About 30 years ago the Los Angeles Times discovered — long before the Curbed websites came along and did it better — that there were readership benefits to be had by reporting on (usually low-grade) celebrities buying or selling their houses. Or sometimes just renting out in the Valley; whatever the Hollywood agents and real estate offices would send over. Editor Shelby Coffey made Hot Property a feature of the print paper, with Ruth Ryon writing. Then it became a prominent online feature at LATimes.com, with Ryon yielding to Ann Brenoff and later Lauren Beale. Then it wasn't — downplayed both online and off. In 2009 the Times killed off its LA Land real estate blog. Now real estate is back on the A-list in the form of a Hot Property blog, with a new hire and a total of three designated contributors. The memo promises an expanded worldview that goes well beyond the Kardashians and Biebers.
To: The Staff
From: Kimi Yoshino, Business Editor
Since its inception in 1984, Hot Property has been a trailblazer for celebrity real estate news – a Times hallmark emulated by numerous other outlets in print and online. As it nears its 30th anniversary, Hot Property is undergoing an exciting expansion.
Neal Leitereg, who made a name for himself breaking sports celebrity news at Realtor.com, has joined The Times’ Business staff. He’s teamed with veteran Hot Property columnist Lauren Beale and real estate editor Peter Pae to launch a Hot Property blog that will be a must-read destination for celebrity real estate news.
The Hot Property coverage will include many new features:
- Real estate transactions of all-star athletes and high-profile executives.
- Home of the Day – spotlighting the most spectacular houses on the market around Southern California and beyond.
- Throwback Thursday – leading up to Hot Property’s 30th anniversary in November, we’ll revisit previously featured homes, including prices and celebrity ownership then and now.
- Price Chops – celebrity homes that have been reduced in price.
- On the Market – a look at what your money will buy in various neighborhoods.
- A sports-themed edition of Hot Property by Neal will now run Saturdays in print. Lauren’s celebrity-focused column will continue to appear on Sundays.
Please welcome Neal to the newsroom and congratulate the Hot Property team on its new venture.
Here's how the Times announces it publicly.