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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Donnelly’

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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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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Palin Posse Loots Oscar Gift Suite for ‘Charity’

bling333.jpg“Charity” is our new code word for Sarah Palin‘s pocketbook. She was going to give her $100K speaking fee to a “grassroots” movement “back to the cause.” Her RNC quarter-million dollar wardrobe? There is no real evidence of her donating anything. It was money for her “charity.”

Anyway, those fancy Oscar swag lounges featured we’ve all seen on E! reality shows (because they don’t invite media bloggers to smash and grab) was raided by also-ran veep candidate Palin and by some reports 20 of her entourage.

LAT’s Matt Donnelly reports:

I’m told the oft-parodied politico donated all of her gift items back to the Silver Spoon for auction, as well as about $1,700 of her own cash, in support of multiple Red Cross efforts, including those in Haiti and Chile.

Taryn Ryder at E! online disagrees:

Oh, really?

Too fab she gave money, but we can assure you she did not give up any of her swag.

If E! was “fairness, balance” they wouldn’t have reported that.

Matt Donnelly: Yet Another Journo Joins Buzznet

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Matt Donnelly leaves E! (again), and this time — maybe — for good! Donnelly informed us that “after a great couple of months with Ken Baker and his team, I’m headed back to writing (after newsgathering with Ken) and reporting for Buzznet‘s Celebuzz.”

As we reported earlier, Jeff Leeds and Leslie Simon are already on board, and the place “is exploding.”

Congratulations, Matt!

Matthew Donnelly Leaves E! For Page Six

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Planet Gossip’s Matt Donnelly is leaving the cushy confines of E! Online for the terrifying world of New York gossip-mongering. (OK, we’re being hyperbolic, but we never like seeing a local go AWOL).

Donnelly will remain in L.A., but his new business cards (which will get you high if you lick them) will read “Reporter/Producer, PageSix.com.”

We will miss Matt’s sweet smile and the unassuming way he got the dirt on, like, everyone.

Congratulations, Matt!