Reader Gary S. writes that the folks at the L.A. Times can’t give their paper away:
My adult daughter was shopping in the Von’s supermarket in La Verne late yesterday afternoon. As she went through the self checkout line, she was approached by a LA Times representative offering her a free subscription. When my daughter declined, the rep brought up the “coupons” and that it was “free”. My daughter still declined.
The fun started when the Hispanic-appearing woman behind my daughter was offered the same “deal”. She snapped “absolutely not!” to the rep. When the rep said “what about the coupons?”, the woman snapped back “what about the LA Times?, I don’t want that in my house”.
Intrigued, my daughter hung around for a few minutes, and saw no takers. When she mentioned the story, my wife mentioned that she had been approached at the same store earlier, and she also saw no takers.
When you can’t give your newspaper away, the future does not seem bright. Further, I don’t think Murdoch is that dumb. If he really wanted a newspaper in Los Angeles, he could start one from scratch and bury the LA Times in mere months.
“I don’t want that in my house!”
I came to the same conclusion in 2006. More and more people are coming to that conclusion all the time.
People sometimes ask me why I don’t write about this paper so much any more. Part of the reason is burnout. But honestly? Part of the reason is that it increasingly seems irrelevant.