David Laventhol, who led Newsday and LA Times through expansions, is dead at 81

A longtime associate says David Laventhol, an innovative editor and publisher who led Newsday and the Los Angeles Times to expanded, prize-winning coverage, has died at age 81.

Howard Schneider, dean of the journalism school at Stony Brook University, says Laventhol's family confirmed that he died Wednesday.

One of Laventhol's boldest moves was the creation of a New York City edition of Long Island's Newsday. New York Newsday was widely praised but unprofitable and closed after 10 years.

Laventhol came to Newsday as associate editor in 1969. He was named executive editor in 1970 and publisher and chief executive officer in 1978.

Laventhol became president of Times Mirror, which had purchased Newsday. In 1989, he was named publisher of the Los Angeles Times, which Times Mirror also owned.