Ross Levinsohn

Ross Levinsohn is an American media executive who has worked in media and technology. He is the CEO of The Arena Group and Sports Illustrated, and has held senior roles at Yahoo, Fox Interactive and Tribune Publishing, including a brief tenure as publisher of the Los Angeles Times.[1][2] He became the CEO of Sports Illustrated in October 2019, and becme CEO of The Arena Group in August 2020.[3]

Ross Levinsohn
RL Photo.jpg
Born
New York City, New York, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Alma materAmerican University
OccupationCEO, The Arena Group

CareerEdit

Levinsohn's career began with three advertising and marketing jobs at Saatchi and Saatchi, Lapin and Rose and sports marketing firm ProsServ from 1985 to 1989. He joined HBO in 1989, working in marketing and promotions for Time Warner Sports.[4]

In early 1996 Levinsohn joined SportsLine USA in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.[5] He produced a syndicated television show starring NFL coaches Marv Levy and Sam Wyche, and host Scott Kaplan, entitled "Football Playbook," and syndicated radio programming on Westwood One[citation needed].

Levinsohn was hired by Alta Vista to help launch the portal division in 1999.[6][7] That year, Compaq sold a majority stake in AltaVista to CMGI, an Internet investment company.[8] CMGI filed for an initial public offering (IPO) for AltaVista, but the IPO was cancelled when the Internet bubble collapsed.[9]

From 2001 to 2005, Levinsohn was Senior Vice President and General Manager at Fox Sports Interactive Media, a division of News Corporation. In late 2004, he was named president of Fox Interactive Media and assumed day-to-day operating responsibility for the main Fox web properties. He led a transition for the company which grew to be one of the biggest in the internet during his tenure.[10] Levinsohn left in November 2006 and was replaced by his cousin.[11]

YahooEdit

In October 2010, Levinsohn was hired as executive vice president of the Americas for Yahoo.[12] During his tenure, the company expanded its efforts in media, including investment in premium content featuring celebrities such as Robert Redford and Tom Hanks.[13][14]

In 2012, Levinsohn led Yahoo for two months as interim CEO. After the board of directors passed him over for the permanent CEO position, hiring Google executive Marissa Mayer, Levinsohn left the company.[15]

Following Yahoo, he became CEO of Guggenheim Digital Media, an offshoot of Guggenheim Partners, the investment firm that then was the controlling owner of the Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, where he oversaw those brands as well as Adweek, the Clio Awards and worked on acquisitions.[16]

He joined several board of directors including Tribune Company as the media brand emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy until its sale to Nexstar in 2019,[17] Dex Media, the yellow pages business and Scout Media, which was sold to CBS Sports.[18][19]

Los Angeles TimesEdit

On 21 August 2017, Levinsohn was named the publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times by tronc, replacing Davan Maharaj.[20]

The Los Angeles Times newsroom filed for a union election in December 2017, four months after Levinsohn was hired, and held a union election on 4 January 2018.[21]

Levinsohn was placed on unpaid leave in January 2018 after reports of two sexual harassment lawsuits, 'frat house' behavior and questionable decisions on the job from interviews with 26 former colleagues and associates.[22][23] Tronc hired an independent law firm to conduct and investigation that found no wrongdoing in any of the accusations and cleared him to return to work.[24][25] After the sale of the Los Angeles Times to billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, Levinsohn was reinstated and named to a new position as CEO of Tribune Interactive on 8 February 2018.[26][27]

The Arena GroupEdit

In June 2019, Levinsohn was named chief executive of Sports Illustrated, following a deal to license the brand from Authentic Brands Group.[28] In October 2019, the company removed longtime editor-in-chief Chris Stone from his position and promoted longtime Sports Illustrated employees Steve Cannella and Ryan Hunt to coeditor-in-chiefs.[29] The company also announced that 40 positions would be eliminated as part of a broader overhaul, with plans to hire 200 contract writers in upcoming months to cover sports.[30][31][32]

In August 2020, Levinsohn was appointed as CEO.[3] Levinsohn prioritized expanding premium content and settling many of the issues created by previous management including issues with previous owner Meredith and journalist Grant Wahl.[33][34]

On September 20, 2021, the company announced that it rebranded itself as The Arena Group, reflecting the company's shift in business strategy towards building "scalable media verticals."[2][35]

