Journalist Kevin Merida has been officially announced as the next executive editor of the Los Angeles Times. He will be taking over the top job at the paper in June.
Throughout the search process, which began in earnest when former executive editor Norman Pearlstine announced his departure in October, Merida was frequently mentioned as a top contender. In recent years, he’s been a senior vice president at ESPN, where he launched and oversaw The Undefeated, the brand’s influential site focused on the intersections of sports, culture, and race.
Prior to ESPN, he spent much of his career at The Washington Post, working his way from investigative reporter to managing editor. Along the way, he earned a reputation as a man respected and admired by his colleagues and staff–and an armload of Pulitzer Prizes.
“I am excited to be the next executive editor of the L.A. Times, and will bring with me an open heart, a penchant for experimentation, and a fiercely competitive spirit,” reads a statement issued by Merida.
He’ll need to bring all those qualities to a job that’s been described as one of the most difficult in American journalism–and at a particularly challenging moment in the publication’s history. The Los Angeles Times has struggled to grow its digital subscriber base as quickly as its competitors, and has been dogged by recent ethics and misconduct scandals.
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