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Jonathan Gold-Watch Gets Dramatic**

The single most juicy question on the minds of media watchers in LA right now is undoubtedly whether Jonathan Gold is really heading to the LA Times. Over the weekend LA Observed reported that even though Gold had a signed deal with the LA Times, Village Voice Media owner Mike Lacey was pulling out all the stops to keep Gold at the LA Weekly--and a bidding war with the Times for Gold’s services was in full swing. This morning, however, a post on the food blog of the LA Weekly‘s sister paper The Village Voice seemed to confirm that Gold was indeed leaving for the LA Times.

The post’s title was unambiguous. “Jonathan Gold Leaving L.A. Weekly for L.A. Times,” screamed the headline. The author of the post then wished Gold “the greatest success in his new job.”

Well, that must be that then, no? The Village Voice is the biggest property in VVM’s chain. Lacey must have given them the scoop, figuring if he was going to lose Gold, he might as well hand his paper a big story.

But wait! The author of the Village Voice piece doesn’t credit Lacey as his source, he credits…LA Observed. Who clearly reported that a bidding war was underway for Gold, and that no decision had been reached.

Whoops! That one probably isn’t going to go over to well at VVM’s underground bunker in Phoenix.

For now, Gold Watch 2012 is still ticking.

*Update: As FishbowlLA commenter Hillel Aron notes, the Facebook page of lit mag Slake, where Gold’s wife Laurie Ochoa is a founding editor, has confirmed Gold’s exit from the LA Weekly.

**Double Update: Gold is definitely heading to the LA Times. LA Weekly editor Sarah Fenske just made an official announcement.

Yes, it’s true. The Weekly‘s longtime food critic, Jonathan Gold, has accepted a job with the L.A. Times. He’ll be leaving here in a few weeks.

We’re sad to see him go, as Gold is not just the first — and only — food critic to win a Pulitzer Prize (in 2007), but a brilliant writer and intrepid explorer of the L.A. culinary scene. We wish we could have kept him. Hell, we tried to keep him. But time marches on. He’s been here since 1982, for God’s sake. We wish him the best of luck in his new adventures.

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