An internal Los Angeles Times investigation has shaken up the paper’s food section today, a month after the resignation of former food editor Peter Meehan following allegations of creating a toxic workplace culture. In an email circulated to staff today and shared with Eater, chief human resources officer Nancy Antoniou and executive editor Norman Pearlstine announced that Alice Short “will continue to serve as acting food editor,” and that deputy editor Andrea Chang has been reassigned.
Per the email, an HR-conducted investigation began last month into “allegations of misconduct by [Meehan] and complaints about how management handled the situation.” As part of the conclusion, Pearlstine and Antoniou “found that managers failed to prevent or report behavior they knew of should have known was inappropriate,” with both adding that they “have taken a series of actions that reflect the seriousness of the allegations, including imposing, where appropriate, discipline, and insisting that managers receive new counseling and training.”
Both Pearlstine and Antoniou “will meet with the Food team to answer questions and discuss next steps and ongoing coverage” in the coming days, the email reads.
Deputy food editor Andrea Chang will no longer work in the food section; she has been reassigned “for now as an interim editor” to the Column One section of the Times, focusing on broader storytelling across the paper. Alice Short, acting food editor, comes from Column One as well, and will report directly to Pearlstine regarding the food section, thus bypassing managing editor Kimi Yoshino.
Today’s internal LA Times memo not only confirms a series of failures on behalf of management regarding the paper’s former food editor, it also corroborates statements made by multiple staffers that Meehan “created a negative work environment where employees did not feel comfortable raising their concerns,” per the email. A replacement hire for the overall food editor job has not yet been announced.
Correction: A previous version of this article named Gustavo Arellano of the LA Times as a person reportedly being tasked with finding a new food editor; Arellano tells Eater this is not the case.