The Times found a way to get Pulitzer-winning auto critic Dan Neil's name into the paper more. He's going to pen a column on art and pop culture called "800 Words" in the Sunday magazine, starting Dec. 12. I assume that ends the columnist auditions on the back page of the past several weeks. The memo from John Montorio and Drex Heikes follows:
To: The Staff
From: John Montorio, Deputy Managing Editor
Drex Heikes, Executive Editor, Los Angeles Times Magazine
We are pleased to announce that Dan Neil will expand his contributions to the newspaper by writing a weekly column for the Magazine. Dan will apply his lively, fresh voice to the arts and pop culture, emphasizing connections -- high and low, avant-garde and old guard, ancient and modern. He will take on this new assignment in addition to his weekly Highway 1 auto review, which has developed a devoted following among lovers of cars and fine writing.
Before coming to The Times just over a year ago, Dan's distinguished and varied career included writing for automotive, travel, arts and sports magazines and at several newspapers. He has a master's in English literature from North Carolina University and a bachelor's in creative writing from East Carolina University.
And, as we all know, automotive columns he wrote during his first four months at this newspaper earned him a Pulitzer Prize for criticism, the first ever given to a car critic. Dan also won ASNE's commentary award this year for being what the judges called "the most uncommon auto columnist in the country." We will now tap his uncommon talents to help build up the magazine, knowing that his weekly byline will give readers another strong reason to sort through those Sunday supplements.
His new column, called "800 Words," will begin December 12th. He will report to Drex Heikes.