By Josh Barnett, Chair, APSE Regions committee
Assistant managing editor, USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles News Group, which has nine daily newspapers including the LA Daily News, has made a number of changes in its sports staff:
• Mark Medina was hired from the Los Angeles Times as beat writer/multimedia reporter covering the Los Angeles Lakers. He has been in charge of the Times’ Lakers blog since January 2010. The blog is the most popular on the Times’ sports site. He previously completed the Metpro program at the Times, including rotations in sports, business and entertainment. He also has had internship at the Washington Times, the Syracuse Post-Standard and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
• Jack Wang was hired to cover UCLA. He is a former intern at the San Francisco Chronicle and Salt Lake Tribune and is a graduate of the Sports Journalism Institute.
• Fred Robledo was named local sports editor. He has been San Gabriel Valley News Group's prep sports editor.
Salt Lake changes
The Salt Lake Tribune has made a number of moves in its sports department:
• Tony Jones has moved from the Utah State beat to Utah basketball, football enterprise and Pac-12 coverage.
• Bill Oram has been promoted to Utah Jazz writer to replace Brian T. Smith, who left the paper to cover the Astros for the Houston Chronicle.
• Kyle Goon has moved from high schools to Utah State. He also has covered hockey and indoor football in his two years at the paper.
• Michael C. Lewis is no longer on staff after nearly 20 years and coverage of six Olympics and Major League Soccer, but he will continue to cover the Olympics and winter sports after relocating to Colorado Springs.
• Aaron Falk is moving from the city desk to cover Real Salt Lake and MLS, help out on preps and do enterprise. He was a police reporter previously and came to the Tribune from the Deseret News.
• The Tribune is in the process of hiring a preps reporter.
Other moves from around the regions:
ESPN: Pablo Torre has joined ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com as a senior writer after five years at Sports Illustrated. He also will be regular contributor to “The Sports Reporters.” Torre has won multiple awards and his work has appeared in the Best American Sports Writing anthology.
Post-Star (Glens Falls, N.Y.): Hired Laura Owens as high school reporter and Diana Nearhos as hockey beat writer. Owens is a University of Alabama graduate who formerly worked at The Cullman (Ala.) Times and has interned at for The Tuscaloosa News and the Charlotte Observer. Nearhos will cover the Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League. Nearhos is a Boston College graduate who has written on a freelance basis for several newspapers and websites, including The Boston Globe and The Cape Cod Times. She was a Sports Pulliam Fellow at The Arizona Republic.
New York Daily News: Hired Lenny Neslin, a former Boston.com intern, as an online sports editor.
Connecticut Post: Hank Domin has been named assistant managing editor after seven years at the Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union, also a Hearst newspaper. Domin was most recently the sports editor in Albany, but also spent 18 months as city editor. He also has worked as a sports copy editor at the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y., and sports editor at the Press Enterprise in Bloomsburg, Pa.
Philadelphia Daily News: Promoted Chuck Bausman to executive sports editor. Bausman had been the interim sports editor since July after replacing Josh Barnett. Bausman has previously been the paper’s assistant sports editor and has been a sports editor of the Courier Post in Cherry Hill, N.J., the Ann Arbor News in Michigan and the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y. Also, sports writer Kerith Gabriel has left the paper to become the digital media manager for the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer. Gabriel had covered the Union, among others duties, while at the Daily News.
Patriot News (Mechanicsburg, Pa.): Hired Audrey Snyder to cover Penn State football and as sports enterprise reporter. Snyder is a recent Penn State graduate, but has significant experience as a freelancer and an intern.
Wilmington (Del.) News Journal: Hired Jason Wolf to cover Philadelphia 76ers and also help on the Eagles and Phillies beats. His work will appear in both the Gannett-owned New Journal and the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, N.J. He had been covering high schools for Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record and previously covered NASCAR, ACC basketball and football and other sports for the Danville (Va.) Register & Bee. Wolf is a seven-time APSE writing award recipient. He won three top fives last year, including first place and third place for breaking news and fifth place for beat reporting in the 30,000 to 75,000 circulation category.
Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.): Tom White has been named sports editor. He returned to sports after 16 months as suburban team leader, overseeing news coverage in Chesapeake and Suffolk. Before that, he had spent 15 years in sports as the college and pro sports team leader. He came to Norfolk after spending five years as the assistant sports editor of the Greensboro News & Record. He has also been an assistant city editor and sports copy editor at the Roanoke Times, a sportswriter at the Frederick (Md.) News-Post and sports editor of the Gettysburg Times.
Sun Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Chris Perkins re-joined the Sun Sentinel as Miami Dolphins reporter. He previously covered the Miami Heat for Palm Beach Post for seven years and numerous beats, including the Dolphins and Miami Hurricanes, for the Sun-Sentinel for five years. He began his career at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and later moved to the Dallas Morning News.
Birmingham News: Former assistant sports editor David Knox hired by the Magic City Post in Birmingham in a “strategic role where he will lead editorial operations and help to shape the future of the company,” the Post said. Knox has more than 20 years as a writer and editor.
NOLA Media Group: Terrance Harris, who has more than 20 years of sports writing experience, has been hired as sports special projects reporter. He came to New Orleans from Sports Radio 610 in Houston, where he was a columnist/on air contributor with a focus on Houston Texans, Rockets and Astros coverage. Prior to his stint with Sports Radio 610 Harris was a senior writer/columnist with AOL Fanhouse. He went to Fanhouse after covering Texas A&M for four years for the Houston Chronicle. Harris has also worked at the South Bend Tribune, the Arizona Daily Star, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Indianapolis Star and the Kansas City Star. Harris will be the NOLA Media Group's point person on coverage of Super Bowl XLVII and will do project work involving the Saints, Hornets, LSU and Tulane.
Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle: Billy Byler has left the paper to become a young adults pastor at Wichita First Church of the Nazarene in Kansas. He had been at the Chronicle for seven years.
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.): Gary Robinson, a former executive sports editor at the Commercial Appeal, has been named managing editor for digital. He started the newsroom digital push as online news editor in February 2008. He had previously served as executive sports editor for five years. He joined the staff in 1985 as sports copy editor and was promoted to deputy sports editor in 1986. He has also worked at THe newspapers in Lake City, Fla., Marianna, Fla., and Albany, Ga.
The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.): Ted Lewis, a longtime sportswriter at the Times-Picayune, has joined The Advocate as its New Orleans-based sportswriter.
Orlando Sentinel: Named Paul Tenorio, of the Washington Post, as beat writer for the University of Central Florida. He had been with the Post for five years as a sports writer and had interned for Pro Football Weekly, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and ESPN.
News-Press (Fort Myers, Fla): Hired Tariq Lee to cover high schools. Lee, a two-time grad of the Sports Journalism Institute, recently completed a Pulliam fellowship at the Arizona Republic and had interned at the Oklahoman. He is a Temple University graduate.
Alabama Media Group: Drew Champlin, who has been covering Troy for The Dothan Eagle, will replace UAB beat writer Steve Irvine for Alabama Media Group.
Des Moines Register: Named Chad Leistikow as sports editor. An Iowa native, he has been USA TODAY Sports’ senior editor for motor sports for the last two years. He had previously been assistant sports editor at the Register from 2000 to 2004 and also been a sports writer at the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
“I am honored to become the ninth sports editor in the Des Moines Register's storied history. Big things ahead,” he tweeted.
Associated Press, Milwaukee: Chris Jenkins has left the AP after seven years to take a position as a senior writer/editor at Marquette University. Before the Associated Press, Jenkins spent nearly five years at USA Today.
