LAT

New National Editor at LAT too

Scott Kraft will move aside after the election to the new position of senior editor and roving correspondent — the special deals didn't end with Sam Zell, it seems — and Roger Smith becomes National Editor. Smith was my former colleague and office mate as senior projects editor. Also, science editor Ashley Dunn becomes deputy in National. The long memo from Editor Russ Stanton is after the jump. (Followed by a note about a National editor relocating to Features.)

To: The Staff
From: Russ Stanton, Editor

Scott Kraft, Senior Editor

National Editor Scott Kraft, who has directed many of our top stories and nurtured some of our most gifted writers for the last 11 years, will be taking on a new assignment in mid-November after running one more major story -- the 2008 presidential campaign.

Scott will become a senior editor and roving correspondent, working with writers to continue our storytelling tradition and returning to his first love: writing national and foreign enterprise pieces.

During Scott's tenure, the National staff won four Pulitzer Prizes -- two in feature writing Barry Siegel's 2002 portrait of a man tried for negligence in the death of his son and J.R. Moehringer's poetic recounting of Gee's Bend in 1997); one for national reporting (Kevin Sack and Alan Miller's investigation of the Harrier jet in 2002) and one for investigative reporting (David Willman's 2000 investigation into FDA approval of seven drugs suspected of causing the deaths of more than 1,000 patients). Scott has directed our coverage of many major stories, including 9/11, Columbine, the Clinton impeachment, the 2000 Florida recount, Katrina, the space shuttle crash and the Virginia Tech massacre. He also co-directed coverage of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Scott became an editor after a distinguished career as a national and foreign correspondent, with postings in Chicago, Nairobi, Johannesburg and Paris. Among the major stories he covered were the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, the first democratic elections in South Africa, the ill-fated American military mission in Somalia and the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He has written more than 100 Column Ones for the paper, and his piece on the AIDS epidemic in Zimbabwe won the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Foreign Correspondence in 1992.

As an editor, Scott has been skilled at persuading disparate staffs to work in harmony as well as helping individual writers produce their best work. Because of his talent and dedication, our reputation for first-class national and foreign coverage remains secure. We look forward to his help in building the next generation of writers and editors who can strengthen that tradition.


Roger Smith, National Editor

Roger Smith, senior projects editor since 1998, will become national editor on Nov. 10, the week after the general election.

Roger has been in charge of Column One stories from Metro, Business, Calendar and Sports for the last seven years. During that time he also handled several notable projects for the paper, including the 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning series on the flaws in the Harrier jet, and David Willman's Pulitzer-winning story in 2000 on seven deadly drugs approved by the FDA.

He is well acquainted with National. He was deputy national editor from 1990 to 1998 and directed the national political desks in 1988 and 1992. He joined National as an assistant editor in 1984.

Roger was one of the first editors to embrace the drive to improve our website; he's been attending the weekly planning meetings at latimes.com for more than a year and has helped boost Web add-ons for Column One and other projects he's handled. His impressive journalistic accomplishments notwithstanding, Roger is best known for his relentlessly upbeat and courteous disposition -- if he's had a bad day in his 31 years at The Times, it has gone undetected.

He joined the paper in 1977 as a business reporter, and moved to Metro as a general assignment writer two years later before becoming an assistant metro editor in 1981. On his first day running the morning shift, the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas caught fire, and Roger learned what flooding the zone with reporters was all about.

He was a writer for BusinessWeek in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., before coming to The Times. He graduated from USC with a degree in journalism.

Roger will report to Managing Editor Davan Maharaj.


Ashley Dunn, Deputy Editor, National

Ashley Dunn, science editor since 2002, is joining the national staff as deputy editor, effective immediately.

Over the past six years, Ashley has overseen the build-up of our Science report, supervising a staff of five reporters whose coverage included groundbreaking stories on global warming, genetics, bird flu and space, including the "Butterfly on Bullet" series on the Columbia shuttle disaster that was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. During his stint in Science, he also ate cloned beef, learned to spell Staphylococcus, broke a piece of space shuttle foam and determined that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is really in La Canada Flintridge.

Ashley joined The Times in 1986 as a suburban reporter in the San Gabriel Valley and then moved to Metro, participating in coverage of the Los Angeles riots, the Loma Prieta earthquake, and the Reginald Denny trial among other stories. He later joined the New York Times as a Metro reporter and was part of the crew that launched the newspaper's website, writing the technology column, "Mind and Machine."

After being beaten down by cold winters and long bus commutes, he returned to the Los Angeles Times as a business reporter and later became deputy editor of Tech Times, a weekly section on personal technology.

He previously worked as an intern at the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong and as a reporter at the Danbury News-Times in Connecticut and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He has a bachelor's degree in English from UC Berkeley, but over the years has come to know much more about home plumbing, Porsche maintenance and computer repair.

And from Leo Wolinsky, the Associate Editor who oversees Features:

Iím very pleased to announce that Millie Quan will join the features staff in the new position of senior features editor.

In this post, Millie will take charge of a team of writers whose goal will be to broaden the kinds of coverage that appears in our sections as well as get more feature work into Column 1 and on Page 1. Millie will help select the team and also work with the editors of each of our sections to develop more front page offerings.

As assistant national editor for enterprise, Millie has had the good fortune to work with many of the paperís outstanding reporters on some of its biggest stories, including the Columbia shuttle disaster, Hurricane Katrina and the Virginia Tech shootings. (Not that disasters follow her wherever she goes, but she is prepared if the Hollywood Sign suddenly tumbles into Beachwood Canyon.)

Last year, she edited nearly 70 stories that appeared in Column 1 and dozens of other A1 stories.

Millie joined the Times in March 1998 as an assignment editor in business, where she counted one Davan Maharaj among her reporters. She was later named political editor and ran coverage of the 2000 campaign.

Before coming to the Times, she was an assistant managing editor at the Seattle Times, and she also had worked at a variety of publications in Oregon, including the Oregonian.


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