John Arthur, the executive editor of the Los Angeles Times, will be leaving the paper as part of a series of shakeups that involve promoting the sports editor to a top position, the chief editor announced on Thursday.
Arthur had been at the Times for 23 years, but had clashed with editor Russ Stanton, who has been struggling to find a way to reinvent the paper as it wades through bankruptcy in a severe economic downturn.
“John and I did not agree on the need for the just-announced masthead changes, and we differ on the best approach to reaching our goals,” said Editor Russ Stanton in a statement to the staff.
In April, in an interview with TheWrap, Arthur criticized the Times for running front-page ads for the NBC show "Southland," which had been approved by Stanton. He called the ad "horrible."
Stanton outlined to the staff changes at the masthead level “to adapt to the shifting reading, viewing and consumption habits of our ever-expanding audiences.”
Among the changes, Sports Editor Randy Harvey was named associate editor, in charge of helping turn the newsroom into a “fully functional 24/7 operation, feeding print, the web, mobile devices, television, radio, Twitter, Facebook and anything else that helps us increase — and better connect with — our audience,” Stanton said.
Obituary editor Jon Thurber becomes managing editor of print, with the responsibility of carrying out the content plans for the newspaper and other print products produced by our newsroom.
Meredith Artley becomes managing editor, online, overseeing digital properties. Dave Maharaj will continue as managing editor, news.
Artley, Thurber, Maharaj and Harvey all will report to Stanton, effective immediately.
Arthur “has served this newsroom — and our readers — with pride and distinction, and for that owe him our gratitude and our best wishes,” Stanton said.
Arthur’s email was disconnected almost immediately after the announcement, and he quickly left the building on Spring Street.