L.A. Times closes printing plants, announces ambitious plan to print newspaper from one main location a 3rd-floor Xerox machine
By Nellie J. Valerson, Staff writer
In yet another journalism breakthrough, L.A. Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein said the paper would get rid of its printing presses and impose story deadlines so early that reporters will now have to write the news before it actually happens.
"To reduce costs, we're embarking on an ambitious plan to consolidate our printing operations to one main location a Xerox machine on the third floor newsroom," Hartenstein said in a memo to employees.
"While other newspapers switch to the 44-inch web width that is rippling across the industry, we're seizing the future with an innovative
8.5 x 11-inch format," he said. The paper's dwindling circulation down from a peak of 1 million a day in the 1990s to 3,075 now made the change possible, Hartenstein noted.
"It's win-win," he added. "We're creating substantial savings and presenting the printed version of The Times in a new and innovative manner. By 'new and innovative,' I of course mean 'cheap and inferior.' "
Because the Xerox machine needs time to collate and staple, the paper will go to press at 6 p.m. instead of 11 p.m., Hartenstein said, which either means our stories will seem incredibly stale the next morning or reporters will sometimes have to write the news in advance.
For late-breaking stories, switchboard operators will call subscribers with an update.