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Blow to Bruin Pride? LA Times GIves Festival of Books to Trojans

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For the first time in its 16-year history, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books will not be at UCLA. It's going to be at rival school USC. The annual event for the bookish, writerly, and book-curious will be held April 30-May 1 2011 on USC's University Park campus. The move came about in part from a desire to grow the festival, offer a change of scenery, and provide a location more accessible to public transit. Sorry, Westside. You couldn't get that Subway to the Sea built fast enough!

UCLA's reaction has been diplomatic; their official release says the school was "disappointed but not surprised," to hear the news, but did mention that the decision came when "UCLA and The Times were engaged in negotiations on a contract regarding the 2011 festival." Bruin's PR team also noted that one tension was between the rising cost of the popular event, and the Times' "desire to increase profits from the event" but bring down costs.

USC, on the other hand, is pleased as punch that the Festival will be starting a new chapter on their campus. From their news release:

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“We are thrilled that the Festival has a new home here,” said C. L. Max Nikias, president of USC. “The Times Festival of Books is known for sparking just the kind of intellectual curiosity and energy that are at the heart of USC’s mission. The Festival is a great fit for our world-class faculty authors and writing programs, as well as for our literacy work in the community. USC and the Los Angeles Times are two of the oldest institutions in Los Angeles, and it's fitting that we would be joining together for this event that is so important to the intellectual life of Southern California."