Associate Editor Leo Wolinsky checked out Friday, the first to go in the new wave of departures from the Los Angeles Times. He had been there 31 years, starting as a suburban reporter in the South Bay and holding the titles of city editor, executive editor and managing editor. In seven months as head of features, I've heard from many sources, he had become popular with the troops who were still recovering from the John Montorio years. But according to Editor Russ Stanton, they didn't agree on the future direction of Calendar and other features sections. Wolinsky kept his final email brief:
From: Wolinsky, Leo
Sent: Fri 10/10/2008 5:07 PM
Thank you for being my family. I will miss all of you terribly.
Wolinsky had been involved in the newsroom's approaches to Eli Broad and other potential buyers of the Times before Sam Zell took over, and carried the reputation of not being a popular guy with the Zellots in Chicago. * Update: I'm told Wolinsky received applause from the features staff as he left.
Incredibly, deep new cutbacks at L.A. Times
Add cuts: Word got around today the Times has decided to close its Buenos Aires bureau and bring bureau chief Patrick McDonnell back to Los Angeles, leaving Latin America to be covered from Mexico City and Bogota. The Foreign staff roster also shows vacancies in Paris, London, Rome and Tokyo.