LAT shuffles Opinion deck

Two new editorial writers, an online editor and an articles editor for op-ed in on the second floor at the L.A. Times, and some other names headed out. Plus the "visiting fellow" status that has been used a couple of times will be shelved. The memo to the staff from opinion editor Andrés Martinez follows.

October 4, 2006
From: Andres Martinez,
Editor, Editorial/Opinion Pages

To: The Editorial Staff

I'm pleased to announce some staff additions to the opinion pages.

Tim Cavanaugh will join the Times as opinion web editor on Nov. 6. Tim has been Reason magazine's web editor since 2002. Prior to that he edited the popular satirical site for Wired Digital/Lycos. Prior to the dot-com revolution, Tim covered the old economy, writing about the chemical industry for Chemical Marketing Reporter in the early 1990s. He has also been a prolific freelancer for publications ranging from the L.A. Times to the Beirut Daily Star. Tim is a versatile writer, editor and techie who will coordinate the newspaper's online opinion offerings. He is a graduate of Rutgers and a native of Atlantic City, N.J.

Robin Rauzi, who has been working as an assistant travel editor since 2004, will join the op-ed staff as an articles editor on Oct. 16. Robin joined the Times' Valley Edition as a features writer in 1995, and came to work in Calendar as the assistant Calendar Weekend editor in 1998. In 2002 and 2003, she left the paper and spent a year traveling through Europe. She returned to the paper in late 2003 to work in a variety of editing jobs in Calendar. She has also written travel stories and has served as editor of the Western Travel page since it was launched last year. She has a degree in cinema-television from the University of Southern California and a master's degree in journalism from Ohio University.

Michael McGough will join the Times as senior editorial writer on Nov. 1. Michael has been a visiting fellow on the editorial board since the spring, and has made himself indispensable by writing the most thoughtful editorials in the country on the wrestling between Congress and the administration over NSA wiretaps and such "quaint" matters as the Geneva Convention. Michael was for many years the editorial page editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and also covered the Supreme Court for that newspaper. Michael has been a prolific contributor over the years to The New Republic, Slate and other publications. During the Kinsley era in our department, Michael wrote a religion column for our op-ed page. Michael will be working in Washington, alongside Sonni Efron, an editorial board member who covers foreign policy issues. Call it the DC bureau's opinion pod. Michael is a native of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Allegheny College.

Lisa Richardson, a general assignment reporter, will become an editorial writer on Oct. 23. Lisa joined the Times 14 years ago. She initially covered the harbor and gangs out of the old South Bay bureau in Torrance. Then in 1995 she moved to the Orange County edition, where she covered welfare reform, social services and education. She joined the Metro staff in 2001. On the editorial board, Lisa will write about education, crime, healthcare and other subjects. Before coming to the Times, Lisa worked at the Hartford Courant and before that, the Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass. Lisa is a graduate of Dartmouth College and grew up in the Boston area.

That's the good news. The bad news is that we are not growing the department (alas) -- some valued colleagues are moving on....

Michael Soller, as many of you know, is now working at the ACLU. Mary Engel, whose prose graced the editorial page on issues ranging from local politics to the malaria epidemic in Africa, has moved on to the newsroom after a Knight Fellowship at MIT. Dan Costello, after writing doggedly-reported editorials on L.A.'s homeless crisis and other healthcare issues over the course of this year, is headed back to the newsroom next month. As for the visiting fellow slot on the editorial board, it will be retired with McGough's hire.

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