LA Observed Notes: Big TV news, media moves, obits and more

maglieri-whisky.jpgMario Maglieri, 93, owned Sunset Strip landmarks the Whisky A Go Go and the Rainbow Bar and Grill. He died last week. LA Times obit by Randall Roberts. LA Observed photo.

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Top of the news

Sinclair is buying the Tribune Media TV stations, which has a number of implications. First, it makes Sinclair the biggest owner of TV stations in the country, and gives them the WGN America cable outlet, and stations in New York, Chicago and here in Los Angeles. Staffers at KTLA Channel 5 are now in crisis mode, wondering how cheap the notoriously cheap Sinclair will go, and also if the news shows will have to start flacking for Donald Trump as the company has been accused of doing elsewhere. There's also the talk of Sinclair wanting to become a national opinion programmer to the right of Fox News. The sale also means the end of the Tribune corporate name. I talked about the ramifications on the KCRW LA Observed segment on Monday. Here is some other coverage:

• Sinclair Unveils Tribune Deal, Raising Worries It Will Be Too Powerful - NYT
• Conservative-leaning TV station owner Sinclair getting bigger with Tribune deal - CNN Money
• Will Sinclair Broadcast Group take on Fox News after buying Tribune Media? - LA Times
• What an even bigger Sinclair might mean to democracy - Baltimore Sun (Sinclair's hometown)
• Why the deal could be bad news for KTLA 5 employees and viewers - guest commentary by Scott Jones of FTVLive.

Media notes

Shane Goldmacher, not too long ago a Sacramento hand for the LA Times and Bee, is Politico's chief White House correspondent but in July he will become chief political correspondent for the New York Times Metro section... Lydia Polgreen names former NY Daily News editor to be her #2 at the new HuffPost, and talks the future with BuzzFeed's Ben Smith ... George Will takes his commentator suit to MSNBC... America's growing news deserts from CJR... ebony-covers.jpgEbony magazine is leaving Chicago after 70-plus years and moving to Los Angeles, consolidating here with Jet under that magazine's top editor, Tracey Ferguson. Nearly a third of the Ebony staff is out, including editor Kyra Kyles... The Ventura Star laid off at least five journalists last week and announced the paper will give up its Camarillo printing plant and be printed by the LA Times, as of July 12. With jobs lost in the pressroom and pre-press... The Wall Street Journal allowed Sam Zell to frame his failure at Tribune as the result of a newspaper culture that wouldn't accept his ideas for a change. Sure, Sam... Uber has opened offices on the 10th floor of the Times South building — the floor where the Los Angeles Times cafeteria was located for decades before moving to the former delivery truck bays facing Spring Street. LA Times/The Real Deal... Ad Age's ranking of the top advertising agencies by billings does not include any headquartered in LA in the first 85, though there are plenty from New York, Chicago, Kansas City, Texas and even Arkansas. No. 86 is 72 & Sunny in Playa Vista... Celestial Blood is a new bilingual KCRW podcast narrated by Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo.

Media people doing stuff

Deepa Fernandes had a story on PRI's The World Monday about a brother and sister from El Salvador who fled gangs there and now live apart from their family in Riverside... Jamie Lauren Keiles had a piece from LA in Sunday's New York Times Magazine on the global superfood market... Kathleen Ronayne, AP's politics and government reporter in New Hampshire, will now run politics coverage for AP in Sacramento... Three Minutes to Midnight, an LA-centric excerpt from Edward McPherson's "The History of the Future" in Guernica... Fox News anchor Shepard Smith finally opens up about being gay... This month's Vogue offers a Travel Guide to Highland Park by Jennifer Conrad. British Vogue also has a fashion layout on LA streets... The Los Angeles Journalism Job Fair is June 17 at the SAG-AFTRA building in Miracle Mile... CBS LA helicopter reporter Stu Mundel did a Facebook Live session from in the air.

