Who's leaving the LAT Poll

Director Susan Pinkus, who's staying, issues a statement after the jump. In addition to the senior staffers she names, something like 90-odd interviewers who work as needed when there is a poll in the field are leaving as of September 19. The Times Poll has been around since 1978, but will now become something less — what, exactly, is hard to tell until we see it.

Also today: Tribune CEO Dennis FitzSimons updated the progress on the sale to Sam Zell and said "we hope to receive a positive response from the FCC in the fourth quarter" about the transfer of TV station licenses that would allow the sale to go through.

From: Pinkus, Susan
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2007 11:10 AM

As Jim O'Shea's email this week said, the Times Poll plans to begin outsourcing the interviewing portion of the poll, starting in September. Because of this decision, the part-time interviewers plus three of the Poll's full-time staff will be leaving. People have been asking about who is leaving and who is staying, so I would like to share with you some information about the staff. They are dedicated and loyal employees who have made the poll one of the most respected in the country.

First, Jill Darling, Associate Director, will be staying. She has been part of the Poll Department for almost 20 years. In addition to putting together sample designs for each poll, she helps design questionnaires, briefs reporters and analyzes the data, among other things. Jill and I will be doing the same high quality of work and look forward to working with reporters on future polls.

The people who are leaving have, in aggregate, more than four decades of working for the Poll.

Roger Richardson is the field director who has supervised interviewing and research staff (for exit polls and special samples such as the priests poll). He has been with the Poll for 25 years. His diligence and attention to the smallest detail contributed to the Poll's creditability and reliability. Perhaps because of this, and good sampling design, the Times poll's methodology is unchallenged.

Claudia Vaughn, who has been with the poll for more than 17 years, is the data management supervisor. She wrote programs for the computer assisted terminals (CATI), which is where the interviewers ask respondents the questions of the survey. She also, loaded data for analysis and assisted in doing secondary research, among other things.

Farnaz Calafi, has worked in the department for more than three years. She is the publications coordinator who works to get out press releases and put together trend documents for the reporters. She has worked closely with the graphics department and with the web site.

I just wanted to say thank you to all of them. I hope you get a chance to stop by to say good-bye to Roger, Claudia and Farnaz.

Susan Pinkus
Director, LA Times Poll

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent LAT stories on LA Observed:
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
Why the LA Times' new theater column needs a new name
Helping in Houston, new lion cubs, Garcetti's back
Memo: New LA Times publisher drops web widget
Warren Olney leaving KCRW's radio lineup
LA Times purge 'capped a month of newsroom turmoil'
As the L.A. Times turns ...


LA Observed on Twitter