Marc Lacey Joins The New York Times In Phoenix

The New York Times is opening a new national bureau in Arizona and has tapped Marc Lacey, currently in Mexico City, to act as bureau chief. Lacey will oversee the reporting of stories throughout the Southwest region.

The Times, you may recall, also recently hired Adam Nagourney as the paper’s Los Angeles bureau chief.

The full memo by assistant managing editor for news Richard Berke regarding Lacey’s hiring, via Romenesko, appears after the jump.

May 11, 2010

A New New York Times Pioneer

Just when you thought the red-hot news out of Arizona was getting pushed off Page One, we have a Grand Canyon State scoop of our own: The first New York Times Phoenix Bureau Chief will be. …Marc Lacey.

We were wowed by pitches from many reporters who see the opportunities for The Times in the Southwest and the limitless story possibilities in the fastest growing region of the country.

But there is no more perfect fit than Marc to open our first new national bureau in decades. From Mexico City over the last four years, Marc has ranged around the Caribbean, Cuba and Central America and mastered the immigration issues that are so urgent north of the border. For five years before that as the East Africa correspondent, and, before that, as a White House and State Department correspondent, Marc built a track record of memorable journalism with his acute story sense, hustle and graceful writing. He is also a wonderful colleague, as many reporters learned when he recently coordinated on-the-ground earthquake coverage in Haiti.

Marc has a knack for detecting surprising stories in places readers have never heard of, and he will ply those skills as he roams the Southwest, writing not just about immigration and the drug wars but about everything from education to budget crises to politics to everyday living.

I can’t wait to read Marc’s insights about the similarities and differences of the two sides of the border. And he’s perfectly positioned to work closely with his successor in Mexico City, and his incoming counterpart in Los Angeles, Adam Nagourney.

Marc will open our bureau by mid-summer, plenty of time to be on the ground to cover John McCain’s primary race on Aug. 24.