New Tribune D.C. Bureau Chief Expects More Shared Coverage

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By: Joe Strupp

As Tribune Co. continues to reorganize its Washington, D.C., bureau, look for more consolidated coverage, according to Cissy Baker, the recently appointed new bureau chief.

Baker, who has served as vice president/news operations for Tribune Broadcasting since 2003, was named last week as vice president of the Washington News Bureau for Tribune Company, “overseeing all newsgathering operations in the nation?s capital for the company?s publishing, broadcasting and interactive divisions.”

She told E&P today that the bureau?s future will likely see more shared content and consolidated coverage.

?We are going to have reporters covering stories around Washington for all the papers,? she said. ?It is still in the midst of transition so I want to stay away from more details.? But, she added, ?we are going to get the best of the best to cover the major stories in Washington. It is an exciting time for us.?

The D.C. reporters for Tribune papers, such as the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, will also be more involved in the company?s broadcast and online outlets based in the same bureau, she said.

?A story will be covered for Tribune newspapers, Tribune broadcasting, and Tribune interactive,? she noted. ?I hope to see more of that, not only putting newspaper folks on the air, but also transitioning more of them to the Web.?

?The concept is not a new one,? Baker continued. ?The concept is to have reporters in the Washington bureau cover the top news stories of the day and those stories will be available for all of the newspapers to run.?

Baker declined to specify what if any further staff cuts would be done as part of the change, or the much-feared consolidation of beats. Since August, the Chicago Tribune has lost its Washington Bureau chief following the departure of Michael Tackett, who took a job at Bloomberg.

He was temporarily replaced with Naftali Bendavid, an 11-year bureau veteran who has since departed to work at The Wall Street Journal.

Last week, the Los Angeles Times announced longtime bureau chief Doyle McManus would leave his post to become an Op-Ed columnist for the paper. His replacement has yet to be named

Baker would not comment on McManus? job change or other details of staffing or future coverage. ?I?m going to leave all of that alone for now,? she said. ?I don?t want to talk about the configuration until it happens.?

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