Here's the newsroom memo from L.A. Times Editor Russ Stanton about staffing for LATExtra, the section made necessary by the early deadlines that will flow from the closure of the Costa Mesa printing plant.
For the new LATExtra section to succeed, it will require an editor with outstanding news judgment, keen knowledge of production issues and an understanding of how to serve the late-breaking-news needs of our readers. We are fortunate to have that person already on our staff in the form of Joe Eckdahl, senior editor/page one, who will become editor of LATExtra as well as an assistant managing editor.
In this new role, Joe will continue to work closely with editors across the newsroom to ensure that the new section is a vibrant product that reflects our outstanding coverage in all areas. He will continue to be deeply involved in producing A1 and will work more closely with the homepage editors to better coordinate our breaking-news report.
Joe joined The Times in 1993 and has held a variety of positions on A1 since 1997, having served as a senior editor on the front page for the last six editors. Before that, he was executive news editor of the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County editions, where he shared in the staff’s Pulitzer Prizes for spot news for coverage of the 1997 North Hollywood shootout and the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Joe also helped coordinate our Pulitzer-winning coverage of the 2003 wildfires.
He held similar front-page positions at the now-defunct Houston Post and Los Angeles Herald Examiner. Joe began his newspaper career on general assignment duty at the Hollywood Reporter.
A native of Southern California, Joe is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Cinema. He studied journalism and English literature at Southern Oregon State College.
Joe will continue to report to Jon Thurber.