Amy Wallace returns to LAT *

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The senior writer at Los Angeles Magazine whose 2001 profile of Variety editor Peter Bart was much talked about — and was a finalist for the National Magazine Award — is going to be deputy entertainment editor in the L.A. Times business section. That's the job Michael Cieply recently vacated for the New York Times. Wallace had been a staff writer at the Times, in Metro and in the Calendar section, before following Kit Rachlis from the paper to Los Angeles. The Times memo follows:

* But first: Here's the email that Los Angeles editor Rachlis sent the staff, lamenting the news:

It is with great sadness that I tell you that Amy Wallace is leaving the magazine. Our competitors downtown - the mean and nasty L.A. Times - who lost Amy to us three-and-a-half years ago, have lured her back. They have asked her to become an editor in the business section overseeing entertainment coverage. Despite my many entreaties, the opportunity to learn new skills proved too much. (An editor? Why would anyone want to be an editor? I asked disingenuously.) As all of you know, Amy has done remarkable work for this magazine. She will, of course, always be identified with her profile of Peter Bart, for which she was nominated for a National Magazine award, but there have been many memorable pieces: her exploration of L.A's obsession with breasts, her portrait of the agent Robert Newman, her investigation into a plastic surgery case that went wrong, not to mention numerous Encounters, departments, and Buzz pieces. More than anything, we will miss her generosity, her ideas, her Mickey-and-Judy let's-put-on-a-play spirit, and a laugh that could be heard blocks away. Amy will not be leaving until the end of August (there's the small matter of a cover story to be written), so we will have plenty of time to plan a proper send-off. When you see her, though, wish her the best. The L.A. Times just got a lot better.

OK, on to the Times memo:

Colleagues:

We are thrilled to announce that Amy Wallace is returning to The Times as deputy entertainment editor in the business section. Amy is a gifted writer with great instincts for compelling and memorable stories. Her addition to the entertainment team in business is certain to have an immediate impact, strengthening coverage that already is extraordinarily strong. Given the breadth of her skills--and her quick mind--we're also certain that her entry into the editing world will be as seamless as her prose. She'll report to Deputy Business Editor Joel Sappell.

For the past several years, Amy has been a senior writer at Los Angeles Magazine. Her September 2001 profile of Peter Bart, editor in chief of Daily Variety, was a finalist for the National Magazine Award in 2002. For 11 years, she was a staff writer here, covering state politics, higher education and the entertainment industry. Previously, she was a reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where, among other things, she covered prisons and death row. She began her career as an assistant to James Reston, the New York Times columnist, after graduating with a B.A. in history from Yale. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Nation, The New York Times Magazine, Details, Elle and other national publications.

Rick Wartzman, Business Editor

Joel Sappell, Deputy Business Editor/Entertainment

July 14, 2004

* More details: Wallace explains the move in a web-only piece by Nikki Finke on the LA Weekly website. 7:15 p.m.


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