Thursday, October 24, 2013

Another Los Angeles Times Editorial Departure

Karlene Goller is leaving the Times:

Colleagues –

It is with great regret that we announce the departure of one of The Times’ most valued executives: Karlene Goller.

During her 23 years here, Karlene has served seven editors and nine publishers, but her heart has always been in the newsroom, where two principles have guided her: compassion for her colleagues and a fierce determination to help reporters access information and publish. She has consistently used her keen eye for legal nuance and potential hurdles to rescue stories with suggestions that allowed us to get crucial news and information to our readers while protecting the institution. Some lawyers obstruct. Karlene publishes. As John Carroll once noted, she really is an editor with a law degree.

Many are the threats to news gathering and publishing. Fortunately for The Times, Karlene has defended our line for nearly a quarter century. She has bailed Times journalists out of jail and protected reporters and editors from lawsuits and harassment. She has gone up against local and federal agencies, judges and unions. She is almost certainly the only lawyer ever to prevail over the Los Angeles Archdiocese, the Coliseum Commission and the legal department at Bagram Air Field.

Karlene has also guided the paper’s lobbying efforts in Sacramento and, because of her, journalists at The Times and throughout California have greater ability to protect the identities of sources and greater access to public meetings and trials.

Finally, two achievements bear special note: During her tenure, The Times has never lost a libel case and its journalists saw fit to honor Karlene with a Times Editorial Award for her unflagging support of the newsroom’s mission – a rare instance of reporters paying homage to a lawyer.

Now she’s prepared to try something new. All of us will miss her. Happily, she has helped us hire her replacement and will be staying on for a transition period, so she won’t be leaving the building just yet. We will be announcing her successor soon.

In the meantime, please join us in wishing Karlene well.

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