Well, blow me. The Times (after cutting almost 60 jobs . . . ) managed to lure one of the best damn SoCal journalists around away from the LA Weekly. David Zahniser, last year's SPJ Journalist of the Year, is off to cover Mayor Villaraigosa - former Weekly editor Alan Mittelstaedt broke the news on Witness LA today.
(Aside: I must say I'm pleased to see Alan - a hardcore professor I was lucky to have at 'SC - up and blogging. He's one of the sharpest editors around. Rumor has it he has his eye on the transportation beat.)
LA Observed picks up the story and asks the question I was swishing around in my head: What happens to Duke Helfand, who currently covers the LA mayor? Will they keep him on the beat, maybe bump him onto the education staff, since he sometimes wanders into that arena? Perhaps ship him off to Sacramento now that political rock-star reporter and blogger Robert Salladay is gone? Hmm.
Speaking of LA Observed, Kevin Roderick ran a poll early in the year with predictions, and some readers voted that Zahniser was most likely to be snapped up by The New York Times. Guess the LAT beat 'em to the punch.
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Photo: Alan Mittelstaedt