Times goes on hiring binge

Nothing punctuates buyouts under the threat of layoffs like some new hires. While the top suits contemplate how many of last week's rush to the exits to accept, two additions to the editorial staff were announced today. One fills the Peter Nicholas reporter opening in Sacramento; the other is a photographer. Both memos follow after the jump.

To: The Staff
From: Janet Clayton, Assistant Managing Editor
I am very pleased to announce that Michael Rothfeld will join our Sacramento Bureau late this summer. He'll replace Peter Nicholas, who is transferring to our Washington bureau early next month.

Michael comes from Newsday, where he has worked since 2000 covering government, politics and many other local, state, national and foreign subjects. He is currently a member of the paper's investigative/enterprise team. Among other accomplishments, his reporting revealed secret raises budgeted by county lawmakers and led to the criminal conviction of a minister who skimmed money from homeless shelters. He also covered the national saga of an Alabama teen missing in Aruba.

Michael followed the 2004 presidential campaigns of John Edwards and Wesley Clark; covered last year's race for New York governor; and reported from Israel on parliamentary elections, the formation of the Palestinian cabinet and the war with Hezbollah. He has also worked as an editor.

Before going to Newsday, Michael was a staff writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where his reporting was credited with reversing a hospital policy that encouraged eviction of Alzheimer's patients.

Michael has a journalism degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and a B.A. in history, also from Columbia. He speaks Spanish and what he calls "serviceable" Hebrew. He'll be a terrific asset to our Sacramento Bureau.

o - o - o

To: The Staff
From: Colin Crawford, Assistant Managing Editor

I am pleased to announce that Barbara Davidson, a senior staff photographer at the Dallas Morning News, will be joining The Times as a staff photographer. Barbara comes to us with extensive foreign and domestic photojournalism experience. Her work has been recognized nationally and internationally with numerous honors.

At the Morning News, Barbara covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other conflicts in the Middle East. Additional international stories have taken her to The Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Yemen, Bosnia and Northern Ireland. In 2005 she documented the tsunami in Indonesia, the death of Pope John Paul II and Hurricane Katrina. Domestically she has covered presidential campaigns and conventions and a number of important stories throughout the state of Texas.

Barbara has an impressive list of awards. Most recently, she and a team of photographers from the Dallas Morning News won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for their body of work depicting the pain and chaos after Hurricane Katrina. Last year she was named Newspaper Photographer of The Year by POYi, Pictures of the Year International.

Barbara grew up in Montreal and graduated from Concordia University with a bachelor of fine arts degree in photography and film studies. In 1996 she moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the Washington Times. In 1999 she joined the staff of the Dallas Morning News.

Barbara will be starting in June. Please join me in welcoming her to our staff.

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