Four Journalists Join Times California Team

Stephanie Chavez, Sonja Sharp, Kiera Feldman and James Rainey join the California team.
(Los Angeles Times)

As part of the rebuilding of the Los Angeles Times, Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine and Managing Editor Scott Kraft made the following announcement.

We are pleased to announce several important additions to our California team, under the leadership of Assistant Managing Editor Shelby Grad.

Stephanie Chavez, education editor, Metro

Chavez returns to the Los Angeles Times, where for more than two decades she covered a variety of reporting beats — including education — and served as deputy city editor and weekend Metro editor, overseeing coverage of earthquakes, brush fires, mudslides and mass shootings. Later as an editor on the National desk, she played a key role in the paper’s digital efforts and ran breaking stories including the Gulf oil spill and Boston Marathon bombing. Chavez left The Times in 2015 and most recently worked as a communications and strategy specialist for a Pasadena school. In her new role, she will oversee Metro’s education coverage while also working across the paper to launch initiatives around learning and youth issues.


Sonja Sharp, Metro reporter, Westside

Before coming to Los Angeles, Sharp spent years covering New York for a variety of publications, including The Times (us, not them). Her work also appeared in VICE, the Wall Street Journal, the Village Voice and DNAInfo. Sonja specialized in the intersection of crime and culture in New York, and that led her to write for The Times, covering the El Chapo trial with distinction. She also worked as an adjunct professor at Columbia University. Sharp is a magnet for great stories, and will bring those skills to covering a corner of our region known for its great wealth and traffic — but also its inequities and growing pains.

Kiera Feldman, investigative reporter, Metro

Feldman comes to us from ProPublica, where her reporting on New York City’s private trash industry exposed rampant safety violations, labor abuses and corruption, leading to a federal investigation and new city laws. She exposed the cover-up of a worker’s death and the continued involvement of organized crime in the garbage industry 20 years after New York City all but declared victory over the mob. In 2015 she won the Livingston Award for her investigation into the mishandling of college sexual assaults. A longtime narrative journalist, Feldman also has reported for Harper’s, the New Republic, Playboy, Voice of America and other media outlets.


Jim Rainey, state enterprise reporter, Metro

Rainey returns to The Times where, over several decades, he wrote with grace, authority and fearlessness for practically every section of the paper. In Metro, Rainey helped cover the O.J. Simpson saga as well as City Hall and was a member of several breaking-news Pulitzer-winning teams. He also served as state editor. For National, he hit the campaign trail. For Sports, he went after Clippers owner Donald Sterling. For Calendar, he wrote sharp media criticism. More recently, he was a senior film writer at Variety and a senior writer for In his new role, Rainey will report on the big issues facing California.