Lane Changes: February 2010

Dan Neil has moved from Los Angeles to North Carolina and from the Los Angeles Times to The Wall Street Journal where his car column will resume in the Spring. It is rumored, he will be seen on Fox News TV, presumably commenting on cars. . . . Doug Stokes left Gale Banks Engineering where he beat the publicity drums non-stop for two and 1/2 years. He prefers not to call it freelance, suggesting, “reasonablelance” or “inexspensivelance“, but he is hanging out his shingle for PR, marketing, reputation management and consulting assignments and can be emailed at: or telephoned at: 626-391-3772.

John Stoll is no longer covering autos at the Wall Street Journal’s Southfield, Mich. bureau. No word on his next stop or his replacement. . . . Washington Times business editor Dean Honeycutt has left the paper and Sol Sanders arrives as international business editor. . . . Reporter Chris Bjorke is the new automotive contact at the Tribune in Bismarck, N.D. . . . Donny Nordlicht has left NextNewNetwork and now provides automotive content for the Rye, NY Record. (

Advertising Age has closed its Detroit outpost . . . Dan Solberg,, is the auto contact at the Rochester (MN), Post Bulletin . . . Likewise, Dennis Darrow for the Pueblo, Colo.,Chieftain: . . . Keith Buglewicz, formerly with the now mostly disbanded editorial group at AutobyTel, Inc., is building his own web site. He can be reached at . . . Michael Cain has replaced Tara Cox as managing editor of Popular Mechanics. Email him at:

Sami Sharaf has departed DsportMagazine and has not been replaced … The Santa Barbara News Press, has dropped its in-house auto coverage. . . . Richard Truett, former engineering editor at Automotive News, is now with Ford Motor Company. Charles Child supplants him for the nonce,. . . . Drive_time or will reach Susan Miers Smith, special sections editor at that daily. . . . Jim Taylor, who covers anything relative to automotive air conditioning and cooling for Action, the trade pub that he edits, has a new email:

Also with new emails: John Linkov, managing editor, autos, at Consumer Reports,, Ed Justice at Road & Track Speed Radio,, and freelancer “Mighty MoMaureen McDonald who relocated to the woods of Southfield, Mich., and can be emailed at She reports that in addition to her regular freelance outlets, she and cohort John Schultz will have a new book released in April titled, The City of Royal Oak. . . .“Dr. Gizmo” Phil Arendt, can be emailed at,

Not exactly a lane change but Al Vinikour’s bid to become autodom’s Andy Rooney got legs when his curmudgeonly column became a weekly offering for the Chicago Sun Times. He’s been humorously grouching about cars, auto journalism, the travails of travel and other topics for Ted Biederman’s website, for a time and more recently for, a website created by Scott Burgess, auto writer for the Detroit News.

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