Change at LAT opinion pages

Jim Newton relinquishes the top spot to go ahead and write his book on Dwight Eisenhower. He'll serve as an editor-at-large. Nick Goldberg ascends from deputy to be editor of the Los Angeles Times editorial pages, effective Sept. 28. I just got back in town, so if there's a big backstory here — like the last time Newton stepped down — I don't know it yet. The memo from publisher Eddy Hartenstein follows. Can you spot the misspelling?

From: Hartenstein, Eddy
Sent: Thursday, September 17, 2009 11:06 AM
To: zzTrbAllHandsLAT; zzMediaGroups
Subject: Editorial Pages Announcement

I am pleased to announce the following changes in management responsibilities of our editorial pages.

Jim Newton, who has served as editor of the editorial pages for more than two years, is stepping down in order to finish up his biography of Dwight Eisenhower. Nick Goldberg, who has ably served as the section's deputy editor, will now become editor, overseeing the editorial board, as well as Op-Ed, Sunday Opinion, letters and our opinion coverage online. He will assume his new responsibilities on Monday, Sept. 28 and report to me.

Starting next week, Jim will scale back his duties. He will relinquish his management of Opinion but remain part of it, becoming editor-at-large, a new masthead position. In that capacity, he will advise on editorial matters, remain a member of the editorial board and will keep writing and editing for the editorial pages, both as an editorial writer and an Op-Ed contributor.

You all know Nick and Jim, so I'll be brief in recapping their credentials. Nick came to The Times in 2003 as Op-Ed editor and later expanded his duties to include Sunday Opinion as well. Last year, he was named deputy editor helping Jim to oversee the department. Before coming to The Times, Nick, a graduate of Harvard, spent many years at Newsday, where he covered the New York statehouse and the 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton, among other assignments. He served as Middle East correspondent from 1995 to 1998. His work has been widely published in America's leading magazines.

Jim next week marks his 20th year at The Times, and over those decades has served as a reporter, bureau chief and editor, writing and shaping coverage from the Mission Viejo City Council to the LAPD to the administration of Mayor Riordan to the statehouse in Sacramento (and writing more than 900 A1 stories along the way). A Dartmouth alumnus, Jim began his career as clerk to James Reston, senior columnist for the New York Times. He also is the author of "Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made."

Since 2007, Jim has set high standards, and has achieved them with the daily and vital assistance of Nick. Our Opinion section reflects their collaboration, which continues now in this new alignment. This transition is a model, as is their work.

Our editorial pages present Los Angeles and California with provocative, thoughtful, literate and conscientious journalism. We publish a bracing range of views in Op-Ed - thanks there to Sue Horton and her colleagues - and supply leadership through our editorials. The result: We are an indispensible voice in the life of California.


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