Secret Meeting Dooms Times

By T.J. Simers

Patrick, Patrick, Patrick!

Your newspaper hasn’t told all reporters yet, but it plans to commit suicide.

The editors were informed Thursday that the newspapers’ deadline to submit stories for publication will be 6 p.m. in the future when they have to shift to new presses. They got rid of their own.

When I wrote for the Times, my deadline was 10:45, Plaschke could take that to 11 for a playoff game or USC contest.

The editors were also told to condition readers to the change, thereby removing Major League box scores from the newspaper beginning around this season’s All-Star break.

They attempted to do that once before more than a decade ago but an outcry from readers forced them to reconsider.

On the bright side, Patrick, I don’t think that will happen because there just aren’t that many subscribers.

Back in the days when the newspaper had more heft in size and community impact the circulations on Sundays exceeded 1.5 million and the rest of the week it would often be close to one million.

Tough to get to 200,000 now and watch those numbers dip when the deadline is 6 p.m. and the quality of news slips reporting because there just won’t be any way to get stuff in the newspaper.

That means last night’s Lakers playoff game wouldn’t make the newspaper in any form until two days later.

Why buy it? Exactly.

The Times sports department will also transfer David Warton, Steve Henson and one of the copyeditors out of sports to a new breaking news desk. I presume breaking news no longer has anything to do with the newspaper after 6 p.m.

If the newspaper is successful in getting rid of the box scores, there isn’t anything that will be considered untouchable.

As it is now, the sports columnists have been writing for a newspaper that comes out 24 hours after the day’s next report on the Lakers and Kings.

In the final analysis it’s tough to say whether readers who don’t care about columns running so late have allowed the 6 p.m. deadlines or the newspaper is just hellbent in getting rid of the printed product.

This will be the end of the Times’ sports section, as Los Angeles had come to know it over a lifetime.

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