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The Times names new Business editor

Sallie Hofmeister most recently oversaw entertainment and technology coverage as deputy editor.

May 30, 2008|Kimi Yoshino | Times Staff Writer
(Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles…)

Veteran reporter and editor Sallie Hofmeister was named Business editor of the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, making her the first female journalist to fill the post at the newspaper.

Hofmeister, who joined the paper in 1995, spent nearly a decade chronicling some of the country's biggest media stories, including the AOL/Time Warner merger and Comcast Corp.'s unsuccessful bid for Walt Disney Co.

She replaces Davan Maharaj, who was recently named managing editor.

Hofmeister, 50, became an assistant Business editor in 2006 and most recently served as deputy Business editor, overseeing entertainment and technology coverage.

"We are ecstatic to have someone with Sallie's energy, creativity and deep business experience assume the leadership of one of our premier news sections," said Editor Russ Stanton, who had been Business editor before Maharaj.

"Sallie will build on the great tradition of Business, giving readers news they can use and explaining how the economy and industries work at a time when corporate power is at its zenith," he said.

Hofmeister, who previously worked as an assistant Business editor at the New York Times, said she planned to continue the section's hard-hitting journalism but strike a balance between reader-friendly consumer stories and more analytical business articles.

"We have to be aware of what the serious business investor wants to read," she said.

As the paper at the center of the world's entertainment capital, The Times needs to "own Hollywood" and effectively harness resources between Business and Calendar sections, Hofmeister said.

The paper needs to continue its push into the digital realm, she said, but must be cognizant of what the Web "can and can't do."

"The Web is a powerful medium but often doesn't lend itself to the kind of in-depth journalism that newspapers are known for," she said.

Hofmeister, who worked closely with both Stanton and Maharaj, said she would be able to voice her opinion to help shape broader news and feature coverage.

"It's a thrilling day," Hofmeister said. "I'm really glad to have a seat at that table."

Hofmeister is a 1980 graduate of Kansas State University.

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kimi.yoshino@latimes.com

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