Attention, Single Studio Heads

The New York Times‘ Los Angeles-based TV-reporting slot–vacated, with an emo-Hollywood confessional goodbye note, by Times vet and studio-chief spouse Bernard Weinraub in January–is close to being occupied again. According to sources familiar with the hiring process, the culture department has recommended Broadway reporter Jesse McKinley to editor Bill Keller and the masthead for approval. The decision has yet to be finalized.

“Officially, I can’t talk about it,” McKinley said by phone.

Culture editor Sam Sifton declined to comment, saying he doesn’t comment on personnel decisions.

“There’s been no decision,” Sifton said by phone, adding: “I’m not going to talk about personnel issues. We have no announcement, unofficial or not.”

McKinley joined the Times as a copy boy in the late 1980s and has covered Broadway for the past seven years. Before deciding to go with the internal candidate, the Times reached out to an array of outside prospects including Vanity Fair contributing editor Seth Mnookin, Wall Street Journal Hollywood reporter John Lippman and Washington Post television columnist Lisa de Moraes.

–Gabriel Sherman Attention, Single Studio Heads