LA Observed archive
for July 2008

If you don't find what you want here, check another month or search below.

The skinny on Manny

While Dodger fans and Frank McCourt seem ecstatic about the acquisition of Manny Ramirez, there are trouble signs elsewhere. L.A. fans have never been very accepting of bad-attitude players, and...

Cover story o' the week: Pali rats

Excellent piece by Max Taves in the LA Weekly on elderly identical twin sisters in Pacific Palisades who "had spent years fanatically feeding the Palisades’ rat population. Although the full...

Reply from 'the free daily'

One of the writers leaving the L.A. Times emailed the contact address for the free newspaper supposedly starting up in Los Angeles with a staff of 75-100 and a Sunday...

Over at the LA Observed Script Project...

Mayor Russell Napolitano has gone back underground — literally, not metaphorically — and we have a new writer. This week's pages are by KP Mackie, who lives in San Diego...

No more jeans, or Weinkopf, at Daily News

The Daily News took a double morale hit today. First, Publisher Doug Hanes decreed a new dress code that proves the secessionst's main point: the Valley (or at least Woodland...

Dodgers rent Manny for two months

Red Sox slugger (and head case) Manny Ramirez comes to the Dodgers outfield in exchange for highly rated 3B prospect Andy LaRoche and a minor league pitcher, with possibly other...

Going to the dogs?

Just before noon, the editors at LATimes.com decided to give one of the top spots at the Los Angeles Times home page to a story — and tag cloud —...

Garamendi makes it official

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi announced this morning that, as expected, he will run for governor in 2010. Bee...

Tavis profiled in the New Yorker

This week's piece by Kelefa Sanneh starts out exploring TV and radio commentator Tavis Smiley's criticism of Barack Obama's candidacy and looks into Smiley's enterprises, which are based in Leimert...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 7.31.08

Slim majority of Californians support offshore oil drilling, a PPIC poll found. Chronicle AG Jerry Brown talks to Celeste Fremon about Joel Kotkin, port pollution and other issues. Witness...

Pep talk from LA. Times editor

Russ Stanton just emailed the staff saying the total number of Los Angeles Times editorial staff departures has stopped at 135 instead of the 150 originally threatened. Fewer pages are...

Zell calls Tribune takeover his 'deal from hell'

Sam Zell tells Business Week that "it will continue to be the deal from hell until we turn it around." More from the piece now in the magazine, which calls...

Where's Judge Kozinski?

Today's Los Angeles Daily Journal says that Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal, is in Sun Valley, Idaho for a circuit conference. He's not...

What they care about at LATimes.com

Is this a metaphor about internal tension at the L.A. Times over future priorities — or maybe an indicator that the reading public is split? Here's an email that the...

That free daily paper lives on

Sounds like everybody got kicked back yesterday emailing to that craigslist ad about a new newspaper forming in Los Angeles. But the ad has surfaced now in the classifieds at...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.30.08

L.A.-based NBC reporter George Lewis was on "Today" this morning and will be featured on the "Nightly News" reporting on his own treatment for prostate cancer at Loma Linda....

So much for that 'coveted' media job

More than a dozen journalists — many, but not all, recently staffers at the Los Angeles Times — emailed me that they tried to reply to yesterday's bogus-sounding craigslist ad...

East L.A. cityhood sized up

Tom Hogen-Esch, associate professor of political science at Cal State Northridge and co-author of "Local Politics: A Practical Guide to Governing at the Grassroots," argued in La Opinión that the...

Zell should sell

Joe Scott blogs that Sam Zell should sell the Los Angeles Times. What amazes is the current lack of outrage about the decline and fall of LA’s most important asset....I...

Quake as it happened

Larry Mantle was twelve minutes into a segment with the blogger behind "Stuff White People Like" when this morning's earthquake hit. He rolled with the flow then switched into anchor...

Today's 'Politics of Culture' on KCRW

Here's the audio link for today's show on the Los Angeles Times. And a link to last night's Which Way, L.A.?, also on the Times. Tomorrow about 4:40 pm, I'm...

Decent sized quake just shook Los Angeles

Initial USGS map centers it south of Pomona at 5.8 magnitude. (Expect that to change in the coming hours and days.) Here are the geographic coordinates for the epicenter: 3...

New LAT publisher from DirectTV? *

Nikki Finke blogs that she has heard from reliable sources that Eddy Hartenstein, the ex-chief of DirecTV, "is under serious consideration to be the new Los Angeles Times publisher, replacing...

The craigslist fantasies begin

This went up today on craigslist, under writing gigs: We are going to launch a FREE daily newspaper here in Los Angeles. We will also be developing a companion website....

Would the last intern turn out the lights

The New York Observer visits with interns spending the summer at Sam Zell newspapers and finds they aren't exactly having a great time. The story leads, not surprisingly, with the...