ICYMI: LA Times Central Valley reporter Diana Marcum is no sooner back from book leave than she wins a Nieman fellowship at Harvard for most of a year. Also here are the next John S. Knight Journalism Fellows at Stanford.

Hollywood notes: Steve Bannon's former Hollywood business partner, Jeff Kwatinetz, insists to THR that the Trump adviser is neither racist nor anti-Semitic... The MTV Movie and TV Awards consolidated the actor awards into gender-free categories and Emma Watson won the best actor prize for "Beauty and the Beast."... The Lost Picture Show: Hollywood Archivists Can’t Outpace Obsolescence, in IEEE Spectrum: "Studios invested heavily in magnetic-tape storage for film archiving but now struggle to keep up with the technology." Noted: Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeffrey Wells is getting married after all, he writes.

And:Inside the San Francisco Chronicle newsroom:

On working for Jean Stein

Los Angeles Times culture columnist Carolina Miranda goes first person to remember Jean Stein, the author who died in New York last week, apparently of suicide. In 1992 Miranda got a job as Stein's research assistant on a Los Angeles oral history project, through the recommendation of Times columnist Robert Scheer; Miranda had been a researcher and babysitter for Scheer. Sample.

The summer job was as surreal as it was educational — one of those foundational moments that are difficult to recognize until too much time has passed.

For one, there was the landscape: Los Angeles, 1992, still wrecked and singed in the wake of an uprising that had resulted in more than 60 deaths, 2,000-plus injuries and approximately $1 billion in damage.

And there was Stein. Slim, petite, soft-spoken — bearing a halo of curls. Wondrously erudite. Full of ferocious curiosity and a meticulous attention to detail. She may have seemed frail, but she was steely.

In all of my 20-year-old cluelessness (no Google back then), I had no idea she was a child of Hollywood royalty — the eldest daughter of the powerful entertainment mogul Jules Stein, co-founder of Music Corp. of America. Nor was I aware of her extensive history with the Paris Review, the seminal magazine of letters where she worked with journalist and essayist George Plimpton, who would serve as editor on some of her key books...

On most mornings of the weeks I spent working for her, I would drive to some fancy hotel on the Westside of Los Angeles — the sort with a grand lobby and towering arrangements of fresh flowers — to retrieve her. There she’d be waiting with clutches of news clippings, the names of people she wanted to interview circled in pen. It was my job to track them down, set up appointments and drive her in my car: a 1975 banana-yellow Mustang II that featured a staticky radio, a rattling engine and no air conditioning.

Read the rest.

Dawn Lazarus, SNL meteorologist

With apologies to our friends who report the weather...

'Obit' the film

bruce-weber-obit.jpg"Obit," the documentary playing at the Nuart, is a behind-the-scenes look at the New York Times obituary desk. You get to meet the reporters, learn about the obit craft, and feel the pain of journalists writing to length on deadline while trying to satisfy family members, readers, editors and the demands of the form. There's also surprising backstage insight into the NYT basement archive, or morgue, and the one remaining librarian who staffs it. I agree with Ken Turan that it's a delightful film, especially for newspaper people. Here's the recent Fresh Air segment.

While on the subject of obituaries, two notable LA culinary figures died recently. Lucy Casado, 91, was the owner of Lucy's El Adobe Cafe, a Hollywood and political hangout in its day on Melrose Avenue near the Paramount studio lot. In political lore, it's where a young Gov. Jerry Brown met an even younger Linda Ronstadt in the 1970s; they famously dated for awhile and remain friends. LA Times, Eater LA. Marilyn Lewis, 87, was the co-founder, with her late husband Harry, of the Hamburger Hamlet restaurant on Sunset Strip that grew into a popular and eventually bi-coastal chain for casual sit-down burgering. The Lewises also opened Hamlet Gardens in Westwood Village and Kate Mantilini in Beverly Hills. The Hamlet empire is gone but it still has many fans. LA Times, Variety

Related-ish: "Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story," a documentary about longtime backstage figures Harold and Lillian Michelson — he as a storyboard artist, she as a researcher who acquired the Samuel Goldwyn Research Library — opens in Los Angeles on May 12. The Frame

Only in LA?: On the way to the Nuart, my wife and I passed Annie Lennox and her husband, Mitch Besser, walking the other way. Which is only worth mentioning because just about 24 hours earlier, we were sitting in a Culver City restaurant when Lennox and Besser walked in and met one of her daughters. We were at Book Soup the following day, and you can be sure we asked at the desk if Annie Lennox had been in that day. (They didn't think so.)

