LAT hires ex-Variety scribe

Ben Fritz has been freelancing for the L.A. Times for about a month and will be a general assignment reporter on entertainment, writing the Sunday box office roundup and items for the Company Town blog, says the memo from entertainment editor Sallie Hofmeister. It's after the jump. Fritz was part of the team behind Spinsanity during the 2004 presidential election and helped start the celebrity spoof site Dateline: Hollywood. They're going for young web-savvy guys these days: earlier the Times hired Shane Goldmacher from the Sacramento Bee's Capitol Report.


To: The Staff From: Sallie Hofmeister, Assistant Managing Editor

I am pleased to announce that Ben Fritz has joined The Times’ entertainment team as a general assignment reporter, devoted mainly to Company Town. Ben has been freelancing for The Times for a month or so, covering the box office and other news stories. He will continue to write the weekend box-office results working a Sunday-through-Thursday shift. His work will appear in Calendar, Business and on the Company Town blog.

Ben has spent the last five years at Daily Variety, most recently as a technology reporter and video game editor. His talents are diverse. At Variety, he covered digital entertainment and feature animation, did a stint as the box-office reporter, created a blog about video games called The Cut Scene and was chewed out by Steve Jobs for a story he broke about Apple’s iTunes offering movies. One of Ben’s prized souvenirs is a fax he received from media mogul Sumner Redstone addressed to “Den Fitz.”

In his spare time, Ben co-wrote the 2004 New York Times bestseller “All the President’s Spin: George W. Bush, the Media and the Truth.”

Ben was a starter on the volleyball team at Swarthmore College, where he studied political science and economics. After graduating, he spent a year in AmeriCorps, a Peace Corps-type organization in the States. It is there that he became a certified forest fire fighter.

Today, any fighting Ben does is at a gaming console, where he often spends his evenings blasting away at buddies and even some industry sources he plays with online. He lives in Los Feliz with his wife, Alicia (a writer whose credits include “Bambi II”), and their cat Bean.
Ben will report to John Lippman and is seated in Calendar next to Claudia Eller. Please welcome him.

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