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L.A. Times unifies arts and entertainment coverage in one department

Sallie Hofmeister will lead the team, which will combine more than 50 reporters, editors and Web producers from the Calendar and Business sections and the latimes.com staff.

February 26, 2009|Martin Zimmerman

The Los Angeles Times is launching a department that will centralize the newspaper's coverage of arts and entertainment and expand its focus on Hollywood news.

The move will combine the efforts of more than 50 reporters, editors and Web producers who have been handling arts and entertainment coverage for the paper's Calendar and Business sections and for its website, latimes.com.

"Taking this comprehensive approach allows us to broaden the reach, breadth and depth of our entertainment coverage," Times Editor Russ Stanton said in a statement Wednesday. "The goal is to produce high-quality and unique news, data and information that can be distributed to different audiences through different mediums."

Sallie Hofmeister leaves her post as Times business editor to lead the new operation as assistant managing editor/arts and entertainment, a masthead position.

"We have some of the most talented journalists in the country covering entertainment, culture and the media, and bringing them together under one umbrella will allow us to better marshal their energy, break more news online and have a more cohesive and comprehensive report in the paper," Hofmeister said. "We are already an authority on entertainment, and we want to build on that."

Craig Turner leaves his job as the paper's weekend editor to become arts and entertainment editor.

Hofmeister, a 14-year veteran of The Times, spent several years as a reporter covering the media and entertainment industries. She became a deputy business editor in 2006, overseeing the section's entertainment and technology coverage, and was named Business editor in May 2008.

During nearly 38 years at The Times, Turner has worked as a reporter and editor on the paper's metro staff and as a reporter on the foreign staff. He was named weekend editor in August 2001.

As part of the reorganization, The Times will bring back Company Town, a Monday-through-Friday feature focusing on the business side of entertainment and media, with particular emphasis on the inner workings of Hollywood.

Beginning Tuesday, Company Town will run in The Times' Business section and online at www.latimes.com /companytown. A blog reporting breaking entertainment news will debut in March.

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martin.zimmerman@latimes.com

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