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Los Angeles Times loses publisher, gets union

Los Angeles Times Publisher and Chief Executive Ross Levinsohn was placed on an unpaid leave of absence amid allegations of past improper behavior, it was announced Friday.

The news followed word that Times journalists had voted to join a union — a first in the paper's 136-year history.

Some Times employees had called for Levinsohn to be fired after National Public Radio reported Thursday on allegations that he had engaged in what has been termed "frat-boy" behavior while serving as an executive at two previous companies and was a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits before he joined the Times on Aug. 21.

"Levinsohn has lost credibility as the leader of one of the country's top newspapers," said a petition to Times parent company Tronc Inc. signed by more than 200 staff members.

Levinsohn will be replaced by President Mickie Rosen while Tronc investigates the allegations.

"We will not hesitate to take further action, if appropriate, once the review is complete," Tronc CEO Justin Dearborn said in an email to employees, the Times reported. He didn't say how long the investigation might last.

Levinsohn was the Times' fifth publisher in as many years. That turnover has contributed to rising discontent in the newsroom, which also saw jobs slashed and benefits cut as the Times struggled with declining advertising revenues and circulation in the face of online competition.

Times daily circulation is now under 274,000, down from a high of more than 1 million in 1990.

Times union organizers also were incensed that while staff benefits were being cut, Tronc last month signed a $5 million-a-year contract with a consulting business owned by its chairman, Michael Ferro.

On Friday, a National Labor Relations Board tally found that newsroom workers voted 248 to 44 for representation by NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America. The vote was taken on Jan. 4.

The union must now negotiate for a collective bargaining agreement. The union said it will seek better pay and benefits as well as "pay equity for women and people of color, greater diversity and better working conditions" for reporters, copy editors, graphic artists and photographers.

"This was a long time coming, and we're all thrilled that this has finally happened," Kristina Bui, a Times copy editor and union organizer, told the newspaper. "The newsroom has put up with so much disruption and mismanagement, and this vote just underscores how much of a say we need to have in the decision-making process. The newsroom is demanding a seat at the bargaining table."

"We respect the outcome of the election and look forward to productive conversations with union leadership as we move forward," Tronc said in a statement. "We remain committed to ensuring that the Los Angeles Times is a leading source for news and information and to producing the award-winning journalism our readers rely on."

Tronc fought Times organizing efforts. A day before the vote, the paper's editor-in-chief and former interim executive editor sent employees an email arguing that "a union won't solve most of the problems endemic to our industry."

Most major news organizations in the United States, including The Associated Press, are unionized and digital media such as the Huffington Post also have seen successful organizing efforts.

The Times was owned for much of its history by the Chandler family and the paper was fervently anti-union. In 2000 it was sold to the Tribune Co., which went through a period of bankruptcy and turmoil. The company spun off its publishing arm as Tribune Publishing in 2014, which was later renamed Tronc, for Tribune Online Content.

Chicago-based Tronc is the nation's third-largest newspaper publisher and its properties include many venerable papers, including the Chicago Tribune, San Diego Union-Tribune, New York Daily News, Orlando Sentinel and Baltimore Sun.

Spotlight Gold: Ohio Players - “Funky Worms”

Youngblood features another classic by The Ohio Players. Tune in to KISS 104.1 FM for more Spotlight Gold.

Listen to Spotlight Gold Saturdays from 7am - 12pm on the new KISS 104.1 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks.

Spotlight Gold: Johnny “Guitar” Watkins - “Superman Lover”

Johnny Watson’s best known song is “Gangster of Love”. His highest charting hit was the 1977 song “A Real Mother for Ya”. Tune in to KISS 104.1 as Youngblood spotlights “Superman Lover”.

The R&B, soul and funk singer Johnny 'Guitar' Watson passed away while touring Japan in 1996.

Watch the clip below.

Rapper Kodak Black arrested in Florida on multiple charges

Authorities say rapper Kodak Black was arrested several days after a guest at his Florida home live-streamed people handling marijuana and a handgun around an infant.

A Broward Sheriff's Office report says deputies arrested the 20-year-old rapper, whose real name is Dieuson Octave, after executing a search warrant at his Pembroke Pines home on Thursday. Octave was ordered held without bail during a Friday hearing because he was already on probation.

The arrest report says the video was streamed Saturday on Instagram, and the Thursday search of his home found more drugs and weapons.

Octave faces seven felony charges. They include child neglect, grand theft of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and marijuana possession.

A lawyer for Octave wasn't listed on jail records.

Octave is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a Florence, South Carolina, hotel room in 2016. He has been jailed several times in Broward County after violating probation.

His song "Tunnel Vision" peaked at number 6 on Billboard's Hot 100 last March.

Another song — "No Flockin" — is often cited as an influence on Cardi B's hit song "Bodak Yellow."

