Op-Ed news: LZ Granderson named a columnist, Valerie Nelson deputy editor

Diptych of LZ Granderson and Valerie Nelson in headshots
LZ Granderson is moving to Op-Ed as a columnist and Valerie Nelson has been elevated to deputy Op-Ed editor.
(Antonio Dixon; Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The following announcement was sent on behalf of Editorial Page Editor Sewell Chan and Op-Ed and Sunday Opinion Editor Terry Tang.

We are delighted to announce that LZ Granderson is moving to Op-Ed as a columnist and that Valerie Nelson has been elevated to deputy Op-Ed editor.

Granderson has dazzled readers, viewers and listeners with his insights since he joined The Times as a sports and culture columnist in January 2019 from ESPN. He has exploded traditional boundaries, commenting on politics, race, faith, society and music with great perception. Granderson’s work in 2020 was extraordinary. He wrote memorable columns on the WNBA star Maya Moore’s lifesaving intervention on behalf of a prison inmate and on the painful legacy of NASCAR and white supremacy, and also far beyond sports, chronicling the emotional toll of social distancing, John Lewis’ legacy of courageous struggle, the actor Chadwick Boseman’s transcendent impact on American culture, and support for President Trump among white evangelicals.

The move to the Op-Ed page is a recognition of Granderson’s omnivorous curiosity and range of interests. Granderson is not only a prescient writer but also a multimedia star. He regularly appears on “L.A. Times Today” on Spectrum News 1 and co-hosts “Sedano & LZ” on ESPN Los Angeles (710 AM). He has covered politics and news for CNN, and he is a political contributor for ABC News, where he was part of its 2016 and 2020 election coverage. We look forward to his continued appearances, now as an Op-Ed columnist.


Nelson is now a deputy editor, serving alongside Susan Brenneman, who has been a mainstay of the Op-Ed team. Nelson rejoined The Times in April 2019 as an assistant Op-Ed editor after four years at the Rand Corp., where she was a senior commentary editor. Before that, she spent more than 20 years at The Times in a variety of roles. They include deputy Home editor, helping to launch the Outdoors section as an assistant features editor, features editor of the Valley edition and staff writer on the obituaries desk. She has had nearly a thousand bylines in The Times.