L.A. Times Names Terry Tang as Executive Editor

The Los Angeles Times on Monday named Terry Tang as its permanent executive editor, making her the first woman to lead the paper’s newsroom.

Ms. Tang had been the interim executive editor since January, when Kevin Merida abruptly announced that he was leaving the news organization after nearly three years as its executive editor.

In a statement, Patrick and Michele Soon-Shiong, who own The Los Angeles Times, said that they had made a decision in December to “make changes in leadership to revitalize The L.A. Times.”

“Terry in short order has demonstrated the capability of building on our legacy of excellence in journalism with stories that matter,” the Soon-Shiongs said in the statement.

“She understands our mission to be a thriving pillar of democracy and the critical role that The L.A. Times’s voice plays — to our city, and to the world — in bringing attention to issues that matter most, especially for those whose voices are often unheard.”

Before becoming the interim executive editor earlier this year, Ms. Tang, 65, ran the paper’s opinion section. She will continue to oversee opinion in addition to her new role, according to a Los Angeles Times spokeswoman. Ms. Tang had previously worked as director of publications and editorial at the American Civil Liberties Union and as an editor at The New York Times for 20 years.

“Terry is truly the best candidate to lead the Los Angeles Times’s journalism organization now and we’re fortunate she accepted the role,” said Chris Argentieri, the president and chief operating officer of The Los Angeles Times.

Ms. Tang’s appointment comes after a particularly rocky time for the publication. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who purchased the paper for $500 million in 2018, said in January that it was losing $30 million to $40 million a year and must cut its newsroom by more than 20 percent, amounting to at least 115 journalists.

Tensions between him and Mr. Merida rose before Mr. Merida’s departure, strained partly because of an incident over reporting about a wealthy doctor and his dog. Dr. Soon-Shiong tried to dissuade Mr. Merida from having the newsroom pursue the story, according to people with knowledge of their interactions. The company has said that Dr. Soon-Shiong had made a request for “truthful, factual reporting” on the story.

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