New Travel editor at LAT

Catherine Hamm, the L.A. Times deputy travel editor since 1999, ascends to replace Leslie Ward effective immediately. Freelancers and travel industry flacks should revise their contact info. The memo follows.

Subject: New Travel Editor

Nov. 4, 2003

From: John Montorio and Rick Flaste

To the Staff

As some of you may know, Leslie Ward, our Travel editor for the past dozen years, has had several nagging physical problems that have made it difficult for her to continue in her demanding job. Whenever she was away, her able deputy, Catharine Hamm, became acting Travel editor, sometimes for extended periods. Now, although Leslie is enjoying her life enormously, her ability to work fulltime is still limited and she tell us she may not be returning any time soon. So while we'll miss Leslie, it's our pleasure to announce that Catharine will assume the position of Travel editor, effective immediately, and continue the fine work she's demonstrated in the past.

When Catharine came to this paper in 1999 as deputy Travel editor, she had already achieved solid journalistic credentials. She was the editor of The Californian in Salinas and managing editor and city editor of The San Bernardino County Sun. She also spent a dozen years at The Kansas City Star in various posts, including deputy managing editor and, for four years, travel editor. She graduated from McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas, with a B.A. in Spanish, including work at the University of Valencia in Spain. She is a native of Syracuse, N.Y., and counts McLean, Va., Honolulu and Manila as among the places she has called home -- all of which sounds like excellent preparation for her new assignment.

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