Megan Garvey

Quotes

We are members of the Los Angeles Times' current and former staff who love Megan Garvey, an innovative and influential leader of the digital newsroom. We take issue with the following anonymous quote and want to go on the record with our own statements about what kind of editor and friend she has been to us: "A source at the Los Angeles Times granted anonymity to speak candidly told Poynter that the fired managers were not beloved by the 'rank-and-file.'"

Our quotes are presented at random as we receive new contributions. Please contact us to contribute your own quote about Megan.


Megan, you are a force and hero in the newsroom. Wherever you choose to go next will be so lucky to have you.
— Alexandra Le Tellier

Megan, thank you for being an innovator and for your leadership. You are a brilliant journalist and will be sorely missed.
— Christina Bellantoni

Working with Megan Garvey was a pleasure and inspiration. Smart and hardworking people flock to her. Over the years her newsroom produced exceptional work that made a real impact on readers and the general public. I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Megan and her team.
— Jacqueline Boltik

People who were paying attention knew that you have been the linchpin of the L.A. Times digital efforts for the last decade. And it’s not even close. Many leaders tried to reengineer the Times as a digital organization, more paid lip service to the effort — but your moves were the smartest and most sustainable while never compromising the core values of quality journalism. Lucky will be the outfit that snaps you up.
— Martin Beck

I feel sad... for the LAT. With your mastery in all things digital you will find a new and better home in no time. When I reflect on my days there and building the initial Homicide Report and then helping you and Doug when Tribune would let me, I feel like the departure was a really a bounce out of a box. Hope to hear your new endeavors soon, the World needs you a lot more than the LAT.
— Terry Benichou

Sad to hear the news today but be proud of what you brought to the table Megan. I could always count on you to make things happen!
— Donna Tarzian

She was one of the first people to really believe in me, to fight for me, to see a spark of potential and care enough to help develop it. She demanded excellence, was willing (really preferred) to get her hands dirty to get things done and was an innovator in the truest sense. She’s a champion for her people and for good journalism. She’s the reason the LA Times hired me. If you’re thinking about hiring her, do it.
— Christine Mai-Duc

Megan Garvey wasn’t just a digital trailblazer at the LA Times — she led her digital newsroom with heart and by example. Her Times legacy will be felt for years to come because the people she mentored and edited are some of the finest journalists in the field. I’m excited to see what’s next for her.
— Bích Ngọc Cao

The LA Times owes so much to Megan Garvey, and so do I. They will be much worse off without her.
— Ken Schwencke

Thank you for always being there to guide me when I felt most lost. You have my admiration and respect.
— Brenda Rodriguez

Megan is a magnet for talent, identifying and attracting exceptional people and bringing out their best work. Just look at the team she built, and the work they did together: that is the definition of leadership.
— Nicco Mele

Megan is a tireless advocate for clear, well-reported digital news — making room both for experimentation in form and the technologies that make that innovation possible. She reminds us to play, to “bigger it,” and to inspire and delight our readers. She interrogates ideas and demands thoughtfulness and thoroughness. We should all be so lucky to have her as a mentor, editor and friend.
— Lily Mihalik

Megan was part of what made the L.A. Times more than a workplace to me. It was my friends, it was my family, and Megan helped to bring it all together. The two are so synonymous to me that it’s hard to imagine the L.A. Times without her there.  

No matter what position she held at the L.A. Times, as a line editor, homepage editor, online editor for entertainment, or Deputy Managing Editor for Digital, Megan had one drive - making the paper and the website the best it could be in all aspects. This did not mean giving up on the quality of our journalism for cheap page views, this did not mean limiting the demands of online reporting to make reporters happy. She increased the quality of our reporting and bettered our online presence. One year, management decreed what seemed to be an impossible goal: two billion page views for the year. Not only did it seem impossible, it seemed ridiculous, doomed to fail. Determined as ever though, Megan looked at our production processes and revised them so that not only did we hit that goal, we did it without compromising the quality of our journalism. Megan looked at how people were engaging with our pages and finding opportunities to improve that. That was only one of the “impossible” goals she achieved there. 

