It's Time For Bill Keller's Editor to Fire Him

Hamilton Nolan · 05/18/11 02:00PM

In your fed-up Wednesday media column: Bill Keller must be stopped, a new Encyclopedia of News, the LAT's long-awaited vindication, Katie Couric considered, and Gwyneth declines to launch a magazine, thank god.

The Tribune Company Is Bankrupt

Hamilton Nolan · 12/08/08 02:42PM

The Tribune Company, owner of the LA Times and Chicago Tribune, has filed for bankruptcy. Bummer. Pretty much everyone saw this coming. The company is $12 billion in debt, its revenues are going steadily downward, it's been having round after round of layoffs, and it's run by an angry (but honest!) billionaire gnome and a Ron Jeremy doppelganger of questionable sanity. Its papers will keep publishing, but working journalists are sure to get even more royally screwed before this is all over—their pension plan actually owns the company. Key details below:

LA Times Makes Fun of Variety for Losing Oscar Ads They Covet

Hamilton Nolan · 11/18/08 11:50AM

LA Times columnist Patrick Goldstein used his blog yesterday for the entertaining purpose of viciously mocking Variety and its Hollywood fixture editor, Peter Bart. Mocking them for being poor! This column is awesome for the following reasons: because media outlets don't usually air their dirty laundry like this; because Peter Bart and Variety certainly deserve the mocking; and most of all because Patrick Goldstein seems totally unconcerned that his own paper does the same exact thing he criticizes Variety for, and that that very thing keeps him employed. Ha: Peter Bart wrote a column of his own (Headline: "Will fiscal funk trip kudo contenders?" WTF) bitching about the lack of Oscar-related ads from the studios in Variety. Patrick Goldstein appropriately tells him to shut it:

Obama To Pay Billions For LA Times' Silence!

Hamilton Nolan · 10/30/08 05:17PM

The LA Times has a videotape of Obama at a luncheon with known Arab Rashid Khalidi. They say they won't release it because they promised their source they wouldn't. We said that somebody there should release it just so they can claim the $150,000 bounty offered for it and buy essential office supplies, such as toilet paper. Times are tough. But National Review's mongering blog The Corner has figured out that this conspiracy is way bigger than $150,000; $14.685 billion bigger! Break it down, crazy man: See, they figure it like this: LAT is owned by Tribune, which is $14.7 billion in debt, and the incoming Obama administration is gonna have $500 billion of government bailout funds to dole out, and $14.7 billion is "a very small proportion" of $500 billion (this is actually included in the reasoning) and if you keep Hussein Obama happy now then, hey, who's to say he won't give Tribune Co. $14.7 billion when he gets on the inside? Read the signs, people, they're all around you. The Corner also points out:

Sarah Palin Believes She Will See Jesus In Her Lifetime

Hamilton Nolan · 09/23/08 03:03PM

We've already seen that Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin's hometown, is a mix of wild animals and Jesus freaks. But did you know it has a Taco Bell and a Senor Taco! Diversity. Hollywood liberal columnist Steve Lopez of the LA Times went for a visit to Wasilla, and found one guy who heard Palin say she would "see Jesus" in her lifetime!

Kyle Buchanan · 09/05/08 04:50PM

While these parts have been known to house a predatory cougar or two, nothing could have prepared us for the family of bobcats who have moved into a foreclosed home in Lake Elsinore. The brood — at least two adult cats and three kittens — have lived in the house for weeks, sunning themselves on an outside wall and hanging out by the koi pond. "They are great neighbors," said local Scott Brown, "and as long as they don't want to baby-sit my kids, it's not a problem." That's how it starts, Scott, but before you know it, you're forced to drag your autistic young brother through the house in a desperate attempt at survival. Be wary. [LAT]

Newspaper Stifles Chuckles

Hamilton Nolan · 09/02/08 09:10AM

A retired police officer and microbrewer in the town of Weed, California has won the right to use the slogan "Try Legal Weed" in his marketing material—though he's never touched the herb himself. The news gives the LA Times the chance to use up all those weed jokes it had laying around. [LAT]

In Young Hollywood, You're Only As Big As Your Xbox Live Gamerscore

Kyle Buchanan · 08/26/08 07:20PM

The LAT ran a feature today on the newest male-bonding craze to consume Hollywood power players — and no, it doesn't involve cocaine, Red Bull, or bottle service at Opera. Instead, it's an activity dubbed "Nerd Poker," and it offers almost 100 of Hollywood's behind-the-scenes talents a weekly chance to socialize while playing video games on Xbox Live. Though many use it as a fun way to score meetings and network, it can also allow its members the sort of cathartic outlet they'd typically be arrested for:

Would You See This Man's R-Rated Mormon Movie?

