Talking the transition

Invitation-only forums and salons hosted by media outlets are becoming more common. The L.A. Times has one tonight to talk about the Obama transition, with an eclectic mix of speakers including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Has he been in the building since attending last July's big wake for departing editor Jim Newton? Newton returned after the publisher was ousted and is the mayor's host tonight. The release mentions selected guests and reaches for a Bigger Meaning:

Bringing together business, labor, civic, cultural and thought leaders, the Los Angeles Times has assembled an eclectic and provocative panel for their exclusive "Translating the Transition: An Inaugural Exchange" event and reception to be held January 13, 2009. The forum promises to stir debate, discussion and provide insight into the trends, policies and impacts of the upcoming Obama Administration and how they will affect Southern California and the US as a whole.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is confirmed to make opening remarks, followed by a lively discourse between:

  • activist, philanthropist and Vice President of Interior Music Publishing Nicole Avant;
  • Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary/Treasurer Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO;
  • Russell Goldsmith, Chairman and CEO City National Bank and City National Corporation;
  • George Kieffer, Partner with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips;
  • Sherry Lansing, CEO Sherry Lansing Foundation;
  • writer, performer, pop-culture analyst and radio commentator Sandra Tsing Loh;
  • Matt Petersen, President & CEO Global Green USA;
  • prominent businesswoman Lynda Resnick of POM Wonderful, FIJI Water and Teleflora;
  • Dr. Ernest J. Wilson III, Dean of USC's Annenberg School for Communications.

The Times Editorial and Opinion Pages Editor Jim Newton will moderate along with veteran political reporter and new Op-Ed columnist Doyle McManus in live talkback from Washington, DC.

Who's invited after the jump.

Expected attendees include local Council members who head up key initiatives and programs within Southern California, including Janice Hahn, Jack Weiss and Dennis Zine; University of California, Los Angeles Chancellor Gene Block; former California Governor Gray Davis; Inspire Entertainment CEO James Dunne; Ari Emanuel, Partner, Endeavor Agency; Keith Fisher, CEO/Strategic Planning for New and Improved Media; Jon Goodman, President, Town Hall Los Angeles; Los Angeles Times Publisher Eddy Hartenstein and Editor Russ Stanton; Ilse Metchek, Executive Director of the California Fashion Association; legendary NBC sportscaster Al Michaels; Bladimiar Norman, SVP Paramount Vantage; Jim Royce, Director Center Theatre Group; Lisa Sarno, Executive Director, Million Trees Initiative; Max Schorr, Co-Founder, Good Inc.; and Jim Wiatt, Chairman and CEO, William Morris Agency.

The invitation-only event will be held at The Times Chandler Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles.

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