Jeffrey S. Klein, a former senior executive with the Los Angeles Times and Times Mirror, has joined the Center on Communication Leadership and Policy as the 2010-11 executive in residence. As both a lawyer and journalist, he has more than 24 years of experience operating newspaper, magazine, television and Internet businesses.
At the center, Klein will focus on the New Models for News initiative and on how established media companies are moving into the digital age. In addition, Klein will contribute regularly to the center’s blog (https://communicationleadership.usc.edu), participate in programs and workshops organized by the center, including the News Entrepreneur Boot Camp (presented in partnership with the Knight Digital Media Center); and direct grant-funded research projects on the future of news covering areas such as government funding, philanthropic funding, community news and arts journalism.
“Jeff Klein uniquely combines experience as a journalist, lawyer, innovator, executive and teacher who has successfully navigated the transition from traditional to new media,” said Geoffrey Cowan, USC Annenberg dean emeritus and director of the Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. “We are delighted to have him help advance our work in the area of new business models for news.”
“I’m looking forward to working with [the center], Geoff Cowan and managing director Geoff Baum, to more fully understand, and help set the agenda for, the news media in the digital age,” Klein said. “We are in a time of incredible change in the industry and no one yet knows how it will end up, but I’m very optimistic about the possibilities.”
Klein spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times and Times Mirror in senior management positions, including senior vice president and general manager, news, and senior vice president for consumer marketing. At various times, he was responsible for circulation, marketing, research, public affairs, communications and the regional editions of the newspaper. He also served as president of the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County editions of the newspaper. For several years, Klein was CEO of California Community Newspapers Inc., a Times Mirror Co., which published the Costa Mesa Daily Pilot and the Glendale News Press.
With the backing of the Frontenac Co., a private equity firm, Klein co-founded 101communications – a multimedia publisher serving the information technology market. From 2001 to 2006, he served as 101’s president and CEO. In April 2006, Klein and his partners sold 101 to 1105 Media, a magazine, trade show and Web publishing company where Klein remains as non-executive chairman of the board.
He began his career as an attorney, first in the entertainment industry and later on behalf of the Los Angeles Times as a specialist in First Amendment issues. He is a veteran instructor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, where he has taught media law and media business. For 10 years, he wrote a weekly consumer law column for the Times.
Klein has served on several nonprofit boards, including the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, the Foundation for American Communications, the Alliance for the Arts and the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College.
Last year, he finished a two-year term as chairman of the board of directors of Meet Each Need With Dignity, the largest privately funded antipoverty agency in the San Fernando Valley, where he led its $8.5 million capital campaign. He recently joined the board of trustees of Claremont McKenna College.
Klein earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, a law degree from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Claremont McKenna College.
More stories about: Research