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LAT: Mary MacVean Moves To Features

Mary MacVean, web deputy and editor of the LAT Homeroom blog, has been moved to features as a staff writer specializing in food.

A memo from Asst. Managing Editor/Features Alice Short explains:

“Mary worked for almost 20 years at The Associated Press, where she collected a number of job titles, including national writer covering food and nutrition. In that job, she wrote about diet and diets; trends and farmers markets; and consumer issues such as federal food labeling laws. She profiled the likes of Julia Child and David Bouley and attended — but didn’t quite finish — Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School and edited cookbooks. Among her other titles at the AP was national editor for morning newspapers.”

Congrats, Mary!

Turkish Mayor Sues Warner Bros.

batman_darkknight_mug.jpgThe mayor of Batman, Turkey, is suing Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros., accusing The Dark Knight producers of using the city’s name without permission.

According to Variety:

“The mayor is prepping a series of charges against Nolan and Warner Bros., which owns the right to the Batman character, including placing the blame for a number of unsolved murders and a high female suicide rate on the psychological impact that the film’s success has had on the city’s inhabitants.

Former natives of Batman are also said to have encountered obstacles when attempting to register their businesses abroad.”

Batman has been around since 1939, why the lawsuit now? As Variety notes, “Undoubtedly the fact that Dark Knight is about to pass the $1 billion mark at the B.O. played a part in stirring the ire of the Turkish hamlet.”

We’re sure Bruce Wayne has pocket deep enough to make this thing go away.

New Radio Show Finds Men Delicious

Erin July 2008.jpgListeners to may have noticed a sassy new voice on the airwaves this weekend. Erin Muir, writer, actress, astrologer, former burlesque dancer, former opera singer… (the list goes on. Suffice to say “Angeleno.”), debuted her new show Wide Open on Saturday at 1 p.m.

We caught up with the multi-hyphenate and were delighted to find she was “wide open” to answering a few dumb questions (Sorry. We couldn’t help ourselves.):

1. What is your background? I’ve been performing music since age 5-6, and traveling since age 12, and writing since age 11 or so; I’ve done massage for 11 years and I have done radio for .016 years. (i.e. one week.)

But I have produced and written and directed plays and short films; I feel thereby very excited about my show! I love most of all to have fun, and show people a good time; all within the context of a search for deeper meaning in life and the idea that I am on earth to be of service to “other” through the use of my talents. I am not a talented whistler. I am not a talented rodeo rider. I am an Internet junky and a bohemian artist, so, here I am, producing and hosting a magazine radio show on a dot com station!

2. The promotions for the show described it as being about “food and sex.” Why that particular combo? It’s not so much a combination of food and sex (as my email must have indicated) as much as it is one single, spiritual, sassy girl’s search for everything. And since it’s me, and I like food, and I like sex, we will talk a lot about those things. But we will talk a lot also about: spirituality, healing, arts, music, and books. And probably men. Lots of talk about men. And there will be girl crushes, you know. That, too.

Still don’t know what Wide Open is about? You’ll have to listen (but just in case, here’s the ad copy):

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New AP Style


For anybody scheduled to take copy-editing test soon, listen up: The Associated Press has adopted a new (though it doesn’t seem new) rule regarding heads of state.

The Associated Press is adopting a universal style for referring to all heads of state, including the United States. Effective Thursday at 3 a.m. EST, the AP will use the title and first and family names on first reference: President George W. Bush, not just President Bush; President-elect Barack Obama, not just President-elect Obama; President Nicolas Sarkozy, not just President Sarkozy.

And to put it in words fan boys can understand, it’s Adm. William Adama, not just Admiral Adama.

UPDATE: Leave it to geek boys to nitpick our nerd wit! We received this email and feel compelled to make a correction: “Adama is commander in chief and such, but actually Laura Roslin is head of state, as the president of the twelve colonies.”

Thanks for the info. Tell your mother you earned an extra cookie today. Nerd.