Personal lifeEdit

Levinsohn was raised in Tenafly, New Jersey, the son of Joyce (née Salton) and Jay Douglas Levinsohn.[36] He graduated from American University with a bachelor's degree in broadcast communications.[37]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Reuters, From (16 July 2005). "News Corp. Forms Internet Division". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ a b Andy Meek (20 September 2021). "Sports Illustrated Publisher Maven Is Rebranding Amid A Strategy Shift". Forbes.
  3. ^ a b Gruenwedel, Erik (27 August 2020). "Ross Levinsohn Named CEO of Maven". MediaPlayNews.com. Media Play News. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  4. ^ Tsukayama, Hayley (14 May 2012). "Yahoo: Who is Ross Levinsohn?". Washington Post. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
  5. ^ "CBS Corporation and SportsLine USA Extend Strategic Alliance".
  6. ^ Ross Levinsohn Leaves Yahoo
  7. ^ Glasner, Joanna (13 November 2002). "AltaVista Makeover: A Better View". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  8. ^ "CMGI Acquires 83 Percent of AltaVista for $2.3 Billion - InternetNews". www.internetnews.com. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  9. ^ "AltaVista cancels proposed IPO". CNET. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  10. ^ His Space
  11. ^ Lombardi, Candace. "Fox exec announces his departure on MySpace". CNET. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  12. ^ Shields, Mike (28 October 2010). "Levinsohn Joins Yahoo". AdWeek.
  13. ^ Yahoo Seeks to Rebrand Itself at Sundance
  14. ^ Yahoo Partners with Tom Hanks for Animated Web Series
  15. ^ "Interim Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn leaves company". Reuters. 30 July 2012.
  16. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (15 January 2013). "Ross Levinsohn to run new digital biz".
  17. ^ FCC Approves Nexstar Acquisition of Tribune Media
  18. ^ Corrigan, Tom. "Scout Media Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy". WSJ. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  19. ^ "Hernreich 2005 Trust and Serure Scout LLC v. Heckman, Stieglitz, Sornsin and Levinsohn" (PDF).
  20. ^ Lenz, Lyz (24 January 2018). "LA journalism's 'Prince of Darkness'". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  21. ^ Eidelson, Josh (4 January 2018). "After 136 Years, L.A. Times Reporters Decide Whether to Unionize". Bloomberg.
  22. ^ Kelly, Keith J. (1 October 2019). "Sports Illustrated shake-up kicks off". New York Post. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  23. ^ David Folkenflik (18 January 2018). "Accusations Of 'Frat House' Behavior Trail 'LA Times' Publisher's Career". NPR.org. NPR.
  24. ^ "Tronc Hires Law Firm". liverampLA.
  25. ^ Kelly, Keith J. (8 February 2018). "LA Times publisher cleared of wrongdoing, given Tronc post". New York Post. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  26. ^ Dua, Tanya. "How a high-flying media executive with a $1 million annual paycheck and big plans to revamp the LA Times found himself out of a job after 5 months". Business Insider. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  27. ^ Meg James (16 June 2018). "Historic sale of the L.A. Times to billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong to close on Monday". Los Angeles Times.
  28. ^ "Ross Levinsohn, now with Maven, to manage Sports Illustrated magazine". Los Angeles Times. 17 June 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  29. ^ New 'Sports Illustrated' EICs Outline Goals Amid Reports Of Impending Layoffs
  30. ^ 'Sports Illustrated' Launches Revamped Print Edition, Partners With 'The Hockey News'
  31. ^ Kelly, Keith J. (1 October 2019). "Sports Illustrated shake-up kicks off". New York Post. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  32. ^ Trachtenberg, Benjamin Mullin and Jeffrey A. "Sports Illustrated's New Operator to Lay Off More Than 40 Employees". WSJ. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  33. ^ Meredith drops $1M suit against Sports Illustrated operator Maven
  34. ^ Grant Wahl will write three final long-form stories for Sports Illustrated
  35. ^ "Maven Rebrands as The Arena Group, Expanding Business Strategy Around Consumer Media Verticals Anchored by Flagship Brands". Yahoo Finance. 20 September 2021.
  36. ^ "Jay Douglas Levinsohn". Los Angeles Times. 23 January 2014.
  37. ^ "Trustee accused of sexual harassment will not seek re-election to board". The Eagle. Retrieved 27 August 2019.