Times confirms Martinez exit

L.A. Times Editor Russ Stanton sent the staff a note about the approaching re-departure of Al Martinez from the columnist ranks. Here's the LAO exclusive from Wednesday. Stanton's note today follows.

Al Martinez is not retiring, but his weekly column is. Al's last column in the California section will appear on Monday, Jan. 19. Al has been a member of our staff for 28 years and a columnist since 1984. We are working with him on some ideas so that his legacy of insight, stylish writing and passion for the underdog will continue to appear in both the paper and on the website.

All aspects of the human condition inspire Al's work, from life in Topanga Canyon to the battlefields of Iraq. He contributed to three Pultizer Prize-winning efforts at The Times and was nominated for a 1992 Emmy for a CBS TV movie. In 2002, the California Chicano News Media Association named him Print Journalist of the Year, and the Society of Professional Journalists chose him as Journalist of the Year in 1996. Other honors include a 1988 Ernie Pyle Award and a 1988 National Headliner Award.

We plan to honor Al with a thank-you party in the near future; please watch this space for details.

It's at the LAT's Readers' Rep blog.

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