Why in the world ex-Los Angeles Times’ errand boy Leo Wolinsky has been named editor of Daily Variety (both the LA and NY editions) is bewildering to say the least. The guy knows nothing about the entertainment biz. He was long considered a joke at the LA Times and infamous for secretly helping wrangle billionaire potential local backers like Eli Broad, Ron Burkle, Richard Riordan and David Geffen when then bigwig editors were fighting with Tribune Co. (Finke/LA Weekly: Baquet’s Billionaire Boys Club). He briefly sat atop the LA Times‘ entertainment and feature sections as a seat-filler until he was let go. Nevertheless, Wolinsky will be responsible for all Variety editorial content for the print edition. He will begin in January, reporting to Variety Group editor Tim Gray. I’m truly surprised at what a bad choice this is. Then again I don’t think like the trades, and for them a top editor who likes to suck up to the rich and powerful could be just the godsend Variety needs now that Peter Bart has been put out to pasture.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.