Pre-holiday putsch at L.A.Times *

Newsroom groups are being informed right now that John Arthur is out as Los Angeles Times executive editor — that's number two on the paper's masthead. Sports editor Randy Harvey and obituaries editor Jon Thurber are reportedly getting expanded duties. Titles and details to come.

Now posted at "John and I did not agree on the need for the just-announced masthead changes, and we differ on the best approach to reaching our goals," Editor Russ Stanton says in a memo.

* Also: Harvey becomes Associate Editor, effective immediately. "In this role, Randy will take on a host of broad and important responsibilities that currently keep me from spending more time in the newsroom." Thurber becomes Managing Editor, Print, with "primary responsibility for coordinating and carrying out the content plans for the newspaper and other print products produced by our newsroom, including overseeing the front page and the A1 desk." Meredith Artley, currently executive editor of the website, becomes Managing Editor, Online.

More after the jump.

From Stanton's memo on Arthur:

Executive Editor John Arthur will be the leaving The Times after a distinguished 23 years here. John and I did not agree on the need for the just-announced masthead changes, and we differ on the best approach to reaching our goals.

This decision was a difficult one. John has served in a host of leadership roles at The Times that have included assistant city editor in the Orange County edition, assistant national editor, editor of the Valley edition and managing editor with responsibility for the three regional editions and well as the national edition.

He later served as deputy Page 1 editor/nights, Page 1editor, managing editor and, most recently, executive editor.

More at the paper's Readers Representative blog plus the announcement on the new titles — the first updates since June 11.

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