Friedman leaves The Malibu Times

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He will be replaced by Olivia Damavandi, a Malibu native.

The Malibu Times Assistant Editor Jonathan Friedman is stepping down after six years with the paper. He has accepted the position as assistant marketing manager at PCR Services Corp., an environmental consultant firm with offices in Santa Monica, Pasadena and Irvine. Replacing Friedman is Malibu native Olivia Damavandi. Her position is staff writer.

Friedman, 29, has been with The Times since November 2002 when he became a freelance writer. He was hired as a staff writer in October 2003, and promoted to assistant editor in October 2004.

“I have enjoyed my years covering politics in Malibu,” Friedman said. “I have many good memories I will treasure, and I look forward to starting a new chapter in my life.”

Friedman said he would miss regularly seeing his colleagues at the newspaper and the people he has met in the community throughout the years, even those who did not like him. He said he would especially miss his conversations with reporter Bill Koeneker, who works with another local paper. The two met for dinner before every city council meeting and talked on the phone every Wednesday morning to discuss who had what stories and possible scoops.

“Jonathan was not only an astute competitor, he was also a good friend” Koeneker said. “He truly changed the weekly news cycle in Malibu,” referring to Friedman being the first reporter to put breaking news stories on the Web site and for introducing Malibu News Flash, an e-mail service that alerts subscribers to the web updates.

Damavandi, 23, joined The Times as a proofreader for the Malibu Times Magazine in January. She has since written articles for the newspaper and magazine.

The Malibu native attended Webster Elementary School and graduated from Malibu High in 2003. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Hawaii. While at the school, she was the editor of The Hawaii Pacific Review, a literary magazine.

Her interests include surfing, traveling and reading.