August 23, 2017

The new CEO and publisher of the Los Angeles Times will have a starting salary of $1 million, and he’s positioned to make much more depending on the financial success of the Los Angeles Times and the company that owns it, Tronc.

Ross Levinsohn, 54, the former interim CEO of Yahoo, took over as the head of the Los Angeles Times on Monday in a leadership shakeup at the newspaper.

Levinsohn’s standard pay will be a base salary of $600,000 annually, plus quarterly bonuses of $100,000 each, totaling $1 million, according to a recent disclosure filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that details other potentially lucrative benefits and performance incentives.

In addition to his $1 million base pay and quarterly bonuses, Levinsohn is eligible to receive an annual bonus targeted at about 166.67 percent of his $600,000 base salary for up to $1 million more.

To what extent Levinsohn earns that annual bonus is “based upon the achievement of annual company and individual performance objectives as established by the company,” according to the report.

As part of his three-year contract, Levinsohn will be granted shares of stock from Tronc, the newspaper company that owns the Los Angeles Times and several other major American newspapers.

The report also spells out that Levinshon could get even more money as the Los Angeles Times’ gains traction beyond the U.S.

“Additionally, while employed, you will be eligible to receive payment of up to 10 percent of the gross dollars received by Tronc or its wholly-owned affiliates from the syndication of content outside of the United States or licensing and distribution of the Los Angeles Times content and brand, ‘License Transaction,’” the report states.

The report continues: “Each License Transaction shall be approved by the CEO or Chairman of the Board of Directors or Tronc in their sole and absolute discretion. It is at your discretion to direct or allocate all or a portion of the 10 percent gross dollar amount, if earned, to others who may have contributed to the License Transaction.”

Davan Maharaj was ousted as the newspaper’s former editor in chief and publisher as part of a shakeup of the leadership team at the Los Angeles Times, and Levinsohn was named the new top executive.

Jim Kirk, the former top editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, is the interim executive editor of the Los Angeles Times and will lead the search for its new editor in chief.

As the CEO and publisher of the Los Angeles Times, Levinsohn will over see operations “and be charged with expanding its journalistic endeavors, product and content initiatives, global footprint and business and revenue opportunities,” Tronc wrote in a statement Monday.

Brandon Shulleeta is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Richmond, Va. He can be reached at

Correction: Because of a math error, this story originally misstated the performance bonus that Ross Levinsohn is eligible to receive. This story also incorrectly identified one of the individuals in the photo.

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.

More News

Back to News