Los Angeles Times

LAT FOB Coming to USC (Wooo-hooo!!!)

The LA Times Festival of Books is moving to the USC campus
this coming spring, after spending all of its previous years at UCLA.

While I love the UCLA campus (and loathe the UCLA parking structures), USC has an equally beautiful campus (and one to which I feel a strong…ahem….personal attachment).

Mostly importantly, is a terrific move from a symbolic perspective. It’s nice to have the FOB on the Westside and all, but after 15 years in Westwood, it’s a great idea to move it to place that, by its more central location, reaches out psychologically-speaking to the whole of the city.

You go, LAT FOB!

Here’s a link to the actual LA Times story on the LA Times FOB story.

Kevin Roderick at LA Observed posted the memos sent out by the LAT and USC. (In fact, I got the news from the memo sent out by USC President Max Nickias.)

PS: Franklin Avenue points out that the Times is saying that USC is closer to public transportation —which happens to be true. (Not everybody who loves books drives and parks, y’all.)

PS: I’ve seen a bunch of tweets on the issue that suggest “Westsiders aren’t going to be at all happy about this!”

Well, I am a Westsider (a Topanga Canyoner, to be exact), and I would like to respectfully suggest that we can all…get a freaking grip!


  • I live closer to USC than UCLA, but I love the beautiful UCLA campus. It won’t be the same at USC because the surrounding area is unsafe and the 110 freeway is the last place I want to be on a Saturday at 5pm. Why couldn’t they just leave well enough alone? They had to let greed get in the way.

  • UCLA: served by the MTA #2, #20, #720, Culver City #6, and five Santa Monica Blue Bus Lines. Not exactly a car-only option.

    I thought UCLA had a very strong, but respectful, response:

    “Before this year’s event, the newspaper expressed a desire to increase profits from the event and reduce costs. At the same time, UCLA expressed concern about subsidizing the event, especially considering dramatic reductions in state support that forced across-the-board reductions in campus operations. This year, UCLA provided $176,000 in services and funding to help stage the festival, an amount that had increased as the event grew in popularity over the years.

    “Moreover, the campus was concerned about The Times’ unwillingness to make a long-term commitment to hold the event at UCLA. Nevertheless, the campus was sensitive to the newspaper’s requests to find cost savings and revenue opportunities. For example, this year, for the first time, The Times charged for some panel discussions and kept the proceeds. UCLA also relaxed restrictions in place for food samples, which UCLA does not allow for any other event.

    “At the time of the newspaper’s announcement about a venue change, UCLA and The Times were engaged in negotiations on a contract regarding the 2011 festival.”

  • Even, good point about the buses. I was over the top with that. Both UCLA and USC are great places to hold the FOB, both big and beautiful campuses.

    I have no doubt that the Times management did it for mostly fiscal reasons.

    All that said, I think it’s a refreshing change—for the symbolic reasons I mention.

    Personally, I’m delighted because I teach at USC and know the campus so well. I can fully imagine the festival there.

    As for what Bubbles said about the “safety”….sorry. Got no patience.

  • Anyone who thinks the bus is a comparable alternative to driving in LA has obviously never taken a bus in LA. I could imagine a bus to UCLA from deep west LA, deep in the Valley, or Pasadena taking hours.

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