The latest on the Jonathan Gold front, from a knowledgeable source, is that when the popular food writer informed the LA Weekly and Village Voice Media's Mike Lacey on Friday that he had accepted a job offer from the Los Angeles Times, the home office in Phoenix mobilized. Talks reportedly continued over the weekend, with Lacey apparently dangling money the chain had not previously shown itself willing to commit. The desire to keep Gold isn't surprising. He's a Pulitzer Prize winner with a devoted following, and probably the last marquee name at the LA Weekly. The Village Voice Media chain believes that food writing brings in lots of readers in print and on the web, so if he's not a national asset for them already I'm sure he could be if he wanted. Gold, however, knows the Village Voice organization as well as anybody — his wife, Laurie Ochoa, was editor of the LA Weekly for several years after Lacey and company took over in 2005 — and he had already reached a decision to move on. An offer letter from the Times had been signed, is the way an inside source put it.
So it will be interesting to see how persuasive money is at this stage — and of course it would be great to know how much, if any, the Times is sweetening its offer. If you're Gold, a bidding war is a nice place to be.