'NYT' Cuts City Section, LA 'Hoy' Drops Daily Schedule

The New York TImesNewspapers are in a headlong retreat on all fronts, with two more casualties announced today. The New York Times is axing its City section, while the Los Angeles edition of Tribune's Hoy is dropping its daily distribution schedule.

These follow similar cutbacks at other companies, as newspaper publishers struggle to stabilize their finances.

The NYT's City section fell victim to deep cuts in the newspaper's freelance budget -- which may also claim regional weeklies in New Jersey, Long Island, Westchester and Connecticut, according to the New York Observer, which first reported the news Monday. Also on the chopping block is Friday's Escapes section, although no final decision has been made here.

Editor Bill Keller, who revealed the cuts in a meeting with editorial staff on Thursday, said the newspaper will try to find a way to incorporate some content from the defunct City and regional sections into its New York section. This isn't the first such arrangement. In September, the paper axed its stand-alone Metro section, although this supposedly did not entail a reduction in content. Metro stories are now appended to the paper's first section, after international and national news.



Also on Monday, the Tribune Co. said the Los Angeles edition of Hoy -- a Spanish-language tabloid -- will no longer be distributed daily, but will print one edition per week. This may strike some readers as odd, unless the name of the publication changes ("Hoy" means "today" in Spanish.)

The Los Angeles Times also said it is phasing out the print edition of Metromix, a nightlife and entertainment product targeting young adults. Finally, the LAT is also narrowing the distribution of its monthly magazine to target certain demos more precisely.

Curiously, in a memo to employees, John T. O'Loughlin, the executive vice president and chief marketing officer for target media at the LAT Media Group, referred to the magazine as a "flagship publication" of the newspaper -- appearing to abandon an earlier, mostly semantic distinction between the magazine, which is a business product, and the newspaper.

Last summer, the original Los Angeles Times monthly magazine was closed and replaced by a new publication, with a new editorial staff, entirely under the control of the Los Angeles Times Media Group. In short, control of the magazine came from the business -- not editorial -- side.

For ethical reasons, Russ Stanton -- the editor of the LAT -- requested that the Media Group not call itself the Los Angeles Times Magazine, since it is not under the control of the newspaper's editorial staff. The new publication was given a different name -- L.A. Los Angeles Times Magazine. The "flagship" remark seems to negate that distinction.

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