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LAT Memo: New Movie Editor Has No Entertainment Reporting Experience

In our continuing coverage of the odd dysfunction of the LA Times Arts & Entertainment section, we’ve posted a memo of the latest hire. The new editor appears to have no previous experience covering film which seems like a strange choice since the section has been hemorrhaging vets who covered a flagship industry for LA. Very weird. It’s almost like a real estate mogul buying a major media company. What could possibly go wrong?

But congrats on getting a gig, Julie Makinen.

From: Hofmeister, Sallie

Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 5:18 PM
To: yyEntertainAll

Subject: great news: we have a new movie editor. this is going wide momentarily!

We are delighted to welcome back to The Times Julie Makinen, who will succeed Tim Swanson as movie editor for the Entertainment Department. Anyone who has worked with Julie will recall her fearless and rigorous approach to new challenges. She is known for creative story ideas, sharp editing skills and grace under pressure – as well as for her home-made ice cream and witty top 10 lists.

Julie has spent the last year and half in Hong Kong as deputy business editor of the Asian edition of the International Herald Tribune, fulfilling a longtime desire to live and work in Asia. Prior to that, she held a variety of editing and reporting jobs at The Times and at the Washington Post.

As movie editor, Julie will supervise a talented team of reporters, bloggers, columnists and critics covering Southern California’s signature industry, mainly for Calendar and latimes.com. Deputy editor Gina McIntyre will report to Julie, who also will work closely with Elena Howe, editor of The Envelope, and John Lippman, who supervises our Company Town team. Julie will start Sept. 1 and will report to Craig Turner, arts and entertainment editor.

Film coverage is at the very heart of our entertainment report. Tim has broadened our coverage to include trend pieces and essays to augment our profiles, reviews and interviews. He has increased emphasis on breaking news, launched the 24 Frames blog with Steve Zeitchik and worked with Geoff Boucher to raise the visibility of the Hero Complex blog.

Julie will help take our coverage to the next level. Over the course of her career, she has captained investigative projects, overseen front-page breaking news stories ranging from the Wall Street meltdown to Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game and edited columns, blogs and Column One stories. In 2003, after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, she spent several weeks in Baghdad helping to edit and coordinate coverage. An early advocate of the Web, Julie is equally at home online and in print.

At the Herald Tribune, Julie coordinates reporters and editors on three continents, assigning and editing business and technology stories for print and for nytimes.com. Her most recent job at The Times was deputy business editor, where she supervised the daily news budget, conceived and edited major projects and developed new beats and blogs. Prior to that, she was deputy weekend editor, where she helped select and edit stories for the Sunday front page. As an assistant foreign editor, she edited Barbara Demick‘s award-winning series on North Korea, “Glimpses of a Hermit Nation.” Before joining The Times, Julie worked on the foreign, metro and copy desks and as a metro reporter for the Washington Post.

Julie has a bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford and a master’s in East Asian studies from UCLA. In addition to making ice cream and playing the harp, Julie enjoys travel to exotic and dangerous places. She took a one-week vacation to North Korea in 2008 and spent several months in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2004 as media advisor for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, working with Afghan journalists to establish the country’s first independent news agency.

Please join us in welcoming her back.

Sallie Hofmeister, assistant managing editor, arts and entertainment
Craig Turner, arts and entertainment editor

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