The Los Angeles Times said Tuesday that it would resume the publication of a self-contained portion of food and added new staff to fill its pages. The movements come as a rare point of light in a season of layoffs and consolidation in American journalism.
The newspaper stopped printing a food department in 2012 and folded the food coverage in the Saturday newspaper as part of a painful decline that continued throughout most of this century.
Last year, Patrick Soon-Shiong, a billionaire surgeon and medical entrepreneur, bought the newspaper and installed the veteran journalist Norman Pearlstine as the executive editor.
"We regard Los Angeles as the food capital of the nation, and the print section, which will serve as a weekly summary of our daily reporting, is an expression of our determination to make the world's best, most authoritative and comprehensive reporting. give, "Mr. Pearlstine said in a statement on Tuesday.
Changes in the paper in the past year were fast and remarkable, including the rebuilding of a food department that Ruth Reichl, a former critic of the New York Times restaurant, once edited and where Jonathan Gold, the critic who won the Pulitzer Prize, rated restaurants.
"If you look at the way he was celebrated in his passing, it was more suited to that of a citizen leader than a restaurant critic," said Mr. Meehan in an interview on Tuesday. "Writing about restaurants was the way he taught people who were their neighbors."
The new section will be released in April and delivered every Thursday in the printed paper, when the edition is 474.129, according to a spokeswoman. (The edition of the Sunday newspaper is 665.738). The section is part of a larger campaign to increase food coverage on all platforms, including the internet.
New and re-assigned editors and writers help fill the pages. Andrea Chang is the vice-food editor for Mr. Meehan, who divides his time between Los Angeles and New York. Ben Mims is hired as a cooking college and Genevieve Ko as cook editor. Mr. Mims was the test kitchen director at Lucky Peach, the food diary that was set up by Mr. Meehan, Chris Ying and the chef David Chang. (It stopped the publication in 2017.) Mrs. Ko has long been a fan of food media, cookbooks written with several notable chefs and recipes and edits produced for nearly all major food publications of the nation, including The New York Times.
The Food section also publishes work by Gustavo Arellano, the author of the column ¡Ask a Mexican! and a writer's functions on the paper.
In November, the newspaper named its new restaurant critics Bill Addison, who was the national critic for the Eater website, and Patricia Escárcega, a food reporter for The Arizona Republic who had reviewed restaurants for The Phoenix New Times.
The newspaper has also adopted an editor for public engagement and is building a new test kitchen at the head office in El Segundo, California.
Mr. Meehan said he had ample room to cover the food scene in Los Angeles as he deems necessary.
"I want it to be as good and as weird and interesting as possible," he said. "My mandate is, let's rebuild this as a public institution and keep the city a mirror and show it for yourself."