Paper-thin L.A. Times

This morning's newspaper feels like the smallest and lightest Los Angeles Times I've ever seen, with only six pages each in the Business and Sports sections (and not a single...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 7.29.08

The City Council takes up a possible 30% hike in trash fees. DN Wires New LAT magazine will be profitable, the editor says. Folio Air tanker drops at big...

Skylight Books expands this week

Even as Acres of Books' coming demise in Long Beach becomes more certain, Skylight Books in Los Feliz is becoming the rare independent bookstore to grow these days. On Wednesday...

New layoffs at Times

Scott Martelle, who has been covering the presidential campaign for the National politics desk, sent an email this afternoon to L.A. and literary contacts informing them that he got tapped...

Book talk on PBS tonight

The "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" drills down on the closure of newspaper book sections, pegged to the L.A. Times situation. Here's the email blast at Romenesko: This past Sunday, the...

Bunch of L.A. media moves

Alan Mittelstaedt, formerly an editor and L.A. Sniper columnist at CityBeat and LA Weekly (and blogging at the Weekly and at Witness LA), is joining the editing staff at the...

Those Sheila Kuehl rumors

Rick Orlov's column today reports that State Sen. Sheila Kuehl denies through an aide that she is looking to move into the city of Los Angeles and run for the...

Ulin "extremely anguished" about books cuts

Times book editor David Ulin tells Publishers Weekly that, in the post-Book Review era, the upside is that “editorially and aesthetically, we are going to be producing the same kind...

Site spoofs Sam Zell's L.A. Times

Former Times feature writer Roy Rivenburg calls his send-up Not the Los Angeles Times and includes spoof blogs by Sam Zell and Tribune innovation guru Lee Abrams, some digs at...

Around LA Observed

Catching up to a bunch of good stuff around our blogs: Bill Boyarsky says a David Zahniser story out of City Hall should have been on page 1 of the...

Editor's notes day at the LAT

The end of several sections was formally announced in today's Los Angeles Times, starting with a wrap-around sheet on the paper itself that included a message from Editor Russ Stanton:...

L.A. blogger meets the CIA

Aura Bogado, who blogs at To the Curb, was in Chicago for the Unity journalism conference. Newspapers and other media outlets send recruiting teams to make contacts with potential hires...

Torre was "not best choice" for L.A. *

Bill Shaikin, the L.A. Times' national baseball writer, writes today that as the Dodgers go with young players, "it becomes increasingly apparent that [Joe] Torre was not the best choice...

Mayor backs out of gay rights event

I received an email statement from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa this morning that announced he would skip tonight's banquet in San Francisco for the Human Rights Campaign, a mainstream gay community...

LA Observed on the air

My KCRW segment airing at 4:44 pm contrasts a recent taping at the E! Entertainment Television studios on Wilshire (about sex scandals in politics, including Antonio and Mirthala) to another...

Times bloggers told not to mention Edwards story *

Mickey Kaus has the email from Los Angeles Times blog editor Tony Pierce telling the paper's bloggers not to go there on the John Edwards-tryst-in-Beverly Hills story: Subject: john edwards...

Zell banner hanging at L.A. Times

A large banner proclaiming Zell Hell was draped this morning off the corporate parking garage at the Los Angeles Times building in Downtown. It carries a link to TellZell.com, the...

Best comic store in the world?

Many fans seem to think of Secret Headquarters in Silver Lake as their favorite comic book store. Cory Doctorow of BoingBoingTV is one of them. Also for the channel, BoingBoing's...

Burke gets an ethics gig

Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke was named today by House Democrats to the independent panel that is supposed to review conduct by members of Congress. But as the...

Afternoon shorts

The MTA approved putting a half-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot that could raise between $30 billion and $40 billion for transit and highway projects. LAT, Under...

Leland Wong convicted on most counts

The former City Hall power player was convicted on 14 counts of bribery, perjury and other charges stemming from influence peddling while he was a commissioner in the Jim Hahn...

Pierce O'Donnell could be is in trouble again *

A federal grand jury has been secretly probing whether attorney Pierce O'Donnell violated federal campaign laws by asking employees of his law firm to contribute to the 2004 presidential campaign...

Photog's parting thoughts

Bob Carey is one of the Los Angeles Times photo staffers who were let go this week. Over at the Columbia Journalism Review, which is inviting parting journos to have...

An Arthurian exit

Arthur Magazine's Jay Babcock told Jenny Burman yesterday more about his move to Brooklyn and also talks in the LAT's Soundboard blog about leaving Los Angeles. Babcock has shut down...

If I Twittered... *

I'd tweet — boy would I tweet — about being stuck for five hours in the Newark airport with flights being cancelled all around due to weather. Looks like the...

Well, for peat's sake!

Eric Estrin, and just abut everyone else, was surprised and probably a tad confused when the story line in our LA Observed Script Project script turned on a murder committed...

