Photograph by Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times
Among Eric Malnic’s many accomplishments at The Times was becoming a specialist on airplane crashes and he was proud of getting a pilot’s license as part of the beat.
|Former Times city editor and columnist Bill Boyarsky says: |
The news of Eric's death, while not unexpected, is sad. He fought hard to live.
I met Eric when I came to the Times in 1970 and he was one of the young reporters and their families who greeted the Boyarskys, strangers from Sacramento, with friendship, inviting us to parties, making us feel we were part of something. Nancy and I often recall those days. They were like our family.
We worked together over the years, drank at the Redwood and shared the camaraderie of a wonderful newsroom. I got to know Eric even better when I became city editor. I was thrown into the job with limited editing and executive experience. Eric was immediately most supportive with advice and with his excellent and steady work.
He was covering the aviation industry and pursued those complex plane crash investigations with intensity, speed and great success. He was, as you know, one of the great rewrites, and when there was a big story, Eric was there to do it.
During the 2000 Democratic convention our then infant website wanted frequent updates from the streets and convention hall. This was the new journalism that requiring the speed and skill of the old journalism. I asked Eric if he was interested. He grabbed the assignment and whipped out his many updates quickly and accurately, with the mixture of calm and excitement required of a good rewrite person. Ed Boyer, another top rewrite man, writer and editor, shared the assignment. It was just great watching them work every day.
Eric's career reached back to the old Times. I'm sure he worked for Smoky Hale, the legendary old time city editor. From there, he transitioned into the new Times of Bill Thomas, growing professionally, becoming a valued member of Thomas' eclectic collection of talents. Through it all, Eric was the complete professional--loyal to the paper but never blindly, willing to undertake any assignment, considerate and fair to his colleagues, helpful to newcomers and young people on their way up. He represented the best in journalism.