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Laura Trujillo, a former editor at the USA TODAY Network’s Cincinnati Enquirer and Arizona Republic, has been named managing editor of Life and Entertainment at USA TODAY.

For Trujillo, the essence of journalism about issues ranging from wellness to movies and TV goes beyond the headlines.

“Life and entertainment are such important places where we can connect people through great storytelling that reflects the diversity of our country,” she said.

Trujillo was part of a team that was honored as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for its coverage of the mass shooting that killed six people and wounded 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Trujillo also has written a book for Random House on parenthood and a search for answers after her mother’s death by suicide, a story she told in USA TODAY in 2018. The book is expected to be published in spring 2022. She most recently served as a communications executive for Fifth Third Bank.

“Laura is an exceptional journalist, a creative thinker and a gifted storyteller. We are thrilled that she is joining our team,” said Nicole Carroll, editor-in-chief of USA TODAY.

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As managing editor for life and entertainment, Trujillo succeeds Alison Maxwell, who recently left USA TODAY to become executive editor of SurvivorNet.

Trujillo said she’s eager to work closely with the other publications in the USA TODAY Network, which includes more than 250 dailies and several hundred weeklies.

“There is no other news organization with its resources and talent across the country, often living in the communities we write about,” she said. “We don’t write as outsiders, but as people who understand the issues, the people, the communities.”

Joining the leadership team for the Life and Entertainment staff are deputy managing editor Kim Willis and Andrea Mandell, who has been promoted to deputy managing editor after previously serving as West Coast entertainment editor.

“With Laura’s passion for storytelling, life and entertainment news – along with the leadership of Kim and Andrea – this is an incredibly talented team to lead our coverage to help inform, entertain and guide our readers,” said Kristen Go, executive editor of news and initiatives.

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