Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Here's the LAT's official picture of Ross Levinsohn, and his memo to the staff below that.

Good Afternoon,

As I walked through the Globe lobby doors this morning, the history and responsibility of this job surrounded me. I am honored and humbled to have been asked to lead the Los Angeles Times. I’ve had a love affair with LA since 1968 and have called this city home for almost 20 years – and read the Los Angeles Times for far longer. I was always drawn to the images, cultural impact and aspirational life I imagined existed here. It took me many years to finally call LA home, but now I’m never leaving. I have long admired what the Los Angeles Times stood for – its voice and impact, the world-class journalism that is produced day in and day out, the challenges you tackle and the importance of what you do.
And never more so than now. I have always had a deep passion for news, but the events of the last several years have brought the importance of journalism to a new level. As our country and world go through significant changes, including a rapidly evolving media landscape, the need for honest and trusted journalism has never been greater. Journalism matters… facts matter…opinions matter. What you do each day is vital for our democracy. The Los Angeles Times fulfills an essential and critical role both in our community and across the nation. That’s why when Michael and Justin asked me to join you, I jumped at the opportunity.
My priority is to help ensure the Los Angeles Times continues to flourish and becomes an even more aggressive, competitive and sustainable organization. I am confident that together we will accelerate the Los Angeles Times’ evolution and the digital transformation of tronc and produce its next stage of growth – always keeping our sights trained on our mission of producing ground-breaking and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism. Jim Kirk, who is joining us as Interim Executive Editor leading the newsroom day to day, will work closely with me as we begin our search for a new editor in chief.
I’ve been lucky to have worked with some amazing companies, legendary storytellers, world-class journalists, incredible co-workers and media titans who have helped shape our industry. I have benefitted from their wisdom, and I have every expectation that this experience will be no different. Over the coming weeks, I want to meet as many of you as possible so I can hear your candid thoughts about what works, what doesn’t and how you imagine the Los Angeles Times 10 years from now. I have an idea or two, but you are the lifeblood of what makes this engine work. I am all ears.
These conversations are important to me not only because they will inform the strategy we will outline in the months ahead, but also because I recognize that this is a place that has gone through many changes in recent years, including today’s announcement. I want to ensure that your voices are heard, that we do this together and that the Los Angeles Times has a culture that nourishes talent and fosters excellence. I believe in honesty, transparency and commitment. I will do my best to be that way with you. I hope you’ll accept the challenge to be the same.
I ask for those of you in the newsroom to please join me at an all-hands meeting later today at 3 pm, where I can more formally introduce myself and Jim, explain why I am so excited about what’s ahead and start getting to know you better. And over the next few days, I’ll be seeking out opportunities to speak to all areas of the organization to get better acquainted with you all as well. And over the coming days, I will be meeting with all the teams inside the company.
I look forward to working closely with you all to build on the Los Angeles Times’ tremendous track record, expand the reach of its journalism and help it reach new heights.

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