New York (CNN Business)Norm Pearlstine, the executive editor of the Los Angeles Times who has for the past two years led the paper through both turnaround and turmoil, announced Monday the search has begun for his successor.
The news comes after years of upheaval at the legacy newspaper, most recently with a reckoning over the lack of diversity in its newsroom, and in turn, a failure to adequately cover the city of Los Angeles. Owner Patrick Soon-Shiong acknowledged the paper’s biases and committed to change and the LA Times editorial board apologized for it on September 27.
LA Times reporters have investigated the scandals inside their own newsroom, publishing a story on September 21 that hinted at Pearlstine’s imminent departure: “Pearlstine, under fire, acknowledged mistakes and defended his record,” that article said. “He’s not stepping down but said he hoped to soon accelerate succession planning with the paper’s owner, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong.”
Pearlstine has decades of experience working in the media industry, including serving in senior positions at The Wall Street Journal, Time Inc. and Bloomberg. He joined the LA Times after the paper was mismanaged, riddled with scandals and layoffs, under the ownership of Tronc. Biotech billionaire Soon-Shiong bought the paper in early 2018 and appointed Pearlstine.
He will remain in the role until a replacement is found and then serve as an adviser to the company, Pearlstine wrote in Monday’s memo.
“My thanks to Pat and Michele for giving me the opportunity to work for them and with you,” Pearlstine said, refering to Soon-Shiong’s wife Michele B. Chan.
“I am proud of what we have accomplished. I also recognize it’s the right time to find a successor — an editor who embodies the qualities needed to continue The Times’ revival. I remain excited about The Times’ future as you respond to new and evolving challenges and opportunities,” Pearlstine continued.
Los Angeles Times Vice President of Communications Hillary Manning declined to comment beyond the memo.
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