The Los Angeles Times is taking its newly vacant position of books editor in a somewhat new direction — emphasizing knowledge of pop culture and adding a focus on "California and the West" to the editor's job. The title is even being redefined to as "Books and Culture Editor." Sometimes in Timesspeak this kind of specific redirection means the position is being carved out to fit a certain individual — which can make the job posting itself kind of a sham exercise — or it can mean what it says. Or both. We shall see.
Read the memo:
To: The Staff
From: Alice Short, Assistant Managing Editor/Features
The Los Angeles Times has an opening for a Books and Culture Editor.
This editor directs online and print coverage that includes book reviews, a robust books blog (Jacket Copy), news stories and author profiles. The new editor will be charged with expanding coverage of publishing and culture, with an emphasis on California and the West and exploring the lives of authors who define our literary landscape.
This editor will also be asked to expand the paper's online reach and mobile coverage.
Candidates should have a deep interest in the world of books, publishing and pop culture and the ability to make content accessible to both a general readership and a sophisticated national audience. An ability to generate strong story ideas for the Calendar section and A1 offerings is essential.
Candidates should also have a good knowledge of the editorial staff outside the books department and be able to turn to colleagues for review help. The ability to work with freelance writers is also a necessity, as is the willingness to step up and write stories, blog posts and reviews.
Interested parties should contact Alice Short...
Current books editor Jon Thurber is leaving in June, according to editor Davan Maharaj, in a memo we posted yesterday.
Photo: Ed Fuentes