By Helen Coster
(Reuters) – The Los Angeles Times on Monday named Kevin Merida as its executive editor, the 19th person to lead the newspaper in its 139-year history.
Merida had previously served as editor-in-chief of the Undefeated, a division of Walt Disney Co-owned ESPN that focuses on the intersections of race, sports and culture. He spent 22 years at the Washington Post, where he rose to be managing editor in charge of all news and features coverage.
Merida is the second Black editor to lead the Los Angeles Times newsroom. Dean Baquet, currently editor in chief at the New York Times, held the paper’s top role until 2006.
Merida succeeds Norman Pearlstine, who in December became senior advisor to the news organization’s executive chairman, Patrick Soon-Shiong.
The Los Angeles Times is one of several major media companies dealing with succession in their newsrooms. The Washington Post is searching for a new executive editor after the February retirement of Martin “Marty” Baron. Reuters last month named Alessandra Galloni its new editor in chief, the first woman to lead the news agency in its 170-year history.
(Reporting by Helen Coster in New York; Editing by Will Dunham)