New on the desk at Daily News

Senior copy editor Denise Swibold returns to the city desk at the Daily News, replacing departed assistant city editor Aron Miller. The note from city editor John Miller also has some atta-boys for stories, but acknowledges that "every few weeks we seem to be scrambling to adjust to the new order - one where we have fewer people to do essentially the same job of getting out a daily paper with stories we can all be proud of." Memo follows:


I've got a few questions to answer and some things to report. Since it's impossible to get us together these days, I'll do it in a note.

Who's the new Aron?

I'm pleased to announce senior copy editor Denise Swibold will return to the Metro desk to replace Aron Miller. Denise was an ACE when I joined the desk a few years back and she has a strong track record working with reporters. She brings a great eye and a valuable knowledge of the Valley and its surrounding communities to the desk and will be a great asset to reporters. She'll work directly with Dana, Sue, Susan and Jerry, although given our staffing, all of you will get a chance to work with her at one point. Her schedule is Tuesday through Saturday, and she picks up Aron's 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. shift. Her first day will be Tuesday Jan. 27. Harrison remains on the afternoon/night shift and moves to a Sunday through Thursday shift. Dana, who has graciously volunteered to work Sundays these past (i can't remember how many) weeks, will finally move to a Monday-through-Friday schedule. Thanks Dana, we finally figured it out!

Big thanks on inaugural special

We're putting out an impressive 18-page inaugural supplement this Sunday. It's designed to be a pull-out keeper, filled with a lot of great staff work and contributions from sister papers and the wires, so please take a look at it.

Many of your colleagues have been busy the past week or two getting it ready and their work should be acknowledged. Tony and Kevin have done some great inaugural pieces for the special pullout and the main section, beginning Saturday with Tony's piece on Mimi Vitello - the Van Nuys homeowner who hosted Obama last year when he came through the Valley. Connie got us all focused on the inauguration weeks ago when she pitched the idea of traveling to the historic event with a group of fifth and sixth graders from a private school in the Valley. She'll be filing about five stories over the next five days as she travels with the class to D.C. She'll also be blogging and sending photos, time permitting! Many of you have contributed to the Inaugural Voices feature of the special section, in which we ask famous and not-so famous Angelenos to give their views on the big day Tuesday. But special thanks to Rick Orlov, who probably secured half of the 20 or so people quoted.

Where do we go from here?

Every few weeks we seem to be scrambling to adjust to the new order - one where we have fewer people to do essentially the same job of getting out a daily paper with stories we can all be proud of. While things are still rough, there is a commitment from above to keep Metro as strong as we can. We may not be able to hire from outside, but we are trying to keep our numbers stable. The addition of Denise and Kevin before her has allowed us to do that. Metro is the heart of the paper. Our contacts in the community make us more likely to break the kind of local news that matters not only to our local readers but those over the hill and far away (apols for the zep ref). Look at Susan Abram's news beat this week on the problems at the Motion Picture hospital. A nurse called her with the rumors and we were able to break the story within about 24 hours. George and Connie's increasing ties with local schools has already given us great stuff - the Canoga Park High School student needing a leg, Connie's inaugural trip - and they'll continue to be a source of great stories. We're working with sports on a great story we hope to break next week that came from a phone call to a reporter. I'll be sitting down with Oscar next week to go over some thoughts about where we will be heading in the next few months. But whatever we come up with, our success will always come back to solid reporting and boosting our contacts in the community.


Oscar is Oscar Garza, senior editor/content.

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