Kathy Thomson Stepping Down as President and COO of Los Angeles Times

Kathy Thomson Stepping Down as President and COO of Los Angeles Times

She is leaving for another opportunity, she told the staff

Kathy Thomson, president and COO of the Los Angeles Times, is leaving the publication, she announced on Tuesday.

In a memo, Thomson said she was heading to another opportunity but did not offer details. Her final day will be Nov. 29,

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The departing executive said she was “honored” and “proud” of her association and time spent with the publication. Thomson said, “There is much promise on the road ahead” for the publication. She added, “While change is inevitable, the LA Times is here to stay.”

Just not her, apparently.

Thomson oversees the newspaper's editorial, advertising sales, business services and marketing units. Thomson has managed the effort to expand digital products and the use of video at The Times, the Chicago Tribune and Tribune Co.'s six other daily newspapers, the LA Times wrote.

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Thomson was only named to the newly created position of chief operating officer of the company’s publishing division in April of this year.

In a note to LA Times employees, publisher and chief executive officer Eddy Hartenstein praised Thomson for her “countless contributions.”

“She has led the Times with grace and determination through the last several years and will be greatly missed,” he wrote.

Also read: LA Times Hit By Layoffs As Profits Plunge 41% at Tribune (Updated)

Thomson is not the only high-ranking LA Times employee to leave in recent memory. Karlene Goller, vice president and deputy counsel, stepped down last month after more than 20 years as the newsroom's lawyer. Projects editor Julie Marquis left last week.

Here is Thomson's full memo to staff:

Colleagues –

From the groundbreaking journalism and ongoing community events to the task of creating the largest fully responsively designed news site ever built, the work being undertaken in every corner of the LA Times is amazing. Millions of people count on that work every day. It matters.

I am honored to be associated with such an outstanding team of people who are dedicated and committed to excellence. I am inspired by you. So it is with mixed feelings that I am writing to tell you I am leaving The Times and moving on to another challenging opportunity. My last day will be November 29th.

I am proud to have helped lead the company out of bankruptcy and into a new era. There is much promise on the road ahead. Our journalism is read more now than at any time in our 131 year history. Our readers and advertisers rely on us to inform, delight, engage and entertain throughout each day. As The Times continues to navigate its migration into a digital world, remember the importance and value of the people on the team and the immense power of the brand. While change is inevitable, the LA Times is here to stay. 

Thank you for all that you do and for letting me be a part of a truly incredible company. 

Best wishes,
Kathy