Maybe if we stay very, very quiet about it, it won’t happen…

…then again, maybe everyone will talk about it anyway…

New York Times:

“The bug at the bottom of the Calendar front in today’s Los Angeles Times says columnist Patrick Goldstein is on assignment,” began a July 24 item on the Web site L.A. Observed. “Not true. His The Big Picture column for Tuesday was killed.”

The site ran the 1,450-word column, which “fell into our hands,” in its entirety. In it, Mr. Goldstein proposed that his newspaper promote itself by following the lead of The Mail on Sunday in Britain, which inserted Prince’s latest CD into 2.9 million copies, and also give away music.

“While the Times still is a profitable business, our revenue was down 10 percent in the second quarter while our cash flow was down, as our publisher put it the other day, a ‘whopping 27 percent, making it one of the worst quarters ever experienced,’ ” Mr. Goldstein wrote. “Times are so hard at the Times that the publisher has proposed putting ads on the front page to generate new revenue.”

L.A. Observed’s founder, Kevin Roderick, a former senior editor at The Los Angeles Times, reported that the column had sailed through the copy desk but was killed by John Montorio, a managing editor. …

Keeping the column out of the paper hardly kept people from reading it. The L.A. Observed page was visited more than 18,000 times, and “many thousands” more subscribers had it sent to them electronically, Mr. Roderick said. …