How much longer will the Los Angeles Times be a printed newspaper? It's the sort of question that keeps media conference panels full, but for the people who run the paper's presses, it's a very real concrete issue. And in the midst of that question is a discussion between The Frying Pan's Steven Mikulan and blogger and longtime Los Angeles Times pressman Ed Padgett. Talking about dismal expectations for advertising in the upcoming fourth quarter, Padgett said, "The senior vice president told us we’ve got three years more of printing the hard copy Times before they shut it down. Our plant manager says five years." As LA Observed's Kevin Roderick adds, "That would certainly fit with the bad economic vibes felt across California, and goes along with the chatter that Times suits are reeling from how little movie advertising is coming their way." For the record, Roderick says that Times spokesperson Nancy Sullivan says there are no current plans to stop printing the paper. The Times raised its newsstand prices earlier this month after it slashed "staff, budgets, freelance rates and page counts," Fishbowl LA reported. At a certain point, there may not be anything left to count except the paper itself.