LA Observed reports that drastic change is in store for the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Top brass is planning to take the stand-alone Sunday Book Review section and fold it in with a new opinion section that will appear in Saturday papers. Even more preposterous, the plan is to print this new section so that the reader will have to flip the section 180 degrees around to read each side of the foldout: with one section devoted to books and the other section devoted to op-ed pieces.
This is a great disservice. (Full disclosure: I have contributed reviews to the LATBR.) I am unsure if this move is intended to generate more Saturday subscribers or an effort to cut down on production costs, but, given that the L.A. Times Festival of Books is one of the newspaper’s most vigorously attended community events, it seems a terribly wrong-headed move to treat readership as if it is sloppy seconds.