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LAist Has A New Editor: Brian De Los Santos

Brian De Los Santos, Digital Strategist at the Desert Sun, will become the Editor of LAist. (Courtesy of Brian De Los Santos)
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We are thrilled to announce that LAist has a new editor. His name is Brian De Los Santos and he loves hiking, chill-hop and telling stories about his comunidades. He comes to us from The Desert Sun where he steered digital strategy.

De Los Santos got his start in professional journalism at Southern California Public Radio, our parent company, where he worked as an intern for KPCC in 2011, reporting for what were then our community blogs.

"I'm humbled and honored to return to KPCC as LAist editor and contribute to its mission to engage Southern Californians in its coverage," De Los Santos says:

"Growing up in Los Angeles as an undocumented, queer immigrant, I had a keen interest on how media tells the story of our communities. Only local news can tap into Los Angeles with an introspective lens that truly listens to its audiences. As an Angeleno, I'm excited to return to the city and continue exploring journalism through diverse experiences that only L.A. can offer."

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His dream is to continue telling stories about his Los Angeles. De Los Santos has reported on the nuances of DACA, explored the Oaxacan community in Koreatown and covered arts and culture stories from Beyoncé's 2018 Coachella set to Ofelia Esparza's altares.

In every role — NPR, KCRW, Marketplace and a second stint at KPCC — he has produced digital content that reflects his experiences while connecting to a broader audience.

"Los Angeles is the nucleus of many things and I think it's really exciting to come back as a resident and continue to tell the stories of Angelenos and Southern California. I also feel like it's one of the most unique cities in the world. We have so many stories and so many things so we can contribute to the city as storytellers and journalists," De Los Santos says.

In 2015, De Los Santos joined the Los Angeles Times as an overnight digital editor and helped with audience engagement. Working the graveyard shift, he contributed to a variety of stories — the Oscars, the 2017 World Series (when the Dodgers lost), the 2016 presidential election, the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack and worldwide breaking news.

In 2018, De Los Santos moved to Palm Springs to lead digital strategy at The Desert Sun, which is part of the USA TODAY network. The projects he has worked on there have earned Online Journalism and CNPA awards.

De Los Santos also managed the paper's internship program, creating a pipeline for local talent, and founded Vamos Forward, the Latinx employee resource group at Gannett.

"Brian brings to the job both a passion for local news and a love of L.A.," says LAist/KPCC Executive Editor Megan Garvey. "We are all looking forward to his creativity and ideas as we continue to grow our LAist audience and make deeper connections with our readers."

De Los Santos lives with his husband, Enrique, and their dog, Bigotes, in Palm Desert where they spent their pandemic downtime launching a sweet business, Palm Dessert. "My husband is the baker. I'm the logistics guy," says De Los Santos, a huge fan of tres leches cake. The couple plans on moving back to Los Angeles in the next few months.

De Los Santos, who was born in Mexico, came to Los Angeles when he was two years old. He has lived in Mid-City, Koreatown, the San Fernando Valley and Hancock Park.

"Coming back to KPCC is like coming back home. As LAist editor, I feel like I could do a good job of capturing L.A. -- what it means to live in the city and what the city means to the rest of the world," he says.

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De Los Santos will start (virtually) on January 11. He remains a member in good standing of the Beyhive.

FYI: KPCC bought LAist in early 2018 and relaunched the site in June 2018. We like to think we're better than ever, marrying the hard news coverage and reporting of KPCC with the fun, this-city-is-awesome-and-we-want-to-share-it-with-you vibe of LAist.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly said we relaunched LAist in 2020. LAist regrets the error but honestly, this year we often do not know what time even is anymore.

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