LA Times owner Tronc investigating publisher and CEO Ross Levinsohn for misconduct

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Los Angeles Times staffers cast their ballots earlier this month.

"Ross Levinsohn should resign or be fired immediately", the unionizing committee said in a statement.

Tronc CEO Justin Dearborn said Friday that Levinsohn voluntarily agreed to step away from his duties as an outside law firm investigates the allegations.

Executives for Tronc - whose chairman, Michael Ferro, previously chaired a group that owned the Chicago Sun-Times - have strongly discouraged unionization.

On the LA Times organizing front, the News Guild organizing committee said it was pushing for a variety of demands, including pay raises to keep pace with inflation, better severance packages, equal pay and better treatment for women and journalists of color and just-cause firing protections.

The report comes as the L.A. Times focuses much of its coverage on the growing #MeToo movement and the "Time's Up" campaign against sexual abuse in Hollywood. Like the rest of the industry, the L.A. Times has been in nearly constant turmoil in recent years, amid dwindling readership, falling advertising revenue, editorial shakeups and, most recently, allegations against its publisher.

It must be noted, however, almost every employee interviewed refused to have their names published and Levinsohn has referred to the allegations as "lies". One attendee from another company recalled that she got onboard, having been invited by Levinsohn to talk business.

"If Tronc keeps him, there will be a lot of serious questions they'll have to answer because we're already asking them", the reporter said.

An NPR report claims Levinsohn has been a defendant in two different sexual harassment lawsuits and former colleagues of his have questioned his behavior in the workplace

Levinsohn, a former executive at Yahoo and Fox Interactive Media, has so far not responded to NPR's report and the request of the senior editors.

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.

The Los Angeles Times headquarters in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Times' editorial staff voted to unionize in a rebuke to owner Tronc Inc. that marks a new era in the newspaper's 136-year history. "We are also aware of additional, credible reports that Levinsohn engaged in other acts of sexual misconduct in the workplace, and used a vulgar, homophobic epithet", the statement reads. In other words, the Times has been rapidly cycling through leadership with inky credentials, but no one's been able to fix the paper's problems-so now a newspaper-industry virgin gets to try his hand at saving the day.

Other incidents detailed in the NPR story include allegedly hiring bikini clad models to attend a sales event in France, publicly kissing a woman who was not his wife at a company party, and having multiple parties in the Hamptons broken up by police.

According to Tronc, it came to know of the allegations this week and launched an investigation. "Tronc is committed to creating a culture of diversity and inclusion, and we will take appropriate action to address any behavior that is inconsistent with this culture".

Jason Wells contributed reporting.

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