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New Editor Named at L.A. Magazine

November 29, 1995|DENNIS ROMERO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Los Angeles magazine Tuesday named Michael Caruso, a former editor at Vanity Fair and the Village Voice, its new editor.

He replaces interim editor Marilyn Bethany, who will go back to serving as the editorial department's second in command. Just last month, she temporarily replaced Robert Sam Anson, who ruled the masthead for five months until he was fired, or quit, depending on whom you ask.

Caruso is a 34-year-old career magazine editor who has worked with the likes of Norman Mailer and Joyce Carol Oates. He spent the last year unsuccessfully trying to launch a national sports magazine that he likened to a print version of ESPN2. Before that, he spent four years as Vanity Fair's senior articles editor.

"I really want to make it into a first rate magazine," he said in a phone interview before boarding a plane for Los Angeles to arrive for his first day of work today.

Anson replaced much of the staff when he came on as editor. When asked if he would do the same, Caruso said: "There's the beginnings of a real good staff there, so I don't think I'm going to be coming in with a machete.

"Anson, who I know and think is a terrific writer, started a lot of good things that I want to continue and broaden," which include hard-hitting coverage of Hollywood, he said.

Anson was hired in an effort to wake up the 156,000-circulation magazine. But with more aggressive editorial coverage, some insiders said, came Anson's own hard-boiled personal style. It didn't help that Disney and Capital Cities/ABC, the owner of Los Angeles magazine, were in the middle of a merger: Anson is finishing up a critical book on Disney.

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