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L.A. Times managing editor Kimi Yoshino heading to Baltimore

Kimi Yoshino, managing editor of the Los Angeles Times, is leaving the newspaper to turn into editor in chief of the Baltimore Banner.

The new nonprofit publication, funded by Baltimore-area resort magnate Stewart Bainum Jr., introduced Tuesday that it was hiring the 21-year veteran of The Times to build up a newsroom of roughly 50 journalists centered on native information and launching in 2022, with a aim of increasing in dimension the next year.

Yoshino, 49, has been managing editor of The Times since April 2020, serving because the second-in-command of the newsroom alongside Scott Kraft and Shani Hilton. Together, Yoshino and Kraft, as co-managing editors, led The Times by way of the primary half of 2021 whereas the seek for the paper’s new government editor, Kevin Merida, was underway.

“I’ve learned and grown and had a lot of opportunities here at the L.A. Times,” Yoshino stated, “but this opportunity in Baltimore is something I couldn’t turn down.”

Bainum based the Banner after a failed try this year to purchase the Baltimore Sun for $65 million from Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that has turn into one of many largest information firms within the nation following its takeover of Sun proprietor Tribune Publishing. Bainum has pledged $15 million as a funds for its first year and created an umbrella group, the Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism, to home the project. Yoshino is the Banner’s first editorial hire.

“I’ve seen firsthand what it’s like to work for bad ownership, it’s bad for a community,” Yoshino stated. “What Alden is doing to newspapers it now owns is heartbreaking, and it’s unconscionable.”

“I’m very excited about the challenge of growing a strong local journalism organization in Baltimore, a city that really needs and deserves strong accountability journalism and close coverage,” Yoshino stated. “I’m inspired by people like [Times owner] Patrick Soon-Shiong and people like Stewart Bainum who are stepping in to help save local journalism.”

Yoshino joined The Times in 2000 as a metro reporter for the Orange Country bureau, following stints on the Fresno Bee and Stockton Record. On her first day on the paper, she was assigned to cover the story of Brandon Zucker, a 4-year-old crushed below a experience at Disneyland, and spent her inaugural year chasing the story of Disney’s accountability for harmful accidents.

After six years, she moved to The Times’ flagship office in downtown Los Angeles, reporting for metro and business and overlaying the conflict in Iraq. She was one of many main editors on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Times investigation into corruption within the metropolis of Bell and have become the editor of the business part in 2014.

There, she oversaw an investigative sequence on Disney’s efforts to manipulate Anaheim politics. Disney responded by barring Times critics from attending screenings of its films — which grew to become a media story of its personal and a topic of inner furor when a former editor in chief suspended Yoshino. That prompted cries of outrage from the newsroom, which seen the self-discipline as a retaliatory transfer, and Yoshino was reinstated as business editor.

When biotech entrepreneur Soon-Shiong bought The Times in 2018 from Tribune Publishing, Yoshino rose to the masthead, the place she helped rebuild the newsroom as greater than 100 new reporters joined the employees after years of cuts.

Yoshino was thought of well-placed to take excessive job on the paper till a 2020 disaster below her watch. The editor whom Yoshino had employed to run the meals part resigned after staffers went public with accounts of a poisonous workplace and sexual harassment. Yoshino stated on the time that she had missed indicators of the harm being executed and regretted not recognizing bother and taking motion.

Yoshino’s new project is a part of a current wave of nonprofit newsrooms which have proliferated in recent times, as foundations and rich people strive to fill the hole in native information protection left by newspapers stripped to skeleton staffs by funds cuts and company mismanagement. Editorial web page editor Sewell Chan lately left the paper to take the highest job on the Texas Tribune, an Austin-based publication following an analogous mannequin.

Yoshino stated that she by no means imagined that her career would take her to the upper reaches of the masthead, or away from The Times and her native California. But she felt assured within the transfer.

“After so many tough years with ownership at The Times, I wanted this place to succeed and I wanted to be a part of helping to get it there,” Yoshino stated. “Today it feels like things are on the right path” below the management of Merida and possession of Soon-Shiong.

Yoshino’s final day might be on Nov. 12. The Times has not finalized particulars of who will take over her duties following her departure.

“In the short time I’ve known her, Kimi has shown herself to be an advocate for experimentation, a deft editor, and a versatile leader,” Merida stated in a press release. “She’s also been a vital liaison and collaborator, working with both the newsroom and colleagues on the business side to manage initiatives that span the organization.”

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