Veteran journalist Alisha Gomez has been named managing editor of Los Angeles Times Community News (TCN) in Orange County, Editor John Canalis announced Wednesday.
Gomez will help oversee the staff of 24 that produces the Daily Pilot, Coastline Pilot and Huntington Beach Independent, which have a combined print circulation of 137,000. She previously served as managing editor of the Huntington Beach Independent and the Coastline Pilot and, on June 3, will add the Daily Pilot to her duties as part of a planned newsroom reorganization.
"Alisha is a talented editor, a solid journalist and a committed manager who will help improve our already great digital and print products in coastal Orange County," Canalis said. "I can think of no one better to help lead us through a rapidly changing journalistic landscape. She has the respect of the staff and the communities she currently serves in Laguna and Huntington, and I have every confidence she will make great things happen at the Daily Pilot as well."
Gomez, 34, joined TCN as a full-time employee in July 2012 after serving as a contract employee for about a year. Previously, she served as managing editor of the Orange County Business Journal and wrote for Riviera, Live OC! and Long Beach magazine. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Cal State Long Beach.
Gomez will report to Canalis, who will continue as TCN South editor in Orange County, and also provide editing help to LA Now, the Los Angeles Times breaking news blog.
The Pilot last had a managing editor in 2008, when the position was eliminated during the economic downturn.
The appointment of a managing editor is part of an overall newsroom restructuring that will allow more of the newspaper's editors to work across different titles and platforms and increase the newspapers' focus on its growing digital portfolio, Canalis said.
As part of the restructuring, Daily Pilot City Editor Jamie Rowe will become metro editor of all three titles in Orange County. Rowe, 30, began with the Daily Pilot six years ago and has held numerous positions, including online editor and copy editor. She previously worked as an editorial assistant at the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
Huntington Beach Independent City Editor Alicia Lopez will now serve as city editor for all three titles. Lopez, 42, rejoined the TCN staff about six months ago but in the past worked for TCN in multiple positions over several years. She also worked at the Irvine World News, the Tustin Weekly and the Inland Valley Bulletin in Ontario and as a journalism instructor at Orange Coast College.
Online Editor Kelly Parker, who worked for the Chico Enterprise-Record before joining TCN nearly six years ago as a page designer, will expand the newspaper's digital efforts by taking a more active role in the newsroom as an assignment editor. Parker, 29, previously served as a page designer and city editor in Laguna Beach.
The community newspapers are rapidly expanding the scope of their websites and tablet apps, and Parker will supervise their growth.
"Jamie, Alicia and Kelly, quite simply, make these newspapers work," Canalis said. "Without their fierce dedication to the communities we serve, we would not be as fast and nimble as we are online and our stories would not be as in-depth."