They say good things come in threes, and in that spirit, I'm delighted to announce three great additions to the Huffington Post this week.
The entertainment beat has always been an essential part of HuffPost's DNA -- offering a real-time take on TV, movies, theater, music, and celebrity that is fun, irreverent, and a robust mix of highbrow and lowbrow. We've covered everything from Oscar-worthy performances to headline-grabbing news stories (yes, we're talking about you Mel, Lindsay, and Charlie) to cringe-inducing moments on reality TV, and reveled in the not-so-guilty pleasure of the latest gossip on the stars we can't seem to get enough of, whether it's showbiz A-listers like Brad and Angelina, Tina Fey, and Lady Gaga, or famous-for-being-famous celebs like Kate Gosselin, Octomom, and the Kardashian brood.
In the process, Entertainment has become one of our most popular sections. So much so that we have decided to expand and deepen our coverage in two new directions -- HuffPost Celebrity and HuffPost Culture.
HuffPost Culture is designed to be a one-stop shop that will give you the latest news -- and hopefully spark impassioned conversations -- about the worlds of film, theater, art, architecture, music, opera, TV, and design.
Today, you can check out our not-to-be-missed interview with Larry David, where he predicts: "There'll be a Muslim president before a bald president." We also have the premiere of I Touch a Red Button Man, a new short film by David Lynch, a review of the best albums of the first half of the year, and a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming film adaptation of On the Road.
The section will also feature fresh takes from some of our most creative thinkers. Today's lineup includes Barry Levinson, Rainn Wilson, Ricky Gervais, and the members of Interpol (the band, not the police agency!).
HuffPost Culture is the brainchild of John Montorio, our Editorial Director of Culture and Entertainment, who is also overseeing HuffPost Celebrity. After spending 15 years at the New York Times, where he relaunched many of the paper's signature feature sections, including House & Home, Dining In/Dining Out and Sunday Styles, John spent seven years at the Los Angeles Times, helping overhaul the Calendar section, the Book Review, the Sunday Magazine, and launching Image, a fashion and style section. He joined the Huffington Post Media Group four months ago. HuffPost Culture is edited by Gazelle Emami, who moves over from her work as one of our blog editors.
HuffPost Celebrity is edited by Katy Hall who has overseen our entertainment coverage for the last two years. The new section happily embraces our pop culture's ongoing obsession with celebrities. Who is dating who, who wore what, who just cut off their hair, who was spotted at the beach rocking a sexy bikini, who just cheated on their girlfriend -- it's the latest news, the biggest deals, the hottest trends, the scariest mug shots. In short, if it's happened to a notable name, you'll find it on HuffPost Celebrity, along with the latest videos, photos, slideshows, big name interviews and blog posts from industry insiders, show business experts, and celebrities themselves -- among those who have blogged on HuffPost are Alec Baldwin, Scarlett Johansson, George Clooney, Madonna, Ryan Reynolds, Bill Maher, Alec Baldwin, Rob Lowe, Russell Simmons, Natalie Portman and many more.
Check it out today for the latest on Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig, and Katy Perry, and blog posts from Ashley Judd, Jon Favreau, Christy Turlington... and everything you wanted to know about Harry Potter's Butterbeer recipe.
Also today, we are launching HuffPost San Francisco, our latest local section, which will offer comprehensive coverage of all the Bay Area has to offer, from its legendary (and sometimes quirky) politics, to its great sports teams and restaurants, to the latest info on local real estate, technology, green living, crime stats and cultural happenings.
And we plan on staying on top of the issues and stories that San Francisco is struggling with -- burgeoning homelessness, a local unemployment rate of 9.3 percent, and an ultra-competitive rental housing market that is producing skyrocketing rents -- all of which are threatening to turn the City by the Bay into a tale of two cities... one marked by opulence and plenty, the other by misery and deprivation. At the same time, we will spotlight the community efforts being made to combat these problems and ameliorate the suffering.
The HuffPost San Francisco team will also cover the region by showcasing the stories being told on the Bay Area's 24 hyperlocal Patch sites, whether it's asking area residents whether they'll change their Netflix habits based on the recently announced price hike, the impact of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, the countdown until Harry Potter hits theaters this weekend, or whether drivers would be willing to pay more to escape the congestion on Highway 101. We'll also deploy our own reporters to collaborate with the network of local Patch writers on a wide variety of original stories, from the environmental impact of the California high-speed rail project to the growing secession movement.
The section will feature well-known San Franciscans and experts on the city blogging on the issues and ideas -- both big and small -- that they're the most passionate about, whether it's targeting a new restaurant that's more hype than substance or shedding light on the current battle over, yes, circumcision. Be sure to check out our launch day blog posts by Craig Newmark, Mayor Ed Lee, Traci Des Jardins, and many others.
HuffPost San Francisco is edited by Carly Schwartz, formerly one of our front page editors, and born in San Francisco.
So please join me in welcoming all three new members of the HuffPost family. As always, your engagement, your participation, and your takes are a key component to our sections, so please check out HuffPost Celebrity, HuffPost Culture, and HuffPost San Francisco, and use the comment section on this post to let us know what you think.