Is the ex-New York Daily News gossip columnist about to pop up as the long-awaited in-house gossip for the L.A. Times? I don't know, but intriguing stars are aligned. Grove exited his roost at the Daily News last week, dropping teases about a future gig he can't yet talk about. He penned a piece in Sunday's LAT Current section arguing that gossip is "legitimate journalism" and can be good for society. His tagline: "It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it — maybe even at the Los Angeles Times." He has been validated by having gossiped in New York and for the Washington Post, which in Times think is always more desirable than savvy about Los Angeles. But get this — he also grew up in Los Angeles. His mainstream background as a Post reporter and Reliable Sources columnist is perfectly tailored for Times editor Dean Baquet, who has said repeatedly that he wants a gossip columnist who can be trusted to report accurately. With the Manhattan Project team known to be receiving advice that the Times should own Hollywood and L.A. gossip, stranger things have happened. The Times launched its last gossip effort, City of Angles, in 2001 with staff reporters Ann O'Neill, Gina Piccalo and Louise Roug, but it didn't last. Grove, meanwhile, is sitting in this week as a guest blogger at Gawker.