LA Observed Notes: Writers on the verge, Fox, the riots and more

angels-gary-kids.jpgAn exhibition of Gary Leonard photographs of Angelenos standing in front of Colette Miller's wings around Los Angeles opens at Central Library Thursday. The display will be in the First Floor Galleries through August 27.

An occasional roundup of news, observations and links from various sources. Between posts join LA Observed on Twitter: 24,336 followers and counting.

Top of the news

The Writers Guild contracts with studios and producers expire Tuesday at 12:01 a.m., and the guild membership has already authorized leaders to call a strike if things get that far. The last strike 10 years ago was bad for everybody, including the Los Angeles economy. For now, the two sides continue to talk.
WGA, AMPTP to Resume Bargaining Monday Morning as CEOs Keep Tabs on Talks - Variety
WGA Negotiations Planned for Monday But Schedule Uncertain - THR

Rupert Murdoch and his 21st Century Fox are teaming up with private equity firm Blackstone to prepare a bid for the 42 Tribune Media TV stations, including KTLA-5 here. Matthew Garrahan of the Financial Times has the scoop. Murdoch would need FCC relief to own multiple TV stations in markets such as Los Angeles, but well, he didn't put Donald Trump in office for nothing.

Bret Stephens, for months the leading Trump critic from the right at the Wall Street Journal, has been hired to do op-eds from the right for the New York Times. His past dings of some climate advocacy and science has got some climate policy advocates and NYT newsroom staffers in an uproar, but Stephens, his editor James Bennet and NYT editor Dean Baquet all suggest people settle down. The role of the op-ed page is to put forth a range of ideas, and Stephens is not a climate change denier. (He's more of a climate parser and foot-dragger.) Quick take: Anyone who would make a show of dropping their subscription because the paper adds Stephens to its roster of opinion columnists probably wasn't NYT material to begin with.
His first column: "None of this is to deny climate change or the possible severity of its consequences."
Andy Revkin on Facebook: "Uncertainty is real, but hardly a reason for simply more conversation."
CNN: NYT subscribers dropping paper over climate column

25 years after the last Los Angeles riots

Lots of great work out there looking back at the April 1992 riots. Here's the LA Times package — the Times staff won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the riots and compiled the stories and photos into a book back then. Here are the Los Angeles Times front pages. Of the 63 people killed during '92 riots, 23 deaths remain unsolved. Steve Lopez columnizes on a Gardena woman, Jessica Glennis Evers-Jones, who was born on the second day of the riots — after being shot while in her mother's womb.

Former LAT staffer Hector Tobar remembers the era in his New York Times op-ed column, and the NYT national editor Marc Lacey, who also was at the LAT then, talks about it in a Facebook video..

Raphael Sonenshein on From Rodney King to a transformed L.A. in the Jewish Journal

Warren Olney of KCRW on what has changed for residents in South LA after 25 years. Olney in LA

'I Was Very Afraid': Korean gas station cashier recalls terror of Los Angeles riots. KNBC/Jason Kandel

Former Dodgers Eric Davis and Darryl Strawberry and Lakers legend Jerry West remember watching the riots break out on April 29, 1992. USA Today/Bob Nightengale

Nice: NBC's Katy Tur remembers the landmark helicopter coverage by her mother and father, Marika Gerrard and Zoey Tur.

Media notes

The LA Times created a Twitter list of the 10 reporters and photographers covering today's May Day march in Los Angeles... Fox News dumped co-president Bill Shine as part of the backlash against revelations of the sexual harassment culture at Fox... SoCal-based conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt is in talks for a show on MSNBC... The Washington Post runs an op-ed under Donald Trump's name that talks about his first 100 days and says the "establishment media" concealed and profited from "decades of a shrinking middle class, open borders and the mass offshoring of American jobs and wealth." And he's already fixed it, of course... Photos of arrivals at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Wash Post... Oliver Stone interviews Vladimir Putin for four-hour series to air in June on Showtime, CNN Money says... Tronc is looking for a new vice President, Corporate Communications and Public Relations, based in Chicago... Bloomberg and Twitter will announce a new streaming news channel to run on Twitter, the Wall Street Journal says... Kelly Ripa's new co-host on ABC will be Ryan Seacrest. The show will now be "Live with Kelly and Ryan."... Anthony Bourdain's new season of travel and food shows launched Sunday night on CNN with an episode on Mexican-American Los Angeles. Among the featured were Gustavo Arellano and Al Madrigal, Broken Spanish, La Reyna, Danny Trejo, the Arts District and Boyle Heights... Michael Weinstein and his AIDS Healthcare Foundation were profiled in Sunday's NYT Magazine... Actor George Takei had an op-ed in the NYT: Internment, America’s Great Mistake... The New York Times also had a Sunday feature on musician Mac DeMarco, and on Sunday I encountered a crowd of 200 or so millennials lined up in the Arts District to eat bbq and take a picture with him.

