LA Observed Notes: Media moves, cranes and Campaign 2016

crane-wilshire-crescent.jpgConstruction at Wilshire and Crescent Heights. Only one U.S. city has more cranes in the sky than Los Angeles right now. See "Place" notes below.

Our occasional column of media and politics notes, with other news and observations. From multiple sources and the LA Observed inbox.

At the top

News item: At least 13 people died on Interstate 10 near Desert Hot Springs and another 31 were injured on Sunday when their casino tour bus slammed into the back of a slow-moving big rig. The major east-west interstate into Southern California was closed for hours.

Say what?: Nearly 10,000 veterans and soldiers who accepted cash enlistment offers from the California National Guard a decade ago — and served their tours, some in combat — are being dinged to pay back the money after audits revealed widespread overpayment. LA Times

Obamajam alert: President Obama comes in Monday afternoon to gum up traffic between Burbank Airport and Hollywood & Highland to tape "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in Hollywood, then hit a fundraiser in Beverly Hills. LAPD is advising to avoid Sunset Boulevard between the 405 and North Palm Drive between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday, and again Tuesday morning after 10 a.m. Also Centinela Avenue north of Santa Monica Airport between noon and 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

rebecca-keegan-twitter.jpgPlum job: LA Times film writer Rebecca Keegan announced on Twitter that she is leaving the paper to be Hollywood correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine. She starts the new gig on Nov. 7. Presumably she could keep doing the Monday morning "On the Lot" segment during "Take Two" on KPCC, but I guess we will wait and see. It's a high profile loss for the Times and the paper's ongoing struggle to cover Hollywood.

Sparks win it all: Nneka Ogwumike's jump shot with 3.1 seconds left gave the LA Sparks a 77-76 victory over the Minnesota Lynx and LA's first WNBA title in 14 years. Candace Parker was MVP of the finals. There's a fan celebration at 4 p.m. Monday at LA Live.

Dodgers go golfing: The Dodgers lost in six games to the Chicago Cubs and now comes the finger pointing. Bottom line should be: LA wasn't that good to begin with this year, sustained a ton of injuries — many of the predictable sort — and over-achieved to reach Game 6 of the NL championship series. Was fun while it lasted. Now Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner and some other fixtures are free agents — and Vin Scully is retired to the San Fernando Valley.

Media notes

AT&T has agreed to acquire Time Warner for $85 billion and become a really, really, really big media player... The Washington Post will remove its web paywall and offer "unlimited, free access to its content" on election day and the morning after... A "substantial number" of buyouts are in the works at the slenderizing Wall Street Journal... This coming week could be a crucial time in the ongoing talks between Gannett and Tronc, which analyst Ken Doctor still insists could result "soon" in a deal. Possibly with Patrick Soon-Shiong in a role with the LA Times... Doctor also predicts 10 media story lines to watch through 2017... NPR is looking to build up its next generation of shows and podcasts... KQED in San Francisco is encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation with an in-house incubator... NBCUniversal is doubling its bet on BuzzFeed by investing another $200 million. See below: BuzzFeed is hiring in LA.


Media job moves

john-ismay-twitter.jpegJohn Ismay (right) has left KPCC, where he was the military and veterans reporter, for a new job in Washington covering arms and armed conflict for Amnesty International... The LA Daily News is advertising for a Los Angeles City Hall reporter and an LA Unified reporter... Things are thin at the Los Angeles Times City Hall bureau. Peter Jamison left after covering Mayor Garcetti for a tad more than a year and Emily Alpert Reyes is on leave until January... BuzzFeed is looking for "a smart and experienced news junkie to join BuzzFeed News' curation team" in Los Angeles, as well as an afternoon-evening GA reporter for the global breaking news team in LA, and an investigative reporter/editor here... Obituary: Deane Funk, longtime publisher of the late Santa Monica Evening Outlook, died Oct. 15 — his 92nd birthday. He also had been co-owner and publisher of the Inyo Register in Bishop, CA with his brother Ron.

Around the Timeses

CalBuzz, the state politics website, comes down hard on the LA Times-USC tracking poll which has been the only poll in the country to (until recently) put Trump ahead of Clinton. "The single most reckless name-brand survey of the 2016 election season," CalBuzz posts... Lawyers in a class-action suit against Trump University want LA Times consumer columnist David Lazarus to testify about a column he wrote. Trump's attorneys are trying to block the testimony... Former LA Times publisher Austin Beutner offered some tips to future NY Times publisher Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, who was designated the heir last week. As Beutner has said about the LAT that he took over, the business side is the real problem at newspapers: "They will need an organization with a different leadership structure and people with different skill sets than they currently have to manage the business transformation"... Los Angeles Times editorial writers and opinion editors have been located on the second floor of the older Times building at least since I first walked in the door. Last week they moved up to the third floor, in the southwest corner of the newer building originally called the Mirror Building, at 2nd and Spring streets... Former LAT reporter and editor Tom Gorman retired last week as executive editor of the Las Vegas Sun... Longtime LA Times staff writer Henry Weinstein, now teaching law and journalism at UC Irvine, appeared in the paper for the first time in years with an op-ed on why it's a bad idea to withhold your vote for president.