Politics notes

The International Olympic Committee is coming to town this week to tour sites for the 2024 Olympics and get wooed some more by Los Angeles officials. The IOC is expected to decide in September between Los Angeles and Paris. "A capricious process on top of an already unpredictable scenario,” an academic says in a pithy summation of the ritual.
• IOC evaluation committee coming to L.A. this week, but will it matter? - LA Times
• LA 2024 releases new renderings of proposed Olympic venues - KPCC
• IOC committee in L.A. this week to evaluate city’s Olympic bid - DN
• LA Hosting Olympic Inspectors in 2024 Race - NBC 4
• LA versus Paris: what you need to know about LA 2024 - SportCal

Following up: The state granted parole to Voltaire Williams, who was convicted and sentenced to life as a conspirator in the 1985 ambush and murder of LAPD detective Thomas Williams to prevent his testimony in a criminal case. We ran a guest blog about the case by Arnold Friedman in 2015.

Eric Bauman, the longtime chair of the Los Angeles Democratic Party, says he is being targeted by false email rumors of inappropriate relations with teenage boys. Bauman is running to become the state party chair and the race is heated. AP/KPCC

Mayor Garcetti, in an interview with ABC-7, revived talk of building a gondola to carry sightseers up to the Hollywood sign.

Convicted former San Diego mayor Bob Filner "lives alone in a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment just a short walk from Los Angeles City Hall" and has a new self-published book out.

Actor Antonio Sabato Jr. says he will run for Congress as a Republican against Rep. Julia Brownley, a Democrat from Westlake Village. Sabato spoke for Donald Trump at the Republican convention last year. He also said around that time that he believed Barack Obama is a Muslim, so it's possible that Sabato is not very good at processing, you know, information.

Election runoff links:
• Against backdrop of voter discontent, two L.A. City Hall insiders seek 7th District council seat in San Fernando Valley - LAT
• LA council candidate Torossian gets praise from group fighting high-speed rail - DN
• Bray-Ali fires back at local Democrats over call for him to quit LA Council race - DN
• Dumb Days in the First District Council Race - Downtown News
• Outside groups have poured more than $10 million into the LA Unified school board election - LA School Report

imelda-padilla-kelly-gonez.jpgOn Wednesday, school board runoff candidates Imelda Padilla and Kelly Gonez will field questions and meet with voters at a candidate forum in Lake View Terrace. DN

Coupla City Hall notes: LA City Council backs effort to investigate Trump for impeachable offenses... 10 Dubious Days That the City of L.A. Has Declared... Cheryl Getuiza fills the new position of public information director for the city planning department. Allison Simard fills her former role as communications director for Councilman Paul Koretz.


Poketo is closing its flagship Arts District store on Third Street at the end of the month. Renovation is coming to the building. The Real Deal

Snowy plovers have been found nesting on Los Angeles County beaches for the first time since 1949, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says. CBS LA

What to expect when 15 airlines switch terminals at LAX. LA Times

USC's plan for renovated Coliseum includes seat-ticket relocation, reduction in stadium capacity and some pricey donations. LA Times

L.A. punk band X to get 40th-anniversary exhibit at the Grammy Museum LA Times

Nina Diaz, the Girl In a Coma singer and guitarist I mentioned around the Ritchie Valens anniversary this year, perfoms at Alex's Bar in Long Beach on June 9. Info

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