Will the LA Times Pulp the Grazer Guest Edit Section?


Andres Martinez covers his butt in a blog post at the LA Times. He’s quick to point out that he wasn’t alone, no siree, in deciding that Brian Grazer was a swell choice as Guest Editor.

“Two senior editors, besides me, agreed that Brian was a good choice”

“we all read up on him and met him, and were excited about his involvement.”

“The decision to ask Brian to do this was not mine alone, but was taken by three editors here, and then approved by the publisher”

Nikki Finke reports that PR guru Allan Mayer orchestrated the entire thing. His firm 42West signed Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment as a client after the guest editor gig was announced. Finke also mentions an internal exam of Martinez’s section and the placement of other 42West clients in same–like Harvey Weinstein’s piece on producing credits, which most likely was written by someone other than Weinstein.

Other names considered were Steven Spielberg, Warren Buffett and Steven Jobs. Nothing makes a man as fascinating as a few billion. Did no one at the Times stop to reflect that perhaps there are other curious, informed people in Southern California besides successful businessmen?

Publisher David Hiller might scrap the Sunday section, according to James Rainey’s piece in the LAT. Mayer is quoted as saying that if the section is dumped, the terrorists win. Or rather, the LA Times would be morally bankrupt. That puts Hiller in a tight spot–should he go with Grazer and look like the paper panders to PR firms and their clients or dump the section and look like an unsophisticated hick from Lawndale. Oh, wait, that’s the readers.

Andres Martinez, Kelly Mullens, Brian Grazer: Three’s Company