Sunday, May 22, 2022

Drama! Top TMZer (Mike Walters) Leaves to Start New Site; Taking Staffers with Him

harvey levin & mike walters
Harvey Levin & Mike Walters

*Well now, this is interesting. We can only wonder what led to this turn of events.

We’re talking about the fact that TMZ head man, Harvey Levin, has lost 3 of his top people to a new rival site called TheBlast.com.

We guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise … that is if you saw Page Six‘s report back in January that Levin’s longtime No. 2, Mike Walters, had quit to start his own operation.

On Monday, Walters announced he’s launched TheBlast.com, and we hear a raft of TMZ alums, including former top-tier staff Gary Trock and Daniel Goldblatt, are manning Walters’ new site.

“Mike, Gary and Daniel were Harvey’s senior, senior staff for many years,” said a source, while another said that all the TMZ vets have worked for at least one other publication since leaving the celebrity news site.

Founding TMZ staffer Goldblatt had served as executive director of digital programming and Trock — now managing editor of the Blast — served as a senior producer.

Meanwhile, in a New York Times story on Wednesday announcing the launch, Walters said his team was made up of “journalists from places like People, the Daily Mail and MSNBC.”

Page Six reminds Walters that he didn’t mention that the core is almost entirely staff who trained under Levin, including Walters’ sister Liz Walters, on-air reporter/associate producer Caitlyn Becker, producer Ryan Naumann, creative director Josh Wells and publicist Carolyn Fenton.

Even in his interview with the NY Times, Walters wouldn’t discuss why he walked away from TMZ. However, when it went down, TheWrap, reported that Walters had quit after a heated argument with Levin over Levin’s refusal to give a new contract to Walters’s sister, Liz Walters, who led TMZ’s court-reporting beat.

You might not be surprised to learn that Walter’s sister is now at The Blast.

So, does this new situation say something about Harvey Levin personally or his management style … or both?

Either way, it’s going to interesting to see how this plays out. Stay tuned.

 

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