Russ Stanton out, Davan Maharaj is the new Editor of the LA Times

Russ Stanton the day he became Editor of the LAT

The only Editor I ever worked under at the LA Times today has stepped down.

Stanton, 52, joined The Times in 1997 as a business reporter in Orange County. He led the news organization for four years, a period in which it expanded its digital reach to more than 17 million readers and won three Pulitzer Prizes, including the Public Service Award for exposing corruption in the city of Bell.

“Russ Stanton has been an outstanding editor for the Los Angeles Times over the past four years,” Times President and Chief Operating Officer Kathy Thomson said. “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.”

Stanton has presided over a tumultuous time in journalism, as declining newspaper circulation and advertising revenue forced newsrooms across the country to contract. During his tenure, The Times’ newsroom staff shrank from more than 900 people to about 550.

Believing that the industry’s future was in online and multimedia platforms, Stanton worked aggressively to transform The Times into a 24-hour operation that delivered the news across print, digital, mobile and video formats.

Russ had a super tough job of trying to push the old media giant into the new media world.

Meanwhile his parent company Tribune was in bankruptcy, that with a myriad of other issues made it very hard for him to achieve his vision.

I can say he was fair to me when I was there, even calling me the day I was being laid off.

I’m sure he will land on his feet. Some very good things happened under his reign.