LA Times management ousted by Tronc in shake-up at flagship

22 Août, 2017, 09:08 | Author: Marc Bacque
  • Davan Maharaj

Newspaper company Tronc Inc named digital media veteran Ross Levinsohn the new chief executive officer and publisher of the Los Angeles Times as part of a shake-up of senior management, the company said in a statement on Monday. Tronc, the L.A. Times' unfortunately-named, Chicago-based parent company, "plans to invest more resources in the news organization to move it more quickly into the digital age", according to an L.A. Times article about the "dramatic shakeup" (their characterization) published just before 1 p.m. on Monday.

Los Angeles Times parent tronc Inc. ousted Monday executive editor-in-chief and publisher Davan Maharaj, as well as several other top editors. He is expected to work with Levinsohn in the search for a permanent editor-in-chief.

Maharaj gave a brief statement to Los Angeles Magazine at the time, saying he had to make "difficult decisions" in his five years at the helm, and that running a newspaper "isn't a popularity contest".

The newspaper reported on Monday that Tronc, the parent company of the LA Times, had also removed three other high-level editors in what it described as a "dramatic shake-up" at the fifth largest newspaper in the United States with a circulation of about 500,000. "We have incredible change going on in the world".

In his most recent earnings call in July, Tronc's CEO Justin Dearborn told investors that the company's advertising revenue for Q2 dropped 15 percent over the same period, but that circulation revenue increased by 2 percent - most of that growth came from digital-only subscribers to the L.A. Times.

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"They could be hard to talk to and people didn't feel like they offered much vision for the direction of the paper", the source said. Dearborn would like The Times to be a more authoritative voice reaching Asia and South America.

He was chief executive of Guggenheim Digital Media, where he managed such assets as the Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Adweek, before a change in direction there. The newspaper has seen declines in revenues with the shift to online publishing, which dramatically reduced readership throughout the newspaper industry.

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

Maharaj in an email paid tribute to the journalists he has worked with over the years: "During the last 28 years, it has been an honor working with the best journalists in a great American newsroom".

" ... And I wish them well in their continued fight to serve our community", Maharaj wrote. "I'm proud of the work we've done", he added.

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