Thurber, Harvey joining Times masthead


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Here’s a memo from Editor Russ Stanton announcing organizational changes in The Times newsroom:


The launch of the redesigned in the coming weeks is a good reminder of the continually changing nature of our business, and our need to adapt to the shifting reading, viewing and consumption habits of our ever-expanding audiences.


To that end, we are making some changes at the masthead level to improve upon our commitment to a 24-hour newsgathering operation, the goal being to continue to expand the reach of the high-quality journalism produced by the Los Angeles Times.

First, Randy Harvey, our Sports editor since 2006, will become associate editor, effective immediately. In this role, Randy will take on a host of broad and important responsibilities that currently keep me from spending more time in the newsroom. Chief among them:

--Helping complete the implementation of the strategic plan that we developed last year. To compete and thrive, our newsroom must operate as a fully functional 24/7 operation, feeding print, the Web, mobile devices, television, radio, Twitter, Facebook and anything else that helps us increase -- and better connect with -- our audience. Randy will work closely with me to ensure that organizational and journalistic decisions are made in accordance with that plan.

--Be the point person for editorial with the other departments of The Times (advertising, marketing, circulation and operations), including managing company- and corporate-wide initiatives.

Randy is getting these additional responsibilities because of his outstanding leadership of our Sports section, the best in the country. The Sports staff has consistently led the newsroom in broadening our coverage beyond print, and Randy has overseen that effort by sharpening our focus to the things that matter the most to our readers, and then owning those areas in every medium in which our readers consume news.

Also taking on an expanded role is Jon Thurber, who will become managing editor, print, effective immediately. Jon, our obituary editor since 1998, will now have primary responsibility for coordinating and carrying out the content plans for the newspaper and other print products produced by our newsroom, including overseeing the front page and the A1 desk.

Over the last 11 years, Jon has built our obituary desk into one of the best in the country. The formidable work of Jon and his staff -- both in print and online -- has been front and center in recent days with the spate of celebrity deaths we’ve covered.

Jon and Meredith Artley will work closely together -- and with our section editors -- to ensure that the needs of the paper and the website are being met and that our coverage on these platforms is complementary. We are changing Meredith’s title to managing editor, online, and she will continue to oversee our digital properties, which will expand over time.

Davan Maharaj will continue as managing editor, news, and it will remain his responsibility to supply engaging journalism so that Jon and Meredith can fulfill their respective missions. Davan, Jon, Meredith and Randy will report to me.

Randy joined The Times in 1981, covering the Lakers in the Showtime era. He made his name as an Olympics reporter during the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. He succeeded the late Allan Malamud as the section’s Page 2 columnist in 1996 and became senior assistant sports editor in 2000, helping coordinate planning, coverage and projects.

Randy left The Times in 2004 to become assistant managing editor for sports at the Baltimore Sun, where he polished his reputation as an innovative editor. He rejoined The Times in 2006.

Before joining The Times, Randy worked for the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Austin American-Statesman and Dallas Times Herald in his native Texas, the Chicago Sun-Times and the New York Daily News.

Jon, who joined The Times during the Nixon administration, has a broad knowledge of its workings across the newsroom. He began as a copy boy and learned the craft of copy editing while working as a clerk on the foreign desk. During 15 years in foreign, he worked as a copy editor, news editor and deputy editor of the weekly World Report section. He also filled in as A1 editor.

He moved to Features in the early 1990s, where he was in charge of the news and copy desks and production, initially for the Calendar section and eventually for every feature section. He also edited Calendar’s jazz coverage, encouraging some very nontraditional stories on an underappreciated art form.

As obituary editor, Jon has focused his excellent and engaged staff on storytelling, with coverage that has been widely praised. He also has led by example, penning more than 400 obits during his time as editor.

In 2007, Jon served as one of the 28 members of the Reinvent Committee, on which he was a key contributor, helping edit various drafts of the report, including the final document.

Russ Stanton