“The artful [Hollywood] journalist dodgers walk the line. They keep their best sources without burning them, give a little here, take a little there and get the true story across without making too many friends — or too many enemies.” — Variety columnist Anne Thompson on the departure of Sharon Waxman from the N.Y. Times Hollywood coverage beat, effective July 1st.
I’m sorry to see Sharon move on. I like her personally, enjoyed her pieces (that visit to a San Fernando Valley porn operation was hilarious), and wish her the best. I can understand Waxman feeling burned out and wanting to flex her journalistic muscles in other directions. (She’s going to write a book about “antiquities looting.”) Of course, political currents were a nudging factor in her departure.
“To my mind, Waxman’s days on that beat were numbered from the day Michael Cieply morphed from N.Y. Times movie editor to Hollywood correspondent. As her editor, Cieply could contain and protect Waxman. He’s an experienced Hollywood player who understands the entertainment beat’s intricate politics and knows how to massage a story’s language. On her own, Waxman tended to stomp through the Hollywood minefield, heedless of any explosions she might set off.”