LAT gears up for 2008 campaign

There will be a new lineup of Los Angeles Times editors managing coverage of the next presidential race. The desk will be bicoastal: one editor in Washington, one here in L.A.. National editor Scott Kraft's memo follows:

Sent: Friday, December 08, 2006 2:37 PM
To: yyeditall
Subject: Tom Furlong and Aaron Zitner -- National Political Editors

To: The Staff
From: Scott Kraft

I'm pleased to announce that Tom Furlong in Los Angeles and Aaron Zitner in Washington will jointly direct the paper's coverage of the 2008 Presidential Campaign.

The campaign is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in a generation, and we believe the best way to harness the considerable resources of The Times to cover it is by appointing co-political editors.

In Washington, Aaron will be the primary manager for the East Coast-based political reporters and congressional team. He will rely heavily on the experience of Don Frederick, political editor in 2004, and will coordinate closely with National Investigations Editor Marilyn Thompson.

In Los Angeles, Tom will work with correspondents around the nation, Mark Barabak and other West Coast political reporters, and reporters borrowed from other parts of the paper for temporary duty on the political team. He'll also work closely with California Political Editor Cathy Decker, relying on her vast experience in national and state politics. Tom will be the primary contact for senior editors in Los Angeles, and he will remain deputy national editor.

This will give us a senior editor in charge of the coverage from the start of business each morning on the East Coast to the close of business on the West Coast, where our coverage will highlight the critical role California will play in the upcoming race. In addition, it will put us in a better position to coordinate coverage of a race in which three of the candidates considered among the most likely to run sit on a single Senate committee, three are based in New York and one is a former house speaker who still works in Washington.

Both editors will report to the national editor, who will supervise the overall campaign coverage.

Tom and Aaron bring a wealth of experience to their new roles.

Tom has been deputy national editor since 1998. He spent much of his previous career in Business, the first 12 years as a reporter and the last 16 as an editor. He started his career with the City News Bureau in Chicago and later worked at various papers, including the Chicago Daily News, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Long Beach Press-Telegram. He has a bachelor's degree from Denison University in Ohio.

Aaron, an assistant national editor in Washington, joined the bureau in 2000 as a reporter covering bio-medical issues. He came to The Times from the Boston Globe, where he spent 12 years as a reporter, first on the metro staff and later covering technology, business and economics. He began his career at the weekly Arlington (Mass.) Advocate. Aaron has a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College in Ohio.

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