John Edwards' love child *

Sharon Waxman, free of the New York Times label next to her name, blogs a question: how long can the mainstream media ignore the National Enquirer story saying that John...

New L.A. Times magazine, not like the old one

TellZell.com got hold of the Powerpoint presentation for the new magazine that will replace the old Los Angeles Times Magazine, and it looks like pap. The mission statement: Loving L.A....

Broad on Zell's turf *

I'm hearing that at last night's L. A. Times farewell soiree, the elephant in the room, so to speak, was Eli Broad. The billionaire art patron was a very active...

Another geography oops

If the new downZelled L.A. Times is going to convince people it knows about Los Angeles, it needs to stop describing places in Los Angeles as in "the Burbank area."...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.23.08

City to sue banks today The L.A. City Council voted unanimously yesterday to hire outside attorneys to file two civil lawsuits "seeking millions of dollars in damages against some of...

8 things about L.A. and the Internet

Web developer-designer Jonathan Grubb moved here from San Francisco eight months ago to work in Hollywood and has some observations about our relationship with the web. Here's a sample, minus...

Mayors turn out for Times wake *

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and ex-mayor Richard Riordan attended tonight's reception in the L.A. Times building for departing editor of the editorial pages Jim Newton. He quit June 3,...

Another reporter's poetic farewell

When Jaime Cárdenas was hired as a Los Angeles Times sports writer last year, Sports editor Randy Harvey gave him special billing. Cárdenas was an intern with a personal story...

L.A. journalism loses Anat Rubin

In the last couple of years, I think I've heard more glowing praise for Anat Rubin than for any young local reporter whose beat is Los Angeles. She was named...

L.A. Times loses yet another star

The hits just keep on coming, but not in the radio sense that the Zellots think about. Judy Pasternak, who won a prestigious enviro reporting award this year for her...

Author asks LAT to save Book Review

Yesterday it was the Book Review's former editors pleading to keep a distinct books presence in the Los Angeles Times. Today, Los Angeles author Daniel A. Olivas (Latinos in Lotusland,...

Chris Hedges on 'the loss of civic responsibility'

Truthdig's columnist writes: The decline of newspapers is not about the replacement of the antiquated technology of news print with the lightning speed of the Internet. It does not signal...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 7.22.08

Bratton wants to change LAPD use-of-force reviews Proposal before the police commission would let the chief divert some incidents into less punitive reviews. LAT Also: Homicide rate to date levels...

Scratch one local magazine

Jay Babcock has relocated the offices of Arthur Magazine to Brooklyn. The newest issue is available on on PDF and comes out in print next week. There's also an Arthur...

Rachlis: 'I miss the LAT already'

Los Angeles editor Kit Rachlis was an editor at the Los Angeles Times for six-plus years, mostly helping craft the kinds of narrative stories that fed the paper's reputation for...

Peter Bart's theory on newspapers

The editor of Variety blogs: As another wave of Los Angeles Times staffers got their “farewell” notices last week, everyone seems willing to accept the notion that big city newspapers...

Copy editors could help with that

I make typos because I'm rushed and here alone, without another set of eyes until readers check in with their catches. The main page of LATimes.com makes typos because...the paper...

Daily Journal fills DC bureau

Reporter Robert Iafolla can put away his Pellicano case notes. He's been named the L.A. Daily Journal's federal government reporter based in Washington. Newsroom note from Editor Martin Berg: Please...

Conan gets his date

O'Brien takes over from Jay Leno next June 1, NBC announces. AP Also: Ebert and Roeper quit "At the Movies."...

Tribune star reporter quits

Maurice Possley, a Chicago Tribune criminal justice reporter who was on the team that helped free wrongly convicted death row prisoners, asked to be included in his paper's involuntary separation...

Times(ish) magazine gears up

Now that the L.A. Times has folded its real Sunday magazine and laid off more than a hundred editorial staffers, the new upscale magazine being launched outside the newsroom's influence...

Book editors protest cuts at the Times *

Four past book editors of the Los Angeles Times — Sonja Bolle, Digby Diehl, Jack Miles and Steve Wasserman — released a letter protesting the planned termination of the Sunday...

Morning Buzz: Monday 7.21.08

Dan Walters dings Villaraigosa over cops tax The Sacramento columnist writes under the headline "Villaraigosa's promises on police crumble in L.A." that the Chick audit showing that most of Mayor...

Travel weekend

I'm woefully behind on emails and hope to catch up while traveling this weekend. Meanwhile, here's the link to Friday's LA Observed segment on KCRW. The script is posted below,...

Light posting day

It's a summer Friday, what can I say. My weekly LA Observed commentary airs on KCRW at 4:44 this afternoon. Subject: what else, the incredible shrinking LAT. Mark Lacter's Friday...

