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Mike James is new sports editor of Los Angeles Times

He replaces Randy Harvey, who recently became the paper's associate editor after three years as sports editor.

July 21, 2009|Staff Reports

After 22 years as an integral part of The Times sports department, Mike James was named sports editor Monday.

James, 60, replaces Randy Harvey, who recently became the paper's associate editor after three years as sports editor.

James, a 1971 graduate of Trinity College in Connecticut, joined The Times' Orange County sports operation in 1985 as an assistant sports editor, moved to the downtown office in 1989 as a sports news editor and eventually became assistant and senior assistant sports editor.

He interrupted his newspaper career for two years to become a coordinating producer at FoxSports.com and executive editor at Fox Sports Net. He returned to The Times in 2002 and has served as Harvey's deputy for the last three years.

An avid golfer, James has covered the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open golf events. Among his more notable works was his story in 2000 on increasing rowdiness among fans at golf tournaments.

But his signature moment was persuading President Bill Clinton, also an avid golfer, to take time out to write a preview of the 1997 U.S. Open at Congressional in Washington.

"On the day we went to press," James recalled, "we had a deadline of 3 p.m. He took us to 1 p.m. He filed his story, it wasn't exactly what I had asked for, so I rewrote it, sent the rewrite back to his press secretary, and she said it was OK."

James graduated from Trinity College with a degree in psychology, but eventually gravitated to the newspaper business and sportswriting. In 1980, working for the Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, he was named state sportswriter of the year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Assn.

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