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Los Angeles Times Publisher Called to Resign after Sexual Harassment Claims Surface
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Ross Levinsohn. The Hollywood Reporter.

Summary: The Los Angeles Times’ CEO was accused of sexual harassment at prior companies.

The publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times was accused of running a “frat house”-like environment at prior companies, and after a call for his resignation, he has been placed on an unpaid leave of absence, according to the New York Daily News.

  
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After the Los Angeles Times’ staff called for Ross Levinsohn’s resignation on Thursday, the 54-year-old media executive took a leave as the company conducts a probe into prior claims of sexual misconduct.

This week, it was revealed that Levinsohn was the defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits while he was working at other companies. NPR published a story on Thursday that documented his history of mistreatment of women that some said could impact his thinking in the way he runs the LA Times.

“The Los Angeles Times has given prominent coverage to recent revelations of sexual harassment of women by prominent men, particularly in entertainment and media. Yet a review by NPR finds that the newspaper’s own CEO and publisher, Ross Levinsohn, has been a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits and that his conduct in work settings over the past two decades has been called into question repeatedly by female colleagues,” NPR said. “…His behavior, as described by those who worked with him, raises questions about how effectively he can lead the paper as it covers the #MeToo movement and such widespread harassment revelations.”

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After NPR’s report went viral, multiple high-profile Los Angeles Times reporters called for Levinsohn’s resignation.

“Ross Levinsohn should resign or be fired immediately,” the Los Angeles Times unionizing committee said in a statement to Buzzfeed News. “A man who sexually harasses women, engages in ‘slut-shaming’ and refers to gay men as ‘fags’ is not fit to lead our newspaper.”



In the NPR story, Levinsohn was accused in the past of rating his female colleagues’ “hotness” and of once calling fashion stylists “fags.” He was also accused of aggressively kissing a female colleague at an event, even though he was married at the time.

The Los Angeles Times committee also asked for an investigation as to how someone with Levinsohn’s background was hired.

Tronc, formerly called Tribune Publishing, owns the Los Angeles Times and other publications such as the New York Daily News. Tronc’s CEO Justin Dearborn said that Levinsohn voluntarily stepped down while an outside law firm is conducting an investigation into what NPR said was “frat-boy” behavior.

“It is critical that in any such circumstances we conduct a thorough review so that we have a full understanding of what happened,” Dearborn said. “We will not hesitate to take further action, if appropriate, once the review is complete.”

Back in August, Tronc fired numerous Los Angeles Times leaders and replaced them with Levinsohn. He has held positions at companies such as CBS, News Corp, and Yahoo.

What do you think of the Los Angeles Times’ publisher? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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