The Los Angeles Times announced today that Russ Stanton is stepping down as editor and being replaced by Davan Maharaj, who started with the Times in 1989 as an Orange County reporter.
Maharaj, who will become the 15th editor of the Times, has been managing editor since May 2008, overseeing the Foreign, National, Metro, Sports and Business departments.
An investigative report by Maharaj on a Leisure World attorney who inherited millions of dollars in stock, land and other "gifts" from his clients led to changes in California probate law. He went on to cover Los Angeles and East Africa, with his six-part series "Living on Pennies," in collaboration with photographer Francine Orr, winning the 2005 Ernie Pyle Award for Human Interest Writing and inspiring Times readers to donate tens of thousands of dollars to aid agencies working in Africa, according to a corporate statement.
Maharaj is credited in the release with having helped Stanton "transform The Times newsroom into a fully staffed, 24-hour operation, delivering news across multiple platforms including digital, mobile, video and print."
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"I am humbled and honored to lead one of the most talented and resilient newsrooms in the nation," Maharaj is quoted as saying. "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."
A native of Trinidad, Maharaj obtained a political science degree from the University of Tennessee and a master's degree in law from Yale University.
He assumes leadership from Stanton, who is stepping down Dec. 23 after four years as editor and executive vice president. The Times' digital audience grew "significantly" during Stanton's tenure, according to the statement, which also notes the paper won three Pulitzers during that span, including the 2011 Public Service Award for coverage of political corruption in Bell.
"I am very proud of what this staff has accomplished over the last four years," says Stanton in the release. "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."