LA Weekly officially confirmed the rumors yesterday claiming that Jonathan Gold, one of the nation's foremost restaurant critics, will be leaving his longtime post at the paper for a job at the LA Times. Specfics regarding Gold's new gig are yet to be divulged, leaving many to wonder about the status of the Times' current restaurant critic, S. Irene Virbila. When asked to comment on the details of his new role this morning, Gold responded that "...news of the move leaked out weeks before any of us were ready, and while this question is a pretty important one, it's not one I have an answer to at the moment."
Given that Virbila has been the publication's restaurant critic since 1994, having a writer like Gold on staff will shake things up at the Times regardless on whether or not he is replacing her. Furthermore, Virbila's anonymity was compromised last year when Noah Ellis, the restaurateur of Red Medicine in Los Angeles, snapped her photo while she was dining at his restaurant and posted it online. Ellis defended his actions by claiming that Virbila's reviews are "unecessarily cruel." Perhaps the LA Times is ready to head in a different direction.
Reflecting on his time at LA Weekly and moving onto a full-time position at the LA Times, Gold remarked, "I loved working at the Weekly, and am sad to leave. I also loved writing for the Times, and the new editor in chief, Davan Maharaj, has some exciting ideas on the future of newspapers. I'm thrilled to be part of his plan."