The former editor of the Los Angeles Times editorial pages will be joining the New America Foundation as an Irvine Senior Fellow. Martinez, you'll remember, resigned in a huff after Times publisher David Hiller killed the special section of Current (the former Sunday opinion section) that Martinez turned over to Hollywood producer Brian Grazer. Martinez had invited Grazer to conceive and assign the stories in what passes for an outside the box innovation at the LAT, but the idea blew up when it was revealed that Martinez's girlfriend, PR exec Kelly Mullens, worked for agencies that repped Grazer. Indeed, her name was on a news release announcing the Grazer section. [So the Times reported; others involved say not.] Donald Rumsfeld, a squash buddy and mentor to Hiller, was going to be next, but after Martinez quit the idea of letting official friends take over the week's flagship opinion turf was killed.
New America is becoming a landing spot for ex-Timesers. Rick Wartzman signed on with the Op-Ed generating foundation after leaving as editor of West magazine. Joel Kotkin, at one time a contributing editor for Opinion,
is (was, I'm told) another senior fellow. Former LAT political writer Dave Lesher used to run New America's California program. His replacement, Gregory Rodriguez, is a Times Op-Ed columnist who got the column gig when Martinez was in charge. Rodriguez's email to the other fellows:
Dear California Fellows,
I’m very pleased to announce that Andrés Martinez, the former editorial page editor for the Los Angeles Times, has agreed to join us as an Irvine Senior Fellow. He will be based in Santa Monica and focus his writing on how global interdependence affects the daily lives of Californians. He’ll be exploring the disconnect between attitudes toward globalization and its reality on the ground and asking whether politicians and the media sufficiently understand California’s place in the global economy.
As many of you know, Andrés is a tremendous writer with the rare ability to take even the most esoteric topic and place it in a new, engaging light. His writing is smart, thoughtful and embodies New America’s dedication to solution-oriented thinking.
His start date is July 1....Please join me in welcoming Andrés to the team. We’re lucky to have him.
Director, California Fellows Program
New America Foundation