Editor Russ Stanton just sent the newsroom the word that the L.A. Times foreign staff will now be a Tribune operation, run out of Los Angeles with reporters from the Times and the Chicago Tribune. I'm hearing it involves substantial movement of existing LAT correspondents and some departures of those who did not accept assignment back to Los Angeles. Stanton's memo puts the changeover in the historical context, which is appropriate since the foreign staff was a big reason the Times has been considered one of the country's top papers.
From: Stanton, Russ
Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 2:02 PM
Subject: New Tribune Foreign staff
The Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune are unifying their foreign reporting operations to provide Tribune papers and websites with the enterprising overseas coverage that has brought such distinction to both news organizations.
Both have great traditions of reporting from abroad. The Chicago Tribune began sending correspondents into the field at the turn of the 20th century, and has been home to such fabled correspondents as Wilfred Barber and William Shirer. Under publisher Otis Chandler, the Los Angeles Times built a network of foreign correspondents that was at the forefront of the paperís commitment to excellence, producing talented reporters from David Lamb and Michael Parks.
The new Tribune foreign operation will uphold that great legacy.
The joint operation will be run from Los Angeles, where the bulk of the editing staff is currently based, in consultation with editors in Chicago and across the Tribune family. The staff will be consist of LA Times and Chicago Tribune correspondents, strategically based around the world, who will emphasize original reporting, delivered in a unique voice for both print and online audiences. Their mix of daily news and features will meet our readersí expectations for sophisticated reporting and writing from the outside the United States.
The foreign report will continue to be distributed on the LA Times-Washington Post News Service and to the Tribune family of papers and websites in a daily, ready-to-publish World and Nation report produced in Chicago. Our stories and reports will reach millions more digitally, be it online, via mobile devices or eEdition delivery.
We are proud of the many brave and talented correspondents upon whose shoulders we stand. Several generations of foreign correspondents from both the Times and Tribune have covered wars and upheaval, from Africa in the 1930s to Vietnam and the horrors of 21st century Baghdad. They have reported through global economic depressions and have chronicled political and social changes from the capitals of Europe to villages in Asia. The current global turmoil demands that we continue to provide lively journalism that explains, enlightens and entertains existing readers and new audiences alike. The new Tribune foreign operation will meet that challenge.
One correspondent, reportedly Baghdad bureau chief Tina Susman, will relocate to New York to replace national reporter Erika Hayasaki, who confirms she raised her hand to leave the paper. Earlier, we reported that Chris Kraul and Ashraf Khalil were leaving the Times (from Bogota and Jerusalem) and Sebastian Rotella was contemplating a return to Los Angeles from Spain. ( Update: Rotella is going to the Tribune Washington bureau to report on national security, and Kraul sends word that he continues to discuss his future with the Times in Bogota.)