Photo: Zocalo Public Square.
Well this is unexpected media news. Michael Cieply, the longtime anchor of New York Times Hollywood coverage in the Los Angeles bureau, is joining Deadline as the executive editor. Deadline is the trade website founded by Nikki Finke and now part of the Penkse Media Corp. empire, along with Variety, Indiewire, WWD, TVLine, Hollywood Life, Gold Derby and Variety Latino.
Cieply has been covering Hollywood for a long time, for a few different media outlets. He begins August 1. From Deadline's story:
“We could not be more excited to welcome Michael to our editorial team,” Deadline co-Editors in Chief Mike Fleming Jr and Nellie Andreeva said. “He has been a pre-eminent journalist in this space for years, with an impeccable reputation for being hard-nosed but fair and ethical.”
Since 2004, Cieply has been covering Hollywood for the New York Times from the L.A. bureau. He joined as the paper’s movie editor before eventually moving to a full-time job reporting and writing about the movie business. He joined from the LA Times, where he was an editor-reporter in the Business section covering media, music and film. He first worked for the LA Times from 1987-91 as a reporter in the Calendar section and later for Business.
He also was West Coast editorial director of Inside.com, a breaking-news and features site covering Hollywood. In some ways it was a precursor to the now-standard Internet model of breaking entertainment news 24 hours a day.
Cieply also has worked at the Wall Street Journal and Forbes, and co-authored with Lindsay Chaney the 1981 Simon & Schuster book "The Hearsts: Family and Empire."
Cieply is one of those Hollywood journalists who had interrupted his reporting career for a time to try his hand in the actual movie business, as a producer based at Columbia Pictures. His production company Byline Films, had a deal at Columbia, Deadline says.
Here's some first-person bio material from the Zocalo Green Room feature in 2013.
July 14 update: New York Times colleague Laura Holson, formerly of the LA bureau too, says that Cieply took a buyout. Which means he got a chunk of cash from the NYT toward his future retirement, and got another full-time job. See her tweet: