Tales of the Tribune Co.: LAT Magazine Relaunches as LA

gglat.jpgBetween all the layoffs and the disappearing sections it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all the upheaval going on at the Tribune Co.-owned Los Angeles Times. However some of you will remember how back in June, amidst all the announcements of sweeping cuts (many of which were put into place these last two weeks) there was a much-discussed article in the NYT, which reported that the beleaguered paper was also planning on shuttering its monthly magazine, sort of. The article disclosed that unbeknownst to top editor Russ Stanton the magazine intended to overhaul its entire editorial staff and transfer control to its business operations. Per the NYT: “The arrangement would flout the tradition at most newspapers, which keep business operations, like advertising and circulation, completely separate from the editorial department.”

The NYT also reported that Annie Gilbar, formerly of In Style and the Home Shopping Network, had been hired as the new editor. Shortly thereafter Stanton issued a memo to newsroom staffers, decrying the accuracy of the article:

The company has been looking at possible ways to continue to publish a magazine, but outside of the direction of the editorial department…Contrary to reports, it is my understanding that the group has yet to hire a staff for this publication, including an editor.
The NYT also reported that Stanton had requested that if a new magazine did launch the name be changed because to keep the old name would “lend the newsroom’s credibility to a product it did not control.” Snap!

Well it looks like the NYT was right on a number of counts. Per today’s press release:

“The Los Angeles Times Media Group announced today that it will begin publishing LA on September 7th, a monthly Sunday magazine, with Annie Gilbar named as editor-in-chief.

Valarie Anderson has been named publisher of LA and will also retain her position as director of fashion advertising, Los Angeles Times. Prior to joining The Times, Anderson was the U.S. associate publisher of the Sportswear International trade fashion magazine and served as west coast director of the W Magazine Group’s Women’s Wear Daily.

LA will be distributed only within the Sunday Los Angeles Times and is a stand-alone editorial operation.