Thursday, March 28, 2013

L.A. Times' TV Grid Is Back (Sorta) -- Here's Why

Los Angeles times TV listings

Well, that didn't last long. Just days after eliminating its TV grid from the Calendar section of the newspaper, the Los Angeles Times suddenly brought it back. It's a smaller grid -- fewer channels, less hours and a fraction the size of the old one -- but there it is, back in the pages just days after it had been scrapped for space reasons.

I suppose you could see it coming. As a subscriber, we even received a questionnaire asking if we'd like to see a smaller grid reinstated. I just didn't realize how fast they'd bring it back. Those angry phone calls must have been intense.

I asked the paper to comment; here's what they said: "In recognition that our print readers rely on The Times to provide a daily TV grid, we have brought the feature back to the Calendar section," spokesperson Nancy Sullivan emailed. "TV highlights also appear daily and for those who want a stand-alone guide we offer TV Weekly, which is delivered in the Sunday Times. Searchable and printable online listings are also available at"

I also asked about the addition of color to the daily comics -- and why, in the space that could be utilized for one more comic (Sally Forth, perhaps), they're instead using it for text. "We are continuously improving all areas of the paper and are pleased to be able to offer the daily comics in color. The text you refer to at the bottom of the page is dedicated to encouraging submissions to our long-standing Kids’ Reading Room feature and providing information about how the community can order The Times’ free Reading by 9 Parent Reading Guide."

I suppose, but remember when the Kids' Reading Room was a daily *full-page* feature? And then downsized to a still major presence in the Sunday comics? Now it's barely anything. But I do approve of trying to reach out to young readers, and wish newspapers could make more of an impact with kids.

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