The Star-Ledger has hired a former Hollywood celebrity gossip blogger to be the senior political correspondent who will cover Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign, according to social media sources.
Meanwhile, Amy Ellis Nutt, the only Star-Ledger writer ever to win a Pulitzer Prize, left the paper last week. She will work for The Washington Post.
The site LA Observed reported that Claude Brodesser-Akner, a former blogger for the gossip site TMZ, revealed the move to New Jersey’s largest newspaper himself on his Facebook page:
“Longtime LA and Hollywood journalist Claude Brodesser-Akner is moving east to become the senior political writer for the Newark Star-Ledger, covering New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his anticipated run for the presidency. ’Those of you who know me well know this is about as close as it gets to me to winning PowerBall Lotto,’ Brodesser-Akner writes on Facebook. ‘It’s also a dream job that I need to point out ONLY came true with the endless love, support and sacrifice of the world’s hardest-working and best possible wife, Taffy Brodesser-Akner.’’’
The media site Cision also reported:
“Claude Brodesser-Akneri s joining The Star-Ledger as a senior political writer, focusing on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his anticipated 2016 presidential run. Currently a freelance writer, he was most recently West Coast editor for New York magazine and Vulture from January 2010 to March 2013. He previously served as bureau chief for Advertising Age and co-editor for Madison + Vine at Crain Communications. Prior to this, he hosted and co-wrote The Business on KCRW, a show he created. Before that, he was a blogger for TMZ, a staff reporter for Variety and an intern for Charlie Rose. Follow Brodesser-Akner’s coverage on Facebook.”
The Star-Ledger has not made an announcement and Brodesser-Akner apparently has taken down the Facebook comment.
The proper name of the newspaper is The Star-Ledger. It dropped the word “Newark” from its title about 50 years ago.
Brodesser-Akner has made news of his own. In 2008, while running the KCRW public radio show “The Business”—which covered Hollywood—he made some remarks that angered gay listeners by comparing critics of Proposition 8—the anti-gay marriage measure–to the rightwing politicians who blacklisted Hollywood actors, writers and directors. He called it the “pink list.” Brodesser-Akner was replaced two months later.
Two years earlier, in a feature wedding story in The New York Times in 2006, Brodesser—Akner is his wife’s birth name—discussed his circumcision. The story opened:
“There are many ways for a man to prove his commitment to his fiancée: diamond rings, love poetry, the occasional tattoo. One of the most sincere, and certainly the most painful, is going through a religious conversion involving circumcision. But when Claude Brodesser, the son of Roman Catholic immigrants from Germany, proposed to Taffy Akner, an Orthodox Jew, he had no doubt about what he had to do.
“There’s no way she wasn’t going to marry a Jew,” Mr. Brodesser said of the conversion he made last year. And what of his visit to the mohel who did the circumcision? “It didn’t tickle,” he said. Ms. Akner, 30, recalled, “He was drugged, but the amount of Xanax I was on rivaled it.”
The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, announced major changes earlier this year that will include moving its operations out of Newark to Edison and Woodbridge.