The LA Times Executive Editor Steps Down, opening the door for a new future
After a long year of coming under fire, the LA Times executive editor announced his resignation.
Effective immediately, Norman Pearlstine, the executive editor of the Los Angeles Times stepped down from his position on Monday, Dec. 16.
After a long year of criticism, Pearlstine’s comes as the capper.
He will now transition into a Senior Advisor role, reporting to the owner of the LA Times, Patrick Soon-Shiong. While they look for his replacement, Scott Kraft and Kimi Yoshino, two of the managing editors, will be overseeing their day-to-day newsroom operations.
It almost doesn’t come as a surprise, given the year he and the paper have had.
In July, there were multiple allegations about him verbally harassing a verteran reporter in addition to dismissing some concerns about ‘ethical lapses.’
Other issues brought to the fore included not paying attention in meetings, and the icing on top was the nationwide coverage of the pushback against the paper’s lack of diversity.
The LA Times has had quite the year of revolt, with accusations extending to sexual harassment and verbal abuse from the food editor. One of the paper’s most well-known sports columnists was also accused of plagiarism and ethical impropriety.
In the memo sent to his staff announcing his resignation, Pearlstine wrote:
“Turnarounds inevitably confront unforeseen challenges, and The Times has had its share as we worked to separate ourselves from Tribune. What made it all worthwhile was the memorable journalism that all of you continue to produce under extraordinary working conditions.”
In closing and in reflection, he believed his work at the Times was “done.”
Pearlstine originally announced in October he had intentions of retiring, but did not specify when that time would come. Previously, he was editor at Time Inc., the Wall Street Journal, and Forbes magazine, and was senior executive editor at Bloomberg News.
Though his stepping down is a small step to a new era at the LA Times, it doesn’t mean the company will turn a new page overnight. There is still work to be done, and with Pearlstine’s replacement, leaders have an opportunity to better reflect the predominantly Latino city in its premier newsroom.
A new editor of the like could diversify and start to change the narrative of an otherwise dark past that continued at the LA Times in 2020.