SAT Prep Book By Emmy-Nominated Comedian

Know someone who wants to ace the SAT but doesn’t give a damn when the third train carrying the iguanas will arrive at the station? Then put your faith — and SAT score — in the capable hands of Charles Horn, PhD, Emmy-nominated writer (Robot Chicken) and, of course, SAT prep tutor.

Horn has a new book out, The Laugh Out Loud Guide: Ace the SAT Exam without Boring Yourself to Sleep! (Andrews McMeel). It’s filled with standard-issue formulas twisted into ironic oblivion:


1. Yo Momma so _______, when you mail her a letter, you need two zip codes.

(A) diaphanous
(B) luminous
(C) ravenous
(D) grisly
(E) corpulent

2. Let x, y, and z equal the number of times Veronica, Ben, and Debbie respectively want to punch Terry in the face because he uses “LOL” in actual conversation instead of just in text messages and e-mails. If the average (arithmetic mean) of x and y is 4, and the average of x, y, and z is 10, what is the value of z?

We met Horn two years ago at Math Club. He was nice enough to talk to us then, and he’s nice enough (and in enough need of free publicity) to talk to us again:

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Zell Doesn’t Want LAT “People” In Charge

Baker_Cissy.gifWord last week that Cissy Baker was named to the new position of vice president of the Washington News Bureau of the Tribune Co. got us wondering, who the hell is Cissy Baker?

We know that Cissy is the top Tribune TV person in Washington, and that she’s the daughter of Sen. Howard Baker. We also know that she has worked for CNN and Fox.

What we didn’t know — until someone clarified this for us — was that Cissy was assigned because Zell “hates former Washington bureau chief Doyle McManus” and wanted him fired and “they do not want L.A. Times people in charge” in the Washington bureau.

So that’s who Cissy Baker is.

LAT In 90 Seconds

34137asdfsd355-24101751.jpgRegrets: Norah Vincent writes a moving account of her regret over not voting this year. Most impressive part of her Op-Ed? She uses the word “doctrinaire” twice. TWICE, people!

obama_2.jpgConspicuous Consumption: Just in time for the ailing economy, the LAT launches a new blog, To Live and Buy in L.A. Good thing, too. Otherwise we’d have no idea where to get an Obama T-shirt for our dog. (Seriously people? Everyone’s 401(k) is running on fumes and you’re selling us ironic dog T-shirts?)

agudfasfilera.jpgOne Note Wonder: The LAT blog post about Christina Aguilera’s fave restaurants can’t be more than 300 words long, but that’s long enough, apparently, for Aguilera to run out of words. To wit: “I’m a chef groupie. I met Tom Colicchio recently and was starstruck.” and “I’m a chef groupie. If I met Mario Batali I’d be starstruck.”

People Magazine To Cut LA Jobs

Per LA Observed:

Staffers at People’s LA office are being asked to volunteer to be bought out before someone else makes the decision for them. Here’s the letter the aptly named Larry Hackett sent his people at People:

From: Hackett, Larry — People
Sent: Mon Nov 10 09:41:28 2008
Subject: Staff Memo

As part of a broad Time Inc. work force reduction, I regret to announce that People magazine will be making cuts in its editorial staff. We are looking for the volunteers to accept severance packages in the following Guild-covered job classifications:

–up to 6 reporter-researchers
–up to 4 Los Angeles-based staff members from among staff correspondents and writer-editors
–up to 4 New York-based staff members from among staff correspondents, writer-editors and writer-reporters
–up to 3 copy editors
–1 research librarian

We are also looking for a up to two Guild-covered volunteers each in the Art Department and photo department, and one in the News Bureau.

Make-A-Wish Season of Wishes Kicks Off!



The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles kicked off the 2008 A Season of Wishes holiday campaign this weekend at Westfield Topanga.

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Orange County Register Front Page Put In Museum

06reg_med.jpgOrange County Register EIC Ken Brusic let his troops know that the paper’s Nov. 5 front page was selected to be one of 25 (out of 700 submitted) for inclusion in Newseum’s election day poster.

Here’s the letter Brusic forwarded to the rest of the staff, letting them know of the distinction:

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