The struggling Los Angeles Times has gone through another advertising chief. Publisher Jeff Johnson waited until after the stock market closed on Friday afteroon to disclose a new managament reorganization that includes the departure of Todd Brownrout, senior vice president of advertising since 2004. The new structure puts Dave Murphy, the paper's executive vice president and general manager, in direct charge of the advertising staff. Just last year, Tribune publishing honcho Scott Smith told Wall Street analysts that Murphy and Brownrout were "the right people in place to improve top-line growth."
Unconfirmed but likely true: I'm told that Ken Silverstein, a reporter on the investigative team in the Times' Washington bureau, quit today to become Washington editor of Harper's magazine.
Johnson's brief memo on the shakeup follows:
March 31, 2006
Dear Colleagues -
To help us improve our speed to market and improve our customer and revenue development, I am making several senior level organizational changes at The Times that will take effect immediately.
Dave Murphy, our Executive Vice President and General Manager, will assume direct leadership responsibility for the advertising department. This move will take advantage of Dave's extensive experience in sales and marketing as well as allow him to get more directly involved in key sales strategies. Related to this move, Mark Kurtich, SVP of Operations, and Bob Palermini, SVP Technology and CTO, will now report directly to me.
As part of this streamlining of our organization, Todd Brownrout, SVP of Advertising, will be leaving The Times. Todd has agreed to assist with the transition, as needed, over the next several weeks. I want to thank Todd for his contributions since joining The Times in 2004 and wish him the very best in the future.
Looking ahead, we will continue to aggressively pursue new and innovative ways to grow our business. These management changes will help position us to better support emerging new products, grow revenue streams, and other customer-focused efforts that will make The Times an indispensable part of our customers' lives, in print and online.