LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A former top editor at Bloomberg, Time magazine and the Wall Street Journal, who has steered some of the most influential U.S. publications over five decades, has been hired as executive editor of the Los Angeles Times, the paper’s new owner said on Monday.
Norman Pearlstine, 75, will become the first person to lead the Times under the ownership of Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a South African billionaire whose purchase of the paper closed earlier in the day.
“Not only does he have amazing experience with the full knowledge of how a newsroom runs - but he’s amazingly modern and forward-looking,” Soon-Shiong said in a story on the Times website.
“There’s no agenda, other than to make this the best journalistic institution. We’re lucky to be able to capture him,” Soon-Shiong, a surgeon and biotech entrepreneur, said in the Times article.
Pearlstine, who retired from Bloomberg last July and served as an advisor to Soon-Shiong during his purchase of the 136-year-old newspaper, called himself “lucky as hell” to have the opportunity.
“One of the great things that comes with Patrick’s ownership, with local ownership and a willingness to invest, is that it brings a period of stability,” Pearlstine told the Times, which has seen three other top editors come and go in the past year.
Soon-Shiong has also announced that he would move the Times newsroom from its historic headquarters in a 1935 art deco building in downtown Los Angeles to a new campus under construction in suburban El Seguno.
The billionaire purchased the Times, the San Diego Union Tribune and several other newspapers from the Chicago-based publisher Tronc Inc, formerly Tribune Publishing, for $500 million.
According to the Times, Pearlstine got his start in journalism in 1967, when he was hired as a copy boy for the New York Times after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a law degree.
In 1968 he was hired at the Wall Street Journal as a staff reporter and held several other positions before being named executive editor in 1991.
Pearlstine served as executive editor of Time magazine from 1995 to 2005. In 2008 he was hired by Bloomberg as chief content officer.
Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Richard Chang