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Newsday's Plate to Head Times Editorial Pages

November 10, 1989

Thomas Plate, editorial page editor of New York Newsday, on Thursday was named editor of the editorial pages of the Los Angeles Times.

Plate succeeds Anthony Day, who has held the editorial page post at The Times since 1971. Day will become a senior correspondent for The Times, reporting on ideas and ideology, their power and effect in the modern world.

Editorial writer Frank del Olmo was named deputy editorial page editor. He succeeds Jack Burby, deputy editorial page editor since 1983, who will remain an editorial writer.

The changes, which take effect Nov. 20, were announced by David Laventhol, publisher and chief executive officer of The Times, and Shelby Coffey III, Times editor and executive vice president.

"Anthony Day and Jack Burby are to be congratulated for their outstanding contributions in shaping and broadening the scope of the editorial pages during a time of important growth for The Times in readership and influence," Laventhol said.

"I'm pleased that we're able to bring Tom Plate, an innovative editor and fine writer, back to Los Angeles to succeed Tony," he added, noting that Plate is a former executive editor and editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. "And I'm particularly gratified Tom is being joined by Frank del Olmo, a native Southern Californian and a veteran of 19 years at The Times, to be his deputy. It is an outstanding team for the '90s."

Coffey said: "Anthony Day has brought leadership and distinction to The Times editorial pages for nearly two decades. In his new assignment, he can be expected to make a similarly distinguished mark.

"He and Jack Burby have made a strong team," Coffey said, "and we expect Tom Plate and Frank del Olmo to provide equally strong replacements."

Plate, 45, said he was "thrilled to have been offered the job. . . . I'm a big fan of the Los Angeles Times and I'm a big fan of Southern California . . . and I happen to believe editorial pages are extremely important to a newspaper that seeks to be of consequence to the community it serves. . . . I am eager to work with the terrific staff that Tony has assembled and continue in his tradition to improve on the tremendous achievements that he and his staff have made over the years. There is no more important editorial page in the United States."

Plate, a novelist and author of nonfiction books, has also served as editor-in-chief of Family Weekly, senior editor of Time Magazine, senior editor of New York Magazine, founding editor of Newsday's Sunday Ideas section, op-ed editor and editorial writer at Newsday, and assistant editor at Newsweek.

He holds a bachelor's degree from Amherst College and a master's degree in foreign relations from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton.

Before joining The Times as its chief editorial writer in 1969, Day, 56, served as chief of the Washington bureau, Washington reporter and general assignment reporter for the Philadelphia Bulletin.

He holds a bachelor's degree in classics from Harvard College and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 1966-67.

Del Olmo, 41, joined The Times as a reporting intern in 1970, became a staff writer specializing in Latino affairs the following year and an editorial writer in 1980.

He was a member of the reporting team that won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service for a series of articles on Southern California's Latino community.

Del Olmo holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Cal State Northridge and was a Nieman Fellow in 1987-88.

Before coming to The Times in 1978 as an editorial writer, Burby, 65, was a federal policy consultant, editor of the National Journal, special assistant to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Alan Boyd, press secretary to California Gov. Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, and a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Honolulu Advertiser and United Press International.

Burby attended the University of Hawaii and was a Nieman Fellow in 1959-60.

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