New York Times business editor Dean Murphy wrote:
I’m pleased to announce that we have a dynamic reporting trio coming our way — Rachel Abrams of Variety, Danielle Ivory of Bloomberg and Elizabeth Harris, now Metro’s Appraisal writer.
Rachel Abrams, who has worked at Variety since 2010, is the newest member of the DealBook/Finance cluster. Though she has been spending most of this first week at The Times in new employee orientation sessions, she has also managed to squirrel away with Sue Craig for a crash course in the ways of Wall Street. It is certainly not all new terrain to her. In leading Variety’s entertainment financial coverage in Los Angeles, Rachel had dealings with the likes of Goldman Sachs, catching the attention of both journalists (our own Brooks Barnes and Andrew Ross Sorkin, among them) and industry insiders for a series of scoops and features that were must reads within the world of entertainment. Rachel also worked as a freelance contributor at Voice of America, attended NYU and after graduation was an intern for Israel National Radio on the West Bank. Her secret claim to fame? There are many, but here’s a couple. She was a guest on a Father’s Day episode of “This American Life,” and she has performed poetry readings at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Apollo and Columbia University.
Danielle Ivory, who has worked at Bloomberg News in Washington the past three years, will bring her expertise in mining government databases to a new BizDay beat — the business of the public sector. Danielle was the lead database reporter on stories for Bloomberg’s investigations team, including a project that revealed how tax-funded programs intended to help the needy also enriched wealthy entrepreneurs. Earlier, at the Huffington Post Investigative Fund (where she worked alongside our own Ben Protess), she contributed to a series on water contamination that was a finalist for an IRE award. Danielle grew up in Pullman, Wash., the self-professed lentil capital of the world, and earned degrees from Princeton and Oxford, where her master’s dissertation explored the history of car accidents in London and how the auto lobby promoted safety laws and driver-friendly technology. Her secret claim to fame? Danielle wrote, choreographed and performed a “jukebox jazz opera” and starred as the lead ballerina in a workshop production of the Trojan Women by Euripes. She starts this month.
Liz Harris, a reporter for Metro and the Appraisal columnist, describes herself as “a sample-sale queen.” Asked about her shopping routine, she advises, “Elbows out, ladies!” And why might that be important? Liz starts next week as our retailing reporter, just in time for the holiday rush (and, lucky for Liz, Black Friday crowds!). “My favorite shopping experience is any time I find an excellent scarf on sale,” Liz says. It’s good, of course, that Liz enjoys the retail hunt, but the real reason she is a terrific match for this job is that Liz is an outstanding beat reporter who engages readers with a broad range of stories. Her Appraisal columns have delved into the comical (garbage disposal as tools for selling real estate), the curious (the last brownstone mine), the trend-setting (organic dry cleaners as barometers of gentrification) and the consequential (tax breaks for multimillion dollar condos). “Every Monday for two years, live on the web, Liz Harris has surprised and intrigued readers in real estate-mad New York,” says Metro editor Wendell Jamieson. Ian Trontz, another of Liz’s fans on Metro, adds, “We will miss her voice in Metro and will be looking forward to hearing it in a new context.” Liz’s secret claim to fame? Aside from making the best stove-top popcorn around, she deployed one of the best career advancement strategies around. One of Liz’s first jobs at The Times was working as a substitute secretary for Gail Collins, but in just two months on the job, Liz recalls, she sent Gail to two early morning breakfast meetings that did not exist. Gail promptly hired her as a clerk, where she immediately shined doing journalism, and Liz was well on her way to the newsroom. Says Gail, “I’ve been so proud of her work on the news side.”