Jesse Williams will have to pay ex-wife 50k per month

TMZ is now reporting that Jesse Williams is being hit with more child support. According to reports Jesse Williams will have to pay 20k more per month in spousal support. Read the full story.

Kim and Kanye choose Chicago for their new baby's name

Chicago — where Kanye West was raised — is the name of baby No. 3 with Kim Kardashian West.

Mom made the announcement Friday on her app without explanation. Chicago was born Monday, weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces. She joins big sister North, 4, and middle brother Saint, 2.

Kardashian West's fertilized egg had been implanted into a surrogate, who gave birth to the child. The rapper and the reality star chose to use a carrier after Kim suffered pregnancy complications with her two older children. She said her doctors told her it wasn't safe for her to carry another baby.

The name choice generated a bit of buzz in Chicago and on social media, where the wind jokes flew. The hashtag #BabyWest trended on Twitter in the U.S. by late afternoon Friday, with Kardashian West tweeting out the nickname Chi. So are we yay or nay?

"It's a great city. I love it. But I'm not sure if I would name my baby that. Maybe like a middle name or something, said Taylor Tippett, in Chicago.

Ashley Boice, also in Chicago, said she isn't surprised by the unusual name.

"They're trying to one up all the other celebs and their crazy names," she said. "I don't love it. I think it's for attention."

Besides, Boice said, why not go with a cool Chicago neighborhood name instead, perhaps one Kanye favors. Wicker Park and Logan (for Logan Square) are available.

How does all of this bode for the upcoming birth of Kardashian sister Khloe's baby, and reportedly half-sis Kylie Jenner, too.

"Khloe's really cool. I think her and her guy are going to find a really cool name," Boice said. "But if Kylie is pregnant, I don't know, I think she'll do something weird."


Associated Press writer Teresa Crawford in Chicago contributed to this report.

Kim Kardashian West, Kanye West’s newborn daughter named Chicago

She has a name.

Days after announcing the birth of their third child, Kim Kardashian has shared that she and her husband, rapper Kanye West, have named their daughter Chicago West.

On Tuesday, Kardashian West confirmed the Monday birth of Chicago on her official website.

>> Read more trending news 

“Kanye and I are happy to announce the arrival of our healthy, beautiful baby girl,” she said in a statement. “We are incredibly grateful to our surrogate who made our dreams come true with the greatest gift one could give and to our wonderful doctors and nurses for their special care. North and Saint are especially thrilled to welcome their baby sister.”

Chicago West was born Jan. 15 at 12:47 a.m. PT and weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces. She joins big brother Saint West, 2, and big sister North West, 4.

According to a tweet from the new mom of three, Chicago will go by the name Chi, pronounced “Shy,” as in the abbreviated name of the city.

It was confirmed in September that the celebrity couple were expecting a third child via gestational carrier.

People reported that Kardashian West, 37, said her decision to hire a gestational surrogate came after her two high-risk pregnancies.

“I have always been really honest about my struggles with pregnancy,” she said on her website Thursday. “Preeclampsia and placenta accreta are high-risk conditions, so when I wanted to have a third baby, doctors said that it wasn’t safe for my — or the baby’s — health to carry on my own.”

“After exploring many options, Kanye and I decided to use a gestational carrier. Although I have used the term surrogate in the past, a gestational carrier is actually the technical term for a woman who carries a baby that she has no biological relationship to.

“A traditional surrogate donates her egg, is artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm and then carries the baby to term. Since we implanted my fertilized egg in our gestational carrier, our baby is biologically mine and Kanye’s. You can either choose someone that you know or you can go through an agency, like Kanye and I did.

“I’m so grateful for modern technology and that this is even possible,” Kardashian West wrote. “It’s not for everyone, but I absolutely love my gestational carrier and this was the best experience I’ve ever had. Our gestational carrier gave us the greatest gift one could give.”

Lyor Cohen says hip-hop should dominate at upcoming Grammys

Music executive Lyor Cohen says hip-hop should dominate the top categories at the upcoming Grammys.

Cohen spoke with The Associated Press on Thursday about the Recording Academy giving rap a "deserving" chance. Both Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar are nominated for album and record of the year. Jay-Z, the leading nominee, is also nominated for song of the year.

Cohen is now YouTube's global head of music, but has been an integral figure in hip-hop for decades was the former head of Def Jam Records. Next week, he's hosting a pre-Grammy event with Nas that will pay homage to rap and include performances from Grandmaster Flash, Q-Tip, Fab Five Freddy and Chuck D.

The 60th annual Grammy Awards will air on CBS on Jan. 28.

Color galore in Paris as menswear gets bold

There was color galore at Paris menswear shows Friday, with John Galliano channeling the hues of the rainbow for Maison Margiela and Cerutti 1881 featuring flashes of gold. The Alexander McQueen fashion house mixed in flashes of red to an otherwise dark display of menswear.

Some highlights to the fall-winter shows:


John Galliano studied the science of the rainbow for a colorful and typically quirky collection.