She’s not “easy” to work for in the traditional sense, in that she demands — and receives — a lot from her employees, but even when you’re crashing on what seems to be an impossible deadline you know that no one is working harder than her, and you’ll produce work better than you thought possible. You work hard for her not because you have to, but because you want to. I’ve never had an editor that supported me more, that I trusted more, and was accessible when I really needed her, even if it was 11 p.m. on a Saturday. Every year I found myself growing as a developer and journalist, publishing better work than the last in large part because of her drive and influence. You know when you put an idea in front of her that it’s going to come out better.

Without her, there would be no L.A. Times Data Desk, a group that consistently publishes work that equals or betters the best in our industry. She assembled one of the best data reporting and visualization desks in journalism. Scrappy and always playing with a chip on its shoulder, in an outlet known for low morale, working for the Data Desk was fun. Despite the corporate chaos that was Tribune, then Tribune Publishing, then Tronc, whoever was in charge didn’t matter. we were going to do great work and have fun doing it. Every day was exciting and you were given the opportunity to grow yourself and your skills through your work. I don’t know how many people can say that about their jobs.
— Armand Emamdjomeh

Megan is a visionary digital leader and one of the best supervisors I’ve had in my career. Her commitment to great journalism and elevating coverage at the Los Angeles Times was unshakable. Those who were fortunate enough to collaborate with her deeply miss her presence in the newsroom.
— Evan Wagstaff

Megan Garvey is the rarest of leaders, one who can guide, teach and inspire — in other words, actually lead. In overseeing digital journalism at the L.A. Times, she never wavered in advocating for the highest standards and ethics, and she was one of the copy desk’s best friends. Megan’s next newsroom will be most fortunate, indeed.
— Henry Fuhrmann

I only spent a year at the LA Times, but in that time I was lucky enough to work with Megan on various occasions. One of my favorite experiences was refining words with her. Yes, Megan was managing the website and had extraordinary and frenetic responsibilities. But she put those aside and focused with me on text, editing a story about a crowdsourcing effort at the LA Times. I could tell she loved words and she was incredibly skilled at finding ways to implement them as effectively as possible. I also admired the way she encouraged using the internet and data as a way to further stories, and benefitted from her experiences when she contributed to projects about students who walked out over immigration reform and Porter Ranch. And, I saw how she built informal learning opportunities within the LA Times, whether it was endeavoring to teach the whole newsroom basic coding or ‘Show and Tell’ of data journalism projects – over beers.
— Daniela Gerson

Megan likes to push. After a few months at The Times, she would ask me: ‘Brian, why do stay at your desk in the corner—come sit with the rest of the team!’ I thought it wasn’t a big deal. But it wasn’t necessarily the proximity she was pointing to. It was about the collaboration, an exchange of ideas and communication. Now, I always try to sit next to my team. It’s because of editors like you that I am a better journalist, Megan. Thank you for your push.
— Brian De Los Santos

Megan is an integral part of why I found a home at the Los Angeles Times and in Southern California, from the time she helped me write one of my first A1s 18 years ago when I was a scared young METPro in Orange County, to the counsel she provided over the years during my many bouts of career angst, to the many months she spent planning my wedding.

One image embodies her leadership and her friendship: Megan walking into our first home the day after we moved in, carrying a sledgehammer. The prior owners had erected a fake wall, and we took turns tearing it down. If she hadn’t prodded me, I have little doubt that ugly wall would still be standing, making a chunk of our home useless, 12 years later. These traits – surveying a situation, figuring out what needs to change, acting decisively and getting shit done – are what make her an amazing and effective leader.

