LA Times newsroom votes to unionize after long fight with management

20 January, 2018, 04:18 | Author: Manuel Hopkins
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In a lengthy story on Thursday, NPR's David Folkenflik reported that a former employee of the search engine Alta Vista had named Levinsohn, among other executives, in a lawsuit.

Yet a review by NPR finds that the newspaper's own CEO and publisher, Ross Levinsohn, has been a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits and that his conduct in work settings over the past two decades has been called into question repeatedly by female colleagues.

"We are immediately launching an investigation so that we have a better understanding of what's occurred", Pulte said.

Tronc said it looks "forward to productive conversations with union leadership as we move forward" in a statement issued Friday.

Levinsohn didn't immediately return a request for comment.

She said as well that when asking Levinsohn for a promotion, he told her to model herself after a sideline reporter with Fox Sports, a former model.

Levinsohn has been placed under investigation this week by the company after an explosive report by NPR detailed a long pattern of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct in several workplaces over many years.

SEPT. 21 2006 FILE
Levinsohn was named publisher of the Los Angeles Times now a corporate sibling of The News in August 2017

In 2006, a video producer sued Rupert Murdoch's News Corp claiming she was sexually harassed and subjected to gender discrimination. "Once that review is complete, we will take swift and appropriate action to address any behavior that falls short of our expectations". NPR reported. That unnamed executive notified the magazine's human resources department of the incident.

But the allegations listed in the NPR article, particularly at a time when the media is fully engaged in covering the great reckoning regarding sexual misconduct and abuse of power across multiple industries, added "an extra level of concern", the reporter said.

Journalists working for the Los Angeles Times have voted to unionize, according to a vote count Friday by the L.A. Times Guild.

The Los Angeles Times newsroom has never been represented by a union, but the organization effort, which geared up last year, comes after years of steep declines in print advertising, staff cutbacks and management turnover.

Tronc and its board of directors must be held accountable for their failure to properly vet Levinsohn for one of the most important positions at the company and in American journalism.

Levinsohn became publisher in August, following the departure of Davan Maharaj, who had served as both top editor and publisher of the newspaper.

The day before the January 4 vote, the paper's editor-in-chief, Lewis D'Vorkin, and its former interim executive editor, Jim Kirk, made a last-ditch effort to quash the union campaign.

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