Mid-week notes: Zocalo, NYT in California and more

Our occasional roundup of media items from various sources and the LA Observed in-box. Previous notes.

At the top

Catania-zocalo-320.jpgZócalo Public Square has named veteran LA journalist Sara Catania as editorial director, guiding the journalism side as Zocalo "transitions to an Inquiry-based journalism model." Catania is a former reporter at the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly, the former West Coast Editor in Charge for Reuters and also Vice President for Digital News at NBC4. She also was a contributor to LA Observed, blogging about her year-long effort to prepare for, and run in, the Los Angeles Marathon. Catania joined Zocalo in May as a temporary editor. She succeeds Andrés Martinez, who becomes Zócalo’s executive editor. From Zócalo's coverage:

“Zócalo is growing up—we have big ambitions and we’re excited for what’s next,” said Gregory Rodriguez, Zócalo’s founder and publisher. “We’re thrilled to have someone of Sara’s intelligence, passion, and experience at the helm.”

Catania will guide Zócalo’s editorial efforts as the organization strengthens its partnerships across Los Angeles, the United States and the globe, and as it transitions to an Inquiry-based journalism model, regularly publishing centrally-themed collections of essays, photographs, videos, data visualizations, and social media, often in conjunction with live events.

“At its heart, Zócalo is a celebration of ideas—smartly conceived and rigorously described,” Catania said. “In this moment of clutter and noise, it’s a rare and wonderful thing to work with top thinkers, both established and emerging, to help bring those ideas to light with clarity, concision, and, sometimes, even a bit of humor.”

New York Times in California: The NYT this week launched California Today, a daily aggregation of California items for the website and in email. The main writer is reporter Mike McPhate, who recently relocated to Davis. Here's a bit of flackery on the move and an opening note from McPhate. One thing to watch for: will it develop a SoCal voice, since that's where the people live. Also this from Politico's Ken Doctor: NYT gets serious about podcasting

Meanwhile, LA Times newsletter hits a milestone: The new NYT newsletter has competition from the Los Angeles Times and Politico, among others dropping California-themed newsletters in my in-box. Essential California, the LA Times entry bylined by Alice Walton and Shelby Grad, has been at it a couple of years and this week celebrated its subscriber list reaching 200,000.

Pete Wells visits California too: New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells has been liberated to leave the New York area for starred reviews, and his first published stop is at Cassia in Santa Monica.

Fox pays $60 million to settle the Roger Ailes mess: Former anchor Gretchen Carlson gets $20 million and an apology of sorts: "We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect that she and all our colleagues deserve." The mess is still not over — will Sean Hannity do the mea culpa for saying all the comments by mistreated Fox women were BS? — and now Greta Von Susteren has left, saying Fox hasn't felt like home to her for awhile. Vanity Fair, CNN Money

Trump campaign ends media blacklist: The banned outlets at times included Politico, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and the Des Moines Register — whichever outlet Trump was mad at that week. "Revoking press credentials was imprudent, pointless, and offensive from the start," Washington Post editor Marty Baron told Politico. CNN

Unrandom notes

Politico co-founder Jim VandeHei is preparing to unveil his next act: a media outlet targeting corporate executives and other professionals with a mix of business and political news. His post at Medium... The New York Times Magazine added a new position and hired Caitlin Roper, articles editor of Wired, to fill it: special projects editor... The Daily News editorial board writes that for the Dodgers and SportsNet LA, putting Vin Scully's final games on KTLA is "too little, too late." Fans of Dodgers, Scully should still be angry... Fox Sports 1's new commentator, Skip Bayless, is a former LA Times sports scribe. He has also been called the most hated man in sports... The New Yorker announced the lineup for the Oct. 7-9 New Yorker Festival. It's nice to have a deep bench to call on. Also: Video is giving The New Yorker a way to reach new readers without turning off existing diehards... Inside Vice mogul Shane Smith’s Santa Monica estate in the WSJ... Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan still likes online reader comments... Arnold Schwarzenegger's son Joseph Baena recreates a favorite scene from "Terminator 2" on You Tube... KCRW is launching a new series on jails.

Media people doing stuff

Author and news anchor León Krauze has been appointed the Wallis Annenberg Chair in Journalism at USC Annenberg's School of Journalism... Josh Rubinstein, the former top weather guy at CBS LA, started his new job as spokesman for the LAPD. He gets public information officer badge #2....Actress Sarah Paulson is bringing ex-prosecutor Marcia Clark to the Emmys as her date... Gabriel Sherman has been named a contributor to NBC News and MSNBC... LA Times sports editor Angel Rodriguez on the Beto Duran [name fixed-ed.] podcast talking about covering sports in Los Angeles... Dennis Wilen of as a 15-year-old junior reporter.

Politics and place

Seven cities that sued to block the ballot language for Metro's Measure M lost in court... The City Council confirmed new Department of Water and Power chief David Wright...Former City Controller Laura Chick endorsed attorney Jesse Creed over incumbent council member Paul Koretz in the Council District 5 race... VP candidate Mike Pence makes a speech Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley... Want to volunteer for Trump? Here's the NDA you have to sign.

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