Russ Stanton steps down as Times editor

Los Angeles Times

Russ Stanton will step down as the editor and executive vice president of the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 23, and Managing Editor Davan Maharaj will assume the top newsroom job.

Stanton, 52, joined The Times in 1997 as a business reporter in Orange County. He led the news organization for four years, a period in which it expanded its digital reach to more than 17 million readers and won three Pulitzer Prizes, including the Public Service Award for exposing corruption in the city of Bell.

“Russ Stanton has been an outstanding editor for the Los Angeles Times over the past four years,” Times President and Chief Operating Officer Kathy Thomson said. “As he moves on to the next phase of his career, we are extremely fortunate to have someone as talented and experienced as Davan Maharaj, who can step in immediately with energy and vision for how to continue The Times’ advancement in the digital age.”

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.

His six-part series “Living on Pennies,” which explored extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, won the 2004 Ernie Pyle Award for Human Interest Writing, and his investigation into the dubious practices of a Leisure World probate attorney prompted changes in California law.

Maharaj worked as an assistant foreign editor and became Business editor in 2007, emphasizing greater coverage of consumer issues and personal finance. He has been managing editor for news since May 2008, with responsibility for the foreign, national, metro, sports and business staffs.

“I am humbled and honored to lead one of the most talented and resilient newsrooms in the nation,” Maharaj said. “We’ve made huge strides in getting our journalism to wide and diverse audiences across Southern California and beyond. We will continue to push forward, especially in the digital and mobile space. Our commitment to delivering high-quality journalism remains unwavering.”