Back to graveyard

The L.A. Times website is finally going 24-7 (ish) with the addition of a couple of overnight editors. They will scan the wires and, in theory, keep the home page fresh. The memo on them and a new senior producer for the automobile pages of follows.

From: Artley, Meredith
Subject: New Web roles

Hi everyone. A few digital movers and shakers of note.

First, we welcome Joni Gray, the new Senior Producer for Autos. She will be driving the development of this key section online, working closely with Dan Neil (who recommended Joni), Chris Erskine on the autos team, Michalene Buscio [sic] and anyone else who wants to contribute to creating an autos site worthy of the Los Angeles Times.

Getting Joni on board is a big win for us. She joins us from Kelley Blue Book's, where she was senior editor. She has spent 20 years in the automotive industry and has researched, analyzed, dissected and written about nearly every aspect of what motivates people to buy cars.

Joni played a big role in writing and editing automotive reviews, news articles and major national auto shows for She wrote popular advice sections, like "10 Steps to Buying a New Car." Her articles have appeared in many publications including the Detroit Free Press, Chicago Tribune and the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

She recently celebrated her birthday, and she let it slip that she is in a band that plays in dive bars around the OC… road trip, anyone?

But wait, there’s more great news…

The Los Angeles Times is about to become a 24-7 news operation. Two in-house talents – Sue Timmons and Marc Olson -- are pioneering the overnight editor positions for the site. Their primary duty is to make sure we are fresh in the wee hours, when we have traffic coming from many corners of the world. This is more than a fireman’s watch – Sue and Marc will be the voice of when most of us are asleep, they are going to create a dynamic site that flows from the evening shift to the morning shift. They are going to get great experience in many aspects of publishing the site – breaking news articles, photo galleries, working with user generated content -- running the show at a time when traffic is far from negligible. And just watch the overnight traffic rise as they get up to speed. Marc starts training today, June 4, and Sue starts June 18.

This is a good example of the Web and print integration efforts that Russ often refers to. A big thanks to Melissa McCoy for helping make this happen, for lending this talent to the site in the spirit of being in this thing together. Check out these qualifications….

Senior copy editor Marc Olson joined The Times in 1998, working on the Orange County desk before moving to the National desk last year. He was named Times’ headline writer of the year in 2003 and 2006. Previously, Marc was a copy editor at the Orange County Register, the San Diego Union-Tribune and the San Juan Star in Puerto Rico. Before becoming a journalist, Marc taught high school in San Juan and Bangkok, Thailand. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and has a more recent degree in computer science, which probably means he already has some bad habits. Speaking of bad habits, he has already asked for Super Bowl Sunday off because this he says this is the Vikings' year.

Designer Susanna Timmons joined The Times in 1994 as a news editor for the Valley Edition. Since then she has been features editor of the National Edition, Page 1 design editor and a features and news designer. A native of the Northwest, she graduated from Washington State University with degrees in political science and journalism before launching her reporting career in Bonners Ferry, Idaho (population 2,000). Yearning for the glamour that was not Bonners Ferry, she moved to San Diego and worked her way through several newspapers as a reporter, editor, wire editor, copy editor and news editor before moving to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, then The Times. Susanna was named Times news designer of the year in 2003. While she has learned a lot about cooking in the past year working on the Food section, her colleagues will be glad to know that scotcharoos are still her signature dish.

Join me in welcoming Joni, Sue and Marc in these new roles.

Meredith Artley
Executive Editor,

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