Voice Media Group announced to its Los Angeles staff today that, as of Feb. 16, Mara Shalhoup will be the next editor of L.A. Weekly.

Since 2011 Shalhoup has served as editor in chief of Chicago Reader, where she has focused on growing the digital audience of the legacy altweekly while reinvigorating its print content and upholding its commitment to longform journalism.

“L.A. has countless stories to tell, and the Weekly has shown extraordinary skill in unearthing so many great ones — and finding new ways to expand the art of storytelling,” says Shalhoup. “I'm ecstatic to be tapped to lead this savvy team, which includes one writer with whom I've worked in the past and many other writers and editors I've admired. I might not know this vast and complex city yet, but it will be a privilege to explore it in the most exciting way: by working with the staff on compelling narratives, provocative criticism and boundary-pushing experiments both in print and online. We're gonna have fun.”

Shalhoup built her early career on hard news and investigative reporting and editing at Creative Loafing in Atlanta. In her 10 years there she took on challenging assignments: tracking the displacement of thousands of families from public housing, earning the trust of a prostitute turned triple-murderer, and piecing together the definitive story of a drug enterprise/music empire. She became the paper’s top editor in 2010, the same year St. Martin’s Press published BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech and the Black Mafia Family, her book about the Detroit brothers whose $270 million cocaine operation helped launch some of the country’s most successful hip-hop artists.

Shalhoup was named 2007 Journalist of the Year by the Atlanta Press Club and was twice a Livingston Award finalist. Other honors recognizing excellence in feature writing, investigative journalism, and digital storytelling have come from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Association for Women in Communications.

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