Al Martinez pushed out by Times

MartinezColumnist Al Martinez has been with the Los Angeles Times more than 30 years and, despite being exiled to the back of the features section several years ago, is one of the paper's most recognized bylines. He has written for TV and authored many books. We share Angel City Press as a book publisher, and previously shared L.A. Times Books, so I have co-inhabited a few book signing events with Martinez and each time have marveled at the crowds he draws. Well, he revealed in an angry farewell email to his Times colleagues this evening that the editors told him to take the buyout or else. His hurt missive concludes that "I think I deserved a better way of ending such a long and honorable career." His last column for the Times is June 1.

His email follows:

From: Martinez, Al
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 5:19 PM
Subject: buyout

To all: I dislike rumors and so I take these means to tell you all that I am a victim of the buyout/layoff frenzy. My final column for a newspaper I have worked for since 1972, in a business I have been a part of since 1952, winning more awards and honors than would ever fit on my wall, will be Friday, June 1st. I always thought that I would be the one to decide when it was time to walk away, when my prose faltered and my thinking blurred. But that's not the way it works anymore with the owners we have in the climate that exists. Too bad. I think I deserved a better way of ending such a long and honorable career.

Martinez is not the only veteran pushed to apply for the buyout, just the first to go public.

More by Kevin Roderick:
John Severson, 83, founder of Surfer magazine
LA Observed Notes: 60 Minutes, selling the Coliseum and more
Gil Cedillo, Nick Melvoin win LA runoffs*
LA Observed Notes: Baca goes down, LAX shuffle, media moves
LA Observed Notes: Big TV news, media moves, obits and more
Recent LAT stories on LA Observed:
LA Times editor gets all serious: 'How could truth become so devalued?'
'Why Trump Lies' is next part of LA Times series
LA Times reporters show the way
LA Times staff warned not to join women's marches
Read the LA Times response to Los Angeles Magazine's piece
LA Times hires new sheriff's beat reporter
LA Times says pro-internment letters should not have run
LA Magazine says editor Davan Maharaj is what's wrong with the LA Times*
Previous story: New crime blog

Next story: Writers at the gates


LA Observed on Twitter