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Ads run wild at The Times

October 19, 2008

"Naming rights could turn Dodger diamond into gold" (Oct. 14) says everything but their stadium's name may be up for sale. The same thing is happening with this newspaper. Advertisements are now accepted for every page of the paper, including the front page. Full-page religious tracts seem a regular feature. The obituaries are clearly now a profit center (when I wrote to The Times' Reader's Rep to point out a glaring historical error in one, I was told, "People pay for the obits and we can't fact-check them"). The Real Estate section is now 1 1/2 pages, Travel has been gutted and Highway One is gone, meaning more news pages dropped with advertisements a much larger percentage of those remaining. Poorly laid out ads from a local basketball team owner continue, but now there seems more of them, as ugly to the eye as ever. It seems only a matter of time until we're seeing, for instance, "The Avis Los Angeles Times -- We Try Harder."

Steven Parker

La Quinta

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