Billionaire Owner Seeking New Editor at Embattled L.A. Times
(Bloomberg) -- Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine plans to step down, leaving billionaire owner Patrick Soon-Shiong in search of a new leader for a paper struggling with sluggish digital growth and a lack of diversity in its newsroom.
In a note to staff Monday, Pearlstine said he would stay on as executive editor during the search for his successor. He said he was “proud of what we have accomplished,” but that he recognized “it’s the right time to find a successor -- an editor who embodies the qualities needed to continue the Times’s revival.”
Pearlstine, 78, who led the newsrooms at the Wall Street Journal and Time Inc., took over California’s largest newspaper two years ago after Soon-Shiong bought it from Tronc Inc., which is now known as Tribune Publishing Co.
Under Pearlstine, the Los Angeles Times used Soon-Shiong’s financial resources to hire dozens of journalists, replenishing a newsroom that had been depleted through cutbacks by its previous owner. In the past two years, the Times has won three Pulitzer Prizes.
But the newspaper has struggled to attract digital subscribers at the same pace as larger rivals, like the New York Times and the Washington Post. The Los Angeles Times has also grappled with management failures that forced several editors to be pushed out or demoted and has been criticized by staff for a lack of racial diversity in its newsroom. Last month, the paper turned a lens on itself and published articles that detailed its failure in the past to cover stories important to Black and Latino residents.
Pearlstine, who has spent more than 50 years in journalism, also had a stint at Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, serving as chief content officer from 2008 to 2013.
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