“Big Changes In Store For LA Times™ Penner” read an CSTB headlne on April 28, 2007, topping an item in which Los Angeles Times veteran sportswriter Mike Penner announced his transition from guy-to-gal. After a stretch writing for the Times under the name Christine Daniels, LA Observed’s Kevin Roderick suggests the sports journalist might be fortunate if he’s not donated all his dude clothing to Goodwill (link courtesy Watchdog).
Eighteen month after writing a column about becoming Christine Daniels, veteran sportswriter Mike Penner has quietly returned to work at the Los Angeles Times, according to multiple sources close to the LAT’s Sports staff. Penner’s column in April 2007 about his sexual transformation became one of the most-viewed Times’ stories of the year and was followed by a story in the LAT from media writer James Rainey and tons of other media attention. Daniels for a time chronicled her transformation in a blog at LATimes.com; the blog entries have been removed and the Times has so far posted nothing about Penner’s return. I emailed him and Sports Editor Randy Harvey, who replied, “We’re looking forward to Mike’s byline appearing in the paper and on the website with increased frequency. He continues to be a valued member of our sports staff.”
There’s no word yet how these developments in Penner’s personal and professional lives might impact the mooted FX series “4 oz.”, a drama allegedly set to feature a transsexual sportswriter as the primary character.
(UPDATE : As it turns out, Sports By Brooks was all over this story a few days ago. I don’t make a habit of reading SBB on a regular basis, and observations like this are part of the reason why :
The timing of the move, in the wake of massive layoffs at the LAT, is a little curious. Penner was out of sight when the cutbacks happened (and more could be on the way). Because he/she had become a celebrity, at least locally, you wonder if that save Penner from getting laid off. He™s never been a mover and shaker in the LAT™s sports department, and you would think that he might™ve been on the firing line.
Holy fuck. There I was thinking it took considerable guts for Penner to face so much public scrutiny and ridicule over something that has nothing to do with his ability to do his job…and SBB figures this was less about gender I.D. and more of a career move. The sportswriting version of “Juwanna Mann” if you will.)