Los Angeles Times Ups Newsstand Price

Single-copy cost goes to 75 cents, and, oddly, hardly anyone seems to care

LA's silence on this issue might say more than anything in the latest edition of the Los Angeles Times.

The daily newsstand price of the LA Times went up 50 percent this week and there hasn't been a single noteworthy rant, grumble, or groan from the community.

Not even the venerable LA Observed Web site bothered to take the publication to task for pushing the price of a single copy to 75 cents.

The disregard isn't just local. The price increase has yet to make the national press too. The trade publication Editor & Publisher hadn't reported a word about it as of Tuesday, though it has noted that the Dallas Morning News plans to raise its single-copy price from 75 cents to $1 next month.

Maybe it's all relative. Compared to the recent parking-meter fee increases, 25-cents more for a newspaper doesn't seem like such a big deal. Three quarters for the LA Times is still 13 quarters less than one of those $4 hours of curbside parking in some parts of town.

Perhaps people are willing to put aside their dislike of its owner and forgive the publication a price increase because of the pending bankruptcy.

But the fact is, it used to be a big deal when the local newspaper went up in price.

In 1991 the LA Times pushed its price to 35 cents, then to 50 cents in 1995, though a year later it was back down to a quarter, where it stayed until 2001. Back then, the change was noted with a news story, and logged as one of the paper's historical milestones. But, the paper stopped logging milestones on its Web site in 2006 (we can only guess it was a cost-saving measure).

As of Tuesday, a notice about the increase had yet to be posted at the LA Times Media Center, or in the news section. Even the watchful eye of Wikipedia missed the change.

A Times spokeswoman reportedly responded to questions about the 50-percent jump from KPCC's Frank Stoltze. She called the paper "still one of the best deals in town."

That may, or may not be the case, though after so many layoffs, it's certainly not the LA Times it used to be. But the lack of notice surely suggests something else has changed too. Maybe it's just that few people purchase newspapers at newsstands and paper boxes anymore. You are, after all, reading this online.

-- TJ Sullivan

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