Terry Tang named executive editor of the Los Angeles Times after leading newsroom on interim basis

Apr 8, 2024, 4:05 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Terry Tang, who has been leading the Los Angeles Times newsroom since January on an interim basis, on Monday was formally named executive editor. She is the first woman to hold the post in the newspaper’s 142-year history.

Since being tapped for the interim role, Tang moved to reorganize the newsroom, form her own leadership team and place a heavier emphasis on traditional news reporting, the Times said in a report announcing the appointment.

“Terry in short order has demonstrated the capability of building on our legacy of excellence in journalism with stories that matter,” the Times’ owner, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, said in a statement. “She understands our mission to be a thriving pillar of democracy and the critical role that the LA Times’ 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.”

Tang’s appointment comes during a tumultuous year for the news institution. In January, the Times said it would lay off at least 115 employees — more than 20% of the newsroom — in one of the company’s largest-ever staff cuts. Senior editors, photographers and members of the video unit were also part of the purge.

That latest round of job cutting came after more than 70 Times positions — about 13% of the newsroom — were slashed last June.

Tang replaces Kevin Merida, who abruptly left in late January after a 2 1/2-year tenure.

“The Los Angeles Times and its superb journalists make a difference every day in the life of California and this nation,” Tang said in a statement Monday. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to lead an institution that serves our community and to make our work indispensable to our readers.”

Previously, Tang led the Opinion section for nearly two years after joining the Times in 2019 as deputy op-ed editor. Tang will continue to oversee Opinion.

Tang, 65, has deep roots in Southern California. She was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and her family spent a few years in Japan before immigrating to Los Angeles when she was 6.

She graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and earned her law degree from the New York University School of Law. She served as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in the early 1990s.

Before joining the Times, she worked for two years at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she served as director of publications and editorial. Before that, she worked at the New York Times for 20 years in a variety of roles.

Layoffs and buyouts have hit a wide swath of the U.S. news industry over the past years. The Washington Post, NPR, CNN and Vox Media were among the many companies impacted.

The major cuts at the Times were necessary because the company could no longer lose up to $40 million a year without boosting advertising and subscription revenue, Soon-Shiong said in January.

A biotech billionaire, Soon-Shiong acquired the Times in 2018, returning it to local ownership two decades after it was sold to Tribune Co. The purchase raised hopes after years of cutbacks, circulation declines and leadership changes.

National News

Associated Press

Disneyland character and parade performers in California vote to join labor union

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Disneyland performers who help bring Mickey Mouse, Cinderella and other beloved characters to life at the Southern California resort chose to unionize following a three-day vote culminating on Saturday. The Actors’ Equity Association labor union said in a statement Saturday that cast members for the parades and characters departments at Disney’s […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Dive team finds bodies of 2 men dead inside plane found upside down in Alaska lake

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The bodies of two men have been recovered from a plane that was found face down in a lake, Alaska State Troopers said Saturday. Troopers were notified late Friday of the upside-down aircraft in Six Mile Lake near the Athabascan community of Nondalton, located about 200 miles (322 kilometers) southwest of […]

10 hours ago

Associated Press

Man suspected of shooting 6-month-old son in hostage standoff near Phoenix apparently killed himself

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — A man suspected of shooting his 6-month-old son multiple times after taking the boy and his mother hostage was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the rubble of a suburban Phoenix home that caught fire during a SWAT standoff, police said Saturday. The boy was reported in critical […]

11 hours ago

Image: A person wears a T-shirt with the names of Kristin Smith, Charity Lynn Perry, Joanna Speaks,...

Associated Press

Man probed in deaths of women in northwest Oregon indicted in 3 killings

A man who has been under investigation in the deaths of four women whose bodies were found across northwest Oregon has been indicted.

12 hours ago

Associated Press

6 people killed, 10 others injured in Idaho when pickup crashes into passenger van

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Six people were killed Saturday in Idaho in a two-car accident that included a large passenger van, authorities said. Ten others were injured in the crash on U.S. Highway 20 in Idaho Falls and taken to local hospitals, Idaho State Police said in a statement. An eastbound pickup crossed the […]

14 hours ago

Image: The headquarters for The Boeing Company can be seen in Arlington, Virginia, on Jan. 31, 2024...

Associated Press

Police conclude investigation into suicide of Boeing whistleblower

A former manager who raised safety questions about the aircraft maker and, later, was found dead took his own life, police said Friday.

18 hours ago

Terry Tang named executive editor of the Los Angeles Times after leading newsroom on interim basis