Sunday, February 01, 2009
Changes at the Los Angeles Times
For every action there is a reaction. The announced action by Eddy Hartenstein to drop the stand-alone California section from the Los Angeles Times and move a portion of the content into the main section will result in the reaction by many to drop subscriptions.
Have to admit I’m left wondering if the goal is to eventually drop the print version of the newspaper? With the recent price increase for single copy sales from fifty cents to seventy-five cents, what was the effect of the price increase?
The men and women in Operations at the newspapers had one last hope before the ax fell, producing other newspapers within the walls of the Los Angeles Times, that hope quickly dissipated with the Tribune Company filing bankruptcy on December 8th, 2008.
The plan had the Los Angeles Times signing contracts to produce The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s after the union contract was signed, which all changed after the bankruptcy filing. The bankruptcy court allowed the Chicago Tribune to produce the Wall Street Journal, which gave everyone hope we too would be granted the same permission.
Other newspapers knocking on the door of the Los Angeles Times were the Korean Times, The New York Times, The Orange County Register, and the Dean Singleton newspapers such as the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
As the Times has dropped sections I have witnessed many press crews left idle, just last Wednesday three of the five press crews cleaned the presses as two crews printed the afternoon run since the Guide was placed online with no hard copy any longer.
With the space made available for moving the Calendar section into the sections of the main section and the classified section moving into the business section, there is no longer a need for an entire shift. This move will displace many in the Operations Departments, with everyone within the company pondering the impact, and how many will be leaving the newspaper in March from Operations?
As a direct result of not picking up extra work from other newspapers the Los Angeles Times is ripe for outsourcing production to Transcontinental, a Canadian Company that will soon take over all production from the San Francisco Chronicle in May of this year.
The question I am left with is not if we will be outsourced at the Los Angeles Times, it’s when will we be outsourced?