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Is the End of the LA Times at Hand?

Frying Pan editor Steven Mikulan just posted an important interview with LA Times pressman and labor blogger Ed Padgett. Padgett says that since the Times‘ press operators joined the Teamsters union in 2008, 103 out of 220 original members have been laid off. “Non-union employees [get] 20 to 25 weeks severance while union members get nothing,” he says.

Horrible. But the real news is that Padgett says the LA Times brass have told him the paper will go online only in the next three to five years.

They’re expecting a really bad fourth quarter. The senior vice president told us we’ve got three years more of printing the hard copy Times before they shut it down. Our plant manager says five years.

Only three years until the company voluntarily ends the LA Times!!!!?

Times spokesperson Nancy Sullivan denied Padgett’s claim. But we’ve read Padgett’s blog for years and know he’s not the type to just make things up. Especially something as grave as the end of the LA Times newspaper. We already know that Times parent company Tribune Co. is designing its own tablet device. Plus, given the Timesrecent successes online, it makes sense that they’re seriously planning a post-print transition. Three to five years sounds like an insanely quick timetable, however.

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