Business Media News

NY Times hires Lee to be Western economics correspondent

May 4, 2022

Posted by Chris Roush

Kurtis Lee

New York Times business editor Ellen Pollock sent out the following on Wednesday:

We’re delighted to announce that Kurtis Lee will join the business desk as Western economics correspondent, based in Los Angeles.

A national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, where he’s worked since 2014, Kurtis has a gift for producing deeply reported stories that illuminate a place and its people’s lives. He’s shown it recently in a series on how Las Vegas is trying to bounce back economically from the pandemic. He did it in award-winning articles on the struggle to fight Covid in the Navajo Nation. He proved it in a story from Tulsa on the resilient weekly newspaper that forced a reckoning with the 1921 race massacre. And he demonstrated it in a piece from Lordsburg, N.M., about the pandemic’s toll on local livelihoods — starting with the layoff of the only employee of the town’s history museum.

In his new assignment, Kurtis will be roving from Alaska to the Mexican border, from the Rockies to the Pacific to tell the story of a dynamic and diverse region — one with rich resources but particular economic challenges.

Kurtis is a Westerner, born and reared along the Front Range in Colorado. He moved to Philadelphia, where he attended Temple University, then spent some time in Washington, D.C., but the West quickly pulled him back. At The Denver Post, he covered state and local policy and politics and was part of the team awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of the Aurora theater shooting.

From there, “I moved to Los Angeles and, after finding a go-to al pastor burrito spot, knew it would be hard to ever leave,” Kurtis says. “I’m a bit of an aviation geek, so if I’m not on the road reporting, you’ll likely find me plane spotting from the grassy area between In-N-Out and LAX. Another place I’m a regular? The pavilion seats at Dodger Stadium.”

Kurtis will come aboard on June 14. Please join us in welcoming him.

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