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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Swanson’

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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LAT Memo: New Movie Editor Has No Entertainment Reporting Experience

In our continuing coverage of the odd dysfunction of the LA Times Arts & Entertainment section, we’ve posted a memo of the latest hire. The new editor appears to have no previous experience covering film which seems like a strange choice since the section has been hemorrhaging vets who covered a flagship industry for LA. Very weird. It’s almost like a real estate mogul buying a major media company. What could possibly go wrong?

But congrats on getting a gig, Julie Makinen.

From: Hofmeister, Sallie

Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 5:18 PM
To: yyEntertainAll

Subject: great news: we have a new movie editor. this is going wide momentarily!

We are delighted to welcome back to The Times Julie Makinen, who will succeed Tim Swanson as movie editor for the Entertainment Department. Anyone who has worked with Julie will recall her fearless and rigorous approach to new challenges. She is known for creative story ideas, sharp editing skills and grace under pressure – as well as for her home-made ice cream and witty top 10 lists.

Julie has spent the last year and half in Hong Kong as deputy business editor of the Asian edition of the International Herald Tribune, fulfilling a longtime desire to live and work in Asia. Prior to that, she held a variety of editing and reporting jobs at The Times and at the Washington Post.

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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.

L ATimes Expands Calendar Weekend

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The LA Times, in an effort to hold on to those younger readers, younger being anyone born after the Kennedy assassination, revamps the Thursday Calender section. From John Montorio’s memo:

Thursday, we’ll raise the curtain on an exciting double feature, when we replace Weekend with two new sections—a Calendar broadsheet devoted to the movies and a freshly imagined tabloid, The Guide, designed to help readers make the most of their recreational, cultural and entertainment choices.

Whee. We’re dizzy at the prospect. Betsey Sharkey gets two lieutenants in her campaign, who are cutely called a “power couple”:

Tim Swanson, Film Editor. Tim, a former editor at Premiere and writer at Portfolio, will directly oversee our movie coverage.

Gina McIntyre, Assistant Entertainment Editor. Gina, who most recently was an editor and writer at The Hollywood Reporter, joins us later this month. She’ll be helping to shape our TV, film and pop music coverage.

And the real reason for the two sections comes from Lynne Segall, LAT veep of entertainment and fashion advertising:

The Thursday broadsheet will now give the studios a broader canvas on which to market their films on the most crucial day to promote weekend movie-going

The Guide will also launch online in a beta version as early as mid-November. Ultimately replacing Calendar Live, the site will feature user-generated content, as well as content from an expanded staff, who’ll work more cheaply than those folks already in the building.

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Tim Swanson: Blogger With Portfolio

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Portfolio, Conde Nast’s new business mag, has snared Tim Swanson as their blogger for all things entertainment. Swanson was at Variety before becoming West Coast bureau chief of Premiere. Swanson’s newest book, A Lifestyle Is a Terrible Thing to Waste, about HBO’s Entourage, comes out this fall.

Amy Wallace and Claire Hoffman were already snatched up as staffers.