More Times departures

Layoffs and voluntary departures continue at the Los Angeles Times, which has yet to reach the magic 150 figure for the newsrooms (250 paperwide.) Also, it seems that many staffers...

Creeping inaccuracy

One of the big concerns I hear voiced repeatedly in Los Angeles about the new webbier, less journalistic L.A. Times is the fear that it will become LAT Lite: less...

Reporter 'simply lost hope' in LAT

Environment writer Marla Cone, a former president board member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, sent an email to the members explaining her exit from the Los Angeles Times. Example:...

Three puny ads

Today's Los Angeles Times sports section, once a cash cow for the paper, carries a grand total of three tiny ads. That's 11 column inches of advertising across eight pages,...

The Closer's LAT character

Robert Abele at the LA Weekly wonders if the new character introduced in "The Closer" this season would be Sam Zell's idea of a model reporter. What’s with the inane,...

Times staffers on Larry Mantle

Departing Los Angeles Times reporters Marla Cone and William Lobdell will be on KPCC's "Airtalk" in the 10 o'clock hour, along with Book Editor David Ulin longtime sports writer and...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 7.17.08

Taxi rules eased in Downtown and Hollywood For a six-month test period, Los Angeles cabs will be allowed to pick up fares in rush hour no-stopping zones — the curbs...

Mayor Napolitano evades arrest — by subway

This week's LA Observed Script Project pages were submitted by Steve Chivers, a writer and producer for TV, movies and the Web. LAOSP producer Eric Estrin gives him thanks —...

More L.A. Times exits

Confirmed departures not yet reported here, among the 150 editorial jobs (plus 100 outside the newsrooms) being lost by layoffs both voluntary and not: Steve Harvey learned he will no...

Olney takes on Villaraigosa

A pretty contentious exchange this afternoon between "Which Way, L.A.?" host Warren Olney and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa began with the mayor quipping "long time, no interview." Olney then started peppering...

KPFK makes new manager official

Sean Heitkemper, formerly GM at KKJZ in Long Beach, got the thankless job of general manager at Pacifica Radio's KPFK back on July 1, as we told you then. Today...

LAT bonds further with Catholics

Michelle Quinn, one of the Los Angeles Times staff writers who blogs about technology, used this photo of Pope Benedict to illustrate a post about Apple apologizing to customers of...

Oops: Sportsmen's Lodge not closing *

Unfortunately, the Daily News this morning bannered Dana Bartholomew's story saying the hotel and banquet center in Studio City would close. It's still big on the website. Miscommunication — but...

MetroRiderLA goes on hiatus

The blogger behind MetroRiderLA says the competition from professional transportation blogs and the need to make money — plus plain old blog burnout — nudged him to call a time...

Philippe's forced to cut the mustard

No more table-top mustard pots at Philippe the Original, Lesley Balla reports at Eater LA. Truth be told, they were kind of grotty. But hey, the people declared it worked...

Sportsmen's Lodge to close stay open *

The quirky Sportsmen's Lodge hotel on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City will shut down Dec. 31, the Daily News says. [* But the paper was wrong. See below.] The 11-acre...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.16.08

Quick look around: Susan Atkins denied release The Manson family killer of Sharon Tate has to die on our dime in prison, the state decides. LAT, AP Obama cover 'smart...

Steve Lopez still loves his job

The L.A. Times local columnist writes today, "Like a lot of my colleagues, I've wondered if I should finally give it up, or might be forced to. But most of...

KCSN program director out

Martin Perlich has "opted for retirement effective immediately," according to the opaque memo posted by Laura Stegman at PRLosAngelesMediaMoves. KCSN is the music and news station at FM 88.5 out...

L.A. Times layoff scenes

More confirmed departures: David Haldane was a reporter at the Times for 23 years, the last 16 in Orange County. "Yesterday (Monday) was my last day; I’m gone, gone, gone…...

Homicide blog to book

Jill Leovy is turning her year as the Los Angeles Times' homicide blogger into a book for Spiegel & Grau. "The Homicide Report: Black Men, Murder and America’s Unseen Catastrophe"...

Life after journalism *

John Spano, a former legal affairs reporter and editor who left the Times in the buyouts earlier this year, has landed as an associate with Kiesel Boucher & Larson, a...

VICA chief to step down

Brendan Huffman, president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association since early 2006, said he plans to resign at the end of the year. "I'm just ready for something else,...

Note posted on LAT wall

This is a note that someone in the Los Angeles Times building taped to the wall where past Pulitzer winners are recognized. A bouquet of flowers was left on the...

LAT's Lobdell discusses his exit

OCWeekly's Gustavo Arellano exchanged email with William Lobdell, one of the Los Angeles Times staffers who is ankling the shrinking Orange County office. They appear together regularly on the Orange...

Matt McHale tributes

Reactions to yesterday's death of former Daily News (plus Register, Star-News and AP) sports writer and editor Matt McHale include an obituary by Los Angeles Newspaper Group Sports Editor Kevin...

