Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 11, 2010 News

SO MUCH to catch up on! Let's start at the very beginning....


1. LA Times closes Orange County presses, debuts news section, and announces other changes, which I've summarized/excerpted below:

The Los Angeles Times is closing its printing operations in Orange County to cut costs and will begin publishing a new section devoted to late-breaking news…

To accommodate earlier deadlines necessitated by the elimination of the plant, the paper will launch a section dubbed LATExtra to run late-breaking news that was previously published in individual sections. LATExtra will appear Monday through Saturday, beginning Feb. 2...

... Joe Eckdahl, the paper's senior editor/Page One, [is] editor of the new section.

In another cost-saving measure, the paper will eliminate the stand-alone Business section on Mondays. Business-oriented stories will appear inside the main news section that day.

The Food section will move to Thursdays...

As part of the changes, the width of the paper will be reduced to 44 inches from 48 inches...

Read the entire story here.

2. More on LATExtra from a publisher's note, available in full here.

Designed to address print capacity complexities, create later print deadlines and complement Main A’s analysis and examination of the issues confronting our readers on local, national and global fronts, LATExtra will focus largely on California stories and include end-of-day reporting from across the spectrum. LATExtra will run Monday through Saturday and also include Weather and Obituaries in order to allow later deadlines.

3. Times Media Group launches two Orange County-oriented websites:

The Los Angeles Times Media Group and U.S. Local News Network Inc. have formed a joint venture that will include launching two news websites aimed at readers and advertisers in Orange County.

The venture… will allow the companies to share content and advertising sales across the sites -- and -- and those of three existing Times-owned local newspapers in Orange County: the Coastline Pilot, the Daily Pilot and the Huntington Beach Independent.
Full story here.

4. Scott Sandell takes on more responsibilities, according to this memo:

Scott Sandell, who has brought new energy and news-orientation to the entertainment report since being named Calendar morning editor just a few months ago, will take on expanded duties as deputy online arts and entertainment editor.

In his new position, Scott will report to Online Arts and Entertainment Editor Lisa Fung, working with her to expand our film, television, music, Company Town, celebrity and arts and culture coverage on the Web. He will continue to serve as the morning editor and as the liaison between the print and Web efforts, unifying our coverage, particularly of breaking news and daily features. Working closely with assignment editors, Scott will develop Web-only content for stories, coordinate the planning of Web components for longer-range projects and help develop blogging and social media training programs for editors and reporters.

5. Last fall, Jason Gelt replaced George Ducker as the contact for the Calendar Section Events and Kids listings.


Valley Magazine Publisher Jane Boeckmann's "Note" in the December issue of casually drops this news:

"A new year often brings growth and change, and such is the case at World of Communications, Inc. After more than 20 years of publishing 'Valley Magazine,' we will be closing a beloved chapter of our company's history. This will be the last issue..."


Join me in congratulating former LA Times writer Diane Haithman, who has hooked up with Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood site, according to this from LA Observed.

LA Observed also reports that food writers Jonathan Gold and Barbara Hansen are both now contributing to the LA Weekly's popular Squid Ink food blog in addition to everything they've been doing previously. Hansen's Table Conversations blog is here.

Kudos to LA Observed for the redesign (and for being such a wonderful resource in general!)

And, in case you missed it, here's more from LA Observed from a while back...

1) ...names names of LA Times staffers laid off here and here;

2) ...posts Daily News memo announcing departure of staff writer Sue Doyle here;

3) ...reveals info on LA Weekly's new film editor and reporter here:


Bookmark for useful news, including this from a recent post:

KFWB is dropping afternooner Rodger Hedgecock and replacing him with a news block from4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Co-anchoring the new drive time show will be Maggie McKay and Michael Shappee.


Got an email last week with this info/opportunity...

On behalf of UCLA Anderson School of Management and the G. and R. Loeb Foundation, I would like to invite you to participate in the 2010 Loeb Awards call for entries. The Loeb Awards are the most prestigious honor in business journalism. Our mission is to recognizing writers, editors and producers who make significant contributions to the understanding of business, finance and the economy for both the private investor and the general public. For the 2010 competition, the Loeb Awards are evolving by incorporating new media and new technologies. We’ve created two new Loeb Awards categories: Online Commentary and Blogging; and Personal Finance.

Submissions and nominations for the 13 competition categories and two career achievement awards will be accepted online only at


PR practitioner Zan Dubin Scott is teaching a PR class in February for "anyone who wants to achieve media exposure to change behavior, inspire action or boost revenue for a cause, nonprofit organization, business or government agency."

It's called PR Plugged In: A Hands-On, Real-World Course, and it meets on Thursdays (Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25), 7-9 p.m., at Ballona Institute Research Library in Playa del Rey.

You'll find the details this week on her site, ZDS Communications.


