Could a drama critic be far behind? *

The Times has finally named a fulltime radio reporter. Martin Miller is the first staffer asigned to the beat in a long while. [* Update: On the Calendar side anyway. I'm told Judy Michaelson was the last when she retired in 2000, but that Charles Duhigg covers the radio and music industries for Business.] Miller's moving over as part of the Features department tinkering, which continued today with the naming of the initial class of Senior Features Correspondents: Robin Abcarian, Tina Daunt, Reed Johnson and Anne-Marie O'Connor. The moves announced today include books and authors writer Scott Martelle, who adds to his portfolio the "three-way intersection of publishing, media and the entertainment industry." Memos follow:

To: The Staff
From: Lennie LaGuire, Deputy Features Editor/Entertainment Editor

We're happy to announce some additions to the media group in Calendar.

Martin Miller, a writer for features since 1997, will be joining us to cover radio. Martin will bring a fresh eye to the local radio scene, with profiles, trend stories and a mandate to mine the beat for insight into Southern California culture and subcultures. He also will develop national stories on major forces and players in the radio industry and will explore the new frontiers of podcasting and satellite radio.

Also joining the media group will be Scott Martelle. In his new assignment, Scott will broaden his beat on L.A. literary life to include stories about the busy three-way intersection of publishing, media and the entertainment industry.

Martin and Scott will report to Media Editor Rich Nordwind, as part of his expanded team covering television, radio, publishing and new media. Please join me in wishing them the best in their new posts.

• • • • •

To: The Staff
From: John Montorio--Deputy Managing Editor

I am happy to announce our first appointments to the new writing and
reporting team conceived to refocus and invigorate our style report.

As I mentioned in an announcement last week, this group will include some of the paper's finest feature writers, profile specialists and reporters with the ability to work off the news. They will play an integral part in the paper's coverage of major events and will be charged with producing high-visibility profiles and stories for Page 1, Column One, our soon-to-be relaunched Sunday magazine and the Calendar sections. They'll be expected to weigh in with a timely feature perspective on an expanded range of newsworthy people and ideas and to function as our department's "SWAT Team" when news breaks.

The group's initial members will be Senior Feature Correspondents Robin Abcarian, Tina Daunt, Reed Johnson and Anne-Marie O'Connor. Steven Barrie-Anthony will join the team as a Feature Writer. Here's a little about each of them:

Robin Abcarian joined The Times in 1990 as a general assignment feature writer in the View section. Upon Jack Smith's semi-retirement two years later, she became the section's featured columnist. In 1997, she left The Times for a stint as a morning drive-time host on a talk radio station. She returned to The Times in 1999 as an editor in the features section and became editor of the Southern California Living section, then Style Editor. She returned to writing at the beginning of 2004 and covered the presidential campaign, starting with the Iowa caucuses in January. During the campaign, she traveled with President Bush, John Kerry, Teresa Heinz Kerry, John Edwards and the Rev. Al Sharpton, and covered both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Robin's life before The Times included assignments as columnist and fashion editor at the Detroit Free Press.

Tina Daunt has been a reporter at The Times since 1989. In the years since, she has produced dozens of front page stories while covering a variety of highly competitive beats, including the LA County Sheriff's Department, the City Council and the mayor's office. Among the most memorable were her pieces on abuses inside the LA County jails and her exclusive report on the content of the consent decree settling the Justice Department's investigation of the LAPD for civil rights violations. More recently, Tina has shifted her focus to timely profiles, including Sheriff Lee Baca, LAPD Chief Bill Bratton, embattled PR executive Doug Dowie (who gave her an interview while driving 90 mph and listening to the Allman Brothers on I-5); reporter Gary Webb, mayoral candidate Bernard Parks and mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa.

Before joining the paper, she worked for two years as a reporter for the Arizona Republic, where she covered the Phoenix Police Department.

Reed Johnson joined The Times' Southern California Living section in 2000 and soon became a feature writer and columnist reporting on significant cultural and intellectual issues. For the past year, he has served as Calendar's first foreign-based staff writer, working out of Mexico City and ranging throughout Latin America as a prolific reporter and analyst of lifestyle and cultural issues. Before joining The Times, Reed worked as a feature writer and movie and theater critic for the Times-Union in Rochester, NY., the Detroit News and the Daily News of Los Angeles. He also has written for American Theatre magazine and Ad Week.

Anne-Marie O'Connor came to The Times as a reporter in 1996 and was assigned to cover the U.S.-Mexican border when the struggle over control of the drug trade in Tijuana fueled numerous gangland-style assassinations of Mexican police chiefs and prosecutors. She moved to Los Angeles in 1998 as a general assignment reporter in Metro and, more recently, shifted to Features, where she has chronicled everything from political fund-raising in Hollywood to intrigues of the city's Iranian immigrant community. She began her career at UPI in 1982, working in Mexico City and Miami before becoming a Reuters Central America bureau chief based in Honduras to cover the Contra war and other regional conflicts. She reported on Peru's Shining Path guerrillas for Reuters; on the dissolution of the Contras as a Miami Herald staffer; and on such countries as Cuba and Haiti as a Latin American correspondent for the Cox Newspaper chain. Anne-Marie also has written for Esquire and The Nation.

Steven Barrie-Anthony joined The Times as a Calendar section intern in 2003 and, for the past year, has been a staff writer in Home. He recently joined the Style staff to write daily features and cultural pieces for Calendar. In his new assignment, Steven will focus on rapid reactions to breaking news events and other daily stories requiring a quick turnaround.

As previously announced, all the members of this new team will report to Bret Israel, who will guide them through the launch of this important new project and assist in our search for a permanent editor for the group. The breadth of experience, talent and intellectual ability these five bring to their new assignments is impressive, and we hope to add to their number in the months ahead. Please join me in wishing them every success.

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