Upside to the Obama-New Yorker cover

Carolyn Kellogg blogs at Jacket Copy that there is a potential winner in all the handwringing and debate over the magazine cover depicting Barack and Michelle Obama as Islamic militants....

Coro names new CEO

It's Don Pierro, a former public affairs fellow at Coro. Release after the jump....

Symbolic headline on LAT home page?

It's hard to know which would make Sam Zell happier — seeing so many prominent Times journalists heading out the door, or this headline that the editors have put in...

Booth and O'Connor bound for Mexico

The Washington Post announced in the newsroom that Los Angeles correspondent William Booth is going back on the foreign beat. His wife, ex-foreign correspondent Anne-Marie O'Connor, will be leaving the...

Chuck Philips leaving Times

Chuck Philips is the investigative reporter and Pulitzer winner whose March story linking rapper Sean Combs to an attack on Tupac Shakur was fully retracted by the Los Angeles Times...

Punch and cookies with Hiller

Times publisher David Hiller invited staffers by email to drop in and say goodbye. He praises his executive assistant, Caroline Thorpe, who has worked with LAT publishers since Otis Chandler....

Airbus stopping in again

Emirates Airlines will land a massive Airbus A380 at LAX on Aug. 5 to conduct ground and flight tests. Sounds like a little PR is on tap too. "The A380...

The Jackie Johnson interview

SoupCans is a TV blog that runs a recurring Jackie Johnson Fashion Watch, so the blog was thrilled she talked to them. The Channel 2 and 9 weathercaster talks about...

City Hall not ready for disasters

Controller Laura Chick's auditors looked at 26 city departments and found that 16 have not updated their emergency plans in the past three years. The chief legislative analyst's office had...

Columnist survives the hospital

Sandy Banks writes in the Times that she took herself to UCLA Medical Center fearing she was in the middle of a heart attack, but found out after a couple...

Job cuts at the L.A. Times

Turns out that the 150 or so newsroom staffers leaving the Los Angeles Times are a mix of buyout volunteers (who have to agree not to take another job until...

The Bastille stands

Ron Kaye's first try at post-Daily News movement organizing drew more than 100 potential activists to the City Hall lawn on Monday. David Zahniser in the Times set the scene...

Hiller's gracious exit *

The company line, and what the Los Angeles Times reported as confirmed news on its website, is that David Hiller resigned as publisher. Now here's what he says: From: Hiller,...

Matt McHale, sports editor and writer *

Matt McHale, the former assistant sports editor at the Daily News and longtime Dodgers beat writer for the Daily News, Pasadena Star News and Orange County Register, died today in...

Going on KPCC now

I'll be on "Patt Morrison" talking about the Times....

For lease: one newspaper

Staffers at the Daily News came to work today to find a new sign up in front of the building on Oxnard Street. It was previously announced that the plant...

Confirmed: Hiller out as L.A. Times publisher *

Randy Michaels note to Tribunistas: I want to let you know that David Hiller has decided to step down as publisher of The Los Angeles Times, effective immediately. David took...

L.A. Times layoffs begin today

Editor Russ Stanton's memo to the staff says "Today, editors will begin notifying most of the 150 people who will be leaving us, and we hope to complete that process...

Parks converts the opportunity

Councilman and Board of Supervisors candidate Bernard Parks scored some CNN time this morning during all the hot talk about that satirical New Yorker cover picturing Barack and Michelle Obama...

County-USC hospital to open full

Every bed at the new Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center will be filled from the day it opens this fall, according to an independent report requested by the Board of...

DA Cooley opposes Atkins release

District Attorney Steve Cooley sent a letter to the chairman of the state Board of Parole Hearings strongly opposing the compassionate release from prison of Manson family killer Susan Atkins....

Chicago Tribune editor abruptly resigns *

Ann Marie Lipinski doesn't mention Sam Zell by name. But, well... She is the second highest ranking newspaper editor in Zell's empire. Lipinski's note to the newsroom does mention the...

Morning Buzz: Monday 7.14.08

Daily News wakes up to the real Valley Three-part series by Tony Castro called "San Fernando Valley: The New Ellis Island" focuses on the influence of Latino cultures and, in...

Freeway rock art

This monument — or is it art, a distraction, a ritual site? — is beside the Pomona Freeway at the Paramount exit in Montebello. See the whole scene at LA...

Weird L.A. headline o' the day

On the Los Angeles Times website: L.A.'s Latino mayor praises Obama at La Raza conference The locals just call him Villaraigosa. Shorter by two letters....

The genuine article: LA vs. SF

By Bay Area tradition, references to freeways don't carry an article. In Los Angeles we "take the 101" (or "the Ventura Freeway") but up north they just "take 101." Times...