Chicago Sun-Times: Mark Lazerus, sports editor of the Post-Tribune in Merrillville, Ind., will cover the Chicago Blackhawks. He had been at the Post-Tribune covering regional sports since October 2004 and also covered Notre Dame for Sun-Times Media. He has been honored nationally by the Associated Press Sports Editors for three straight years, was named one of the top three columnists in the state for three straight years and has won more than 20 statewide writing awards.
Mlive.com: Mike Griffith, of the Knoxville News Sentinel, was named primary Michigan State football and backup men's basketball writer. He had been with the News Sentinel for 14 years and was most recently the University of Tennessee men’s basketball beat writer.
Green Bay Press-Gazette: Robert Zizzo, a former sports editor at the Fresno Bee, has been named key audiences editor. He has been the metro editor in Fresno for the last four years after serving as sports editor for his first seven years at the Bee. Before working in California, Zizzo was news editor at the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison, and he held a variety of editing roles at papers in Las Vegas, Charlotte and Sheboygan.
Minot Daily News: Hired Ryan Collingswood as a sports reporter. He previously ran VarsityCDA.com, a site devoted to high school coverage in Kootenai County, Idaho. He also has worked at the Lewiston Morning Tribune, where he covered Washington State University and prep sports, and spent two years in eastern Idaho at the Morning News covering Bingham County preps, Idaho State University athletics and the Kansas City Royals’ rookie club Idaho Falls Chukars.
The Republic (Columbus, Ind.): Jay Heater has been named sports editor. He had been the sports editor of the Antelope Valley Press in Palmdale, Calif., and also has been the sports editor at the Idaho State Journal in Pocatello and worked at the Contra Costa Times.
Muscataine(Iowa) Journal: Ryan Kronberg is the new sports editor. He replaces Matt Coss, who was hired by the Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa) to cover preps.
The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.): Hired Paul Klee, of the Champaign, Ill., News-Gazette as the Denver columnist, mainly on the Broncos and Rockies. Klee had been in Champaign for six years and previously worked at the Star-Tribune in Casper, Wyo. He is a six-time APSE writing award winner, was named the 2011 Sportswriter of the Year in Illinois and the 2004 Sportswriter of the Year in Wyoming.
Associated Press, Dallas: Schuyler Dixon has been promoted to sports writer and will cover teams and events in North Texas. He has been with the AP for seven years and has served as an editor and supervisor in the AP's main Texas bureau since 2011. He will remain based in Dallas and his beats will include the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers, as well as area colleges. He is a former assistant sports editor for both The Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Houston Chronicle: Hired Brian T. Smith to be the Houston Astros’ beat writer. He previously covered the Utah Jazz for the Salt Lake Tribune and Portland Trail Blazers for The Columbian in Vancouver, Wash., among other beats. He has received numerous APSE award, including a top 10 in breaking news last year for the 75,000-175,000 category along with Tribune colleagues Steve Luhm and Tony Jones.
Galveston County (Texas) Daily News: Named Jim Levesque as sports editor. Levesque had been a copy editor and page designer. He also had served as the newspaper’s assistant news editor. Previously, he worked as sports editor of the now-defunct Texas City Sun in Galveston and as a sportswriter for both the Sun and The Facts in Brazoria County, Texas. He replaces Jordan Goodwin, who is taking a position as a biofuels reporter at Platts in Houston.
Seattle Times: Jayson Jenks was hired as High School Sports Coordinator. He previously worked for the Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal. Kaelyn Sayles and Jacob Rogers were hired as part-time sports news assistants, and Pete Treperinas joined sports as a fall intern through the University of Washington.
Oregonian (Portland, Ore.): Hired Adam Jude to cover the University of Oregon. He previously was a sports writer for the Register-Guard in Eugene. He replaced Jeffrey Martin, who has taken an enterprise position with USA Today.
Press-Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.): Bill Pinella has headed into “semi-retirement” after 18 years at the Press Democrat, most recently as assistant sports editor.