A memo to the newsroom from Times Editor Davan Maharaj and Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin:
Today we announce a reorganization involving three of our most important news departments. These changes will advance our efforts to produce a digital report second to none, and reaffirm our commitment to first-rate accountability and enterprise journalism.
We also announce, with decidedly mixed emotions, that Foreign Editor Mark Porubcansky is leaving The Times after 16 years as a mainstay of our international coverage. More on that later.
Here are the details on the leadership changes:
Shelby Grad becomes assistant managing editor for California news.
Shelby brings many valuable qualities to this important role: a deep knowledge of our city and state, a fire for accountability journalism, a relentless work ethic and fluency in digital journalism.
He succeeds Ashley Dunn, who is moving to the national desk after three and a half years leading Metro. As deputy national editor, Ashley will help Kim Murphy run day-to-day coverage and oversee our national correspondents.
Shelby grew up in the Fairfax District and graduated from Fairfax High School. He has worked at The Times since graduating from San Jose State with a degree in journalism in 1993. He started as a reporter in the Orange County Edition, then became an editor on the city desk. He moved downtown in 2003 as morning assigning editor and helped direct the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of that year’s devastating Southern California wildfires.
He became Times city editor in 2004.
In the 10 years since then, Shelby has been the beating heart behind two of our core missions – local breaking news and accountability reporting.
He had a guiding hand in the coverage that exposed egregious official corruption in the city of Bell, resulting in arrests and convictions, reform legislation, a change in the city’s political leadership and the 2011 Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service.
He has also steered breaking news coverage of stories too numerous to list, including floods, landslides, celebrity deaths and the murderous rampage of ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner.
Shelby helped to develop the paper’s first real-time news operation, L.A. Now, and for years he has trained reporters and editors in how to cover news online, build an audience and use social media to extend the reach of our journalism.
He inherits a department ably led by Ashley since 2011.
Ashley joined The Times in 1986 as a suburban reporter in the San Gabriel Valley and moved to Metro in time to help cover the Loma Prieta earthquake, the Los Angeles riots and the Reginald Denny case. After a stint at the New York Times, he returned to our newsroom in 1998 as a technology reporter in Business and later became deputy editor of the weekly Tech Times section.
Ashley went on to lead the science team, where he brought together his skills as a wordsmith, team leader and process whiz. He was an editor on the national desk for three years before becoming AME for California news.
In the latter position, he reorganized Metro, recruited exceptional talent, and helped secure and administer Ford Foundation grants for coverage of immigration and social justice issues.
Ashley also brought a sharp mind and deft pencil to every story that crossed his desk. Among many that profited from his involvement was the remarkable narrative reconstruction of the Dorner manhunt, a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing.