Past ‘L.A. Times’ Book Editors Protest Section’s Cancellation

By: E&P Staff

Four past book editors of the Los Angeles Times released a letter Monday protesting the planned termination of the Sunday Book Review.

“As former editors of the Los Angeles Times Book Review (1975 through 2005), we are dismayed and troubled at the decision by Sam Zell and his managers to cease publishing the paper’s Sunday Book Review,” begins the letter, which is signed by Sonja Bolle, Digby Diehl, Jack Miles and Steve Wasserman.

The Sunday Book Review, previously a staple of the Los Angeles Times Sunday edition, and one of the few stand-alone book sections remaining in the country, will see a reduction in the number of pages and will be folded into a larger Calendar section. According to the letter, such a step “represents a historic retreat from the large ambitions which accompanied the birth of the section.”

The Sunday Book Review was inaugurated in 1975 by the paper’s then-owner and publisher Otis Chandler, who appointed Sonja Bolle as its first editor. “Since then,” the letter notes, “the growth of the Los Angeles metropolitan region and the avidity of its numerous readers and writers has been palpable.

“Angelenos in growing number are already choosing to cancel their subscriptions to the Sunday Times. The elimination of the Book Review, a philistine blunder that insults the cultural ambition of the city and the region, will only accelerate this process and further wound the long-term fiscal health of the newspaper. We urge readers and writers alike to join with us as we protest this sad and backward step.”

To read the letter in full, go here.

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