I'm told that Times publisher David Hiller did make some news-driven exceptions to last Friday's buyout departure date. L.A. Times Poll director Susan Pinkus and deputy Jill Darling will be staying through the November election. Also, at least one editor on the National desk is staying through most of April to help out on politics coverage. But not politics desk chief Tom Furlong, the deputy national editor. He's joining Sitrick and Company, where several ex-Times journalists have jumped to the crisis PR biz. (Today's Sitrick release after the jump.)
Finally, I'm told that Hiller personally cancelled the termination of community tours in the Times building after being educated as to their PR value. Longtime tour guide Darrel Kunitomi (also an actor seen on Seinfeld and other places) will be staying.
Award-winning newsman Thomas C. Furlong is joining Sitrick And Company, the Century City-based public relations company, as a Member of the Firm.
Mr. Furlong is the latest of a long list of award-winning journalists to join Sitrick, whose roster of executives includes former reporters and editors from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Bloomberg and CBS Television News.
Mr. Furlong is the third distinguished L.A. Times journalist to join Sitrick in the past year. He joins Glenn F. Bunting, former senior deputy business editor and award-winning investigative reporter, and James Bates, former deputy business editor for entertainment and award-winning business writer.
Mr. Furlong brings more than three decades of news and management experience to his new position—most of it spent as a business reporter and national news editor for the L.A. Times. He spent the past decade as Deputy National Editor, including the last 24 months as supervising editor for the paper’s national political coverage. He retired from the paper last week.
Mr. Furlong spent his reporting career at The Times covering banking, real estate, gambling and white-collar crime. He won numerous awards for his coverage of the collapse of the nation’s savings and loan industry in the 1980s. He wrote numerous profile and investigative pieces on the major players in California business circles, including Orange County real estate tycoon Donald Bren, Los Angeles hotelier Severyn Ashkenazy and homebuilder Kaufman & Broad.
A native of Chicago, Mr. Furlong worked as a crime reporter for the City News Bureau, a sports reporter for the Evanston Review and business writer for the Chicago Daily News and Sun-Times.
Mr. Furlong comes from a family of news gatherers and Irish storytellers. His father, Thomas R. Furlong, was a prominent reporter and editor at the Chicago Tribune. His claim to fame was that he scooped the nation with the news that President Roosevelt was going to declare a bank holiday. The senior Furlong learned the news from the head of Marshall Field & Co. as both were standing next to each other in a Washington D.C. hotel bathroom.
The younger Thomas Furlong is a single father who lives with his three college-age children in northern Orange County. He starts his new posting on April 14.
While Sitrick handles a wide spectrum of matters, the firm is best known for its work on high-profile cases. These include the successful defense of Patricia Dunn, former chairman of HP; Roy Disney’s withhold campaign against Michael Eisner; its work for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and The Getty; its representation of the Grammys during the writers’ strike, and its representation of Ron Burkle in the Jared Stern matter.