Maharaj named Los Angeles Times editor

Russ Stanton has stepped down as Los Angeles Times editor. Davan Maharaj (left), formerly managing editor, now leads the newsroom.

Stanton on Maharaj, from a 2008 LAT memo:

Among the highlights from his more than 20 years of reporting was the six-part series “Living on Pennies,” his collaboration with photographer Francine Orr, which won the 2005 Ernie Pyle Award for Human Interest Writing. The series inspired readers to send tens of thousands of dollars to aid people and agencies working in Africa.

Ex-LATer Kevin Roderick: “There had been much talk in recent months that Maharaj was on the rise in the eyes of company boss Eddy Hartenstein.”

Maharaj: “My first experience of life in Africa…” (Nieman Reports)

LAT’S PRESS RELEASE IS AFTER THE JUMP

LOS ANGELES TIMES ANNOUNCES EDITOR TRANSITION
Russ Stanton Stepping Down; Davan Maharaj Appointed As New Editor

LOS ANGELES – December 13, 2011– The Los Angeles Times today announced that Russ Stanton will step down as its executive vice president and editor on December 23, and that Davan Maharaj will succeed him in that position. Maharaj has served as managing editor for news at The Times since May 2008, overseeing the Foreign, National, Metro, Sports and Business departments.
“Russ Stanton has been an outstanding editor for the Los Angeles Times over the past four years,” said Times President and Chief Operating Officer Kathy Thomson. “As he moves on to the next phase of his career, we are extremely fortunate to have someone as talented and experienced as Davan Maharaj who can step in immediately with energy and vision for how to continue The Times’ advancement in the digital age.”

Maharaj becomes the 15th editor of The Times. He joined the company in 1989, working as a reporter in Orange County, Los Angeles and East Africa. His six-part series “Living on Pennies,” in collaboration with Times photographer Francine Orr, won the 2005 Ernie Pyle Award for Human Interest Writing and inspired readers to donate tens of thousands of dollars to aid agencies working in Africa. Closer to home, Maharaj’s investigative report about a probate attorney who inherited millions of dollars in stock, land and other “gifts” from his clients led to changes in California probate law.

Maharaj also served as an assistant foreign editor and was appointed Business editor in 2007. During that time, he revamped the organization’s Business coverage, giving greater emphasis to consumer issues and personal finances. Following his appointment as managing editor in 2008, Maharaj worked with Stanton to help transform The Times newsroom into a fully-staffed, 24-hour operation, delivering news across multiple platforms including digital, mobile, video and print.

“I am humbled and honored to lead one of the most talented and resilient newsrooms in the nation,” said Maharaj. “We’ve made huge strides in getting our journalism to wide and diverse audiences across Southern California and beyond. We will continue to push forward, especially in the digital and mobile space. Our commitment to delivering high-quality journalism remains unwavering.”

During Stanton’s tenure as editor, the Los Angeles Times grew its digital audience significantly; it now reaches more than 17 million unique readers every month. Under Stanton’s leadership, The Times won three Pulitzer Prizes, including the 2011 Public Service Award for its coverage of political corruption in the city of Bell, California.

“I am very proud of what this staff has accomplished over the last four years,” said Stanton. “This is a newsroom filled with dedicated, knowledgeable, and experienced journalists, and under Davan’s leadership there is continued greatness ahead for the Los Angeles Times.”

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