New L.A. Times Editors Vows To Bring Newsroom Together

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - New Los Angeles Times editor-in-chief Jim Kirk addressed the newspaper's staff for the first time today in his new role, seeking a fresh start and ``to bring this newsroom together.''

``There has been too much not-togetherness in the past few months, and if we want to be successful, that has to change,'' Kirk said in remarks to nearly 200 newsroom employees who attended the meeting reported by The Times.

Kirk, 52, replaces Lewis D'Vorkin, who will become chief content officer for digital and mobile customers, Tronc spokeswoman Marissa Koalas said.

Kirk pledged to be transparent in his dealings with the newsroom, but declined to speculate on why D'Vorkin was abruptly forced out.

The change came after weeks of upheaval at the newspaper, including a landslide vote by newsroom employees to unionize for the first time in the publication's 136-year history.

Times newsroom staffers have stated recent concerns that some editorial department chiefs brought in by Tronc are more interested in input from in-house business executives than that of newsroom leaders, drawing fears that it may blur the demarcation between news and advertising, the Times report said.

``Jim Kirk is a talented news veteran who is the ideal person to lead the Times newsroom,'' Tronc Chief Executive Officer Justin Dearborn said.

The change at the top comes 10 days after new Times publisher Ross Levinsohn was placed on unpaid leave following revelations he was a defendant in two sexual harassment suits while working at other companies before joining the Times.

At Monday's staff meeting Monday, one writer asked Kirk if he had ever been accused of sexual harassment.

"No," Kirk said, prompting applause from the room.

Kirk joined Times corporate parent firm Tronc in August, as senior vice president of strategic initiatives and on Aug. 21 was elevated to the interim editor post as part of an editorial department shakeup.

Kirk was appointed interim editor of Tronc's recently acquired New York Daily News earlier this month. He previously served as publisher and editor of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Photo: Getty Images

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