Editor of Los Angeles Times Steps Down

The top editor of The Los Angeles Times, Kevin Merida, told staff members on Tuesday that he was stepping down “after considerable soul-searching about my career.”

He said his last day would be on Friday.

Mr. Merida was named the top editor of The Los Angeles Times in 2021. He had previously worked as a top editor at The Washington Post and ESPN.

Patrick Soon-Shiong, the biotechnology billionaire who owns The Times, said in a note to the newspaper’s staff that he and Mr. Merida had “mutually agreed” that Mr. Merida should leave.

“Given the persistent challenges we face, it is now imperative that we all work together to build a sustainable business that allows for growth and innovation,” Mr. Soon-Shiong wrote.

Mr. Merida did not respond to requests for comment.

When Mr. Merida joined the news organization, he was viewed as a stabilizing force in the newsroom, which had been buffeted by corporate ownership battles, cost-cutting and the painful erosion of its traditional business model and its stature as the pre-eminent news organization on the West Coast.

But Mr. Merida’s tenure was not without its turbulence. In June, the Los Angeles Times announced it was cutting more than 10 percent of its newsroom staff of more than 550, citing economic headwinds.

Mr. Merida also drew pushback from some employees when he prohibited journalists who signed a letter condemning Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas from covering the conflict with Gaza.

In his note, Mr. Soon-Shiong said that The Los Angeles Times would undertake a search for Mr. Merida’s successor that would include internal and external candidates.

In the meantime, he wrote, the newspaper’s existing leadership team would continue to oversee the newsroom.