Inside Move: Local crix come and go

L.A. Times moves TV critic to film

A correction was made to this article on July 9, 2004.

The L.A. Times is rearming its film ranks with a raid on TV.

Paper on Thursday named television critic Carina Chocano film critic. She replaces Manohla Dargis, who’s leaving to join the New York Times.

Like Dargis, Chocano is known as a sharp-witted writer capable of attracting younger readers. Unlike Dargis and fellow movie critic Kenneth Turan, though, Chocano has no professional background in film and a relatively brief career in criticism.

Before joining the Times last November, she worked for several months as a staff writer and TV critic at Entertainment Weekly. Prior to that, she served for four years as an editor and TV critic for Salon.com, her first full-time journalism post.

Chocano’s replacement as TV critic is Paul Brownfield, who writes the paper’s humorous “Here and Now” column and previously worked as a television reporter.

Promotions indicate a willingness at the Times to fill positions internally in the wake of recent layoffs of roughly 60 editorial employees. A number of jobs have recently come open due to defections, though, with business editor and writer Michael Cieply, music business writer Jeff Leeds and architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff all joining Dargis in moving to the Gray Lady.

Paper did recruit a new editor from the outside, bringing in New York Observer features editor Maria Russo to oversee Chocano and Brownfield in the newly created position of assistant entertainment editor for criticism.

Times reps declined to comment on the moves. In a memo announcing the shifts, deputy managing editor John Montorio and entertainment features editor Lennie LaGuire noted that following the departures, “we also saw an opportunity to create significant new showcases for two of our most gifted writers and thinkers and to augment our talent pool by recruiting for them an editor of equal brilliance.”

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