The ever-shrinking San Diego Union-Tribune will be lopping off another body part this week when it folds its book reviews into the main paper. The eight-page standalone book-review section that has graced thousands of coffee tables throughout the years saw its final publication on Sunday, June 24.
In its place, the U-T will run a two-page spread in the Sunday Entertainment section, plus occasional book reviews throughout the week. Book critic Arthur Salm told CityBeat the company plans to soup up the books section of the website and create a regularly updated book blog, which he'll be running.
"I'm working really hard to become an online jockey," Salm said. "I feel like somebody just shoved a bushman in front of a car and told him to fix the carburetor. But I'm looking forward to it."
U-T spokesperson Carole Ravago said the paper is integrating the section to save on printing costs. The Union-Triune has seen a 19-percent decline of weekday subscribers since 2001, to 346,500.
The move is merely the latest in a series of budget savings by the region's largest daily paper. In December, the U-T bought out 45 newsroom veterans and support staff. In February, it stopped shipping multiple local news sections and created a consolidated "Our Region" section. Most recently, it dropped local freelancer Lynn O'Shaughnessy from the Sunday business page in exchange for a national syndicated columnist.
The mural is gone
Last Thursday, just one day after CityBeat published its story on an endangered outdoor mural in University Heights, the building owners painted over it.
The mural, by local artist Saratoga Sake, had been commissioned by the owners of Park Boulevard Foods, a liquor store and deli across from Cream coffeehouse on Park Boulevard and Monroe Street. It lasted for a week, long enough to find a place in the hearts of the neighborhood denizens who passed it on a regular basis. Neither the owner of the deli, Adiam Haile, nor the owners of the building, Al and Chuck Hanna, were willing to comment for this story.