Los Angeles Times Publisher and CEO Ross Levinsohn has been cleared of wrongdoing following an investigation into his conduct, and he will move into a new role within the paper’s parent company, chief executive of Tribune Interactive, a business unit that Tronc plans to form following the sale of the Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune to Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong.
Los Angeles Times’ parent company, Tronc, said Thursday that it had opened an investigation into past conduct of Times Publisher Ross Levinsohn following a detailed report by NPR. NPR’s media writer David Folkenflik reported that Levinsohn has been a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits and that the executive engaged in “frat-boy” behavior in work settings before joining the Times in August.
The new CEO and publisher of the Los Angeles Times will have a starting salary of $1 million, and he’s positioned to make much more depending on the financial success of the Times and the company that owns it, Tronc. Ross Levinsohn, 54, the former interim CEO of Yahoo, took over as the head of the Times on Monday in a leadership shakeup at the newspaper.
Ross Levinsohn is used to tough jobs. But this week, the 54-year-old digital media executive took on what could be his most difficult assignment yet: figuring out how to generate more revenue from the journalism produced by the 135-year-old Los Angeles Times at a time when the news industry is grappling with sweeping shifts in consumer behavior and a proliferation of online outlets.
The “digital brain trust” was announced in January at the NATPE convention, with Guggenheim Digital Media’s Ross Levinsohn as head.