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New assignments for Kimi Yoshino, Nita Lelyveld

January 27, 2010 |  3:17 pm

Assistant Managing Editor David Lauter announced new assignments for reporter Kimi Yoshino and assistant editor Nita Lelyveld. Here is his memo to the staff:

I’m happy to announce two significant shifts in our editing lineup which will help tremendously as we move ahead in the new year with a new section.

Kimi Yoshino, who has been a go-to reporter for a decade, both here in Metro and in the Business section, will move over to the morning assignment job, which is the key post on the desk for quickly identifying and moving on developing news and quick-turnaround enterprise. Working with Shelby and Amanda, Kimi will help keep our L.A. Now engine humming. At the same time, she’ll have custody of the daily budget for our print editions, which will be all the more challenging as we deal with the needs of both the A and AA sections. Kimi came to The Times more than 900 stories ago -- in 2000, joining us after stints at the Fresno Bee and Stockton Record. She started in Orange County, where she covered Disney and quickly became our resident expert on dangerous amusement park rides. Since then, she’s covered politics, fires, glitzy parties in Las Vegas, Octomom and, of course, Baghdad, with memorable consequences. As all of you who have worked with her know, Kimi’s hallmarks are her energy, intelligence and eye for a good story. All those traits will serve her well in this most challenging of editing posts.

Nita Lelyveld, who has ably served as morning editor, will take on a new role with broad responsibility for working with reporters and editors across the department on features. With the demands of two sections, we’re going to have more need than ever for well-written features with good photography. Nita’s excellent eye for stories and skill with language will improve our ability to produce those stories. She’ll help other editors shape story concepts, work with reporters on storytelling, bring her distinctive sensibility to our daily news planning and, of course, use her own excellent line-editing skills to help writers turn promising stones into polished gems. She’ll also be our chief liaison with the photo desk, making sure that we make the most of our feature opportunities by keeping our colleagues on the visual side up-to-date on promising story possibilities. Nita’s first newspaper job was with the Tuscaloosa News in Alabama, but one would have to say she grew up in the newspaper racket, which took her as a child to at least four continents. After a stint at the AP, she joined the Philadelphia Inquirer, which sent her to L.A. in 1997 as a West Coast writer. Four years later, she came aboard at The Times. Before moving onto the desk in 2005, Nita wrote – among other things -- about Hollywood’s secession efforts, the victims of abuse by priests and, in a memorable Column One, told the story of a man with the singular obsession of walking the streets of Los Angeles.

Please join me in congratulating both of these colleagues on their new assignments.

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