I believe life is about moments — and last week marked the anniversary of a big one for me. On Thanksgiving morning in 2006, I was at my then home in Washington, D.C., reading an article in the Atlantic. The author put forth a novel concept for the future of news not unlike one I was developing. Furiously waving the magazine, I barreled down some steps shouting, “This guy’s got the same idea I do!” My wife, amused by my behavior, calmly said: “How would you feel if someone did it before you?” On that day I became an entrepreneur.
Let’s fast-forward to late last August. I was at a farmer’s market in New York when I got a text that would be a next moment. It asked if I'd be interested in learning about the changes afoot at the Los Angeles Times. I was intrigued, knowing that Ross Levinsohn and Mickie Rosen, two people I’ve long known, worked with and respected, were behind it all. Looking up from my iPhone, I took a deep breath and said to my wife: “What would you think if I interview for a job in Los Angeles?" Her response: “Go for it."
Two moments and whoosh — here I am at The Times, a storied brand unlike any other in American media history (just pick up “The Powers That Be” by David Halberstam to learn why). To be its editor in chief is equal parts humbling and daunting. I say that even after five years at the New York Times, where legendary editor Abe Rosenthal once upbraided me in his private office for making a wisecrack at his 3:45 p.m. news meeting; and Katharine Graham, on a train from Cuzco to Machu Picchu, grilled me on my job at Newsweek (once owned by the Washington Post); and Norman Pearlstine, then Time Inc.’s editor in chief, critiqued my start-up business plan line by line and number by number.