LAT ramps up celebrity staffing

The Times is moving "celebrity justice reporter" Harriet Ryan from Metro downstairs to the newly ascendant entertainment team. The former Court TV senior correspondent will be "part of our expanded coverage of what has been called the 'celebrity-industrial complex,'" says the editor memo. Editor Kelly Scott also moves back to Calendar from the National desk. Memo follows:

From: Turner, Craig
To: yyEntertainAll
Subject: Kelly Scott and Harriet Ryan join the entertainment team

Monday, March 30, 2009

We're happy to announce that, effective today, editor Kelly Scott and reporter Harriet Ryan join the second floor entertainment team from the National desk and the Metro staff, respectively.

For Kelly, it's a homecoming. She is remembered here with admiration and affection from her earlier stints as movie editor and Sunday Calendar editor. She reports that she's "had the formative Calendar experiences:" she's been screamed at by Harvey Weinstein, lectured by Warren Beatty on exactly how he wanted to be photographed and walked the red carpet at the Oscars right behind Claudia Schiffer. For the last few years, Kelly has been an assistant National editor, working with various national correspondents and helping edit our coverage of the historic and incredibly lengthy 2008 presidential campaign.

Before joining the Times in 1990, Kelly was entertainment editor at Newsday in New York and started her journalism career as a reporter at the St. Petersburg Times. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas. She asked us to tell you she is "thrilled to return to Calendar."

To start, Kelly will help out with our arts and culture coverage and captain our effort to enhance coverage of celebrity life in SoCal.

. . . Which brings us to Harriet. Since joining the Times in June, Harriet has been our "celebrity justice" reporter, filling in readers on the full-employment for lawyers project that is the Britney Spears lawsuit, covering the Phil Spector murder trial and introducing us to Samantha Ronson's encounters with the legal entanglements of tabloid stardom.

Before joining the Times, Harriet spent eight years as a correspondent at Court TV, where she covered some of the most notorious trials in the country, including Michael Jackson, Scott Peterson and the Phil Spector's first trial. She authored a book on what she called her most interesting case, "Murder in Room 103; The Death of an American Student in Korea and the Investigators Search for the Truth," published in 2006. She started her career at the Ashbury Park (N.J.) Press and earned a BA in English from Columbia.

In addition to continuing to cover stars behaving badly, Harriet will be part of our expanded coverage of what has been called the "celebrity-industrial complex" that surrounds certain members of the local citizenry.

Harriet will move downstairs once the Spector trial ends. Please welcome them both.

Sallie Hofmeister

Asst. Managing Editor, Arts and Entertainment

Craig Turner

Arts and Entertainment Editor

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