Assistant Managing Editor for Arts & Entertainment Sallie Hofmeister has been the person most responsible for the Los Angeles Times‘ lazy and irrelevant coverage of Hollywood. The good news for the newspaper is that she’s now been forced out by the recently installed new editor Davan Maharaj who has a history of hating on her. But the bad news for the newspaper is that it’s lost too much momentum under her tenure to ever get it back. Hofmeister guided arts and entertainment coverage for the last three years. According to today’s bullshit announcement, “She says that, after 25 years in newspaper journalism, she wants a summer off before embarking on a new career challenge.” The truth is she was given a grace period to look for a job. Her last day will be June 22. Maharaj in a note to staff says, “an announcement of her successor will be forthcoming”.
Hofmeister joined the LAT in 1995 from The New York Times to cover the business of television. In 2006, she became an editor overseeing entertainment and technology coverage. She was named business editor in 2008 and, less than a year later, joined the masthead as an assistant managing editor responsible for arts and entertainment. Hofmeister succeeded in dumbing down the newspaper with blogs like the Ministry of Gossip and another devoted to American Idol. And now the paper’s Envelope is a Red Carpet joke. Meanwhile, the LAT‘s film advertising is down 25% below even the most modest of projections, and now many movies and now suddenly entire theater chains are no longer advertising there. “Display advertising generally is way down at the paper, but the movie ads have declined the most. And that’s important because film is the LAT‘s largest advertising category,” a source tells me. “In general the movie industry is advertising less in newspapers, but they seemed especially adverse to advertising in Sallie’s diminished Calendar section. It’s disastrous.”