John Canalis, most recently with the Long Beach Press-Telegram, will begin Monday as the new editor for the Daily Pilot, Huntington Beach Independent and Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot, Times Community News executives announced.
Canalis, 38, will oversee the production of the three papers in print and online. He’ll also oversee the youth sports website GameON OC, the staff blog OC Now, and lead Times Community News in its partnership with the Orange County Local News Network.
He takes the reins from Dan Evans, who has been the acting editor. Evans, editor of three Times Community News papers in Los Angeles County, took on the additional role after former editor Brady Rhoades left the paper in early December.
“This is a great choice,” said Evans, who returns to his regular duties at the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and La Cañada Valley Sun. “I’m looking forward to working with John as a partner and a colleague.”
Canalis previously served as the senior special projects reporter and before that, the page editor and city and business editor for the Press-Telegram, a daily newspaper with a circulation of 75,000.
“It’s a pretty rare opportunity these days. It’s an opportunity I’ve always craved,” Canalis said. “I’ve worked in management, but I don’t think that compares to running three papers and the websites ... I’m moving from a bigger paper, but I’m moving into a much bigger role.”
Canalis lives in Long Beach with his wife and 3-year-old daughter. His ties to Orange County stretch back to the mid-1990s. He was a reporter for the Daily Pilot in 1996 and then a stringer for the Los Angeles Times between 1996 and 1998.
When he worked with The Times, he worked as a public safety and general assignment reporter covering Costa Mesa and Fountain Valley, among other cities. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Cal State Long Beach and has a master’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University.
“John is a great person and has a rich tradition of community news in general, as well as within Orange County from his past experiences,” said Scott Pompe, general manager and senior vice president of advertising for Times Community News. “We are really excited about him. I think John’s leadership will be a strong addition to the great work that we’re already doing in the newsroom.”
Los Angeles Times Associate Editor Randy Harvey, who oversees editorial operations for Times Community News, said Canalis’ work with both print and electronic media made him an attractive candidate for the position.
“He has been working as a senior projects reporter, which means he can deliver the kind of analytical reporting necessary to best inform readers,” Harvey said. “But he also writes a popular blog, which means he’s Internet savvy and can keep up with the rapid-fire pace of today’s news cycle.”
With print media adjusting to the age of online news, Canalis said he will focus on keeping the papers’ websites fresh with new content while continuing to act as a watchdog for the community.
“Every community has good stories, and I think we’re going to find some down there,” he said. “At the end of the day, that’s who we do this for — the readers. I’ve always viewed myself as working for the readers.”