Not Dead Yet: ‘LAT’ Keeps National Edition, in Slimmer Format

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By: E&P Staff

It’s a good news/bad news kind of story. Contrary to expectations, the Los Angeles Times has decided to save its once-significant national edition. But it has been scaled back to a 24-page, black-and-white, tabloid-like product, with no paid advertising, and a circulation of about 1,500, mainly free.

The first issue in the new format was published Tuesday, distributed only to opinion leaders in Washington, D.C., and New York.

Not so long ago, the paper was printed in color, and in four sections. The Tribune Co., which owns the Times, had planned to end the national edition, since fans around the country can read the paper online. But protests led to saving the print product, though in a smaller, cheaper version.

The Washington edition is stapled together, after being transmitted wirelessly.

Doyle McManus, the newspaper’s Washington bureau chief, and a backer of keeping the edition, told The New York Times that the immediate comments he received yesterday ranged from “Thank God you didn’t kill it” to “What the hell is this supposed to be?”

He added: “It’s not a relevant part of our circulation. It is a matter of visibility that we think helps us both journalistically and commercially.”

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who also urged Tribune not to kill the national edition, told the Times, “it’s good to have it physically because most members of Congress are too busy to go to the Web.”

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