Sunday, April 13, 2008

April 14, 2008 News


Well, I'm happy to announce that my little blog's brush with fame after breaking the Alan Rich news last week has pushed us over 12,000 page views since we debuted less than a year ago. Thanks for all the nice comments, and welcome to all the new subscribers!



Cultural reporting might be on the wane at many of the nation's newspapers, but it may yet have its day at the Wall Street Journal. At a lunch for prospective advertisers in the newspaper's first-ever glossy magazine, WSJ., Journal managing editor Marcus Brauchli told WWD he's excited about the possibility of a culture section — prototypes have been overseen by former House & Garden editor in chief Dominique Browning — but that he's still waiting to discuss it with News Corp. brass, who, judging by recent headlines about a possible Yahoo deal, clearly have a lot on their plates at the moment.


As an update to my April 1 HEARTS IN THE RIGHT PLACE post (scroll down) about an effort to confront the LA Times' seemingly dwindling dance and overall arts coverage, I'm passing along some excerpts from an email sent by the organizer Michelle Mierz, executive director and co-founder of the L.A. Contemporary Dance Company. Among her comments:

Yesterday morning, I met with Lisa Fung, Arts Editor at the LA Times. The signatures behind me and the buzz amongst the community allowed me the opportunity for this meeting. My goals were to 1) get an update on the full time dance critic position 2) understand what level of coverage would remain for dance, and how to engage with the Times going forward. I gained the following insights:

The full-time dance critic position is not "off the table" but the Times is not hiring at all at this point, it is therefore unlikely that the position will be filled in the near future.

There is no plan to scale back coverage and there are even plans to increase the options for dance coverage online and in print through the LA Times.

With the recent staff changes and buyouts, dance pitches for features and reviews should be made to the staff members in the following order: Craig Fisher, Chris Pasles, and Perry Crowe. For reviews, freelancers are also being assigned. Those pitches are best made to Craig Fisher, Deputy Editor for Dance, who I met with yesterday as well.

With technological shifts in the way we receive information, the LA Times is exploring and launching many different options for dance and the arts at large to be covered on and offline. Potential options include: stand alone photo galleries, new ways to post listings, video capabilities, etc. With The Guide, Metromix, the Calendar, it can be very confusing and unclear which avenue will be most receptive to reach our desired audiences and to have critical thought published about our work.

Terence McFarland from LA Stage Alliance, who helped broker and was at the meeting yesterday morning, is going to plan an event in conjunction with Lisa Fung and her editors and critics, where leaders of arts and entertainment organizations can learn about the new means of reaching our audiences and communities through the LA Times. Anyone who is unable to attend this event can receive detailed notes on the event for their use in reaching Los Angeles audiences.

Congratulations to Michelle for all her work on this.