Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What The Puck? Los Angeles Times Latest Paper To Freeze Hockey Coverage

Lord Stanley Spinning As Number-Four Sport Falls Off The California Coast
The latest cost-cutting at The Los Angeles Times has put the sports section there in the penalty box. LAObserved.com reports writers assigned to The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Mighty Ducks will not go on most road trips. Also, hockey columnist Helene Elliott becomes a general columnist and won't write her weekly league roundup.
Instead, the AP and stringers will get to shoulder the hockey burden. So, when the nation's fourth-largest newspaper decides to curtail coverage of a still-major sport, what hope is there for smaller newspapers? Actually, little or none, as they don't make road trips either.
Hey, at least the Tribune gang in Hollywood is actually covering the teams when they're home. The New York Times has cut back to one hockey writer who covers the Rangers, although even that team was subject to road wire coverage occasionally.
As for the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils, who between them have won seven Stanley Cups, they might as well have not even existed. Rare was a reporter sent even to a home game. That the Times relied instead on the AP was apparently viewed with little embarrassment on West 43rd St.
And with word that the Times will shrink in size by 2008, cutting the newshole by 5 percent, expect a lot more of the same.

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