The Los Angeles Times is undergoing the kind of turmoil that could end up destroying one of the country’s most significant newspapers. After the newsroom voted to unionize, its newly installed publisher was pushed aside following allegations of sexual harassment and its editor was replaced after only a few months.
And it was just sold to an LA billionaire who made his money in biotech.
But last year, as parent company Tronc embarked upon a plan to revitalize the ailing paper, it approached Janice Min about the possibility of running the newsroom, she said at the Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, Calif. Min, who had previously edited UsWeekly and managed a significant turnaround of the Hollywood Reporter, has been on many editor shortlists.
At the same time, Tronc’s chairman, Michael Ferro, was speaking to multiple potential buyers for the paper, including the investment firm Min works with, Eldridge Industries.
“Ferro was on a charm offensive with major players in Hollywood,” she said. “And so our owners briefly looked at the Los Angeles Times. It’s a jewel.”
Ultimately, she withdrew her name, saying the owner’s intention to create a national content network was ultimately unclear. The bigger issue, according to Min, was just how uncomfortable owners were with the Los Angeles Times newsroom.
“I think one of the things that was interesting to me is they were terrified of their newsroom,” she said. “They clearly didn’t want to interact with them.”
Now that it’s out of the hands of Tronc and with billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, the publisher job might still be open.
“I think the Los Angeles Times is an amazing opportunity,” she said, but added, “it’s all about the ownership,” and with the new owner it’s unclear what his underlying plans are.
“Someone will do something amazing with it,” she said.
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.