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Troubled Los Angeles Times picking new editor amid unrest
[NEW YORK] In an attempt to calm rising newsroom tensions at The Los Angeles Times, the paper was expected to name Jim Kirk, a veteran journalist and former editor and publisher of The Chicago Sun-Times, as its next editor-in-chief on Monday, according to two company officials.
Mr Kirk, who joined Tronc, the parent company of The Times, in August, will replace Lewis D'Vorkin, whose brief stint atop one of the country's most prominent newspapers touched off widespread unrest in the newsroom.
Mr D'Vorkin, 65, who became the newspaper's top editor in November, will become Tronc's chief content officer, a strategic role that will involve establishing new products to distribute the company's journalism.
The leadership changes are the latest twists in an ongoing drama at The Times, which this year has dealt with a successful unionisation vote, a leave of absence for its publisher and a swelling sense of mistrust in its newsroom.
In an interview Sunday night, Mr Kirk, 52, conveyed a willingness to improve morale in the newsroom and calm the tensions between managers and Times journalists.
"My message to the newsroom will be that we will be working together as one team starting tomorrow to do the best work we can," Mr Kirk said.
He added that his goal as the top editor at The Times was to "double down our great coverage of California and Los Angeles and beyond". "That's what readers expect from us, and we want to continue that," he said.
The arrival of Mr Kirk, most recently interim editor-in-chief at the New York Daily News, comes as the job status of the Times' publisher was already an open question.
On Jan 19 - the same day that newsroom employees announced they had voted to unionise - the publisher, Ross Levinsohn, was put on leave following reports that he had previously been the subject of sexual harassment allegations.