LAT health editor gets corporate promotion *

Tami Dennis, health and science editor at the Los Angeles Times, is getting new Tribune-wide responsibilities and the title of vice president of health content for Tribune Company. She will coordinate health coverage at Tribune newspapers, television stations and websites and produce a new national health blog. Looks like the Tribune has decided it wants health news and information to be a money maker going forward. Memo from the editors of the Times and Chicago Tribune after the jump.

* Update: Rosie Mestel named to replace Dennis as health and science editor. That memo also follows.

From: Tribune Communications Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2010 10:15 AM Subject: Introducing the New VP/Health Content


Last year, we identified the topic of health as a prime opportunity for Tribune Company to expand its reach as both a provider of news and information and as a host for advertisers in this burgeoning field to reach large and attractive audiences. This month, our newsrooms are accelerating those efforts by better coordinating our formidable resources to reach consumers however they choose to get their information: print, broadcast, online, mobile, social networking and events.

Leading the charge will be Tami Dennis, health and science editor of the Los Angeles Times, who today is being promoted to vice president of health content for Tribune Company. She will oversee this multi-channel strategy with the goal of making Tribune a leading provider of health news and information both nationally and in each of the markets it serves.

In addition to coordinating the health coverage of our newspapers, television stations and their respective websites, Tami will be responsible for the site we launched last year, streaming our health coverage to the Media On Demand team in Chicago, and producing a new national health blog. She also will supervise the HealthKey content team in Chicago, which is led by Nicole Voges.

Joining Tami in leading this effort is a Health Intelligence Team consisting of George Papajohn, asst. managing editor of the Chicago Tribune; Dave Rosenthal, head of Maryland news at the Baltimore Sun; Gretchen Day-Bryant, lifestyle topics editor at the Sun-Sentinel; Kim Marcum, Local Life topics editor at the Orlando Sentinel, Naedine Hazell, editor of the Hartford Courant; Mike Hirsch, entertainment and life topic editor of the Allentown Morning Call, and Karen Morgan, features editor at the Newport News Daily Press; Dick Cooper, whose oversees health coverage in our Washington DC bureau; Pat McMahon, asst. business editor, Los Angeles Times; Colin McMahon, national content editor of Media on Demand and Stephen Waldon, product director of HealthKey. For Tribune Broadcasting, a representative will be named in the near future.

Tami has been The Times’ health editor since 2005, and added science coverage as part of a newsroom restructuring in 2008. She joined the paper in 1996 as a copy editor on the Metro desk, and has worked on the state, national and education desks before becoming deputy health editor in 1999. Before joining The Times, Tami worked at the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit Journal and Detroit Sunday Journal, the Macon Telegraph and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Tami graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism and minor in political science. Earlier this year, she was one of two editors to win The Times’ Assignment Editor of the Year award for greatly expanding the scope and the reach of the newsroom’s health coverage.

Please join us in supporting Tami and her team.

Gerry Kern, Editor, Chicago Tribune
Russ Stanton, Editor, Los Angeles Times
Geoff Melick, HealthKey

And this follow-up.

From: Alice Short, Assistant Managing Editor, Features

Rosie Mestel is our new Health and Science Editor.

She joined The Times as a health writer in 1998 and has been editing for the last five years, first as deputy editor for the Health section and later as deputy editor for science as well. Rosie, who was raised in England, moved to the U.S. to complete a PhD and then a postdoc in genetics before deciding to leave lab work behind. She took a UC Santa Cruz science writing course in 1991, then spent a year as a reporter at Discover magazine before becoming West Coast correspondent for Britain’s New Scientist magazine, a contributing editor for Health magazine and a freelance writer for various other publications. (The rest, as we like to say, is history.)

Rosie plans to continue the strong work of her predecessor, Tami Dennis, and assist in Tami’s new mandate to coordinate the health and science coverage for all of Tribune. As part of that effort, Rosie will be joining the just-announced Health Intelligence Team. In addition, Rosie plans to increase health and science coverage through the Los Angeles Times, on line and in print. She will report to me and will work directly with Tami on the national health initiative.

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