A Los Angeles Times/Hollywood Affair: Now Andres Martinez Speaks Out After Grazergate Kills Sunday Opinion Section Causing Editorial Editor To Quit In Uproar

FRIDAY AM AND PM UPDATE

THURSDAY AM UPDATE

WEDNESDAY PM: The Los Angeles Times is supposed to report entertainment news. Now it’s making the news with its own Hollywood scandal. A lot of eyebrows were raised recently when powerful entertainment mogul Brian Grazer was tapped as the first of what would be quarterly “guest editors” of the Sunday LA Times‘ classy Current opinion section. Well, woo-hoo. It turns out there was a romantic relationship between Andrés Martinez, the paper’s editorial pages editor who assigned the gig to Grazer, and Kelly Mullens, an exec for the Hollywood PR firm 42West which just happens to represent Grazer’s production company Imagine Entertainment. I’m told that publisher David Hiller knew all about it and still didn’t pull the plug — even though the girlfriend’s PR boss Allan Mayer was the person who flacked Grazer to Martinez in the first place. Now Hiller has killed this Sunday’s Current that was put together by the producer rather than run a mortifying editor’s note. And a furious Martinez has quit in protest. Granted, it’s not news that a pushy Hollywood PR firm had considerable influence with the local paper. This is a case of unusual influence. But was it improper influence? And, really, isn’t the Current mess the publisher’s fault since he was making the final decisions after all?

Now the LA Times‘ opinion section is embarrassed, the paper’s news side horrified, the Hollywood mogul humiliated, the PR company spinning. Media critics already beating up on the Tribune Co.-controlled LA Times are gonna have a field day with the latest contretemps. (I’m sure ousted editor Dean Baquet is enjoying it. After all, Hiller fired him.) If all this isn’t enough to get Hollywood and media circles buzzing, consider that, irony of ironies, Grazer and his Imagine partner, director Ron Howard, made the 1994 pic The Paper about journalism ethics at a big city daily. (more…)

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2007/03/scandal-over-grazers-lat-guest-editor-gig-1654/