Los Angeles Times’ associate editor Randy Harvey is leaving the paper after almost 30 years to join the Houston Chronicle as a sports columnist.
Harvey departs June 8 after nearly three years as associate editor, but his departure has been expected since Davan Maharaj succeeded Russ Stanton as editor-in-chief at the end of last year.
Stanton elevated Harvey to one of its top editing posts in 2009, charging him with overseeing the deeper integration of the paper’s print and digital operations.
Though Harvey has also served as the sports editor of both the Times and the Baltimore Sun, his primary background is in writing.
He spent a decade writing for assorted papers before joining the Times in 1981, where he covered the Los Angeles Lakers, multiple Olympics and World Cups. He became a columnist in 1996.
As Maharaj said in a memo obtained by TheWrap, “Name a well-known athlete or coach from 1970 through the 1990s, and Randy has probably interviewed him or her.”
Joining the Chronicle brings Harvey back to his roots, as he is a Texas native who also attended the University of Texas at Austin.
Here is Maharaj's full memo:
From: Maharaj, Davan
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 8:08 AM
Subject: Randy Harvey
To the Staff:
After almost three years as associate editor, Randy Harvey is leaving The Times to return to where his career began — in sports and in Texas, as a columnist for the Houston Chronicle.
Randy arrived at the L.A. Times in 1981 from the New York Daily News to cover the Showtime Lakers. After the 1984 Olympics, he covered international sports, including the Olympics and soccer (but never cricket), before becoming a sports columnist in 1996. He has covered XV Summer and Winter Olympics, including every Summer Games since 1976; XII Super Bowls; and four soccer World Cups. Name a well-known athlete or coach from 1970 through the 1990s, and Randy has probably interviewed him or her. (He did wisely shy away from Diego Maradona in 1994 in Buenos Aires after the soccer star shot at reporters with an air rifle.)
He was twice named California sportswriter of the year. He was honored seven times in the annual Associated Press Sports Editors writing contest and won numerous other sportswriting awards. He appeared four times in the “Best Sports Stories of the Year” anthologies.
Randy moved into management as senior assistant sports editor in 2000, left in 2004 to become Assistant Managing Editor/Sports for the Baltimore Sun and returned to The Times as sports editor in 2006.
In 2009, Russ named Randy associate editor, asking him to help integrate print and digital. He also became the point person for other departments within the Times – advertising, marketing, circulation, operations, the community newspapers and websites and Hoy. It was a difficult task, but one he performed with skill, dedication and his usual class. One particular part of that job he considered particularly inspiring: working with colleagues in supervising the Metpro and intern programs. One of his regrets, he says, is that he will not be here to usher in the next class of talented, young journalists.
Randy will be leaving us on June 8 with our deepest gratitude for his many contributions to The Times.
Please join me in wishing him all the best in the future.