Whitaker named NBC News Washington bureau chief

NBC News named Mark Whitaker, former Newsweek editor, its new Washington bureau chief on July 28, effective immediately. Whitaker will assume some of the duties vacant since the June 13 death of Tim Russert.

NBC News named Mark Whitaker, former Newsweek editor, its new Washington bureau chief on July 28, effective immediately. Whitaker will assume some of the duties vacant since the June 13 death of Tim Russert. Whitaker will oversee the network's election and political coverage and Meet the Press, and the 50-year-old will also appear on other NBC and MSNBC shows as an on-air analyst. Whitaker, who joined NBC News in May 2007 in the wake of then-MSNBC-morning-host Don Imus' racially insensitive comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team, has little television experience, like Russert before him. Reaction from unnamed staffers: “He sits in on a lot of meetings…but no one seems to know quite what it is he does,” and “He knows how to run a news-gathering operation…but he's basically a vice president without a portfolio. He's kind of been floating around.”

Also in the media glare:

Robert Novak discloses that he has a brain tumor, and is suspending journalistic efforts indefinitely.

The Los Angeles Times shutters its real estate section and relaunches its monthly magazine under the name LA.

Some AOL bloggers aren't getting paid this month.

XM and Sirius complete their merger and plan to use the name Sirius XM Radio Inc.

Hardball host Chris Matthews, rumored to have an eye on Republican Arlen Specter's Senate seat, won't discuss whether he'll run for office

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