Tim Rutten has taken a long (32 years) circuitous route through the L.A. Times editor and writer ranks, beginning under legendary editor Jim Bellows in the old View section. Today, the paper created a new title for him — Associate Editor of Features — and put him in charge of the Book Review, the daily book coverage and literary coverage. Steve Wasserman stays as editor of the Book Review, now reporting to Rutten, and Tim will continue to write his "Regarding Media" column. He also remains the consigliere to Features capo John Montorio, who lost his previous adviser, Rick Flaste, back to the New York Times earlier in the year. His memo follows:
To: The Staff
From: John Montorio, Deputy Managing Editor
I'm happy to announce that senior writer Tim Rutten has been appointed to the newly created post of Associate Editor of Features. It's a title that I believe more accurately reflects the day-to-day role he already plays in our department and one that opens the way for him to undertake some new assignments we have in mind for him.
First and foremost, Tim will continue to write the Regarding Media Column, which has become one of the mainstays of our weekly report. He'll also continue to serve as my consultant on a range of journalistic and personnel matters. As senior writer, he'll still make himself available to reporters, who want to avail themselves of his experience and advice.
As part of his new assignment, I've asked Tim to assume direct supervision of the Sunday Book Review, daily Calendar's book reviews and the Style report's topical literary component. Tim will collaborate with Alice Short and Rich Nordwind on daily coverage, and Rich will continue to edit Regarding Media. Tim will also work closely with Steve Wasserman, who will report to Tim, and together they will build on the Review's good work. From time to time, I will be asking Tim to take on other projects, as the need arises.
In one sense, this appointment brings Tim full-circle, since he joined The Times 32 years ago as an editor in the old View section under Jim Bellows. Since then, Tim has served as an assistant editor of the Op-Ed page, as Opinion editor, as assistant national editor in charge of an elite group of 11 national correspondents, as an editorial writer, as a View section columnist and as Metro's news and legal affairs analyst. As City/County Bureau chief, he oversaw a staff that not only covered local government and politics, but also the LAPD, the Sheriff's Department and public agencies, including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Tim will report to me in his new assignment.