Sallie Hofmeister, Los Angeles Times’ assistant managing editor for arts & entertainment, will leave the paper next week, TheWrap has learned.
Hofmeister oversees print and digital operations for the Calendar section and the Envelope awards section, and a staff about 70. She has been at the paper 17 years, covering entertainment, media and technology.
Times editor Davan Maharaj penned a memo to staffers on Friday, announcing the news. Hofmeister's replacement is "forthcoming."
"Sallie leaves an important legacy. She led a gifted roster of writers and editors — and brought aboard new journalistic talent — to build a formidable team during some very tough times," Maharaj wrote. "She integrated Calendar’s print and digital coverage, which had been separate entities. And she did it with her trademark humor, intelligence, humanity and, of course, style."
A spokeswoman for the Times said the paper had nothing to say beyond the memo.
High-level staff exits have been frequent at the Times over the past several months amid cost-cutting and frequent rounds of layoffs. Editor Russ Stanton departed in December, handing that role to Maharaj. Stanton is now at KPCC.
Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President of Advertising and Marketing John T. O'Loughlin left the paper for the Houston Chronicle in February, and Senior Editor Randy Harvey also headed to Texas in May. The Times went through another round of layoffs in March, the same month it shuttered its Sunday magazine.
Parent company Tribune remains in bankruptcy after nearly four years, during which the Times has seen cuts in staffing, sections and severe morale issues in the newsroom. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey said earlier this month that he hoped to have a decision on the restructuring plan by early July.
Here's the full memo:
From: Maharaj, Davan
Sent: Friday, June 15, 2012 2:19 PM
Subject: Sallie Hofmeister
To the Staff,
Sallie Hofmeister, who has guided our arts and entertainment coverage for the last three years, is leaving The Times. She says that, after 25 years in newspaper journalism, she wants a summer off before embarking on a new career challenge.
Sallie leaves an important legacy. She led a gifted roster of writers and editors — and brought aboard new journalistic talent — to build a formidable team during some very tough times. She integrated Calendar’s print and digital coverage, which had been separate entities. And she did it with her trademark humor, intelligence, humanity and, of course, style.
She joined us in 1995, from the New York Times, to cover the business of television. For the next decade, she chronicled the rapid consolidation of the entertainment and media business. In 2006, she became an editor, overseeing entertainment and technology coverage. Her team’s work on the 2007 Hollywood writers strike was a finalist for a Loeb Award.
Sallie 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. Under her leadership, the staff expanded its multimedia coverage, launching the Company Town, Ministry of Gossip and 24 Frames blogs. She also ushered in a series of round-table events featuring top directors, TV and movie stars, and cultural figures. Under Sallie’s watch, Hero Complex grew from a blog to include a film festival, a magazine and a weekly YouTube show. Sallie is also proud of partnering with the data desk on three projects: the Walk of Fame, the Heatmeter and an ambitious examination of the membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
We’re all very grateful for Sallie’s contributions to the success of The Times and we’ll miss her. Her last day will be June 22.
An announcement of her successor will be forthcoming.
Please join me in wishing her the best in the future.