The Los Angeles Times names Kevin Merida executive editor, succeeding Norman Pearlstine, who stepped down from the role in December. Merida comes to the Times from ESPN, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Undefeated, a website that covers sports, race and culture, and oversaw the platform’s investigative/news enterprise unit. Before coming to ESPN in 2015, he spent over two decades at the Washington Post, whereas managing editor he oversaw much of the paper’s newsroom. He has also served as a reporter and editor at the Dallas Morning News. “Kevin possesses a clear understanding of the rigor necessary for independent journalism and how to translate that journalism to multiple platforms,” said Times owners Patrick and Michele Soon-Shiong in a written statement.
Meredith Corp. reaches an agreement to sell its local TV stations to Gray Television for $2.7 billion. The company says that the deal will allow it to focus exclusively on its publishing division, which includes such titles as People, Entertainment Weekly and Martha Stewart Living. “We expect the transaction to unlock meaningful shareholder value as it advances all of the company’s financial priorities: reducing net debt, improving financial flexibility, allocating capital to fast-growing digital and consumer opportunities, and providing returns to shareholders,” said Meredith chairman and CEO Tom Harty. Once the transaction is completed in the fourth quarter of this year, Gray will become one of the top three local broadcasters in the U.S., along with Sinclair and Nexstar.
Vice Media brings on ABC director of communications Van Scott as VP of communications. He will lead all U.S. communications for Vice, including its digital brands, the Viceland cable channel and a documentary program show on Showtime. At ABC News he led coverage around political issues and breaking news, as well as working on “World News Tonight with David Muir.” Before coming to ABC in 2014, he was communications manager at CNN. Scott exits ABC News just a few weeks before Kim Godwin steps in to lead the division.