L.A. Times Taps Pearlstine as Sale to Soon-Shiong Closes

(Bloomberg) -- Norman Pearlstine, who led the newsrooms at the Wall Street Journal and Time Inc., has been named editor of the Los Angeles Times as the newspaper revamps under new ownership.

Pearlstine, 75, will take over California’s largest newspaper as a new owner, billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, plans to invest in its journalism and move its newsroom to the suburbs. The newspaper’s previous owner, Tronc Inc., closed the sale to Soon-Shiong on Monday.

“As a private, locally owned enterprise, we are able to make much-needed investments in the group’s future,” Soon-Shiong said in a memo to staff. 

He described Pearlstine as “a personal friend” and said the veteran newsman would be “enhancing our recruitment efforts and grooming of the next generation of Times leadership.”  

Soon-Shiong agreed in February to buy the Times for $500 million, opening a new chapter for the 136-year-old newspaper’s staff after an outright rebellion against Tronc. Times editorial workers, who voted this year to unionize, had pressured Tronc executives into replacing editor-in-chief Lewis D’Vorkin.

Pearlstine, who has spent 50 years in journalism, also had a stint at Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, serving as chief content officer from 2008 to 2013. At Bloomberg, he helped lead the company’s effort to revamp Businessweek magazine after it bought the title from McGraw-Hill Cos. Pearlstine then left to rejoin Time Warner Inc.’s magazine division, ahead of a planned spinoff of the business.

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