Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong announced the appointment on Thursday, telling staff that the decision heralded a new direction for the organization. “We are committed to important public service journalism that our community relies on while accelerating new, novel approaches. We will execute decisively to engage new audiences. Today’s announcement begins that implementation,” Soon-Shiong said in a memo to staffers.
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Tang, who will continue to edit the editorial page as she assumes the role, is the first woman to lead the paper as editor in the history of the Times. She will additionally bring on a managing editor in her new roles.
The appointment brings some leadership direction to the Times, which has been reeling since former executive editor Kevin Merida announced he was resigning on Jan. 9. Merida said the decision to leave was mutual: As The Hollywood Reporter previously reported, the two had most recently clashed over the editor’s decision to restrict journalists who had signed a statement critical of Israel’s tactics in Gaza from covering the Israel-Hamas war.
Not long after, the Times‘ newsroom union, the Los Angeles Times Guild, raised the alarm to members that a major round of layoffs was imminent and that management was allegedly attempting to persuade the union cut seniority protections in its contract. The union swung into action, holding a 24-hour walkout — the first newsroom union strike in the paper’s history — to protest the action. Just days later, Soon-Shiong announced that at least 115 positions would be cut, constituting more than 20 percent of the newsroom. The same week, two managing editors who had been part of a four-person temporary leadership team after Merida’s departure — Sara Yasin and Shani Hilton — resigned as well.
Soon-Shiong said in his memo to staff that he’d been impressed by Tang’s approach to the editorial page. “I have worked with Terry in her capacity leading LA Times Opinion over the past two years. She has consistently impressed me with her passion for the important role journalism plays in our lives and with her love of Southern California, where she grew up,” he wrote.
A Gardena, CA native, Tang has worked at the Times since 2019 and been the top editor of the editorial page since 2022. Prior to her work at the Times, she was the American Civil Liberties Union’s director of publications and editorial and an editor in multiple capacities for the New York Times. She started her career working as a reporter and writer at Seattle Weekly and The Seattle Times.
Soon-Shiong specifically called out Tang’s role at the editorial page in “bringing attention to issues that matter most, especially for those whose voices are often unheard” in a statement to THR.
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