New York Times

NYT grabs LAT sports writer *

It was less than a year ago that L.A. Times Sports Editor Randy Harvey praised his hire of young Metro reporter Jonathan Abrams to cover the Clippers. Now it's the New York Times trumpeting the same hire, except that Abrams no longer has to cover the Clips. NYT Sports Editor Tom Jolly and deputy Sandy Keenan say in their announcement today that "Jonathan will cover some pro football for us in his first few weeks on the staff and then join Howard Beck in covering pro basketball. He starts on Sept. 8. As is our custom, we asked him to introduce himself." Here's Abrams' self-introduction.

Jonathan Abrams joins the New York Times after spending three years at the paper formerly known as the Los Angeles Times. After a year covering the Clippers (yes, there is professional basketball beyond the Lakers in Los Angeles) and honing his skills reporting on a team that loses three out of four games, he is confident the same skills can transfer over to the Knicks, when necessary.

Before covering the Clippers, Jonathan was a metro reporter for the L.A. Times, where he grew weary of white-knuckled drives up curvy
mountains and through falling debris to cover the weekly wildfire.

Jonathan graduated from the University of Southern California in 2005, where the football players earn a higher salary than most professors, but they have to because there is no N.F.L. in Los Angeles.

Jonathan was born in California. Went to school in California. Had his first kiss in California. Worked in California. So, it's time for a change. Good bye, palm trees. Hello, four seasons.

Beck was himself a NYT grab from a Los Angeles sports staff, but his hire in 2004 was definitely the route less traveled: to the New York Times from the Los Angeles Daily News.

* Abrams clarifies: He didn't know his introductory message at the NYT would get out and would like to say:

I wrote a tongue-in-cheek intro and was not trying to take any swipes at the Los Angeles Times. I, like a lot of people there, saw a number of friends leave the paper in recent weeks and past years. The "formerly" comment was made as an ode to friends and colleagues who are no longer working there.

It would be foolish to argue that the losses of so many fine journalists and people have not affected the paper. That said, the newspaper still boasts one of the finest staffs in the country and I would never want to diminish the significance, contributions or importance of a staff that continually works their tails off every day to produce such a paper, in light of the industry's woes.

The Los Angeles Times propped me when I would have fallen, believed in me when I didn't believe in myself and paved a path for me that I would have never found otherwise. For that, I am eternally thankful.

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