Cutbacks at the Los Angeles Times have prompted another shift in stewardship of the newspaper’s features/entertainment coverage, with Leo Wolinsky — the managing editor overseeing those sections — leaving after just seven months in the job.
Wolinsky — a 31-year veteran of the Tribune paper — confirmed his departure via email, stating that the position had been eliminated. In a message to staff, editor Russ Stanton said that he and Wolinsky disagreed on plans to alter the feature area’s organizational structure “so that our coverage in this multimedia world could improve and evolve.”
No replacement was announced, and the assumption is that responsibility will shift to individual section editors at least on an interim basis. A message to a Times spokeswoman was not returned.
The Times promoted Wolinsky to managing editor in October 2005, under then-editor Dean Baquet. Having worked exclusively on the hard-news side, Wolinsky was shuffled into his most recent role after Stanton was named editor in February. One of Stanton’s first actions was to oust John Montorio, who previously oversaw the features department, which includes the Calendar section.
The Times is implementing another round of job cuts through buyouts and layoffs that are expected to reduce the current editorial staff to 650, a loss of about 75 jobs from current levels — only months after slashing 15% of its workforce. At its peak near the start of this decade, the paper boasted 1,200 editorial employees, but it has been hacking away at overhead in response to declining revenues and a sluggish economy under Tribune owner Sam Zell.