Sadly, the LA Times will not be benefitting from these skills any longer, but I am confident that whoever hires Megan will never take them for granted.
— Seema Mehta

Megan is a brilliant editor, a supremely talented writer, and an inspiring leader. She made me — and everyone around her — a better journalist. 
— Matt Ballinger

Editors come and go, but few leave shining reputations as wordsmiths, digital visionaries, no-nonsense leaders, yet still friends to all. We will all remember Megan in a million important roles at the Times. Some lucky newspaper is next.
— Patrick McMahon

Megan is a tireless advocate for the highest quality journalism. As a reporter, she wrote stories that changed lives. As an editor, she helped create many of The Times’ most memorable and impactful projects. She led The Times digital transformation, building a newsroom that put the web first while maintaining the principals and ambition that makes the newspaper special. Her innovation, hard work and high standards are built into this place.
— Shelby Grad

I started at the Los Angeles Times as an intern on the RealTime breaking news desk Megan oversaw. Between the big build digital projects and the day to day breaking news coverage Megan was always on the move. I was not expecting much facetime from a top editor. But Megan is different. She frequently took the time not just to walk me through edits but to talk to me about how to succeed as a reporter here as we become more of a digital enterprise.. She invited me to the weekly data team meetings to see what craziness her teams were cooking up. It was inspiring. Even after I moved to different sections her door was always open. She has made me a better reporter. The newsroom and our readers will miss her whether they know it or not.
— Javier Panzar

Let’s just say Hillary Clinton wasn’t the only outrageously qualified, brilliant woman robbed of a position she deserved this year.

My colleague and I used to fantasize about what the LA Times would have been like if Megan was editor-in-chief one day — how efficient, modern and ground-breaking it could be under her leadership. Megan brings an openness and kindness so rarely found, but desperately needed in newsrooms. Good luck, Megan!
— Lauren Kozak

A baby girl was shot one February night, as she lay sleeping in her crib. We were all touched by the story but it was Megan Garvey who stopped by the crime scene on her way home that night and captured details (and filmed a press conference on her phone) and brought the tale even closer to home. That’s signature Megan. She’s a doer, walks the talk and embodies what newsrooms need more of: honesty, compassion, methodical yet nimble thinking, a willingness to dip into code or headlines to get the job done. I was honored to work alongside her, and am saddened by what the LAT lost.
— S. Mitra Kalita

As one of many Newhouse survivors at the L.A. Times, I know first hand what it looks like when a newspaper chain sacrificies its integrity to try and make things work in the digital age. Megan Garvey was the absolute antithesis of that nightmare, someone who could have still covered a city council meeting or run out on a murder scene just as easily as she helped us figure out the best way to present stories on the web. The idea that she was unpopular with ‘the rank-and-file’ is absurd. She’s the kind of person you want in your journalism foxhole, and we’ll miss having her in ours.
— James Queally

Megan interviewed me at a conference when I was a college senior — I tweeted her asking if we could chat and I was shocked when she actually responded. I’ll never be able to thank her enough for taking a chance on someone who was still in school and barely knew how to code. For the past three years she’s given me tenacious, thoughtful feedback and always pushed me to do my best work. She takes care of the people who worked for her and fiercely believes in them. I already miss working with her.
— Priya Krishnakumar

Megan was my story editor when I covered Los Angeles County government. She was relentlessly hard-charging and made every story better. Her editing style was rigorous and fair, and I often marveled that she was able to maintain The Times’ highest standards while juggling tasks that were once performed by an entire team of people. I was able to do some of my best work because of her drive and support.
— Garrett Therolf

Add me to the very long list of people who feel blessed to have been able to work with and learn from Megan Garvey. She believed in me and fought to find me a place at the LA Times when I was ready to give up on journalism entirely. My three years spent there, under the leadership of such a dynamic and talented woman and journalist, taught me so much and rejuvenated my love for journalism. When many other things eventually started to feel wrong at the Times, Megan’s steadfast leadership of the digital department (and beyond) was one of the only shining beacons in the newsroom for me. Whoever snatches her up next is very lucky. The Times’ lost will be a giant gift to someone else. Good luck, Megan, and thank you!
— Kelly Parker

I first met Megan when she was an intern in Orange County and was instantly blown away by her intensity. She’s a head-on, dive-right-in journalist who distinguished herself at every level of her career. She led the Times into the digital age (no easy task) and its a damn shame it wasn’t recognized. Also, shame on Poynter for tarring her with a broad, anonymous brush.
— Phil Davis

Megan took on a daunting task — how to bring newspaper journalism into the digital age — with tenacity, creativity and thoughtfulness. When I was fresh out of college, she was willing to take my call and helped give me pointers. She is the reason that I — and so many other people — are at the Los Angeles Times. We will miss her tremendously.
— Emily Alpert Reyes

Leadership and vision. Those are the words that come to mind when I think of Megan. 

