LA Times ousts editor-publisher and other top managers

August 21, 2017 - 6:40 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Times ousted its editor-publisher and several other top newsroom executives Monday in what its parent company said was a shake-up aimed at moving one of the nation's flagship newspapers more quickly into the digital age while bolstering its Washington coverage and other reporting.

Veteran media executive Ross Levinsohn was named Times publisher. Jim Kirk, who until last week was editor and publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, was named interim executive editor.

The pair replace Davan Maharaj, a 28-year veteran of the Times who had held both titles since 2016.

The Times reported Maharaj was terminated Monday, along with Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin, Deputy Managing Editor for Digital Megan Garvey and Assistant Managing Editor of Investigations Matt Doig.

Levinsohn, who has never worked for a newspaper, has extensive experience as a digital media executive. He is the former president of Fox Interactive Media and was head of global media for Yahoo.

"Ross is a visionary and innovative executive who is the ideal person to lead the Los Angeles Times into its next stage of growth," Justin C. Dearborn, chief executive of the newspaper's parent company, Chicago-based Tronc LLC, said in a statement.

Kirk, in addition to leading the newsroom, will work with Levinsohn in finding a permanent editor for the Times, according to a company news release. He's currently Tronc's senior vice president of strategic initiatives.

Although one of the nation's premier newspapers, the Times has been beset with low morale in recent years following a series of buyouts and layoffs and an almost revolving-door-like atmosphere among its top executives, some of whom quit rather than make more layoffs.

The Times quoted Dearborn as indicating those days are over.

"Ross isn't coming in to manage further downsizing," he told the newspaper. "We have more to offer."

He added the company plans to invest more in reporting news from Washington and improving its sports and culture coverage.

"My aspiration is to draw upon the incredible amount of work that has been done here and broaden it," Levinsohn said. "In my adult life, there has never been a more important time for journalism, for facts and for reporting. We have incredible change going on in the world."

Tronc owns the Times and several other newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and San Diego Union-Tribune.

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