Kimi Yoshino, managing editor of the Los Angeles Occasions, is leaving the newspaper to change into editor in chief of the Baltimore Banner.
The brand new nonprofit publication, funded by Baltimore-area resort magnate Stewart Bainum Jr., introduced Tuesday that it was hiring the 21-year veteran of The Occasions to construct up a newsroom of roughly 50 journalists targeted on native information and launching in 2022, with a objective of increasing in dimension the next 12 months.
Yoshino, 49, has been managing editor of The Occasions since April 2020, serving because the second-in-command of the newsroom alongside Scott Kraft and Shani Hilton. Collectively, Yoshino and Kraft, as co-managing editors, led The Occasions by the primary half of 2021 whereas the seek for the paper’s new govt editor, Kevin Merida, was underway.
“I’ve discovered and grown and had lots of alternatives right here on the L.A. Occasions,” Yoshino stated, “however this chance in Baltimore is one thing I could not flip down.”
Bainum based the Banner after a failed try this 12 months to purchase the Baltimore Solar for $65 million from Alden World Capital, the hedge fund that has change into one of many largest information firms within the nation following its takeover of Solar proprietor Tribune Publishing. Bainum has pledged $15 million as a price range for its first 12 months and created an umbrella group, the Venetoulis Institute for Native Journalism, to accommodate the venture. Yoshino is the Banner’s first editorial rent.
“I’ve seen firsthand what it’s wish to work for dangerous possession — it is dangerous for a group,” Yoshino stated. “What Alden is doing to newspapers it now owns is heartbreaking, and it’s unconscionable.”
“I’m very excited in regards to the problem of rising a powerful native journalism group in Baltimore, a metropolis that actually wants and deserves robust accountability journalism and shut protection,” Yoshino stated. “I’m impressed by individuals like [Times owner] Patrick Quickly-Shiong and folks like Stewart Bainum who’re stepping in to assist save native journalism.”
Yoshino joined The Occasions in 2000 as a metro reporter for the Orange Nation bureau, following stints on the Fresno Bee and Stockton File. On her first day on the paper, she was assigned to cowl the story of Brandon Zucker, a 4-year-old crushed below a trip at Disneyland, and spent her inaugural 12 months chasing the story of Disney’s accountability for harmful accidents.
After six years, she moved to The Occasions’ flagship workplace in downtown Los Angeles, reporting for metro and enterprise and protecting the struggle in Iraq. She was one of many main editors on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Occasions investigation into corruption within the metropolis of Bell and have become the editor of the enterprise part in 2014.
There, she oversaw an investigative sequence on Disney’s efforts to control Anaheim politics. Disney responded by barring Occasions critics from attending screenings of its motion pictures — which turned a media story of its personal and a topic of inner furor when a former editor in chief suspended Yoshino. That prompted cries of concern from the newsroom, which considered the self-discipline as a retaliatory transfer, and Yoshino was reinstated as enterprise editor.
When biotech entrepreneur Quickly-Shiong bought The Occasions in 2018 from Tribune Publishing, Yoshino rose to the masthead, the place she helped rebuild the newsroom as greater than 100 new reporters joined the employees after years of cuts.
Yoshino was thought-about well-placed to take excessive job on the paper till a 2020 disaster below her watch. The editor whom Yoshino had employed to run the meals part resigned after staffers went public with accounts of a poisonous office and sexual harassment. Yoshino stated on the time that she had missed indicators of the harm being completed and regretted not recognizing bother and taking motion.
Yoshino’s new digital-only venture is a part of a current wave of nonprofit newsrooms which have proliferated in recent times, as foundations and rich people attempt to fill the hole in native information protection left by newspapers stripped to skeleton staffs by price range cuts and company mismanagement. Editorial web page editor Sewell Chan lately left the paper to take the highest job on the Texas Tribune, an Austin-based publication following the same mannequin.
Yoshino stated that she by no means imagined that her profession would take her to the upper reaches of the masthead, or away from The Occasions and her native California. However she felt assured within the transfer.
“After so many powerful years with possession at The Occasions, I wished this place to succeed and I wished to be part of serving to to get it there,” Yoshino stated. “Right now it looks like issues are on the fitting path” below the management of Merida and possession of Quickly-Shiong.
Yoshino’s final day will likely be on Nov. 12. The Occasions has not finalized particulars of who will take over her tasks following her departure.
“Within the quick time I’ve recognized her, Kimi has proven herself to be an advocate for experimentation, a deft editor, and a flexible chief,” Merida stated in a press release. “She’s additionally been a significant liaison and collaborator, working with each the newsroom and colleagues on the enterprise aspect to handle initiatives that span the group.”
This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Occasions.