Martinez Flap Sparks End to ‘LA Times’ Guest Editorships

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By: Joe Strupp

The Los Angeles Times has ended a program which was to feature a series of guest editors for its Sunday Current section. The selection of Hollywood producer Brian Grazer as the first such editor resulted in the resignation last week of Editorial Page Editor Andr?s Martinez amid debate over his connection to Grazer’s publicist.

In a short e-mail to media outlets, Nancy Sullivan, the paper’s executive director of communications, said the Times had ended the guest editor idea and planned to combine the Current section with the paper’s Book Review into a new Opinion section.

“Although the Guest Editor program for the Current section was an innovative concept to bring more voices and diversity to Times’ readers, we have concluded we will not be moving forward with the program,” Sullivan’s note stated. “Look for a new Sunday section that combines Opinion (formerly Current) with Book Review to debut on April 15th.”

The decision to cancel the program comes just days after an uproar at the paper over the choice of Grazer as the first guest editor. Grazer, who produced films such as “A Beautiful Mind,” had overseen the editing of the section slated for last Sunday’s paper, but his work was scrapped by Publisher John Hiller after revelations that Martinez was dating Grazer’s publicist. Martinez subsequently quit in protest.

The name of Donald Rumsfeld also surfaced in recent days as someone who was considered as a guest editor.

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