Media people

LA Times goes to Texas for Calif. politics editor*

allison-wisk-tw.jpgThe new state politics editor at the Los Angeles Times is Allison Wisk, currently the deputy political editor at the Dallas Morning News. She succeeds Linda Rogers, one of the veteran LAT editors who took last year's buyout. Wisk, who has a J.D. Texas A&M University School of Law, will oversee the Sacramento bureau as well as coverage of California politics. This is where she tweets.

On Twitter, the LAT's assistant managing editor for politics, Christina Bellantoni, sounds pleased with hire.

I posted back in January what the Times said it was looking for in the new California politics editor. The Times has posted a story now saying that "Wisk will lead a team of reporters covering politics and state government, help our newsroom pursue innovative storytelling and help build our new politics vertical." That last is journalism jargon for the Times' online politics section, email newsletter and social media coverage.

Bellantoni, by the way, will be speaking at SXSW on March 12 on the topic of Traditional’s & New Media's Impact on 2016 Election. Other panelists are Cenk Uygur of "The Young Turks" and Jeanmarie Condon, senior executive producer of content and development for ABC News. Here's a preview in which Bellantoni talks up Snapchat and Twitter as engagement tools for reporters covering politics.

“They are at the capital, they are standing in a cornfield in Iowa and everyplace in between that the general public can’t be,” Bellantoni said. “The conversation has begun. Don’t get left out of it.”

LA Times editor Davan Maharaj made clear during the buyout season last fall that the paper would be recruiting and hiring replacements for many, but not all, of the departed veterans.

Added: The Times also announced today the hiring of Liam Dillon for the reporter opening in the Sacramento bureau. He comes from Voice of San Diego, where Dillon was the senior reporter and assistant editor. Here are Bellantoni's memos on both hires.

To: The Staff
From: Christina Bellantoni, AME/Politics

I’m pleased to announce that Allison Wisk, an experienced political editor with an eye for accountability journalism and innovation, is joining The Times as California politics editor.

Allison has held a variety of leadership roles at the Dallas Morning News, where she has worked for more than 10 years. As deputy political editor, she helps oversee state and national political coverage, working primarily with the News’ State Capitol bureau in Austin. Before that, she led a team of 15 reporters and editors covering local communities.

At The Times, Allison will lead a team of reporters covering politics and state government, help our newsroom pursue innovative storytelling and help build our new politics vertical.

Allison started at the Morning News as an assistant editor and reporter but was soon promoted to section editor. She has led major projects, including a yearlong examination of how government agencies have complied – or not – with the state’s public information laws. She has also helped coordinate Sunday and enterprise work.

In addition to her editing and leadership experience, Allison has served on a committee working to move the Morning News’ newsroom into the future.

She will start work in Los Angeles on March 7, after leading the News’ coverage of the Texas presidential primary.

A native of Dallas, Allison attended the New School in New York and has a J.D. from Texas A&M University School of Law.

Please join me in extending Allison (@allisonwisk) a warm welcome.

To: The Staff

From: Christina Bellantoni, Assistant Managing Editor/Politics

We’re delighted to announce that Liam Dillon, an accomplished investigative journalist, is joining our State Capitol bureau in Sacramento.

In six years at the nonprofit Voice of San Diego news site, Liam has won awards for his stories about San Diego’s crumbling infrastructure, racial profiling by its police department and cross-border corruption involving a Mexican businessman who made illegal campaign contributions to U.S. politicians.

In our Sacramento bureau, he will cover politics and policy in state government as part of an expansion of our coverage of the executive branch.

Liam joined Voice of San Diego in 2009 and is now its senior reporter and assistant editor. Previously, he was a staff writer for the Naples Daily News in southwest Florida and a part-time sports reporter for the Washington Post. He has freelanced on San Diego subjects for the Post and the New York Times.

Liam grew up outside Philadelphia and has a bachelor’s degree in government from Georgetown University. He speaks advanced Spanish.

He starts work for us Feb. 22. Please join us in welcoming him (@dillonliam) to the L.A. Times, and sharing any tips about living in Sacramento.

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