Critic Ann Powers leaves L.A. Times for NPR

Powers, the LAT's pop music critic since coming from Blender in 2006 to replace Robert Hilburn, will join NPR Music and switch to contributor status at the Times. She moved in 2009 to Alabama, where her husband, Eric Weisbard, teaches in Tuscaloosa. From Assistant Managing Editor Sallie Hofemeister's memo:

There is no more articulate authority on pop music in the country than Ann, as she demonstrated, most recently, on Grammy night earlier this week and in front of a live audience last month at our first annual Music Producers Roundtable. Since becoming our pop music critic in 2006, Ann has distinguished herself writing about Prince, Lady Gaga, Cee Lo Green, Eminem, Glee and, perhaps most notably, American Idol, where she was an outspoken champion two seasons ago of runner up, Adam Lambert. A vibrant presence, Ann has been missed in the newsroom since she and her family moved about a year ago to Alabama so her husband could take a university teaching position. We wish her the best in the next chapter of her career and will gather to say farewell when she is back in town at the end of the month.

Memo at Fishbowl LA. Also: The LAT's Andrew Blankstein is scheduled to be on a "48 Hours" segment Saturday about the 2002 murder of Michael Tardio and Christopher Monson.

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