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ASU California Center plays host to LA's first city-wide media party in years

Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida and Battinto Batts, dean of the Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU, pose side-by-side at an event in an ornately designed lobby.

Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida and Battinto Batts, dean of ASU's Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communication, at a media party hosted at the ASU California Center. Photo by Gary Leonard

February 17, 2023

Los Angeles saw its first city-wide media party in years, hosted by Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, The Los Angeles Times and the Center for Los Angeles and New Urban Leadership.

The party took place at the ASU California Center, located in the historic Herald Examiner Building, and brought together a who’s who in media, politics and culture.

Said one attendee, “I've been to a lot of 'media parties' over the years, especially during the years I was active on the board of the LA Press Club, but that one last night was spectacular. The guest list was simply amazing, from the A-list reporters and editors to top local officials.”

The old-school, off-the-record gathering of city-wide politicos and the press who follow them was reimagined for the 21st century with LA-inspired drinks, culture, music and a special poetry reading from Sophie Szew, featured at the inauguration of LA Mayor Karen Bass.

Battinto Batts, dean of the Cronkite School, and Kevin Merida, executive editor of The Los Angeles Times, each took a few moments to discuss ASU’s new presence in LA and commend the role journalists and journalism plays in sustaining a city — LA and all cities.

Guests included: Sheriff Robert Luna and his wife Celines; Council President Paul Krekorian; KNBC political reporter Conan Nolan; LA Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida; Dean Battinto Batts, Cronkite School; Alissa Walker, NY Magazine/Curbed; Nick Melvoin, LAUSD School Board; Rob Eshman, senior contributing editor, The Forward; LA Times' Jim Rainey, Ben Oreskes, David Zanheiser, Paul Pringle, Nick Goldberg and Lila Seidman; Jesus Sanchez, publisher of Eastsider LA; former LA city councilmember Mike Bonin; Stacy Lieberman, executive director of the Library Foundation Los Angeles; Gene Maddaus, senior media reporter, Variety; Kim Masters, editor-at-large, The Hollywood Reporter; John Cho, assistant editor, Korea Times; Brenda Verano and Daniel Vasquez, Calo News; Josephine Ramirez, executive vice president of The Music Center; Mandalit del Barco, NPR West; Jon Regardie and Eric Mercado, LA Magazine; co-founders of the Center for Los Angeles and New Urban Leadership Donna Bojarsky, Sarah Dusseault and Aaron Paley.