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Times cutbacks turn off readers

August 03, 2008

I understand that The Times is in fiscal distress, but has it occurred to you that every time you eliminate a service, you also make your product less valuable to the consumer? ("Note to readers," July 29)

Sending me to the Web for my stock quotes might be the tipping point. If you want to keep me as a reader, you should consider adding features rather than eliminating them.

Harold A. Drake, History Professor

UC Santa Barbara

Following Sunday's notice that the Real Estate Section will be discontinued after more than a century in print, I read the "Note to readers" in today's Business Section that the stock, treasuries and dividend tables will no longer be published.

It appears The Times is slowly eating itself in favor of the Internet. Since I take the bus to downtown L.A. and don't want a "virtual" news source, I have reached the tipping point where I can get almost equivalent state and national news coverage and better local news coverage in hard copy with my local paper, the Daily Breeze. Since my company subscribes to the Wall Street Journal, I can get all my business news from that source.

Therefore, when our subscription to The Times expires toward the end of August, we do not plan to renew. Too bad. The Times used to be a fine newspaper and has been a part of our family and my parents' family for more than 80 years.

Bruce J. Steele

Redondo Beach

You have got to be joking, right? A Business Section without tables listing actively traded stocks, etc.? Why not just get rid of the Business Section entirely? This is equivalent to the Sports Section not having the results of sporting events.

People who do not have the liberty to sit in front of a computer all day long rely on this to keep tabs on their stocks -- especially in critical economic times.

What are you thinking? We know you must cut costs, but where are your priorities? It seems the astrological forecast, Ask Amy and the funny papers are more important than people's financial future to you.

You have lost touch with your faithful readers. No wonder you are having revenue problems.

David Price

Bell Gardens

Congratulations on your continuing program to dumb down The Times by discontinuing stock tables in the Business Section, a move consistent with the recent elimination of the Sunday Book Review and the earlier elimination of the weekly TV Guide.

Soon you'll be able to deliver both pages of the daily edition by carrier pigeon. By then your low-salaried, sole-survivor editor/reporter/jack-of-all-trades might be overworked, but Sam [Zell] will be a happy camper, what with the cumulative cost reductions.

My subscription is on shaky ground right now after receiving a recent notice of a significant home-delivery price increase. Eliminate the daily crossword puzzle and the subscription is history.

However, you might consider eliminating the six awful, politically motivated cartoons you carry each day. Just wondering where your priorities lay.

Edwin Nellis

West Hills

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