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With eye to Web, Times editors reassigned

ST. PETERSBURG — Three veteran St. Petersburg Times journalists will lead a new initiative aimed at integrating the newspaper's staff with its online component,

"By combining our journalistic forces more fully, we can expand our world-class journalism in the newspaper and capitalize on the growth we're seeing on our news Web site," said executive editor Neil Brown.

To lead the combined journalistic effort, Brown named three managing editors.

Joe Childs, a Times editor since 1981, becomes managing editor/Tampa Bay. Childs, 59, will oversee breaking and local news coverage as well as state government and politics, business and sports.

Mike Wilson, who has guided the paper's features coverage, becomes managing editor/enterprise. Wilson, 47, will lead the team's investigative, national, foreign and features coverage, and will oversee the Sunday paper.

Patty Cox, who shepherded the newspaper's redesign in 2006, becomes managing editor/presentation. Cox, 44, will be responsible for the presentation of both the Times and

The three editors replace Stephen Buckley, 41, who became publisher of in June. They begin their new duties Monday.

Brown, 50, said in a memo to staffers that the ambitious agenda of combining the print and online newsrooms "is best achieved by calling on several of our journalists who are ready for wider responsibility, rather than employing the traditional hierarchy of a single managing editor."

The three appointments are part of an extensive news department reorganization that Brown said "taps the enormous talent and potential of our senior journalists." The reorganization includes the following new appointments:

• Metro editor Pat Farnan, 56, becomes assistant managing editor/breaking news. He will oversee the creation of a Web-first news-gathering team.

• Deputy managing editor Jeanne Grinstead, 57, will direct staff development, training and newsroom administration.

• Deputy managing editor Rob Hooker, 61, will oversee the Times' suburban editions in Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.

• Christine Montgomery, 42, becomes deputy managing editor for the combined Times and, responsible for entertainment and lifestyle coverage in print and online.

• Assistant managing editor Jack Sheppard, 51, becomes deputy managing editor and will continue leading sports coverage online and in print.

• Jennifer Orsi, 42, metro editor/Tampa, becomes metro editor, overseeing newsrooms in Tampa and St. Petersburg.

• Graham Brink, 38, an assistant metro editor, becomes the new business editor of the Times and

• Scott Montgomery, 42, becomes senior editor/government and politics, and will oversee state political coverage and the Times' fact-checking web site,

• Amy Hollyfield, 37, an assistant political editor and deputy editor of PolitiFact, becomes senior editor/nights, in charge of the paper and Web site in the evenings.

• Joni James, 41, the Times' state editor and a veteran of Tallahassee reporting, becomes the paper's deputy editor of editorials.

The Times is the largest-circulation newspaper in Florida, with a Sunday circulation of more than 390,000. is the area's largest local news Web site with a combined local and national audience of 1.6-million unique visitors per month.

With eye to Web, Times editors reassigned 11/29/08 [Last modified: Thursday, December 4, 2008 11:45am]
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