DOWNTOWN — A former editor for the Hollywood Reporter will take the helm at the Glendale News-Press and Burbank Leader in April, roughly two months after Danette Goulet announced her intent to step down.
Dan Evans, who most recently served as online news editor for the Hollywood Reporter, was announced as Goulet’s replacement in a staff meeting Monday and will take over as director of editorial for four Times Community News titles, including the Crescenta Valley Sun and La Cañada Valley Sun, April 1.
Goulet will remain in her position during the transition.
Los Angeles Times Targeted Media President John O’Loughlin said the decision to hire Evans came following an “exhaustive search” from within and outside the company, and that his web experience would be tapped to expand the papers’ digital reach.
“We’re pleased with where we’ve arrived,” O’Loughlin said.
In additional to his experience in new media, Evans brings an extensive background in community journalism. The 33-year-old got his start as a reporter for the Ontario Our Times weekly newspaper, a now-defunct title of Times Community News, before moving on to the San Francisco Examiner, where he covered crime and the courts.
Upon graduating from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Evans took a job at the Los Angeles Daily Journal, reporting on Orange County.
A stint as the senior investigator for the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission proceeded his two years at the Hollywood Reporter, which he left in December.
Evans is also an adjunct instructor on ethics in mass media at Cal State Long Beach.
“In a sense, this is a bit of a dream for me,” Evans told staffers at the meeting Monday.
A four-year resident of Burbank with his wife, Donna — a former Glendale News-Press reporter — Evans said that he has always been an avid reader of the Burbank Leader, where he learned of Goulet’s planned departure in February.
That prompted an inquiry and numerous follow-ups.
Last week, Los Angeles Times executives offered him the job after an extensive interview process that depended heavily on input from his predecessor.
“Dan clearly understood our mission and what we do here, and stood out as someone who can take these papers to the next level,” Goulet said.
For his part, Evans said he had plans to increase the functionality of the papers’ websites and expand their presence through blogs and accounts on Facebook and Twitter as newspapers everywhere struggle to remain relevant amid declining subscriptions.
Interest in hyper-local media has been one of the few bright spots for the Times, and Evans said moving the News-Press and its sister papers into the digital era would only grow their readership.
“I really believe [community journalism] is the strongest print niche,” he said. “You can’t get this news anywhere else.”