The Los Angeles Times has made official what we noted back on June 18: Phil Willon has moved from the Riverside bureau to be the interim bureau chief in Sacramento. Melanie Mason has also jojned the Sacto bureau from the Washington, DC bureau. And Evan Halper, the former bureau chief in Sacramento, becomes a reporter in Washington. Here's the internal memo:
To: The Staff
From: Ashley Dunn, Assistant Managing Editor | David Lauter, Washington Bureau Chief
We’re pleased to announce these recent internal moves in our Sacramento and Washington bureaus.
Interim Sacramento Bureau Chief: Phil Willon
Phil Willon has joined the Sacramento bureau as interim bureau chief. Phil took over from Evan Halper, who moved to the Washington bureau.
Phil spent the last three years as a state correspondent in the Inland Empire. He previously covered Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, California politics and served as the one, and only, editor of the paper’s Inland Empire Edition.
In his life before The Times, he was the Washington correspondent for the Tampa Tribune and the Kent Island reporter for the Capital in Annapolis, Md. He is a graduate of UC San Diego.
Phil reports to Deputy Metro Editor Linda Rogers.
Sacramento Bureau reporter: Melanie Mason
Melanie Mason, who has worked in the Washington bureau for the past two years, has joined the Sacramento bureau as a state government reporter.
While in Washington, Melanie covered money and politics during the 2012 presidential campaign and, after the election, moved over to the gun control beat. Before joining The Times, Melanie did stints at the Washington bureau of the Dallas Morning News and Politico. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and has a master’s in journalism from UC Berkeley.
She also reports to Deputy Metro Editor Linda Rogers.
Tribune Washington Bureau reporter: Evan Halper
Sacramento Bureau Chief Evan Halper has joined the Washington bureau as a reporter.
Evan came to The Times in 2001 as a reporter in Orange County, where he covered growth and development. He previously worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Newsweek and ABC News. Evan moved to Sacramento in 2003, where he took part in our coverage of the recall of Gov. Gray Davis and then covered the administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was named bureau chief in 2008. Evan was a Knight-Wallace fellow at the University of Michigan from 2011-12.
He reports to Washington Bureau Chief David Lauter.
It has now been six weeks since T.J. Simers last appeared in the Times Sports section.