Long but terser-than-usual roundup, due to a books-filled weekend away from the computer. It was great to chat with old friends, new readers, media people and bloggers and to hear an astonishing amount of good words about L.A. Observed at the festival...
Up front: Usually reliable L.A. Times staffers believe that, within weeks, LATimes.com will tear down the pay wall separating Calendar and style stories from the paper's online readership...Monday's NYT has a story on Arianna Huffington's new celebrity-filled group blog effort, to be introduced May 9 as the Huffington Post...Monday's L.A. Business Journal has a piece by James Nash on the Times' circulation woes. There's a new circulation VP (Jack Klunder, who returns to the LAT after a stint at the L.A. Newspaper Group) and sober advice from a national advertising exec: "We would strongly encourage them to go out and do whatever they can to improve their paid home delivery [numbers]"...Monday's Daily Journal has a story by Ryan Oliver pondering what a Hahn loss would do to the clout of Bill Wardlaw, chairman and power-behind-the-throne in the last three winning campaigns for mayor...Distinction's new issue, the first entirely under Holly Palance's editorship, has a fetching black-and-white cover of Maria Shriver...And belated news from Variety that Executive Editor, International Steven Gaydos has returned from Europe and that Dade Hayes, who was managing editor for special reports, has left the building for a gig at Entertainment Weekly.
Festival of Books: The weekend began Friday night with LAT Book Prizes for, among others, local journalist Evan Wright for Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America and the New Face of American War, Kem Nunn for Tijuana Straits: A Novel and Lorraine Adams in "first fiction" for Harbor, a novel that grew from her reporting for the Washington Post on a terrorist plot to bomb LAX. The Elegant Variation blogged live from the ceremony, the always well-attended reception after, and from festival panels on Saturday and Sunday (with former Times Book Review editors.) Blog reports so far also from James Wolcott, Tod Goldberg, Roger L. Simon, Hugh Hewitt, Lee Goldberg, Brady Westwater, Carolyn Kellogg and Franklin Avenue's Mike and Maria (and Evan, in stroller), who stopped by to say hi during my signing at the Angel City Press tent.
Hahn vs. Villaraigosa: Hahn dredges up Villaraigosa's 1977 misdemeanor trial (ending in hung jury and dismissal of charges) over a restaurant scrap. It came up in Saturday's Spanish-language debate, covered by the Times, Daily News, AP and in depth by debate co-sponsor La Opinión (which has campaign reporter Jazmín Ortega's lede-all , reactions and capsules.) Beware spotty Google translation if you use it...Rick Orlov says in the Daily News that the Villaraigosa camp seems anxious while Hahn acts calm...John Broder in the New York Times reported Sunday on the Latino-black coalition coming together behind Villaraigosa...The LAT's Daniel Hernandez on Saturday analyzed Villaraigosa's less-than-stellar command of Spanish and its possible effect on the race...The John Kerry factor for Villaraigosa...Hahn released an edited appointment calendar to the Times, but the story had little of interest. Matt Szabo critiques Hahn's reluctance...The LA Weekly speculates on the role ex-DWP chief S. David Freeman may play in a Villaraigosa administration and asks about $12 million in city funds given to a pet project of labor...Steve Lopez sat down with some Villaraigosa foes in Boyle Heights...Greg Dewar rants about the quality of the race...Mark Alan Stamaty is back with another cartoon on the race in Sunday Opinion—this one jumps...Last word: Joe Scott calls the race "a yawner between Tweedledum and Tweedledee."
Random notes: There have now been seven Sunday Opinion's without Michael Lewis, whose last LAT column argued that the height of male status comes from marrying a woman with a successful career and getting her to become a housewife. He had a piece about baseball in today's NYT Magazine...In Sunday Opinion, Judith Regan explains her West Coast hankering, Denise Hamilton shows compassion for journos who make it up, and Jamie Court of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights complains in Outside the Tent about East Coast voices at the L.A. Times...Women's Wear Daily (via LA.com) reports that "C" will be a new luxury lifestyle mag pitched at Californians. Michael Coady, former chief executive of Fairchild Publications, will be president and editorial director...Councilman Eric Garcetti blogged on Earth Day from Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, the newest territory in Canada, "in order to raise awareness about global warming and its effects on Los Angeles and on the arctic north."...Cathy Seipp goes after David Shaw at National Review Online...Silent Snow: The Slow Poisoning of the Arctic by LAT environmental writer Marla Cone is due May 23 from Grove Press...And Martini Republic loses another friend in the L.A. blogosphere, while LABrainTerrain doesn't much care for for FishbowlLA.