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Posts Tagged ‘Denise Martin’

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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What’s Going On at LAT Arts & Entertainment Section?

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As those who cover the newspaper industry, we don’t flinch when journos lose jobs anymore. It’s barely a story. Layoffs have been the norm for the past two years or more. But it seems like LAT is losing more journos in its Arts & Entertainment section than other sections. And the reporters and editors in that section are quitting. That’s news.

In the last year they have lost Kate Aurthur to Daily Beast, Joseph Kapsch to Zap2it, Denise Martin to TVGuide, Richard Rushfield to Gawker, Tim Swanson to teaching, Rachel Abromwitz to a TV show, blogger Elizabeth Snead to Zap2it and this week it’s Matea Gold. We also heard that photographer David Strick‘s contract was not renewed.

What’s going on over there? “People are fleeing since Sallie Hofmeister took over,” a former reporter said to us.

Which isn’t conclusive really. It’s someone who hates their former boss. So we made a list. That’s a lot of people leaving in a short amount of time. And then we asked around.

Another Entertainment Section vet wrote us, “I’d say that the coverage has been going in the wrong direction since Sallie took over — she cares only about the business of entertainment, not the content of it. She has disdain for the web, and no understanding of it, but insisted on taking it over anyway. Sadly, I never hear of anyone happy there.”

This isn’t good. This is the equivalent to the Washington Post having debilitating problems covering Congress. This is Los Angeles. It’s the “Entertainment Capital of the World” and the Los Angeles Times’ Entertainment section is this dysfunctional? Not good.

Saving the Best for Last

41709263.jpg As always, Tina Daunt‘s Cause Celebre column is fantastic. She attends a Women for Obama function in which Maria Shriver tries to woo Clinton supporters.

Our one quibble: Why save the juiciest bit for the very end?

“I know many of the people on McCain’s campaign,” she said. “A lot of them worked on my husband’s campaign. I can tell you they’re tough and they’re organized. You must focus on the repair work. If you don’t work to heal the rupture, the fight will be all that’s remembered. . . . No one did that in 1980 and we all know what happened: We lost that election.

“There are no perfect politicians,” she said. “There is no perfect race, and I’ve been involved in a lot of elections. Some are really painful. That’s politics.”