Thursday, July 17, 2008

Chuck Philips Accepts Buyout, Leaves L.A. Times

Chuck Philips [click to read], the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter whose story in the Los Angeles Times connecting Jimmy "Henchmen" Rosemond and Puff Daddy to Tupac's shooting at New York's Quad Studios was retracted earlier this year, is leaving the paper.

Philips is among the 150 editorial staff who are departing either through buyout or lay off, Kevin Roderick wrote on his blog on Tuesday, adding that Philips requested and was given a buyout. An e-mail to Philips seeking comment wasn't immediately returned.

Philips was the author of a controversial, two-part article published in September 2002 that concluded Tupac was murdered by a member of Compton-based Southside Crips in retaliation for his stomping out of Crip Orlando Anderson in the lobby of MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The article quoted anonymous sources that claimed Notorious B.I.G. was in Vegas and colluded with the Crips to murder 'Pac.

Philips won the Pulitzer Prize, journalism's top award, in 1999 for his reporting on the entertainment industry. His departure leaves a void in the Times' coverage of Hip Hop, with only a handful of staff and freelance writers knowledgeable in the culture.

"Since the days of Cheo Coker, it's never been a place friendly to Hip Hop," a Times writer who asked to remain anonymous said. (Coker was a Times staff writer who went on to write Biggie's biography). "He left the paper over 10 years ago, and there's a lot of guys here now who are reaching in the dark – they don't know what they're doing."
[Source: Hip Hop News from - Posted by Vidz King]