Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009 News

LA Observed breaks the news that LA Times Readers Rep Jamie Gold is leaving the paper and speculates…

…it's unclear if her exit is part of the fairly large newsroom reduction (via buyouts and layoffs) that staffers expect to hit next week. The buzz is that several staffers who lose their jobs will be invited back as contract workers, at lower pay and without benefits, to begin once the calendar year turns over on Dec. 31…

More LA Times… read the announcement of its new hire, "Steven Zeitchik [who] is joining The Times’ entertainment team as a reporter and blogger assigned to cover the movie industry."

So sad to read about Mike Penner's death…

Downtown News writer Anna Scott debuted her own blog a few weeks ago, with this welcome message:

This is a blog about LA people. Or, to put it more fancifully, Angelenos revealed, one question at a time. That's pretty much it. Angel City will consist entirely of Q&As with all kinds of Los Angeles denizens, from Hollywood types to barflies to artists (not that those descriptions are mutually exclusive, but you get the idea).

And who will be conducting said interviews? That would be me, Anna Scott, an L.A.-based journalist and dancing fool.

According to this FishbowlDC post, the Washington Post…

… is closing their offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Three news aides will be let go but the reporters in those cities have been offered positions in Washington.

Effective date is December 31. Take link above for more details.

For anyone who missed this, dated November 16:

The following editors and writers can be reached at the following address and phone number:
525 Seventh Ave.
Suite 1801
New York, NY 10018
Phone: 212-557-5757
Fax: 212-661-5866

Andrew Gans: Ext. 166
Ken Jones: Ext. 133
Adam Hetrick: Ext. 114
Ernio Hernandez: Ext. 112
Matt Blank: Ext. 140

This from FishbowlLA is also from November:

Dennis Romero has been hired as news blogger for the LA Weekly. In the month since former blog editor Steven Mikulan parted ways with the paper, Romero has been a regular contributor to LA Daily. Editor Drex Heikes announced to the staff [in November] that Romero would join the paper as a full-time staffer.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This makes my heart sing… Don Shirley is back, at the wonderful LA Stage blog

"…to blog about theater in the L.A. area. He has observed the scene since the early ’80s: as a KCRW contributor and a Los Angeles Times free-lancer, as a Times staff reporter and frequent reviewer from 1990 to 2006, and as the theater critic of LA CityBeat from 2006 until the alternative newspaper and web site folded earlier this year.

Don will choose his own topics and will express his own opinions, which are not necessarily those of the LA Stage Alliance or its members. He welcomes disagreeing comments — especially those that are thoughtful and civil. He hopes to post fresh commentary frequently. Please join the conversations."

This, on the other hand, makes my blood boil… LA Observed has a memo from the LA Times which says…

… the Entertainment Department has openings for two general assignment reporters who can write news and features across the full spectrum of our coverage areas -- from fine art, theater and classical music to movies, television and pop culture.

LA Observed surmises, and I have no doubt of it, that they're looking to replace the already excellent writers they laid off with those who might work for less. Disheartening. And a whole bunch of other adjectives I'd rather not use.

More LA Times-related stuff…

Since my last posting – and you don't need a weatherman to see which direction my finger is pointing – the Times had a bunch more layoffs last month. Among those no longer there are Barbara Thornburg; Diane Haithman,Tina Daunt and Ken Hively.

Cision reports that Metromix Los Angeles music editor Scott Sterling is also gone.

Kurt Streeter has segued from sports columnist to metro columnist, and he will, according to Cision, "focus on producing more long-form front page stories."

The aforementioned Ken Hively, photographer, has set up his own business. Reach him kenhivelyphotography. He has a web site coming soon. I have a phone number, which I'll email directly if you let me know you want it. Thanks to the fabulous Nancy Hereford for the tip.

More from Cision:

Entertainment industry site has nabbed recently laid off LA Weekly staff writer Steven Mikulan. His new column, L.A. Noir, will focus on the intersection of celebrities, crime, Los Angeles media and the entertainment industry. Also joining the site as deputy editor is Josh Dickey, who ends a decade of work with the Associated Press.

According to the person who answered the AP phone, long-time AP-er Steve Loeper is currently Deputy Entertainment Editor.

Also from Cision:

The Press-Enterprise in Southern California has made cuts in its newsroom and six staffers have been affected. Julia Glick, metro reporter; Sonja Bjelland, metro reporter; Sean Nealon, higher education reporter; Chris Richard, regional reporter; Melanie Johnson, education reporter; and Melissa Eiselein, community news reporter, have been laid off from the daily.


Sister stations KVEA-TV and KWHY-TV in Burbank, Calif. have each canceled one of their Spanish language newscasts. KVEA-TV's Buenos Dias, which aired on Mondays through Fridays from 6am to 7am, and KWHY-TV's Primero de la Tarde, which aired on Mondays through Fridays from 1pm through 2pm, have been canceled.


Unquiet Thoughts is a new music blog hosted on The New Yorker's Web site. It features notes on music by Alex Ross, who also serves as a music critic for The New Yorker. The blog, which Ross began on October 14, 2009, provides music commentary, continuations of his New Yorker pieces, audio excerpts from recommended new CDs, videos and more.

Tim Mangan's classical music blog on the OC Register site has a new "address" -- be sure to bookmark it!

Jason Middleton is now consulting for and is no longer the editor.

Jenny Peters announces on Facebook:

Jenny Peters is happy to announce that she is the new Editor in Chief of "Bel Air Magazine," a bimonthly luxury lifestyle print and web magazine scheduled to begin publishing [next spring]. Let the pitching begin! And if you would like to advertise to the residents of Bel Air, the Holmby Hills, and Beverly Hills, have we got a deal for you! All other outlets remain in place here, by the way. Here's to a profitable 2010!!

RIP Metropolitan Home magazine, as of the December issue. More from LA Observed here.

StyleSectionLA's Emili Vesilind reported about two weeks ago that Leila Baboi, West Coast market editor for Women’s Wear Daily, was laid off. More here.

Also from a few weeks back, Gawker says:

We're told the Los Angeles bureau [of Forbes] has been eliminated, along with LA-based staff writer Evan Hessel. We also hear Scott Woolley has been axed.

The full post with news of lots of other "brutal" Forbes layoffs is here.

LAIst reports that KPFK is beefing up its schedule with daily news programming. Details here.

And finally, thanks to the well-connected Flo Selfman for passing this along from Lynn Weiss

After 12 years, as hard as it is for me to believe, I am leaving Entertainment Weekly. (Sure, I was tempted to go for the baker’s dozen, but why be greedy?) However, I’m leaving for an exciting new opportunity: I will be heading up New York Magazine’s entertainment blog, Starting next January, we’ll be expanding it into a national site, with a staff of breaking-news reporters, sharp bloggers, and savvy TV recappers, and unique new site features. I’m sure I’ll be working with you when I get over there (I start Tuesday, Nov. 17; my last day at EW is tomorrow), so please keep me on your mailing list and email alerts. My new contact info is Josh_Wolk.

P.S. Just a quick shout-out to the late ultra-publicist Frank Liberman, who's gone off to that great clipping service in the sky. I'm looking forward to the celebration of his life at a memorial service this weekend. I've known Frank since I was a little girl, and I'm sure many of you do too.