Tronc Inc. has parted ways with Lewis D’Vorkin, the former editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times who stepped down in January but remained with the parent company, and has laid off several dozen other employees, the Times reports.
In a statement provided to the Times, D’Vorkin characterized his removal as a mutual decision, saying that he intends to return to his “entrepreneurial roots” and that his “heart just wasn’t in” the mission of Tribune Interactive, the newly-formed digital business unit within Tronc.
Tronc Inc. did not immediately respond to a request from TheWrap for comment on the layoffs.
The total number of people affected by the layoffs is not known, but citing a source within Tronc, the Times said that the layoffs included L.A.-based video and online content teams that were not part of the Los Angeles Times.
D’Vorkin stepped down as editor-in-chief in January weeks after the paper’s newsroom unionized, and just days after he was the subject of a lengthy critical article in the Columbia Journalism Review.
But D’Vorkin had only taken the job in early November, presiding over a tumultuous period for the paper. Soon after he took the job, publisher Ross Levinsohn was suspended after it emerged that he was accused of sexual harassment and made inappropriate remarks about women and gay people before he worked at Tronc. The company cleared him of wrongdoing after an investigation.
Tension between D’Vorkin and the newsroom spilled out into public view, with Kimi Yoshino, a business editor who supervised an investigative piece about Disney and its Anaheim theme park, suspended and escorted out of the building on in February. No explanation for her suspension was given.
Days after D’Vorkin was removed from his post at the LA Times, Tronc announced it would sell the paper to billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong for $500 million. Levinsohn was removed as publisher of the paper but named chief executive of Tribune Interactive.