The Los Angeles Times has the fourth largest newspaper circulation in the United States. The paper is delivered to 1, 231, 318 homes in the LA area. If that weren’t impressive enough, the Los Angeles Times is connecting with readership via social networking. With newspapers across the country struggling to stay afloat, the LA Times is fighting fire with fire with a strong digital presence. The Los Angeles Times Facebook page reiterates stories from the publication and Facebook friends like, comment, and share their opinions concerning the posts. The Los Angeles Times has created what amounts to an interactive editorial page. By the way, the Times has a greater following on Facebook than the print circulation reflects. The publication’s Facebook page has 442,003 likes.
The Los Angeles times tweets too. Nearly 60,000 people follow the paper’s tweets. Tweets consist of the same type of information found in the paper, news, weather, and other interesting facts, including photos and videos. At the time of writing, the paper tweeted 48,835 times.
Like most publications these days, the Los Angeles Times has a website. The website promotes the paper’s Facebook page, promising to send ‘friends’ that click ‘like’, “top stories and features to newsfeed”. The newspaper may enjoy some success, fighting fire with fire, connecting with readership in a digital age. The publication has had similar trouble to other publications in this country that are fighting to stay afloat. Coming into the digital age is the company’s strategy, fighting the good fight to stay solvent.
The Los Angeles Times parent company, Tribune Co. filed for court protection from its creditors in 2008. The parent company was facing $12.9 billion dollars in debt. The Tribune fought its way out in four years time and emerged a lean, mean fighting machine. The company re-budgeted, refocused and replaced its former board of directors. Four years later the company had survived bankruptcy having cut its debt from $12.9 billion dollars to $1.1 billion and miraculously had a line of credit at 300 million dollars.
Further evidence that the parent company is attempting to salvage print media by building a digital presence is the additional role the Los Angeles Times President Kathy Thompson will take on as the Chief Operating Officer of Tribune Publishing. The COO is a new position announced by the company in early April. Thomson will continue to serve in her original position at the Times. Thompson was quoted in the Chicago Tribune:
“Expanding our digital portfolio, being more innovative and using video is something we all need to do a better job of,” Thomson said. “Part of my responsibilities will be making sure … we’re capitalizing on all the great assets we have as a publishing group.”
Since spring of 2012 the Los Angeles Times digital platform has climbed 10% and in the last six months the newspaper’s mobile site has boosted digital views by 92%.
The Los Angeles Time’s on-line newspaper can be accessed for free on a limited basis. The on-line publication allows visitors access to the home page, breaking news and 15 articles a month for free. Free access to the fifteen articles rolls back to zero thirty days after the first visit. Subscribers who have hard copy delivered to their homes are granted full access to the digital publication.