Turner succeeds Mary McNamara, who will become a cultural critic and columnist
The Los Angeles Times named Julia Turner its deputy managing editor responsible for Arts and Entertainment coverage. Turner will report to Kimi Yoshino, who was recently promoted to Senior Deputy Managing Editor. Turner will join the Times in mid-November. She succeeds Mary McNamara, the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and columnist who had requested a return to writing.
“Los Angeles is where entertainment, culture and technology intersect in interesting and exciting ways,” said Times Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine. “Julia is a versatile and experienced editor who will work with our journalists to capture, criticize and have a conversation about everything from literature to emerging business models.”
Turner will be taking on a range of departments and products, including those that cover the arts, books, culture, film, music and television, as well as the businesses and technologies that drive them.
Turner has been the editor-in-chief of Slate since 2014 and will relocate from New York. She joined Slate in 2003, working first as a reporter and critic on the culture team covering media, television and design, and eventually becoming culture editor, and then deputy editor. For a decade, she’s been one of the co-hosts of Slate’s critically acclaimed “Culture Gabfest” podcast, which she’ll continue co-hosting from Los Angeles.
“The opportunities ahead for the Los Angeles Times and its culture coverage are enormous,” said Turner. “The city and its creative industries are fizzing with invention, change and fascinating ferment. I’m thrilled to have the chance to cover these transformations, and to join the team building a publication as vital, dynamic and ascendant as Los Angeles itself.”
McNamara will continue overseeing Arts and Entertainment coverage until Turner arrives in mid-November. She’ll become a cultural critic and columnist with both a weekly column and news-driven analysis debuting in January.
“I was honored to guide our terrific arts and entertainment team through two turbulent years, both culturally and internally, and now that The Times is once again in able hands, I am happy and grateful for the opportunity to return to writing,” said McNamara.
Prior to being named Assistant Managing Editor, Arts and Entertainment in 2016, McNamara was the television critic and senior culture editor for The Times. A Pulitzer Prize winner in 2015 and finalist for criticism in 2013 and 2014, she has won various awards for criticism and feature writing. Since joining The Times in 1990, she has covered film, television and culture extensively and held roles as an assigning editor, feature writer and reporter before becoming a critic in 2008. She is also the author of the Hollywood mysteries “Oscar Season” and “The Starlet.”
“Readers of the Los Angeles Times have missed Mary’s byline almost as much as she’s missed writing,” said Pearlstine. “We need her sharp take on culture, media and society to help put the day’s news – from Hollywood to the Beltway – into perspective, and we’re thrilled to bring her voice back to the pages of The Times.”
The Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune and their community publications in Southern California were purchased by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong on June 18, restoring local ownership to them. Since then, The Times has been rebuilding and expanding its newsroom. Current job openings in The Times newsroom are posted on JournalismJobs.com.