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Jon Thurber named Book Review editor

July 13, 2010 | 12:17 pm

Jonthurber Jon Thurber will leave his position of managing editor, print to become the new Book Review editor of the L.A. Times. The news was announced Monday, and while his exact start date hasn't been announced, I've already begun bugging him with e-mails.

Thurber, a Los Angeles native, has spent 38 years at The Times.  He worked on the Foreign Desk, in features and as obituary editor before overseeing the front page and the A1 desk.

Thurber succeeds David L. Ulin, who after five years as book editor is moving into a new role as book critic.
Thurber says he plans to "build on the great coverage David [Ulin] and Nick [Owchar] have led over the last few years."

What is Thurber currently reading? "Writing Was Everything" by Alfred Kazin, in paper, and "Winnie the Pooh" on his iPad. Up next is "Spies of the Balkans," the new Alan Furst thriller.

Anticipating my next question, Thurber added, "no, I'm not related to James Thurber and, of the two writers, I actually preferred E.B. White."

The memo announcing Jon Thurber's appointment is after the jump.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Jon Thurber. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Jon Thurber is our new Book Review editor.

In his new post, Jon will work to continue the strong coverage directed by David Ulin, who ran the section for five years and was recently named book critic. Jon will lead a team of editors and writers who will produce a broader range of reviews, features and trend stories for the daily and Sunday Calendar sections and A1. He also will oversee the lively landing page online as well as the prize-winning Jacket Copy blog.

During the last year, Jon served as managing editor, print, where he directed the daily A1 process, oversaw the successful launch of the LATExtra section and, in recent months, has been working with me on a number of strategic initiatives tied to the future of the newsroom. Asst. Managing Editor Joe Eckdahl, who has been pinch-hitting for Jon during this stretch, will oversee the A1 operation.

Before being named managing editor last July, Jon spent 11 years as obituary editor, building our coverage into some of the best in the country. He also led by example, penning more than 400 obits during his time as editor.

Jon joined The Times as a copy boy and has worked on the copy desk and as an editor in Foreign and Calendar. As Book Review Editor, Jon will report to Alice Short, Asst. Managing Editor, Features.

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