The Los Angeles Times’ assistant managing editor overseeing audience engagement and multiplatform editors on the news desk has stepped down from his masthead position, the Times’ Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine announced to staff on Monday.
In an email obtained by TheWrap, Pearlstine said that he has asked Angel Rodriguez, effective immediately, to “work on special projects that are important to [the Times’] future, and that play into his interests and strengths.”
“He will initially work with the staff of the Los Angeles Times en Espanol, helping it develop plans to better serve Southern California’s Spanish-speaking market. Angel and LAT en Espanol will, no doubt, benefit from working closely with the Latino Caucus, but success will also require support from every part of The Times, including our business side counterparts,” Pearlstine wrote. “I have also asked Angel to rethink elements of our Las Vegas coverage, to continue his work on creating a Print Desk, and to be available to help the team working on Graphene, our CMS.”
Lora Victorio, one of Rodriguez’s deputies on the news desk, will oversee the news desk in the interim, while Samantha Melbourneweaver, the paper’s audience engagement director, will continue in her position.
As TheWrap reported last week, Rodriguez was a member of the paper’s team of editors and managers dedicated to boosting digital subscriptions at the Times whose frank conversations on a public Slack channel drew ire from staffers. As the former sports editor, Rodriguez has also been a key figure in a potential ethical breach related to the payment of a sports section party for the paper at the Santa Anita racetrack that the Times’ guild has called for a public investigation into. (Rodriguez has denied that the party was comped or discounted by the racetrack.)