Jan 9, 2024 - Business

Kevin Merida resigns as executive editor of LA Times

Photo: Julia Ewan/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Kevin Merida is leaving the Los Angeles Times 2½ years after being named executive editor of the newspaper.

Why it matters: Merida's hiring was considered a huge feat for the Times, which had struggled to create the same level of national zeitgeist as other papers in New York and Washington.

Details: In a note to staff, Merida said he made the decision to leave "after considerable soul-searching about my career at this stage and how I can best be of value to the profession I love."

  • In a separate note, LA Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong said he and Merida "mutually agreed" that Merida's role as executive editor of the LA Times will conclude this week.
  • He alluded to the need for alignment among top leaders on his vision to bolster the Times' coverage of local and regional news, not national news.
  • "Our commitment to the LA Times and its mission has not wavered since the inception of our acquisition. However, given the persistent challenges we face, it is now imperative that we all work together to build a sustainable business that allows for growth and innovation of the LA Times and LA Times Studios in order to achieve our vision," he wrote.

Between the lines: During Merida's tenure, the Times' business challenges persisted. The paper cut 74 newsroom staffers in June 2023 amid advertising declines.

  • In an interview with Axios in July, Merida said the company still isn't profitable, but that he was optimistic about the paper's prospects.

Catch up quick: Prior to joining the Los Angeles Times, Merida served for two years as the Washington Post's first Black managing editor and then later served as senior vice president and editor-in-chief of "The Undefeated," ESPN's franchise that covers the intersections of sports, race and culture.

  • The Post won four Pulitzer Prizes under Merida's tenure. The Los Angeles Times has earned three under Merida's leadership as executive editor.

What's next: Soon-Shiong said his team is conducting an internal and external search for Merida's successor and that existing newsroom executives would lead in Merida's absence.

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Kevin Merida has been at the LA Times for 2½ years (not less than 2 years).

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