Leo Wolinsky has been let go as editor of the Daily Variety after only 10 months on the job. Before coming to Variety, he worked at the LA Times for over three decades. The hiring of Wolinsky by the struggling Hollywood trade was seen as an effort to bring a hard news credibility … Oh, who are we kidding. Nikki Finke‘s version of the Wolinsky tale is so much more interesting than our own:
As I wrote back on December 8th, why in the world would that newspaper’s errand boy be named editor of Daily Variety (both the LA and NY editions) because the guy knew nothing about the entertainment biz… He was long considered a joke at the LA Times and infamous for secretly helping wrangle billionaire potential local backers like Eli Broad, Ron Burkle, Richard Riordan, and David Geffen when then bigwig editors were fighting with Tribune Co. (Finke/LA Weekly: Baquet’s Billionaire Boys Club). He briefly sat atop the LA Times‘ entertainment and feature sections as a seat-filler until he was let go. Nevertheless, Wolinsky was made responsible for all Variety editorial content for the print edition and began January 2010 reporting to Variety Group editor Tim Gray.
If memory serves, that LA Weekly story of Nikki’s won an award or two.