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Photo by Julia Ewan/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Veteran ESPN news editor Kevin Merida was named executive editor of the Los Angeles Times on Monday.

Why it matters: Merida — who has long been rumored for the role — replaces Norm Pearlstine, who stepped down as executive editor late last year after leading the paper for two and half years.

Details: Merida served as senior vice president and editor-in-chief of “The Undefeated,” ESPN’s franchise that covers the intersections of sports, race and culture.

  • Sources say Merida was being released from his contract with Disney over the past few days.

Between the lines: Last year, Latino journalists at the Times pushed management to invest more in coverage of the Latino population, which is one of the biggest demographics in the region. Sources say Pearlstine struggled to address many of these conversations.

  • Journalists of color having been pushing leadership to address issues of racial inequity around hiring, coverage and pay, NPR reported.
  • Merida, who is Black, will have to address the internal conflicts around diversity and inclusion.

Despite its new ownership, the L.A. Times has struggled to transition its business into the digital era. The paper was bought by Patrick Soon-Shiong, a doctor and biotech billionaire, in 2018. It has not been able to build a national brand in the same way that rival papers, like the Washington Post, have been able to with billionaire investments.

The big picture: Several of the country’s biggest news companies are currently looking to fill top editor roles.

  • Sources had previously told Axios that Merida was one of the names being considered for the new Executive Editor role at The Washington Post.

Go deeper ... Wanted: News bosses everywhere

Go deeper

Exclusive: Twitter launches national campaign to boost local news

Image of local newspaper ads Twitter is running in 25 papers

Twitter on Monday will launch a major advertising and social media campaign urging people to follow local journalists and support their work.

Why it matters: While Twitter is a platform designed to give everyone a voice, journalists from national outlets tend to have an outsized presence.

Updated 22 mins ago - Health

White House acknowledges U.S. will miss July 4 vaccination goal

Fireworks in New York City to celebrate the state reaching a 70% vaccination rate. Photo: Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images

The Biden administration acknowledged on Tuesday that it will likely miss its goal of vaccinating 70% of U.S. adults with at least one dose by July 4.

Why it matters: Despite falling short of the goal, the White House still believes most Americans will be safe to fully celebrate Independence Day, as COVID-19 cases and deaths remain at low levels throughout much of the country.

Exclusive: Quartz, NYT vets launch new media company about work

Photo credit: Emma Howells for Charter

Quartz co-founders Kevin Delaney and Jay Lauf, along with New York Times veteran Erin Grau, are launching a new media and services company called "Charter" that is centered around the future of work, the founders told Axios.

Why it matters: "There are other media companies that write about this topic — some occasionally and some more frequently, but it's one topic among many things that they do," Delaney said. "This is a driving focus for us."