A few Times moves

The Metro staff has muscled up a bit. Gale Holland, city editor of the Daily Journal, is joining the Times as the editor overseeing legal and law enforcement coverage in Metro. She has also been an editor at LA Weekly and a staff writer for USA Today and Copley News Service. The memo on her hiring and some other Metro moves follows. Separately, editorial writer (and former columnist) Sandy Banks is returning to Metro as a reporter, with her first assignment on the mayoral race. And the Times has re-hired Betty Baboujon, formerly copy desk chief in Business and Features, as the deputy editor of the Food section. Freelancers and flacks, adjust your PDAs as appropriate.

To: The Staff
From: Janet Clayton, Assistant Managing Editor
Michael Young, Editor, Extended News Desk

We are pleased to announce a series of changes that will strengthen both the Metro news operation and the Extended News Desk, which provides breaking news coverage from the newsroom to during the day.

John Spano, who edits justice news for Metro, will be moving to the Extended News Desk where he will be primarily responsible for the metro news report. He will serve as the main liaison to Metro to get local and statewide breaking news up quickly on the web. The job entails a combination of writing, reporting and taking feeds to ensure that California news, which gets a significant amount of readership on the web, is prominently displayed.

In addition to his current duties, John has worked for the Orange County, Ventura, and San Fernando Valley Editions. He came to The Times in 1984 from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, where he was city editor. John graduated from Yale and St. Louis University School of Law. He starts his new assignment on April 4.

Mary MacVean, currently a reporter and editor part-time on the Extended News Desk, moves to the Metro Desk. Mary will work part-time with Local Government Editor John Hoeffel in editing stories for one of Metro's busiest areas of coverage.

Mary came to The Times' Metro Copy Desk five years ago and later moved to the Extended News Desk. She spent much of her career at Associated Press, working as a reporter, national editor, and then national writer covering food and nutrition issues. She has edited a few cookbooks and was features editor at the Moscow Times in Russia for two years before moving to Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Boston College and Columbia's School of Journalism. She will begin her new assignment in a few weeks.

Gale Holland, city editor of the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the premier legal newspaper, is coming to the Metro Desk as the editor who oversees legal and law enforcement coverage. She starts April 5.

Since 2002, Gale has helped to bring the Daily Journal from a paper that once could be comprehended only by lawyers to a valuable and incisive read for anyone who is interested in how the law and legal profession affect various aspects of social and political life. As a writer for USA Today, Gale covered the O.J. Simpson trial, the Unabomber investigation and the Heaven's Gate cult suicides. She also worked for Copley News Service covering Los Angeles City Hall and U.S. District Court, where she covered the federal trial of police officers accused of violating the civil rights of Rodney King. She has written freelance pieces for several outlets, including The Times, NPR's Marketplace and Salon. She also was an editor at the L.A. Weekly and at USC taught investigative reporting courses focused on the use of court, government and internet databases.

Gale is a native of Los Angeles and is an alumna of UC Berkeley.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent LAT stories on LA Observed:
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
Why the LA Times' new theater column needs a new name
Helping in Houston, new lion cubs, Garcetti's back
Memo: New LA Times publisher drops web widget
Warren Olney leaving KCRW's radio lineup
LA Times purge 'capped a month of newsroom turmoil'
As the L.A. Times turns ...


LA Observed on Twitter