Thompson on Hollywood

As Tina Brown finally gets around to building up a new pop culture vertical for The Daily Beast (in time for Oscar season), her diminutive west coast bureau chief Gabe Doppelt has beefed up The Beast's entertainment coverage with ex-LAT TV editor Kate Arthur and now ex-Variety reporter Nicole LaPorte (above), who has turned in her still untitled book on DreamWorks to Houghton Mifflin. LaPorte, whose first story covers the women's surf tour, is the Beast's senior west coast correspondent. She'll be working out of the L.A. office, "covering more culture stuff," she writes in an email, "movies mostly, from a more feature-y angle; also weird, fun stuff."

Meanwhile KCRW-radio host Kim Masters continues to cover the business of entertainment for The Beast, dealing directly with New York.