Air service to Mammoth will resume

This winter skiers and snowboarders will be able to fly to Mammoth for the first time in years. Tickets go on sale Monday for new Horizon Airlines service from LAX...

Ruckus over LAT & Tony Snow

At the L.A. Times' Top of the Ticket blog, many of the reader comments posted about former Bush spokesman Tony Snow's death have been tasteless — to say the least....

News decisions in 2008 *

Three newsworthy deaths today: Dr. Michael DeBakey, Tony Snow and Bobby Murcer. The Los Angeles Times website lede says of DeBakey, "preeminent cardiac surgeon saved millions with his breakthroughs." The...

Council OK's tower next to Capitol Records

City Council president Eric Garcetti, who represents Hollywood, said provisions added to the project will help alleviate concerns that the 16-story residential project next door will affect Capitol Records' underground...

LA Observed Script Project gets a reading

Tomorrow at noon on KPCC (89.3 FM), John Rabe and his Off-Ramp Players will read a scene from "Right of Way," the script for a noir movie that LA Observed...

Founder of Benihana dies

Tokyo-born Rocky Aoki was 69 when he died last night in New York, Bloomberg reports. The Benihana version of Japanese teppanyaki cooking began in New York, but of course they...

Brentwood driver charged in bike rage

Christopher Thomas Thompson, who turns 59 today, has been charged with two felony counts each of reckless driving causing injury, battery with serious bodily injury and the special allegation of...

NPR wants to see your car

NPR's Culver City-based show "Day to Day" is running a web series on what gas prices and changing interests are doing to the traditional car-based California culture. The producers have...

Times newsroom gets an update

Today's email from California Editor David Lauter about the preparations for layoffs at the Los Angeles Times. (The number hasn't risen above 150, he says.) It looks like next week...

Fujioka stops talking

Los Angeles County CEO William Fujioka has abruptly ended his weekly Monday media briefings, saying he'll now be available by phone. But when the Times' Garrett Therolf called Fujioka to...

Troy Edwards talks about those 'massages'

Former deputy mayor (to Hahn) Troy Edwards testified under immunity yesterday at the Leland Wong trial and detailed the gift of sexual favors linked to Wong at a Bonaventure Hotel...

Pay day for paidContent

Rafat Ali's Santa Monica-based paidContent.org, which has covered the business side of websites since 2002, will be acquired by Guardian Media Group in the U.K. for “north of $30 million.”...

'Profound malaise' at L.A. Times

That's how one staffer describes the mood around the Los Angeles Times offices, where editors were believed to be working last night on their final lists of staffers — 150...

Weiss hopes to scare off rivals

Catching up on this: Monday's Los Angeles Daily Journal cited sources saying that Councilman Jack Weiss has raised $1.1 million for next year's open race for City Attorney. Weiss has...

Ron Kaye's revolution

Ex-Daily News editor (and future candidate?) Ron Kaye is encouraging readers of his politics blog to bring their trash to City Hall on July 14. Bastille Day — get it?...

What killed the Online Journalism Review

When OJR suspended publication last month, the move ended a ten-year run in which the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communications was a high-profile player in the emerging...

Inside the politics of Downtown lofts

The subject is the Alexandria Hotel, the Rosslyn Lofts project and City Hall's support of an $8 million subsidy for alleged slumlord Ruben Islas. Tibby Rothman, in the LA Weekly,...

Scribe to Zell: you're not funny

The reason Sam Zell and company get so much attention (and let's face it, derision) here is not that they want to force change on institutions like the Times and...

Dodgers new meets old

Frank McCourt, the Dodgers owner of new, met Peter O'Malley at yesterday's Coliseum unveiling of a plaque honoring Walter O'Malley, the owner who brought the Dodgers west from Brooklyn. O'Malley...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 7.10.08

Why Villaraigosa held back data on trash fee When he raised the trash fee, Mayor Villaraigosa said "Every new dollar residents pay for trash pickup will be used to put...

L.A. Times closes two sections, to start

With Sam Zell and Randy Michaels in town and making everybody antsy, and speculation raging in the newsroom about the future of Publisher David Hiller, the cutting out of printed...

AFTRA and SAG together on KCRW

A special edition of Claude Brodesser-Akner's The Business that aired at 2:30 this afternoon (and will again at 7 p.m.) features a rare head-to-head conversation with the dueling presidents of...

Riordan has a new reason to hate the L.A. Times *

In today's LAT, reviewer Leslie Brenner absolutely savages Gladstone's Malibu, the Pacific Coast Highway goldmine where former mayor Richard Riordan is the largest shareholder. The food is "abominable" and the...

San Bernardino 'west' of Los Angeles?

Los Angeles-based Washington Post reporter William Booth filed a good piece last week about Moe, the chimpanzee missing near Devore, but I'm guessing he got burned by the copy desk....

The scoop on frozen 'yogurt' in L.A.