A clinical white venue, populated by myriad staff in their signature white lab aprons, led the eye down to a bright yellow runway. Its large oval shapes brightly evoked the rays of sunlight and suggested the inspiration for the fall-winter display.

From a vermilion coat with sloping shoulders to a sunny yellow bubble jacket, narrow blue pants and a belted, deep saffron knitted coat — the collection looked as if Galliano had separated each of the colors refracted in a rainbow. Science and the laboratory have been a touchstone for the brand for years.

Tongue-in-cheek garments of practical use in the rain were mixed in with the 30 couture-infused designs. There were transparent rain caps that gave a 1950s edge, and a see-through PVC belted rain coat that was on-trend in its play on texture, layering and transparency.

Silhouette-wise, large lapels and slightly cinched waists were dominant.

As fashionistas left the grand Hotel des Invalides venue, the world outside warmed up too: The winter drizzle suddenly stopped, giving way to rays of sun.

Lauded designer Galliano has been called many things in his career, but a weather forecaster must be a first.



There was more than a flavor of London in Alexander McQueen's sophomore Paris show.

The Saville Row suit and tie — with an archetypally British red-check sweater — was the starting point for a display shown in an industrial, disused office space.

It was clear that this buttoned-up vibe would give way to more creative explorations when in the next look, a black business-like parka jacket — wrapped around the waist — billowed out like Asian samurai pants.

A suit in chocolate had wide shoulders and unusually-shaped tapered sleeves, which added an edge to the classic garment.

And references to the '80s — such as a shimmering snake-patterned Glam Rock coat and an oversize red-check scarf — injected some fun into a collection, which tipped more toward the commercial than the house's womenswear does.



In a sign of the growing importance of both menswear and Paris to the fashion industry, Alexander McQueen is now — with the house's second men's runway show in the City of Light — a firm staple of the calendar.

Founded by the late designer Alexander McQueen in 1992, the house had shown menswear designs in previous seasons by appointment in Milan and London before it made its Paris runway debut last season.

The CEO since 2016, Frenchman Emmanuel Gintzburger, had been tasked with expanding the fashion-forward brand. This move puts the men's designs in line with the lauded womenswear collections that are shown in Paris during ready-to-wear week in the spring and fall.



South Korean designer Juun J. often plays with oversized shapes, and for the latest fall and winter collection he took his signature themes up a notch with a highly sculptural collection defined by huge bubble jacket material tied around the models' necks.

The palette was typically tame, with its black, white and blown-up check infused with flashes of vermillion and pale yellow, but the shapes less so.

A huge black bubble jacket, knotted around a female model's upper half, obscured the body alongside a bubble "skirt" with a fine corrugated surface clumsily wrapped around the bottom half. Its myriad hanging tassels further adding to a visual kinesis.

Much of this haphazard body "wrapping" was more sculptural and creative than actually wearable.

A black check suit with multiple layers was given an abstract twist with a shiny bubble jacket around the neck that looked almost like the inflatable neck pillows you find on airplanes.



Designer Jason Basmajian of Cerutti 1881 loves color.

Although his restrained fall-winter designs featured darker hues than normal, there were rick pickings for anyone who likes a bright wardrobe.

A beautiful military green coat in soft wool looked huggable, as did a pair of fluffy sports-infused eggshell pants.

A gold shirt evoked the rich fabrics of India, and the rich color also cropped up on a Cerutti logo sweater and a sporty women's coat with black fanny pack.

There was a sporty edge to many of the 47 looks as is increasingly common with many menswear brands around the world.

Chief Creative Officer Basmajian brings a business approach as well as an artistic one to his fashion designs. Friday's saleable collection was a case in point.


Thomas Adamson can be followed at

Producers guild unveils anti-sexual harassment guidelines

The Producers Guild of America has ratified guidelines for combating sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, requesting that every film and TV production offer in-person harassment training and provide multiple ways for alleged victims to complain.

The guidelines are the product of a task force asked to research and propose solutions to sexual misconduct following a flood of accusations that started with revelations about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. He was expelled from the group last year.

The guild's board of directors unanimously ratified its Anti-Sexual Harassment Guidelines on Wednesday. The Los Angeles-based guild has over 8,000 members and represents those in film, television and new media.

Other guidelines include asking each production to be vigilant to prevent harassment, protect any whistleblowers and assume whoever complains "is being sincere until further inquiry can be undertaken."

The guidelines also ask that producers be sensitive to power dynamics and conduct all meetings "in an environment that is professional, safe and comfortable for all parties." Weinstein has been accused of holding meetings in hotel rooms, in which women accuse him of misconduct.

In a statement, guild Presidents Gary Lucchesi and Lori McCreary said that "while the PGA is a voluntary membership organization, the PGA's Anti-Sexual Harassment Guidelines are sanctioned as best practices for our members."

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