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LA Times Calendar Section Defends Itself

Yesterday we listed all the people who are no longer at the Calendar Section of the LA Times. We noted it makes the section look pretty dysfunctional. We don’t hear of en masse exits from say the Sports Section. But it’s been pretty consistent at the Calendar section.

The newspaper has sent us a statement saying we forgot to mention they’ve hired people too. Hear that obit writers? You should also talk about how people are being born. Otherwise it’s only half the story.

From Nancy Sullivan:

LA Times Calendar section: The Mass Influx

NEW HIRES (in the same frame):
Joy Press, Randall Roberts, Melissa Maerz, Gerrick Kennedy, Yvonne Villarreal, Nardine Saad, Nate Jackson, Rebecca Keegan, Nicole Sperling, Ben Fritz, Joe Flint, Steve Zeitchik, Julie Makinen, Deb Vankin, Jori Finkel, Amy Kaufman, David Ng

JOINED CALENDAR REPORTING STAFF FROM ANOTHER DEPT: Christie D’Zurilla, Whitney Friedlander

STILL WITH THE ENVELOPE: Tom O’Neil

STILL WITH THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: Matea Gold (covering politics in D.C.)

STILL WITH THE TRIBUNE COMPANY: Joseph Kapsch (Editorial Director, Zap2it)

NEVER ON STAFF: Elizabeth Snead and Pete Hammond

And, as far as covering the industry we’re most noted for, look no farther than our awards season coverage in The Envelope, Calendar and Business and on the front page. That included: breaking news, festival dispatches, profiles, criticism, commentary, business stories, photo galleries, photo spreads, graphics, red carpet and parties coverage, celebrity dish, videos, panel discussions, Cheat Sheets and an impressive stream of A1 stories.

Tom O’Neil is at GoldDerby. According to Wikipedia:

GoldDerby.com re-emerged as a free-standing site on Nov. 5, 2010, backed by the Times, which sells its advertising.

O’Neil tells FishbowlLA, “I don’t know if it’s technically correct to say that I work for Calendar. I work for L.A. Times, writing several blog items per day for TheEnvelope.com’s Awards Tracker blog. Plus I write for The Envelope’s print editions. I don’t write much for the Calendar print section — maybe just a few items per year.” He also clarified, which many of his colleagues were confused by, that his status quo at the Times has not changed at all in six years. We’ll call this a gray area. We listed 13 journos, if it’s only 12, our point remains.

And the “never on staff” Snead and Hammond were under contract for years which seems more like semantics than a defense. They were “not on staff” like none of the editors at FishbowlLA are “not on staff.” They were still working at the Calendar Section and recently left.

Also Sullivan didn’t ask for a correction, which we’d be more than happy to do if we were wrong. The facts remain that in this sketchy journalism job market, the LAT Calender section is seeing a lot of seasoned pros leave, while the same can’t be said for other sections at this major metropolitan newspaper.

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