NPR launches a new blog:

13.7, a blog set at the intersection of science and culture. Our goal is to engage in a discussion with each other -- and you -- about how science has shaped culture and how culture has shaped science.

Take the link above for more details.


Lucy Pollak strikes again with this updated info:

Linda Williamson has replaced Deborah Shadowitz as editor at ValleyLife Magazine.

Emai is linda ---[at]--- ljwilliamson dot com

And so does Brenda Rees, who writes: a call from a freelancer who is working with a new magazine that will premiere here in Los Angeles. Home L.A. It's put out by the same group that publishes similiar high-end quarterly magazines in the Miami area ( The first issue is expected to hit the streets in February...

Flo Selfman passes on these two items from Media Bistro's Revolving Door newsletter:

The Los Angeles Times' book section writer Susan Salter Reynolds and assistant book editor Orli Low leave the paper, which now features just two full-time staffers and a blogger manning the Book Review section...

Richard Rushfield leaves Gawker after just four months as West Coast editor. The former L.A. Times scribe joins the Digital Entertainment Corporation of America as editorial consultant. Gabriel Snyder, Gawker's managing editor, says there will be masthead additions in the coming weeks...

Omar Cuningham shares:

1) this from writer Amy Prince:

After a challenging yet creatively fulfilling year and a half as executive editor, the January/February 2010 issue of Surface is my last. I thank you for your support of and enthusiasm for the magazine and do hope you stay in touch. Until then, wishing you a restful holiday season and a productive start to the new year.

Reach her now via amy ]at[ witty pioneers dot com


2) this, in part, from Jesse Ashlock:

Dear Friends,

If you’re receiving this note, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard the news last week that I.D. magazine will cease publication after 55 years. As announced last week, the Annual Design Review will continue in online form—and entries for this year’s competition are still being accepted—but the January/February issue will be the magazine’s last. To all those I’ve worked with during my four-year association with the magazine, and especially over my last eight months as editor, it’s been an honor and a privilege.

Jesse adds:

For questions about I.D. and the future of the Annual Design Review, please contact Gary Lynch at gary.lynch [at] fwmedia dot com

If it’s me you’re after, I’ll be easy to find:
jesseashlock ]at[ g mail dot com

Susan Gordon passes this on from the Jewish Journal:

"TRIBE, A Jewish Journal Media Group monthly magazine for the affluent communities of Malibu, the West San Fernando Valley, Conejo and Simi Valley, Ventura and Santa Barbara! Tribe is the definitive news, lifestyle, and opinion monthly for the regions most sophisticated, affluent, and involved readers. Tribe covers the people, culture, entertainment, and news that define the Jews of Southern California! "


From Cision, last month:

Layoffs come to The New York Times. In total, 26 staffers were expected to lose their jobs after 74 took buyouts. The biggest names include Culture's Eric Konigsberg and Allen Salkin from the Style section. Additionally, Michele Monteleone and Ross M. Schneiderman are out. Expect more names to be revealed in the coming days...

This is a long overdue recommendation for, the highly regarded (and greatly missed) Martin Perlich's new website/podcast series offering free downloads of his in-depth arts interviews from his more than 40 years of broadcasting.

There are talks with composers, conductors and performers constituting a veritable history of classical music from 1965 to 2008, including Leonard Bernstein, Darius Milhaud, Anna Netrebko, Steve Reich, Frank Zappa and hundreds more. There are also interviews with figures from jazz, pop, theatre, film and more, among them Gore Vidal, Bill Evans, Tom Waits, Martin Scorsese, Randy Newman, Roy Orbison and others.

As you no doubt know, Martin, the ‘retired’ PD at KCSN-FM, is author of the classic
The Art of the Interview: A Guide to Insightful Interviewing and a novelist as well.

He's begun a new series of audio and video podcasts, initially focusing on new music but soon to expand to a broad range of modern/post-modern genres in film, drama, dance, and books. Check it out soon!


Finally, Happy New Year!

Here's a gift to start 2010 off right from Paul J. Krupin, whose Direct Contact PR web site is a treasure trove of resources for publicists. He writes:

Each year for the past five years I've created an annual publicity plan to help people look ahead and map out their ideas for publicity throughout the year. It's a free pdf file download I just give away to anyone who can benefit.

This unique publicity planner provides a month-at-a-glance roadmap to holidays throughout the year and identifies the lead time for each holiday. This years edition now captures all sorts of monthly calendar events and weird and unusual national and world holidays.

The special design makes it easy to develop a detailed personalized framework of key dates and events so that you map out your strategy and ideas to promote your book, product, business, organization or event in 2010 and make sure you take advantage of the needed lead time to work with target media.

You'll find this Planner on his site's Free Downloads page, which also has a generous group of sample news releases on a variety of subjects.

Check out his blog, too.

Thanks, Paul!