Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Memo from David Houston

Dear Colleagues,

When I became editor of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals 17 days ago, there were many challenges that had to be met immediately. As anyone who follows this business knows, 2008 has shaped up to be journalism's annus horribilis. The most pressing of our challenges was to make changes needed to continue to put out a high-quality newspaper in spite of cutbacks. Today, I am announcing staffing changes that I believe will go along way toward meeting that goal.

The first is that Alexia Garamfalvi has agreed to officially take over as editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal. In that role, she will oversee the Daily Journal's Bay Area reporters and our Washington bureau.
Alexia has done a terrific job running the office since my departure. In fact, she has done a terrific job since she came to the paper as an associate editor 11 months ago. Those who have worked closely with her will attest to the fact that Alexia brought our law firm business coverage to a much deeper level. And her influence has extended well beyond lateral moves and profits per partner. Alexia has guided our Washington reporters in some outstanding coverage over the past several months.

Alexia graduated from McGill and UVA law school and worked as a corporate lawyer in New York for several years before going to the Medill journalism school. She was an editor and reporter at a publication focused on U.S. trade policy and at Legal Times before moving to San Francisco and the Daily Journal.

We are moving forward quickly in our search for a new associate editor in San Francisco. In the meantime,
Laura Ernde remains on hiatus from the California Supreme Court beat, filling in on that post.

In Los Angeles, associate editor Alan Mittelstaedt has decided to leave to dedicate his time to USC journalism school, where he is an adjunct professor. We owe Alan a great debt for getting our new blog, the DJ Blawter, off the ground. Please join me in wishing him well in his new endeavor.
We are moving quickly to find a new associate editor.

In these lean times, it is important for us to take stock of what we do each day. We can do some things exceptionally well but we no longer have the resources to do many things well. Therefore, I have decided to eliminate the following beats in Los Angeles: pro bono; general litigation and city politics/land use. This does not mean layoffs. Our pro bono reporter left the paper several months ago and our city reporter left last month.

Noah Barron, who has held the general litigation beat, will take over our entertainment law beat that has been open for a few months. Noah has distinguished himself as a reporter with boundless energy, someone willing to take on any task.

Greg Katz, who somehow made ADR one of the most prolific beats at the paper, is taking over as the criminal justice reporter. In that role, he will cover issues of importance to criminal lawyers throughout the state.

That's the news for now. Stay tuned.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the newsroom at 915 E.First St. has shrunk down to MetNews level.