LA Times cancels guest editor program

March 28, 2007 at 12:33 PM
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LOS ANGELES, March 28 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Times scrapped plans to have prominent guest editors oversee the newspaper's Sunday opinion and editorial section, the newspaper said.

Publisher David D. Hiller said he would end the plan for guest editors to select writers and plan the section. He appointed the Times' reader's representative to investigate whether professional or personal connections improperly influenced previous editorial page content, the Times reported Tuesday.

Hiller Monday canceled plans for other celebrities to edit future editorial sections once each quarter.

The actions arose following suggestions that Hollywood producer Brian Grazer might have received favored treatment in his selection as the section's first guest editor.

Grazer publicist Kelly Mullens was dating Times Editorial Page Editor Andres Martinez -- who quit after Hiller decided to pull the Grazer project, saying his credibility had been undermined.

Although he said a review led him to believe Grazer got the assignment based on merit, Hiller said he decided to pull the section, scheduled to run last Sunday, to avoid the appearance that Grazer benefited from his publicist's inside connection. The Grazer-edited section was replaced with one done by the opinion pages staff.

Martinez and Mullens denied she influenced the newspaper's editorial pages.

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