Veteran newsman Norman Pearlstine was named executive editor of the Los Angeles Times Monday as the paper’s new owner, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, began to put his mark on the storied publication.
According to The Times, the 75-year-old Pearlstine has been acting as an adviser to Soon-Shiong over the past two months to help create a transition plan as ownership shifted from Chicago-based Tronc.
“Not only does he have amazing experience with the full knowledge of how a newsroom runs, but he’s amazingly modern and forward-looking,” Soon-Shiong said in remarks reported by The Times. “There’s no agenda, other than to make this the best journalistic institution. We’re lucky to be able to capture him.”
Pearlstine takes over the job from Jim Kirk, who had been serving as executive editor for the past seven months. According to The Times, Kirk was offered another position at the paper, but he declined the offer.
Pearlstine is the paper’s fourth executive editor in less than a year. He said with Soon-Shiong returning the paper to local ownership, the institution’s management will see a return to stability.
“I’m lucky as hell to have this opportunity, and I feel confident that this is somewhere I think I can be helpful,” Pearlstine told The Times.
“Despite all of the things that have happened, this remains an extraordinary place,” Pearlstine said. “The challenge is to use what remains a quite large staff, by industry standards, and have it add as much value as possible. We need to focus on high-value information.”
Pearlstine noted that at his age, he realizes that one of his top tasks will be to “find my successor.”
“I think we will have a better idea of what the next generation of leadership is after we have done some more work and, frankly, after we have done some more listening,” he told the paper.
Pearlstine worked as a copy boy at the New York Times in 1967, then joined the Wall Street Journal in 1968. He was named executive editor of Forbes magazine in 1978, them returned to the Wall Street Journal two years later to lead the paper’s new Asian edition. He moved up to managing editor and eventually became executive editor of the paper.
He became editor-in-chief at Time Inc. in 1995, and led the organization for 10 years. He worked for five years as chief content officer for Bloomberg L.P., then returned to Time Inc. as vice chairman in 2016, but he retired a year later, according to The Times.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: