Tribune Publishing Paying $2.5M to Avoid Lawsuit Revealing Exec’s Anti-Semitic Slur: Report

Tribune Publishing reportedly agreed to pay former Los Angeles Times editor-in-chief and publisher Davan Maharaj $2.5 million to settle a wrongful termination suit that would have exposed an anti-Semitic remark allegedly made by a top executive. Michael Ferro, the former executive chairman of Tribune Publishing, then known as Tronc, reportedly fired Maharaj in August 2017 and named Ross Levinsohn as the Times’ publisher and CEO. According to NPR, Maharaj subsequently hired an attorney to pursue a wrongful termination suit—which included recorded remarks of Ferro claiming Southern California billionaire Eli Broad was part of a “Jewish cabal” that was running Los Angeles. The suit reportedly went into mediation, where it was agreed that Maharaj would receive over $2.5 million in installments—the first of which was paid in the first quarter of 2017. In the same quarter, NPR reports Tribune Publishing reported a loss of $14.8 million. At the time, the company attributed the loss to Ferro’s $15 million “consulting fees” while he was serving as Tribune’s chairman and owner. Ferro denied making the anti-Semitic remark about Broad, and called the claim “reckless allegations.”