Switching beats at the Times

New religion and higher education reporters, a philanthropy beat, a reporter for the South Bay and Long Beach and Jeff Rabin moves off the city ethics and developer influence beat. More in the memo from Assistant Managing Editor Janet Clayton after the jump.

From: Clayton, Janet
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 3:42 PM
To: yyMetro
Subject: beats


I recently sent a message asking you to let me know if there was a beat that interested you. I received quite a few responses, and they tell me that there's a strong desire among staffers to grow as journalists and to flex different writing muscles.
To that end---and, of course, to ensure that our California coverage remains the vital and indispensable source that it is---we're making some adjustments in beats and coverage. Starting in the new year, the following staffers will have new beats:

Louis Sahagun, who has written thought-provoking stories on religion since the retirement early this year of Larry Stammer, will now return to a geographically-based beat, covering the greater South Bay and Long Beach area. Louis, deeply experienced at breaking news and enterprise, will help bolster our commitment to local news and capturing life in Southern California.

Rebecca Trounson will move from higher education to religion. The beat will allow Becky to draw upon her experience as a Middle East correspondent, writing about Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities, as well as less-known faith traditions.

To round out our coverage of higher education, Larry Gordon, who has been writing about ideas and academic research, will expand his role, focusing on UCLA, USC and other major universities in the region. He'll join Richard Paddock, who is based in San Francisco and began covering higher education this fall.
Rick, Larry, Becky and Louis still will report to Steve Padilla.

Evelyn Larrubia, one of the reporters on the prize-winning conservator series, will work with other education reporters on an in-depth look at schools. She' ll report to Beth Shuster.

Jeff Rabin, who covered city ethics and the influence of developers for the city-county bureau, will return to covering regional growth. He' ll bring his attention for detail to the billions of dollars that are expected for new infrastructure and report how the plans will affect Southern California. He'll report to Julie Marquis and Carlos Lozano.

Ron Lin, who covered several big health issues this year, including the tainted spinach scare, will work as general assignment with focus on stories that spring from the city and its suburbs. He> '> ll work Tuesday-Saturday for weekend editors Don Hunt and Stephanie Chavez.

Paul Pringle, who this year worked on projects, political campaigns and profiles of allegedly murderous grannies, will start a hard news beat covering philanthropy in Southern California. He' ll report to Alice Short.

Andrew Blankstein, who this year has reported dozens and dozens of law enforcement stories, including the Mel Gibson rant and the saga of Anthony Pellicano, will shift to early morning general assignment, covering a variety of breaking news. He' ll report to Laura Greanias.

We've made a few other new reporter/editor pairings recently; a revised staff list, coming soon from Meredith Goodman, will bring things up to date. News is dynamic and of course we'll adjust coverage and editing as needed. Most staffers are attached to either a topic or geographic beat, though never limited by it.

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