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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.

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