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.