Former Los Angeles Times Editor in Chief Lewis D’Vorkin was fired by Tronc Inc. this week and several dozen other employees of the company were laid off, the newspaper reported Friday.
D’Vorkin was the chief content officer of Tribune Interactive, a newly formed digital business unit of The Times’ parent company. The reason for his removal Thursday was not clear, The Times reported.
D’Vorkin said the decision to part ways with the company was mutual, saying his “heart just wasn’t in” the various initiatives that Tribune Interactive was planning, according to the newspaper.
The layoffs, which included Tribune Interactive’s Los Angeles-based video and online content teams, which operated separately from The Times, were due to a change in the company’s business strategy, The Times was told by a source familiar with the cuts who was not authorized to speak publicly. A spokeswoman for Chicago-based Tronc declined to provide details, citing personnel privacy.
Departing employees in Los Angeles said they were laid off en masse during a staff meeting early Thursday afternoon that was originally supposed to be led by D’Vorkin. But he did not appear for the meeting, and instead, employees were told by a human resources manager that they were being let go, The Times reported. The manager cited a reorganization, according to people who were there.
The news comes after a tumultuous few months for Tronc and The Times, starting in August when several top editors were ousted from the newspaper, according to The Times. Tronc named Ross Levinsohn, a former Yahoo and Fox executive, as Times publisher. Levinsohn in October named D’Vorkin editor in chief of The Times. D’Vorkin’s tenure lasted just three months and was marked by several hostile encounters with the newsroom, The Times reported.
Tronc has entered an agreement to sell The Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune to L.A. biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong. The deal is expected to close this month.