According to an editor's note in yesterday's LA Times, the Autos section, Highway 1, is no more. The likely reasons? The LA Times is having a hard time making money. Subscriptions and circulation are down, paper, ink, and distribution costs are way up. This is true for most print newspapers, and something's gotta go. Why they picked autos, I don't know, since the biggest part of the budget is Dan Neil's salary. And that will stay put as he moves over to the business section for his charming reviews (he hits the Alfa MiTo this week). The bulk of the rest of the section is advertisements, and I'm fairly certain the LA Times gets paid for those. Still, this was an accounting department decision, so we can be sure the math added up. For a city like LA, so steeped in car culture, this is a sad development. And yet not at all surprising. Kevin Roderick over at LA Observed thinks Home, Real Estate, Books, and Food are lined up for the guillotine, also. Meanwhile, Crain's Detroit Business reports that it's only a matter of time before The Detroit News sends its cheerleaders packing. "Dwindling circulation, plummeting retail and classified advertising sales and the tribulations of metro Detroit's economy make this two-newspaper town an 'anomaly,' said Rem Rieder, editor and senior vice president of the American Journalism Review." How ironic is that?
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