LA Times journalists vote to join union

LA Times Employees Are Demanding Their CEO Be Fired After Misconduct Allegations Surface

The announcement comes a day after an NPR report uncovered allegations of sexual misconduct against the Times' publisher and CEO, Ross Levinsohn, increasing tensions between staffers and the executives who have always been hostile to the union campaign.

The NPR story, reportedly based on a review of court documents, corporate financial filings and interviews with 26 of Levinsohn's former colleagues and associates, also said Levinsohn's behavior over the past two decades was called into question repeatedly by female colleagues, and that the executive had also disparaged gays at a Hollywood event.

Employees at the Los Angeles Times have voted to unionize, a historic shift for a publication long resistant to organized labor that will likely escalate rising tensions between newsroom workers and management.

After 136 years, the Los Angeles Times newsroom has formed a union after votes were tallied on Friday by federal employees. There have also been past complaints of inappropriate conduct toward women against him.

The Los Angeles Times has given prominent coverage to recent revelations of sexual harassment of women by prominent men, particularly in entertainment and media. Tronc is spending an outsize amount on salaries and perks for its executives, they say, including an "eye-popping" $8.1 million paid to Tronc CEO Justin Dearborn past year, more than $4 million spent on a private jet for Tronc chairman Michael Ferro and other costs on executives they say are much higher than what comparable publishers spend. And given that editors and executives at other media companies have been forced out under similar allegations and revelations, the anticipation of what will ultimately happen to Levinsohn is high. In one case, he admitted to rating the "hotness" of an employee when vice president of a media company. "We are immediately launching an investigation so that we have a better understanding of what's occurred".

A spokesperson for Tronc told the newspaper today, "We respect the outcome of the election and look forward to productive conversations with union leadership as we move forward".

Levinsohn so far remains in the job he assumed in August after first serving as a consultant to the company.

He did not comment to NPR for its story but the network said Levinsohn called NPR CEO Jarl Mohn on Wednesday and said the allegations against him are lies. "We will take appropriate action to address any behavior that falls short of these expectations".

One of the sexual harassment lawsuits named Levinsohn and other executives at internet search engine Alta Vista, NPR reported.

The group also said Tronc and its board should be held accountable for not properly vetting Levinsohn.

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