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New Times-Village Voice merger reaction: cooler heads prevailing

Now that the initial excitable ranting has faded, people are starting to think seriously about what the big alternative weekly merger means for LA. Over at the National Review Online, Cathy Seipp argues against the generally-accepted notion that the New Times has a neo-con political slant:

The notion that New Times is neocon… is just ridiculous. The chain’s big strength has always been its investigative and irreverent focus on local politics, while the defining theme of neoconservatism is a hawkish foreign policy. When New Times L.A. drifted into commenting on foreign affairs (thankfully not often), its anti-Bush tone was predictably confused, ignorant, and reflexively pro-appeasement. (Is there actually such a thing as a dovish neocon?)

Nonetheless, Seipp predicts gloom for the lefty staff of the LA Weekly, whose new boss, New Times founder Michael Lacey, is supposedly “a combination of W. C. Fields and Pol Pot,” and clearly unsympathetic to the general political stance of the paper.

Meanwhile, Citybeat‘s Donnell Alexander suggests that the merger might be good news for, uh, Citybeat:

Word on the street, though, is that New Voice Times doesn’t have the monopoly on balls. Not here, or in Seattle, San Francisco, or New York. The deal could backfire, driving readers of conscience away from the streamline chain product. CityBeat, which stands to benefit initially from its new eligibility for national ad dollars, can grow as a strong indie publication.

Because, really: If you’re an Angeleno and you want to know about that fierce stream of homeless people coursing westward from downtown over the past week, who you gonna look to? KTLA? The Times? (No. Still too busy congratulating itself for the series that’s sent all that humanity scattering in the first place.) Blogs? Please. Your only option is in your hands. Don’t shop at Alt-Mart, and we’ll make things interesting.

My personal hope is that Michael Lacey revamps the movie listing section, specifically by increasing the font size. I had to use a magnifying glass to figure out where ‘Doom’ was playing last night.

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