Editor change at the Times: Stanton out, Maharaj in *

davan-maharaj.jpgThe Times story says simply that Russ Stanton "will step down as the editor and executive vice president of the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 23," and that Managing Editor Davan Maharaj will take over the top newsroom job. A section editors meeting has been called at which many expect sections to be merged, so stay tuned. There's no word on what Stanton may do next, and the official statement from Times President and Chief Operating Officer Kathy Thomson included in the paper only refers to a future in which Stanton "moves on to the next phase of his career." There had been much talk in recent months that Maharaj was on the rise in the eyes of company boss Eddy Hartenstein.

From the LAT story:

Stanton has presided over a tumultuous time in journalism, as declining newspaper circulation and advertising revenue forced newsrooms across the country to contract. During his tenure, The Times' newsroom staff shrank from more than 900 people to about 550.

Believing that the industry's future was in online and multimedia platforms, Stanton worked aggressively to transform The Times into a 24-hour operation that delivered the news across print, digital, mobile and video formats.

"I am very proud of what this staff has accomplished over the last four years," Stanton said. "This is a newsroom filled with dedicated, knowledgeable and experienced journalists, and under Davan's leadership there is continued greatness ahead for the Los Angeles Times."

Maharaj, 49, will become the paper's 15th editor. He is a native of Trinidad with a political science degree from the University of Tennessee and a master's degree in law from Yale.

Maharaj has worked at the paper for 22 years, with stints in Orange County, Los Angeles and East Africa.

When Stanton elevated Maharaj from Business Editor in 2008, he referred to him as "the titan of Trinidad."

Related: Stanton's last memo to the Times staff

* Nice Romenesko find: Maharaj writing about his time as a foreign correspondent in Africa, and the serious illness contracted there by his wife. Nieman Reports

File photo: Davan Maharaj

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