The following note went out to the Reuters news staff on Monday from David Storey, who headed the desk operation in DC that is now being eliminated:
Four journalists whose lives have been intertwined with Reuters, whose skills and experiences have helped shaped what “the Reuters file” means, will leave the company in Washington on Tuesday, each with more than a quarter of a century in which they helped create, in their own way, the finest news agency in the world. They were part of a highly effective general news reporting-and-desking operation, which closes and disperses on New Year’s Eve.
Jackie Frank has done most reporting and editing jobs in Washington. She traveled with George H.W. Bush. She covered State and Pentagon. She ran coverage of Clinton’s healthcare reform effort (yes it’s been done before…) and oversaw Hill coverage of his impeachment. She reported on years of budget and taxation wrangles, was Washington health correspondent and for more than a decade has been an anchor on the DC desk.
Phil Barbara, originally a financial editor in Chicago and New York (he not only survived but says he ENJOYED the legendary Rudi Saks), brought his own brand of versatility to DC when the general news desk moved here from NY in the 1990s. His lively feature writing has included memorable tales about baseball players, the stadiums they play in and the balls they hit.
Vicki Allen has been a skillful, persistent reporter on any number of beats in Washington, from budgets to foreign affairs. When she came to the editing desk she brought an unflappable calm and Midwestern good sense, as well as the perfect bedside manner with reporters – firm, friendly and precise – that set a standard for good desk relations.
Chris Wilson has mixed a hard-nosed news sense and a strong understanding for business news with a delight in the absurd in his triple-A journalism career: Africa, Amsterdam and the Americas. He was bureau chief in Canada and in Boston and EIC on Capitol Hill before becoming a pillar of the DC desk. He always brings the fresh breeze of the veldt, boundless curiosity and a highly tuned crapometer.
They will be missed, as were Xavier Briand and Stacey Joyce, who left Reuters a few weeks ago.