LA Times also adds a familiar editor

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LAO file photo

You can read this memo here too. Earlier today we posted the CNN memo about hiring political reporter Maeve Reston from the Los Angeles Times. Now the paper's California editor, Shelby Grad, has informed the newsroom that former reporter, editor and columnist Bob Sipchen is returning to the paper. He has been editor of Sierra magazine and communications director for the Sierra Club in San Francisco. Here's the newsroom memo:

To the staff:

I’m thrilled to announce that Bob Sipchen, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and editor, is returning to the Los Angeles Times as a senior editor in the relaunched California section.

Many of you know Bob from his days as a Times reporter, columnist and editor and one of our first bloggers. He left in 2007 to edit the Sierra Club’s magazine, Sierra, and serve as communications director for the nonprofit in San Francisco.

In his second tour at The Times, Bob will oversee the daily centerpieces that are a signature of the California section. He will also plan the Sunday section, direct a group of enterprise reporters and serve as a coach and mentor. He will start Jan. 1.

To say Bob’s career at The Times has been eclectic doesn’t begin to do justice to his kaleidoscope of talents and interests.

He covered arts, culture, cults, education, the environment and the magazine industry – along with the 1992 L.A. riots and the 1996 presidential campaign.

Speaking of magazines, he was a writer and senior editor at The Times’ Sunday magazine. He turned his cover story on street gangs into a book, “Baby Insane and the Buddha,” which the New York Times Book Review lauded for its “supple, muscular prose” and “the sweep and narrative pacing of a novel.”

Bob joined The Times’ editorial board in 2001 and a year later was co-winner of a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing for “comprehensive and powerfully written editorials exploring the issues and dilemmas provoked by mentally ill people dwelling on the streets.”

Later, he was the founding editor of two of our boldest experiments: the Outdoors section and a remake of Sunday Opinion, online and in print, titled Current.

Bob was a digital pioneer. In the 1990s, he posted interactive maps, games and video on the Web while traveling through 46 states with his wife and three children. (As part of the project, he wrote twice-a-week columns on the state of the American family.) In 2006, he launched an education column and blog (“School Me”) that served as a model for later online efforts.

As editor of Sierra, he worked with the magazine’s staff to remake the venerable title from top to bottom, encouraging strong narrative journalism and an innovative online presence. For 17 years, he has found time to teach journalism at Occidental College.

Bob was born in Chicago and attended UC Santa Barbara, paying his way by working as a wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service.

Please join me in welcoming him back to L.A.

Shelby Grad

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