His beat lasts four stories

Don Woutat doesn't stay long in any job at the Los Angeles Times. But he really didn't stay long as the Times' new correspondent in Las Vegas. He was announced in February, arrived in June and got four stories in the paper. Now he is headed back to Los Angeles, where he has worked several times in a lengthy career, to edit investigative stories on the national desk. The memo that follows from National Editor Scott Kraft says that Woutat is being "redirected" to L.A. to a position "that requires one of our finest editing hands." Also moving is State Editor John Hoeffel, who is headed to the Washington bureau. Both memos after the jump:

To: The Staff
From: Scott Kraft, National Editor

We're very pleased to announce that Don Woutat will join the National desk in Los Angeles next month as an editor handling investigative and other projects from Washington, other national bureaus and from elsewhere in the paper.

After five years working with some of our highest-profile news stories in Washington, Don had planned to return to reporting this summer, as our correspondent in Las Vegas. But we've redirected him to Los Angeles, to a job that requires one of our finest editing hands.

Don joined the paper as the Detroit bureau chief and, in roughly four-year stints over the next 25 years, has done duty as: energy writer in L.A., Detroit bureau chief (twice), business reporter in Sacramento, economics editor in L.A., assignment editor on the National desk in L.A. and, since 2001, assistant national editor in Washington.

In Washington, Don has handled the work of reporters covering Justice and the Supreme Court, as well as projects and investigative pieces. Don's tenure at The Times was broken twice, and briefly, by stints at the Wall Street Journal and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

A native of Grand Forks, N.D., Don got his start at the Fairbanks (Alaska) News-Miner as a reporter. He later worked at the Minneapolis Star, the Wilmington (Del.) News-Journal, the Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of North Dakota.


To: The Staff
From: Doyle McManus, Washington Bureau Chief
Scott Kraft, National Editor

We're delighted to announce that John Hoeffel, currently the state editor on Metro, will be joining the Washington bureau as an editor.

John, who filled in on the Washington desk for two months earlier this year, will join an exceptionally strong team of editors in Washington. His new duties will involve working with, among others, reporters covering the Supreme Court and the Justice Department. He takes up his new post on Sept. 18.

John joined The Times in 2004 as a deputy metro editor, handling city/county news, and took over the staff of seven state correspondents
last year. He came to The Times from the San Jose Mercury News, where he did stints as national and foreign editor, deputy city editor and government and politics editor.

He is no stranger to Washington. His previous reporting experience included 11 years at the Winston-Salem Journal, where he covered education, business and spent six years as the paper's Washington, D.C., correspondent. Earlier, he worked at the Greenville News.

John has bachelor's degrees in history and chemistry from Cornell University and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia.

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