Justin Chang Leaves LA Times, Joins New Yorker as Film Critic

The award-winning critic’s exit comes in the wake of devastating layoffs at the LA Times

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Film critic Justin Chang is leaving the Los Angeles Times for the New Yorker, according to an internal memo to staff obtained Tuesday by TheWrap. 

The Times has seen a number of high-profile departures in recent weeks between significant layoffs of 115 staff members and other editorial exits

Chang will be based in Los Angeles but according to the press release will be visiting the New York offices “from time to time.” He will begin his role on Feb. 12. 

The former LA Times critic has been named film critic of the year at the Los Angeles Press Club’s National Arts and Entertainment Awards. Chang also serves as chair of the National Society of Film Critics and secretary of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and is a member of the New York Film Festival selection committee.

Chang teaches at the Annenberg School of Journalism at U.S.C. and also reviews movies for NPR’s “Fresh Air.” 

The editor of the New Yorker David Remnick announced the news in a memo to staff on Tuesday, while also noting that New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane will be expanding to writing a wider range of topics. 

“Anthony is the wittiest and wisest of essayists,” Remnick said. “Sentence by sentence, he can razor away a film’s pretentions or describe the resonances and references of a masterpiece.”

Meanwhile, the LA Times has struggled to maintain diversity within the newsroom, shedding six newsroom leaders of color in less than a month amid leadership and layoff chaos.

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