Read the memo

LAT Business Editor leaves for a foreign post

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for latimes-sign-sideview.jpgMarla Dickerson has resigned from the Los Angeles Times to become the Wall Street Journal’s Brazil bureau chief. Her husband, Times Calendar staff writer Reed Johnson, also will leave the Times and move to Brazil to write about society and culture for the Journal. The memo from editor Davan Maharaj and number two Marc Duvoisin:

Sent: Friday, February 21, 2014 11:00 AM
Subject: Message from Davan Maharaj and Marc Duvoisin
To the staff:

As Marla Dickerson herself might say, there’s no point beating around the bush, burying the lead or hiding a lantern in a bushel.

Marla, our marvelously skilled, witty, proverb-quoting Business editor, and her husband Reed Johnson, the stalwart Calendar writer, are leaving The Times and L.A.

They’re fulfilling a shared dream by moving to São Paulo, Brazil, where they’ve both accepted jobs with the Wall Street Journal. Marla will be the Journal’s Brazil bureau chief and Reed will write about society and culture, something he has done for The Times with flair and intelligence for many years.

This leaves a hole in our newsroom and in our hearts, but it’s impossible not to feel happy for two such fine journalists and colleagues.

Marla has led the Business department with verve and distinction for the last year and a half (she was deputy business editor for three years before that). She’s a creative dynamo, a master motivator and a crack pencil editor. She’s also a fount of folksy aphorisms, which she uses to cut tension, puncture pretense and make complicated ideas understandable. (“Delusion breeds suffering” is one she deploys to great effect in deflecting dubious advice.)

Under her leadership, the Business staff has punched far above its weight, delivering energetic day-to-day coverage of financial markets, the tech sector, retail and other core beats -- as well as ambitious enterprise. A few (and only a few) of the highlights: a memorable package on the fifth anniversary of the financial meltdown, an expose of abusive sales practices by banking giant Wells Fargo and groundbreaking stories on the NFL’s successful effort to close the door on worker’s compensation benefits for injured ex-players.

There is no replacing Marla. We will announce her successor in the next few days.

Davan and Marc


More by Kevin Roderick:
LA Observed Notes: Let's call it a year
Tyrus Wong, legendary Disney artist, was 106
Read the LA Times response to Los Angeles Magazine's piece
Video: Guy hikes Griffith Park to Pt. Mugu in 69 hours
Norms Pico has definitely closed
Recent Read the memo stories on LA Observed:
Read the memo: New York Times won't ban 'alt-right'
Read the memo: LA Times finally names an obituary editor
LA Times journos warned - again - about tweet politics
LA Times squeezed out of hosting its own awards shindig
Memo: LA News Group now So Cal News Group
Another Pulitzer winner for the Breeze leaves journalism
LA Times alums join bigger Kaiser Health News*
Editor memo: Hiring and refocus are on at the LA Times



LA Observed on Twitter