Michael Kinsley won't be staying on at the L.A. Times as a columnist or anything else. An email he sent staffers this morning disclosed that Publisher Jeffrey Johnson dis-invited Kinsley to stick around. One last time, he scoops his own paper. * After the Kinsley email is the Times press release, issued today, naming Andrés Martinez as Kinsley's successor (as LAO reported earlier this morning.). His title will remain Editorial Page Editor. updated 11:45 a.m.
From: Michael Kinsley
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2005 4:54 AM
Subject: local news
Hi. In case you haven't heard already, the Publisher is announcing this morning that I'm leaving the Los Angeles Times. The news stories a few weeks ago saying that I would be giving up managerial duties but staying with the paper were not wrong. That is what I wanted and what John Carroll wanted too. But Jeff wants a "clean break." He did offer to discuss at some future date the possibility of my continuing to write a column as a non-employee. And he raised the possibility of some consulting on web matters down the road.
This did not seem overly welcoming, and further inquiries by me and others have made clear that it wasn't intended to. For whatever reason, Jeff isn't merely uninterested in any future contribution I might make, but actively wants me gone. So I'm off, with some regret and some excitement, to the Washington Post, duties TBD but including the column. I hope it will continue to appear in the LA Times as well, but that is beyond my control.
I'm sorry this has ended on a bitter note. I've loved my brief time at the Los Angeles Times. I've learned a l lot, and made (I hope) some friends for life. Even the frustrations have been fascinating frustrations. And I think I've done some good for the paper, though others may not agree. The LA Times has some of the nicest people and finest journalists I've ever worked with, starting at the top with Dean. And even Jeff will have to give me credit for bringing in Andres. I expect great things from him, and from you.
Reading last Sunday's excellent Current section, put out while Bob was on vacation, it struck me that one test of an editor is how could his or per product is when he or she is not around. That is one way to measure the strength of an editor's vision and the quality of the people he or she has chosen to work with. Sipchen passes the test with flying colors. I'm counting on all of you to help me pass it too, starting now.
Ps I'm in DC, but there will be opportunities for mawkish farewells or spitballs in the next few weeks.
Here's the post from July when Kinsley first revealed he would give up managing the editorial page.
And the Martinez press release:
Los Angeles Times Names Andrés Martinez, Editorial Page Editor,
to Oversee Op-Ed Page and Sunday Current
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 13, 2005 – Andrés Martinez, editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Times, will now oversee the op-ed page and Sunday Current, in addition to his responsibilities for the editorial page, it was announced today by Jeffrey M. Johnson, publisher of the Los Angeles Times.
Martinez, 39, who joined The Times in September 2004 as editorial page editor, will report to Johnson. The change is effective immediately.
"Andrés is a great writer and journalist who has done an outstanding job changing the editorial page through a significant revamping of our approach to opinion journalism," said Johnson. "I look forward to seeing The Times continue to engage readers on critical issues, including those of importance to the Southern California region."
"I am grateful to Jeff for this opportunity, and excited about the prospect of working with such a talented group of individuals to publish provocative opinion pages that reflect the dynamic and vibrant culture of Los Angeles," said Martinez. "We will continue to strive to make our pages an engaging and entertaining forum that encourages public discourse in our community and respect for ideas."
Michael Kinsley, who has served as editorial and opinion editor since 2004, is resigning from the paper.
"Mike and I had discussions about his management responsibilities and other possible roles," said Johnson. "I concluded that it was best to make a clean break and I wish him well."
Prior to joining the Los Angeles Times, Martinez, was a member of the editorial board and assistant editorial page editor of The New York Times since 2004, and was an editorial writer at the paper since 2000. He also was a 2004 Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorial writing. Prior to joining The New York Times, Martinez was an editorial writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and a reporter at The Wall Street Journal.
Martinez is the author of "24/7: Living It Up and Doubling Down in the New Las Vegas." Before working in journalism, Martinez practiced communications law in Washington, D.C. and served as a law clerk for a federal district judge in Dallas. A native of Mexico, Martinez earned a B.A. degree in history from Yale University in 1988, an M.A. degree in Russian history from Stanford University in 1989 and a J.D. degree from Columbia University Law School in 1992.