The Los Angeles Times will maintain its popular Hero Complex blog as its founder Geoff Boucher leaves the newspaper, the Times' top editor Davan Maharaj announced Tuesday.
Boucher, who spent 21 years at the paper in a range of reporting positions, announced Monday that he was leaving the Times, TheWrap previously reported. He will pursue other ventures "outside of journalism," Maharaj announced in a memo to the staff obtained by TheWrap. His last day is Friday.
"It will be a bittersweet moment Friday afternoon when we gather to say goodbye as Geoff begins a new chapter in his career, outside of journalism," Maharaj wrote, noting that Boucher had accumulated 2,867 print bylines.
Also read: 'Hero Complex' Reporter Geoff Boucher to Leave L.A. Times (Updated)
[Update: Boucher told TheWrap in an exclusive interview late Tuesday that Maharaj "made a mistake" and that he is not leaving journalism. Click here to read the full interview.]
A spokeswoman for the Times declined to say who would replace Boucher on Hero Complex, which he started in 2008 to report on the intersection of Hollywood and comic books. Several Times staffers and freelancers currently contribute to the website.
Hero Complex quickly grew into one of the most heavily trafficked blogs on the Times' website and spawned a film festival, a screening series, a special-edition magazine and an online show.
Also read: Departing L.A. Times Reporter Geoff Boucher Posts Farewell on Facebook
"Geoff saw the power of the Los Angeles Times platform to reach a new generation of fans and tell stories in a different way," Maharaj wrote. "He's been a model for others."
Here's the full text of the memo to the staff:
For 21 years, Geoff Boucher has distinguished himself as a writer and digital innovator at the Los Angeles Times. It will be a bittersweet moment Friday afternoon when we gather to say goodbye as Geoff begins a new chapter in his career, outside of journalism.
Geoff arrived at the paper in 1991 as a 21-year-old intern for the Orange County Edition. He immediately won people over with his energy and imagination. I, too, was a young reporter in Costa Mesa in those days, and I became a friend and admirer. He reported on crime, transportation and politics, and was part of the paper's campaign-trail coverage team during the 2000 presidential election. Geoff eventually made the move to Calendar, where his byline became associated with outstanding profiles including the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Steven Spielberg, Beyonce, Bono and Johnny Depp.
Geoff created the Hero Complex blog in 2008 to report on the intersection between Hollywood and comic books, sci-fi and fantasy. The site has become and will remain an important part of latimes.com. It spawned a film festival, a screening series, a special-edition magazine and an online show. Geoff saw the power of the Los Angeles Times platform to reach a new generation of fans and tell stories in a different way. He’s been a model for others.
He has been busy this week working on some final stories, including an interview with Clint Eastwood (minus the chair). Let’s gather on the second floor at 3 p.m. Friday to celebrate Geoff’s contributions—among them, 2,867 print bylines in 21 years – and wish him the best in his new venture.