By: E&P Staff
Michael Kinsley, the high-profile editorial page honcho and columnist at the Los Angeles Times since 2004, has been forced out at the paper, ending on what he called a “bitter note.” The Times announced Tuesday that Andres Martinez will take on full responsibility for the editorial and Op-Ed sections at the paper.
Kinsley, who had lost his main managerial duties several weeks ago, found the latest turn of events unexpected, writing in a memo to colleagues today that publisher Jeff Johnson wanted a “clean break.” Johnson used the same phrase himself a little later in announcing the exit.
But Kinsley broke the news before the company announced it. Kinsley said he would now be working with The Washington Post in some as-yet undefined capacity.
“For whatever reason, ” Kinsley wrote from Washington, D.C., in the memo posted at the blog L.A. Observed, “Jeff isn’t merely uninterested in any future contribution I might make, but actively wants me gone. So I’m off, with some regret and some excitement, to the Washington Post, duties TBD but including the column. I hope it will continue to appear in the LA Times as well, but that is beyond my control.
“I’m sorry this has ended on a bitter note. I’ve loved my brief time at the Los Angeles Times. I’ve learned a lot, and made (I hope) some friends for life. Even the frustrations have been fascinating frustrations. And I think I’ve done some good for the paper, though others may not agree. The LA Times has some of the nicest people and finest journalists I’ve ever worked with, starting at the top with Dean (Baquet). And even Jeff will have to give me credit for bringing in Andres. I expect great things from him, and from you.”
Martinez, 39, who joined The Times in September 2004 as editorial page editor, will report to Johnson. The change is effective immediately.
“Andr?s is a great writer and journalist who has done an outstanding job changing the editorial page through a significant revamping of our approach to opinion journalism,” Johnson said in a statement. “I look forward to seeing The Times continue to engage readers on critical issues, including those of importance to the Southern California region.”
Prior to joining The Los Angeles Times, Martinez was a member of the editorial board and assistant editorial page editor at The New York Times, among other posts.