Davan Maharaj, who was the highest ranking Indian American newspaper journalist, has been removed as the top editor and publisher of The Los Angeles Times in a shakeup of the publication’s leadership.
The newspaper reported on Monday that Tronc, the parent company of the LA Times, had also removed three other high-level editors in what it described as a “dramatic shake-up” at the fifth largest newspaper in the US with a circulation of about 500,000.
Ross Levinsohn was named to succeed Maharaj as the publisher and Jim Kirk as the editor. Levinsohn is a former executive of Fox Interactive Media, owned Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, and interim CEO of Yahoo. Kirk was the editor and publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Maharaj, who began his editorial career at the Trinidad Express in his native Caribbean country, worked his way up the LA Times from an intern to the top spot. Along the way he was a foreign correspondent in Africa, assistant foreign editor, business editor and managing editor. He became editor in 2011 and added the title of publisher last year. He also oversaw six local newspapers, two Spanish language newspapers and several websites. Last year, another Indian American at the LA Times, S Mitra Kalita, who was the Managing Editor for Digital Strategy, left the newspaper to become the vice president for programming at CNN Digital. The LA Times was purchased in 2000 by the Tribune Co., which was renamed Tronc.
The parent company has been in a state of turmoil, weathering a bankruptcy, change in ownership and the split of the newspaper and television properties. The LA Times has undergone several rounds of layoffs. New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet, had been fired by the LA Times corporate management in 2006 when he was the editor there refusing to carry out layoffs. While announcing the changes Tronc CEO Justin Dearborn said the company would invest more in the LA Times and would like it to reach Asia and South America, the LA Times reported.