‘Hero Complex’ Reporter Geoff Boucher to Leave L.A. Times (Updated)

Geoff Boucher, the entertainment reporter who created the popular Hero Complex blog, is leaving the Los Angeles Times

Geoff Boucher, the entertainment reporter who created the widely-read Hero Complex fanboy blog, is leaving the Los Angeles Times, several individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.

Boucher has been a reporter at the Times since 1992 and has covered beats as diverse as pop music, crime, the 2000 presidential election, television and movies. 

Reached by phone, Boucher would not confirm or deny his plans. A spokeswoman for The Times said on Monday: "I can't confirm that."

Also read: L.A. Times' Patrick Goldstein Files Last 'Big Picture' Column

Late Monday, Boucher tweeted:  "Interviewed Clint Eastwood over on the Warner Bros lot today…great way to go out." Then he confirmed his departure in response to a Twitter follower's query as to whether he was leaving: "Yes after 21 years."

Boucher has not said where he would be going, but people who have spoken to Boucher told TheWrap that he had received several offers of employment.

John Corrigan, assistant managing editor for arts and entertainment, met with Boucher to try to persuade him to stay at the paper after he gave notice. In addition, Times Editor Davan Maharaj went to Boucher's house and made a direct appeal to him, and Times President and COO Kathy Thompson met with Boucher separately, sources with knowledge of those meetings told TheWrap.

Corrigan was on vacation Monday and could not be reached for comment.

Boucher's blog began as a one-man venture in 2008. A longtime fan of comic books, he named his blog Hero Complex and began covering movies, comics and fanboy fare. A year later, it was named best blog on a major website at the Online News Awards.  

Also read: Los Angeles Times A&E Managing Editor Sallie Hofmeister Departing

The site quickly grew to be a valuable brand for the Times, spawning the Hero Complex Film Festival, the second of which was held this year in May. In March, the Times launched "Hero Complex: The Show," an entertainment news program co-produced with Nerdist Industries.

Boucher was a familiar face at Comic-Con in San Diego, moderating numerous panels each year with top-tier talent, including Steven Spielberg, and hosting other events.

He developed close relationships with directors including Spielberg, Chris Nolan and Jon Favreau and gained unrivaled access to the sets of such blockbusters as "Harry Potter," "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Cowboys and Aliens."

His resignation is the latest in a string of departures from the Calendar entertainment section of the newspaper. In June, Assistant Managing Editor Sallie Hofmeister left the paper amid reported tension with Maharaj.

Also read: Losing Patrick Goldstein: a Blow to the L.A. Times' Credibility in Hollywood

Shortly after former business editor Corrigan took the helm of the Calendar section in June, Patrick Goldstein announced he would be leaving the Times. One of Calendar's marquee names, Goldstein wrote The Big Picture column about Hollywood and entertainment for 12 years.

Other entertainment section departures include Arts and Entertainment Editor Craig Turner and Nightlife Editor Dean Kuipers. Elsewhere at the paper, Senior Editor Randy Harvey, Foreign Editor Bruce Wallace and Denver Bureau Chief Nicholas Riccardi left during the summer. Maharaj was named editor of the Times after Russ Stanton departed last December.