L.A. Times’ Patrick Goldstein Files Last ‘Big Picture’ Column (Updated)

Patrick Goldstein, the longtime film columnist for the L.A. Times, has written his last column, he announced Tuesday

Last Updated: August 22, 2012 @ 5:21 PM

Updated: 5:00 p.m. PST 

Patrick Goldstein, the longtime "Big Picture" columnist at the Los Angeles Times, has penned his final column, he announced in his column that appeared on the web Tuesday night.

A spokeswoman for the Times told TheWrap on Wednesday that Goldstein had accepted a buyout and would be leaving the paper. Goldstein did not return calls.

"Yes, today's column was Patrick's last for the Times," spokeswoman Nancy Sullivan said in an emailed response to a question about whether the columnist took a buyout.

Goldstein has written "The Big Picture" for 12 years, during which time, he recalled in his final column, he never feared ruffling the feathers of his readers and subjects.

He did not give a reason for ending the column.

John Corrigan, the Times' assistant managing editor in charge of entertainment coverage, told TheWrap he had "no comment" when asked about Goldstein's future at the paper.

The change comes in the midst of widespread turnover and buyouts in the editorial ranks of the L.A. Times entertainment team. Lisa Fung, a veteran former editor for online arts and entertainment, left for TheWrap earlier this year. In June, the much-respected assistant managing editor for arts and entertainment Sallie Hofmeister left the paper amid word of tension with editor Davan Maharaj.

In addition, editor Russ Stanton departed in December, and senior editor Randy Harvey left the paper in May.

Along with critic Kenneth Turan and business reporter Claudia Eller, Goldstein has been one of the paper's most recognized bylines covering the entertainment industry, bringing decades of industry relationships and vast knowledge to his writing.

The final column was dated Aug. 22; presumably it will appear in Wednesday morning's print edition.

In the column, Goldstein compared himself to Spike Lee, whom he said is "always on call" to weigh in on important issues, rarely backing down or fading into obscurity in between films.

"I've tried to do the same thing as a columnist, which is perhaps why I've always had a soft spot for Lee, even when his harsh rhetoric has gotten him in trouble," he wrote. "I see my job as connecting the dots, digging past the superficial headlines of the day to get at deeper issues."