The Decline and Fall of the LAT's Food Section

Something seems off with your Scattergood link.

Straying a little bit from food but since y’all are long time LAT readers…

Strong word Tribune newspaper group to be bought by big Wall St firm, LA Times to go to philanthropist Eli Broad and local group.

They’ve lost a couple of great sport writers as well. Seems like all of the LA Times is in a steady decline losing quality long-time reporters. And the reason is of course money and power with very attractive buy-outs.

no, not really. she co-authored that book.

Also, per my post, changes coming up next year with Garrett Snyder coming back to the LAW:
http://www.laweekly.com/restaurants/la-weekly-welcomes-back-garrett-snyder-as-food-editor-6331360

How you know bout their salaries?

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There’s rumour from Rupert Murdoch that the LA Times may be sold back to local ownership (Eli Broad). Any owner over the terminally ill Chicago Tribune is something to look forward to.

The Times is of course vigorously denying everything, though what they’re saying is that THEY have no intention of selling to anyone. However, if they keep bleeding talent at this rate the brand (dreadful word but apt in this case) will at some point so diminish in value that the Tribunals may run out of options. For any number of mostly selfish reasons I’d hate for it to come to that.

A lot of people I know in the media industry recognize that the LAT paid their staffers very well. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Gold and the top staffers at the food section got six figures. Why not? They do a crazy expensive three-day tasting every year that likely brings in hundreds of thousands in sponsorships and ticket sales. The food section isn’t going anywhere. Their reporting is still very good and we still need a critic.

@ TonyC – Speaking as one of the least active members of the Motor Press Guild, jalopnik has not killed off anything. I will agree that Dan O’Neal’s departure for the probably lusher pastures of WSJ left a small hole in the area’s coverage, and the apparently clumsy way they moved Susan Carpenter from motorcycles to cars and then to nothing (I thought she was awfully good at both) did not increase my admiration for the Times … but automotive print journalism is pretty robust worldwide, though it would be stupid to pretend that good, well-paying jobs are as easy to come by as they were even ten years ago. But then jobs in print media period, from art and copywriting to print shops and type foundries, are melting away even faster than Greenland’s ice cap. And quite aside from the economics involved there are several good reasons that the only car magazine I still subscribe to is from the UK, starting with the fact that the ones I used to read for solid content (C and D, R&T) now seem to be aping People and its ilk …

However, there are some well-written blogs, and a few seriously good print holdouts – I did mention WSJ, did I not? – and frankly whoever is at the LA Times these days is still a cut above the nationally-syndicated few remaining.

Back to the actual topic at hand, Amy Scattergood is good, Besha Rodell is good, but so (unfailingly) is J. Gold. I hope to hell Russ Parsons jumps to a blog, and F. Sirene Virbilabuse (as I dubbed her back when I was 15 years younger and a smartass) will be missed too, even if I can’t afford any wine she expresses love for. LA Magazine and LA Weekly both present very sound food pages, thoughtful and well-written, and even the somewhat venerable Erica Wayne at Pasadena Weekly (okay, she’s younger than I am!) punches well beyond her journalistic weight. In fact, most of the area newspapers and many of the regional magazines have competent food people as contributors and/or staff, as befits an area that has come to take its daily bread (and wine) very seriously indeed.

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