Pulitzer Winner Mary McNamara Ascends to Editorial Management Position

She has managed to essentially top her 2015 citation for Criticism.

A few weeks ago, Brenda Rodriguez, who arrived at the Los Angeles Times as a much-hyped editor-reinforcement for the paper’s Arts and Entertainment coverage, bolted for Entertainment Tonight. We say bolted because she was with the paper for less than a year.

Today, there is some great news in the opposite general direction. TV critic Mary McNamara, who won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, has been named assistant managing editor, Arts and Entertainment, succeeding John Corrigan. He left for an editor post in Asia with the Wall Street Journal.

Here’s the memo that just went out from the paper’s editor in chief Davan Maharaj and managing editor Larry Ingrassia:

We are excited to announce that Mary McNamara, our Pulitzer Prize-winning television critic and senior culture editor, will become our assistant managing editor for arts and entertainment.

Mary, who has worked at The Times since 1990, is one of the most knowledgeable, insightful and distinguished journalists covering arts and entertainment in the news business.

When she won her Pulitzer for criticism in 2015, the judges cited her “savvy criticism that uses shrewdness, humor and an insider’s view to show how both subtle and seismic shifts in the cultural landscape affect television.” She also was a Pulitzer finalist for criticism in 2014 and 2013, and has won other awards for her criticism and feature writing.

Mary has proved her mettle at every job she has done at The Times, as an assigning editor for the Los Angeles Times Magazine, a feature writer for Life & Style and a reporter covering movies before becoming a television critic eight years ago.

We will miss her TV criticism – and of course plan to replace her – but know that our readers will benefit because she will lift all of our arts and entertainment coverage with the type of ambitious and thought-provoking journalism that has made her work sparkle.

Indeed, Mary has demonstrated great range at The Times. She has covered the Oscars, Cannes, the building and opening of the Cathedral and Disney Hall. She has written revealing profiles of Oprah Winfrey, Robert Downey Jr., John Travolta and Mel Gibson among many, many others. And she has written about pretty much every area of arts and entertainment from E3 and Comic-Con to behind the scenes at the opera.

Before joining The Times, she was an editor at Ms. magazine and wrote for other publications, including Ms., Glamour, Mademoiselle and The New York Times. She is the author of the Hollywood mysteries Oscar Season and The Starlet.

Mary is a native of Maryland and holds Bachelor’s degrees in journalism and women’s studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Please join us in congratulating Mary.

We here at Adweek and FishbowlNY absolutely will. This is a fantastic move by the paper.

Photo credit: Kim Zaruba