The Los Angeles Times said Tuesday it is scrapping its program of selecting prominent people to occasionally oversee the Sunday opinion section, days after it canceled the debut section over concerns about a conflict of interest.
Publisher David D. Hiller said the guest editor project had become a distraction.
"We don't need all these questions when we have so many features of value to deliver our readers," he said.
The Times' editorial page editor, Andres Martinez, had arranged for Hollywood producer Brian Grazer to be the first guest editor. The publisher canceled that plan after learning Martinez dated a publicist for Grazer. Hiller said he believed Grazer was chosen for his own merit, but he said he wanted to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.
Martinez resigned after that decision, saying his credibility had been undermined. He and the publicist have denied she had any improper influence on the newspaper's editorial pages.
Martinez had also offered guest editing slots to former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, former Los Angeles Lakers star Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Melinda Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Hiller also announced he was appointing the Times' reader representative, Jamie Gold, to review past opinion-editorial decisions to determine whether content was improperly influenced by personal or professional connections.
Grazer runs Imagine Entertainment with Ron Howard. They won the best picture Oscar for "A Beautiful Mind."