LOS ANGELES — Embattled Los Angeles Times CEO and publisher Ross Levinsohn, who was placed on unpaid leave following a comprehensive and scathing National Public Radio report about a history of questionable behavior toward women, two sexual harassment lawsuits, and calling people in the LGBTQ community “fags,” was cleared of any wrongdoing, the Times parent company, Tronc, said Wednesday.
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Levinsohn, 54, also resigned from the Times Wednesday and will take a newly created position at Tronc once the sale of the Times and San Diego Union-Tribune to Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong is completed, Tronc said.
Levinsohn returns to Tronc after nearly three weeks.
“Following an independent investigation and a report to the board of directors finding no wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Levinsohn, the board determined to reinstate Mr. Levinsohn and appoint him chief executive officer of Tribune Interactive,” the company said in a statement.
Levinsohn hasn’t made any public comments on the NPR report.
The NPR story is based on a review of court documents, financial filings, and interviews with 26 former colleagues of Levinsohn and his associates.
While an executive overseeing the Hollywood Reporter in 2013, Levinsohn told a colleague he wasn’t staying at the publication’s lunch honoring the entertainment industry’s most influential fashion stylists, “Why would I hang out with a bunch of ladies and fags?” NPR reported.
The unnamed executive notified the magazine’s human resources department of the incident, NPR said.
Levinsohn will report to Tronc CEO Justin Dearborn, the company said.
“We are pleased that Ross will be back to work,” Dearborn said in a statement. “We have great confidence in him…”