Owner of LA Times Investigating Publisher Following Misconduct Claims

The Los Angeles Times aggressively has been covering the sexual harassment allegations against powerful Hollywood figures.

Now, the owner of the newspaper has started its own investigations of its CEO and publisher, Ross Levinsohn, after a recent report uncovered a pair of sexual harassment lawsuits where Levinsohn is a defendant and prior complaints of inappropriate conduct toward females.

The publishing company found out about the allegations earlier this week and immediately launched its investigation.

The media business said through a prepared statement that it expects all its employees to act in a manner that supports a culture of inclusion and diversity, and appropriate action will be taken to address behavior that does not meet these expectations.

Tronc, the owner of the paper, declined to comment as to whether it would place Levinsohn on leave or suspend him while the investigation was taking place.

Levinsohn has been a digital media executive for years, and worked at News Corp and Yahoo. He became the publisher of the newspaper last August.

Court documents were reviewed by National Public Radio as well as interviews conducted with over two dozen former associates and colleagues.

The report said that in 2001 Levinsohn worked as an executive with Alta Vista, a search engine company, and was the defendant in a gender discrimination and sexual harassment case.

Under oath he admitted to ranking female colleagues by their “hotness” and to talking about if a female colleague had been a stripper at one time and speculating if she slept with one of the co-workers. In 2002 that suit was settled.

During a second lawsuit in 2006, at a time when Levinsohn was a News Corp executive, Amber Tribble a video producer claimed her boss, who was a Levinsohn subordinate, had sexually harassed her.

She said as well that when asking Levinsohn for a promotion, he told her to model herself after a sideline reporter with Fox Sports, a former model. Tribble withdrew her suit and filed another one in 2007 with the same allegations. That suit News Corp settled in 2008 along with Fox.

The report said that in a separate instance, unnamed witnesses recalled Levinsohn aggressively pressing and kissing against a woman during an industry function that could be seen by clients and employees, at a time he was still married.

Levinsohn is also reported to have told an executive with Hollywood Reporter that he did want to attend an event in which he would be amongst fags and ladies.

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