Mary McNamara gets editor role at LAT, and more notes

mary-mcnamara-lat.jpgMary McNamara's official LA Times photo.

Mary McNamara, the television critic and senior culture editor at the Los Angeles Times who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2015, has been named assistant managing editor for arts and entertainment. This puts her on the masthead and makes her the highest-ranking editor on the arts and entertainment side of the paper. The expanded online masthead now includes five women, of 13 total editors. She succeeds John Corrigan, who left earlier this year for the Wall Street Journal in Asia. McNamara will be replaced as television critic, editor Davan Maharaj says.

From the newsroom announcement:

To: The Staff
From: Davan Maharaj, Editor-in-Chief, and Larry Ingrassia, Managing Editor

We are excited to announce that Mary McNamara, our Pulitzer Prize-winning television critic and senior culture editor, will become our assistant managing editor for arts and entertainment.

Mary, who has worked at The Times since 1990, is one of the most knowledgeable, insightful and distinguished journalists covering arts and entertainment in the news business.

When she won her Pulitzer for criticism in 2015, the judges cited her “savvy criticism that uses shrewdness, humor and an insider's view to show how both subtle and seismic shifts in the cultural landscape affect television.” She also was a Pulitzer finalist for criticism in 2014 and 2013, and has won other awards for her criticism and feature writing.

Mary has proved her mettle at every job she has done at The Times, as an assigning editor for the Los Angeles Times Magazine, a feature writer for Life & Style and a reporter covering movies before becoming a television critic eight years ago.

We will miss her TV criticism – and of course plan to replace her – but know that our readers will benefit because she will lift all of our arts and entertainment coverage with the type of ambitious and thought-provoking journalism that has made her work sparkle.

Indeed, Mary has demonstrated great range at The Times. She has covered the Oscars, Cannes, the building and opening of the Cathedral and Disney Hall. She has written revealing profiles of Oprah Winfrey, Robert Downey Jr., John Travolta and Mel Gibson among many, many others. And she has written about pretty much every area of arts and entertainment from E3 and Comic-Con to behind the scenes at the opera.

Before joining The Times, she was an editor at Ms. magazine and wrote for other publications, including Ms., Glamour, Mademoiselle and the New York Times. She is the author of the Hollywood mysteries “Oscar Season” and “The Starlet.”

Mary is a native of Maryland and holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and women’s studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Please join us in congratulating Mary.

She tweets:

Media notes

latimes-buildings-from-city.jpgLos Angeles Times buildings: The sale to Canadian developer Onni Group, first reported with details in June, has apparently closed. The Los Angeles Business Journal and the Times reported on it Tuesday, citing "a person familiar with the deal." The LABJ says it's a $105 million deal, after at least two price reductions, with $10 million more possible if Onni gets approval to build apartments in the renovated complex, as part of a switch to multi-use. The buildings at 1st and Spring streets have been owned by Chicago's Tribune Media, which leases office space to the Times. The LAT story says the Times lease runs until 2018 with options to stay up to ten years longer. "It’s unclear if the Los Angeles Times will stay in the building," the paper's story says. The Times has been in the main building since 1935.

Sale of the land under the LA Times printing plant at the industrial end of downtown also reportedly closed on Tuesday, the Times reports. The buyer is a partnership headed by L.A.-based Harridge Development Group.

Meanwhile in Arizona: The Arizona Republic endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, the first time in its 126 years that the paper has endorsed a Democrat over a Republican. "The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified." Wendy McCaw's Santa Barbara News-Press is the only California daily to endorse Trump.

Launched: #EmergingUS, the video-centric race and immigration start-up by journalist Jose Antonio Vargas that was originally envisioned as part of the Los Angeles Times, launched this week on Medium. He's based in LA.

DNA testing: As part of the current Los Angeles Magazine immigration issue that Vargas helped to guest-edit, members of the staff had their genomes tested and write a little bit about the discovered details of their heritage.

Media people: Sacramento Bee political reporter David Siders is moving to Politico in Los Angeles. He will cover California and co-write the California Playbook with Carla Marinucci. He tweets:

Happy radio anniversary: KPCC celebrated ten years of "Off-Ramp."

Three more games: The Dodgers will air Vin Scully's final game call from San Francisco this Sunday for all nine innings on TV (KTLA and SportsNet LA) and radio (AM 570 KLAC.)

Also: Business Insider is testing a reader paywall and an ad-blocking response. Ad Age... The Associated Press acquired the British Movietone film archive collection from Newsreel Archive.

Previously in LA Observed Notes

And a tweet

More by Kevin Roderick:
'In on merit' at USC
Read the memo: LA Times hires again
Read the memo: LA Times losing big on search traffic
Google taking over LA's deadest shopping mall
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Recent Media stories on LA Observed:
Walking through 4,000 photographs with Annie Leibovitz
Read the memo: LA Times hires again
Olde-time L.A. journalism
Rorschach and Rashomon on the Washington Mall
Read the memo: LA Times losing big on search traffic
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Here's who the LA Times has newly hired*
LA Observed Notes: Clippers hire big-time writer, unfunny Emmys, editor memo at the Times and more