Los Angeles Times Managing Editor Sara Yasin resigned Monday amid the turmoil gripping the newsroom in advance of deep staff cuts that are looming.
Yasin’s departure comes a little more than a week after Executive Editor Kevin Merida abruptly left, citing differences with the paper’s owner, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. The owner has ordered extensive staff cuts to trim the tens of millions of dollars in losses that he and his family have absorbed since buying The Times nearly six years ago.
Another top editor, Shani Hilton, stepped down last week, bringing to three the number of top editors who have exited during a stormy period at The Times. Merida and Hilton were The Times’ two highest-ranking Black editors.
Yasin, in a note to staff members, cited “professional and personal decisions” for her decision to leave.
Her exit comes as 10 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to Soon-Shiong and Media Guild of the West President Matt Pearce, imploring the two sides to find less devastating ways to handle the staff cuts that could see the largest newsroom in the western U.S. shrink by more than 20%. The letter comes after a one-day strike on Friday by the newsroom union.
Lawmakers can also play an important role, Soon-Shiong noted. He pointed to legislation, adopted by Canadian and Australian governments, that requires technology giants including Google and Facebook to pay news publishers when they distribute their news articles on their online platforms. Google and Facebook rake in billions of dollars in advertising revenue as the dollars to local outlets are vanishing. But such legislation has stalled in Congress.