Memo: New LA Times publisher drops web widget

Thumbnail image for ross-levinsohn-lat.jpgRoss Levinsohn, the new publisher of the Los Angeles Times as of last Monday, wrapped up his first week in the newspaper business with a rah-rah cheerleading note to the staff on Friday afternoon. In it, he thanked the Times staff for its support. Levinsohn also announced the banishment of one of the unnecessary, slow-loading widgets that has helped make one of the least pleasant reading experiences among news websites.

Here's his email:

From: Levinsohn, Ross
Sent: Friday, August 25, 2017 4:XX PM< br /> Subject: Thank You All - Week 1

Hello Team Los Angeles Times –

A short note to say thank you for your support during my first week here. I have had the chance to meet many of you throughout the week, and have been struck by the commitment, loyalty, creativity and opportunity that I see here. I was excited coming in the door Monday, but will head home tonight with even more enthusiasm than day 1. The exceptional journalism, unique experiences, premium content and personal commitment that forms the foundation of this great company is something I am certain we can build upon. I want to thank you all for being welcoming during what was a very tough, turbulent and disruptive time.

I hope to communicate more over the weeks to come, and commit to be as transparent as possible as we embark on this journey together. One win I’d like to share with you – as you all know, the experience on our web site and across the mobile web and app has been challenging due to many ads and widgets that fill the page. One of the widgets which has caused the pages to load slowly or not at all has been a big factor. I spoke with Michael, Justin and Tim Knight today and we agreed it would enhance the consumer experience for our users if we could remove it. It will be gone by days end! More to come around cleaning up our overall experience, but we have made a little progress today!

I hope you all have a great weekend.


Nice! It's a start. "Michael, Justin and Tim" are top Tronc executives.

Levinsohn became the latest LA Times publisher on Monday when Tronc fired editor-publisher Davan Maharaj and his top masthead team. Levinsohn, a veteran of digital media but a newcomer to news and newspapers, was named publisher and Jim Kirk, the former publisher and editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, became interim editor.

Earlier in the week, Levinsohn tweeted a media appearance in which he talked about his new job.

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