Eastward ho

Safe to say the trend of New York Times staffers leaving the gray lady for brighter, more optimistic futures at the Los Angeles Times is over. As ex-editor Dean Baquet puts it in the current New York magazine, "There was a period in the lifetime of the New York Times where people wanted to work somewhere else. That period is now gone." That the tyrannical Howell Raines is out of the picture is part of it, but with the crashing of the Baquet era at the LAT if anything the flow between coasts will be eastward. (Speaking of, former LAT rising star Charles Duhigg has a byline today in the NYT business section.)

The names to watch are the former NYTers who came to Los Angeles because of Baquet and his predecessor, John Carroll. Tops among them are managing editor Doug Frantz, who has told the LAT newsroom he is staying, and associate editor John Montorio, who immigrated west from Times Square to run features and has apparently been mum about his plans. He brought deputy features editor Michalene Busico along. Also among the stranded-in-LAT Land are national correspondents Sam Howe Verhovek and Kevin Sack. Editorial Page Editor Andrés Martinez, his deputy Michael Newman and op-ed editor Nicholas Goldberg are a separate case in that they work directly for new publisher David Hiller. Martinez, however, came west to work for Michael Kinsley — how long ago it seems that Kinsley was the Times' most desperate hire — and was promoted into the top job by deposed publisher Jeffrey Johnson. So I guess Martinez could be seen as a possible walk-away too. Let's all come back in a year and see who's left.

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