How a high-flying media executive with a $1 million annual paycheck and big plans to revamp the LA Times found himself out of a job after 5 months
Paul Sakuma/AP; Kevork Djansezian/AP; Business Insider
The next Advertising & Media Newsletter doesn't publish until next week, but I wanted to make sure you saw these two great stories we just published.
In a months-long investigation, senior reporter Tanya Dua examined the rise and fall of Los Angeles Times CEO Ross Levinsohn, who was brought down in part by #MeToo-type accusations.
Levinsohn was put on unpaid leave after the publication of an NPR article a little over a year ago that accused him of "frat-house behavior" earlier in his career.
He'd been hired to turn around one of the US's leading daily newspapers, but after he left that plan was abandoned and Tribune Publishing sold the paper.
His story combines a few of the big media stories of the past two years: The decline of traditional news organizations, the unionization of a newsroom, and the fallout from #MeToo-type claims.
We also published a separate Q&A with Levinsohn, in which he speaks on the record for the first time about NPR's reporting and its aftermath. Excerpts:
Tanya Dua: What was your first reaction when you found out about NPR's story?
Ross Levinsohn: That story paints me as somebody accused of sexual harassment. The facts and the findings in the lawsuits don't support it. The #MeToo movement is a very important one. But this story came at the height of the #MeToo movement, and it weaponized the movement and used it against me to damage me. I think I've been a champion and an advocate for women.
Dua: How has the story affected your life, personally and professionally?
Levinsohn: In today's world, whether it was accurate or not, once it's published, it remains out on the internet forever. The article damaged my career. It hurt me personally. It impacted my children and my family.
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