The Right Thing
| American Journalism Review
| From AJR, November 2001|
The Right Thing
Vickie Walton-James is named chief of the Chicago Tribune's Washington
bureau, replacing James Warren, who returns to the Windy City as deputy
By Kathryn S. Wenner
After six years as deputy bureau chief, Vickie Walton-James is picked to
head the Chicago Tribune's Washington staff, replacing James Warren, now
deputy managing editor/features. "My terrific deputy," Warren calls her.
When he was out reporting, Warren says, "she was a very steady head."
With Warren recently moved to Chicago, Walton-James, 42, was running the
shop on September 11. She was named to her new position eight days
later. "It is a big challenge to be in charge of the bureau during this
story," she says. "People are saying after this everything will seem
easy." She hopes to add to the existing staff of 13 reporters, two
editors, columnist Clarence Page and an office manager. Former Tribune
chief political writer Michael Tackett, now national editor at U.S. News
& World Report, worked with Walton-James for nearly a decade. "She is
one of the few people in journalism management who has truly wonderful
people skills," he says. "Vickie's appointment is just a great example
of the right thing happening."
Kathryn S. Wenner, a former AJR associate editor, is a copy editor at
the Washington Post.
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