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Posts Tagged ‘Christie D’Zurilla’

Matt Donnelly Exits LAT’s Ministry of Gossip

The beat will remain pretty much the same for entertainment journalist Matt Donnelly. But the Web traffic will be much larger, the reader comments harsher and there will now be, with any story, the walk-down-the-hall option of a synergistic TV appearance.

The Ministry of Gossip celebrity blogger got the official sendoff last night from boss Christie D’Zurilla and other LA Times colleagues, who all wished him the best of luck with new employers Yahoo! omg! and omg! Insider. The re-branded, cross-platform version of syndicated entertainment TV news magazine The Insider officially debuts January 7.

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Author Michael Levin Pays Tribute to Motivational Guru Zig Ziglar

The death on Wednesday of pioneering motivational author and speaker Zig Ziglar has reverberated far and wide.

Here for example is how LA Times celebrity blogger Christie D’Zurilla initially reacted on Twitter:

Saturday’s memorial service in Plano, Texas will be live-streamed. Leading up to that, one of the very best ways to remember Ziglar is to read an essay published earlier this year by New York Times bestselling author Michael Levin. It begins:

The last time I saw Zig Ziglar, I was one of 17,000 in attendance at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, where he was speaking as part of a program of superstars, including Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Joe Montana. He was onstage accompanied by his daughter, Julie Ziglar Norman, because Zig had suffered a fall a couple of years before that and nobody wanted him to fall again, especially onstage, and especially in front of 17,000 people.

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EXCLUSIVE: Getting to Know an LA Times ‘Gossip’ Queen

Our report last week about the record-breaking August numbers for LATimes.com included the rather remarkable stat of 3.5 million page views registered by the relatively new blog “Ministry of Gossip.” So we thought we’d check in with Christie D’Zurilla (pictured), the USC print journalism and chemistry major (!) who runs the site. She began her career at the Orange County Register before landing at the Times feature-entertainment copy desk in 2003.

“When we started the blog from scratch, the idea of hitting a million monthly page views seemed outrageous,” D’Zurilla tells FishbowlLA via email, “until we did it the first full month out of the gate (thanks, Tiger Woods and Adam Lambert). One of the coolest things about our August numbers and what they represent is that our readers came for a variety of stories across the board, rather than spiking on some huge scandal that broke on a holiday weekend.”

D’Zurilla, who shares the Ministry page with fellow blogger Matt Donnelly, references one of his recent items as an example of the fringe benefits that come with increased traffic. “I was the first person to hunt down and interview the Old Spice Guy, Isaiah Mustafa, in February 2010. Back then, it took eight days before anyone found the story and picked it up–even counting our LAT compadres.”

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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

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