Kyle Buchanan · 08/19/08 03:05PM

The LAT ran a fascinating piece today on Richard Dutcher, the filmmaker who was anointed the father of Mormon cinema after his 2000 sleeper hit, God's Army, ushered in a wave of Mormon-focused indie flicks. Now, Dutcher is releasing what's being marketed as "the first R-rated Mormon movie" — and it's a doozy, peppered with cursing, nudity and violence. Called Falling, it stars Dutcher as an amoral videographer attempting to figure out his life after repudiating his faith. It's a concept Dutcher knows well, because the father of Mormon cinema is now renouncing his religion:

Kyle Buchanan · 08/12/08 07:15PM

Outfoxed: Though ticket prices continue to rise and box office records are broken nearly every week, this will be 20th Century Fox's first summer without a $100 million hit since (yikes) 1997. How could anyone have predicted such dire earnings from a blockbuster slate that boasted Space Chimps, an X-Files sequel made a decade too late, and twin bombs from Eddie Murphy and M. Night Shyamalan? As the LAT's Patrick Goldstein notes, Fox toppers Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos have held their position for nine years — will this be the year one (or both) gets the axe? If so, we hear there's a certain toothy mogul who might be looking for work... [LAT]

Kyle Buchanan · 08/11/08 02:00PM

Dog Days: By August 29, the struggling L.A. Times will have laid off 150 of its employees following job cuts announced last month. Exactly what does the paper plan to do with its diminished resources now that so many of its "non-essential" employees are gone? Why, run a 35-page "Stars With Puppies" slideshow, of course! The Elizabeth Snead-penned feature, entitled, "Do Hollywood stars look cuter with puppies?" (spoiler alert: yes) is full of penetrating insights like, "Ali Simms has never looked cuter than in this photo with a tiny teddy-bear-faced Yorkie puppy." It's enough to drive a terminated employee to drink — or at least eat penis. [Los Angeles Times]

LAT Tupac Hoax Story Author Gone

Hamilton Nolan · 07/18/08 11:16AM

Chuck Philips, the LA Times reporter who wrote a huge front page story in March tying Puff Daddy to the shooting of Tupac Shakur-only to find out that this main source was a serial con man and the story was wrong-has been laid off from the paper, along with 150 colleagues. On one hand, Philips once won a Pulitzer; on the other hand, he tended to write things that turned out not to be true. Perhaps journalism's just not his field. Pinkberry franchisee maybe? He'll find something. [MTV News]

Everyone Gets a Blog, Including the LAT's Blog-Hating Patrick Goldstein

Kyle Buchanan · 06/24/08 01:40PM

The work of "Big Picture" columnist Patrick Goldstein accurately reflects the LA Times' dedication to producing nothing but the hardest of hard-hitting entertainment journalism: his columns, which run the gamut from "Here Is An Old Producer I Had Lunch With" to "This Focus Group, Made Up Exclusively of Ten-Year-Olds from Brentwood, Has a Lot to Teach Us" can always be counted on for a kid-gloves examination of this city's major export. Though Goldstein is persona non grata in the blogosphere for deriding the effect blogs have had on print journalism, it may not surprise you to learn he has now become that which he hated most. Says FishbowlLA:

Sports Bloggers Are Finally Growing Up! (Not Really)

Hamilton Nolan · 06/23/08 03:25PM

Sports blogs might be losing their edge! Back in the good old days they were all bile-spewing, rumormongering perverts who cared about nothing but posting pictures of NFL players cavorting drunkenly with Buzz Bissinger (pictured, ranting). But as time went on, they actually started making money and gaining credibility and—wouldn't you know it—now they're paying more attention to making sure stuff is true! At least that's the theme of the weekend's sort of obvious-day LAT trend piece. The reality is that this entire "These kids are finally maturing, thanks to us" angle is primarily designed to make old school sportswriters feel better about themselves as blogs steal their lunch money.

LA Times Magazine To Be Turned Over To Professional Saleswoman

Hamilton Nolan · 06/11/08 08:37AM

The plan to turn the LA Times' Sunday magazine over to the paper's business staff, ending its four-decade run as an editorial product, is now a reality. LAT editor Russ Stanton acknowledged that he didn't like the idea, but said that the paper's budget issues make holding onto editorial control of the magazine "impossible." So who is the Tribune Company's leading candidate to take charge of the troubled magazine now? The perfect choice: a host from the Home Shopping Network HSN.

Doom-and-Gloom 'LAT' Surveys Scenes From the Post-Apocalyptic Agency Landscape

STV · 04/14/08 02:50PM

Seeing as the L.A. Times wouldn't rush any story it couldn't retract in disgrace a few weeks later, John Horn took his sweet time pounding out today's analysis of all the dramatic agency-hopping exploits over the last week-and-a-half. There's a little bit of a long view, here, however, and it's decidedly ugly; for starters, could industry volatility force CAA reps to endure the horrors of — gulp — business class? Or worse?

'LAT' Comes Correct About Their Bogus Tupac Story

Seth Abramovitch · 03/27/08 11:52AM

After an independent investigation into yesterday's stunning report by The Smoking Gun that the LAT had managed to be duped by a federally incarcerated Turtle-like, who forged FBI documents implicated Sean "Puffy" Combs's entourage in the 1994 shooting of Tupac Shakur at the Quad Recording Studios in Times Square (five bullets, including one through his head and one through his scrotum), the paper has now officially issued on apology: