Chocano named top Times TV critic


TV Barn says that Entertainment Weekly writer Carina Chocano will be named chief TV critic at the L.A. Times, replacing the retired Howard Rosenberg. Supposed to be announced today. Personal praise from Heather Havrilesky, who got her slot at Salon.

Update 5:10 p.m.: The announcement is official. The memo follows:

To: The Staff
From: John Montorio, Deputy Managing Editor/Features
Lennie LaGuire, Entertainment Editor

As the Pulitzer Prizes we've won for criticism demonstrate, The Times' commitment to critical excellence is one of our most deeply held values. Given who we are and where we publish, we've always felt a special urgency in this regard when it comes to television criticism. Our TV critic has to be somebody who writes with style, wit and intelligence and who brings not only genuine cultural breadth, but also the ability to produce discerning criticism for an industry-savvy audience. That's why since the acclaimed Howard Rosenberg retired from The Times, we've scoured the country for precisely the kind of critic our readers deserve and the quality of our entertainment report requires.

Happily, that search has turned up an exciting new talent, and we're pleased to announce that Carina Chocano, currently a staff writer and critic at Entertainment Weekly, will be joining The Times as television critic next month. Those who've followed Carina's work know she is a distinctive writer with a delightfully original sensibility and a wonderful grasp of popular culture in all its dimensions. From 1999 to January 2003, Carina worked at, where she served as associate editor, senior writer and television critic.

Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review and Newsday, and several of her humor pieces are featured in the anthology "More Mirth of a Nation" (HarperCollins, 2002.) Carina also has written a satirical relationship guide called "Do You Love Me, or Am I Just Paranoid?", which was published by Villard in February.

Before joining Salon, she was a freelance writer for various children's educational Web sites and software companies, including the "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?" series for Broderbund Software. Her short film, "Samuel Beckett Orders Out," screened at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival and The New York Comedy Film Festival, among others. Carina graduated from Northwestern University with B.A. in comparative literature in 1990.

As you can see, Carina's background with its forays into magazines, books, film and online journalism will allow her to bring a singular perspective and range of experience to an assignment as vast and unrestricted as this one. So please join us in welcoming her next month, as she opens what promises to be an exciting new page in our already distinguished history of television criticism.

And as we welcome Carina, we'd also like to thank Robert Lloyd for the witty and insightful television criticism he has brought to our pages in recent months. We look forward to continued collaboration with Robert when he returns from his musical adventures touring with John Wesley Harding later this year.

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