Backfilling after buyouts at LAT

The Metro staff at the Times will lose fifteen reporters and editors on Friday, spurring a couple of internal moves and plans to hire some replacements. Three staffers — Jenifer Warren, Bob Salladay and Rone Tempest — leave the Sacramento bureau alone. I'll fill in the names from other departments as I get them, but the departures noted in the following memo confirm that the preliminary list we posted on May 15 was pretty accurate. Memo from assistant managing editor Janet Clayton:

From: Clayton, Janet
Sent: Tue 5/29/2007 1:07 PM
Subject: FW: Returning to the California section

Colleagues, we all know that the buyout and layoffs are causing us to lose some wonderful reporters and editors soon. The Los Angeles Times will miss the news, investigative and feature stories that were written over the years by California writers Jenifer Warren, Rone Tempest, Bob Salladay, Ralph Frammolino, Bob Sipchen, Mike Kennedy, Jean Guccione, Nancy Cleeland, Nancy Wride, Roy Rivenburg, Gary Polakovic, Mai Tran and Val Reitman. The editing guidance from Frank Clifford and Laura Greanias also will a be sorely missed. To everyone who will be leaving, I want to acknowledge and appreciate their collective contributions to making this paper great.

I believe that we will all pull together to keep this paper great. In the next several weeks we'll be rejiggering some assignments to ensure that we continue our signature work in covering the region and the state. We expect some hires. Please give us your patience, creative ideas and cooperation as we think it through. Message or talk to me, Sue or Steve if you have an inspiration. In the meantime, we're happy to announce that two valuable colleagues who have been in other assignments are rejoining us in Metro on June 4.

Efrain Hernandez will join the desk as L.A. Regions editor, helping us to stay on top of the "big picture" stories in our coverage of the suburbs, with a focus on the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. Efrain, who has been Metpro director for the last five years, returns to this department, where he was acting city editor in the San Fernando Valley edition, an assistant Metro editor and a staff writer. Prior to the Times, Efrain worked for the Boston Globe, the Harford Courant, and Hispanic Link News Service. He's a graduate of Boston University.

Ann Simmons, a California staff writer until she joined National in New Orleans last year, will return to the L.A.-based staff. Ann, who's written extensively about the slow rebuilding effort and the huge challenges facing New Orleans, will return to general assignment for now. Before working in the California section, Ann was based in Nairobi and Johannesburg for the Times. She worked for seven years as a correspondent for Time Magazine. Ann is a graduate of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.

Please give a warm "welcome back" to Efrain and Ann. We'll announce other additions in the coming weeks.


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