O.C. Register’s classical-music critic to cover celebrity beat


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And so another classical-music journalist falls in the forest.

Timothy Mangan, who covers the classical-music beat for the Orange County Register as a critic and reporter, wrote on his personal blog Wednesday that the newspaper has re-assigned him to the celebrity beat.


He said that beginning Sept. 13, he will be writing the “People” column five days a week for the Register. In his new job, he will be covering such page-view generating notables as Lindsay Lohan, Zsa-Zsa Gabor and Mel Gibson. “No joke,” he wrote.

Mangan wrote that he “will continue to be a music critic, as time allows. How much time that will be I don’t know. I’m guessing about 50 percent, but that might be optimistic. The People column will certainly take a lot of my time and energy. So, we’ll see.”

Rebecca Allen, the Register’s deputy editor for features, said Wednesday that Mangan has not been reassigned and declined to comment further.

Reached by phone, Mangan reaffirmed that he will start covering the celebrity beat in September. He added that it remains to be determined how much time he will have to devote to classical-music coverage.

“They haven’t said I can’t cover classical music,” Mangan said. But, he added, “you can’t disagree that I won’t be able to cover as much classical music as before.”

The Register’s future classical coverage is likely to be limited to major events in Orange County. “I would think the Pacific Symphony would be a main part of my coverage. The Philharmonic Society of Orange County will also be crucial,” said Mangan.

In the past, Mangan has covered the major classical and operatic groups all around Southern California, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the L.A. Opera.

Earlier this summer, the Register shut down its arts blog, for which Mangan was a major contributor. At the time, Allen, the paper’s deputy editor for features, stated that the blog didn’t get much traction online and that the paper’s “arts reporters have many responsibilities – including writing news, previews and reviews.”

Mangan’s new beat represents relatively unfamiliar territory for him. He said that his celebrity journalism is experience is limited, though he has interviewed Garrison Keillor.

“I don’t have a lot readers compared to other writers around here and I think this is seen as a good way of subsidizing the classical beat,” he said.

-- David Ng

Image credit: Orange County Register