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Los Angeles Times announces new hires, transfers and promotions

Chris Price, Carla Rivera, Micah Fluellen, Christina Schoellkopf, Keith Bedford, Christi Carras, Sue Horton, Maret Orliss.
New Los Angeles Times hires and promotions. Top row from left: Chris Price, Carla Rivera, Micah Fluellen and Christina Schoellkopf. Bottom row from left: Keith Bedford, Christi Carras, Sue Horton and Maret Orliss.
(Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine made the following announcement.

The Times has announced new hires, transfers and promotions throughout the newsroom.

Chris Price has joined The Times’ audience engagement team as an editor embedded in the Entertainment and Arts section.

Price was most recently a social media editor at Politico, where he developed a social media video strategy, comanaged Politico’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts and optimized content for the web. He also has worked as a social media editor at the Joint Center in Washington, D.C., and produced digital and social media content with CBS-affiliated TV stations in Atlanta and Baltimore and with CNN’s Newsource team.

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Price reports to Samantha Melbourneweaver and works alongside Christina Schoellkopf and Justin Ray, focusing on project promotion and rollout and on growing audience for movies, TV, music, arts, Company Town and books journalism.

He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Elon University in North Carolina and is finishing his master’s degree in journalism from Georgetown University. A Georgia native, Price is living in Maryland now but will move to L.A. when the pandemic allows. He looks forward to spending time with family in Southern California and seeing more live music and entertainment.

Carla Rivera takes on a new role as deputy editor of investigations, a position in which she will work with Jack Leonard in leading a team of seasoned investigative reporters and assist others with investigations across the newsroom. In her new role, Rivera will help conceive, launch and guide stories that carry out one of the paper’s most important missions — to uncover misconduct, systemic racism, exploitation and other abuse of the vulnerable by the powerful.

Rivera has expertly carried out that mission during more than three decades at the paper, most recently as an assistant city editor handling local justice coverage on the Metro desk. Among some of the notable work that Rivera oversaw were stories that exposed how an elite LAPD unit disproportionately stopped Black drivers, the failure to root out deputy gangs within the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, missteps by county child welfare workers overseeing the case of a 10-year-old boy who was tortured and beaten to death, dangerous care at a South L.A. psychiatric hospital where a patient was killed, and a Sheriff’s Department cover-up after deputies passed around photos from the Kobe Bryant crash site.

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Rivera joined The Times as a Metpro fellow in 1985 and, but for a yearlong stint at the Fresno Bee, has worked here ever since. As a reporter, she explored the built-up rage, patterns of business ownership and breakdown in political leadership that led to the 1992 Los Angeles riots and then accounted for the millions of dollars that flowed to the city in its aftermath. She chronicled the political and social divisions and implementation of universal preschool in L.A. County and examined gentrification of downtown L.A. and the calculated entrenchment of skid row. And on the education beat, she exposed a secret speaking fee paid by Cal State Stanislaus to Sarah Palin, detailed the slide in Catholic school enrollment and its impact on students of color, and revealed the maneuvering of Beverly Hills school officials to kick out students from other districts. She was a reporter on four teams that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news.

Rivera graduated with both a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in journalism from UC Berkeley. A sports fan, she roots for Cal in college football and Chelsea in the English Premier League.

Micah Fluellen has joined the design team as a features art director.

Fluellen was a 2020 summer design intern, and in that role he immediately impressed design and features editors with his initiative and creativity. In his new role, Fluellen will continue to create illustrations and animations for sections across the paper. He also will continue to regularly contribute illustrations — and plant memes — to the @latimesplants Instagram account. He will design and art direct for the features sections.

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Fluellen graduated from Ohio University, where he studied multimedia design and specialized in journalism while also working as a junior motion designer for WOUB Productions. He also worked in Washington, D.C., as a creative design intern for the nonprofit the Grassroot Project and as a promotion design intern for C-SPAN in the summer of 2019. His work has been featured in the Washington Post. He is from Columbus, Ohio.

Christina Schoellkopf has been promoted to assistant editor for Entertainment and Arts audience engagement. In her new role, Schoellkopf will lead our digital rollout plans for the department’s most ambitious work, plan online coverage of our tentpole events and work with Julia Turner, Alison Brower and Laurie Ochoa to guide our audience development strategy.

