LA Weekly confirms: Jonathan Gold leaving for LA Times *

Some background added

The entreaties from Village Voice Media executive Mike Lacey didn't work. LA Weekly editor Sarah Fenske confirms on the Weekly's website, posted at 12:30 p.m., that Gold is leaving.

We're sad to see him go, as Gold is not only the first -- and only -- food critic to win a Pulitzer Prize (in 2007), but a brilliant writer and intrepid explorer of the L.A. culinary scene. We wish we could have kept him. Hell, we tried to keep him. But time marches on. He's been here since 1982, for God's sake. We wish him the best of luck in his new adventures.

We'll still be publishing his work for a few more weeks. Our spring restaurant issue March 1 is going to be as good as ever -- and he'll be at the Gold Standard event with us to celebrate it. There are very few tickets left, but if you act fast, you may even be able to join us in toasting a legend one last time.

It's still unclear just what Gold will be doing for the Los Angeles Times. It's a high-profile hire, regardless of what he does. That's why he was meeting top executives in the Times building on Thursday after accepting the job.

Basically, Gold was at the Times that day to close the deal. They didn't expect the media to get wind of the story right away, an unrealistic assumption given Gold's profile. I learned on Thursday that Gold had accepted an offer. I emailed him that night to check the facts, and didn't hear from him. I learned on Friday that he gave notice to Lacey and LA Weekly publisher Beth Sestanovich, and that they were trying to talk him out of leaving. I posted Friday afternoon about Gold's possible hire and hang up, then let things play out a bit over the weekend before posting updates this morning.

Also: what happens to the Counter Intelligence brand? There was some of dispute over the name (of Gold's column and his book of reviews) the last time Gold left the Times for the Weekly, as I recall.

Previously on LA Observed:
Coup for the LA Times: Jonathan Gold coming back?
Jonathan Gold finds himself in a good spot
This is weird: Village Voice blog says Gold to LAT, citing us *


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