‘L.A. Times’ D.C. Bureau Chief McManus Becomes Columnist

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By: Joe Strupp

Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau Chief Doyle McManus is leaving his post to become a Times Op-Ed columnist, the paper revealed in a release today.

“McManus joined The Times in 1978, is one of Washington?s best-known and most respected journalists and will now command an Opinion
section platform from which to observe the nation?s capital,” the release said.

?It?s been my great pleasure to work with Doyle for many years and to appreciate his superb journalistic judgment,? Editorial Pages Editor Jim Newton said in a statement. ?He is one of The Times great souls and his keen analysis and graceful writing will now bring an important voice to our Opinion section.?

“During his Time tenure, Doyle McManus has reported from Los Angeles, Tehran, Beirut, Central America, New York and Washington. He was State Department correspondent and then White House correspondent before becoming Washington bureau chief in 1996 and is one of the most decorated journalists in the profession,” the release added. “He has won a Pulitzer and written three books, along with having recently been a moderator for the Jan. 31, 2008, The Times/CNN debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.”

McManus could not immediately be reached for comment. His move comes the same day that veteran Tribune broadcasting executive Cissy Baker was named bureau chief for a combined Tribune D.C. office, which has her overseeing all newsgathering, in print and broadcast.

Such changes have sparked concern by many in and out of the bureau that cuts will follow and more of a consolidated news approach will permeate the bureau that houses offices for several Tribune newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

Former Times Editor Dean Baquet, who now heads the New York Times Washington, D.C., bureau, lamented the moves at his former employer.

“I think it is a tragedy,” he said about the changes in the bureaus that include the Times and Tribune. “I think the creation of the Los Angeles Times Washington bureau was a time when the L.A. Times signaled that it wanted to play in the big time.”

Baquet, who also worked at the Tribune and earned a Pulitzer Prize there, adds, “I think it is sad that these newspapers are contracting in Washington.”

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