I don’t think much of Wolinsky, because, as one of the L.A. Times’ managing editors, he met secretly with a lot of bold-faced names about a possible purchase of the paper back when the paper’s bigwigs (all gone now) were bickering with Tribune Co. True, his duties included the thankless task of outreach to the readership to stop the newspaper’s circulation nosedive. But, as I first reported, Wolinsky, acting as then-editor Dean Baquet’s surrogate, was playing a dangerous game with the paper’s integrity by having secret talks with the “billionaire boys’ club” — David Geffen, Eli Broad, ex-Mayor Richard Riordan and others — to drum up local support for a local buyer of the L.A. Times. (Geffen, in September 2005, invited Wolinsky to his Beverly Hills estate, and together they discussed Geffen’s buying the paper with Baquet’s blessing.) But Wolinsky himself refused to confirm or deny or even discuss the meetings with me. I found it bizarre that both Wolinsky and Baquet were so blind to the obvious need for transparency at the time. Wolinsky had been overheard saying there’s no reason for him to “put up a red flag” when his conversations turn toward the Times’ purchase.
Gee, a top editor who likes to suck up to rich people could be a godsend to the Hollywood moguls when it comes to Calendar coverage of their studios and networks. But, then, I can’t imagine that section’s reporting could get more soft ... or irrelevant.