By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
He was also was responsible for abruptly axing Al Martinez's Calendar column and pushing him to take a buyout, thus sparking one of the biggest stinks in the newspaper's recent history. The reader outcry was so intense that the paper had to apologize and bring Martinez back more prominently in the California section. Montorio also made news when he killed a column by LAT Hollywood columnist Patrick Goldstein, one of the paper's most popular and well-read writers. Goldstein almost left the paper for another job as a result, until Montorio backed off and declared a truce.
Still another contretemps occurred last year when the LAT was embarrassed over its Pulitzer nominations for the criticism category. Montorio submitted music critic Ann Powers, architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne and media writer Tim Rutten. But two LAT critics whom Montorio overlooked, art critic Christopher Knight and classical-music critic Mark Swed, nominated themselves and then made it into the finals.
Stories about Montorio and his morale-killing ways are rife — how he keeps his door continuously closed and his office all but off-limits to the staff. Or refuses to speak face-to-face with his reporters and does everything by impersonal e-mail. Or maintains an insufferable "I see you, but I don't have to talk to you" attitude toward everyone who reports to him, with the exception of a few pet editors. Good riddance.
Carson Daly Hosed by NBC
Remember how the talent-challenged Carson Daly took all that abuse for going back to work as the host of Last Call during the writers strike? Well, I reported on DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com that NBC has thanked him by cutting his show's budget and firing most of his writers. "This is obviously an NBC decision, and it's not his decision," a source close to Daly complained to me. Specifically, the network confirmed for me that this week, it fired nine Last Call employees, including three of the four writers whose contracts ran out during the strike. (The one scribe kept on still has four weeks remaining on his pact. The other six employees trimmed worked in other departments.) NBC sources insist that the Last Call budget cuts would have been made regardless of the WGA labor action. This, after the network threatened to cancel the 5-year-old show altogether unless Carson went back to work. Which just goes to show that in Hollywood, no "good" deed goes unpunished. Daly still has two years more to go on his contract, and his New Year's Eve special delivered its best-yet ratings — but karma can be a bitch.
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