LAT makes big hire a week after layoffs

Bad timing dept: The Times has hired former WSJ staffer Laurie McGinley as Washington enterprise editor, which is fine, but it comes in the wake of a small but significant round of cuts. Here's the memo from Washington Bureau Chief David Lauter:

Greetings all, I’m delighted to announce that Laurie McGinley, a highly regarded editor with deep experience in Washington, will be joining the Washington bureau as our enterprise editor. A number of you in Washington know Laurie, but for those who don’t, she spent many years in the Wall St. Journal’s Washington bureau, where she worked as a reporter – covering health care, among other issues – and then as an editor, assistant bureau chief and deputy bureau chief for global economics. Three years ago, she left the Journal to become the founding editor of Kaiser Health News, an independent news service on health-care policy funded by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which she has built into one of the best of the recent crop of foundation-supported independent news organizations. As a reporter, she was part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1997 for coverage of breakthrough AIDS medications. As an editor, she has guided work on most of the major domestic policy issues of the past couple of decades – health care, energy, the environment, trade and international economics among others. As part of our bureau, Laurie will oversee our long-term and medium-term enterprise efforts. She’ll work directly with several reporters, but also will be available to work with other editors on longer-term stories. Laurie’s skills, experience and knowledge of Washington and federal policy are formidable, and an editor of her strengths will be a terrific addition to our operation. She’ll start in mid-September. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming her aboard.

In fairness, the Times remains a big news operation, with lots of puzzle parts not always moving in the same direction. Companies do hire and layoff at the same time. But I can appreciate how some of the folks inside the newsroom might feel - not to mention the ones who were let go.

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