Farewell notes from two L.A. Times stars

One of the challenges facing new L.A. Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein will be stopping the brain drain of top journalists who see no future in a Sam Zell-run media venture. Two of the Times' local reporting stars, Tracy Weber and Charles Ornstein, checked out Friday. They won the Pulitzer in 2005 for detailing the deaths and other problems at King-Drew Medical Center that led to the hospital being shuttered. As reported in July, Weber and Ornstein quit together to join ProPublica, the non-profit investigative reporting organization that is trying to fill the void left by weakened (or collapsing) newspapers. Their exit emails to the newsroom Friday are after the jump.

From: Ornstein, Charles
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 4:03 PM
Subject: Farewell

Colleagues and friends,

It has been a real privilege to work alongside you these past seven years. Whether we have collaborated on stories or served together on internal committees, I have been struck by your intelligence, ethics and professionalism. Although I will soon be on the East Coat, you are only a phone call or e-mail away. I hope we can stay in touch and, more important, I look forward to watching the Times continue to excel and prove the naysayers wrong.

Keep in touch.


From: Weber, Tracy
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 4:10 PM
Subject: bye

It's time to go…but not without saying how proud I've been to work with such enormously talented colleagues and dear, funny, witty and appropriately wicked friends. This has been a grand place to work in every way. Thanks to you all. Please come visit when you are in New York.

Tracy Weber

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