Megan possesses a dedication to the highest ideals of journalism. She understands the core mission of newspapers and has been remarkably creative in translating and expanding it to digital presentations. She is that rare big thinker who also has the on-the-ground knowledge to bring those ideas to fruition, on her own if necessary. 

In a culture that can be wedded to tradition, she charted a path from the print-focused past to the digital future without leaving behind essential journalistic principles. Leading by example, she worked tirelessly to help everyone in the newsroom make that crucial transition.

Did that involve a bit of tough love? Absolutely. Because we needed it and because the stakes were so high, both for individual careers and for the L.A. Times as an institution. Megan demands much of those who work with her, but never more than she demands of herself. 

I’ll be watching to see what she tackles next. Whatever it is, I know it will be awesome.
— Mark McGonigle

Megan, you sparked my interest in data journalism when I interned for you back in 2009. You have been a champion of my work, a mentor and great boss for almost 9 years. I grew so much from you consistently demanding (and receiving!) my best work, and I wouldn’t be where I am without your editing and tireless leadership. You are one of the few people who has truly changed my life and made my career. Thank you Megan!
— Anthony Pesce

I came back to the L.A. Times to work for Megan Garvey. She’s a pioneer and a visionary in online journalism and I believed in where she could take the paper. In her absence I worry for my former paper – and my current city. Los Angeles is poorer without her at the helm of its biggest and most important media voice.
— Kristen Walbolt

From approving comments on the Homicide Report to driving to crime scenes herself, there was no task that was beneath Megan. She inspired me to be a better journalist, and each time she edited a story of mine, she made it better. I’ll miss her wit, ambition and drive to make the paper better.
— Nicole Santa Cruz

I was impressed by Megan Garvey and the great teams she led the first day I met her at the LA Times. In our first meeting, I learned she not only writes and edits software code, but that she also uses GitHub to manage it! I’m always delighted to meet journalists who take a hands on interest in software engineering. 

I found Megan to be a pleasure to work with and have great respect for her.
— Rajiv Pant

‘Digital innovation’ in journalism so often means a reduction in standards — not with Megan. She envisioned a faster, more efficient newsroom without sacrificing quality work. She was smart, efficient, firm and fair, and she pushed everyone she worked with to be just as good.

I’m sorry I won’t have more time to work with and learn from her. Megan is a powerful (and still too rare) role model of female leadership to many young women in journalism. Any newsroom would be lucky to have her.
— Kristina Bui

I was hired at the LA Times 2 years ago to as a software developer for the then publisher’s special projects. When those projects were shut down and I was riding out my contract, I got a very lucrative offer from UCLA. I turned it down because I wanted to work with Megan Garvey. She made me see how important being a part of the news industry was and how I could make help make difference even though I’m not a journalist. The projects that we started together have spread beyond LAT to other tronc newsrooms and have changed the way stories are produced throughout the company. The genesis of all of that, what is easily the best work of my career, began with Megan and her quest to bring the LA Times into the digital sphere.
— James Perez

Megan Garvey, who never quits, led the LA Times’ biggest digital news achievements and taught me so much.
— Julie Westfall

It’s absurd to say that Megan wasn’t well-liked. What’s probably more important is that everyone, from most hardened veteran reporters to the greenest new digital hires, deeply respected her. I was really lucky to work for her. The LA Times was lucky to have her.
— Alex Wigglesworth

Megan is a top-notch journalist who mastered the digital sphere and patiently mentored others both in journalism and in all facets of the online delivery of news. Throughout my many years at the paper, she was always well-respected, and she earned a well-deserved reputation for being a stellar performer. Removing Megan made no sense, and it makes whatever course the new crew plans to take that much more difficult.
— James Granelli