Editor's Note - March 29 2006

Recent staff changes

At a newspaper, staff changes are obvious. Readers just have to look at the bylines.

You may have noticed that the name of food critic and editor Bill Addison no longer appears in CL. In three years, Bill did an amazing job for us. He won two straight awards from the Association of Food Journalists. Recently, we got word that his feature package on Southern chefs in last year's food issue is one of three finalists for a James Beard Award — culinary journalism's highest honor. Bill also worked with freelancers and staff members to turn our Food & Drink section into the leading forum in Atlanta for authoritative foodie information. But now he's taken a critic's job with the San Francisco Chronicle, one of America's leading culinary newspapers.

The good news is that with this issue, we're welcoming a new food critic and editor who promises to pick up where Bill left off. We're lucky to have found Besha Rodell. An Australia native, Besha worked extensively at restaurants before writing for Time Out New York and other publications. Most recently she was food editor at the Independent Weekly in North Carolina.

You'll find Besha's first CL article in the Food & Drink section. In it, she seeks readers' ideas for restaurants to cover. Please welcome her with your thoughts.

You may have noticed a couple of other familiar names missing from the paper. Senior Editor Doug Monroe, whose extraordinary Humbug Square column graced our pages for a year-and-a-half, has taken a break from column writing to concentrate on a novel. And Andisheh Nouraee, whose wisecracks and snapshots have been featured in CL's Scene & Herd column for five years, is taking a three-month hiatus (Andy's still writing Don't Panic, his insightful take on the terror surrounding the war on terror).

Indentured servitude might have served our readers well if we could have applied the practice to Doug and Andy. Fortunately, we've been able to bring on two great replacements. Senior Editor John Sugg has resumed the Fishwrapper column many of you have been missing. And local bon vivant Frederick Noble is filling in for Andisheh.

It's a bit less obvious to readers that two other great staff members recently left the Loaf. A&E Editor Suzanne Van Atten was lured away by the nasty ol' daily. And veteran staff photographer Jim Stawniak is trying his hand at freelancing. We're working on replacements.

Telling you about this stuff is a bit like reporting the obvious: It's up to you to decide how well we're keeping up with the changes. In nearly eight years as Loaf editor, I've attempted to turn such challenges into opportunities to improve the paper. Please don't hesitate to let me know how we're doing and to offer your suggestions.

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