The Los Angeles Times has hired former Sports Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Stone as its new executive sports editor.
Stone worked for the venerable US sports magazine for 27 years, ultimately rising to the top of the masthead and overseeing editorial operations there. But he left his post last fall following a complex series of transactions over the past two and a half years in which Time Inc. sold SI to Meredith Corp., who in turn resold the magazine to Authentic Brands. Digital publishing firm The Maven last summer then acquired the rights to operate SI and has since been conducting a dramatic overhaul of the staff.
More broadly, SI has been facing declining relevance and circulation after operating for decades as a fixture of American sports media. In addition to an online and mobile presence, the magazine this year has declined to monthly publication after operating for many years as a weekly.
In Los Angeles, Stone will oversee one of the more prominent sports journalism operations still remaining in US daily newspapers. The market also figures to a key focal point in US sports culture over the next decade as the forthcoming SoFi Stadium will play host to a Super Bowl, World Cup, and 2028 Olympics.
“It’s an honor to be joining The Times – a journalism and media lodestar – at the start of a decade when Los Angeles is poised to become America’s premier sports city,” Stone said. “I’m joining a team that gives voice and witness to the city it covers like no other staff.”
Stone’s hire comes as Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, a minority owner of the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers, has sought to expand the newspaper’s areas of coverage.