LAT editor lands

Joel Sappell, who gave up the title of Assistant Managing Editor for Interactive at the LAT in last month's shakeup, gets a new gig as Special Projects Editor. The memo that follows cites his work leading 2003's controversial pre-election investigation of the groping allegations against then-candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Noted: The Times has re-scheduled its editorial awards ceremony for April 13. I posted yesterday on the date being postponed.

The Sappell memo:

To: The Staff
From: Jim O'Shea, Editor, and Doug Frantz, Managing Editor

We are pleased to announce that Joel Sappell has been named to the newly created position of Special Projects Editor. In this job, Joel will draw on his years as a creative investigative and long-form editor to direct some of our most ambitious undertakings, with a particular emphasis on initiating projects that cross departmental borders.

He will report to Doug, with a mandate to work with reporters and editors from individual sections. This will be particularly useful in dealing with major stories and projects that involve multiple departments, such as the work he did directing reporters from the business and metro staffs on the groping allegations against Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003.

Joel was most recently executive editor of LATimes.com, which gives him a unique understanding of how to reach a Web audience through such powerful multimedia presentations as the "Altered Oceans" and "Lifeline" series. The new job combines Joel's knowledge of the Web with his breadth of newsroom experience.

Before moving to the Web, he was the paper's city editor, metro projects editor, and senior entertainment editor in the business section. In each job, he produced high-impact series and directed coverage of some of the biggest stories.

Joel, a Los Angeles native, joined The Times in 1981 as an investigative reporter and among his honors is a George Polk award for uncovering intelligence abuses by the LAPD. He assumes his new position immediately.


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