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Angel Rodriguez will lead Los Angeles Times news desk

Angel Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times assistant managing editor.
Angel Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times assistant managing editor.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

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

As part of our vital ongoing efforts to grow our online audience, we are pleased to announce that Assistant Managing Editor Angel Rodriguez will take on a new role as leader of the news desk, working at the nexus of the production and distribution of our journalism.

Angel will oversee the editors who program the home page and mobile app as well as the audience engagement editors who skillfully spot trends online and develop strategies to push out our stories. He also will coordinate the digital distribution of news coverage across departments — particularly the rapid response to major events. Under his leadership, the news desk will be at the center of our efforts to expand digital reach, engagement, conversion and retention.

As we have said frequently, there is no more important mission for us as a news organization than building the size of our online audience and growing our digital subscription base, which has increased from 130,000 to 180,000 in just over a year. In his new role, Angel will report to me and will work closely with every member of editorial leadership as we define and refine the working relationships between the news desk and the rest of editorial. He will also help lead the conversion sprint team, which continues to work with editors across the newsroom.

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Four editors will report to Angel: Dan Watson, our Washington-based news director; Lora Victorio and Warren Wolfswinkel, deputy digital editors; and Samantha Melbourneweaver, our director of audience engagement. Several home page editors who currently report to Matt Ballinger will now report to Warren. Angel will also work closely with the product, engineering and data teams.

Angel will help recruit and hire a team of high-metabolism writers to report, curate and distribute breaking news, and he will coordinate closely with the breaking news teams on Metro and Calendar. He will work closely with Samantha and her deputy, Seth Liss, on social media and search optimization.

Deputy Managing Editor Sewell Chan will work much more closely with the foreign and national desks and with the A1 editors. Assistant Managing Editors Len De Groot and Loree Matsui will continue to report to him, as will Scott Sandell and the newsletters team.

Angel, who has led our award-winning sports staff for more than four years, has deep experience in digital journalism. He came to The Times from the Washington Post, where he was deputy editor for mobile innovation. Previously, as sports editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer, he guided a redesign of the paper’s sports website and created an app for local baseball coverage. He has also worked as an online sports producer and later home page manager for the Arizona Republic, and he was part of a team that launched ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language sports website. He grew up in Houston and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Latin American history.

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We intend to post the sports editor position shortly. In the meantime, Deputy Sports Editor Mike Hiserman will continue running the department, reporting directly to Deputy Managing Editor Kimi Yoshino.


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