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Posts Tagged ‘Avital Binshtock’

Adding to the LA Times Body Count

The staffers laid off from the LA Times last week weren’t the only ones losing their jobs. Some, like Randy Hagihara, director of the metro & summer internship program, took voluntary buyouts. Freelance budgets were slashed in multiple sections, meaning less work for struggling freelancers. We heard from Avital Binshtock, a regular contributor to the travel section, that her Tours & Cruises and Calendar columns were being killed. And we’ve spoken to other LA Times freelance contributors who are uncertain of their future with the paper and are, at this point, just keeping their fingers crossed.

Just when we thought we couldn’t hate Sam Zell any more than we already do.

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LA Times Travel: Skip the Foie Gras, Take a Private Plane

Sunday’s LA Times Travel section offered some inadvertent hilarity. Freelancer Avital Binshtock breathlessly suggested some special ways to travel, to break readers out of their usual ruts, including this gem:

Forget long check-in and security-screening lines. Think private jets–and you don’t have to buy one. Flexjet ( offers fractional ownership of a plane or a new Flexjet 25 Card that lets clients buy time on a Learjet (minimum purchase is $129,900 for 25 hours). XOJet ( charges flat rates from coast to coast (west to east is $24,350).

And this perky little tip was written straight, with no hint of irony. Later on, she also sets travellers straight about saving the earth while eating abroad:

Avoid foods such as veal, foie gras and shark-fin soup that involve harsh treatment of animals.

FBLA suggests some harsh treatment of writers. Have the Tribune overlords fired all the editors or does consistency of message within a section not matter? Or if consistency doesn’t matter, how about common sense–is that too much to ask?

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