What's a player-coach? Well, veteran LAT entertainment business writer Claudia Eller is adding that role to her many duties at the LAT, as described below in a memo from entertainment/business AME Sallie Hofmeister.
From: Hofmeister, Sallie
Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 2:41 PM
Subject: congrats to Claudia!
Please join us in congratulating Claudia Eller on becoming a player-coach for Company Town, effective Dec. 3, her birthday!
Claudia has been covering Hollywood and the movie business for more than two decades and knows all the tricks when it comes to breaking stories, wrangling sources and convincing people to go on the record. Few are more aggressive in digging out scoops than Claudia and few are better at maintaining relationships through even the hardest-hitting of stories. Her golden rules: be fair and never blindside your subjects.
Collegial, energetic and well-connected, Claudia is always happy to make a call for a co-worker, share a source or make an introduction. These traits will make her invaluable as a player-coach.
Claudia will continue to cover the movie studios for Company Town, but will devote about a fourth of her time to helping John Lippman manage coverage. Most of her duties will be on the front end of the process, working with reporters to set priorities, get ahead of the news, and hone angles for both print and the Web. She also will assist with budgets, week-aheads, meetings and in lining up Monday centerpieces.
In Hollywood, Claudia’s roots run deep. As a girl, she had bit parts on TV shows including “Little House on the Prairie.” She studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute and Melrose Theater. Before going to USC to study journalism, she was an au pair for the daughter of Jane Fonda and Roger Vadim.
She came to The Times in 1993 as a film editor in Calendar and moved to Business about two years later as a columnist and a movie reporter. She returned to the second floor earlier this year, when the CoTown group merged into Calendar. Previously, she spent four years at Variety and three years at the Hollywood Reporter.
Claudia continues to report to Lippman.
Sallie Hofmeister, AME, arts and entertainment
Craig Turner, arts and entertainment editor
[Hat Tip: LA Observed.]