L.A. Times Management Ousted by Tronc in Shake-Up at Flagship

  • Media veteran Ross Levinsohn is named newspaper’s new CEO
  • Search on for new editor after newsroom management terminated

Ross Levinsohn

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Tronc Inc., the Chicago-based newspaper publisher, ousted the management of its flagship Los Angeles Times, naming media veteran Ross Levinsohn as publisher and launching a search for a new editor.

Levinsohn was also named chief executive officer, while Jim Kirk, former publisher and editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, was appointed interim editor while the newspaper seeks a new editor-in-chief, the company said Monday in a statement.

The Times, like other newspapers, has struggled to compete in the digital age and has been reducing staff for years. The newspaper’s coverage of its tumult Monday described “flagging morale after years of management changes on top of huge shifts in consumer behavior that have roiled the entire newspaper industry.”

The two replace Davan Maharaj, a 28-year company veteran who served as both editor and publisher. The company also ousted a handful of other senior editors, including Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Levinsohn’s “long-standing ties to Southern California and passion for news, coupled with his deep experience in technology and media, make him uniquely qualified to accelerate our growth across the entire company,” said Justin Dearborn, Tronc’s CEO, said in the statement.

He will oversee the Times’ operations and the expansion of its journalistic efforts, as well as its global footprint, the statement said.

Tronc, formerly Tribune Publishing, was created with the 2014 split from TV stations now part of the separately owned Tribune Media Co. In the second quarter Tronc’s revenue declined 8.6 percent. Advertising was down 15 percent, while the Times and digital only readers helped drive a slight increase in circulation sales.

Career History

Levinsohn, 54, was a director of Tribune Co. before the companies split and remains on the board of Tribune Media.

He was president of Fox Interactive Media, where he oversaw digital properties such as MySpace, and was interim chief at Yahoo! Inc. He also played an integral role in the creation of subscription video on demand provider Hulu, according to Tronc, and was CEO of Guggenheim Digital Media, owner of media assets including the Hollywood Reporter.

Levinsohn was most recently co-founder of boutique media consultancy Whisper Advisors and a senior adviser at Boston Consulting Group.

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