Los Angeles Times California section announces new hires and moves

Portraits of four L.A. Times employees.
Clockwise from top left: Donovan X. Ramsey, Cindy Chang, Joel Rubin and Michael Finnegan.
(Antonio M. Johnson / Los Angeles Times)

Deputy Managing Editor Shelby Grad made the following announcement.

We are pleased to announce new hires and staffing moves in the California section:

Donovan X. Ramsey — reporter, Black Los Angeles

Donovan X. Ramsey is joining The Times to cover Black Los Angeles. He comes to L.A. after an impressive career as a long-form writer for such publications as GQ, Vice, WSJ Magazine and the Atlantic, where he wrote memorable profiles of such figures as Bubba Wallace, Killer Mike and Ibram X. Kendi. Ramsey has made writing about the impact of criminal justice on Black America a specialty, including a wrenching piece looking at the long shadow of a triple murder in Washington, D.C., and what it says about America’s war on drugs. He also served as commentary editor of the Marshall Project and is currently writing a book about the history of the crack epidemic in America. Previously based in Atlanta, Ramsey is excited about turning his lens to Los Angeles, where some of the many issues he cares deeply about — politics, culture, race and identity — are profoundly playing out. He starts Feb. 22.


Cindy Chang — assistant city editor

Cindy Chang has joined the City Desk as an assistant editor after a long and successful run on the law enforcement team. Chang is working with general assignment reporters both on daily and enterprise stories as well as assisting the California breaking news team. She has been filling in for several months, and her creative ideas, sharp editing and command of big breaking stories have been a tremendous asset. Chang most recently covered the Los Angeles Police Department, where she made her mark with powerful narrative stories and investigations (her series of scoops with Ben Poston on police pullovers of Black motorists led the LAPD to disband the program). Before that, Chang covered the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and served as an immigration and ethnic communities reporter. She previously worked at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and the Pasadena Star-News.

Joel Rubin — law enforcement editor

Joel Rubin has joined the City Desk as an assistant editor who is overseeing our crime and courts coverage alongside Richard Martin. He is a veteran investigative reporter who previously covered the LAPD and federal courts. Rubin brought a deep focus on policing accountability, data reporting and watchdog journalism to those beats, and we expect him to continue making those principles the center of our justice coverage. Rubin played central roles in some of our biggest accountability projects in this space, including exposing a sheriff’s program that targeted Latino drivers, serious crime misclassifications by the LAPD, and the City Hall bribery scandal. Before covering law enforcement, he was an education reporter and got his Times indoctrination the way many of us do: by covering an epic wildfire.

Michael Finnegan — federal courts reporter

Michael Finnegan, fresh off the 2020 campaign trial, has joined Metro as our federal courts and agencies reporter. Finnegan gained a national reputation for his sharp analysis and keen observation covering countless national, state and local elections. But he is also a skilled investigative reporter. In 2011, he and Gale Holland won the Worth Bingham Prize for investigative journalism for a series on rampant waste in the $6-billion rebuilding of Los Angeles community colleges. Accountability journalism will be one of several key focuses for Finnegan as he takes on this challenging new beat, which includes coverage of Southern California federal courts as well as myriad federal law enforcement agencies. Before joining The Times, Finnegan worked at the New York Daily News and the Hudson Dispatch.