And a Business Editor

Russ Stanton is the new LAT Business Editor. The memo follows:

To: The Staff
From: John Carroll and Dean Baquet

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Russ Stanton as business editor of The Times.

Russ has done a terrific job as deputy editor of the section and as Orange County business editor before that. He is respected by the staff - and by us -- for his deep knowledge of the business world, his commitment to quality journalism and his integrity in dealing with people.

Russ has been a business journalist from the start of his career at the Visalia Times-Delta. He has covered agriculture, aerospace, real estate and manufacturing. Before joining The Times as a reporter in 1997, he was business editor of the Orange County Register.

Russ has a vast knowledge of business and the region, and a clear sense of the stories this paper should dominate in the coming years. But what really drew us to Russ were some other attributes that emerged from conversations with The Times business staff over the last few weeks: He is a leader who commands trust, respect and affection from his colleagues.

Russ is taking over a business staff that is in good shape, though we suspect you will also see some big changes and new beats. Under Joel Sappell, the entertainment coverage has become even more powerful. Economics coverage has been strong, and Tom Petruno leads one of the best markets operations around. And business has been responsible for some of the finest projects the paper has produced over the last few years, including the Wal-Mart series and Peter Gosselin's groundbreaking look at the shift of risk onto the shoulders of American workers.

As you know, Russ is succeeding Rick Wartzman. John Montorio's announcement of several weeks ago captures our excitement about Rick's appointment to run the Sunday Magazine.

In the coming days Russ will be talking to us and to the business staff before choosing a deputy.

Russ will report to the managing editor.

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