Schoellkopf will work closely with digital editor Jevon Phillips on digital presentation. Together, they’ll coordinate with Ray and Price to ensure that Entertainment content finds and connects with audiences.

Schoellkopf’s role is a new one within the audience engagement team led by Melbourneweaver and Seth Liss. The role puts her in a position to take her excellent organization, planning and leadership skills to another level. Schoellkopf’s duties put her at the nexus of our digital and audience growth strategies, and she will be in a position to further collaborate across storytelling platforms to innovate and show the full strength of our digital reporting.

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Schoellkopf has worked in audience engagement at The Times since 2018.

Keith Bedford has joined us as photo editor on the assignment desk.

Before coming to The Times, Bedford spent the majority of his 24-year career in journalism as a freelancer, frequently contributing to the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, covering everything from natural disasters to presidential politics. He has worked as both a photojournalist and a producer of short films for the BBC, CNN’s Great Big Story, Instagram and others. He was a staff photographer for the Boston Globe from 2015 to 2018, covering politics, race and the opioid crisis.

In his new role, he will be responsible for coordinating visual coverage for local news for both online and print. Bedford currently lives in Tokyo, with his wife and son, but plans to move to L.A. as soon as conditions allow.

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Christi Carras has been named a reporter on the Entertainment and Arts team, where she’ll work with James Reed and the morning crew to cover trending culture news as it breaks.

Carras came to The Times as a summer intern last year and has remained on in a temporary capacity covering for several employees on leave. She has distinguished herself during her time here, ready to go at 6 a.m. with the morning team and consistently delivering speedy, sprightly, thoroughly reported and widely read perspectives on the day’s culture news. In addition to tracking late-night TV and celebrity gossip, and contributing lucid explainers of trending storylines, Carras led our extensive coverage of Nick Cordero’s long COVID-19 battle (and subsequent death). She also has profiled internet sensations (such as 10-year-old drum prodigy Nandi Bushell), explored how the pandemic has upended Hollywood’s audition process and reported on actress Ana de Armas’ messy relationship with a Twitter fan account. Carras also wrote the only ranking of One Direction songs you’ll ever need.

A native of Illinois and graduate of UCLA, Carras previously interned at Variety, the Hollywood Reporter and CNN Newsource.

Sue Horton, one of the most versatile and admired editors at The Times, will become a senior editor for columnists and enterprise, based in the newsroom.

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Horton rejoined The Times in 2018 as Op-Ed and Sunday Opinion editor, reprising a role she filled from 2008 to 2014. In her nearly two years back in Opinion, she and the Op-Ed team have improved response time, getting op-eds posted as quickly as possible after news breaks, no easy task given the hundreds of unsolicited contributions sent to The Times each week. They have used audience data to assign and commission essays that deeply resonated with readers and commissioned more first-person pieces and graphic op-eds. They also have reached out to a broader group of contributors, especially female writers and writers of color.

A former editor-in-chief of L.A. Weekly, Horton first joined The Times in 2001 as Sunday Opinion editor. From 2004 to 2008, she was deputy Metro editor for enterprise, before returning to Opinion. Before her most recent return to The Times, she worked at Reuters, where she edited major enterprise and served a stint as L.A. bureau chief.

In her new role, Horton will work with a mix of news and opinion columnists; she’ll continue to edit Steve Lopez, Nicholas Goldberg and Robin Abcarian, while also taking on additional columnists and working with Steve Padilla on Column One. She will begin the new position once a new Op-Ed editor is named.

Maret Orliss has joined the Op-Ed department from the events team, where for 15 years she worked on programming the Festival of Books, engaging with writers and thinkers across every imaginable topic. She collaborated regularly with the newsroom and also helped to develop the Envelope Live, the Ideas Exchange series, The Taste and much more. Those contacts will serve her well in her new role, in which she’ll solicit, assign and edit opinion essays from a wide array of thinkers and writers.

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Prior to joining The Times, Orliss worked for seven years at Vroman’s Bookstore, where she hosted events, wrote and edited newsletters, and, of course, sold books — lots of them. She also has worked for a literary agency, served on a grant review committee for the National Endowment for the Arts and been a regular visiting faculty member for UC Riverside-Palm Desert’s MFA program. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Monterey, Orliss is a lifelong Californian. She is a graduate of Occidental College.


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