The Los Angeles Times has a new editor-in-chief for the second time in less than six months. Jim Kirk, who had been named interim editor of the New York Daily News on Jan. 18 and had recently served as interim editor at the Times, will replace Lewis D’Vorkin, who was named chief content officer for Tronc, the paper’s parent company.
Kirk, the former publisher and editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, was named interim editor of the Times on Aug. 21, following a major reshuffling of its top editors. He stepped down after D’Vorkin was appointed editor-in-chief last October by the paper’s publisher and CEO, Ross Levinsohn. Levinsohn is currently on unpaid leave while Tronc looks into reports of past sexual-harassment settlements and allegations of inappropriate behavior.
D'Vorkin spent a rocky three months at the Times, a period that was marked by a vote by newsroom employees to join the NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America as well as increasing hostilities between D'Vorkin and his staff. A Jan. 24 piece from the Columbia Journalism Review concerning the contentious relations between D’Vorkin and newsroom employees referred to him as “L.A. Journalism’s Prince of Darkness.” Before coming to Tronc, he had been chief product officer at Forbes.
One major source of the conflict was a series of executive hires that D’Vorkin made without notifying the newsroom, leading to suspicions about the company's motives for the new team.
In announcing Kirk’s return as editor-in-chief, Tronc chief executive Justin Dearborn called him “the ideal person to lead the Los Angeles Times newsroom,” adding that “his established passion for news, and his management experience with big-city news teams, make him uniquely qualified.”