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Navigating the Conflicts at the L.A. Times

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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TROUBLE MEN Grazer, Martinez (inset)

Los Angeles Times editorial page editor Andres Martinez has learned the hard way that no good can come from dating flacks. He resigned in a huff yesterday after publisher David Hiller killed his plans to install uber-producer Brian Grazer as "guest editor" of the Times's Sunday Current section for a day. News had surfaced that Martinez was romantically involved with a Grazer press agent. Martinez, the thinking went, could be suspected of selecting Grazer as a favor to his main squeeze—an unacceptable conflict of interest.

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But Martinez wouldn't be the first newspaper editor to bed a professional spinner and pop open an ethical can of worms. Just ask Jim O'Shea, the Los Angeles Times's top editor. During the five years that O'Shea served as managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, O'Shea was married to a manager of media relations for Chicago's Field Museum.

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