The Times announces additions to podcast, project management teams

From left, Denise Guerra, Mario Diaz and Shannon Lin
From left, Denise Guerra, Mario Diaz and Shannon Lin are working on a daily news podcast that will launch in May.
(Los Angeles Times)

Sent on behalf of Deputy Managing Editor Julia Turner, Executive Producer Abbie Fentress Swanson, Vice President of Strategy and Development Clint Schaff and Director of News Tools and Project Management Brittany Hite:

We’re pleased to announce some additions to the Los Angeles Times.

Three new members of the audio team are working on our forthcoming daily news podcast, which will be hosted by Gustavo Arellano and launch in May.


Senior Podcast Producer Denise Guerra. Prior to her career in journalism, Guerra studied communication theory at UCLA — she can probably read your body language — and worked as a community liaison with the city of Los Angeles on transportation, housing and bridge projects. That’s where she honed the craft of listening to underserved communities. Guerra worked at Marketplace, in the KPCC newsroom and for the station’s morning show “Take Two.” She also was an adjunct instructor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where she got her M.A. in journalism. She went on to work at NPR, where she helped launch the Saturday edition of the “Up First” podcast, produced music segments featuring Mavis Staples and Ruby Ibarra, covered BLM protests at the White House and filed this story to find out how her grandfather ended up in San Quentin prison. Born and raised in California, Guerra is always looking for a new point of view and so has taken on skydiving and climbing the world’s tallest peaks. Find her out on dawn patrol surfing Sunset Boulevard and the PCH.

Podcast Producer Shannon Lin. Lin comes to us from KQED in San Francisco, where she was a breaking news reporter and producer. At KQED, she covered topics ranging from COVID-19 outbreaks in state prisons to the spread of misinformation in the Mandarin-speaking community on WeChat. Lin produced segments for the station’s live show “Forum” and KQED’s weekly news podcast “The Bay.” Favorite segments looked at the rise of a new generation of activists in Antioch, the battle between California and gig companies over workers’ compensation and talking to “The People’s Uncle” Cephus Johnson about how he turned the tragic loss of his nephew Oscar Grant to police violence into political action. Lin has also interned in WNYC’s newsroom and NPR’s “All Things Considered.” She’s a Bay Area native, the proud daughter of Taiwanese immigrants and is excited to expand The Times’ coverage of Northern California and show East Coasters that the West Coast is indeed the best coast.

Audio Engineer Mario Diaz. Diaz began his career in audio production at Cal State Long Beach, when he started taping performances and shows for the jazz station KLON. He went on to work at the Santa Monica public radio station KCRW as an audio engineer for the station’s signature music show “Morning Becomes Eclectic.” During his 20-year stint at KCRW, he recorded live music sessions with up-and-coming as well as established artists including Coldplay, Jimmy Cliff, Florence and the Machine and the Black Keys. He also engineered the weekly and daily news, entertainment and culture shows “To The Point,” “Which Way LA,” “Bookworm,” “The Treatment,” “Scheer Intelligence,” “Rhythm Planet,” “Greater LA” and “The Organist” podcast. Diaz is a father of three teenagers, a gearhead and owner of 1965 Mustangs, and an avid fan of motorsports such as F1, IndyCar and road racing.

The three of them are here and busy getting our new show underway. Guerra and Lin report to our Executive Producer Abbie Fentress Swanson, and Diaz reports to Vice President of Strategy and Development Clint Schaff.

And, today, we are joined by a new member of Brittany Hite’s news tools team:

Newsroom Project Manager Jarondakie Patrick. Patrick will take the lead on Graphene training, documentation and support and will project manage some of our major news initiatives. She will work closely with both our newsroom and our team of product managers, software engineers and product designers to improve our CMS, digital products and other processes. Patrick has an extensive background in media and a proven ability to collaborate across departments. She has worked at Condé Nast, St. Martin’s Press, Hearst Digital Media and Fox News. Patrick, a native of Louisiana, holds a degree in online media from Howard University and is a graduate of the Poynter-NABJ Leadership Academy in Digital Media.