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Three Journalists Named to Roles on News and Copy Desks

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Marc Olson, left, Victor Barajas, center, and Curtis Zupke.
(Los Angeles Times)

As part of the rebuilding of the Los Angeles Times, Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine, Deputy Managing Editor Sewell Chan and Assistant Managing Editor Loree Matsui made the following announcement.

The Los Angeles Times began staffing its website 24/7 in 2007, and the task of running it overnight has grown as the digital news cycle continues to relentlessly accelerate.

Since 2007, Marc Olson has edited the home page overnight, helping to launch coverage of numerous stories, including the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011, the Christopher Dorner manhunt in 2013, and the mass shootings at the Borderline Bar and Grill and the Torrance bowling alley last year. We are happy to announce that he will be moving to a less grueling schedule in August. Marc will shift from the News Desk to the news copy desk, which edits foreign, national, metro and business coverage, as well as opinion. This is a homecoming for Marc, who joined The Times in 1998 and was a copy editor on the Orange County and National desks before joining the home page in 2007. Before The Times, Marc worked at the Orange County Register, the San Diego Tribune and the San Juan Star in Puerto Rico. He is a Minneapolis native and a graduate of the University of Minnesota.

Filling Marc’s big shoes is Victor Barajas, a sports copy editor at The Times since 2016. Victor spent 25 years at the Arizona Republic in roles that included sports copy editor, features copy editor and features writer. For 14 years, he was a digital editor for the AZCentral website, where he managed several sections and helped organize coverage of numerous events, including the Sept. 11 attacks, the Jodi Arias case and two cases of serial killings. Victor was born in Nogales, Ariz., grew up in Phoenix and graduated from Arizona State University. He is based in Hawaii — a time zone that has suited the operational needs of the sports copy desk. He will run the home page until 1 a.m. in Hawaii (4 a.m. in California), and then hand it off to Washington to run for two hours before the Times main newsroom is up and running.

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Replacing Victor on the sports copy desk is Curtis Zupke, who has been a sports journalist in Southern California for more than 20 years. Curtis worked at the Orange County Register from 1999 to 2011, and has been covering hockey since 2006. He freelanced for the Associated Press, NHL.com and The Times before becoming a full-time reporter in 2017. Curtis has covered everything from high school golf and the College World Series to the Lakers and the U.S. Open. He has written about a rodeo in Anaheim, a paddleboard race to Catalina Island, three Stanley Cup Finals and many rainy L.A. Marathons. He was born and raised in the South Bay, graduated from San Francisco State University and — unfortunately, he says — roots for Nebraska football.

As we revitalize and modernize our newsroom, we are eager to hear from journalists interested in new roles and assignments. We need to become a more flexible and adaptable organization — one in which learning new skills and taking on new challenges are commonplace. We are grateful that Victor and Curtis have volunteered for new opportunities, and we salute Marc for his extraordinary 12-year run on the home page.


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