Sasha Frere-Jones—the longtime New Yorker pop music critic who bolted for a gig at Genius before leaving the nascent website and heading west for the Los Angeles Times—has resigned from the paper after crossing various ethical bounds, as well as expensing $5,000 at a strip club, The Wrap reported tonight.
Per The Wrap’s Itay Hod, Frere-Jones—who was hired by the Times in July—ran afoul of his bosses multiple times during his tenure at the newly-minted Tribune paper:
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Frere-Jones recently filed a $5,000 expense report for a venue that the paper discovered was actually a strip club.
Asked to explain, Frere-Jones said he was writing an article about a rapper. But according to the insider, the rapper’s representatives told the paper that no interview had taken place.
In addition, a source close to the situation said that Frere-Jones had accepted a luxury trip sponsored by Dom Pérignon to The Joshua Tree National Park in April — a freebie that is considered a no-no by most mainstream news organizations.
Hod also reports that Jones offered Coachella coverage to an unnamed artist if that artist provided for his transportation to the festival. Further, Hod reports that Frere-Jones’ production level was questioned by his peers inside the newsroom, as was the fact that he reported directly to “managing editor for editorial strategy at the Los Angeles Times, Mitra Kalita, instead of the usual chain of command.”
Frere-Jones did not respond to a request for comment from The Wrap, and similarly did not respond to an email sent by Gawker. The Times confirmed to Hod that Jones “resigned recently” but would not comment on the circumstances of his departure.
If you have any info on Jones’ ouster, please feel free to email me.