Fifteen California museum directors including James Cuno, Jeffrey Deitch, Michael Govan and Ann Philbin are rallying to support an area art reporter. The administrators sent a letter this afternoon to Los Angeles Times editor Davan Maharaj to protest the layoff of art reporter Jori Finkel and call for the reinstatement of the position.

Finkel's layoff came June 28, along with as many as 20 other employees. The paper is up for sale by the Tribune Company. Finkel had been with the Times for three years.

"It is especially unfortunate to see you dismiss your only staff reporter specializing in art now that Los Angeles is increasingly recognized worldwide as the most influential center for contemporary art and culture," says the letter.

The directors point out that Finkel's early coverage of the $10-million Pacific Standard Time initiative, which comprised dozens of museum exhibitions focused on art made in Southern California, was influential, and praises her articles as "consistently insightful and accessible."

The letter is now attached to an online petition.