Mary Kate Metivier, Javier Panzar promoted to assistant editors for audience engagement

Mary Kate Metivier and Javier Panzar
Mary Kate Metivier and Javier Panzar have guided the audience strategy of some of Metro’s most-read journalism this year.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The following announcement was sent on behalf of Assistant Managing Editor for Audience Samantha Melbourneweaver:

I am pleased to announce that Mary Kate Metivier and Javier Panzar have been promoted to assistant editor for audience engagement in Metro.

These promotions speak to the importance of strengthening and deepening the impact of The Times’ investigations, accountability journalism and narrative projects and help establish a path for career growth in The Times’ digital operation.


Metivier joined The Times as an audience engagement editor in the California section in 2019. In her time here, she’s worked with reporters and editors on some of Metro’s biggest stories including the Deadly Delays investigation, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and the investigation into the California Medical Board. She’s created a playbook for promoting Times podcasts, working to engage listeners around “Man in the Window” and “The Battle of 187.” Metivier has been instrumental in the California team’s coverage of the housing and homelessness crisis in L.A., having shepherded Thomas Curwen and Francine Orr’s The Street Within project.

Panzar started at The Times as an intern and then a Metpro fellow in 2014. He worked as a reporter until 2019, covering state and congressional politics and breaking news in Metro. He also worked as a News Desk editor before coming to the engagement team in 2020. Panzar’s work on our environment coverage, including last year’s DDT project and Metro’s Extreme Heat stories, have elevated some of our most important work to new audiences.

Together, Metivier and Panzar have helped create the workflow behind the digital team’s subscriber-exclusive initiative and guided the audience strategy of some of Metro’s most-read and most-converted-for journalism this year, including Laura Nelson’s story on QAnon’s influence in the wellness community, Matt Hamilton and Harriet Ryan’s coverage of Tom Girardi’s legal troubles and Sarah Parvini’s stories on migration in California.

They also played a vital role in our local and state elections coverage, managing landing pages, voter guides and social content rollout for election results.

“So much of the success California has seen in reaching audiences comes from the creativity, wise counsel and relentlessness of Mary Kate and Javier,” Deputy Managing Editor Shelby Grad said. “They’ve not only played a crucial role in our best work but helped countless reporters and editors think smarter about how to connect great journalism with big audiences. We have all come to rely on their sharp judgment, deep commitment to our work and innovative approaches. And they’ve achieved all of it with deep empathy and good cheer. They are cherished partners in all we’ve done.”

In their new roles, they will continue to train the Metro staff on digital best practices, create robust engagement plans for Metro’s work and take on more long-term strategic planning around events and core coverage areas.