The Los Angeles Times has announced several leadership changes. Shelby Grad has been named assistant managing editor for California news. He succeeds Ashley Dunn, who is moving to the national desk after three and a half years leading Metro. As deputy national editor, Dunn will help Kim Murphy run day-to-day coverage and oversee our national correspondents.
He has worked at The Times since graduating from San Jose State with a degree in journalism in 1993. He started as a reporter in the Orange County Edition, then became an editor on the city desk. He moved downtown in 2003 as morning assigning editor and helped direct the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of that year’s devastating Southern California wildfires.
He became Times city editor in 2004. He had a guiding hand in the coverage that exposed egregious official corruption in the city of Bell, resulting in arrests and convictions, reform legislation, a change in the city’s political leadership and the 2011 Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service.
He has also steered breaking news coverage of stories too numerous to list, including floods, landslides, celebrity deaths and the murderous rampage of ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner.
Grad helped to develop the paper’s first real-time news operation, L.A. Now, and for years he has trained reporters and editors in how to cover news online, build an audience and use social media to extend the reach of our journalism.
He joined The Times in 1986 as a suburban reporter in the San Gabriel Valley and moved to Metro in time to help cover the Loma Prieta earthquake, the Los Angeles riots and the Reginald Denny case. After a stint at the New York Times, he returned to our newsroom in 1998 as a technology reporter in Business and later became deputy editor of the weekly Tech Times section.
Grad went on to lead the science team, where he brought together his skills as a wordsmith, team leader and process whiz. He was an editor on the national desk for three years before becoming AME for California news.
In the latter position, he reorganized Metro, recruited exceptional talent, and helped secure and administer Ford Foundation grants for coverage of immigration and social justice issues.
He also brought a sharp mind and deft pencil to every story that crossed his desk. Among many that profited from his involvement was the narrative reconstruction of the Dorner manhunt, a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing.
Kim Murphy becomes assistant managing editor for national/foreign. She has served as a Times national reporter and foreign correspondent, winning a Pulitzer Prize in 2005.
Murphy joined The Times in 1983 as a general assignment reporter in Orange County. Six years later, she began the first of a string of national and foreign assignments. She covered the Pacific Northwest from Seattle. She reported on the Middle East from Cairo. She served as bureau chief in Moscow, and later in London, before returning stateside for a second tour in Seattle.
Along the way, Kim reported from the Balkans, Afghanistan and the scenes of many disasters, natural and man-made, including the Aurora, Colo., theater massacre and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
She became national editor in June 2013.
Her promotion coincides with the departure of longtime foreign editor Mark Porubcansky. He has spent 30 years in foreign news as a reporter and editor. Porubcansky came to The Times in 1998 from the Associated Press, where he served in Moscow, Vienna and Hong Kong. At The Times, he was an assistant foreign editor, foreign projects editor and deputy foreign editor before taking the helm of the department two years ago.
On his watch, the foreign staff produced exceptional coverage of the Syrian civil war (a 2014 Pulitzer Prize finalist), the ascension of a new pope, the death of Nelson Mandela, sectarian slaughter in the Central African Republic, the disintegration of Iraq, the Mexican government’s struggle with the drug cartels, and many other stories.