and ethnically diverse region. But his replacement, John Puerner, said the 2-year-old effort failed to attract readers and advertisers to make them financially successful.

The L.A. Times said the paper would focus its resources on its four editions -- Los Angeles, Orange County, San Fernando Valley, and Ventura County -- with plans to strengthen them in the coming months. …

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