You may have heard the L.A. Times is cutting not only 150 jobs in its newsroom, but 15 percent of its pages. The Guide and Highway 1 are goners, with more sections and pages likely to get the heave-ho, according to the LA Observed blog.
Gazing into my crystal ball, I predict the Times, in its quest to cut pages without harming itself, will have no choice but to drop its Pomona coverage.
Granted, based on stories so far in 2008, that will free up…what? Maybe five column inches per month? I’m a pretty thorough reader and what with a Home feature on a garden, a Calendar piece on an art show, a California feature on the mayor and a couple of other news stories, Pomona has been the subject of perhaps five stories, plus a few briefs, through all of this year.
And this has actually been a good year for Pomona by Times standards. The L.A. County Fair is usually good for one story and maybe a standalone photo. Sometimes that and a couple of briefs is all Pomona gets in a year.
So, it’s safe to say the fifth-largest city in L.A. County can be ignored without readers even noticing the difference.
As for what else the Times can cut, any mention of the 909, from Riverside to La Verne, could also go. I read the so-called Inland Empire Edition and it’s a rarity to have any Inland Empire news in it. Drop whatever there is, mostly obits of Claremont artists, and you’ve freed up, oh, two more pages per year, maybe three.
After that, Times, you’re on your own. What do I look like, your Innovation Editor?
(Completely seriously: Speaking as a devoted Times reader, 150 jobs is a lot to lose. You could put out an entire newspaper with 150 people. The Daily Bulletin, at its peak, had around 120 newsroom positions, and now it’s more like 50, a number of whom are shared with the San Bernardino Sun. So the cuts are in no way a good thing.)