FishbowlDC TVNewser TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser GalleyCat SocialTimes

Posts Tagged ‘Al Martinez’

Al Martinez Column Resurfaces At The Daily News

almart1.jpgAfter being dropped from the LA Times in January, popular columnist Al Martinez has found a new home at the Daily News. From Kevin Roderick at LA Observed:

Martinez’s debut DN column is about his daughters, one of whom is undergoing chemotherapy. Having his column run in the Daily News is a homecoming of sorts – for many years Martinez’s column was based in the Times’ old Valley edition.

Previously on FBLA:
Al Martinez’s Good-Bye Post

Mediabistro Course

Middle Grade Novel Writing

Middle Grade Novel WritingStarting January 15, work with a literary agent to write your middle-grade novel! In this course, you'll learn how to develop strong characters, write compelling dialogue, master the art of revision, and market your work to publishing houses and agents. Register now!

Al Martinez’s Good-Bye Post

Al Martinez, Emmy-nominated, Pulitzer winning LA Times columnist sent us this email:

Just so you’ll know, my column in the Times will end Jan. 19. I’m not sure why: too old at 79? no space for me? I don’t fit the hip,cool, Hollywood demographics? All of the above? Ask them. They did say they couldn’t afford me, but since I was “downsized” the first time and hired back as a freelancer, my salary has been halved and I’ve had no medical coverage, no vacation time, no expense account and generally no staff perks. I haven’t been THAT expensive. But I’ve never been a whiner, and I won’t be now. This is just to show my readers the respect I’ve always felt toward you by giving you advance warning. It isn’t likely to do much good this time, but by making your feelings known to the editor, publisher, readers rep or anyone else you can think of, it may guide their decisions in the future. Meanwhile, my blog goes on and I’ll pop up now and then in non-column form in the Times and elsewhere.

That blog is here. Good luck to you Al!

Al Martinez Starts A Writers Workshop

80dsgdsfs52731.jpgSomeone who says that they’re LAT columnist Al Martinez sent us a note, alerting us to a new writer’s workshop he’s hosting:

Looking toward the day when the LAT pulls the plug on me and my column, and me, I’ve begun a Writers Workshop and wow is it a success. I’m taking 32 writing aspirants (broken into four groups) through what I’ve learned in 55 years as a journo: reality vs classroom fantasies issued by those who never were. Not too much writing I haven’t done with some success: Essays, non-fiction books and magazine pieces, novels, short stories and journalism. In my home, three two-hour classes on three successive Mondays. About 50 more wannabes are lined up at my door. And I’m also building and refining my blog, “Al Martinez on Everything Else


Thanks for the heads up, Al! If you are Al…

[UPDATE: We asked Al Martinez if he, indeed, was the person who sent us this e-mail, and we got a response: "Yep." That's good enough for us!]

Will the LA Times Delete All the Old Staffers?

times0308 (Small).png

Of the big list of staffers eligible for the buyout at the LA Times, only a handful (under 10) are over 60. The powers that be might think long and hard before booting the seniors.

Lewis Segal, the dance critic, is going. Sasha Anawalt writes:

In a city where dance riddles the inner sanctums of churches, temples, community centers, clubs, gymnasiums and zocalos, to say nothing of the nearly 280 legit performance spaces in mainstream theaters, large, mid-sized and small–his signals a gigantic disconnect between the people and press.

But Segal didn’t write much about dance as something people do, but rather as something people watch others do. His last piece about Dancing with the Stars was in 2006, which suggests that his editors weren’t comfortable with either his expertise or his views (which is dumb, because he liked the show.) Why wasn’t he writing about dance in movies–like Hairspray or High School Musical? Was he being deliberately marginalized?

To extrapolate from Anawalt’s post, the disconnect between the paper and the public started back when Otis Chandler wanted to be head of an important national paper, not a popular local rag. Thus, the importation of writers and editors from Back East.

Once upon a time, the LAT had half-a-dozen lively columnists (proto-bloggers) who were read, quoted, raged against, and laughed at (and not just Jack Smith). With the possible exceptions of Al Martinez, Steve Lopez and maybe Chris Erskine, is there anyone that readers feel a connection? Is there anyone at the paper who’s really connected to Los Angeles as a real place, not the fantasy version with good public transport, clean air, and free vegan lunch trucks?

Al Martinez–Back With a Bounce at the LA Times

Al and Cat.jpg

Al Martinez is back at the LA Times thanks to thousands upon thousands of fans. Or a handful of people on Ritalin with a lot of free time and a high-speed connection.

Still, his re-appearance should be taken as a sign that the upper levels of Trib/Times management can be made to pay attention to the readers.

Al’s photo is from Katie Dalsemer Photography.

LAT Yields to Public Pressure: Al Martinez Could Come Back


The voice of the people has spoken, and Al Martinez will once again write for the LA Times. According to LA Witness and Celeste Fremon, the Topanga Democratic Club organized an email campaign to keep Martinez around.

So, O’Shea and the other big-wigs relented and as Martinez wrote:

They have asked for the return of my column once a week, possibly in op ed. If they come up with the right deal in the right place, I shall return, to quote a guy once kicked off an island.

Considering that the contributing op-ed writers get about $750 per piece, we’re not betting on the deal or the place being all that right.

The Times also dumped Mallard Fillmore, but we’re pretty sure that no one in Topanga squawked.

Last Writes for LA Times Columnists


Farewell columns abound at the LA Times.

Al Martinez takes a cue from Goodnight, Moon.
(Martinez says he never saw his departure coming. Considering most everyone else at the LAT has been quaking in their slip-ons for months, why was he so surprised?)

Robert Salladay, the Political Muscle blogger, kept it short and sweet.

J.J. Adande links his goodbye to Kobe Bryant. Adande’s more than likely to land some biggish deal soon.

Tiffany Loves Her Dirty Rice, Tells World: My Favorite Weekend Jumps Shark, Falls, Can’t Get Up, Festers and Dies


Sandra Tsing Loh proclaims the official end to My Favorite Weekend in the LAT. Today’s celebrity, songstress Tiffany, confided to a breathlessly waiting public that:

The dirty rice at The Blue Bayou Restaurant, adjoining the Pirates of the Caribbean, is “off the hook.”

Loh says:

The already-staggering Thursday section has officially hit bottom, with a big clanging sound.

Read more

Al Martinez Not Going Quietly, Supporters Muster


Al Martinez is getting more attention for being forced to take the Trib’s buyout than for writing his columns. Rallying to the veteran writer’s defense are Kenani, Bill Boyarski, Joan Leonard (on the same page, Marsha Armstrong of Dr. Phil, Gia Gittleson of Los Angeles magazine (who could hire him) and assorted others. Ken Reich weighs in, as well.

Martinez will be on Patt Morrison’s show today.

We’re guessing that one thing Martinez won’t be doing in forced retirement is

Read more

LAT in 90


Back to the drawing board.
Disney’s returning to hand drawn animation with The Frog Princess, a musical set in New Orleans. The movie would be written and directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, who co-directed The Little Mermaid. The studio will hire more animators, too, which is great news.

Pay per post.
Some bloggers are paid to write about products and services. Shocking.

Vivienne Westwood gets a career retrospective in San Francisco, which isn’t all that fascinating, but it’s nice to see Rose Apodaca’s byeline. Brian Grazer’s making a film about Westwood.

Mogul-mad Malibu.
Larry Ellison owns a chunk of Malibu, and is planning two new restaurants while David Geffen is renovating the Malibu Beach Inn. Nothing like a reservation for gazillionaires.

Al Martinez wants everyone to just shut up about the LA Times.