Justin Chang, chief film critic at Deadline’s sister publication Variety, will join the Los Angeles Times beginning April 25 as a full-time film critic and columnist. In a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon, LAT assistant managing editor John Corrigan told Deadline that Chang will “add another voice helping to decode films, spot trends and provide analysis” along with Kenneth Turan, the paper’s veteran movie critic.
Chang, Corrigan said, will fill a spot left by Betsy Sharkey, who resigned last May and relocated to Austin for a book project. Sharkey had been at the LAT since 1998 and been film critic since 2008. “Justin writes excellent reviews and also is able give us commentary, essays and critic’s notebooks,” Corrigan said.
The hiring comes at time when many daily newspapers are trimming culture coverage and cutting staff. “We have a large team covering the industry,” Corrigan said, “but we have needed another voice.”