Read the memo

LA Times goes for digital innovator in new sports editor

angel-rodriguez-twitter.jpgThe long-open position of Sports Editor at the Los Angeles Times was filled today by the naming of Angel Rodriguez. He is deputy editor for mobile innovation at the Washington Post, but had been sports editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Earlier he helped to launch and covered major league baseball and the NBA for Spain's EFE. Acting sports editor John Cherwa reverts to deputy. He took on the acting role after sports editor Mike James announced last August he would retire; the job was posted then.

Rodriguez becomes the first Latino section editor at today's LA Times, a move being commented on behind-the-scenes in the LA mediasphere. Here's the memo from Times editor Davan Maharaj and managing editor Marc Duvoisin.

From: Maharaj, Davan
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2015 10:54 AM
To: yyeditall
Subject: New L.A. Times Sports Editor Angel Rodriguez

To the staff:

We’re delighted to announce that Angel Rodriguez, an editor with a passion for sports and a flair for digital storytelling, is the new sports editor of the Los Angeles Times.

Angel covered Major League Baseball and the NBA for Spain’s EFE news service. He was part of the team that launched, the Spanish-language sports website. He was an online sports producer (and later home page manager) for the Arizona Republic, and as sports editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer, he helped the staff make strides in its digital journalism.

A constant in his career has been a zest for using digital tools to extend the reach of sports reporting and diversify its forms.

Angel comes to us from the Washington Post, where he was deputy editor for mobile innovation, working on a team charged with creating the Post’s new tablet app.

At the L.A. Times, he takes over one of the country’s finest sports sections, and a staff that covers a pantheon of storied franchises with the right mix of authority and irreverence.

With Angel’s arrival, John Cherwa, who has served ably and energetically as acting sports editor since last fall, will return to his role as deputy sports editor.

Under John’s leadership, the department performed memorably in covering the Donald Sterling melodrama, the forced sale of the Clippers, the maneuvering to bring NFL football back to L.A. and the playoff disasters of the Dodgers and Angels, among many other stories. John also oversaw the successful launch of HS Insider, an online chronicle of high school sports and campus life.

John will work closely with Angel to help the department raise its digital game even further.

Angel grew up in Houston and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Latin American history. He was barely out of college when he went to work for EFE in 1995 covering U.S. sports.

In 2000, he moved to, and three years later he became an online sports producer for the Arizona Republic/ He left to spend a year as a senior editorial producer for MLB’s Spanish-language websites before returning to the Republic as home page manager. In that role, he helped oversee breaking news coverage of stories that included the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The Giffords coverage was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting.

At the Cincinnati Enquirer from 2012 to 2014, Angel guided a redesign of the paper’s sports website, created a tablet and mobile app for Cincinnati Reds coverage and experimented with informational graphics designed for mobile and social platforms. At the same time, he emphasized feature writing and narrative storytelling.

Angel will start work at The Times in early April. Please join us in welcoming him.

--Davan and Marc

Rodriguez tweets at AJRod.

Previously on LA Observed:
What the LA Times wants in the next sports editor
LA Times loses the sports editor and a tech reporter

LA Observed media page
LA Times archive at LA Observed

More by Kevin Roderick:
'In on merit' at USC
Read the memo: LA Times hires again
Read the memo: LA Times losing big on search traffic
Google taking over LA's deadest shopping mall
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Recent Read the memo stories on LA Observed:
Read the memo: LA Times hires again
Read the memo: LA Times losing big on search traffic
New LA Times editor Pearlstine picks his deputies
Soon-Shiong to staff: 'In awe of your talent'
LA Times editor addresses pay gaps ahead of lawsuit
Soon-Shiong assures LA Times staff it's going to be OK
Read the memo: NYT grabs a top editor from LA Times masthead
Letter to the LA Times newsroom from Patrick Soon-Shiong