Media people doing stuff

journos-deathrow-saul-gonzalez.jpgKCRW's Saul Gonzalez had a piece from San Quentin Death Row on WBUR's Here & Now. He did it earlier for KCRW. The photo here is of journalists getting ready to enter Death Row... Los Angeles journalist Lynell George contributes liner notes to a new release of "Otis Redding – Live At The Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings," out Oct. 28. The shows took place April 8, 9 and 10 in 1966... Scott Timberg for Salon: "Leonard Cohen’s farewell masterpiece — whether this is goodbye or not, 'You Want it Darker' is powerful and real"... Doug McIntyre in the Daily News: Are we witnessing the demise of the deli?

Hollywood vocation: Willem Barneveld, 58, spends his days watching and cataloging Warner Bros. movie film, outtakes and all, from the 1930s to early 1950s. "We started with 18,000 cans of film five years ago and have about 4,000 left to do. I’ve seen images from the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. I’ve also seen outtakes or footage of movie stars that no one has seen since the films were shot 70 or 80 years ago. There might be footage of a star that never made it to the final production, or a shot of an actress rolling down her stockings or putting on makeup off-set." NYT


Politics notes

trump-meter-nyt.jpgDonald Trump received his first big-city newspaper endorsement — and in a swing state no less — but the Las Vegas Review-Journal is owned these days by big-time Trump backer Sheldon Adelson... The New Yorker, meanwhile, goes Clinton: "The election of Hillary Clinton is an event that we would welcome for its historical importance, and greet with indescribable relief."... The Election Forecast meter on the New York Times home page gives Hillary Clinton a 93 percent chance of winning, so the section on the bar chart for her opponent now only has room for mp... How charges of voter fraud became a political strategy... How Russia’s Twitter bots and trolls work with Donald Trump campaign accounts: "Broadly speaking, Trump’s real supporters aren’t on Twitter – and Trump’s Twitter supporters aren’t real"... Matthew Yglesias: "There's a new silent majority and it's voting for Hillary Clinton"... Donald Trump's nastiness is why so many Republicans love him — and it leaves the GOP with a paralyzing decision... Salma Hayek rejected Trump, so he planted a story about her in the National Enquirer, in Slate... Associated Press weekend lede on California politics: "Come Election Day, California could legalize pot. Its new U.S. senator will be black or Hispanic — a first for the state. And voters could end the death penalty and revive bilingual education in schools."

Some politics is local: Steve Lopez column: Venice councilman Mike Bonin, once on the verge of homelessness, is trying to help — but getting heat from all sides... Monday is the last day to register to vote in California in the Nov. 8 election.... Actor Leonard DiCaprio has not endorsed the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, and has name has been scrubbed from the campaign's materials... The city will break ground Monday afternoon on a project to transform Figueroa Street between 41st and 6th streets... First Dog Sutter Brown has returned to the state Capitol.


People are talking about...

Deadline Hollywood's Michael Cieply has an idea: why not pay Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs at least minimum wage?... The tide of hate directed against Jewish journalists in the age of Trump, in The Atlantic... Former state Senator Ron Calderon was sentenced Friday to 3½ years in prison after he admitted to accepting about $100,000 in bribes. Brother Tom only got ten months, half of it at home. "This is going to be the opening paragraph of his obituary," defense lawyer Mark Geragos argued. "This is going to obliterate 30 years of public service."

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Books and authors

wrong-side-of-goodbye.jpgFor those who wait each year for Michael Connelly's latest Harry Bosch novel set in Los Angeles, "The Wrong Side of Goodbye" is out... Author Walter Kirn endorses Malibu's SunLife Organics juice line and its founder, Khalil Rafati, in a piece for the NYT style magazine: "Over the years as a SunLife customer, I’ve seen firsthand how Mr. Rafati’s juice bars function as informal meeting places for souls on the mend from drugs and alcohol. This makes SunLife more than a zone of good nutrition; it makes it a haven for spirits who truly thirst."... Randi Malkin Steinberger's new book, "No Circus," collects photographs of buildings tented for termite fumigation around Los Angeles, and includes an essay by D. J. Waldie: "Inevitably, when hard, physical labor must be done quickly and with skill in Southern California, the men are Latino"... How Charles Phoenix became the master of LA nostalgia, per the LA Weekly... KQED’s Michael Krasny has a new book: “Let There Be Laughter: A Treasury of Great Jewish Humor and What It Means”... Skylight Books is celebrating 20 years with a party at the store on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m.


When the LA Unified School District and Tom Bradley defeated Donald Trump's ambition to build a 125-story tower on Wilshire Boulevard. LA Times
Netflix signed a 10-year-lease for sound stages at the Sunset Bronson Studios, aka the home of KTLA Channel 5, and further aka, the pre-Burbank home of Warner Bros. Curbed LA/THR
Los Angeles is second only to Seattle in construction cranes currently in the air. Seattle Times

First look at Westfield’s huge new project planned for Warner Center. Curbed LA

On Fairfax, the old Jewish scene and the new streetwear scene form an only-in-L.A. melting pot. LA Times

"The 20 Best Music Videos Ever Shot in Los Angeles." LA Weekly

Help is being sought to locate a woman with dementia who has been missing since a visit to LACMA. Flyer

The search continues in Kings Canyon National Park and the High Sierra for missing Manhattan Beach hiker Robert Woodie. Request for help

After a 100+-year absence, bighorn sheep are back in the heart of Yosemite. Watch their story

When to call 9-1-1.

The Rams lost 17-10 to the New York Giants in an NFL game played in London.


Selected tweets


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