Some of you may have noticed the change to Michael Scherer's bio at the bottom of his great Meghan McCain profile today, identifying him as our "former" Washington correspondent. I'm sad to say that Michael has left us to cover the presidential campaign for Time magazine. He's been a crucial part of our news resurgence over the last two years, breaking stories on Abu Ghraib, George Allen's race problems and the 2008 presidential campaign. We miss him already. But we're thrilled to welcome Mike Madden, who has covered politics, Congress and Washington for Gannett News Service since 2000. Mike has also written for Time.com, the New York Observer, USA Today and Wonkette, and he'll join Walter Shapiro on the campaign trail shortly.
We've made a few other great hires recently. Sarah Hepola joined us a few weeks ago as a deputy Life editor; her "Busting Out" was a big hit last week. She's a former contributing editor at Nerve.com whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian and Slate and on NPR. She's also been a contributing writer at TheMorningNews.org. And in January James Hannaham will join us as a culture critic. James has written for the Village Voice, Spin, Out, Africana.com (now AOL Black Voices), Time Out NY and Interview, and teaches creative writing and journalism at the Pratt Institute. He's already well known to Salon readers, having written in recent months about the Larry Craig scandal, Britney Spears' new album, black and white attitudes toward poverty and Amy Winehouse's self-destruction. We've been blessed with exceptional talent over the years but I think our 2008 team may be our best ever, and I'm looking forward to a great year.