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Posts Tagged ‘Ann Powers’

So What Do You Do, Danyel Smith, Editor, Author and Co-Founder of HRDCVR?

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There’s a piece of advice Danyel Smith received her first day on the job as editor-in-chief of Vibe that’s resonated with the writer-slash-editor-slash-author ever since: You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. It came from her mother, delivered in that simplified, stripped down, yeah-it-really-is-that-easy manner that momfolk have. Creatively and professionally, it freed Smith in what has culminated into an enviable, 20-year career at major titles — among them, Time and Billboard — which has solidified her spot on the list of editorial doyennes.

A 2013-2014 John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University brought that initial nugget of mama wisdom full circle. “I have higher expectations of myself to not do stuff because I should. That’s easy to forget,” she confessed. “Someone there said, ‘Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you have to do exactly that. You can do other things.’ That’s why Stanford was so amazing.” Feeling reborn is part of it. Now wholly submerged in the anticipated publication of HRDCVR, a culture magazine she co-founded with husband and fellow journo Elliott Wilson, she’s exemplifying it. “It’s a good feeling to be working for something that you really, really believe in,” Smith beamed.

Here, she talks professional reinvention, new platforms and more.

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Unlike Many Music Journalists, NPR’s Ann Powers Does Her Homework

AnnPowersNPRPicFive years ago, NPR music critic Ann Powers relocated from Los Angeles to, of all places, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The trigger for the move was her husband Eric Weisbard‘s acceptance of a teaching position in the American studies department at the University of Alabama.

Powers tells student newspaper The Crimson White that she did not expect her move to correspond with a musical-artists renaissance in the U.S. south. She also reveals to Francie Johnson that laziness in the music journalism business remains pervasive:

To prepare for her interviews, Powers listens to the artists’ catalogs and spends time researching online and in music archives. “You’d be shocked to know how many times I’ve talked to artists, and they’ve said journalists will come in completely unprepared,” Powers said. “That just seems ridiculous to me. You wouldn’t talk to the president without knowing the issues. Why do you think it’s okay to talk to an artist without knowing their work?”

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Entertainment Weekly Nabs LA Times Writer Melissa Maerz

LA Times staffer Melissa Maerz is on her way to Entertainment Weekly, FishbowlLA has learned. She becomes the mag’s lead music critic and will also contribute features to the TV department. One has to wonder whether Maerz didn’t see much potential for upward mobility at the Times after Randall Roberts recently took over the highly coveted pop music critic gig from Ann Powers.

Maerz has a pretty impressive resume. And by impressive we mean we’re jealous. She was a senior editor at Rolling Stone as well as a senior editor at New York magazine, where she created and launched the mag’s now wildly popular blog Vulture.

Randall Roberts Named LA Times Pop Music Critic

Current LA Times Pop Music Editor Randall Roberts is taking on a new job — that of Pop Music Critic. The post was vacated by Ann Powers in February, nearly two years after she moved to Alabama and began telecommuting.

Roberts was the LA Weekly music editor until last year, when the LAT hired him away to become Pop Music Editor. He’ll continue with his editorial duties until a replacement is found.

Pictured: Randall Roberts, right, looking vaguely like a serial killer, with FishbowlLA editors Matt Fleischer and Pandora Young.

Memo from the LAT after the jump.

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LA Times Calendar Section Loses Another Body

Company Town editor John Lippman is the latest to leave the Los Angeles Times Calendar section. He’s off to New Hampshire, where he’ll be the editor of a small town paper.

Lippman is the 14th voluntary exit from the Calendar section in a little under two years, an unusually high rate of departures at a time when newspaper jobs are increasingly hard to come by. We’ve heard grumblings about the section’s editor, Sallie Hofmeister, but as Kevin Roderick points out, Lippman was a Hofmeister hire, and his departure is apparently nothing to do with his boss.

After the jump, the updated list of Calender refugees:

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LA Times Calendar Section: The Mass Exodus

Look, we’re old salts when it comes to journalists changing gigs. We were there for what we call the ’08-’09 blood bath. Tens of thousands of journalists laid off. It was like blogging at a morgue.

Anyway, the post-Apocalypse LAT Calendar section is still losing talent. Today’s exit: one of the last remaining senior television writers Maria Elena Fernandez. That makes three senior writers whom have left Calendar in the past month (music critic Ann Powers and reporter Chris Lee being the other two).

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Ann Powers Out at LA Times

Another journo leaves the Arts and Entertainment section.

This is a note from assistant managing editor Sallie Hofmeister:

I am terribly sad to report that Ann Powers is leaving the Times in early March. Ann and her family will continue living in Alabama and Ann will work for NPR Music, an online department of the public radio group, as well as become a contributor to the Times. We are working out the details of such an arrangement.

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LA Times Sweeps the Times’ Editorial Awards

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Safe to say the LA Times won all their own awards. Cough. This year’s Pulitzers. Cough. Congratulations all!

Joel Rubin
won for beat reporting. Harriet Ryan, Andrew Blankstein, Geoff Boucher, Chris Lee and Ann Powers won for breaking news, the Michael Jackson story specifically.

And the Publisher’s Prize went to Ken Bensinger and Ralph Vartabedian for sticking with a Toyota crash story that ended up causing one of the largest auto recalls in history. There’s the real breaking story. Get it? Huh? Breaking.

Complete list and a podcast with Russ Stanton is here.

LAT In 90 Seconds

38140667.jpgNew York Times Is Not For Sale: Extra! Extra! Actual good news in the paper for once.

38110469-21124951.jpgDisney Launches Nature Film Unit: It’s an effort to get on the green bandwagon and focus on the environment and all that jazz. Great idea, but will the studio be able to control the impulse to make the animals appear to talk?

38116100-21162120.jpgPicked-Over Meat Loaf: Pop rock critic Ann Powers reviews a cell phone commercial starring Meat Loaf. Did no one put out an album anywhere this week?

LAT In 90 Seconds

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Was the Strike Worth It? Columnist Scott Collins seems to think so, but, there are some caveats. Among them: `One provision says the studios don’t have to pay any residual on streamed content for up to 24 days after its initial airing, giving the studio “a loophole to exploit.”

35487729-10223642.jpgWhat Was It That Disturbed Us Most About Amy Winehouse’s Performance? We thought it was maybe the twitchiness. Or the fact that we kept looking at her arms for track marks. But, then we read Ann Power’s piece and realized what it really was: “Off-key at times, her drawled syllables sometimes veering uncomfortably close to blackface…” Ah. Yes, that was it.

35281228-05224927.jpgYahoo Gives Microsoft The Finger:Yahoo Inc. formally rejected Microsoft Corp.’s $44.6 billion takeover bid today, saying it ‘substantially undervalues’ the struggling Internet pioneer.” Didn’t we already read that story?

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