Vet journo has written for Rolling Stone, Newsweek

Lorraine Ali has been named pop music editor at the Los Angeles Times, announced Sallie Hofmeister, assistant managing editor, arts and entertainment, and Craig Turner, arts and entertainment editor.

Ali, a veteran reporter, critic and columnist on pop music and culture who has served stints as a senior critic at Rolling Stone and a special project coordinator at Newsweek, assumes the post Tuesday. She’ll succeed Randall Roberts, who held the position since June and will serve as her deputy going forward.

Ali will oversee all breaking news, reviews and features related to the pop music beat, reporting to Turner.

Lorraine began her career in the mid-’90s as a music writer for the L.A. Times’ Calendar section under Robert Hilburn, who headed the paper’s pop music coverage for 35 years ending in 2005, when Ann Powers took over.

In a town where the music business is concentrated and fans take their coverage very seriously, Hilburn and Powers were as influential as they were controversial: Hilburn’s detractors claimed he was increasingly out of touch with the new wave of talent that emerged in the post-Springsteen era; and Powers, who now contributes to NPR Music and continues to write for the Times, was seen by many as legitimizing the star-making machinery of “American Idol.”

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