Which would you kill off: the business section or the local news section? For the LA Times, local, after all, means Los Angeles. The LAT chose local news. More local insight from LA Observed, a local blog (via Romnesko). The front section will now include California as well as national and international news; so the international stuff is likely to get crunched (writes a still-bitter former foreign editor). These decisions on pagination are some of the structural realities of a newspaper: who gets space.
But how would you make this decision? Readership? Cost? Advertising attracted? Syndication revenues lost? Ease of replacement elsewhere? These cuts always end up invidious as one section of the newsroom (inevitably) loses out to another.