Blogger David K. Israel at Mental Floss magazine counted the Pinkberry knockoffs within two miles of his home — 11 places to satisfy his sweet tooth for cold Korean-inspired dessert...

NYT chides 'Coast' gently

A New York Times style blog takes umbrage at a cover by Orange County's Coast magazine that sure borrows a lot from an earlier T Magazine cover in the NYT....

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.9.08

AFTRA members approve contract The three-year deal passes with a 62% vote of the membership, leaving SAG out there alone. "It's hard to not see this as a setback [for...

So you can write a movie this way

After the turn into Act 3, the story of Mayor Russell Napolitano and the Wilshire subway suddenly begins to make sense. Even with the mayor on live television running from...

Milton Bradley an all-star — and blogger

Ex-Dodger hothead Milton Bradley has calmed down (except for a little brush with a reporter), gotten over the injury bug and put together a heckuva season for the Texas Rangers....

East Coast stereotype alert

Today's lede about hands-free cellphones and driving, under the byline of Jennifer Steinhauer, the New York Times bureau chief in Los Angeles, who should (and does) know better: LOS ANGELES...

Yvonne Burke and the women's shelter

Gene Maddaus reports in the Daily Breeze that ties to Supervisor Yvonne Burke led to the Peace & Joy battered women's shelter in Carson being allowed to operate despite filth,...

LAPD wants to discipline 19 in May Day melee

Seventeen officers and two sergeants face department charges resulting from the mishandling of the May Day protest in MacArthur Park in 2007. No details were given, except that Cmdr. Rick...

Today's talk about the L.A. Times *

Word swept through the Los Angeles Times newsroom today that managers were directed to prepare lists ranking staffers by level of talent then turn in the lists by tonight, a...

Secret homeless refuge cleaned out

Police and the fire department moved in today on an astonishing homeless encampment that was suspended above Figueroa Street on top of the ventilation shaft under the 1st Street overpass...

Another exit from Daily Journal

I'm told that the Los Angeles Daily Journal's Supreme Court reporter in Washington, Brent Kendall, has left to join Dow Jones Newswire. He was at the DJ for five years....

Abrams: Rethink book reviews

Sam Zell's in-house innovator Lee Abrams has memoed again, long and rambling and ungrammatical as usual. Now that the cost-cutting Los Angeles Times is apparently moving towards folding the stand-alone...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 7.8.08

Antonio in D.C. for Obama Mayor Villaraigosa introduces the candidate at the annual convention of the League of United Latin American Citizens. LAT, DN Also: Hollywood money solid for Obama....

Ex-reporter pens farewell to journalism

Shelly Leachman left the Daily Breeze last Thursday, and with it her career in newspapers (including a stint at the Santa Barbara News-Press in the Wendy McCaw meltdown years.) She's...

B&C hires an editor

Melissa Grego, editor of HollywoodReporter.com, jumps to Broadcasting & Cable as executive editor. Grego joined THR last year after serving a stint as managing editor at TV Week. Memo follows...

L.A. Times loses two stars *

Investigative reporters Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for reporting on the deaths at King-Drew Medical Center, are leaving the Los Angeles Times for...

Orange Coast names a 'best columnist' *

The July issue is a relaunch under Emmis ownership by new editor Martin Smith. Editor's note here. The issue's best of OC media section proclaims the Register's Frank Mickadeit as...

Morning Buzz: Monday 7.7.08

Invisible South Central Since the South Central Los Angeles name was dropped, mostly in favor of labels like "over there," the community it once defined along Central Avenue has become...

L.A. Times dusts off an old column

Surprise, a bit of good news about the Los Angeles Times. It appears that, just ahead of the layoff reaper, one of the paper's most graceful and reportedly highly paid...

Mando Ramos, 'quintessential L.A. fighter'

Boxer Mando Ramos, who died Sunday at age 59, fought 27 of his 49 matches in the Olympic Auditorium and also got into the ring at the Coliseum and the...

Disillusioned—and five years older

LA Observed columnist Bill Boyarsky recently completed a five-year term on the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. He was appointed after writing Controller Laura Chick a letter suggesting that the...

LANG loses another

Staffers at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune say that Metro Editor Edward Barrera resigned Thursday. He's reportedly moving back to New York after a stint in Guatemala. Barrera pioneered the...

Valley voted against Dodger Stadium

Fifty years ago this week, Los Angeles voters narrowly OK'd a ballot measure approving the city's gift of land near Chavez Ravine for the Dodgers' Walter O'Malley to build his...

Ken Reich memorial service *

It's not clear who was putting out the Los Angeles Times this afternoon, since the top editors attended the service for retired reporter Ken Reich. No hard feelings about his...

Jules Tygiel, historian of L.A. and baseball was 59

Tygiel, a professor at San Francisco State, was the author of "The Great Los Angeles Swindle: Oil, Stocks and Scandal in the Roaring Twenties," the fascinating story of C.C Julian...

