L.A. Times announces new deputies, investigations editor and senior writers in Arts & Entertainment
The following was sent on behalf of Deputy Managing Editor Shani Hilton and acting Arts and Entertainment Editor Mary McNamara.
We are thrilled to announce some exciting news out of the entertainment department.
Craig Nakano has been promoted to deputy editor, Arts & Entertainment. Nakano, who has been with the Los Angeles Times since 2000 and has run our arts coverage since 2016, is a talented and versatile editor, the kind who can adroitly shepherd spot news, complex investigations, ambitious multimedia projects and Pulitzer-caliber criticism with a sure hand. He is beloved by his writers for his even keel, clear communication and ambition, and for the atmosphere of steady encouragement he creates for everyone on his team. As a deputy, Nakano will bring these fine qualities to the department as a whole, working with Julia Turner, Laurie Ochoa and the rest of the team to continue building the world-beating culture section Los Angeles deserves. With Nakano’s promotion, we’ll be hiring a new assistant editor to run our arts coverage. He began his new duties June 28.
Nate Jackson is (re)joining us as deputy editor, Arts & Entertainment. Jackson comes to us from Continuing Education of the Bar, a nonprofit law resource at UCLA where he has worked as a writer and editor; previously he worked as a news editor at the Wrap and music editor at the OC Weekly. He was also previously a Metpro fellow and then Calendar reporter here at the Los Angeles Times. Jackson impressed our hiring committee with his deep knowledge of Southern California, strong editing acumen, sharp digital instincts and his vision for how our coverage can evolve and grow. As a deputy, he will help Turner, Ochoa and Nakano oversee our Arts & Entertainment coverage, with a particular focus at the outset on breaking news and Hollywood. He starts July 12.
Richard Verrier has been promoted to investigations editor, Arts & Entertainment. Verrier has been with the Los Angeles Times since 2001 and has run our Company Town team since 2016. After stints at the St. Petersburg Times and the Orlando Sentinel, he joined the paper as a reporter and for many years covered all aspects of the entertainment industry, from Disney’s boardroom turmoil to the 2007-08 writers’ strike, before turning to editing. Under Verrier, the Company Town team has produced ambitious coverage of the business of Hollywood, including recent investigations that have led to the ouster of CBS executives and NBC dropping the 2022 Golden Globes. In his new role, he will continue to edit our Company Town coverage, with assistance from Jackson and others, while working to guide and edit investigative and enterprise reporting across the entertainment team, collaborating with writers and editors from all departments. Verrier began his new duties June 28.
Amy Kaufman has been named senior entertainment writer. Kaufman has been with the Los Angeles Times since 2009 as a staff writer on our film team. During that time, she’s become an essential voice on the Arts & Entertainment team, covering film but also pursuing investigations of figures like Brett Ratner, James Franco, Bryan Callen and Chris D’Elia, and delivering memorable and provocative profiles of figures as varied as Mr. Rogers’ widow, Stevie Nicks and Cazzie David. In her new role she’ll be explicitly tasked with pursuing high-impact profiles of cultural figures working in all genres and with tackling further investigations. She’ll also continue to cover film.
Greg Braxton has been named senior writer, culture and representation. Braxton has been with the Los Angeles Times for 39 years in many roles, most recently as a television reporter. In recent years, he has written extensively and deeply on issues of racism, representation and the flawed power of popular culture across many sections. His deep dives into the Bill Cosby case, controversies surrounding “The Bachelor,” pop culture’s depiction of law enforcement, the importance of “Watchmen’s” depiction of the Tulsa race massacre and his first-person account of the racism he faced in this newsroom during and after the 1992 riots are just a few of the ways in which Braxton has set the standard for writing about the culture in an inclusive and hard-truths-telling way. He will continue to cover television while examining issues that affect all parts of entertainment and culture.
Please join us in welcoming Jackson and congratulating him, Nakano, Verrier, Kaufman and Braxton.