The problem is that the improvements - other than the occasional blockbuster expose - are too subtle for the average reader will observe and there are so many physical and structural barriers to reading the printed paper, that the paper's physical design drives away readers.
Unless dramatic change starts now, it is hard to imagine anything resembling the present paper being published five years from now.
From the Los Angeles Business Journal:
L.A. Times Drags on Tribune Revenue
Tribune Company's December newspaper ad revenue fell 4.5 percent to $333.2 million, the company reported Thursday, reflecting a 9.6 percent slump from national advertising that was blamed on weak ad sales at the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago-based company's largest paper.
Full-run ad volume at the Times plunged 13.9 percent from December of last year. In addition to the Times and Newsday, Tribune owns its namesake paper in Chicago.More details are in the Tribune's press release:
National advertising revenues declined 9.6 percent, due largely to declines at the Los Angeles Times. Movie, technology and wireless categories were down, partially offset by gains in the health care and package goods categories.
Classified advertising revenues rose 2.5 percent due to gains in help wanted and real estate, which rose 13 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Automotive classified advertising fell 16 percent. Interactive revenues, which are primarily included in classified, were $15 million, up 33 percent, due to strength in all categories.
Circulation revenues were down 3.5 percent primarily due to volume declines at most of the company’s newspapers and selectively higher discounting.