Noted: About a week ago, Jeffrey Wells used his Hollywood Elsewhere column to announce his upcoming marriage to his Russian love. It was going to happen on the beach at Trancas at sunset, his first marriage in 25 years. Well, he decided to propose a last-minute pre-nup. This weekend's column describes how quickly life can shift: "Anybody wanna buy a pair of diamond-studded, white-gold wedding bands?"

And: The LA Times posted a video recap of the newspaper's best projects of 2016.


Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos abruptly cancelled a scheduled Monday appearance in the San Fernando Valley, citing "an unforeseen scheduling conflict."... Old news: The top City Hall politics story in Sunday's LAT California section, about Mayor Garcetti not mentioning the city's huge pension obligations in his state of the city speech, actually first ran online April 24. So it was a week old by the time it was prominently displayed in print. They didn't even change the "last week" in the lede... A day after City Council candidate Joe Bray-Ali lost the endorsements of the Times and Councilman Mitch O'Farrell over controversial racial comments, Bray-Ali took to Facebook to reveal that he also has had extramarital affairs and failed to pay taxes. DN, LA Weekly... A Sunday New York Times piece looking at the field of Democrats potentially running for president in 2020 raises and brushes off (for now) both Mayor Eric Garcetti and Sen. Kamala Harris.

How Maxine Waters became 'Auntie Maxine' in the age of Trump. LAT/Sarah D. Wire

Refilling Silver Lake Reservoir is inexcusably wasteful. Better to live with an empty pit. LA Times op-ed by Willy Blackmore

Robert Lee Ahn's 'misleading' mail tactics helped him get into the 34th congressional district runoff. LAT/Christine Mai-Duc

A bill in Sacramento by state Sen. Tony Mendoza would enlarge the LA County Board of Supervisors to seven members and create a powerful new elected post, county executive, with a six-year term and an annual salary of about $200,000. Sacto Bee

Garcetti last week named Robin Coste Lewis as the city's new Poet Laureate.

Callers have been flooding the Trump administration’s new illegal immigration hotline with stories about space aliens.

Remembering New West

new-west-12.jpgJon Carroll, the retired San Francisco Chronicle columnist, reminisces about his years as editor of the Clay Felker magazine that tried to editorially stitch together Southern California and Northern California. New West didn't succeed at the mission or as a business proposition, but it was fun to have around.


The last magazine I ever edited was New West. It had it all. It was a magazine about the West Coast, a topic about which I had a great deal of personal knowledge. I could pretty much hire anyone I wanted. I could also fire them, which was terrible each and every time it happened. I only ran the stories I liked, except occasionally when someone I trusted said, “oh Jon, you are so so wrong.” I hired the most talented people I could find, and I let them do their work.

Nevertheless, I was where the buck stopped, and sometimes the buck was tattered and stained with an unknown brown liquid. It would be soggy and smelly and I would have to say, “yup, that’s my buck.”

I made oh so many mistakes. I had no experience in management. I could run the editorial side of the magazine, and I tried to be open to the nuances of the workplace, but I had no idea what to do when people lied to me, or tried to manipulate me, or seethed silently with ambition to make changes around here. I had “boss brain,” a curated lack of awareness created by my perceived power. People didn’t tell me stuff because it might get them fired, or at least pushed to the side....

Good reads

What bullets do to bodies: The gun debate would change in an instant if Americans witnessed the horrors that trauma surgeons confront every day. HuffPost HighLine/Jason Fagone

Coultergeist (2002 profile of Ann Coulter) Observer/George Gurley

The California Secession Movement's Ecstatic Rise and Unexpected Collapse GQ/Daniel Riley

Paused in time: Country doctor's office sealed up for 74 years. Post and Courier


The Clippers lost in Game 7 of their NBA Playoff series to the Utah Jazz on Sunday. It's the fifth straight season in which the Clippers were eliminated in the playoffs after leading the series.

Historic Fine Arts Building in downtown L.A. sells for premium price of $43 million. LAT

Could rent spike force mariachis out of Boyle Heights? The Eastsider LA

"Listen to the Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews" by Sam Weller with photos of Bradbury's home by Zen Sekizawa, published in paperback in 2010, is coming back as a full-color, larger-format hardcover edition from Hat & Beard Press with a new final chapter by Weller and new photographs from the Bradbury archive. There also are essays by Margaret Atwood and Frank Darabont.

Selected tweets

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