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'Times to lay off 300, consolidate sections' -- readers react

February 5, 2009 | 10:27 am

Dozens of Times readers have reacted to the story in Saturday's Business section that reported, "The Los Angeles Times announced plans Friday to lay off 300 people -- including 70 newsroom workers -- and fold its California section into the main news pages." Three letters to the editor were published on Tuesday in the opinion pages; below is a sampling of the other notes received.

(Here's a link to the memos sent to the staff by the publisher and editor on Friday.)

You are losing advertising dollars. I get it. But you have a loyal, captive audience of subscribers.  Those of us who have subscribed to your newspaper for decades. Try singing to the chorus. I can't speak for my fellow subscribers, but I would be willing to pay more for my subscription in order to keep my paper coming.  What do you need?   Another $10/month per subscriber?  Another $20/month?  Or is it just another $5.00/month?  You may want to ask us.  Right now, the paper is pretty cheap.
What do you say, other subscribers of the L.A. Times?  Wanna pay a little more and keep our paper? Bonnie Dale-Bannister
San Clemente

If you continue to reduce the paper’s ability to cover and report on important matters to California customers such as myself, and further diminish the California section by folding it into the main news pages, I will cancel my subscription since you will have eviscerated the paper sufficiently that it will no longer be a valuable source of print news.
Deborah Schwartz
Santa Barbara

You guys just don't get it.  The ONLY reason I read the LAT is for the local news.  Why?  Because that's the news I can't get from the online news services.  CNN, AP and the NYT are not covering our city council or Sacramento.  When there's a local hospital scandal, I turn to the LAT.  When the area is ravaged by fire, I turn to the LAT.  But I certainly don't need the LAT to find out what's going on in Washington -- dozens of other news sources do that. If you want to cut costs and serve the community, dump your foreign bureaus and Washington bureau and spend MORE resources on local news instead of dumping the California section.  I'll wait and see, but I may be dumping my subscription.
Bob Gale
Pacific Palisades

Can you at least setup the Main News/California section so the California section can be pulled out and handed to another reader? We read the paper at the same time each day and already fight over the sections.
Steven R. Odell
Huntington Beach

As a long-time L.A.Times home subscriber for the last 10 years I must protest your decision to get rid of the California section. It’s the first section I always go to when I read the paper. It has news that is relevant to me with local news that affects me personally. I expect my big headlines and national/world news from the front page. To mix the two is an injustice to both sections of the paper. This is a huge mistake. Please reconsider your decision.
Jennifer Vally
Los Angeles

Pretty soon I’m going to walk out of house to pick up the paper and all that I’ll find will be the string that holds it together.  I’ve been a faithful subscriber for at least as long as I’ve been married (23 years) and over the last two years this once great paper has been progressively gutted.
What kind of financial genius thought he could buy the business with nothing but debt and then expect it to survive, let alone be profitable.  Sam Zell should do what any responsible business owner would do and bring in his own money to right the ship without destroying it.
I thought I’d give you one reader’s perspective on the destruction of the paper.  I hope you have the guts to print the letter or others like it, I’m sure you have plenty to choose from.
Nato Flores
Sun Valley

For 50 years the L.A. Times has been my news source of choice.  As your retrenchment proceeds I find buying your newspaper to be unmerited. Certainly, the parent company is in financial distress and is milking every operation for savings. However there comes a point when cut backs result in a death spiral. The Tribune Corp. has reached that point when cutting to save money results in a disincentive for customers to buy. This is compounded by the increase in the street price by 50% to $0.75.  Why should I pay more for less? Your advertising will suffer with reduction in readership creating a greater loss in advertising revenue forcing more cutbacks.  Creating a better product not cutbacks may be the path to survival.   
John Gee
Monterey Park