Audience Team Announces Two Moves

Rachel Schnalzer, left, will focus on Foreign/National and Technology/Business coverage for the Audience team, while Lauren Lee will be a full-time engagement editor.
(Kirk McCoy and Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

As part of the rebuilding of the Los Angeles Times, Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine, Deputy Managing Editor Sewell Chan and Audience Engagement Director Samantha Melbourneweaver made the following announcement.

We are pleased to announce two moves within our Audience team.

Rachel Schnalzer, a key contributor to the brilliant relaunch of the Food section, will shift her attention to Foreign/National and Technology/Business, bringing her editorial smarts to these two vital areas of coverage. “Rachel takes a beyond-the-headline approach to social media,” says our food editor, Peter Meehan. “She works to balance the intention and tone of the story with the internet’s insatiable thirst. It’s the sort of characteristic that makes you comfortable she won’t be flippant in a way that might rack up ‘likes’ at the expense of the reader, subject or writer.” Rachel, who grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated in 2015 from Johns Hopkins University, joined us earlier this year from BuzzFeed. She will use social media, SEO strategies and data to deepen readers’ engagement with our coverage of crucial subjects like automation, energy, transportation and U.S. relations with China and Mexico.

Lauren Lee, whose tweets about French fries became something of an internet sensation, is joining the audience team full-time as an engagement editor. Since she started at The Times in November, Lauren has helped the food team develop a hipper, edgier and more conversational voice. She has a wide slate of technical capabilities and a passion for short-form online video. Lauren received a degree last year from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she studied film, animation and video with a concentration in video art. Lauren is a native of Los Angeles and a graduate of the Harvard-Westlake School. Following Lauren’s viral posts around our French fry rankings, our colleague Matt Pearce and others asked on Twitter, “Can we please hire the intern?” We have taken his suggestion to heart.