Driving with Clay Felker

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll was Clay Felker's West Coast editor of the Village Voice and an early hire at New West, Felker's attempt in the late 1970s to...

Pete Kameron, LA Weekly co-founder was 87

An obituary going around says that business entrepreneur and philanthropist Pete Kameron died peacefully on June 29th at the age of 87 at his home in Beverly Hills. He was...

Laid-off designer gives finger to Mercury-News

His Flickr stream and an Editor & Publisher story....

LAO on KPCC *

I'll be on with Larry Mantle about 10:06 am talking about the Times. Editor Russ Stanton goes on first. Update: Stanton sounded quite subdued and was frank about the Times...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 7.3.08

Leland Wong's trial begins Prosecutors told jurors that the former airport and water and power commissioner took $100,000 from Evergreen Group, a Taiwan shipping firm that wanted to renegotiate its...

Blog reactions to Times shrink plan

There has been a range of reaction to the coming shrinkage of the Los Angeles Times, from horror and sadness to something close to glee from conservative haters of the...

Where is it?

Last time I was at LAX I wondered aloud, momentarily disoriented, what the big skeleton-like structure was looming over the traffic loop. "Uh, the Theme Building," my companion said, as...

Villaraigosa's fundraising calendar

The Sacramento Bee pulled together details on nine of the campaign fundraisers that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa held between June 21 and July 1. Included are snippets giving LAT reporter David...

Managing Editor next to ditch Daily News

Melissa Lalum's departure from the Daily News make it a clean sweep of the top editors who were there at the beginning of April. Editor Ron Kaye was shown the...

L.A. Times to downZell 150 newsroom positions

"These moves will be difficult and painful," Times editor Russ Stanton says in a memo this afternoon that is short on details. He says the firings required will take place...

'Left, Right & Center' goes bloggy

KCRW's popular Friday afternoon politics gabfest has added a blog. If you want to argue about Bob, Arianna, Matt and Tony or discuss things with Left, Right & Center producer...

Hey county, your sprinklers are on

City Hall's new water police won't have to look far for offenders of the rule against mid-day watering. Me and everyone else on the sidewalk during the noon hour just...

DNA helps solve burglaries

The LAPD says that in a study it ran in the Valley, DNA samples collected at the scene of residential and commercial burglaries helped identify a suspect in 45 percent...

Ken Reich tributes

Former Los Angeles Times publisher Tom Johnson writes in an email about Ken Reich, the retired reporter who died Monday after posting a blog item critical of the paper's management:...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.2.02

When cops help a gang member kill a witness The Times reconstructs the 2003 murder of 16-year-old Martha Puebla, killed after detectives told a Vineland Boyz murder suspect that she...

Clash of the Hollywood PR firms

On one side, the Screen Actors Guild has just hired Sitrick and Company, Nikki Finke reports. AFTRA, on the other hand, uses 42West, the firm whose Hollywood practice is headed...

Clippers to sign Baron Davis, get relevant

Phil Wallace calls the news, broken earlier today, "the biggest free agent signing in Los Angeles Clipper history." The Clippers are also expected to re-sign Elton Brand. Says Wallace at...

New boss at KPFK

An email circulating to unpaid staff at KPFK says that Sean Heitkemper, former station manager at KKJZ (the Long Beach jazz station), is being introduced tonight as the new general...

Gavin Newsom sticks toe in statewide pool

San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom filed papers for a campaign committee that lets him start gathering contributions for a possible run for governor in 2010. He's the first of the...

BoingBoing explains Violet Blue purge (sort of)

BoingBoing.net, the highly read blog semi-based in Los Angeles, has shed a little light on why it deleted posts about sex writer Violet Blue. But not much light. The public...

Clay Felker, magazine pioneer was 82

The founder of New York as a Sunday supplement to the New York Herald-Tribune, and later as a standlone glossy weekly, changed the face of American magazines. He also edited...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 7.1.08

Villaraigosa's school 'takeover' kicks in Classes begin today at Roosevelt High and the Santee Education Complex, the two year-round high schools that became part of Mayor Villaraigosa's scaled-back strategy to...

Don White, activist was 71

Don White, a longtime Los Angeles political, social and labor activist, died in his Los Angeles apartment and was discovered on June 20. White had been a Los Angeles Unified...
Can we all agree Elizabeth Peña had a certain something?
elizabeth-pena-variety.jpgThe actress who worked in Hollywood from her early 20s died at Cedars at age 55. Read more.
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Streetscape | Whitnall Highway
dwp-bldg-whitnall-hwy.jpg DWP architecture in North Hollywood.
Print relic
linotype-le-figaro.jpgKevin spotted this Linotype machine on display in the Paris lobby of Le Figaro, the second-largest national newspaper in France. Bigger
Streetscape | Alameda Corridor
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