Times adds TV critic

Mary McNamara moves over from writing features for Calendar.

To: The Staff
From: Lennie LaGuire, Senior Calendar Editor

We're delighted to announce that Mary McNamara, one of our most accomplished feature writers, has joined our team of TV critics.

Although Mary's gifts as a profile artist and feature stylist have long been on prominent display in our pages, her potential as a TV critic is a more recent discovery. After she volunteered to write about "House" and "Grey's Anatomy" for Calendar's new Show Tracker column/blog, however, it quickly became clear that the versatile Ms. McNamara is a natural. She combines a respect and enthusiasm for the medium with a discerning eye and the demanding standards of a close and informed viewer. Her voice is sophisticated, passionate and witty, and she's already making a difference in our TV report. (Just ask all the readers who flooded message boards and her inbox after her review of "The Sopranos' " final episode.)

Mary first joined the paper in 1990 as a news editor for the magazine. Even though we've lured her into occasional editing stints since then, Mary has spent most of her career here as a writer, with her work appearing everywhere from Southern California Living to A1, Travel and, of course, Calendar. Three years ago, she joined the entertainment staff, where she has produced some of our most memorable profiles, including nuanced and highly intimate pieces on Dustin Hoffman, John Travolta and "struggling actor" Michael O'Neill. She's won numerous accolades for her writing, including an L.A Press club award, several awards from the American Assn. of Sunday & Feature Editors and the 2005 Los Angeles Times award for Best Writing. Simon & Schuster is publishing her first novel in January.

Mary will report to Television Editor Kate Aurthur.



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