Reuters names new DC bureau chief, makes other changes

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

Reuters deputy editor-in-chief Paul Ingrassia sent out the following announcement to the staff on Thursday:

Mary Milliken will become Reuters’ bureau chief in Washington, effective right after Labor Day. Mary, our West Coast bureau chief based in Los Angeles, served very effectively as acting Washington bureau chief this spring, so we are delighted that she has agreed to make her assignment there permanent. Mary and Kristin Roberts, the bureau’s news editor, will make a tremendously effective team to lead our coverage of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections, as well as coverage of the many policy and political issues that affect markets and major geopolitical events around the globe.

Mary brings to her new role a wealth of experience and achievement forged over her 13-year Reuters career. As our Brazil news editor and senior correspondent between 1998 and 2002, she covered the financial crisis that forced currency devaluation and brought Brazil to the brink of default. Later, she directed coverage of the Brazilian prediction election that defied conventional wisdom and predicted that candidate Luiz Lula da Silva, if elected, would steer a course of fiscal responsibility. Events proved that analysis to be correct. Later, as our South Latam bureau chief in Buenos Aires, Mary nabbed the first interview of Argentina President –elect Nestor Kirchner (in front of a glacier) after his surprise win, and broke news on the country’s $82 billion default.

Since 2006, in her post in Los Angeles, Mary has directed a team of 43 journalists in 17 states that covered the California elections and budget crises, Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, the launches of the iPad and the iPhone, the Facebook phenomenon, and a wide range of business and general-news stories. She also has been a judge for the Loeb and Sabew Awards. Perhaps most importantly, Mary has brought sound judgment and her upbeat, measured demeanor to every assignment she has handled. We know she will make an effective leader for one of our most important bureaus worldwide, and we’re confident that our colleagues in the Washington bureau will agree.

On another matter, all of you know that the recent editorial reorganization has eliminated the regional managing editor roles and established the new positions of regional news editor. Jack Reerink is looking at other opportunities as we consider candidates for the regional news editor for the Americas. Jack started 14 years ago in the New York equities “pit” and later built the financial services team. He led our Asia company news file from 2002 to 2007, setting up a team of regional sector specialists, pioneering readership data to prioritize coverage, and pushing exclusive and analytical coverage.

Jack returned to New York in 2007 as global company news editor. He drove readership analysis, automated headlines and semi-automated BRIEFs, pushed enterprise reporting and exploiting our own data. For the past nine months, Jack served as North America managing editor. He spearheaded round-tables to showcase our expert journalists, promoted our brand at client events and ably juggled priorities within a tight budget. Jack has generously agreed, at the request of Steve Adler and me, to assist with our transition to a regional news editor under the new structure announced in April.

Finally, we’re very pleased to announce the appointment of Jed Horowitz, a 30-year veteran of Wall Street reporting and editing, to the new post of financial companies editor. He will oversee our coverage of investment and commercial banking, wealth management, mergers and acquisitions, and funds. These are critical coverage areas for us. Jed’s appointment follows the recent naming of Knut Engelmann to lead a small team covering the major Wall Street investment banks. Knut will be among Jed’s direct reports.

Jed brings terrific background to his new role. Quite simply, he is one of the most experienced and accomplished financial-firm reporters around. He has covered banks, brokers, exchanges and regulation for Bloomberg and Dow Jones, as well as for such publications as Securities Industry News and the American Banker. Over the years he has scored many scoops, including John Mack’s palace revolt to regain the CEO’s post at Morgan Stanley in 2005 and the executive-pay and floor-trading scandals at the Big Board. He began his career in the 1970s working on textbooks at publishing houses Dell and Scholastic.